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Thread: Recommend Me A Better Mixdown Deck

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Recommend Me A Better Mixdown Deck

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    Ma Yamaha Cassette Deck cannae take it Cap'n. Even with a compressor in line it still goes into the red far too easily; so I have to keep all the 388's mixer channels and stereo master and the Record Level controls on the Yamaha way down (like, below 5).
    Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital recording is a pretty neat idea.

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    Sounds like a gain structure mismatch.... the cassette deck likely expects a -10dbV signal, is your board putting out a +4dBu level?

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    Well, the signal's coming out of the Stereo RCA Outputs (which are -10) then into the compressor (also set to -10) and then out of the compressor to the cassette deck. So, that can't be it.

    What about alignment?
    Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital recording is a pretty neat idea.

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    Maybe the output gain is too high on the compressor?

    When you have the faders at the hash-marks on the 388, are the meters on the 388 pinned to the right?

    Most compressors have output trim controls so perhaps a slight adjustment there would smooth the waters.

    Cheers!

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    Well, there's no obvious Insert Loop on the 388's Stereo Buss so the compressor is In-line between the 388's Stereo Outs (RCA jacks) and the Yamaha's Rec In jacks. So, if I'm going to read the levels anywhere it'd be at the Yamaha end surely(!?). The 388's stereo meters stay pretty much between -3 and 0 dbs, with only the occasional excursion above 0 (during the choruses and when I double the lead vocal on alternating lines of each verse) so long as I keep all the faders between 4 and 5. But, even at this modest level, and with compression, the Yamaha's meters are still going far into the red. Which leads us to which conclusion?
    Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital recording is a pretty neat idea.

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    Which leads us to which conclusion?
    Conclusion 1.

    Your compressor does not have output level controls.

    Conclusion 2.

    The meters on your Cassette deck are calibrated to show peak signals, rather RMS signals as on your 388. Which, would explain why its meters are living in the "red" as you described it.

    You should keep in mind that cassette decks designed to run with type II or type IV tapes can have the signals up pretty hot and not cause audible distortion.

    Conclusion 3.

    You are relying on your consumer tape deck too heavily as a reference standard for level setting without understanding its meter calibration fully and also pre-determining that if its meters go into the red that this could only be a bad thing when in truth, the proof is in the listening and trusting your ears as the final judge of what is good and bad sounding.

    Cheers!

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    Well, actually, I do have Output level controls on my compressor (though obviously I only use Channel A's in Stereo Mode). So, I think that conclusions 1, 2 and 3 are probably the correct ones.

    I was just worried that going into the red would have an adverse affect on the (Dolby C) Noise Reduction I'm using.

    Plus I want an excuse to buy a nice chunky Reel to Reel deck
    Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital recording is a pretty neat idea.

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    Plus I want an excuse to buy a nice chunky Reel to Reel deck
    You don't need an excuse to buy one! You only need the money!

    Cheers!

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    So, what's good in the World of "One Careful Lady Owner" R2R decks?

    Below 300.
    Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital recording is a pretty neat idea.

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    300 pounds? Well, I suspect that is serious overkill. 300 dollars more like it.

    Any nice 2-track Tascam should make it. Next step up is Otaris, and they seem to be a bit over budget, but then you are up in superpro quality. Save some money for tapes instead.
    Random Pavarotti Disease Victim.

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