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    Hello

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    Hey everyone,
    I've looked around these forums for a while and you all seem very knowledgable and cool. I am new to analog recording but I have done digital in the past. I am considering purchasing a Tascam 388 as my first analog multitrack unit. I have a few questions that I haven't seen addressed anywhere else so I thought I'd ask them here.

    1. How do effects such as reverb work? I know outboard gear is used and I know how to use them . . . but is there a way to add them after the recording is done? Example: Track one is "lead vocals." If I want to add reverb to JUST track one can I add it later or is there no way to do that?

    2. Are there other comporable machines that I should consider? The 338 runs, what, 7.5IPS and is 1/4" tape . . . if my understanding is accurate (which it may not be) the faster the recording speed, the lower the noise and the thicker the tape the more headroom you have. So these specs seems decently low. Am I off?

    Thanks in advance for any help you all can give me. I hope these questions haven't been adressed before. If so . . .I'm terribly sorry. I look forward to getting to know you all and hopefully learning and sharing some information!!!

    Nate Dennis

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    Arrow Hi...

    The 388 has Aux/Eff-sends and receives as a little "8x1 submixer" section, as well as Accessory send-receive patch points on each channel, which makes it pretty flexible.

    For reverb, typically you'd send the dry signal from the Aux/Eff-send, thru the reverb unit and back into the mix with the Aux/Eff-receive, in a "loop" style patch.

    For compression, you'd typically "insert" it inline to the signal on the individual channel with the Access-Snd/Rcv patch points.

    Either of these effecting scenarios can be done previous to recording and printed on tape, or after recording as a post-production technique.

    The sound quality at 7.5ips speed for 8-tracks on 1/4" tape is adequate, tho' it's aided somewhat by inclusion of dbx noise reduction. I've not looked up the spec lately, but I'd assume it to be decent to 18kHz. Someone who checks the manual can correct me if I'm wrong.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. Bob
    ... subtleties of sound make a difference to those who really listen.

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    388 rated frequency response 30Hz ~ 16kHz +/-3dB...those are the specs...remember that, Dave? The thread by the guy wanting to know the specs of analog recording?

    Anyway, Nate, welcome.

    If you haven't done so already, do a search for "388" on this forum. You'll turn up lots of threads, especially lately (seems like there is a recent surge in interest of the 388). Some of those threads will have links to music produced on a 388 so you can get an idea of what they sound like. Dave (A Reel Person) has done some incredible sounding stuff on gear to which even the faintly snobbish have upturned their noses (sorry to do it to you again Dave...you put the stuff up, y'know ). Seriously. To my ears Dave is a wizard with an SM57 and a Tascam 246...that's a cassette four-track. I wish I could get his sounds right now working with an M-520 mixer and Studio Projects C1 direct to disk at 24/88.2. My point is that it can be done. Tape speed is double on the 388 over a 246 and IIRC the track width is slightly wider. I've also heard some really unbelieveable stuff on a Fostex Model 80...8-track 1/4" 15ips. ksounds is another cassette four-track producer that has also done some crazy good-sounding stuff on his 424. Do a search on this forum for threads started by ksounds. Listen to samples of the work done and remember YMMV, but the 388 is a capable cool machine. Every bit a professional piece of gear IMHO. The coolest "portastudio". The only thing that makes me wary of them is that replacement heads are hard to come by for those units, so make sure the heads have mileage left if you find one.
    Last edited by sweetbeats; 09-30-2008 at 14:02. Reason: i kant spel

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbeats View Post
    388 rated frequency response 30Hz ~ 16kHz +/-3dB...Tape speed is double on the 388 over a 246 and IIRC the track width is slightly wider.
    Maybe I should be in the "newbie" section but none of that registers for me. I've done a lot in digital but I'm completely new to this. What does the "rated response" mean? Also what do you mean by the tape speed is double over a 246? I'm sorry to be so annoying.

    Thank you so much for your quick response.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nate_dennis View Post
    Maybe I should be in the "newbie" section but none of that registers for me. I've done a lot in digital but I'm completely new to this. What does the "rated response" mean? Also what do you mean by the tape speed is double over a 246? I'm sorry to be so annoying.

    Thank you so much for your quick response.
    By double, he just means the 388 runs at twice the speed of the 246.

    388 = 7.5 ips

    246 = 3.75 ips
    famous beagle

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    sorry to be so annoying
    'tis not so.

    By "rated response" I just mean that that's what the manual says the frequency response curve boundaries are of the deck. In other words, if you printed pink noise at 0VU onto tape, when you played it back it would stay between +3 and -3VU from 30Hz up to 16kHz. That doesn't mean it won't record and reproduce anything outside of 30Hz and 16kHz, it just means that it may be above or below +3 or -3VU.

    Does that help/make sense?

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    So it can vary from time to time really?

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    So it can vary from time to time really?
    tascaman...what do you mean? Are you asking if how the recorder performs may change over time?

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    When you record at a low VU level, then you play it back. The VU's could be higher.

    Disregard the question if you want. Was just trying to provoke thought. My own thought really...

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    Quote Originally Posted by tascaman View Post
    When you record at a low VU level, then you play it back. The VU's could be higher.
    Yes, that's possible and vice versa but that only means the recorder needs to be calibrated and aligned, if the record / playback discrepancy is way off..

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