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Thread: Tascam 246 Portastudio, Mic Input Questions

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    Tascam 246 Portastudio, Mic Input Questions

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    I want to fire up a Tascam 246 Portastudio (Cassette) for the first time and the Owner's Manual is a little vague about the microphones I can plug directly into it.

    Question #1:
    If I use a mic that needs "Phantum Power", do I need a to run it through a preamp before it hits the 246 mic input?

    Question #2:
    If I need a preamp, can you please give me a few recommendations? I expect to need 2-mic's (vocal + acoustic instrument).

    Question #3:
    Any problem with using a Large Diaphram mic with phantum power on Track 1; and something like a Shure SM57 for the acoustic instrument on Track 2?

    Thanks,
    Rich

    (Sorry to be so lame about this stuff, but I haven't recorded since the 60's on Reel-to-Reel. Also sorry about cross-posting from the Tascam forum, but I understand Analog Only is the place for 246 questions. )

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    Arrow

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Smith View Post
    I want to fire up a Tascam 246 Portastudio (Cassette) for the first time and the Owner's Manual is a little vague about the microphones I can plug directly into it.

    Question #1:
    If I use a mic that needs "Phantum Power", do I need a to run it through a preamp before it hits the 246 mic input?
    No, you need to run it through a phantom power supply before it hits the 246 input, then an XLR-1/4"(TS) transformer adapter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Smith View Post
    Question #2:
    If I need a preamp, can you please give me a few recommendations? I expect to need 2-mic's (vocal + acoustic instrument).
    You don't need a preamp. For condenser mics as you describe you need a phantom power supply. It may be coincidental that phantom power is packaged in most modern preamps, but you need phantom power, not a preamp. Each of the 6 inputs on the 246 already has built in preamps. (Alternately, some condenser mics run on an internal battery and are plug & play in this situation).

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Smith View Post
    Question #3:
    Any problem with using a Large Diaphram mic with phantum power on Track 1; and something like a Shure SM57 for the acoustic instrument on Track 2?
    No, because your phantom power supply is applied to the mic (externally) prior to hitting the 246 input. Dynamic mics would interface directly to the 246, & phantom power is not an issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Smith View Post
    Thanks,
    Rich

    (Sorry to be so lame about this stuff, but I haven't recorded since the 60's on Reel-to-Reel. Also sorry about cross-posting from the Tascam forum, but I understand Analog Only is the place for 246 questions. )
    Well, you're never too old to start over in this game, and you gotta start somewhere. Cassette 4-track technology made great strides in the 80s!

    Welcome to the forum!
    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. Bob
    ... subtleties of sound make a difference to those who really listen.

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    Dave,

    Thank you very much. That's the info I needed.

    I plan to record clean 3 1/4"ips 2-track live masters on the 246 and mixdown to a Tascam 122 MkII. I still have a working 1-channel tube Fender Reverb from the 60's, to work through. The Fender worked really well on direct mic input to the old Akai reel-to-reels. I hope it works as well on mixdown from the 246 so I can keep the masters clean.

    I'll work the playback through my home stereo...a beefy old Quadraplex amp and four 3-way 12" Apollo speakers. 40 years ago we'd compare final mix down volume and equalization through something cheezy that would replicate a car radio. This was necessary to avoid overproducing something that only sounded good on a big home system. Ha! I wonder if anybody does that kind of thing anymore?

    I don't have any modern equipment. But a friend keeps telling me to at least let him digitally copy the masters for later use and mixdown. Well.... maybe.

    Thanks again,
    Rich

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    Arrow Nah!

    I mix on four 15"/4-way speakers combined with two 12"/3-ways with bass reflex & 10"/3-ways, all on my home-fi system.

    People still use their car stereos as a benchmark of what is good in a mix that translates to other systems. Usually, once I've mixed down music to play in the car, it's fully cooked and ready to go on the road.

    Note a point that many people don't even have old-school home hifi's any more, but would consider "shelf systems" the typical home hifi,... a glorified boombox by other measures.

    I'm not so old-school that I can't mix to CDr on the ol'puter as a regular step in final mixdown to "master" disc. NO mixdown cassettes for me anymore, since the late 90s!

    I hate dinky little so-called "monitors", *[but I don't want to be inflammatory]*. I'll keep my 15" home-fi speakers. I'm old-school like that.

    *[EDITED!!!]*:eek"
    Last edited by A Reel Person; 04-05-2009 at 13:11.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. Bob
    ... subtleties of sound make a difference to those who really listen.

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    CDr "Master"?

    "I'm not so old-school that I can't mix to CDr on the ol'puter as a regular step in final mixdown to "master" disc. NO mixdown cassettes for me anymore, since the late 90s!"

    Dave,

    Hmmm... so your original Master is Tape... and your mixed-down "master" is CDr? Is that correct? (Like my friend was talking about?)

    Do you need much of a PC? (Am I on the wrong forum now?)

    Rich Smith

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    Arrow Yeah.

    I've mixed a ton of analog tracks down to the ol'puter thru the soundcard with recording software. Once audio is in wav file format (@ 16/44.1 stereo), CD burning software completes the job.

    CD is more of a universal and handy listening media these days,... tho' I have cassette decks at home and in the car, but I use a portable CD player and cassette adapter for the most part,... only listening to tapes in the car occasionally.

    There's nothing wrong with mixing down to a 122 or any other cassette deck, just a little less common these days.

    For the most basic stereo recording, you don't need much of a 'puter at all, but your soundcard must have a Line In jack & any of the most basic recording software.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. Bob
    ... subtleties of sound make a difference to those who really listen.

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