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Thread: Acquired some gear (namely a TASCAM 688 & a Alesis Quadraverb) now need advice!

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    Acquired some gear (namely a TASCAM 688 & a Alesis Quadraverb) now need advice!

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    Hi! I've just inherited some gear namely a TASCAM 688 eight track cassette-based portastudio and an old, MkI Alesis Quadraverb unit. I was wondering if any one out there could give me some advice as to the best way to utilise the two? I made some rough recordings with a 4 track when I was younger but that was a LONG time ago so consider me a 'newbie' in this field (I'm not very technical when it comes to stuff like this I'm afraid!) I'm open to any advice (I need as much help as I can get!)

    My first question is: How do I set-up and get the most from using just these two units ie: one recording console & just the one external device? (I can't afford to buy anything else right now but will in time if I make some good progress with what I've got.)

    I've been tinkering away with the Quadraverb just using it as a DI in-line guitar FX unit and have been getting some quite pleasing results however this would mean I'd have to print the guitar track and record guitar part(s) effected if I am then to use the unit as an effects loop through the desk for adding reverb to the rest of my parts (eg: Vocals; mic'd Acoustic; Drums; etc). I wouldn't want the effect patch I'm using for electric guitar to be the patch I'd use on the rest of my parts if this makes any sense?? For example: One of the patches in the QV is called 'Taj Mahal' and I am currently trying to write a song idea that came to me from just jamming around with this patch sound. Although it sounds good for the guitar part alone (used as an in-line DI) it sounds pretty naff when I use the Alesis as an Effects Return loop through the desk and apply it to the other parts I've written - it only really works for the guitar part. Would the best workaround be to record said guitar part WITH the effect DI (Wise? Then you're stuck with it right?) then patch the QV into the desk as an effect loop and choose one (less extreme!) reverb that hopefully fits the rest of the song parts? Help me out here.

    So yeah, in a nutshell, what's the best way to utilise and make the most of what I've got here? Any advice much appreciated!

    PS: For future reference I'd also be interested to know what else I should be looking out for to extend my makeshift home studio set-up in the future for when I have more of a budget to do so. NB: I still have a box of connecting cables plus a variety of instruments knocking around the house at my disposal - it would just be nice to make some recordings with them!

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    Congratulations on the new acquisitions. The short answer to your question is yes. You'd need to "print" the effect on the guitar track (i.e., record it to tape that way) and then put the QV in your effects loop to use a reverb patch (or whatever) for your other tracks. Or you can print other different effects to other tracks as well along the way. You will be, as you said, stuck with them. But if you only have one effects processor and want to get different effects, this is the only way to do it.

    As far as other purchases, you might consider another effects unit (because it sounds as though this might become an issue for you). Another nice thing to have would be a compressor.

    Have fun!
    famous beagle

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    Thanks for the informative reply Beagle! Much appreciated amigo. Looks like I better get saving (and also learning about compressors - never really understood 'em but will probably need confront my fear & get one soon enough!)

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    The good news is that, as you probably know with the purchase of the Quadraverb, you can pick up another processor for probably $50 or less that will do the job. Compressors can sometimes run a little more to get a decent-sounding one. But if you look hard and are patient, you can find a great deal. I found a DBX 166 (the old one, not the new XL) for $40 on CL. It's a great-sounding stereo model.

    Good luck!
    famous beagle

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