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Thread: Fostex 260 Tape Recording Question

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    Fostex 260 Tape Recording Question

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    Hey all, I recently purchased a Fostex 260 4 track cassette recorder and had a few questions. I am mostly used to using Logic Pro and am new to recording to tape. First of all, how do you mix with a cassette recorder and can you alter the original level of the recorded instrument track after recording it to the tape? I was recommended to use Type II cassettes but how do I use 60 min tapes to record multiple songs? Do I fast forward past the first track? After mixing the song to my liking, do I have to rerecord the mixed song to the cassette? Apologizes if this seems obvious, I am a complete beginner to tape recording and hope to learn more about analog recording. Please respond if my questions don't make sense haha.

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    I believe pushing the button that says Input/Track 1 (2, 3, 4) switches the channel from recording to mixdown. Then you can use the fader, pan pot and eq controls.

    Yes, you have to cue the tape up to the beginning of the unused part to record another song. If the recorder is a double speed machine (likely) then you'll get about 15 minutes total from a 60 minute tape. On a four track cassette there is only one "side" so don't flip it over.

    To save your mix you need a mixdown deck. That could be a stereo cassette deck, a DAT deck etc. But I would consider mixing into your computer. Record the stereo output of the four track deck into an interface just like any other stereo source.

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    Why on Earth would you bother to record with outmoded equipment in the first place? Sure, it's analog, but so what? If you want to do some serious analog, you would a pile of money and some serious know how. There is no upside to using old tape decks to record with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimOD View Post
    Why on Earth would you bother to record with outmoded equipment in the first place? Sure, it's analog, but so what? If you want to do some serious analog, you would a pile of money and some serious know how. There is no upside to using old tape decks to record with.
    A touch harsh for the Newb section methinks Tim? I do though agree with you to a great extent, such a deck has all the things we were frustrated by with tape. Poor audio performance, fiddly operation and 15 minute window will drive most folks up the wall!

    I assume Ethan, you are after some "analogue tape vibe"? Highly debatable whether that deck can do that but in any case you would, IMHO, be far better off (and stay saner!) to build your songs in the PC and when you have a finished pair of tracks, run those in and out of the tape machine. Other advantages of that process are that you can run the tracks at different levels, i.e. hi the tape harder or softer, to possibly get the effect you seek plus you always have a master track, virgo int!

    Dave.

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    Yeah, it was a little harsh, but he's trying make gold out of tin--it simply isn't going to work. I think he would be better off using computers and all of those new analogue emulation plugins from the likes of Acoustica, Slate, etc. Especially Acoustica.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimOD View Post
    Yeah, it was a little harsh, but he's trying make gold out of tin--it simply isn't going to work. I think he would be better off using computers and all of those new analogue emulation plugins from the likes of Acoustica, Slate, etc. Especially Acoustica.
    I agree, all cool Tim.

    Dave.

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    When the old boomers talk about the "warmth of analog", they're not talking about cassettes. Don't waste your time.

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