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Old 17th May 2017
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Gear Nut
 
Richie Witch's Avatar
 

Optimal Routing for a Tascam M-312B Mixer

Just picked up this wonderful vintage Tascam mixer at a pawn shop a few weeks ago. I’m struggling with the best way to set up the routing of the aux buses to get the best use of the four groups.

Here’s what I have to accommodate:
• Lexicon MX300 reverb/FX
• Electrix Filter Factory analog filter bank
• HHB Radius 3 Fat Man tube compressor
• DOD Series 2 graphic EQ
• Marantz cassette deck

The M-312B has a mono FX send with two channel return and four mono aux bus sends but no returns. The FX send is available on all channels. Aux 1 and 2 are usable from the twelve input channels. Aux 3 and 4 are usable from the four groups. All the input channels have tape-in and line-in, and the four groups have pairs of program-in. All the input channels have direct out but those will be used to connect to an A/D converter for recording to my DAW.

It also has inserts on every channel, including the groups and the mains. I plan on connecting the inserts on the first eight input channels to my Presonus 8-channel compressor/gate.

To me, it makes the most sense to hook the Lexicon to the FX bus since the Lexicon can be set up to route two different FX on its two output channels or provide stereo out.

That leaves the Filter Factory, the Fat Man, and the EQ to get connected elsewhere. If I put the Filter Factory and the Fat Man on Aux 1 and 2, do I connect the returns to one of the input channels? Like 9 thru 12? Or would it be better to return them on one of the group channels?

My overall studio setup is this:
• Two stereo outputs from a summing mixer that has all my hardware synths connected to it.
• One stereo output from a drum machine
• Two outputs from a tube preamp
• I usually have a couple inputs open for microphones, although they are rarely used.

In my old setup, the eight channels with the Presonus compressor on the inserts were used for individual mics, the tube pre, and the drum machine. The summing mixer/synth bus was connected to two pairs of stereo line inputs. The tape desk was fed from the control room output and returned on a stereo line input channel. The reverb, filter, tube compressor, and EQ were connected to aux buses with mono sends/stereo returns.

In the new setup, I want to record unprocessed audio from the mixer to my DAW. Then for mixdown, route twelve channels from the DAW back to the mixer for mixing down to the four groups, adding processing at this point, and recording back into the DAW.

Does anyone see an advantage to running the aux returns to the input channels? Or would it be better to return them to the groups? Some combination of the two? Something completely different? A patchbay perhaps?