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I'm finally doing it. I'm getting rid of my computer. Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 8th December 2009
  #301
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memphisindie's Avatar
 

Rock On, man, Rock on!
Old 8th December 2009
  #302
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steelyfan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayRadioPlay View Post
I'm loading up the tape machine and mixer right now thumbsup
Keep your good attitude and stay focused!

It's actually a blessing in disguise really, learn something from this guy and and be one of the very few 20 year olds who knows a little something about the history of recording techniques/mediums.

Let us know what his opinion on the Peavey is too, anything that looks like that with those big knobs has got to sound good.....I don't care who's name is on it. Make it work.
Old 9th December 2009
  #303
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Just got home. Man, driving from west of Fort Worth to Dallas between 3-5 PM is suicidal.

John looked at both machines. The 38's heads were gunked up. Apparently the cleaning I did was way, way too delicate. I've been approaching all of this gear like fine china, worried about breaking it, but I guess I need to be a little more forceful with some of this stuff. Also, two of the little metal poles (can't remember the name, I'm sure someone will enlighten me) that the tape runs around had been worn down so they were flat. He said they just need to be rotated. Easy fix. Those were the only two things he could diagnose right off the bat.

He said the pinch wheel looks brand new with no oxidation at all. He also said the hubs look like they're in good shape and at the right height. So, on the surface, it looks like small stuff that can be fixed in a small amount of time.

The mixer wasn't powered up and plugged in while I was there, but he said it looked like a 30 year old mixer that was well taken care of should. Old, but not abused. All of the symptoms I described seemed to sound pretty minor to him. He said that a full cleaning and 100% restore should take half a day of work.

He should be calling me in the next day or two to lay out all of the issues so I can approve the work before it's done.

Here are the two pieces in the back of my Jetta with the seats laid flat:



Front of the shop. It was in a business park near Texas Stadium, where the Cowboys played up until a few years ago.



And on a note unrelated to this analog rig, my MOTU 828 mkII finally died on me (I've had it and used it fervently for 4 or 5 years now). I had been waiting for that to happen, and I finally had an excuse to pick up an Apogee Ensemble:
Old 9th December 2009
  #304
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memphisindie's Avatar
 

Lemme know how that ensemble sounds.
Good job gettin the rig to the shop.
Old 9th December 2009
  #305
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PlayRadioPlay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by memphisindie View Post
Lemme know how that ensemble sounds.
Good job gettin the rig to the shop.
Will do! I'm recording vocals for a Winter Solstice song tonight, so I should get a pretty good idea of how this thing is. It'll be clocked to a Big Ben.
Old 9th December 2009
  #306
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Hey, cool pictures! And nice to read about your trip to Dallas. I'm exited to read more and also see more pictures from your new tape life.

I finally decided to buy my friends 38!
Old 9th December 2009
  #307
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Congrats on your persistence, I'm sure you'll be up and running in no time!

I ordered a pinch roller and capstan belt from Teac/Tascam today. I wish I had a video camera so I could start some cleaning/maintenance "how to" videos, but I don't ...

There are some videos on YouTube if you haven't checked already. I watched a few the other day and learned how to replace the capstan belt. I also saw a good video explaining how do degauss (demagnetize) the tape path. I searched for "Tascam 38" & "reel to reel tape recorder" on Youtube.

Unfortunately there is quite a bit of disassembling needed to replace the belt, darn. I don't mind taking things apart, just wish it were more simple to less affect on alignment. I do have some old tapes I'd like to dump into Pro Tools so hopefully the alignment will be okay without too much trouble. I may even have to bake the tapes since they were purchased about 20 years ago, that will be a learning experience, and I look forward to it!!

I might start another model 38 discussion regarding current tape/bias options for the 38. Maybe someone here can help out too. I used Ampex 456 in the past, interested in learning of a modern equivalent if there are folks in the know.(?)

Okay ..., anytime you're ready, we're rolling!
Old 9th December 2009
  #308
"I''m finally doing it. I'm getting rid of my computer"

Cool, do it! Everyone is different, for some people 'no computer' really opens some creative doors for others its the exact opposite. There is no right or wrong, to each his own.

Enjoy!
Old 9th December 2009
  #309
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greatgreatriver View Post
Hey, cool pictures! And nice to read about your trip to Dallas. I'm exited to read more and also see more pictures from your new tape life.

I finally decided to buy my friends 38!
Congrats! Keep us updated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drp audio View Post
Congrats on your persistence, I'm sure you'll be up and running in no time!

I ordered a pinch roller and capstan belt from Teac/Tascam today. I wish I had a video camera so I could start some cleaning/maintenance "how to" videos, but I don't ...

There are some videos on YouTube if you haven't checked already. I watched a few the other day and learned how to replace the capstan belt. I also saw a good video explaining how do degauss (demagnetize) the tape path. I searched for "Tascam 38" & "reel to reel tape recorder" on Youtube.

Unfortunately there is quite a bit of disassembling needed to replace the belt, darn. I don't mind taking things apart, just wish it were more simple to less affect on alignment. I do have some old tapes I'd like to dump into Pro Tools so hopefully the alignment will be okay without too much trouble. I may even have to bake the tapes since they were purchased about 20 years ago, that will be a learning experience, and I look forward to it!!

I might start another model 38 discussion regarding current tape/bias options for the 38. Maybe someone here can help out too. I used Ampex 456 in the past, interested in learning of a modern equivalent if there are folks in the know.(?)

Okay ..., anytime you're ready, we're rolling!
Yes I did find a few videos, but none of them were supremely helpful. Most seemed like something someone had recorded on a webcam.

If you do start that thread, post the link in here because I'm interested as well.

The tape I've decided to go with is ATR master tape. It's not equivalent to the 456, if I'm not mistaken, but it's very high quality and everywhere I've looked, I've only heard good things.

I bought mine here:
ATR Magnetics 30907 1/2" X 2500' Master Tape on NAB Metal Reel
Old 9th December 2009
  #310
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It's probably an agfa or basf equivalent which is just fine, they had 411 an it was equivalent to ampex 991, so, it's all good. See if they can tell you what it's "like".
I've recorded 3 tunes one is good, two are "ish", in development as we say, maybe I'll re-record them tomorrow to get the arrangement corrected. I've been tuning up the hands for bass & gtr, drums, and the ol pipes, gotta remember all that Katie Agresta/ Claude Stein coaching and warmups. So far so good, If only I had some lyrics in me worth putting down. Scansion is next.
All since dumping the computer.
Wow.
I know I have to get another one to do film/video stuff and little (BIG) whatnots like that but, I DON'T miss it for music.
I realize a lot of my posts push coaching and better players, but, that's only because even I know how to play in pitch with dynamics and how to sing in pitch with proper dynamics, I can hear when it's wrong and when it's right. I know how to coach out a great take from performers and myself. THAT is part of the art too. You'll LOVE knowing that, seriously.
Sorry for rambling on.
Man, you are on an adventure dude, be stoked!
Old 9th December 2009
  #311
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MemphisIndie, thanks for the info on tape brands, etc. I am throwing in keywords as much as I can and hoping that it will attract appropriate analog recording peeps to come to this discussion rather than starting similar but separate threads. It just makes sense to me for the info about Tascam 38/analog reel to reel recording to be centralized on one thread as much as possible.

Dan and Memphis, I'm seeing lots in common between you guys and myself, I'm sure we'll be running into each other often on GS.
Old 10th December 2009
  #312
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memphisindie's Avatar
 

Here's some more for ya
RDL | RU-OSC4A Audio Oscillator | RU-OSC4A | B&H Photo Video
A tone generator!!
One for $69:
Rolls | MO2020 Testoscillator Wave Generator | MO2020 | B&H
Howzaboutdat?
Make your own dang test tapes.
Old 10th December 2009
  #313
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PlayRadioPlay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drp audio View Post
Dan and Memphis, I'm seeing lots in common between you guys and myself, I'm sure we'll be running into each other often on GS.
Hopefully so!

Quote:
Originally Posted by memphisindie View Post
Here's some more for ya
RDL | RU-OSC4A Audio Oscillator | RU-OSC4A | B&H Photo Video
A tone generator!!
One for $69:
Rolls | MO2020 Testoscillator Wave Generator | MO2020 | B&H
Howzaboutdat?
Make your own dang test tapes.
The Rolls is the most reasonable one I found. I was shocked at how few reasonable priced test oscillators I could find.
Old 10th December 2009
  #314
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memphisindie's Avatar
 

Oh Yeah, hard to beat $69, and you can use it for electronics too.

We should start an army.
Old 10th December 2009
  #315
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greatgreatriver's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayRadioPlay View Post
I was shocked at how few reasonable priced test oscillators I could find.
Make a song about that!
Old 10th December 2009
  #316
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayRadioPlay View Post
Ok, so I'm exaggerating slightly, I'll still own a computer, but I'm pursuing my dream of having a completely computer-less recording set up in 1 room of my house.

I'm a 20 year old, digital-age musician/producer, and never in my life have I made music without a little or a lot of help from the digital realm. As an experiment and experience to grow and have a little bit of fun, I'm building a budget, 100% analog recording rig. There won't be a computer in the room whatsoever. (Although, down the hall, I'll still have this little setup. However, I intend on making many recordings on this old school setup completely without the computer involved.)

At the center of the rig will be a TASCAM 38 8 tape machine and a TASCAM Series 5 mixer. I need help deciding on what other gear to get. This project studio isn't supposed to sound good, just old. What are some cheap old mic pres and compressors that were common around the time of these two units? The mixer has built in mic pres, so I could use those, the main thing I need is some compression. Not expensive, just old and crappy. Any suggestions? Is the Standard Audio Level-Or an accurate tribute piece? Lo-fi is good. The most expensive piece I'll probably add to this setup is an 1176, since I've been intending to get one for my main rig anyway.

At the end of the day, I'm hoping to have a fully functional, completely independent vintage, analog setup for under 1k, although I'll probably go over just to add some other fun stuff.
do you already have the 38? I would look for a 48 or mx5050
better sonically
Old 11th December 2009
  #317
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Farshad's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertshaw View Post
do you already have the 38? I would look for a 48 or mx5050
better sonically
Another +1 for 5050 compared to Tascams...
Old 11th December 2009
  #318
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayRadioPlay View Post
I think we should make a project out of doing these tape How-To videos. I'll pay for the domain if other people want to provide the content :-)

It can be called ****YourComputer.com
Or ****YourDAW.com
Or TapeRebellion.com
Or something...
analogrebellion.com seems like an appropriate place for these videos. might be a good way to educate some younger musician/fans you might not have searched out the info on their own as well.

-w
Old 11th December 2009
  #319
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memphisindie's Avatar
 

My 38 was set up for 991 and it sounded great, performed way better than expected. Couldn't find a 48 at the time and a 5050 as out of range, so, I was happy, it worked perfectly for over ten years till I sold it. Kinda wish I hadn't now.
I'd take a 5050.
The biggest difference:
Schematics of the 5050 have a bigger chance of matching the reality in the machine than the 38 or 48 do. Tascam wasn't really good about updating or revisions and would send invalid schems in the box.
TOTAL Buttheads.
Old 11th December 2009
  #320
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greatgreatriver's Avatar
 

I'm on my way to pick up the 38...
Old 11th December 2009
  #321
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PlayRadioPlay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertshaw View Post
do you already have the 38? I would look for a 48 or mx5050
better sonically
Already have the 38! There's always room for more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by against88 View Post
analogrebellion.com seems like an appropriate place for these videos. might be a good way to educate some younger musician/fans you might not have searched out the info on their own as well.

-w
Perhaps. Still need some content

Quote:
Originally Posted by greatgreatriver View Post
I'm on my way to pick up the 38...
Pics!
Old 11th December 2009
  #322
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greatgreatriver's Avatar
 

Anal & og Love here I Come Baby!!!





Hope you like it guys!
Old 11th December 2009
  #323
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memphisindie's Avatar
 

Coulda spent more money on the candles, but, that may destroy the "vibe".
Old 11th December 2009
  #324
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greatgreatriver's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by memphisindie View Post
Coulda spent more money on the candles, but, that may destroy the "vibe".

Ha ha - yeah I tried to make a quick artsy vibe for you guys...
Old 11th December 2009
  #325
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been following this thread with interest for a while............
here's my story in a nutshell:

from psy trance at a global level in the 90's to nu jazz ensemble in the early 00's, to producer in the last 5 years, from atari & midi, to PC then Mac, from cubase to logic & plugins & dissatisfaction with DAWs to this last few weeks.............to the future..............the analogue renaissance starts here............
Attached Thumbnails
I'm finally doing it. I'm getting rid of my computer.-tape-rooms-6.jpg  
Old 11th December 2009
  #326
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greatgreatriver's Avatar
 

... Very nice ... thumbsup
Old 12th December 2009
  #327
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PlayRadioPlay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by greatgreatriver View Post
Anal & og Love here I Come Baby!!!





Hope you like it guys!
Awesome and congrats! Post your impressions and/or results when you have them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drezz View Post
been following this thread with interest for a while............
here's my story in a nutshell:

from psy trance at a global level in the 90's to nu jazz ensemble in the early 00's, to producer in the last 5 years, from atari & midi, to PC then Mac, from cubase to logic & plugins & dissatisfaction with DAWs to this last few weeks.............to the future..............the analogue renaissance starts here............
Great looking studio and amazing tape machines there.
Old 12th December 2009
  #328
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Fired up my little TEAC A-4300SX today for the first time (the tape and takeup reels just came in).



I've only tested it briefly so far, but this thing sounds cool! 3.75 IPS sounds pretty funny. 7.5 is still lo-fi enough without being OVERLY lo fi. The calibration tape should be in on Monday, so that's when I'll get to properly set it up.

Also, what is the piece I circled in the picture below called? It's a little bit worn down and I need to rotate it.



Other than that, this thing should be ready for proper recording very soon. Can't believe I got this thing for about $100 on ebay and it's in almost perfect condition.

Haven't heard from John at Technical Services about the 38 yet.
Old 12th December 2009
  #329
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greatgreatriver's Avatar
 

Thanks radio!
Old 12th December 2009
  #330
Gear Maniac
 
drp audio's Avatar
 

I do believe that the item in the circle would be an impedance roller!

Dan, did you check on rack ears? I saw some on eBay, $80ish plus s&h.
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