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Thread: 8 or 16 Track Tape Machine

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    8 or 16 Track Tape Machine

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    I'm just getting into and learning about tape and I'm very interested in getting something. I'd like to get an 8 or 16 track and if it has all 8 or 16 VU meters, that's even better (I just like the look of it a lot). Something not way to expensive but not a starter model. Thanks!

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    What kind of mixer are you using? Can it handle 16 tracks?

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    I don't have a mixer yet but I would get a 16 track mixer to use a 16 track reel to reel. I plan on converting everything to digital after putting it on tape to mix there

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    you sure you want to do this? Getting a crappy mixer and cheap tape machine isn't really going to make your digital recordings much different. Analog equipment takes upkeep and can be really wonky. If you want to get some Tape in the path why not mix to a 2 track reel to reel? Not saying you shouldn't try.

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    I agree with Talldog,
    If you are going to do this you will need some help and luck finding a good machine. They almost always have some problems that need fixing, No matter how cool they sound when you are checking them out. Whatever you do, take your time and test the machine before you buy it and get some folks here to give you some tips on what to look for.

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    Keep an eye out for a Tascam 388.
    Easy unit to learn on and sounds not too bad either.And a built in 8 channel mixer.I love mine!
    But like the guys are saying,you have to be careful about what you buy.Check these things out carefully.
    We've got bush,We've got bush!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by inbloom27 View Post
    I'm just getting into and learning about tape and I'm very interested in getting something. I'd like to get an 8 or 16 track and if it has all 8 or 16 VU meters, that's even better (I just like the look of it a lot). Something not way to expensive but not a starter model. Thanks!
    I'd say a Tascam 8-Track Recorder with a Tascam 12 Channel Mixer would be a great start.
    I've always been impressed with the reliability and sound quality of Tascams.
    If you are dumping into Pro-Tools or something, you
    don't need to worry too much about Track count.
    I'd say for a Tape Machine, go with:
    Tascam 38, 48, 58, or an ATR-60-8(if you can find one).
    For a Mixer:
    Tascam M-35, M-308, M-312, M-50, or an M-512.
    I've listed these in the order of oldest(Lower quality) to newest(Higher quality)
    If you really want 16 VU Meters, you're heading toward a big format tape machine.
    The kind that are the size and weight of a washing machine.
    The only 16 Track in compact form were the Tascam MSR-16's and they had LCD Metering.
    Plus, Quantegy 456 Tape in 1/2" width is quite plentiful, inexpensive, and is unused quite a bit.
    I'm having quite a hard time finding good 1" Tape for my 16-Track.
    I'm looking at $150 per reel of brand new tape.
    Good luck,
    Tom

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    Hardcore DIY-ers might disagree, but I would start by finding at least one good tech in your area that can service tape decks before you buy anything. You WILL need service at some point. If you don't know what you are doing, you'll be wasting time and money. Either commit to learning or commit to finding help.

    That said, I'd find a Tascam 22 and mix to it to get your feet wet. Find one, and folks here can likely talk you through getting started.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyRhoads1981 View Post
    The only 16 Track in compact form were the Tascam MSR-16's and they had LCD Metering.
    You're forgetting about the Fostex B, E & G series 1/2" 16tracks. Same format but different noise reduction schemes than the Tascams.
    Rick Ruskin
    Lion Dog Music - Seattle WA
    http://liondogmusic.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyRhoads1981 View Post
    Tascam M-35, M-308, M-312, M-50, or an M-512.
    I've listed these in the order of oldest(Lower quality) to newest(Higher quality)
    oldest to newest is actually M-35, M-50, M-512, M-300 series and I wouldn't make a direct corelation to age/quality...each of those mixers or mixer series (M-50 and M-512 being very similar) are going to have particular elements that are unique to each as well as some subtle differences in sound...note that the M-50 and M-512 are 8 group mixers and all the rest are 4 group...

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