The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
I'm finally doing it. I'm getting rid of my computer. Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 21st November 2009
  #31
Lives for gear
 

Dan, you can get a wider and deeper sound than many believe possible with the "cheap" 38 - Not so long ago I listened to an 8trk tape I did on one in the early 90's and was really pleased at the integrity of the sounds and how they made the job easy. I'd be inclined to invest in a good pre though.
One cautionary word is that the "rubber" parts tend to break down (pinch roller) as well as caps in the transport dieing so be prepared for maintenance.
Cheers, Ross
Old 21st November 2009
  #32
Lives for gear
 
Batchainpuller78's Avatar
 

Superb! Fight the PC :p although you have to mix to 2-track tape and master to vinyl from there on to have a true AAA recording heh

Those 38's are pretty cool, don't sound bad if you treat them right, don't expect tape fidelity as the bigger machines but yes as said above it does still sound very pleasing after years.
Attached Thumbnails
I'm finally doing it. I'm getting rid of my computer.-tascam.gif  
Old 21st November 2009
  #33
Lives for gear
 
PlayRadioPlay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenzo View Post
Really, good luck with that. There are days I'd love to toss the computer in the bin...but then if you're talking a Tascam series 5 mixer from the 80's. I worked on those many years ago. And you are correct in assuming it's probably not going to sound good.
L.
Haha, it's not really going in the bin. It'll be right down the hall.

I'm still looking for a description on how the Tascam mixers sound. Narrow? Muddy? Cloudy? Thin? Mushy? Any descriptions from anyone?

To be honest, I'm really just trying to go for something different than my computer rig. That's it. Something completely different.

I'd rather have bad flavor than no flavor. I really want to sit down with this rig, record my first song with it, and listen back and think to myself "Wow, this is something I never would have recorded/written/created on my other rig". I want to be inspired by limitations. I want to find change in monotony and the unfamiliar. I simply want to go or be taken somewhere that I could not have gone or been taken to by my Mac Pro and plethora of fancy do-dads lined up in my Logic Pro's plugin folder. I'm really looking for raw, simplistic, bare-bones, lo-fi tones from this thing. I want it to bring out another side of me.

My curiosity and reasons for doing this are the same reasons I buy crappy, dirty, barely-working vintage microphones at flea markets, antique stores, and on eBay. It's the same reason I buy obscure, no-name guitar amps that I know won't sound any good. It's the same reason I've virtually committed to using an oversized, unwieldily 28" kick drum in almost every song I've recorded in the last year. Because, as someone that has been spoiled by accurate, flat, perfect sounds for my entire life, I'm excited by the unpredictable. The engineer I work with most often, Mr. Joe Wohlmuth, often thinks I'm crazy when I tell him I want to run my lead vocal through a tape echo, then through a Super Reverb, then mic'ed up by a ribbon mic pointing off at the corner of the room. But I do it because it's fun, and the reason I find recording music fun is because I can utilize my imagination.

For my next album, I've already started building some contraptions to make microphones move while I'm recording a fixed sound source. I've also bought the hardware used for a lazy susan to build a rotating platform for a guitar cabinet. Most of it will probably sound like ****, but it's going to be a lot of fun.


Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier View Post
Hey I love the Teac/Tascam sound.

"Dangerous" ditty below was recorded on cassette Portastudio, SM57, and mixed on headphones.
I'll check it out! I actually plan on using some decent monitors so I'll be able to tell exactly how my sound is getting colored.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reddirt View Post
Dan, you can get a wider and deeper sound than many believe possible with the "cheap" 38 - Not so long ago I listened to an 8trk tape I did on one in the early 90's and was really pleased at the integrity of the sounds and how they made the job easy. I'd be inclined to invest in a good pre though.
One cautionary word is that the "rubber" parts tend to break down (pinch roller) as well as caps in the transport dieing so be prepared for maintenance.
Cheers, Ross
Thanks for the shared experience and the advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Batchainpuller78 View Post
Superb! Fight the PC :p although you have to mix to 2-track tape and master to vinyl from there on to have a true AAA recording heh

Those 38's are pretty cool, don't sound bad if you treat them right, don't expect tape fidelity as the bigger machines but yes as said above it does still sound very pleasing after years.
Yes yes, I'll have to figure out exactly what I'm going to do about that mix down part.
Old 21st November 2009
  #34
Lives for gear
 
Batchainpuller78's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayRadioPlay View Post
I'm still looking for a description on how the Tascam mixers sound. Narrow? Muddy? Cloudy? Thin? Mushy? Any descriptions from anyone?
I have one of those as well, less fond of it than the tape machine, although plenty of routing with the RCA's on the back but in overal I'd say a bit thin sounding I have better results recording with my Soundcraft to the 38 than with the Tascam mixer.

Quote:
To be honest, I'm really just trying to go for something different than my computer rig. That's it. Something completely different.
That's a good try, you'll have to commit a bit to get the results from your setup but once that's in your fingertips you'll be able to get a nice flow going, I find the time duration of a recording to tape session from tracking to finished mix is faster than in digital land, decisions are on the spot, extra care is taken to shoot for that best performance take (no fix it in the mix crap) extra care is taken in what goes on that limited track count and how it sounds and mixing is a breeze that way.
8 tracks is plenty heh

Anyhow best tips here are to have that stuff refurbished, It's gonna cost a bit but it will save you from headache's and being discouraged down the road.
Also demag, tape storage, cleaning the heads & metal parts, cleaning the rubber parts, all things to maintain the best quality of recording take time, effort & bit of money.
But in the end the fact that it is an expensive and in a way fragile medium will also make you take extra care in the product, you not gonna waste as much tapespace as you do gigabytes on your audio drives. relative to that the cost is enormous Half an hour of tape vs hours & hours on a hard drive.
But to me that hard drive in some cases does not give me the satisfaction nor sound I need, I also have a 24-Track 2" but that is not being used anymore... If I ever find a buyer for that one I think 8-Track 1" is the perfect tape format in cost & quality and use, perfect for small projects and songs from the heart and ideal to record drums & bass before switching over to the digital platform for way to much overdubs and backing tracks :p
Old 21st November 2009
  #35
Lives for gear
 

aahhh it brings me back to the older days, when I learned how to mix, when I was 15, I learned from Terry ( I knick named him Terriaki) He had an Foxtex 8 track setup (I think it was a 454), with a Teac Cassette as the 2-track (mixdown deck)

we had a Pro-verb reverb. a Roland Space Echo. a yamaha D50

and a couple of Dbx 160x (I would use 160A now these days)
Old 21st November 2009
  #36
Lives for gear
 
beechstudio's Avatar
 

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.
Happy for ya' dude!thumbsup Wish I could join ya' but kinda been there already. (And would like to go back...but.....)
Started with a Tascam 424 in the late 80's, went to tascam 238, then Adats in the 90's, now protools. I love the depth of field and raw power some of my older mixes have. But, most of my clients want to be locked to a grid, have perfect (autotuned) vocals and yadda yadda yadda. I think the technology has made musicians lazy and sloppy and they think that's OK, because the studio can make them sound like a million dollars. There are numerous studios in my area that do this and they stay slammed. So if I don't conform to the norm, I have no work. Sucks....but thats the bottom line. Anyways......good luck to ya'! Hope to hear so of your works when you're up and running!
Old 21st November 2009
  #37
Lives for gear
 
RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayRadioPlay View Post
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?
dbx 163 fer sure.

-R
Old 21st November 2009
  #38
Lives for gear
 
PlayRadioPlay's Avatar
 

Thanks for all of the helpful, positive, encouraging comments!

So far, for this little project, I have bought the following gear:

A very clean, full functional TEAC/Tascam Series 5 Mixer that will probably serve as the rig's centerpiece:




A very clean, fully functional Peavey PA-6A mixer, which is a 6 channel PA mixer with EQ and built in reverb. It has 2 powered outs, and 2 non powered outs. It's in Mono, so I'm thinking about using this to sum some of the drum mics down before going to tape, to save tracks (which would enable me to have in/out and/or top/bottom kick and snare mics, or multiple guitar mics). Regardless of what I use it for, I have never seen a mixer with this much Mojo in my life! I think it's from around 1974. Look at those huge knobs! I wonder if Shadow Hills has been buying these things up...




3 very clean, fully functional DBX 163x's (by many of your requests ). I bought the 'x' version since it was all I could find quickly, and since they were $50 a piece. Those were a no brainer. Maybe I can find the older version eventually, as well.




I'm still working on the actual tape machine. I want to make sure to get one that's in great condition. Still on my list: at least 1 1176, if I get two, I want two different kinds. Also, a Standard Audio Level-Or. I already have 500 modules (MA5, Mono Gama, Germanium 500, Five Fish) and a few extra spaces in my BAE rack, so I'll probably do a bit of expanding in that realm with some vintage-flavored stuff.
Old 21st November 2009
  #39
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

I like your style! Hoping to hear the results .........I bet you'll have fun!
Old 21st November 2009
  #40
Lives for gear
 
PlayRadioPlay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
I like your style! Hoping to hear the results .........I bet you'll have fun!
I'll definitely post some of my experimentations once I get going, if anyone is interested. I can't wait to mic up my late 60s budget Ludwig kit with old mics to see how it al sounds.

Old 21st November 2009
  #41
Lives for gear
 
gussyg2007's Avatar
Hey Dan interesting experiment
correct me if i am wrong but had 5 mins today and googled you and couldn't help noticing that you are now on the rebound of a major record deal, and considering the age you were when all this kicked off i wouldn't be surprised if your reeling a bit from it , i know how i felt coming out the other end of a major deal ...... RAPED !!!
listening to your music on your myspace you are clearly a talented musician , but buying up old gear to get a retro studio going might please the old school around here on GS but your sound seems to be based in pretty cool digital production don't loose sight of that!!!
hiss ,wow, flutter, humms, buzzes, rewind
Old 21st November 2009
  #42
Lives for gear
 
PlayRadioPlay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gussyg2007 View Post
Hey Dan interesting experiment
correct me if i am wrong but had 5 mins today and googled you and couldn't help noticing that you are now on the rebound of a major record deal, and considering the age you were when all this kicked off i wouldn't be surprised if your reeling a bit from it , i know how i felt coming out the other end of a major deal ...... RAPED !!!
listening to your music on your myspace you are clearly a talented musician , but buying up old gear to get a retro studio going might please the old school around here on GS but your sound seems to be based in pretty cool digital production don't loose sight of that!!!
hiss ,wow, flutter, humms, buzzes, rewind
Hello!

Yes, I was on Island Records for over 2 years. I signed with them when I was 17, and I graduated high school a semester early to start touring and soon after record a full length album with some incredibly talented individuals, Garret "Jacknife" Lee and Lester Mendez. As is the typical major label story, after spending a bunch of money on developing me and recording my album, my entire team was fired and no money was spent on my album's release. It still sold a respectable number of copies for the situation, but the label ended up dropping me. So yes, I definitely felt raped, but at the same time, I couldn't be happier to be a financially stable independent artist at the age of 20 with no suits to report to.

I agree. And I'll never completely lose that sound, but I like trying new things.
Old 21st November 2009
  #43
Lives for gear
 
EzMotownB's Avatar
 

My first machine was a TSR8--brand new, in the box! Must've been around, uh, 1988? That thing was built like a tank. Tape alignment was a BI-itch, but other than that, I made some great tracks on that guy... Wish I'd never sold it. Good luck with the new setuup!
Old 21st November 2009
  #44
Lives for gear
 
gussyg2007's Avatar
Fair play to you Dan guess i'm stuck in my DAW
Old 21st November 2009
  #45
Lives for gear
 
beechstudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayRadioPlay View Post
Hello!

Yes, I was on Island Records for over 2 years. I signed with them when I was 17, and I graduated high school a semester early to start touring and soon after record a full length album with some incredibly talented individuals, Garret "Jacknife" Lee and Lester Mendez. As is the typical major label story, after spending a bunch of money on developing me and recording my album, my entire team was fired and no money was spent on my album's release. It still sold a respectable number of copies for the situation, but the label ended up dropping me. So yes, I definitely felt raped, but at the same time, I couldn't be happier to be a financially stable independent artist at the age of 20 with no suits to report to.

I agree. And I'll never completely lose that sound, but I like trying new things.
Hey Dan..........don't forget those effects! If you can find them in good shape, the MXR pitch transposer is really cool for that retro vocal vibe! or Eventide 910's. I know some people frown upon them, but Yamaha Rev 7's and 5's are pretty cheap and are decent untility reverbs.
Old 21st November 2009
  #46
Lives for gear
 
gussyg2007's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by beechstudio View Post
Hey Dan..........don't forget those effects! If you can find them in good shape, the MXR pitch transposer is really cool for that retro vocal vibe! or Eventide 910's. I know some people frown upon them, but Yamaha Rev 7's and 5's are pretty cheap and are decent untility reverbs.
Why ...... just buy sound toys
Old 21st November 2009
  #47
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gussyg2007 View Post
Why ...... just buy sound toys
....and install it on yer Tascam 38 heh
Old 21st November 2009
  #48
Lives for gear
 
johnnyjellybean's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
i think i'll get rid of my fridge and oven and make a root cellar and fire pit
Too funny!
Old 21st November 2009
  #49
Lives for gear
 
gussyg2007's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
....and install it on yer Tascam 38 heh
I'll give it 6 months before it's all collecting dust (no disrespect to you Dan )
Old 21st November 2009
  #50
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gussyg2007 View Post
I'll give it 6 months before it's all collecting dust (no disrespect to you Dan )
Maybe. Even so......6 months of fresh angle "no screen bull****" play is good for the soul....much respect to Dan
Old 21st November 2009
  #51
Lives for gear
 
PlayRadioPlay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beechstudio View Post
Hey Dan..........don't forget those effects! If you can find them in good shape, the MXR pitch transposer is really cool for that retro vocal vibe! or Eventide 910's. I know some people frown upon them, but Yamaha Rev 7's and 5's are pretty cheap and are decent untility reverbs.
I already have a few spring reverbs and 4 tape echos, but I'll check this stuff out anyway. thumbsup

Quote:
Originally Posted by gussyg2007 View Post
I'll give it 6 months before it's all collecting dust (no disrespect to you Dan )
I imagine most of it will be integrated into my digital setup once its time has run its course (which could be never). Maybe not the Series 5, but the rest of it. The good thing is: it's all pretty cheap. Tape is always useful for something.
Old 21st November 2009
  #52
Lives for gear
 
PlayRadioPlay's Avatar
 

Question: It's possible to use a tape machine like the 38 8 without a proper console, correct? Possibly a signal chain like this?:

Mic -> Outboard Mic Pre -> Tape Inputs -> Tape Outputs -> Some sort of summing device -> Speakers

That would work correct? I'm just trying to visualize how I'm going to set the tape machine up to test it. I want to test the tape machine and mixer separately when they first arrive before using them together, which would make it easier to diagnose noise/non-working channels, etc.

And then in a typical setup using both, the signal chain would be like this?:

Mic -> Mixer's Mic Input -> Mixer's balanced out -> Tape Inputs -> Tape Outputs -> Mixer's balanced ins -> Speakers

Is that all correct?
Old 21st November 2009
  #53
Lives for gear
 
The dman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayRadioPlay View Post
Question: It's possible to use a tape machine like the 38 8 without a proper console, correct? Possibly a signal chain like this?:

Mic -> Outboard Mic Pre -> Tape Inputs -> Tape Outputs -> Some sort of summing device -> Speakers

That would work correct? I'm just trying to visualize how I'm going to set the tape machine up to test it. I want to test the tape machine and mixer separately when they first arrive before using them together, which could make it hard to diagnose noise/non-working channels, etc.

And then in a typical setup using both, the signal chain would be like this?:

Mic -> Mixer's Mic Input -> Mixer's balanced out -> Tape Inputs -> Tape Outputs -> Mixer's balanced ins -> Speakers

Is that all correct?
yes it is
Old 21st November 2009
  #54
Lives for gear
 
PlayRadioPlay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The dman View Post
yes it is
Great. thumbsup
Old 21st November 2009
  #55
Lives for gear
 

Being a bit picky Dan; if you get the 38 or similar level machine it won't be balanced connections as they are -10level rca connect devices. Typically you would come out of channel direct outs or group outs on the desk.
As i said before, I would be inclined to utilise a very good pre with maybe the 1176 you mentioned directly into the tape machine (bypassing the front end of the mixer).
Cheers, Ross
Old 22nd November 2009
  #56
Harmless Wacko
 

All "artsy" objectives aside.

'Semi-pro' analog from the 70-90's had much to desire escaping.

Not unlike 'pro-sumer' digital from the 21st century.

The really worthwhile hardware stuff still costs money... in either format.

I suspect it's gonna be a short journey which ends in you returning here to tell us you have "Discovered how great digital sounds when compared to(the worst) analog(ever)".

Which will bring the obligatory new round of posting chaos and futile debate between members with agendas based on the truly pitiable concept that any of this internot idiocy actually MEANS ANYTHING(or is going to somehow impact reality), and a whole lotta folks who just plainly don't know their ass from their elbow.

Glued to the screen here.

SM.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #57
Lives for gear
 
carllock's Avatar
 

I have some "party favors" I could sell or trade you. Rare owners Manual, Schematics Chart, and original sales brochure. They are in good condition considering this stuff is all older than 50% of GS readers! PM me if interested.


Old 22nd November 2009
  #58
Deleted 86c3d96
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by beebay007 View Post
I just looked at your studio pics. dude, you have a lot of expensive gear for someone who's only 20 - did you have a successful hit or did you start selling drugs when you were 11?
Don't answer that question. Probably some flavor of Federal agent. I would lawyer up.

Frankly, I would bever go back to tape. I would look for digital tools that allow free form recording. Propellerhead Record looks promising.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #59
Lives for gear
 
steelyfan's Avatar
 

For some reason, and this has just started recently since alot of the ITB vs. OTB debates have gotten really going, but everytime I think of Digital I think of a Coldplay or Creed song, and when I think analog I always hear Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland in my head, the song "and the gods made love." That wonderful syrupy backwards guitar, lots of iron in that sound, and it sounds so close up, personal.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #60
Lives for gear
 
steelyfan's Avatar
 

[QUOTE]
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayRadioPlay View Post
I'll definitely post some of my experimentations once I get going, if anyone is interested. I can't wait to mic up my late 60s budget Ludwig kit with old mics to see how it al sounds.
Oh yea, I'll be around. Good luck, you are going to have a blast! BTW, you got a link to that albulm you did. I'd like to hear it.

cheers, Steely
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
Jay Kahrs / So much gear, so little time
9
Spookym15 / The Good News Channel
0

Forum Jump
Forum Jump