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syncing tape machines
Old 18th September 2008
  #1
Here for the gear
 

syncing tape machines

Hey I searched the board and found a few threads about this however no real answer.. just a lot of DONT DO IT, ITS ANNOYING.

I understand that it may be a pain but I was wondering what one would need to do this. I have two TEAC 80-8s and I'd like to give it a shot.. anyone have any advice?
Old 18th September 2008
  #2
Gear Nut
 
Idiophonic's Avatar
 

In setups I have used, you need a device called a synchronizer that controls the speed of one or both machines. One I have used is the MicroLynx.

If I remember correctly, both tapes need to have the same SMPTE timecode recorded onto one of their tracks. The outputs of these tracks are fed into the MicroLynx. Additionally, the MicroLynx has machine-control connections to connect to one or both machines, so it can control the speed of one or both machines. (I think you can set one to be a master, therefore its speed won't be controlled by the synchronizer, it will just be "chased" by the synchronizer.)

So, you press play on the master tape deck. The synchronizer sees incoming timecode from the master tape deck. It plays the slave machine and compares the incoming timecode to the master's timecode. It then adjusts the speed of the slave machine until the two are locked to each other to within a frame's worth of accuracy...usually 1/30 of a second. This timecode lock occurs much faster than it takes to say it..less than a second, if all proper connections have been made.

It has been a while since I have personally done it, but I do know that it can be done. I may have left out a step or two somewhere in there, but in general that is how it is accomplished.

Bottom line: You need a synchronizer and you have to use two of your audio tracks (one on each tape) to store the timecode.
Old 18th September 2008
  #3
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drBill's Avatar
The above is correct - you need 2 synchronizers (or one synchronizer that can control 2+ machines) two control cables to each machine, (preferably) video blackburst to clock the synchronizer and two machines that are capable of EXTERNAL synchronizer control. I could be wrong, but I do not believe the 80-8 is. And yeah, it is pretty annoying.... heh heh Especially after the speed of a DAW. Two analog machines take awhile to sync up. Definately slows down a session. Sometimes that's a good thing....
Old 19th September 2008
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Thanks guys! I am going to start the search for this gear and try to do this. Its true, this seems really silly but I love the tape sound a lot and want to have more room to experiment.
Old 19th September 2008
  #5
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TUB07876 View Post
Thanks guys! I am going to start the search for this gear and try to do this. Its true, this seems really silly but I love the tape sound a lot and want to have more room to experiment.
Honestly, you're better off getting a 16 track. Does the 80-8 allow for "external" control over the capstain? If not, you can't lock them together. One machine is always preferable to two - at least in terms of session smoothness, phase, etc. Good luck!

bp
Old 19th September 2008
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by TUB07876 View Post
Thanks guys! I am going to start the search for this gear and try to do this. Its true, this seems really silly but I love the tape sound a lot and want to have more room to experiment.
I don't mean to burst your bubble but with an 80-8 you don't exactly have the nice analog tape sound, why invest the money and time and hassle for something that will not lock well and not sound that great and only give you 14 so-so tracks
Old 19th September 2008
  #7
Lives for gear
 

All you have on an 80-8 is control over the transport functions.
There is a multi-pin plug on the back that was intended for a remote.
THERE IS NO CONTROL OVER THE CAPSTAN MOTOR SPEED.

If you had the design abilities I suppose you could tap into the phase lock loop circuit of the capstan motor and make it work with a Lynx, but like MUSICLAB stated... you'll only have FOURTEEN tracks.
It'd be a BIG job if it WAS feasible.
On an 80-8 the SMPTE would probably bleed into the next track, so you end up with twelve "quiet" tracks and two tracks with SMPTE in the background.

Get a 16 track.
Even the most cantankerous 16 track deck would be a piece of cake to deal with in all aspects compared to two 80-8s being cobbled together.

If you even made it work it'd be a NIGHTMARE to keep it running!

...and if you like the sound of "analog tape" on an 80-8 you'd crap your pants over the sound of a decent pro analog deck!
Seriously!
1" 8-track, 2" 16 track or 2" 24 track are a whole other universe.
Besides... the narrow tape formats of the TASCAMs and FOSTEXs never were considered "pro."
Hell!!!! Some people thought/think 1" 12 track and 2" 24 track are too much of a compromise!

But hey.... you ARE seeing the light (only in a dim view.)
Come into the light brother!
Come into the light!
Old 19th September 2008
  #8
Pat
Gear Addict
 
Pat's Avatar
 

Glad this sync war is over here. Running 2 Alesis HD24XR in
perfect sync with DP.
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