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Thread: mixer to reel to reel how to hook up!?

  1. #1
    mikeyhasnobones's Avatar
    mikeyhasnobones is offline "stop dropping my mics."
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    mixer to reel to reel how to hook up!?

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    this is probably a really obvious question but i am thinking of setting up an analog studio at my house. right now i'm using a roland vs880-ex 8 track but am looking at a couple tascam 38's and was just wondering...how the hell does a mixer hook up to it? do the outs go into the mixer and then the signal (mic, guitar, what have you) goes directly into the ins on the recorder through a patch bay and mic pres? in that case, do you monitor the signal through the mixer? any help would be appreciated as i'm trying to price everything and at this point i'm soooooo new to this and trying to learn as much as i can! thanks so much!

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    Cosmic is offline Registered User
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    Mikey,

    The short answer is: it depends a whole lot on your mixer and on how you record, as in: whether you are a 'one-track at a time' home recordist, or you work at home with a band and you or someone else can mix while the playing goes on.

    In the latter scenario, if you can hook every live signal through the mixer, and your mixer does indeed have an "8-out" function, then you can downmix your sources live from however many inputs you have on the mixer and now have 8 'stems' on the Tascam, that is, 8 tracks of semi-mixed channels from the larger number coming in.

    Then you can return the 8 tape tracks into the mixer (again, depending on mixer) and do your final downmix from the 8 tracks down to a 2-track analog or digital master recorder or you can send the 8 'stem tracks' into a PC for final mixing.

    If you are doing 'one track at a time', your choices are that you can input any line-level source (direct box, mixer input, separate pre-amp) one or two at a time onto the 8 tracks of the Tascam directly (if you like what you hear this way.)

    Then your mixer becomes the end receiver of your 8 tape tracks and you can fiddle as much as you want before making a 2-track master or sending the 8 tracks into a PC for further manipulation.

    These are just two basic scenarios, mind you, but they are pretty common so they should give you some ideas.

    Best,
    C.

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    mikeyhasnobones's Avatar
    mikeyhasnobones is offline "stop dropping my mics."
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    cosmic,
    thanks so much! i'm pretty much a "one track at a time" type of home recordist and i think what i'll do is set up mic pres (i have a behringer 2 channel compressor and will definitely get some other pre amps) to go straight into the deck and then use my roland to mix everything since it records 6 tracks at a time. does that make sense? i think that'll work and give me a nice analog sound and digital flexibility all wrapped up in one. anyhow, thanks again for the reply, it did clear things up quite a bit!
    your friend,
    mikey

  4. #4
    cjacek's Avatar
    cjacek is offline Analogue Enthusiast
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    Mikey, going straight into recorder sounds nice but a few things to keep in mind: (1) the 38 operates at -10dbv so make sure your outboard gear (preamp etc...) is compatible or can be switched. Make also certain that you have the proper cables; (2) you'll need a way to monitor your work while recording or overdubbing, no matter if you're recording 1 or more tracks at a time and thus something basic, even like a headphone amp, would help or maybe your roland can be setup that way. I dunno. Ideally you should get a 4 bus mixer, at least down the road. I don't know about current, modern mixers but ones from TASCAM would be nice.
    I think if your album is good and your live act is even better... that's when you know you're listening to one of the greatest musicians/bands of all time.

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