Akai MG1214 / MG1212 questions

Hi!

I'm about to buy an Akai MG1214 in excellent condition with the transport recently serviced. It comes with 9 blank tapes, so that'll hold me over for a while with re-taping etc...

I'm mostly experienced with the Tascam 388 routing etc, Tascam M50 secondarily. On my 388 (which lives on another continent), when I'm done with a recording I usually output via a RCA-to-1/4" snake to an old RME Fireface 800 and then mix digitally.

I'll want to do the same thing with my MG1214. I know that'll mean having to get a new interface with at least 12 inputs, probably 16. From reading this forum I am also wondering: is it even possible to bounce down to digital on the MG1214 like it is with the Tascam 388 line outputs? Does the MG1214 lack line outputs entirely (I know it lacks direct outs) for each track or what? What are my options for output, basically, or am I actually going to be stuck dumping stereo mixes from the MG1214?! And can the MG1214 time code track somehow can be used to sync two separate digitizations that normally wouldn't sync due to tape playback variability? If not, does anyone have recommendations for the cheapest-ever, barest-bones 16-track interface?

Lastly, when I test the machine is there anything I should watch out for in particular, common issues, etc? The seller is extremely knowledgeable about the machine and restored it himself as much because he thinks it's a cool piece of kit as because he wanted to make music on it.

A lot of questions, I know. I'd just love to rap with someone who knows about output / digitization stuff involving the MG1214.

Many thanks
 
P.S. OK, talking to a 1214 owner I have determined that each track does have an individual ACCESS out. So that's great. Questions now are:

#1 What is it like punching in on the 1214? On the Tascam 388 I consider it quite smooth. Yamaha MT8X leaves artifacts, Tascam 424 series is the absolute smoothest for punch-ins in my experience. Does punching in depend on the autolocator component or can you just... punch in anytime like on most multitrackers?
#2 Does anyone have recommendations for a cheap-as-possible I/O I can use to grab stems from the 1214?
#3 Anything else a hypothetically experienced person would want a new 1214 operator to know: issues, tips and tricks, signs to watch out for, etc...

I am considering getting a friend to install a Dolby killswitch for me. I don't like NR and never use it, although I have heard the NR on the 1214 is a lot better than the 388 Dolby for example.
 

Papanate

Active member
#1 What is it like punching in on the 1214? On the Tascam 388 I consider it quite smooth. Yamaha MT8X leaves artifacts, Tascam 424 series is the absolute smoothest for punch-ins in my experience.

Rough - it's not smooth at all.
Does punching in depend on the autolocator component or can you just... punch in anytime like on most multitrackers?
IRRC You can punch in anytime.


#2 Does anyone have recommendations for a cheap-as-possible I/O I can use to grab stems from the 1214?
Cabling? Just look for the most inexpensive you can fine

#3 Anything else a hypothetically experienced person would want a new 1214 operator to know: issues, tips and tricks, signs to watch out for, etc...
The transports are problematic - The tapes are a proprietary format cassette, hard to find and expensive when you find them -they don’t reveal the calibration specification in the owner/service manual: Most likely 250 nWb/m but don't know - User community support is nonexistent to really poor.
I am considering getting a friend to install a Dolby killswitch for me. I don't like NR and never use it, although I have heard the NR on the 1214 is a lot better than the 388 Dolby for example.
It doesn't have Dolby - it has DBX noise reduction.
 

niknik

New member
P.S. OK, talking to a 1214 owner I have determined that each track does have an individual ACCESS out. So that's great. Questions now are:

#1 What is it like punching in on the 1214? On the Tascam 388 I consider it quite smooth. Yamaha MT8X leaves artifacts, Tascam 424 series is the absolute smoothest for punch-ins in my experience. Does punching in depend on the autolocator component or can you just... punch in anytime like on most multitrackers?
#2 Does anyone have recommendations for a cheap-as-possible I/O I can use to grab stems from the 1214?
#3 Anything else a hypothetically experienced person would want a new 1214 operator to know: issues, tips and tricks, signs to watch out for, etc...

I am considering getting a friend to install a Dolby killswitch for me. I don't like NR and never use it, although I have heard the NR on the 1214 is a lot better than the 388 Dolby for example.
Punching in and out can be done manually at any point with no problems by arming the respective tracks on the fly. Very smooth and quiet operation.
You can output individual tracks in each channel strip via jack cables.
DBX works great on this recorder and keeps hiss at minimal levels. I would not suggest bypassing it.
Tape head calibration might be needed depending on how much the recorder has been used.
If needed I do have an original MTR test tape -1000 Hz - 0db along with a number of new and used original tapes for the recorder.
 

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