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Thread: Mastering analog tape recordings onto cd recorders?

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    Question Mastering analog tape recordings onto cd recorders?

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    Has anyone ever done this? I have a Tascam 488 mkii and was recently looking for alternatives to a reel-to-reel 2 track master (don't wanna deal with finding/taking care of tape) and I came across the Tascam CD-RW900mkII. If this is a good alternative, would that recorder be my best bet? The "mkii" tells me it was made for my 8 track but I just couldn't find any reviews or talk of using this method. Any thoughts?

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    Not sure what you really mean by "mastering onto cd recorders"...? Maybe you meant mixing down to a cd recorder...?

    It would be much better to mixdown to a computer with a DAW app on it, and then you can apply mastering type of processing to that stereo track...and then you can burn that to a CD.

    Also...mkii is just a revision indicator...to distinguish it from a first (mki) version...it doesn't really imply that the 488 is meant to go with the 900.

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    Yeah a final mix is what I meant.

    I thought about that, it just seems like a hassle to get the tracks onto the DAW. And if I can I'd honestly like to avoid using any DAW though, just a personal thing. I just want to know if I could get good results using this method or if I should avoid it?

    Oh ok, you learn something new every day haha

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    That is not bad. Really. I prefer to have it on hard drives, though. It has the jacks to get stuff to a hard drive

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    The mkII means it's the 2nd version of that machine. It has nothing to do with compatibility, it's just that both of those machines had an original version and then an update. When one gets updated again, it will be the mkIII.

    I've used those CD recorders (almost 15 years ago) and they are fine. But, some time in the reasonably near future, you will start having trouble sourcing CD media. It doesn't pay to be 20 years behind the curve in digital recording.

    You obviously have a computer (because you are posting here), why don't you get a cheap audio interface (probably cheaper than the CD recorder) and a free, or nearly free software package to record, edit and burn your CD's from? It's so much easier than messing with the hardware burners.

    Some of the Tascam CD recorders were pretty finicky about the type of media you used. You couldn't just throw any CD-R in it and have it work.
    Jay Walsh
    Farview Recording. I am also the forum spokesmodel for Terasyne Amplification

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    Might be worth looking at something like a TASCAM SD-20M, SS-R250N or similar machine. These record to SD cards, which I don't see going away for a while yet. They can also capture up to 24/96 which a CD recorder won't do.

    While I usually mix to tape, I use a DA3000 for digitizing the stereo master afterwards. The DA3000 is a higher-end unit which can go up to 24/192 in PCM and also supports DSD recording. Not cheap, but it does the job very well and it won't glitch like Windows/OSX/Linux do when they decide to go off and do something else mid-recording.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerber1232 View Post
    Yeah a final mix is what I meant.

    I thought about that, it just seems like a hassle to get the tracks onto the DAW.
    No more hassle than going to DAW...it just seems that way 'cuz the CD recorder has the built in A/D converters, whereas with the DAW, you will need a 2-channel interface/converters.
    The real point is that once it's on the CD, that's it...there is nothing more you can do with it...so if you realize it's too this or not enough of that...you have to start over, and burn another.
    Then...in order to distribute, you have to copy the CD and/or rip the audio off it to the computer anyway, if you want to upload audio files to websites etc.

    I've had a high-end TASCAM CD burner for years...and I can't recall the last time I used it to burn directly to it from my deck/mixer. It's useful for some things, but with a DAW, you get everything the CD burner gives you, and then like 10 times more options on top of that.
    I'll burn CDs for testing...maybe take it out to the car...but it's all prepared in the DAW first.

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    I was slumming around eBait today looking for disk recorders and this showed up while running Tascam;
    Vocopro SDR-MIX Digital SD/USB Recorder w/ Mic/Line Mixer+Dual Mic Inputs | eBay

    records to digital memory cards

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    Normally you don't mix down and master in one step, so it makes sense to capture the mixes at a higher quality, then master them. In theory you could master them in analog as you capture the mixes, but I doubt that will prove to be an effective and convenient method, and you need the analog hardware to do it. Or you could mix them to one of those Tascam standalone devices mentioned above, but then you still have to put them in a computer for mastering. The most efficient way to do this is to capture straight to the DAW through an audio interface, which you'll want anyway for driving your monitoring setup (rather than using a stock sound card).

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    That was the other thing I forgot to mention. If you use a CD recorder, your masters will be at 16 bit 44.1khz. It's not a tragedy, but it isn't awesome either.
    Jay Walsh
    Farview Recording. I am also the forum spokesmodel for Terasyne Amplification

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