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Thread: TSR 8 -vs- 38

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    pappy999 is offline Senior Member
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    TSR 8 -vs- 38

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    What exactly are the differences between these two tascam machines?

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    jpmorris is offline Tape Wolf
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    Quote Originally Posted by pappy999
    What exactly are the differences between these two tascam machines?
    The TSR-8 is a final-generation machine. It is microprocessor controlled (smoother tape handling) and has integrated DBX noise reduction. It has LED bars instead of VU meters, which are less accurate but easier to read IMHO. It also has only one audio head instead of two, which makes alignment more difficult and you can't do a confidence check on what you're recording.

    The Tascam 38 is the previous generation. It is logic-controlled which in theory means it should be easier to repair. It has no DBX, so you'd need two racks of Tascam 4DX if you want noise reduction. Most of the chassis is the same as the '32 and '34, even the channel cards so parts are easier to get. It has two audio heads so you can hear what you've just recorded and alignment is easier. The 30-series have a tendency for the relays to jam though, so they sometimes get stuck in sync or repro monitoring mode - I believe the TSR-8 uses solid-state components for this task instead.

    They both have their pro's and cons - I personally prefer the TSR-8, though.

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    jpmorris's Avatar
    jpmorris is offline Tape Wolf
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    Oh - one more point, since the TSR-8 is computer-controlled, it can be set up to do automatic punch-in which is an absolute godsend if you're working alone.

    That way, you can set it up, tell it to go and then go into the live room for the performance, and the recorder will automatically start and stop recording for the segment you've marked. The only way to do that on a '38 would be to have someone else engineering it, or to use a remote control.

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    pappy999 is offline Senior Member
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    So if I wanted to use the trr-8 as a front end on a DAW then I am SOL?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pappy999
    So if I wanted to use the trr-8 as a front end on a DAW then I am SOL?
    If your aim is to use it as a tape delay, yes. If you want to track to the TSR-8 and play the tape back later, no.

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    pappy999 is offline Senior Member
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    I just want to track into the tape machine first and then into pro tools for the warm tape "feel". I will track drums with other musicians playing at the same time. I have to monitor the drums in my daw. Will the tsr work?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pappy999
    I just want to track into the tape machine first and then into pro tools for the warm tape "feel". I will track drums with other musicians playing at the same time. I have to monitor the drums in my daw. Will the tsr work?
    You'd have to record it and play it back into protools afterwards, lining it up with the other tracks as need be. It can't be done live, since the TSR will only monitor from the input, not back from tape.

    The 38 will monitor from tape, but it'll have a delay of around 1/15th of a second. It will won't be live, but it will be closer.

    If you're happy with having to import the stuff afterwards rather than using it as an effect with latency, the TSR-8 would do the job. For your purposes the '38 might be a better bet though. It depends exactly how you're planning to use it.

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    pappy999 is offline Senior Member
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    I want the ability to use the tape machine to impart tape "saturation" on my live drum tracks. How do other people do this? I have a live room that I put the drummer in to track with band over headphones. The band in the control room need to be able to hear the drums in real time. Any thoughts?

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    I have an 8 track machine, and I usually record the drums on six of the tracks, bass on the seventh and either guitar or vox on the last. I monitor off the mixer so everyone hears everything in time. We may even have other people playing, and running through the mixer for cueing, just not getting put down on tape.

    After we are happy with the take, it gets dumped into the pc and overdubs are done there.

    works really nice.

    I also take things out of the box to tape and back in now and again, and that works well too. Not as good as tracking to tape first though.

    mm
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    http://www.marshmanstudios.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by pappy999
    I just want to track into the tape machine first and then into pro tools for the warm tape "feel". I will track drums with other musicians playing at the same time. I have to monitor the drums in my daw. Will the tsr work?
    There's only 2 ways to do this that I can see. If you want tape saturation you have to play the tape back after it's been recorded. So you either have to, like I said midi sync it to your DAW in which the DAW will be slave, it will play back in time with the Reel to Reel tracks which then you can transfer over, or you have to record drums simutaneously, transfer them to the DAW, and then line up the drum tracks with the rest of the tracks. The later will depend on how tight the playback is on the tape deck. It sometimes can be tricky but can be done. Best way to do it is to have a click at the beginning of the taped tracks so you can line it up with ones in the DAW when you transfer it over.

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