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Thread: Tascam ES-50, ES-51

  1. #31
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  2. #32
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    Thank you so much. Looks to be exactly what I need.

    I was laying in bed last night with the manual thinking about how the ES-50 could work in my situation. I've already purchased the ES-50 / ES-51 and may not be able to return them, so I'm invested in these lovely ladies.

    I'd like to record multitrack on my 388 -> dump to DAW -> record another bunch of tracks on the 388 -> dump to DAW with the 388 chasing the DAW's clock -> repeat.
    @sweetbeats : do you think the following would work? (until I get a proper Timeline Micro Lynx):

    1. Record 8 tracks on the 388 normally
    2. Dump to DAW with no syncing - just straight dump
    3. Create/import a SMPTE track into a new track in the DAW (this can be a 50-minute SMPTE audio file that can be reused in all projects of this kind - maybe even as part of a template so it gets auto-imported in)
    4. On a new tape, stripe SMPTE on track 8 across the whole tape (I suppose you could do this to all your tapes ahead of time so this is already done)
    5. Create a new mono mix track in the DAW
    6. Go to the beginning of the tape and the beginning of the DAW session and get the 388 to chase the SMPTE in the DAW using the ES-50 and record the mono mix, in sync, on track 1
    7. Record new performances to tape on tracks 2-7 (no DAW involved here, just musicians tracking over the mono mix on the tape)
    8. Once the new tracking is finished on the tape, go to the beginning of the tape and the beginning of the DAW session and get the 388 to chase the SMPTE in the DAW using the ES-50
    9. Dump all new 388 tracks to DAW in one pass (on separate DAW tracks) from beginning to end with no timeline jumping on the DAW timeline
    10. Repeat steps 5-9

    This would probably be my workflow anyway. I would like to be on the 388 the majority of the time I'm tracking. Once the tracks are in the DAW and tracking is over, though, I can do analog or digital mixing. I can also reuse all the tapes for future sessions.

    It's not the super-cool full-sync solution I was imagining, but it should let me dump new tracks recorded on the 388 to chase-sync to the DAW clock.

    I haven't gotten the 388/SMPTE sync cable made yet so I don't know if any of this will work. Still need to test.

    Can I ask: do you think this workflow would work? Also, when does the syncing go crazy? When you move the DAW timeline and hit play too far forward or back? How far is too far? Are there any tricks to getting the most usable response?

    Thanks again for all your help!!

  3. #33
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    So, your post hurts my brain a little.

    Why are you dumping a mono mix back to the 388? Normally what would happen if you’re doing the whole track and dump, track and dump thing is you fill your tracks, dump them over to the DAW, then setup a cue mix straight from the DAW and the talent monitors that while filling the next batch of tracks on the tape machine...rinse and repeat. By doing it the way you are outlining, you are (I think...this is where the brain starts to hurt), introducing compound opportunities for mechanical drift error. If the tape machine is synchronized to the DAW, like, you record your timecode on a DAW track and a tape track at the same time, then the tape machine is always going to lock to that same reference...the audio on the tape will always be in sync with the audio in the DAW as you transfer tracks over.

    And I think you can probably get by with the ES-50, it’s just going to be somewhat inconvenient because you will always have to find some way to maintain timecode signal from the 388 to the ES-50. If the ES-50 handles and communicates with the 388 the same way it did with my 58, you’ll have the same issue. As soon as you jump the timeline in the DAW even a small amount, the ES-50 goes “oop the master machine is in fast-wind!”, and then it is looking for tach pulses from the master, but the DAW can’t provide those signals. So it tells the slave machine to just go hunting. I can’t recall how deep I got into experimenting. You probably saw this video already, but maybe this will help you fill in the blanks on the situation and maybe even how you would handle it:



    I think I would setup a locate points in the DAW as needed, definitely at the beginning of the song, and at punch points if necessary, and then always setup the same points on the ES-51 so I could at least manually jump the slave transport to those timeline points, but what I don’t know is, since I didn’t get to the point of using the ES-50/51 as an autolocator, I don’t know if it’s still going to make the slave transport go into a runaway state since it’s in a sync relationship...like you can use the ES-50/51 as an autolocator for a single tape machine, but I think that’s for the machine that is the master machine. I don’t know if that works for the slave machine. And the 388 doesn’t have a library wind function or scrubbing ability, so you’re going to have to experiment with how you help the ES-50 stay in touch with the timecode when it’s putting the tape machine into fast wind. And that’s likely to inflict increased wear and tear on the unobtanium headstack of your 388. Ultimately if, in your workflow, you are always going back to the beginning of the song, you likely can record your tracks, when you get to the stopping point hit STOP on the DAW and the 388 will stop, you RTZ the DAW to the beginning of your song, and you have the beginning of the song as 00:00 on the 388 so you can RTZ that, and then the position of the timecode on the 388 and on the DAW will hopefully be close enough so that when you press PLAY on the DAW the 388 doesn’t runaway.

    I think the TimeLine Micro Lynx must work in this situation where the ES-50 does not, because maybe it monitors tach pulses on the slave machine to locate the slave machine rather than listening for tach pulses from the master. That’s just an hypothesis. I’d have to do some reading to get an idea if I’m right. All I know is it works. I think you’ve seen the video of the BR-20 I had chase-locking to Cubase...I stopped the transports, clicked way ahead on the Cubase timeline and pressed PLAY and the Micro Lynx put the BR-20 into FFWD and raced it ahead as quickly as it could, and then it knew via tach pulse it was getting close, slowed the transport down, and then when it knew it was even closer it slowed the transport down even further and dropped the lifters to monitor timecode, sweep-sweep-sweep and then quickly into PLAY mode and was locked and resolved to the DAW within a couple seconds. *boom*. And all this occurred while Cubase was rolling. The ES-50 is not capable of providing that control. Again, not bashing the ES-50. It is a nice piece of hardware. But when it was designed and built there was no concept of a master machine with no tach pulse...the sync world that synchronizer was made in was full of tape machines...MIDI was just rising up and finding its place I believe. The Micro Lynx incorporates MIDI. That’s why it accommodates a DAW as a member of the sync array. You don’t even stripe a track in the DAW with timecode, but rather output MTC via a MIDI interface, and connect a MIDI cable to the Micro Lynx system unit.

  4. #34
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    I have nothing to add in your quest for a solution.. but I do love your videos.

    In the video you pan up a rack on the right hand side and I can see what looks like a pair of Tascam PE-40s. and then three U of..something. What else lives in that rack?

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  6. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by sr71rules View Post
    I have nothing to add in your quest for a solution.. but I do love your videos.

    In the video you pan up a rack on the right hand side and I can see what looks like a pair of Tascam PE-40s. and then three U of..something. What else lives in that rack?
    I had to look...that video is from over 12 years ago I think...its funny...almost nearly everything in that video I no longer have. But the units above the PE-40s are three ART TCS dual compressors..."TCS" for Twin Compressor System:

    ART TCS

    Its a budget unit...I haven't actually used them a lot, but that's mainly due to not using a lot of my stuff a lot...life takes priority...anyway, they're pretty neat for what they are...I don't find a lot about them good or bad, and I don't see them for sale very much...not sure if that's because they weren't around that long or if people actually hold onto them? But they are pretty versatile. I think what I actually liked mine for the most was as a bass DI and inline dynamics processor. And I seem to recall getting the schematics from ART at one point and after looking at them think "hm...this is actually pretty neat." I've found ART has made some stuff over the years with some surprising inclusions in the design for the money. I have an old Tube MP OPL single channel mic/instrument preamp that has been one of the handiest little pieces of gear I have...a real problem-solver and sounds nice too. I guess there are mods out there for them.

    Anyway, I still actually have those three TCS units around here somewhere...I think I intended on selling a couple off at some point since I haven't found the need to have that many and have two Ashly CL52E compressors that work better for my application. But that's what those are in the rack. And then above that in the top of the rack I *think* is an old BBE 462...that was my FIRST piece of rack-mount gear. I also don't use that very much, but it is in mint condition, and I've used it for certain things here and there over the years...they aren't worth much...I opened it up once and its nicely built, was made before surface-mount construction took over, and has proprietary chips in it...so it stays...

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