You are here

help with Tascam SD-20M during live performance

For performing musicians and engineers: stagecraft, engineering and gear.

help with Tascam SD-20M during live performance

Postby Techno-phobe » Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:31 pm

I tried this in an old thread but got no replies, so I'm trying a new thread and I hope someone can help me.
I use backing tracks - real piano, light drums and double bass for my jazz act.
I have been using Tascam MD 350 to play them on minidisc.
I mainly play restaurants and in small spaces so I am almost on top of the mixer and disc player rack and it has always been easy to just use the scroll/jog knob to move from track to track. All are recorded as wav.
My players have given me excellent service - 3-4 gigs a week over 18/20 years.
Now I am starting to get TOC reading slowly and sometimes refusing to read at all,
the occasional disc error and once recently a track paused itself mid song.
Embarrassing.
I have kept the lens clean and I swap to new discs after a while.
Tascam repair say my lens unit on one player needs replacing and the other is on its last legs. The repair will be approx 250 quid.
So, as minidiscs are no longer made and I am a little tired of being restricted to a limited amount of tracks on each disc I have bought Tascams SD -20M to play my backing tracks on instead.
Cheaper than repairing the MD's.
I've only got the player today and haven't read all the manual yet.
My first concern is the display.
It is very small and not as clear as the minidisc displays.
So I want to pick everyone's brains regarding the Tascam remote control RC-10 and the footswitch RC-3F which are made to be used with SD-20m.
I will need to pause my track at the end of performing the song, but the pause length will differ.
I will need to got to another track and hav it paused ready to start.
So - would this recommended footswitch be better or would the hand remote thing bebetter?
Both approx 38-35 quid to buy.
Anyone using any of these models?
And what do you use to clip them to your mic stand or music stand pole, please?
I thought maybe a Tablet holder with a clip to rest the remote on - but would love to hear from anyone using this kit and learn about their experiences.
Thanks in advance.
Techno-phobe
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:06 pm

Re: help with Tascam SD-20M during live performance

Postby Hewesy » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:13 pm

I'm not familiar with the unit but looking at the spec the remote FS3 can be configured for play/stop (centre button) then to advance tracks (left/right buttons).

Looking at it I think you'd either need to hit stop, then forward to the next track and hit play, or if it stops after the track has ended, hit next and then play. Not to onerous but something to get used to.

The remote I don't think will add much to your setup, presuming you are simply using it to play the backing tracks and don't want to mess with the speed etc, which is what the remote seems to offer you.

As an aside, you can now get apps to run on a smartphone or tablet which with a bluetooth footpedal will offer you the same thing for less - but having a larger screen could then offer you the ability to run a set list, lyrics etc. You'd need a suitable way of getting audio to your PA but that's pretty straightforward.

Just a thought,

Hewesy
Hewesy
Frequent Poster
Posts: 636
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 11:00 pm

Re: help with Tascam SD-20M during live performance

Postby Techno-phobe » Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:31 pm

Thank you Hewesy.
After I asked for help, I had a close look at both the foot switch and the remote.
Neither worth getting for my needs.
I had hoped the remote would have numbers 0-9 on it so I could key in the track number I wanted to skip to - but both the remote and foot switch only allow advancing forward or backward one track at a time.
So I may as well use the jog function on the front of the player.

Which is the problem. The display is tiny!!!! But I like it because it can be rackmounted under my mixer.

But thanks so much for responding.

What I need is a magnifier to fit to the display so I can see it more clearly!!
It shows the numbers [track length countdown] in large digits but the track title and number much smaller. I have named all my tracks in capital letters, which makes it easier to read, but still - they are way smaller and much less clear than on the minidisc players.
I have emailed Tascam with feedback - who knows they may bring out a Remote with numbers on it specially for me!
[Joking]

Thanks again for trying to help.

Anyone else thinking of buying the Tascam SD 20-M for playback - think twice unless you have REALLY god eyesight!
Techno-phobe
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:06 pm

Re: help with Tascam SD-20M during live performance

Postby Bob Bickerton » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:15 pm

Do you have the option to return the unit?

The reason I ask is that if you were asking me what is the best way to play back backing tracks these days, I would most certainly recommend a tablet (I use an iPad) with a blue tooth pedal.

I come from a background of using MIDI and then mini-disc players, and the iPad solution is far better and far more flexible (and has a large screen obviously). It’s so easy to create set lists and select tracks on the fly using an app like Stage Traxx plus you can even have lyrics scrolling too.

You can save the files as WAVs rather than compressed files.

Probably not what you want to hear..............

Bob
User avatar
Bob Bickerton
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3516
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
http://www.bickerton.co.nz

Re: help with Tascam SD-20M during live performance

Postby Hewesy » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:58 am

No problem mate, I guess with the advent of available tablets/smartphones it's probably a market that doesn't really exist much these days.

Looking at the Tascam (and others in the range) they seem to be more geared towards capturing monitor mixes of live performances, more so than the solo/duo backing track market that MD's used to cover so well.

As Bob says, if you can return it then that might be a good option, or if not perhaps see if a local PA hire company (or venue) is interested in it 2nd hand?

Hewesy
Hewesy
Frequent Poster
Posts: 636
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 11:00 pm

Re: help with Tascam SD-20M during live performance

Postby Hewesy » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:01 am

Oh and at the risk of looking like I'm taking the proverbial, have a look at these.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/KKmoon-Multi-f ... er+clip+on

https://www.amazon.co.uk/KIKAR-Clip-Mag ... er+clip+on

For the price the KIKAR could well be modded to fit on top of the unit. Worth a shot for the price perhaps.

Hewesy
Hewesy
Frequent Poster
Posts: 636
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 11:00 pm

Re: help with Tascam SD-20M during live performance

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:50 pm

Yup, tablet/iPad all the way here. I use mine for lyrics and charts with an Airturn bluetooth page turner pedal. By far the most flexible solution IMHO.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6626
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: help with Tascam SD-20M during live performance

Postby Hewesy » Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:55 pm

The other option I've seen is a loop pedal (such as the larger Boss RC or Akai Headrush) which can import wav files via USB.

Would potentially require power to the stage though, and not be neatly sited in a rack but offers quite a bit of flexibility in terms of being able to be thrown into a gig bag. Might be more flexible if you get a gig where you are using a pre-existing PA though.

Hewesy
Hewesy
Frequent Poster
Posts: 636
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 11:00 pm

Re: help with Tascam SD-20M during live performance

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:07 pm

I have a Boss RC30 which allows storage of up to 99 stereo loops with a total time of 3 hours. That may well be a suitable option (I use mine for backing tracks as well as for looping). It will run of AA (but not rechargeable) batteries too. The only slight downside is you need an additional footswitch to change loops without needing to bend down to do so.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6626
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: help with Tascam SD-20M during live performance

Postby Hewesy » Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:00 pm

Good shout, I'd forgotten they need an addition FS (I've the old RC2 which needs a foot switch regardless as it's a single stomp size).

Opens up a few jam nights/open mic's etc or makes things easier if you gig without your own PA sometimes.

Might even be a useful tool in itself, you could loop a vamp or phrase between songs, use it to build a song live instead of a backing track to create a bit of interest mid gig.

Hewesy
Hewesy
Frequent Poster
Posts: 636
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 11:00 pm


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users