recording on a 4 track cassette portastudio



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recording on a 4 track cassette portastudio

Postby Codyeatruck » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:51 pm

preface : i know this is weird.

is there anyone willing to skype ( or something other than email/messaging ) that can help me with recording on my tascam 424mkii portastudio?

i also have a tascam 246, but i figure the 424 would be easier to get the hang of.

maybe i'm just stupid, but i feel like there is crucial information not mentioned in the manual.

OR EVEN JUST EMAIL/MESSAGING IF THAT'S ALL I CAN GET

i mainly use a macbook pro, a motu 8pre, and a golden age pre-73mkii preamp to record. i'd like to use these portastudios alone at times, but id also like to use them in addition to the digital shit. i'm thinking by recording to cassette, then running the line outs from the portastudio to the ins on my interface and printing the cassette recordings onto logic so i can add to the original cassette recording.

i can't seem to get a decent recording from the portastudio. i am clearly doing something wrong.

lets say i record acoustic guitar onto track 1, the meter looks good as i am playing, but when i listen back, it's quiet as fuck, and nothing like i heard in the headphones while playing.

that's just one of my problems. someone help!

sorry to anyone who read through this annoying ass post.
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Re: recording on a 4 track cassette portastudio

Postby iamthesnow » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:18 pm

when you say the meters look good what are they reading? i usually push mine as hard as possible so that they basically look like they're almost peaking/maxed out. i used to try and keep them bouncing around the 0 point and ran into the issue of them being too quiet.

for the record i have the same machine and just serviced it. it has been my main tape deck for about 6-7 years now.
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Re: recording on a 4 track cassette portastudio

Postby Codyeatruck » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:47 pm

i'm maxing out as much as i can without getting too blown out. are you using either of the dbx noise reduction settings? i am not.
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Re: recording on a 4 track cassette portastudio

Postby Codyeatruck » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:49 pm

also, when you want one instrument specifically on one track, do you move the record function upwards to direct or down to buss?
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Re: recording on a 4 track cassette portastudio

Postby iamthesnow » Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:03 pm

i never use the dbx. i forgot it was even there until i took it apart actually lol. more often than not i plug my guitar/rhodes/cp70 straight in and wind up having the trim knob almost dimed to get a decent signal. the only time i dont do this is with line level sources like samplers/synths.

usually i have the track volume levels and the master in the 7-8 region and use the level knob to control my overall volume.

say you want a guitar on track one... you would make sure that switch is on direct and all the others on safe.

i tend to avoid the bus l/r position because they're not all that useful in the case of the portastudios.
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Re: recording on a 4 track cassette portastudio

Postby crochambeau » Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:49 pm

Is your tape machine clean?

Are you using decent tape?

Once you answer yes to both those questions, plant some masking tape over the meter and play with levels. I'd say all the way up for starts, depending on what you're feeding it. If it's blown out, pull the levels down. Play a bit and get the hang of the machine before hunkering down and going into song mode.
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Re: recording on a 4 track cassette portastudio

Postby Psyre » Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:29 pm

crochambeau wrote:Is your tape machine clean?

Are you using decent tape?



Definitely this first- 97-99% isopropyl with Q-tips lightly over the heads. Do your very best to keep away from rubber(!!) and lesser sense, plastic.

Decent tapes= Type II High Bias- shorter the better but I use 90's.

The reason it probably sounds better in your phones is because your boosting the headphone amp. For an accurate level reading keep your headphone level at like 6-7


Are you using the tascam's individual track line outs or the stereo outs to go into your DAW? Does the 424 have individual outs even? Either way be sure to account for that and check panning.
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