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

  1. #51
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    Yeah I advised the OP about how the ES-50 roughly monitors tape position in fast-wind using the tach pulses from the counter roller.

    But...hm...I think the way the OP wants to use the ES-50/ES-51 is like an AQ-65; as a transport remote and autolocator. Is that not possible with an ES-50? I know if you only have the slave machine connected it won’t complete the setup process properly and you end up with that slave machine going into runaway status if you put it into fast-wind. Can he use it that way if only a master machine is connected? Will it get through the setup process?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbeats View Post
    But...hm...I think the way the OP wants to use the ES-50/ES-51 is like an AQ-65; as a transport remote and autolocator. Is that not possible with an ES-50?
    You know...the more I think about it, even if you can use the 50/51 to remote control the transport and auto-locate...how do you then remotely arm tracks on the deck?
    You still need to be at the deck to do that. OK, maybe there's some half-value...you go to the deck, arm the track...then walk back to your remote and engage REC, but that might only be beneficial for doing lots of punch-ins on the same track. If you need to switch tracks, you're still at the deck.

    Did they ever make an actual remote for that deck?

    In my situation, I'm usually doing multiple takes. So if I'm like at my Hammond, I have the remote there, and I need to be able to arm a track, record a pass, arm the next track, record a pass...etc...etc...if I want the full benefit of a remote.

  3. #53
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    The RC-65 is the correct transport remote, and then there is a kit to relocate the arming panel from the transport to a cart with the RC-65.

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    Sweetbeats seems to have a lot of good advice- you need to follow what good people tell you and discard what people that spout junk say.
    I talk from a technical level that might be going over people heads but then that is what happens when you work on this stuff 12-14 hours a day but I know a lot of equipment well.
    Best regards,
    Skywave Tape Deck Repair, Chicago area

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    The tape deck will respond to the Es-50/51 transport functions without running setup- but no track arming. I did use the TC gen to Master TC in to test the ES-50/51 with one tape machine when I used to work on them many moons ago.

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  8. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSP View Post
    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.

    Attachment 105561

    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
    So, I wish I could listen to I high quality version of the full track. The clip is intriguing to say the least.

    I have a 14-track "portable" 1" IRIG format Ampex FR-1300 data machine on a shelf here at home. It actually works. Its a nice transport. IIRC the available tape speeds are 1 7/8, 3 3/4, 7 1/2, 15, 30 and 60ips. There's a zany spot in the corner of my mind to send the headblock assembly to JRF Magnetics and have John mount up a spare set of Ampex MM-1000 1" 8-track heads and scrape flutter idlers to the FR-1300 headblock and mate the transport with 8 AG-440B signal electronics modules I have here and sort of recreate the Ampex MM-800 that never went past the mock-up stage. It would take up a lot of rack space, but it would be more compact than the MM-1000. Its a silly idea, and yet I can't seems to bring myself to get rid of the FR-1300.

    [EDIT]

    Sorry for the hijack...

  9. #57
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    Sweetbeats,

    If you have the electronics knowledge, I would see what it would cost for the heads and give it a go.

    The deck that I used was also a data deck with the same basic speeds, but with the ability at the rear to change to the extra speeds.

    If you get the machine going, and with a bit of production imagination when recording (the sort of thing that people like George Martin had when recording some of the Beetles songs), you will amazed at the sounds that you can achieve (as in the song sample I posted), although in my case it was where I placed the Replay head that allowed most of the effects.

    AND, if using the various speeds (especially the slower ones) it VERY MUCH depends on the brilliance of the musician to be able to sync the playing to the beat of the slower speed, considering that a 1sec note at 15ips takes 2secs, at 7 1/2ips, etc and the new note when recorded at that slower speed, has to be positioned exactly or when played back at the 15ips initial recorded speed it will sound completely out of sync/time and even pitch/tuning if it picks up some harmonics of the original note. Why some of the stuff we did took hundreds of hours, but the end results were generally spectacular ---- and why we could often see the actual tracks engraved on the tape when finally finished and mixed.

    Unfortunately because of copyright restrictions (even though I have/own the original multi-track and stereo master tape/s), I would not be able to publish the entire song, even though the LP that it was part of, is now very much no longer available. That LP by the way, possibly took us well over 1000hrs total recording time (fortunately we were not paying for studio time !!!!!) and at the next year's Record Awards it was generally considered to be the top LP of the year, but because of political reasons (ie not from one of the big five record companies) the award was given to another LP that was released on one of those company's labels ----as was the case virtually every year !!!!!

    If ever you get the Ampex going, I will be most interested to know and hear any results, as well as trying to give you any recording (production) advice to get the various effects, because if you can, I doubt that any DAW today could produce the same sounds --- BUT I could be wrong as I don't use DAWs rather I use real desks and recorders !!!!!

    David
    Last edited by CSP; 2 Weeks Ago at 21:41.

  10. #58
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    OK - I finally have a time to play with ES50/51.

    1. When I power up ES-50 and hit record I can record SMPTE signal to tape. I set level -20dB on VU so now it is really quiet.
    2. When it is recorded I can see on the ES-51 display that timestamp is counting, when playback. So it works.
    3. When I hit CW/FF mode I also can see that timestamp is moving so it works. It is also counting when I try to unplug TC IN on ES-50 so in CW/FF mode information is really from CP pin.

    4. When I enter 4:00:00 on keyboard on ES-51 and press LOC button machine goes to that postition. So it works.

    So I think that ES-50/51 works but I still get error when I press SET-UP key. After few seconds machine goes into play mode and after 40s stops and SET-UP LED is blinking what indicate an error. After few seconds it starts rewind in FF mode for few secs and stops. SET UP LED goes off.

    Maybe I need to connect second slave device as someone here told me. That setp key works only with 2 machines.

  11. #59
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    I believe that’s correct. The setup procedure is for the synchronizer to learn the dynamic characteristics of both a master machine and a slave machine connected to the synchronizer. With only one connected it will error out of the setup procedure.

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