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slightly



Joined: 14/09/05
Posts: 172
please help, cassette multitracking, first time, syncing question
      #1076199 - 25/11/13 01:40 PM
Hi, For what ever reason, I want to experience a tape multitrack session on my Tascam 424mk3 portastudio, Im very curious about how it works.

I bought this machine to bounce/record stereo files from my computer DAW for caseete effect, & reimport/record into my DAW for futher enchancement and saving as digital etc.

Ive a basic house drum track in my DAW so on this occassion I want to multirack the individual drum parts to the tascam mixer & tape(experiment in this type of recording)

Im only still gettin my head around the Tascam, was getting excited to do it today but Ive just realised after recording my bass drum to "track 1" on the cassette, how I'll possibly align & sync the timing of drum 2 -track two

whats the trick?


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5832
Re: please help, cassette multitracking, first time, syncing question new [Re: slightly]
      #1076205 - 25/11/13 02:19 PM
With difficulty! Multi-tracking on these machines was intended to be done by live players who could HEAR the existing track(s). You maybe COULD set aside one track for SMPTE timecode, but there are only four to play with and I suspect leakage would be a problem.

I suppose it's pointless reminding you that there's no magic in the crappy performance and speed instability of small-format multitracking? Run the final stereo mix of your project through it if you feel it does anything attractive. The speed might wander a bit, but at least everything will stay aligned!


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BJG145



Joined: 06/08/05
Posts: 3462
Loc: Norwich UK
Re: please help, cassette multitracking, first time, syncing question new [Re: slightly]
      #1076209 - 25/11/13 02:28 PM
If you want to record a second track to tape in time with the first, you need to play the existing track back while recording and sync it by ear - see Overdubs on P19 of the manual.

http://tascam.com/content/downloads/products/318/Porta_424mkIII_manual.pdf

I think you'll find the novelty of this device wears off pretty fast.


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slightly



Joined: 14/09/05
Posts: 172
Re: please help, cassette multitracking, first time, syncing question new [Re: slightly]
      #1076212 - 25/11/13 02:32 PM
I will investigate SMPTE

also, running a final stereo mix through this is still more beneficial than any tape emulation plugins Ive come across bar maybe nebula tape programs, but they are a bit lacking something still, it does work subtle I suppose but I like it and over plugs.

This curiosity for a multitrack session is to explore alternative recording methods and insight.
thanks for your assistance


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slightly



Joined: 14/09/05
Posts: 172
Re: please help, cassette multitracking, first time, syncing question new [Re: slightly]
      #1076220 - 25/11/13 02:39 PM
Hey, can I ask some of you kind folk to explain SMPTE for me please, I have Logic 8 on mac...How can I incorporate smpte to the above tape multitrack syncing session issue, and what steps are involved to excecute


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desmond



Joined: 10/01/06
Posts: 9146
Re: please help, cassette multitracking, first time, syncing question new [Re: slightly]
      #1076224 - 25/11/13 03:08 PM
You need a sync box to output sync code, whether smart FSK or smpte, which you record on the end track on the tape. Then you connect the direct out of that tape track back to the sync box, and put your daw into external sync, so that when the tape starts, the timecode is sent to the box which starts the DAW playing back in sync.

If you're on Logic and have a Unitor 8, for instance, you're all set as Unitor includes tape sync functionality.


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BJG145



Joined: 06/08/05
Posts: 3462
Loc: Norwich UK
Re: please help, cassette multitracking, first time, syncing question new [Re: slightly]
      #1076231 - 25/11/13 03:31 PM
Quote slightly:

running a final stereo mix through this is still more beneficial than any tape emulation plugins Ive come across




Whatever you say.


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Music Wolf



Joined: 17/02/06
Posts: 805
Loc: Exiled to St Helens
Re: please help, cassette multitracking, first time, syncing question new [Re: BJG145]
      #1076245 - 25/11/13 04:41 PM
Quote BJG145:

Quote slightly:

running a final stereo mix through this is still more beneficial than any tape emulation plugins Ive come across




Whatever you say.




You know that you're getting old when the latest generation crave the 'benefits' of the crappy tape format that we had to use because we couldn't afford anything better. Biggest benefit of cassette, that I can think of, is that I no longer have a machine capable of playing the stuff I recorded during the 1980's and therefore don't have to be reminded about how embarrassing it sounded. Pity that the same can't be said of the photographs.


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The Elf
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Re: please help, cassette multitracking, first time, syncing question new [Re: slightly]
      #1076248 - 25/11/13 05:08 PM
The very fact that you are having to ask these kinds of questions means you will struggle to sort it all out.

Those of us that were there first time around will simply tell you that this is all more trouble than it's worth.

But I suspect you don't want to hear that and will press on until you realise it for yourself.

--------------------
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.


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slightly



Joined: 14/09/05
Posts: 172
Re: please help, cassette multitracking, first time, syncing question new [Re: desmond]
      #1076254 - 25/11/13 05:37 PM
Quote desmond:

You need a sync box to output sync code, whether smart FSK or smpte, which you record on the end track on the tape. Then you connect the direct out of that tape track back to the sync box, and put your daw into external sync, so that when the tape starts, the timecode is sent to the box which starts the DAW playing back in sync.

If you're on Logic and have a Unitor 8, for instance, you're all set as Unitor includes tape sync functionality.




Hi, Desmond, late evening here, Im going to advance this further tomorow, Ie actually a Motu Ultralitemk3 audio midi interface, & in my macs applications is Motu smpte setup app.
Im about to link to a screen shot of this app, and my inital guess at very rudimenty setup/routing with the interface, right now Im on pg 38 of the Tascam 424mk3 manual "syncing midi tape" and might refer to this as a guideline
[image]

Uploaded with ImageShack.us[/image]


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Dynamic Mike



Joined: 31/12/06
Posts: 2035
Re: please help, cassette multitracking, first time, syncing question new [Re: slightly]
      #1076677 - 28/11/13 05:49 PM
Again from the first time around users experience I suspect you're going to struggle to achieve what you're after. Traditionally we used track 4 for the sync track, which in theory left you 3, but in practice if you recorded it loud enough to sync reliably it would invariably bleed onto track 3. This wasn't a huge issue back then, because you'd mixdown tracks 1 & 2 onto 3 anyway. But if you're using it to multi-track drums you're possibly only going to get 2 useable tracks, in which case you might as well just use a stereo cassette, re-import it into your DAW & save yourself a whole load of misery & frustration.

Personally I wouldn't want the effect you're after but if I did I'd use Nebula Free with http://www.cupwise.com/cup/tag/cassette-tape-effects/

Cassette tape is like an old pair of speedo's. Eventually you'll suffer from an embarrassing drop out.

--------------------
Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of the poster by the time you read this.


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slightly



Joined: 14/09/05
Posts: 172
Re: please help, cassette multitracking, first time, syncing question new [Re: slightly]
      #1076684 - 28/11/13 06:49 PM
ITs all interesting insight here, even if I still and might not achieve it!
I hear ya, Mike when you say u use the highest track for the sync, in my case being a four tracker that gives me,trk1&trk2, perhaps,trk3, which kinda.....does make it pointless in this case.

but its insight Im after & thats what Im getting
The other day when I brought this up, I had my experiment basic drum track done in half the day, so in the end knowing this would need time I just "ran" it through the tascam, and yes everyones tastes are different, but I insist plugs do squat a/b-ed against, running it through this and on to cassette, however I have Nebula Pro, and I do use CD Soundmasters R2R-this has similar but still lacking results, some of those presets are so exteme they can be more radical.

However that day, with a tr 606 drum track I banged up the tascam input, and presto, gritty, smacked tape sat.all be it lofi

So, being examing this process in last hour, with the Tascam manual, Logic 8(my DAW)manual,&MotuUltralite(audio/midi interface)manual, it seems Motu can handle and generate SMPTE, as Logic 8 handles it and transmits MTC

However the tascam needs MTC converted to FSK, that might be off........
Logic can transmit MTC, as far as I can see the Motu can simply generate SMPTE

However, one above poster assisting in my query, cant quite remember handle, stated recording smpte to track 4.
This is not what it seems or is it, as in tascam manual it speaks of at least an MTC to FSK converter...


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Tomás Mulcahy
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Loc: Cork, Ireland.
Re: please help, cassette multitracking, first time, syncing question new [Re: slightly]
      #1076711 - 28/11/13 11:25 PM
You don't need FSK. You send the SMPTE signal out of your MOTU and record it on track 4 of the Tascam. Then you play that SMPTE signal back in to the MOTU. Inside your Logic session, you go to the Timecode/ sync menu and set the SMPTE start time to wherever you want it to be on the tape. Then you can keep your three analogue tracks in sync. Bear in mind the sync will drift a bit, because tape is mechanically driven. Your drum tracks will most definitely phase with the original when coming back off tape.

You're better off with a three head machine though, so you can use it as an insert process. There's no sync problem either. I think there was an article in the magazine years ago about this- was it Craig Anderton?

--------------------
madtheory creations
Synths and pianos for Kontakt


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Shivanand
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Joined: 11/08/03
Posts: 2278
Loc: Ashgabat
Re: please help, cassette multitracking, first time, syncing question new [Re: The Elf]
      #1076910 - 30/11/13 02:48 PM
Quote The Elf:

The very fact that you are having to ask these kinds of questions means you will struggle to sort it all out.

Those of us that were there first time around will simply tell you that this is all more trouble than it's worth.

But I suspect you don't want to hear that and will press on until you realise it for yourself.




+1

--------------------
"Qui habet aures audiendi audiat"


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G-Doubleyou



Joined: 10/02/06
Posts: 1460
Re: please help, cassette multitracking, first time, syncing question new [Re: The Elf]
      #1076920 - 30/11/13 05:30 PM
Quote The Elf:

The very fact that you are having to ask these kinds of questions means you will struggle to sort it all out.

Those of us that were there first time around will simply tell you that this is all more trouble than it's worth.

But I suspect you don't want to hear that and will press on until you realise it for yourself.




It really isn't worth the time to get the HISS effect.

I played around with 4-track and 8-track cassette for a quick minute, great for creativity.
But for final product I had a buddy with a rack of DA-88s.




--------------------
G-Dub
Studio G-fx 15inch quad-core i7 Macbook Pro Logic9.1.8, LPX 10.0.3


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slightly



Joined: 14/09/05
Posts: 172
Re: please help, cassette multitracking, first time, syncing question new [Re: slightly]
      #1078493 - 09/12/13 11:26 AM
HI again, so I was busy doing some other stuff, like making music ; )
but had free time yeserday to take this up again.

Ive it pretty much nailed now, with the extra help for some of yee guys;
I have Logic 8 working as slave to the tascam transports now, which is good

One thing I noticed yesterday but it didnt happen first succesful attempt yesterday & its happening again today, so I havnt quite recorded a 2 track-drums/synths take to tape just to hear it work, is
once logic 8 is open and the smpte on track 4 of tape is playing the logic project, my monitors have a strange low level ticking which is not related to any volume setting on the monitors. Im presuming this actually wont get recorded to tape(as its uncorrelated to monitor volume setting) but I'd love to hear any info what this could be;
its just while the tape is playing/re-playing and stops once tape/SMPTE is stopped....

quick edit here, so since my post here today, I just wanted to hear it work, ticks or not, looks, like
My Logic song is playing at slow speed, tascam is high speed also though I was sure "slow speed" was the standard but anyway, logic is playing back now at half speed, which sounds kinda cool as not even recorded to casette sounds nice but too slow, any tips here, with quick rewind and play logic song appeared to play corrct speed but then re-slowed-this might of happened due to my freewheel, whats the story with this half speed?

Edited by slightly (09/12/13 11:38 AM)


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