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Thread: Recording with a 4 track.

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    Recording with a 4 track.

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    This is a big ol' problem for me.
    My grind band is recording a split and the label that is putting it out will only let us record on analog equipment.
    Now, the only analog recorder I have is a Tascam 424 MKIII. 4 tracks of fury!
    I've been attempting to go from my mixer using auxes to do full drum miking and two guitar mics, then going direct in for vocals (we're recording live because our vocalist is an idiot and needs to see everybody playing to be able to get his vocals halfway on time). It's just not giving the sound that I would like from it. Lots and lots of hiss (way more than a cassette should be giving). I tried turning on DBX, but it didn't make much of a difference. Any and all suggestions would be appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.

    Tim

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    Hiss could be a lot of stuff. Your board, outboard gear, power amps or caps on the deck. De-mag and clean the heads and then try taking stuff out of your signal chain one at a a time to see if you can pinpoint it.
    Quite frankly, I'd rather just go sailing.

    http://www.myspace.com/harripalm

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    Arrow Eh,... quick analysis and commment:...

    On the 424mkIII and any other dbx eqipped Tascam Portastudio, you must always have the dbx ON, while recording AND playing back,... by definition and part of the design,... unless you're deliberately going for the hiss effect, that is.

    Dbx=ON,... full time! Tascam just put the DBX On/Off/Sync on the 424mkIII to accomodate other non-dbx tapes and Sync signals to track 4 in sync mode.

    Try that & I hope it helps. I think it will.

    /DA
    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. Bob
    ... subtleties of sound make a difference to those who really listen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xtjdx
    the label that is putting it out will only let us record on analog equipment.

    Record on the digital then tell them to suck a phat one. Show up with a 1/4" reel of tape and say here it is. When they say "shit man, we can't use that" then say "wtf do you mean?! You want it on a cassette?"

    This is where you are tricky. You mix a copy down to cassette so you can give it to them if they want it like that. The reel will probably be blank but thats okay becuase you are just calling the dumb asses bluff for being such moronic hypocrites...analog only...I bet if you get famous for writing good songs will will brandish you as 'sellouts' too.

    Anyhow, record the best way you can then 'master' onto whatever will pass. They are dumbfucks anyways. Their system doesn't work. Fight the power. They are oppressing you. Say analog didn't just fall off a tree one day and neither did digital.

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    My 424 hisses if the recording levels are too low. If you are careful and keep your recording levels up and use a noise gate and KEEP THE DBX DEPRESSED and master to cassette two track you can get nice results. I did two albums that way back in 1990 and 92 and have always felt they were good work. (They have sold well across the stage also.) Another option is to two track from the 424 to the computer, remove the hiss from the silent sections, and master back to cassette. Have fun with the project regardless of what else you do. Hope this helps, Dave.

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    Arrow Yeah, that.

    Also, be sure to use Type II/Chrome cassettes, of a high quality/name brand. EXCLUSIVELY TYPE II TAPES, without fail! Type I tapes are not compatible!

    Even name brand cassettes (Maxell XLII) these days have somewhat spotty and inconsistent response. I tested a Maxell XLII-90 recently in the lab, and the freq response sucked on 2 of the 4 tracks, (outside tracks #1 & #4) and over at least 80% of the tape, from end to end. It was very disappointing.

    Next, go to a recording specialty shop, and/or shop online, and try to pick up some of those high end "Pro" -level cassettes. Usually, tape's not too critical for home recording on a Portastudio, but if you are intending to release this work off analog, you need all the basics covered as well as possible. TAPE!

    I can't recall what the model numbers of the "pro" cassettes are at this moment, but I'll check into my stock for some recommendations,... eh,... later. There's: Maxell "MA",... TDK-?, eh... & Quantegy 472, for starters.

    Also, short of that, try a few different over-the-counter TYPE II tapes, (TDK-SA, SAX, CD-Power's), (Sony UX Pro), (Memorex), (RCA),.. ANYTHING & EVERYTHING,... and verify with audio test tones, before laying your acutal performances down. It could save you a lot of headaches in the end, not to mention save the face of analog & Porta's with respect to your commercial release.

    Lastly, stick with C-60's, MAX, because the thinner tape might mean lesser density of the oxide, in some cases. One thing's for sure, that cassette quality is not quite what it used to be.

    If you have the real coin handy, check into getting a Tascam 388, Tascam 38 & M30 mixer, TSR-8,... Tascam 34 or 34B with M30,... or Tascam 22-4, on Ebay,... and your production value would be boosted into the stratosphere, as compared to the 424mkIII, relatively speaking.

    I'm a firm believer, tested & verified Tascam Portastudio user, and from the sounds of your story, something's amiss, that's not your 424mkIII.

    As our friend said, just above, you GOTTA ride the levels a bit hot, and that helps tremendously.

    Good luck & please keep us posted on your progress!!

    /DA
    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. Bob
    ... subtleties of sound make a difference to those who really listen.

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    The mixer could also be a source of noise. I have a behringer mixer, which is incredibly noisey, especially if you add any hi EQ. its just the nature of the beast. I also have an allen&heath mixer which is almost completly silent. so that might be something to consider... i dont know what kind of mixer you are using.

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    Arrow It's a Tascam 424mkIII Portastudio, w/built-in mixer.

    8-input, 6-full channel strips, 3-band EQ w/mid-sweep, 2-Effect Snds, Cue.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1-jpg  
    Last edited by A Reel Person; 03-27-2005 at 19:10.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. Bob
    ... subtleties of sound make a difference to those who really listen.

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    You could be picking up some hiss from the other mixer that you have pluged into you 424.
    My self if I was going to record a drum kit with just a 4 track and had to track live to do it. I would get rid of all but two mics on the drum kit. Go with one over head and a kick mic. Or one good mic in front of the kit about chest high and about 4 to 5 feet back from the kit.
    You would be supprised how good this works.
    Get your head changed about micing everything on the drum kit It will sound alot better and you will get a better recording.
    I like the lable telling you Analog only. These guys rock!

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    Arrow Sorry!

    I accidentally glossed over the factor of the external live mixer.

    Of course, any external mixer could be causing hiss in the signal chain.

    I'd recommend using as much of the 424mkIII's internal mixer capability before involving any external mixer.

    /DA
    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. Bob
    ... subtleties of sound make a difference to those who really listen.

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