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Thread: Tascam 424 MKII: Is it broken or am I dumb?

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    Tascam 424 MKII: Is it broken or am I dumb?

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    Hi! I posted this in the newbie section a few days ago but I got no replies so I figured maybe this was a better place to ask this. I recently purchased a used Tascam 424 mkII to record some folk music and learn a little about recording and mixing on an analog system. Following the user manual, I am easily able to record audio on both track 1 and 3, however when I try on track 2 or 4 nothing seems to be recording. I still get the sound coming through my headphones but nothing plays on the recording. There seems to be a lot of options when it comes to bussing and panning tracks so is it possible that I'm doing something wrong when it comes to the correct settings for recording on these tracks or is it more likely that both track 2 and 4 are busted? Apologies in advance for my lack of proper recording knowledge. Thanks!

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    Hi and welcome!

    So here’s my line of thinking...if you’re able to successfully track to tracks 1 & 3, then I’m less suspect it is user error...the process for tracking to tracks 2 & 4 would be the same for 1 & 3, you would just set the PAN control on the your mixer channel fully clockwise or hard right instead of left. But maybe you should share how you are getting successful recordings onto tracks 1 & 3. What mixer channels are you using, and how do you have the PAN controls set, and over on the right of the control surface how do you have the record arming switches set for each track? To BUSS, SAFE, or DIRECT?

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    I've just been following the manual so pan controls are L when recording on tracks 1 and 3 and R when on 2 and 4. I think what is most confusing to me is that it only shows how to record using the same input by bussing (for example: Recording on track 2 but keeping the microphone plugged into the track 1 input) so I've been setting channels to BUSS on the Record Function section when recording. Is it possible to just record direct on channels 2 and 4 using their designated mic/line inputs? Also I'm still not quite sure how the Effect 2 and Tape Cue functions work or what their purpose actually is.

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    Yes you can record direct.

    When a particular tape track is set to DIRECT, its source is the corresponding mixer channel. So, track 1 sources mixer channel 1, track 2 channel 2, etc. can you record to tracks 2 & 4 that way?

    And how about this: can you take any input on any mixer channel, sweep it hard right, raise the channel fader and the master fader, switch the L and R MON switches to the right, can you see any meter activity on the right side of the master meter, or if you turn up the LEVEL knob in the monitor section can you hear your source in the right channel of the headphones?

    The EFF 2/TAPE CUE is a dual function buss that either functions as a post-fader aux buss for, like, send type effects, or functions as a tape monitor buss. When the EFF 2/TAPE CUE master mode switch above the master fader is set to EFF 2, the EFF 2/TAPE CUE knobs on channels 1~4 get their respective signals from the post fader signal on the corresponding mixer channel...the channel 1 EFF 2 pot gets its signal from the channel 1 input right after the channel 1 fader...same goes for channels 2 through 4. Then all 4 EFF 2 knobs are summed internally and the sum is present at the EFF 2 output jack. This would typically connect to the input of a reverb or delay effects processor or some other type of send effect, and be returned to the mix using the channel 5-6 or 7-8 strip. You can also monitor the sum by switching the EFF 2/TAPE CUE switch in the monitor section to MON and listen via the headphones or via the MONITOR OUT jacks connected to your speakers. When the EFF 2/TAPE CUE master switch is set to TAPE CUE, the channel 1~4 EFF 2/TAPE CUE knobs now source the corresponding tape track; the channel 1 TAPE CUE knob sources tape track 1, knobs 2 through 4 source tracks 2 through 4 respectively. This gives you the capability to independently setup a cue or “monitor” mix of your tape tracks when overdubbing, and you can monitor this tape cue buss just like you could when the mode was set to EFF 2.

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