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Thread: Hybrid/MTC Possibility? Can this be done?

  1. #1
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    From the bits and pieces I've read I think the answer is 'no' but given my limited understanding maybe I'm wrong.

    Is there a way to:
    • Record 3 or 4 tracks onto my Tascam 48
    • Send a 2 track rough mix of that to my computer
    • Record drum tracks onto the computer using the 2 track mix as a guide and not have the tape machine involved in the process
    • Send a 2 or 3 track mix of just the drums back to the deck to use with the original tracks.


    Is this at all possible? If so I'm assuming I won't be able to do it with what I have now. Just in case here is what I have:

    • Tascam 48
    • Presonus Firebox
    • JL Cooper PPS-2
    • Logic Audio


    Assuming that I can't do what I listed above with what I currently have, what exactly can I do with that JL Cooper thing? If you can give me concrete examples of what I can do that'd be best for my un-learned noggin.

    Thanks for any help with this. It's all new to me.

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    You absolutely have everything you need (assuming you have the MIDI and audio cables).

    Stripe a track with SMPTE on the 48, then when you reproduce you send your SMPTE track through the PPS-2. That converts to MTC which you send to your DAW and set logic to slave to the incoming MTC.

    You should then be able to bounce stuff back and forth and keep the two locked together.

    The caviat is that how well this arrangement works will depend on the performance of your DAW (processing, buss and drive specs of your computer), and also how well your 48 is running. The DAW will try to resolve minor shifts in speed and it may result in dropouts our clicks and pops. Many people do this though, so give it a go. Just keep in mind that by doing it this way your 48 essentially becomes the wordclock master (because you are slaving the computer to your 48).

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    Sweetbeats is right, I'd just add that I'd try to keep the processing a little bit lower on the PC side of things: maybe record at only 16 bit/44.4, which shouldn't be a big deal since your end product will likely be a CD anyways.

    I've used N-Track to do this with my MSR-16 and a Tascam Midiizer. Once you figure out what offset to use within the synchronization settings for your computer program you'll be all set. It'll take just a little trial and error, but once you've got a setting that works you'll be good to go.

    Good luck!
    -MD

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    Huh. This is unexpected, great news. Thanks for the replies.

    I'm left with a handful of questions but maybe those will be resolved when I actually give it a shot.

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    Yeah. Do that. Give it a try and post back to this thread with your questions. We'll be watching.

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    If you want to do hybrid stuff, don't bother with sync. I looked at it when I was getting my hybrid setup together. It seemed like it was making the whole process unnecessarily complicated.

    I would reccommend something like this:

    1- fill up eight tracks on your tape deck
    2- get an interface that has eight analog ins and dump each track to DAW all at once

    you can pretty much do whatever you want from there, i.e. add extra tracks in the box, print a stereo mix back to your deck, bounce an incoming signal off tape on the way in to your computer.

    sell the stuff you don't need and buy a firepod. they go as cheap as $225 used on ebay.

    I think sync will be more trouble than its worth.

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    It all depends on how many tracks you need at one time.

    Hi Flyer has a good point.

    Rufer, why dump that 3-4 tracks to the DAW, track drums to the computer, and then mix back to the deck?

    Ideally I would say there are certain things you want to track on the deck, other things that may work better tracked to the DAW. Track the analog stuff first, fill up the 8 tracks if need be and dump at once through an interface.

    If some of those tracks that go direct to the computer need to be tracked first (i.e. as guide tracks or something and there isn't room on the 48), then I can see needing to sync, or if you are wanting more tracks than 8 tracked to analog then dumped over to the DAW I can see the benefit of sync'ing (i.e. loading 8, dumping and keeping them in sync with the deck while you build the next round of tracks...this is the reason I am setting up a sync system for my 58 and my DAW, though I may rather use my synchronizer to sync my 58 and 48 and then dump that simultaneously to the DAW and avoid sync'ing the DAW and the atr alotogether as Hi Flyer suggests).

    Just seems like a lot of effort to bounce mixes back and forth...

  8. #8
    Beck Guest
    I recommend the synced hybrid route... just do your homework. It has worked well for me. My analog, digital and outboard MIDI gear is all synced together. Works like a dream.

    I’ve got 7 tracks of analog (track 8 is for MTC to drive the DAW). My current digital rig is an Echo Layla. I track to analog and bounce all the tracks to the Layla at once. I’ve got the original Layla 20, so I have 8 inputs and 10 outputs. So once my first 7 analog tracks are transferred I can add 3 more. I always track to analog first and then transfer to digital. I end up with 10 tracks on the DAW, each with its own analog output to the console, and 7 empty tracks on the analog 8-track for more recording.

    I mixdown all 17 tracks plus sequenced MIDI instruments through an analog console to an open-reel ¼” half-track.

    I use the DAW as a straight recorder like one would an ADAT… no ITB hocus-pocus... no plugins... no mixing ITB.

    IMO, this is the best way for an analog guy to integrate digital into the studio. The results are outstanding. Keeping everything in sync from the start keeps all you options open.

    Main system
    Tascam TSR-8
    Echo Layla 20
    JL Cooper PPS-1
    JL Cooper PPS-100
    Tascam M-216 and M-208 (both moded)
    Too many MIDI modules and keyboards to list

    Some folks have less then happy experiences with syncing the different technologies, but I’ve been using sync of one kind or another since before MIDI came out so I can do it in my sleep... but YMMV.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Beck View Post
    I recommend the synced hybrid route... just do your homework. It has worked well for me. My analog, digital and outboard MIDI gear is all synced together. Works like a dream.

    Iíve got 7 tracks of analog (track 8 is for MTC to drive the DAW). My current digital rig is an Echo Layla. I track to analog and bounce all the tracks to the Layla at once. Iíve got the original Layla 20, so I have 8 inputs and 10 outputs. So once my first 7 analog tracks are transferred I can add 3 more. I always track to analog first and then transfer to digital. I end up with 10 tracks on the DAW, each with its own analog output to the console, and 7 empty tracks on the analog 8-track for more recording.

    I mixdown all 17 tracks plus sequenced MIDI instruments through an analog console to an open-reel ľĒ half-track.

    I use the DAW as a straight recorder like one would an ADATÖ no ITB hocus-pocus... no plugins... no mixing ITB.

    IMO, this is the best way for an analog guy to integrate digital into the studio. The results are outstanding. Keeping everything in sync from the start keeps all you options open.

    Main system
    Tascam TSR-8
    Echo Layla 20
    JL Cooper PPS-1
    JL Cooper PPS-100
    Tascam M-216 and M-208 (both moded)
    Too many MIDI modules and keyboards to list

    Some folks have less then happy experiences with syncing the different technologies, but Iíve been using sync of one kind or another since before MIDI came out so I can do it in my sleep... but YMMV.

    Hey Beck, just out of curiosity, in what way is the 216 mixer modded? I just purchased one of those recently. (Sorry for the hijack Rufer)
    famous beagle

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbeats View Post
    It all depends on how many tracks you need at one time.

    Hi Flyer has a good point.

    Rufer, why dump that 3-4 tracks to the DAW, track drums to the computer, and then mix back to the deck?
    I have considered what you suggest Hi Flyer--it is good to hear it from someone else though. I still haven't ruled it completely out but pretty much. Ultimately I'd like to mix from the tape deck. If I dump all of my taped tracks to the computer, add what I want in there, and send it back out to the deck. I'm going through a D/A conversion that I'd rather avoid until the bitter end.

    As for your question SB--the simple answer to why I want to do it the way I described above is--I'm a drummer of questionable skills and the tape deck is in an un-ideal environment in which to record the drums.

    The longer answer involves the wonderful crutch that is comping (gasp!). What I'm envisioning is playing guitar and singing to a click--recording all three at once. Adding another guitar or bass and sending a rough mix of all of those elements to a ROUGH stereo mix in the DAW with Logic acting as a slave.

    From there I would bring just my laptop, firebox, and drums to say my parents' house when they're not around or the forest of the shenandoah. I could play to the rough mix w/ the click a few times and comp together a passable drum track.

    Then I'd record that comped drum track back to a couple of empty tracks on the tape deck along side the original tracks.

    Just to confirm....this can be done? Maybe not super-perfect or easily without trial and error but it can be done?

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