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Thread: Tascam 388 audio problems?

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    Tascam 388 audio problems?

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    I cant believe I just joined this forum... I'm late.

    So I got a tascam 388 for 130 and it wasn't working at all. It turns out it needed new fuses and a new belt. Now it powers on, the lights work, it transports and records fine.... sortof. I can hear through the mixer and record with varying success. The mixer sounds perfect in the monitor but everything's super quiet when I listen back. I don't get why that is.

    I cleaned the heads already and the problem persisted.

    Now I'm thinking maybe I need to degauss it?
    And something else just hit me... maybe one of the heads is out of allignment? I really don't know.

    I'm relatively new to this. I've fixed up some reel to reels in the past, but this one might be a bit more than I can handle.

    Okay this was an essay. Thanks so much to anybody who responds!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ernest Cortez View Post
    The mixer sounds perfect in the monitor but everything's super quiet when I listen back.
    you'll have to be a bit clearer in what you mean here. do you mean that you're listening through the MONITOR OUTs while recording and it sounds good while tracking, but when you play back its quiet?

    Do you understand how the routing/ASSIGN & MONITOR section works on this machine? If your not totally sure, then my loose guess would be that it has something to do with how you have things routed.

    as a test try this: those tracks you recorded, play them and make sure on each channel that 1)the INPUT switch is on RMX 2)the ASSIGN L/R (red) button is engaged (down). whad'ya hear now?
    "Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric. " - Bertrand Russell

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    I am just listening through the headphone outputs and it sounds good there when tracking but not during playback.

    The input switch has always been on RMX and the L/R red button has always been down.

    Also, when I turn it up I get a little bit more of what I recorded but it's mostly just drowned out by hiss.

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    Alright, where are you plugged in?
    RE: INPUT > normally you'd have it flipped to MIC if you're using the XLR in; LINE for the 1/4" in and the RMX for when you're mixing the tape material, so I'd try recording some new stuff with the MIC or LINE in, assign it to the track you want, record function etc, and see if you can get some real signal to tape.

    if you search for it there are some threads here on the forum around that explain all the routing/assign functions of this machine, but its handy having the manual as well.

    basically, under usual conditions you'd NOT have any of the L/R red ASSIGN buttons engaged while recording, this way the MONITOR section will be engaged and you'd use those GAIN & PAN nobs for the monitor mix while tracking. then when mixing you'd switch all the inputs to RMX and engage all the ASSIGN L/R red buttons.

    try it out and let us know how it goes.
    "Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric. " - Bertrand Russell

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    I just tried recording with the Monitor 7/8 button engaged and without the L/R button engaged and I got very little signal and a lot of hiss when I listened to it back with L/R engaged.

    weird..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ernest Cortez View Post
    I cant believe I just joined this forum... I'm late.

    So I got a tascam 388 for 130 and it wasn't working at all. It turns out it needed new fuses and a new belt. Now it powers on, the lights work, it transports and records fine.... sortof. I can hear through the mixer and record with varying success. The mixer sounds perfect in the monitor but everything's super quiet when I listen back. I don't get why that is. I cleaned the heads already and the problem persisted.

    Now I'm thinking maybe I need to degauss it?
    And something else just hit me... maybe one of the heads is out of allignment? I really don't know.

    I'm relatively new to this. I've fixed up some reel to reels in the past, but this one might be a bit more than I can handle.

    Okay this was an essay. Thanks so much to anybody who responds!
    So are you saying the levels are way down on playback on the meters and on your speakers compared to the levels you inputed into the recorder when you were tracking...Like 0vu when recording and -15vu on playback? Or are you meaning something else by the term "super quiet"?

    Cheers!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ernest Cortez View Post
    I just tried recording with the Monitor 7/8 button engaged and without the L/R button engaged and I got very little signal and a lot of hiss when I listened to it back with L/R engaged.

    weird..
    you were recording on tracks 7 & 8 with record function 7 & 8 lit up red? and you could hear the sounds using the Monitor Gain & Pan section while recording along with getting signal on the VUs?

    I'm just trying to ascertain whether or not you understand how to assign and track with the machine to be sure its not just a routing issue. do you have the manual, and have you read it to understand basic tracking procedures?

    but, if you know about all that and its not just a routing issue, there could certainly be other problems - do all the tracks record the same low signal with hiss - or is there any variation? try routing through some other channels as well to each the tracks -any variation there?
    "Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric. " - Bertrand Russell

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    Yeah I get signal when i'm recording and the lights are on. I tried using another reel and I realized something. Tracks 1 and 2 always sound great but the rest have that volume problem.

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