Has not been a problem with us (done it from R2R and ADAT). Once you line everything up, you should be good to go. Obviously, the lining up is critical, so zoom in as far as possible with similar tracks, and only nudge all 8 at once.
You can try aligning them by hand like that, but it is almost never going to be perfect, and you will end up having to line up waves a nudge more every time you get further and further into the song.
A better way is to do 15 tracks to tape, and stripe the 16th track with SMPTE time code. Then sync the DAW to the SMPTE. If is because you only have 8 channels of conversion, that is an easier way to do it.
I'm assuming you are using a DAW? I've done it in 8 and 8 many times. Never one single problem with phase, or the machine being 'variable' in speed. You just have to align some solid point of reference to the original group of 8. For example 1-8 is most of the drum tracks and another track like bass guitar (and this depends on how you recorded the drums), and 9-16 could be high hat and everything else. Line up the HH from 9-16 with everything else (i.e 1-8) by nudging 9-16 together, simultaneously in the DAW. You can do it visually with the waveform, and you can also double verify by ear. You'll KNOW when it's right. The groove and the phase will lock.
yeah but you can't expect the tape to maintain the exact same speed well enough for phase to lock that well. you need to split it so that small variations in speed won't cause phasing effects. i.e. don't do hi-hat and overheads in different passes, get all the drums in one pass, and overdubs where there isn't leakage in another.
but it might work fine like that anyway..
So this is in a scenario where you can't do 16 inputs to a DAW??
I would almost say rather than deal with any phasing issues, its better to do all tracks in one pass.
Hell its almost more realistic to bump them down to 8 via a console or something and then run that to 8 channels into your daw. At least they would be synced, but you would be stuck with whatever levels you chose at recording thru the console.
However this never stopped the Beatles or anybody else using 8 tracks.
Come on soup! You're using tape! Go old school all the way and bounce!
Might be fun.
I'm pretty sure some slick M/S techniques could be put to use here. Like putting a snare track down the center into a stereo channel which is receiving panned information and then in the DAW do some "tricks," to isolate the snare. It would be all synced and sample locked at this point so no major timing issues.
I usually track to digital and then dump to tape and back. Less wear and tear on my machine. I have a Tascam 38 btw. I'm actually thinking about going in there and modding the PSU with better caps etc....
Gonna look up an old thread where Jim Williams talks about cleaning one of them up. Might apply to your deck. Its a MSR 16?? Or didn't you have a 48 too??