bouncing tracks


New member
Greetings and computations, y'all!
i've been a musician since 78', and now i'm
finally going to record my own songs. so i got a tascam 244 and i've farted around a bit
with the 4 tracks available. Then, on this page, (which is just sooo cool!) I read a
bunch of "bouncing tracks" stuff. My question to any one out there is "HOW DO YOU
BOUNCE TRACKS?" My 244 manual has a section
on it, but I've read it over and over and over again, and I just don't get it! I don't see how it is possible with only ONE tape in the transport. I know there are 4 inputs, and I can use all 4 per track, but when you
"BOUNCE TRACKS", where do they go? So please
could someone help me? How do you bounce tracks? (Oh, and by the way, I can still hear you snickering). Thank you ever so much,
Trying to bounce in Victoria.
Piece o' cake, Jake...

You have 4 tracks, yes? But you want to stuff more and more music on them, as if you had 6 or 8 tracks...trying to get something for nothing! :) Well, it is possible, but as with all compromises you're going to give something up, and in this case it's a bit of fidelity.

So: you record drums on one track and bass on another and rhythm guitar on a third (or something). Then you take those three tracks and simply (or not, depending on your individual machine...some are almost impossible to figure out even WITH the manual) mix them down to the last available track.

It helps if you understand what you're trying to do, even with the manual :)

And this is done internally, with whatever controls your 244 has for that purpose (warning: don't ask me how to do it on YOUR machine, I've never even seen one!), not with the inputs, generally.

There are other tricks you can play, like bouncing to an external VCR or computer and then running them back into the 4-track, but I'm mentioning them only for the future. First learn how to bounce, then get fancy.

Oh, yes, in case it wasn't obvious, once you have your rhythm section on the 4th track just the way you like it, you can record the vocals, maracas, and all-important lead guitar over the original first 3 tracks.
It also may be worth noting that while you are bouncing tracks 1, 2 & 3 to track 4, you could record another track live and mix it in with the bounce.

It can be a bit tricky to get the respective levels correct on the first attempt, but it's a good trick to know.

Ugh. I cringe at the thought of ping ponging tracks. Be sure to make backup tapes before you record over the original tracks.

Another thing you might want to consider... and just consider it... is that you can use that 4-track as a mixer into your computer. Suddenly your mixes go from "eh" to "aaaahhh!". No more worrying about getting bounces to sound more worrying about tape more worrying about track free effects!

The day I heard about multitracking software was the best damn day of my life... musically. :)

Slackmaster 2000
Thank you so much, Dragon, Absolutely, and Slackmaster 2K. for your replies and info. I should be called "mentaldroid" because I STILL can't figure out how to bounce tracks. Here's the best I can do. TRK 1 drums, TRK 2 bass, TRK 3 Guitar, TRK 4 shut the lights off and hide under the bed.(First shut amp off.) How do you get T1, T2, T3, onto TRACK 4? I'm going crazy trying to figure it out. Here's my other theory: T1 bass, T2 drums, T3 guitar, T4 2nd guitar. Then, go to T1, and overdub piano so T1 will have bass and piano. Then go to T2 and overdub washbasin, so T2 will have drums and washbasin. Then go to T3 and overdub coffee cup so T3 will have guitar and coffee cup, and finally go to T4 and overdub vocals , so T4 will have guitar and vocals, and voila! eet eez ze mazterpeez yez/no? Vee onlee hef to meex eet down and zen vee ken leef ze contree, end nevair to be return. Help! How do you bounce tracks?
How do you put T1, T2, T3 onto T4 ? Can you see that I'm losing it? Thanx again, metaldroid

[This message has been edited by metaldroid (edited 12-11-1999).]
Wow, you really are confused :)

First of all, do not try to record a second instrument onto an existing track. That makes no sense and you will lose all the original music on that track.

Your first theory is correct. You record onto LESS THAN 4 tracks and then you bounce whichever tracks onto an empty track.

The concept is simple man. Your 4-track can playback and record at the same time, right? You listen to music while you record, right? If it can play music from whichever tracks you want it to, then why can't it record onto an empty track what it's playing? It can! This is called "bouncing" or "ping ponging" tracks. After you've bounced the tracks, the original tracks will remain, and a combination of the tracks will exist on what was an empty track. You can now record over the original tracks.

Don't think of this as being something special or strange. There won't be a magic button on your 4-track to do this automatically...and this will eventually just be a common sense thing to you. Read your manual and reread your manual. On my Fostex I simply set my (say) existing three tracks to their appropriate output levels, then I turn the little knob on the 4th track the opposite direction to some level of "Input". Therefore the first three tracks are "outputting" music while the 4th track is "inputting" that music when you hit the record button.

It will not work the same way on your machine. I'm sorry to RTFM ya but the manual is really your best bet. I'm guessing there's an example in there. Follow it to the letter...don't worry about what you're recording, just get the feel for how to do this. If your manually is really that bad, ask in the Tascam group. Also, I was recently on tascam's website and you can download full manuals for all of their machines online.

Slackmaster 2000
Now that you can bounce, here's another idea. Mix all four tracks out to another device like Dragon said, a Hi Fi VCR or computer or even a cassette deck. Then don't erase the first master tape with original 4 tracks, but use another fresh tape to transfer your mix plus other Instruments. This way If you want to re-mix the original 4 tracks later you still can.

Dom Franco
Ok now I'm confused.
I've been on this site for 2 days now and it is great! thank you all

I read about bouncing tracks and i thought you had to rig a special cable! Sheesh! My machine is a Yamaha MT-120 and it has four inputs and four rca outputs.So i rigged a cable from 1-3 into 4 input. I tried to record on the machine without using a cable and got nothing. each track has a 3 position switch -tape
so I put 1-3 on tape and 4 on mic line? It didn't work no sound on 4. Is it better to output to my Mackie for boosting the levels and then running back to track 4?
Also there is no Yamaha forum (probably because they suck) so a reply would be greatly appreciated!
There should be a way to transfer to track 4 without using an outside cable? But If not you might as well run the 3 tracks out to a mixer and then back to input #4. This way you can take advantage of the EQ section and effects sends for the tracks. (The mixer in the recorder is probably limited) and your external board will most likely have better EQ, etc....

Dom Franco
Thanks, I worked with it all day today and found out how to bounce! (had to use pan knobs) Anyway I found the extra eq helped out when needed, when not the Mackie can be quite transparent.