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Thread: Tascam ATR 60 8 - Is it worth it? Help with functionality, please

  1. #21
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    Miroslav,

    I was simply giving an alternate suggestion and a possible solution to the proposer's problem/question, especially in relation to trying to purchase "good" quality tape (especially 1" that I think the Teac uses), whereas he should not have too much trouble purchasing the S-video tape.

    I do agree about the DAT machines, especially in relation to the tape itself.

    I also agree that today if I was purchasing new gear, I would be going in an entirely different direction, but the HD-24 gear and digital console that I currently have (and have had and used for possibly 15years) is still producing excellent results including at least one "Top 10" Billboard CD and was (would be) one hell of a lot cheaper than purchasing a 72 channel Protools (or similar) system.

    I should say that I also still have my "only one of its kind in the world" (I know because I built it), 8-track, 12 speed, 1" recorder, that needs three people to carry and my 1/4" TEAC 2-track, valve, recorder (that Teac/Tascam claim that they have never heard of although it has TEAC and a model/part number on every item in the unit) --- I use this machine as the master stereo recorder when recording on the 8-track and want to keep everything in the analogue domain (I use a old Behringer 24/8/2 console when doing these recordings).

    I have been fortunate in that I have never used 456 type tape, but only ever used EMI tape and about the time I purchased the HD-24 units, I also purchased about 200 of the EMI tapes (both 1" and 1/4") and things recorded on them in the 1960's are still as good as if recorded yesterday --- absolutely no shedding or any of the other problems that have been experienced over the years with tape failing and definitely not one recording has been ruined because of tape failure. On many of the 1" tapes because of the number of head passes, during the recording and mixing processes, you can actually see the individual tracks.

    The 8-track recorder works perfectly until its "piles" start playing up and need to be operated on --- but that's a story for another time !!!!!!!

    David
    Last edited by CSP; 1 Week Ago at 20:51.

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    I wasn't trying to dump on your choice of recording format...just saying that IF we are going to suggest a digital format to the OP (he wants analog), there are much better options these days than ADAT. That's not meant as a putdown...just simple fact. Digital recording has evolved well beyond ADAT.

    I think you were just making the "tape connection" for the OP...like if he wants tape recording, better off with ADAT tape...but I don't think that would fulfill someone's analog tape desires just because it's another form of tape recording...but who knows, maybe ADAT might interest the OP, I just don't think it would too many people these days unless they already had a working system.

  3. #23
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    @CSP I know you weren’t intending on starting a friendly debate over the efficacy of the ADAT format in these present times, but it seems to me the ADAT transports, or maybe rotary head tape tranports seem to have something of a more limited lifespan...more complex tape handling/loading-unloading mechanism, etc. I think that’s why I personally steer away from them. They don’t seem like a solid solution if the concern is around reliability. I’m not meaning to discredit the format, but simply highlight that, at this point in time, I think it’s more rare to find a working ADAT that, unless refurbished, will give the user a long relatively trouble-free life. My 2p.

    I’m curious about your custom 1” 8-track machine. Do you have any pics you can post? Did you build it from the ground up? What type of tape path? What did you use for heads? Amplifiers? And what are the 12 speeds? I know the Ampex FR-1300 1” 14-track data transport I have has 6 speeds, (1 7/8ips on up to 60ips), so I’m trying to wrap my head around what other speeds at which it can operate.

    Sorry to hijack. Maybe start a new thread?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CSP View Post
    Maros,

    I have not read the entire thread, but if you can return the Teac, and if you can find a unit in GOOD condition, can I suggest that you have a look at the Alesis 8-track ADAT recorder.
    As an ADAT and analogue tape machine owner I would completely disagree with this. ADAT's work more slowly than analogue machines and kill the flow of a session. The convertors in them are also not great - yes they may be better than analogue on paper but they have a particular sound that many don't like. Any ADAT machine you buy now will be around 20 years old or more and likely to need maintenance which is harder to perform than similar maintenance on an analogue machine.

    The ADAT's win on tape costs (if you can find the right tapes) but that's about all that I can think of.

    If you are thinking about this sort of thing logically then the only sensible option is to use a computer these days - but there's something about working with a good analogue machine that can be more inspiring than a computer.
    JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration
    http://www.jrpmusic.co.uk

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  6. #25
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    Sweetbeats and all others,

    I take no offense at the ADAT comments, I was only giving a possible suggestion as an alternative and as I think I stated, I saw an HD24 unit on ebay and would consider this a much better option than the ADAT units even though it is not analogue, but it does avoid all the problems with finding and buying tape and also gives 24 tracks rather than the eight of either the ADAT machines or the Teac unit.

    Sweetbeats, sorry for not responding sooner but I have been flat chat over the past few days. I wont bother to start a new thread because I can start and close it with this (LONG !!!) communication.

    Re you request for info on the 8-track recorder, I have included at the end of this reply a photo (not a very good one !!!!) of the unit.

    To answer your questions

    The deck (an EMI Data Deck) was initially purchased by the local racing authority (about 1965) for their data logging, but between the time it had been ordered and delivered it had apparently been decided to go in a different direction. I happened to be in the Chief Engineer's office (on an unrelated matter) and saw the cardboard box containing the deck sitting in a corner. I asked what it was, what is was going to be used for, etc and was told that it was going to be dumped. I asked if I could have it and the rest is history.

    I was responsible for building all of the electronics --- uses a most innovative circuit design --- I was very good at this type of design !!!!!

    You will notice that the unit has no Vu meters, this is because at the same time a new console was also designed and built for a new studio I was constructing and as the recorder was going to be used exclusively with that console, it was decided (to save some money !!!) that the output stage of the console would be the input stage of the recorder, hence the console's meters were the recorder's meters as well.

    For the heads I used what was, at the time possibly the most popular multi-track recorder brand's heads, those being Scully. The heads were placed such that the erase and record heads were mounted on a block (situated just above the bottom spool in the photo) and because of space limitations the playback head was placed almost directly above this block (just under where the top spool would be).

    The result of this unusual head spacing, was that the distance from the record head, past the silver tipped roller (on the LHS) to the playback head was exactly 15 inches (this became most important later when the machine was put into use, but was not planned in the design stage), because at 15ips (the then standard professional recording speed) the time taken for the tape to travel between the record head and playback head was exactly 15 inches or exactly 1 second (or multiples or divides of that at the other speeds).

    The actual speeds available in ips were -- 15/16th, 1 7/8th, 3 3/4, 7 1/2, 15, 30, 60, 120 (front switchable) and 11 1/4, 22 1/2, 45, 90 (selected from the rear of the recorder).

    With all of these speeds coupled with the distance between the record and playback heads, the echo effects possible were amazing and resulted in effects that no other studio in the world (to the best of my knowledge) could achieve --- and effects that I doubt could be achieved today with most/any DAWs.

    So consider the effect of (say) a guitar that had been recorded at 15ips which was then played back at (say) 7 1/2ips and an then a second guitar track then being recorded at this (say) 7 1/2 ips speed, while also looping the playback head of this second guitar track back into the new recorded track as it was being recorded.

    Now the original guitar track would be heard at half speed and also an octave lower, so that when this overdub tack was being recorded while listening to the original track, it would now be possible for the guitarist to play twice the number of notes per bar. ALTHOUGH it was essential that the second guitar track was played in PERFECT sync with the original --- something that became VERY difficult and requiring only the best of guitarists (musicians), when the replay speed of the original 15ips track was played back and re-recorded at even lower speed.

    Now when the recorder was returned to its normal 15ips speed, the 7 1/2ips overdubbed guitar would now be heard at an octave higher (more like a mandolin or similar) and the notes played at twice the speed. Add to this any looped echo that might have been recorded during this overdubbed recording and you can imagine quite an amazing sound would be heard.

    Conversely if the original 15ips recording was played back at (say) 30ips and another guitar track was recorded at this speed (damn hard to get right !!!) when played back at 15ips it would be an octave lower in pitch and the sound quite drawn out, now also consider any loopng that might have been applied.

    We used this effect mainly on guitars but also used it (with amazing sounds being produced) on flute and strings.

    We were lucky to find a group of musicians who could actually handle all of this because what ever was being recorded by them was being heard through their headphones (echos and all). Most musicians (even the most highly sought after studio musicians) could not handle the recording method.

    To give you an idea of what the recorder could do I have included a short snippet of a song (full song won a number of awards) that consisted of piano, 12string acoustic, 6 string electric and vocal and used all 12 speeds, with everything you hear being recorded as each track was being recorded --- there were absolutely no external or post recording effects used, everything was done within the recorder at the time of recording the individual track. The entire recording from memory took about 30+ hours to put down and consisted of the artist playing the instruments and singing with myself at the console making/recording all the sounds/effects --- 90+% of the sound was pure experimentation.

    After the recording of the individual tracks (including a couple of track bounces to give us more tracks) all that had to be done was the actual mixing of the tracks to the stereo master.

    I have "hopefully" uploaded a short segment of this track at the link below.

    JJF by CSP | Free Listening on SoundCloud

    Sorry if it doesn't work but I have tried about ten times and get an error message each time, so I have no idea how to upload it ----- bummer !!!

    I have also included below the rather bad photo I took a few years ago of the 8-track recorder. The photo shows the unit with the head cover removed.

    A coupler of things I did not mention was that there are two pinch rollers on either side of the capstan spindle (you can see one at about a 60deg angle just above the writing on the spool) and for tape tension there is a complicated system of two moving tension arms that unlike the tension arms on normal recorders always apply the exact correct voltage and therefore tension to the spools up to the point that the very last piece of tape passes over the capstan spindle --- providing that the recorder's piles don't play up !!!!!!!!!!!

    You will also possibly note that the recorder can accommodate up to 14inch spools, although we only ever used 10 inch, so that a recorded tape could be taken by a client to another studio for extra recording if required.

    copperfield-8-track-jpg

    You will also notice the glass door on the unit, this door is rubber sealed and inside there is a small pipe that by a clever blowing system (caused by the capstan motors cooling fans) causes a slight pressure build up and thus stops any dust from entering the tape area and possibly scratching the heads or falling onto the tape and thus damaging the tape (or heads) as the tape passes over the various components along the tape path.

    Hope all the above answers your various questions.

    David
    Last edited by CSP; 6 Days Ago at 03:18.

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  8. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkrbee View Post
    If you have the "Master" cable, it means you can use the ATR as a Master- but without a slave it would be mostly useless. If you are trying to get a computer to chase the ATR, you don't need the ES-50. except to generate TC You would stripe Ch8 with code and send it to your computer. This is called a "Code only master". Putting the ATR in play will have the computer chase it The Es-50/51 can be used as a transport remote, because the ES 50 will send transport commands through the Master cable to the ATR
    ADATs- are yesterday's news along with the Tascam DA series machines. Not many techs. still work on them and not much in the way of parts are still available.I t sounds like the OP wants Analog tape-not digital.FWTW I have new ATR 60-8 heads up on Ebay now.
    Sorry guys. Sorry, for my late response. I had lot work to do, but..

    I bought the machine because everything works - except one thing. I cound not try ATR / ES50-51 connection because the master cable was wrong - it had ACCESSORY connector and some cannon 9pin connector. So I use this ACCESSORY connector, bought tuning fork pins to enclosure and bought CENTRONICS 24pin connector.

    Right now I am doing MASTER cable and I am confused. TACH+- I think should be wired to FF and HH pins on ACCESSORY connector. But what about DIRECTION+-? There is nothing similar on ACCESSORRY connector?

    What about LIFTER CONT pin? When Using ES-50/51 module? I think that ES-50 MUST reads SMPTE code in rewind mode too? So LIFTER CONT should be low all time? But in this case in rewind modes I will excessively use heads

    82391298_2338732579751002_7039955279412199424_n-jpg83223064_587165611832407_7127939123284803584_n-jpg82510286_177276116980353_4827955883981930496_n-1-jpg

  9. #27
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    I'd be a little surprised if it needed to read the timecode in rewind mode. Most decks can't even do that because they need a wideband amplifer for the timecode channel, which AFAIK is usually an optional extra even on high-end decks. It should be happy with just a tach pulse from the rollers.
    That said, I can't see a tach signal coming out of the deck, just the motor frequency - and that appears to be centred on 600Hz rather than the more normal 9600Hz servo timebase.

    I've lost track of exactly what you're trying to do with this, but I think you're going to have trouble wiring this up as the master since the protocols appear to be incompatible. Could you run it as the slave instead?

  10. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpmorris View Post
    I'd be a little surprised if it needed to read the timecode in rewind mode. Most decks can't even do that because they need a wideband amplifer for the timecode channel, which AFAIK is usually an optional extra even on high-end decks. It should be happy with just a tach pulse from the rollers.
    That said, I can't see a tach signal coming out of the deck, just the motor frequency - and that appears to be centred on 600Hz rather than the more normal 9600Hz servo timebase.

    I've lost track of exactly what you're trying to do with this, but I think you're going to have trouble wiring this up as the master since the protocols appear to be incompatible. Could you run it as the slave instead?
    I have ES-50/51 module and I would like to use it with my Tascam ATR machine. I mean use it like remote control, autopunch, or maybe later with second tape machine in the future. For now, I want only to control tape machine (play, stop, rewind, rec, autopunch).

    Thank you for information about lifter. So I left this pin untouched.

  11. #29
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    OK - I think that DIRECTION+- signal is Up/Down signal or K pin on Accessory connector. Direction information is on Q output of U3 flip-flop. This information goes to U/D signal on remote board and to ACCESSORY connector. So DIRECTION+ will be U/D signal and DIRECTION- will be ground. In a ES-50 is optocoupler driven by this signal.

    Maybe.


    82693298_512906969344573_4250349109849882624_n-jpg
    82693289_118958296031877_718602746504151040_n-jpg
    83097516_584314855753783_8489311737412059136_n-jpg

  12. #30
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    My wiring:
    82510286_177276116980353_4827955883981930496_n-1-jpg

    and I tried this:

    Tally supply -> SS
    TACHO+ -> FF
    TACHO- -> HH
    DIR+ -> K
    DIR- -> RR


    Results:

    1. After first power on I could control ATR transport commands via ES-50/51 module, except REC function. When I pressed REC and after that PLAY nothing happened. REC button is good because if not, ATR would entered PLAY mode.

    2. If I press on the ES-50 module SET UP button and ATR enters PLAY mode. LED on SET UP button is ON. After some time LED start blinking (user manual says it is error). When I wait a few second ATR drop into FF mode, stops, and after few seconds LED on SET UP button is OFF. ON ES-51 module are blinking two leds 25 and 30 code status and ERROR led is ON. No blinking.

    3. I also made connection via XLR cables from GEN OUT to TRACK 8 Input and from TRACK 8 output to TC IN on ES-50 module. I tried SET-UP sequence again. Similar situation. Then I tried to hit REC button on ATR and VU meter on TRACK 8 went into red like if GEN OUT signal is too strong... so something was recorded on a tape! I can see timecode moving on ES-51 display. When I rewind timecode is still there.


    So there is some functionality but... do you have any experience? Maybe some ES-50 calibration? I really do not know why is GEN OUT signal so loud that it overdrives my 8. track

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