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Thread: 8 track reel head configurations

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    8 track reel head configurations

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    Are all of the 8 track reel recorders designed for multi-input simultaneous recording? I only need one input at a time. I could work with one in-channel with a way to select different stripes on the reel to record one track at a time, if such a thing exists. I'd like to find something like that, but I'd still want 8 outs to go to the mixer of course.

    I don't record drums, bands or duos. Just me, track by track.

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    Arrow Most reel/reel 8 track recorders have 8 inputs & 8 outputs,...

    and record up to 8 tracks simultaneously.

    The exception would be the Fostex A8, which only records up to 4 tracks simultaneously, but plays back 8.

    Even though they may record up to 8 tracks simultaneously, you may select the tracks individually to record only one track at a time. It's more of a method, than a hardware solution you're after.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. Bob
    ... subtleties of sound make a difference to those who really listen.

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    Thanks. What I was doing is checking to see if there was a breed of 8 tracks that have less recording head maintenance and they might even cost a little less if they only had one movable recording channel... or two recording channels. Ok, I'll keep researching and shopping for the 8/8 recorders or the 4/8 Fostex.

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    Are all of the 8 track reel recorders designed for multi-input simultaneous recording?
    In a word, yes.

    Ever since the days of Les Paul, back in the 50's, syml-sync, multi-track recording has been an industry standard and is the grand-daddy to all that is today with digital computer based recording software that allows you to lay down a track at a time of multiple tracks at a time, reel to reel, 8 channel decks all do this.

    I could work with one in-channel with a way to select different stripes on the reel to record one track at a time, if such a thing exists
    Not a problem at all.

    What I was doing is checking to see if there was a breed of 8 tracks that have less recording head maintenance and they might even cost a little less if they only had one movable recording channel... or two recording channels.
    Most head maintenance comes only after thousands of hours of use and a head that wears evenly can be re-lapped or re-shaped to round out any flat spots that occur from heavy usage.

    As any machine you buy these days will be a used one, it's very important to get a sense from the seller how heavily he or she used the machine and what shape they feel the heads are in. If you can get a technician to inspect the machine prior to purchase, it will make your purchase all the more safe but, most machines like TASCAM's and Fostex's tended to come from home users like yourself and probably haven't worn the heads right down.

    As A Reel Person described, most machines will offer up to 8 simultaneous tracks to be recorded in one pass or any number lower then that all by push button selection on the machine or its remote control. Only the Fostex he mentioned will reduce that capability down to a maximum of 4 tracks in one pass but those machines weren't really less money because of that feature alone. They were cheaper because they used 1/4" tape and most of the better quality, open reel units used 1/2" tape which offers more surface area per track...kind of like a 4 mega-pixel camera versus a 2 mega-pixil...more detail and richness of sound.

    Models to look for in half inch would include the TASCAM 38, 48, 58, TSR8 and ATR60-8. All being half inch, eight track recorders.

    Cheers!

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