Tascam 424, volume question, overdubbing question


New member
After researching a lot and checking out random stores i decided that the best possible recording multitrack for my price range and needs was the tascam 424. i'm generally happy with my purchase but i'm having trouble with 2 things that i'm not sure about, and i'm not even sure they can be fixed or are problems at all..
1. when recording basically anything (beit vocals direct using the built in mic preamp, mic'd guitar amp, line in from a guitar amp, or just straight guitar) the volume always seems to be really low when i play back... i'm recording with the volume in the "shaded range" (7-8 on the fader) and using the trim control to get the sound to average around 0 without much going over 6... this isn't a major problem cause when i mix stuff down it'll turn out okay but still i was wondering plus its leading up to..
#2. i'm having problems with overdubbing. i can record the first track fine (say guitar) at a resonable volume and be fine but when i wanna do track 2 (say vocals) i have problems. when i'm in play/record mode the vocals that come in completely drown out the guitar that has been previously recorded. this causes a lot of trouble with keeping things in sync with each other. i tried tweaking volumes and all the combinations of knobs and dials that looked like it would possibly help but i'm stuck. maybe i'm just missing something obvious. please help.

I'm relieved to hear that someone is having a similar problem. I decided to get an MK3 because I had good experiences with an early 424 (not an mk).

I had the same overdubbing problems, getting a weak signal on my overdubs. I tried cleaning the heads--Man, do they get dirty FAST! The heads probably get dirty so fast because of the x2 speed setting. As far as I can tell now, the solution is to rehearse as much as you need to. Then, right before you do your dub, clean the heads! You should be able to get most of your signal. Hope this helps...

Interestingly, I never really had this problem with a my above-mentioned early 424. I wonder if the brand-new mk3 has a "burn-in" period. Good luck.
Hi Skweeks,

1) there is a difference of about 3db between the Source and the Tape levels. That is, if recording a signal that peaks at about +6 db while recording, upon playback you will find that the recorded signal peaks at about +3.

Solution: record hotter signals.

Predicatable signals like drum machines should peak at +6 very frequently. Less predictable signals like vocals and bass should peak at +6 only occaisonly or rarely.

2)monitor pre-recorded tracks using the TAPE CUE and record using the DIRECT function. Just set the tape cue knob a little higher (to 2 o'clock position or more) and set the master ine out fader a little lower. (the master fader has no effect on the Direct recording levels) If you sing or play loudly, maybe you don't even want to hear yourself through the phones will you over dubb. In that case set the Line Out switch to Off position. (the tape cues will still work)

The 424 is a well designed machine is it not?