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Thread: Tascam 388 Remote Questions/ Questions relating to the 388 and external mixer

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    Tascam 388 Remote Questions/ Questions relating to the 388 and external mixer

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    OK, this thread has been started to give a good ammount of info on the 388 to people who are either thinking about buying the 388, or have some questions that need to be cleared up.

    These questions and answers were on another thread, but I feel bad for taking that thread over... Thus they are here now.

    The order is first post = newest. Last = oldest.

    Quote Originally Posted by cjacek View Post
    It'll be probably easier if you could just multi-quote the responses and copy and paste those, as they happened. That way they'll be as originally formatted.

    EDIT: Just press the button to the right of the 'quote' button, the one which has quotation marks and a + below. Press that button under every post of each person and then just press "post reply' at the very end. That'll open a new window from which you can select all, copy and paste the already formatted messages into a new thread / post.
    Quote Originally Posted by tascaman View Post
    Ok.

    But with different members posting different responses, should I just write

    Cjacek said: "....."


    Sweetbeats said: "...."

    ?
    Quote Originally Posted by cjacek View Post
    Good recommendation of grouping of the instruments, Cory....

    Yeah, this topic, with regard to the 388, mixer, bouncing, should be under a different thread 'cause it's especially valuable on its own....

    Say, tascaman, what say you start a thread titled, say, "TASCAM 388 bouncing" or something to that effect and then copy / paste all the stuff since you posted here, so like from when you asked about the remote control to the bouncing etc....... so that we could continue from that fresh thread 'cause somethin' tells me it's gonna take off like wild fire.

    Let's keep Cory's CS-607 thread as is and move your info to another thread, OK? Sound good?
    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbeats View Post
    Don't worry about the "hijack". Its all good. The bigger concern is that all the good dialogue is hiding under a dubious title related to a rack stand...

    Another suggestion on your bouncing:

    Track and bounce like instrument types, i.e. track all your drum and percussion instruments together, then all your guitars, then keys, then vox...that sort of thing. That way you'll be able to, say, pull the drums/percussion up or down in the mix or eq or add effects to that group without effecting a guitar for instance...like:

    1st tracking pass
    1. Kick
    2. Snare
    3. OH
    4. Drum Room mic
    5. tambourine
    6. Acoustic Guitar (scratch/guide track)
    (you need to leave 7/8 open so you can have somewhere to put your mixdown of these tracks)

    then I'd mix those and bounce them to tracks 7/8

    2nd tracking pass
    1. Electric Guitar
    2. acoustic guitar (final track)
    3. Mandolin
    4. bass
    (you need to leave 5/6 open so you can put your mixdown of these tracks, along with what you've got on 7/8, somewhere)

    then I'd mix 1,2,3,4 together with 7/8 and dump that all on 5/6.

    3rd tracking pass
    1. Lead Vocal A
    2. Lead Vocal B
    3. Harmony Vocal
    4. Theramin Track (of course)

    Just an idea.
    Quote Originally Posted by cjacek View Post
    Yes, there would be some quality loss but how much or how bad is totally subjective. I personally would do a test bounce or two, even if it's just with one instrument and then decide for yourself how far you want to go..

    Your other option would be to do an external bounce, to a half or quarter track recorder running at 15ips or even to a CD recorder or sound-card line in of your computer. This will afford you better quality than internally bouncing on the 388.

    Basically you fill up all the 8 tracks on your 388, bounce that to an 'external' recorder, whatever that might be and then take that mix, take it back to your 388, using 7/8, for example, then fill the other 6 tracks, bounce that to your 'external' recorder again or just mix those 6 with the 7/8 .... etc... etc....

    The trick to getting better quality out of those bounces is to go externally to a better quality 'recorder', which means wider track / higher speed tape deck, good CD recorder or good sound card, which will retain more of your original sound while keeping noise down.

    Another trick is to slightly boost the highs when bouncing [from the tape machine] to retain the high end better.

    Another option, one which doesn't use bouncing, is to use less mics for your setup....

    --
    Quote Originally Posted by tascaman View Post
    This is true.

    But I am sure by the third bounce, the sound would be pretty degraded.
    Quote Originally Posted by cjacek View Post
    Yes, that looks reasonable.
    Quote Originally Posted by tascaman View Post
    Is that bouncing chart incorrect?
    Quote Originally Posted by cjacek View Post
    Sure you can bounce but I thought your intention was to have the band play live and all the instruments would be recorded at once? If you take up all 8 inputs by that session and all 8 tracks then you can't do an internal bounce [on the 388] BUT if you intend to record in a more traditional sense, with the idea of overdubbing or leaving open tracks for bounces than sure, you can easily open up more tracks on that machine.
    Quote Originally Posted by tascaman View Post
    Thanks guys. I have come to realization that the 388 is what it is, and is used for what it is. For instance, my crazy idea of hooking an m520 (yeah, thats right...) up to the 388 has long passed.

    I have learned over from TapeOp that I can bounce alot of tracks, and get more space to record. Also yes, the Beatles made amazing music on just four tracks, but I have had a dinky digital four track'er for some time now, and I am looking to expand my sound.

    I learned that you can bounce like so:

    1st tracking pass):

    1. Kick
    2. Snare
    3. OH
    4. Drum Room mic
    5. Bass
    6. Acoustic Guitar
    (you need to leave 7/8 open so you can have somewhere to put your mixdown of these tracks)

    then I'd mix those and bounce them to tracks 7/8

    2nd tracking pass):

    1. Electric Guitar
    2. Keyboards
    3. Mandolin
    4. Tamborine
    (you need to leave 5/6 open so you can put your mixdown of these tracks, along with what you've got on 7/8, somewhere)

    then I'd mix 1,2,3,4 together with 7/8 and dump that all on 5/6.

    3rd tracking pass):

    1. Lead Vocal A
    2. Lead Vocal B
    3. Harmony Vocal
    4. Theramin Track (of course)

    again, mix 1,2,3,4 along with 5/6 (this time) and dump it all onto 7/8.


    So in the end, I am just going to stick with the 388, and some phantom power units to give my mics phantom power.

    As far as the sm57's are concerned, I have seen some go up on eBay as three packs. Used of course, but they are in good working order, and are sold at the price of one if you bought it from a retail store. So I figured, maybe one for snare, two for overhead. Not such a bad price ~ $100. But then again, maybe all I need is 1 sm57 and I am just a compulsive buyer .

    Sorry for stealing your thread by the way.

    Conrad
    Quote Originally Posted by cjacek View Post
    Amen to that!

    I also would like to add that it's not necessary to devote as many mics as possible to an instrument, like placing a mic on every piece of the drum set. Two or three is enough, like one inside the kick drum and one or two overheads, above the entire drum set.

    Obviously condensers would work better for this but that's not even written in stone. Heck, I've heard good stuff from all sm57's and even a single large diaphragm placed in front of the drum set. Again, it's how you use the tools, the sound of the room(s) and the musician.

    The same thing goes for piano, guitars, vocals etc.... I mean, you can easily get good sound from a single mic on a piano, guitar, vocals and even backing vocals.

    You can easily get by with a minimal mic setup and your 388, the 8 tracks / 8 inputs would suffice, for your situation.

    I mean, 2 [or at most 3 mics] for your drum set [and if ya wanna get especially brave, even 1 nice condenser in front] and 1 mic a piece for the other fore mentioned instruments would give you everything you'd need for a live band recording.

    8 tracks is plenty.

    Just my 2cents worth..

    --
    Quote Originally Posted by A Reel Person View Post
    One could consider an MX-80 rackmount stereo mic/line mixer for 8 additional inputs to the 388. The MX-80 is a no frills mic preamp/ 8x2 mixer with patch points but no EQ.
    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbeats View Post
    What AT starter pack do you have? Why are you planning on using the 57's for overheads? You can do that...they work, but I typically have seen that done or done it myself in a pinch...if you are purchasing mics for overheads there are better suited options.

    My main comment about the RC-51 was not the cost or availability, but the ideology of shoehorning a full-function remote into a basic remote application...like using a personal computer as a basic calculator.

    If you are serious about getting an M-308 then you just have to keep watching eBay or craigslist. An M-1508 is another good option.

    The M-308 does not have phantom power but I believe the M-308b does.

    You would connect any external mixer into the 388 using the STEREO BUSS IN jacks (i.e. you take the stereo out of an external mixer and "cascade" it directly into the STEREO buss of the 388).

    tascaman, I don't mean to sound like I'm questioning your every move. You clearly have zeal for what you are doing, I just feel like you would benefit by gettin a handle on some fundamentals before dropping your cash on a bunch of gear you either don't need or can't utilize.

    First order of business is that you need to understand the difference between mixer channels and recording tracks. More faders does not mean you have more tracks. The 388 is an 8-track recorder/reproducer. 8...that's it...doesn't matter if you have one of those giant consoles where the engineer sits in a chair on rails to get from one end to the next, it still has 8 tracks.



    All more mixer channels will do is allow you to have more sources (mics, insturments, etc.) connected at one time, but let's say between drum and vocal mics and instruments you've got around 16 sources connected to 16 mixer channels, if you want to track live then those 16 sources will need to be mixed into 8 busses to the 8 recorder tracks if you're looking at the 388.

    IMHO, rather than looking for a sub-mixer for a 388, try to record the project onto 8 tracks.. You mentioned the Beatles...much of their most popular work was done on 4-track.
    Quote Originally Posted by tascaman View Post
    Im sorry Sweet, I didnt make myself clear. I meant the band playing live, all instruments at once. Beatles style, so to say. This gear is going to be in my basement as a home studio.

    For mic's, ehh I dont have anything special. Im only out of high school, and just starting out with tape (there is a local 388 for sale, but the seller is hesitant to sell it untill December. I am killing myslef over this fact!), but I have been playing the drums for a while. For drum mics, I am going to get either two or three sm57's, industry standard, and for the kick I am going to get a beta 52a. I for my toms, I will use the current mics that I have - an Audio Technica starter pack w/ clip on's. For vocals I am using an MXL 990, which came with the MXL 991 (both starter microphones tbh, but they are suited for the home recording enviroment.)

    I will use one sm57 on the snare, and the other two for the over head.

    You are right on the RC-51, that would be pretty bad because I am sure they are not for sale as frequent as they were when they came out.

    As far as the M-308, I just checked eBay, and none appear to be for sale right now. Any thoughts on where to get one?

    Also to clear up my question on a mixer up, how does it connect into the 388 per say? Would it take up XLR inputs? Does that mean with the 308 I could do 16 tracks simultaneously? And lastly, does it provide phantom power?
    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbeats View Post
    Why would you want to do that??

    Understand that even if you lopped off the ELCO connector and retro-fitted a WAKA 12-pin connector you're still going to be limited to the functionality of the basic RC-71/RC-90 remote (basic transport functions). Why go to the $200+/- expense of an RC-51 (if you can even find one) only to butcher it and then have most of it non-functional anyway?

    If you need a remote, get the one that was designed for the unit. My 2p. Sorry for emoting but the thought of butchering an RC-51 to use it as an RC-71 is distressing...



    Are you looking for a FOH console? The 300-series boards are actually better suited to that. IMHO if you are looking to expand the inputs of the 388 for live work it would be scary hauling an M-520 from venue to venue...plus, how many channels do you need for an 8-track project? What's in your mic locker? How big is your mic locker? If it were me I'd be looking for a good condition M-308 to go with the 388. That would give you 16 channels in a more portable format, though the 388 ain't no peach to haul around either.
    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbeats View Post
    Why would you want to do that??

    Understand that even if you lopped off the ELCO connector and retro-fitted a WAKA 12-pin connector you're still going to be limited to the functionality of the basic RC-71/RC-90 remote (basic transport functions). Why go to the $200+/- expense of an RC-51 (if you can even find one) only to butcher it and then have most of it non-functional anyway?

    If you need a remote, get the one that was designed for the unit. My 2p. Sorry for emoting but the thought of butchering an RC-51 to use it as an RC-71 is distressing...



    Are you looking for a FOH console? The 300-series boards are actually better suited to that. IMHO if you are looking to expand the inputs of the 388 for live work it would be scary hauling an M-520 from venue to venue...plus, how many channels do you need for an 8-track project? What's in your mic locker? How big is your mic locker? If it were me I'd be looking for a good condition M-308 to go with the 388. That would give you 16 channels in a more portable format, though the 388 ain't no peach to haul around either.
    Quote Originally Posted by tascaman View Post
    Well I was thinking more inputs for mics. On a live or if you are doing it instrument by instrument recording, you can have 20 inputs opposed to eight.

    And then again, it just looks so cool! That next to the 388, I could impress all my friends!


    As far as the RC-51, has any one ever switched around the schematics to make it at 12 pin, compatable w/ the 388?

    Can it be done?
    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbeats View Post
    Thanks for the positive comments on the Tascam M-520 Story thread.



    No. The RC-51 is a Tascam 58-only remote.

    1. I would say that $400 is a reasonable market price if the board is in good shape, no issues, has the original power supply and manual.
    2. Sure...you can use any mixer with the 388 but why do you need an external mixer? The mixing section on the 388 is great as is. I don't expect you are going to experience any sonic improvements with the 520 over the mixing section on the 388.
    Quote Originally Posted by tascaman View Post
    Now would the RC-51 remote hook up to the Tascam 388?

    In other words, what machines can the RC-51 hook up to?


    Sweet, just finnished reading your whole thread on the M-520 story...and my god that is an awsome thread. Jam packed with all sorts of cleaning, and technical info on the 520 mixer. To be honest, it turned me on to buyin one now. I found one locally, and I might just buy it.

    But, two questions:

    1.)The mixer is used by a studio/local studio and they have kept it in good shape. Does $400 sound reasonable?

    2.) Can the 520 hook up to the 388?

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    Thanks for all of this information!!!

    Am I understanding correctly that it's a bad idea to run drums through an external mixer? I was thinking running drums through a mixer, mixing them there and running the stereo out into two track on the 338. This would leave me with 6 available tracks for the rest. For me, it's not about sonic improvment as it is about allowing myself the options to keep things open. Is this faulty thinking? Thanks so much.

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    keep in mind that you can't change that much when sending a stereo signal of the drums to the 388...when the bass and the guitars come the drumsound can get muddy or the bass of the drums gets burried in the mix because of the bass, it's better to have at least four tracks for the drums (bass, 2 OH,snare).just my 2 c

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