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Thread: Tascam 488 MK 1 Question

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    Tascam 488 MK 1 Question

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    Just got this machine, didnt even think about the fact that theres only 2 trim pots for the input gain. When i went to record drums i plugged in 4 mics and selected the first four tracks. the first 2 tracks recorded the sound but the other 2 didnt.

    is there some way to record say, bass drum mic on track 1, snare on track 2, amd overhead onto track 3?

    thanks!

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    Hi there. For the Mk I you'll have to use an outboard mic preamp to input mics on inputs 3-8. If it was me I'd pic up a couple secondhand ART Tube MP units...they can be had for around $20 +S&H used, get the job done and I think sound good. They use a 5532 opamp for the mic pre...the have phantom power if you need that...anyway, good to have a couple kicking around in the toolbox.

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    I never knew that. Why would they make an 8-track with only two mic pres? Those ART mic pres are pretty good for the price. I bought one a while back and switched the tube and it was night and day difference. They're not true tube pres but they do utilize them.

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    Price point.

    You can only record 4 tracks at a time with the 488. So half of your inputs have mic pres when tracking, and the other two have line amps for keyboards, external pres, drum machine, whatever.

    It's all about price point. Actually a lot of analog and digital portastudios have functional limitations either on input types or simultaneous tracking capability or both. Yes I'd love it if my [insert make/model of equipement] did [everything] for $1, but that's just not the way it works.


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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbeats View Post
    If it was me I'd pic up a couple secondhand ART Tube MP units...they can be had for around $20 +S&H used.
    Damn! I got lucky. I had one I wasn't using and sold it for 50 bucks. I thought I was selling it cheap. Not needing one, I've never looked into the actual going rate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbeats View Post
    Yes I'd love it if my [insert make/model of equipement] did [everything] for $1, but that's just not the way it works.

    Yeah, that is true, but I don't think expecting 4 pres on an 8-track is unruly expectation. Putting only two trim pots on the first cassette Portastudio ever released was a bad move, and one they must've learned from considering the next generation of it had 4 (with phantom power on two if I remember correctly.) I bet they lost more money from the poor sales then if they'd just left it alone. I rarely saw these for sale when they were out but remember the 238, MKII and 688 being hyped like crazy. I remember always being frustrated with trying to record good sounding drums in the cassette days and wishing I had more tracks to be able to get stereo and then they release a machine capable of doing that but still throw a monkey wrench to anyone trying to record a full kit.

    Anyways, back to the OP's issue. Have you thought of maybe putting a mic on the kick and snare and then overdubbing any cymbal/room sounds? I've done that before and it came out good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Level Anything View Post
    Putting only two trim pots on the first cassette Portastudio ever released was a bad move...
    You mean the first 8-track cassette portastudio?

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    All those issues are why I elected to get the 238 and a mixer.

    But anyway, back to the op, sweetbeats' suggestion of getting external preamps is a good one.
    Or just use an external mixer to do a drum submix into the two channels.
    That way you have stereo drums taking up two tracks of tape, leaving 6 tracks left.

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    thanks for the replies. i think im going to save up and buy one of those tube mic pres and use it on the third channel. Bass drum track 1,closemic snare track 2, overhead track 3. Ill see what that sounds like. then maybe ill buy another of those mic pres and use it as another overhead on track 4. then bounce the overheads together.

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