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Banana Brains 28th October 2008 12:44 PM

cassette multitracking advice

I am currently using a tascam mkIII cassette four track. I have used cubase before and then I lost interest. I'm having lots of fun using the simple cassette. I'm not trying to make a pro record. Just having fun and recording songs for pleasure.

"Fun" while I'm doing this is most important to me, so I'm going to stick with the cassette. Thanks...I know most of you will tell me to get rid of it, but again I'm cool with the cassette.

My question is I have about 1000 bucks to spend on getting some new gear. Should I get one good preamp and forget about the rest, or a channel strip, or some other combination.

I'm using a PPA-1 LDC and a sm57. I also have an m-audio dmp3. That's it.

I was considering an LA-610, an api 500 series 512c, or an fmr rnc and a rnp.

Should I be looking for a really transparant pre since the recorder will color the sound plenty on its own??

I record mainly acoustic guitar and vocals and then anything weird and fun I can to arrange around this foundation.

Thanks for all you advice.

The Reel Thing 28th October 2008 02:01 PM


both your arguments about the fun of recording music and the sufficient quality of a 4-track cassette deck to do the job well rub me just the right way.

i have no idea why cassette decks have been neglected so heavily. they're great, and if you know what you're doing, you can make great records with them. nebraska by springsteen is one example, and also wrong way up by brian eno and john cale. you will also find several tracks on lanois' album acadie that were started on a cassette deck. and the most famous example is los lobos' kiko, on which the basic tracks were recorded on 4-track cassette in their kitchen.

the question is if an expensive preamp will better the sound severely enough to justify the investment. in your case i would rather spend my money on a good pair of monitors and maybe a small console to be able to do submixes and, in general, a good mix of your recordings. you will have the mic preamps included in the console then.
sometimes you can find great broadcast desks like studer, neve or amek with 6, 8 or 10 channels. these are not useful for bigger setups, because they have only limited EQ and no aux sends, but for your purpose they would be excellent.

good luck,


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