Tascam DP-008EX.


My violins seem so far out of reach; I'm rushing around this morning painting the bench parts and have just knocked off for a mug of tea having just applied the second coat of gloss paint to the wooden slats; I hope to give the bench ends a first coat of gloss before dinnertime; after dinner I'll cut the grass then I think I'm free for the rest of the day so I'll play with the new monitors and I'm keen to try the new gold rosin out.

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First top coat of gloss applied yesterday; this morning I've just applied the second coat of gloss so these are now sorted; next job is to paint the bench ends. I always have time for jobs needing doing but little time for things I'd like to do. I used a 2" paint roller to paint these but it was still time consuming. Got to go I'm busy again.

Kind regards, Colin.

I'm still struggling for studio time but I've had a chance to play with the new monitors. A selection of cables were supplied with the monitors but only one mono 5m cable I could use to connect the amplified monitor to the Tascam with; the Tascam has two outputs so I've ordered more cables then I can fully connect them. I'm delighted though so far just playing through a single monitor and I'm keen to learn what difference it will make once the new cables arrive.

I had problems and really struggled whilst trying to use the Laney guitar amp ending up thinking it wasn't suitable to connect to the Tascam because although I did get it to play by connecting the Tascam to the guitar input on the amp when I tried to increase volume it started shrieking very loudly and the volume control on the amp did nothing at all; connecting the new monitor up the problem remained and now it was obvious my ignorance was at fault and not my kit; the only reference to "Volume" I could find on the Tascam was at the back but now I know this relates to phones. Something wasn't right so I started playing around with the Tascam front panel controls and suddenly everything fell into place; I could play back at high volume and the volume control also worked on the mintor so at last I was happy. Out of interest I then connected the Laney amp and now this too works perfectly with AUX connected; I shouldn't be let loose on all this equipment without adult supervision; everything takes so much time especially when I'm forever busy trying to keep up with the bungalow and gardens maintenance.

I was out very early this morning doing exterior painting in what is forecast a breeze when in fact I should have nailed my cap on; I've just come indoors for a mug of tea and to get warm; it's perishing cold working in the wind on our exposed valley side. Yesterday I was doing more painting including 50' length of handrails (Mopstick); hedges needed trimming grass needed cutting and weeding too; there aren't enough hours in a day and having worked so hard I find it a struggle trying to play my violins whilst my fingers are stiff and my arms ache; at 74 and fully retired I'm running flat out just to stand still. The bench parts are fully painted and when the stainless steel screws arrive I can reassemble it; I've sealant to replace to exterior frames because our bungalow front is exposed to extremes of weather; it never lets up; I hope I'm not moaning but it's just the way my life is every day.

I gently used meths to clean the bow hair and violin strings then I applied the new Pirastro Gold Rosin; I immediately noticed a lot of difference; this new Gold seems to grab the strings better and playing back through the new monitor my playing even sounds better which pleases me no end; I'm working like mad to get on top of all the jobs around home in order to get some quality studio time.

I used a 2" foam roller to apply paint to the bench slats but had to use a brush to apply paint to the fancy heavy cast iron bench ends so now the bench is fully painted; the handrails are painted and I've been painting to the bungalow front this morning; I'm definitely spending some time in the studio later today whatever is thrown at me; here's a couple more pictures just for interest.

Handrail rubbed down and spot primed.

Handrail fully gloss painted; another job ticked off. This handrail is one of two I painted the other is to our rear garden.

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Garden bench ends now fully gloss painted ready for final assembly then I can also tick this job off.


Why do I bother; it's now pouring with rain; here is named West Yorkshire when in fact it should be more correctly named WET Yorkshire; every time I do exterior painting it rains. If I tried to shoot myself I'd miss. Yes trhis is a moan.

Kind regards, Colin.
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Many thanks TalismanRich; normally I'd fully agree with you but why is mother nature so bountiful with her rain every time I want to do exterior painting; normal exterior maintenance like recently felling 15 very tall trees I could wrap up against the snow; hail; rain and high wind and suffer the climate but the last brushful of paint is the trigger; GRRRRR it really annoys me; the sun is now shining I'm indoors but I've just been out in the wind trimming honeysuckle to the bungalow front and it's been unpleasant being buffetted by the wind but this is a job ticked off for a few days.

Good idea though to fire up the Tascam and this is what I've been doing this afternoon; the new Rode NT1-A microphone arrived and I've tried connecting it to the Tascam but so far no sound from it so another learning curve; the mic is easy to connect to the Tascam using the long heavy cable supplied but it's sorting the Tascam settings out I'm having a spot of trouble with but I'll learn; I did switch on phantom power but it's the menu section I need to sort out.

This Rode amplifier though is a beauty; much heavier than I expected and robustly made; the packing it came in was bomb proof and took some opening but it arrived in perfect condition and when I register it will have a ten year warranty; not the cheapest of mics but it's well liked and been around for years. I played the violin and tried using the mic but rare sunshine appeared so I dashed out to trim the honeysuckle.

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Just some of the packing; there's another big box I've already disposed of.

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Can't say fairer than this.

The fast pace I'm working at should soon see all the maintenance jobs completed then perhaps I'll settle down for longer periods in the studio which I'm eagerly looking forward to; I feel permanently tired but doing everything ourselves saves a fortune and we know the job is done right.

Kind regards, Colin.
That's funny you mention honeysuckle. Right now I have a waste can full of honeysuckle trimmings, assorted sticks and things. Shortly, I'll be trimming the taxus shrubs out front. If I let them go too long, I can't fit between them to go up the sidewalk! I think the new growth is about 4-5 inches already this year. The grass is getting cut every 4-5 days right now. The past several weeks have been in the 50's to 80's F with rain every few days, so things are REALLY blooming out. The cherry tree has already bloomed and the cherries are about 1cm in size. I'll be picking by month's end.

Time to go to the nursery and get some impatiens, begonias and petunias to spruce up the homestead! 🌷🌸🌺

Thanks TalismanRich; honeysuckle sure puts on lots of growth when the climate warms up a bit; everything in our gardens is going ballistic as well meaning lots more work. I took our big cherry tree down years ago because it was too near the bungalow and I was afraid the roots might cause damage. I hope you enjoyed your time in the nursery.

I finally got time after 9 o'clock last night to sort the Rode mic out but because a stand wasn't supplied I had to make a stand so made a stand of offcuts I had in the workshop.

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Not pretty but cost nothing other than a bit of enjoyable workshop time and I can now move it around for best position.

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Nothing here is ever straightforward; I had to order new cables for the new monitors because only one 5m cable was supplied making the monitors only mono with one used at a time; the new cables arrived today so I'm very pleased indeed to have the Tascam putting out stereo and with the new Rode mic and the new amplified monitors my violin playing sounds better.

Kind regards, Colin.

The garden bench is finally reassembled no thanks to the seller on eBay who stated the stainless 6mm screws were despatched but ended up wasting an extra three days when I opened a case against him only to receive a full refund; I then bought locally but the supplier hadn't the correct length in stock so I bought extra long meaning another job in cutting 28 to length using the hacksaw; everything slows me down; the weather is dire as usual; it's taken days to finally add sealant to window frame joints and paint it; just hassle with everything I touch these days; 4:30 this morning I was rudely awakened by rain bucketing down on the roof just above my head it being a bungalow so this morning we're awash again with everything outside soaking wet and lots of puddles everywhere.

Saturday I ticked six jobs off and yesterday ticked more jobs off; I'm at last getting on top but once again today I'm delayed; I want to attack our wrought iron railings with the angle grinder but as I say everything is soaking wet so just another hold up; I want to get all these jobs out of the way because I'm fed up of snatching just bits of time to practice playing my violins; with all this work it makes my fingers stiff and my arms ache but the weather is tormenting me as usual. GRRRRR.

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The bench fully painted and reassembled an easy enough job normally but let down by the screw supplier adding over a week ro the job meaning the bench was cluttering the workshop. Whilst painting handrails I found one of the original brackets rusted at its corner and as these handrails are added for safety another simple job to bite me; the srews were rusted so I cut through the brackets using the hacksaw in order to gain better access taking lots more time than it should; the new brackets are stainless steel installed this time with stainless steel screws; just another job to keep me out of the studio.

Our site is subjected to extremes of weather here on the exposed valley side meaning constant maintenance to keep the weather out; a small job like sealing a wooden frame joint took days because of the weather; the linseed oil mastic had started to fail so I removed the lot but then I doubted the new cartridge sealant would adhere so I gave a sealing coat of Zinsser primer then gave a coat of black gloss then applied the sealant; another coat of Zinsser then two top coats of paint finally completed this small job; not only waiting for paint to dry but also waiting for permission from the weather. Just some of the jobs I've been doing. If I could have enjoyed a spell without bad weather I'd have done all these jobs much more quickly. I hope this doesn't sound like a moan because it's what my life is like all year round.

I could spend today in the studio but my hearts not in it with jobs hanging over me.

Kind regards, Colin.

Another very busy day this time rubbing wrought iron railings down ready to be repainted starting at 8:30 this morning. Things are improving though because I've just enjoyed the best violin practice ever; totally relaxed becauseI I can now paint the railings at my leisure and then I don't think I've any more big jobs to do so fingers crossed for lots more violin practices to look forward to. Last night when I practiced it was very poor indeed with the D string falling out with me; obviously a problem with me but I just couldn't get it to play at all; today I closely inspected the D string and it's fine but I gave all the strings a clean and tonight I couldn't do anything wrong; what a strange but highly interesting hobby violin playing is.

Kind regards, Colin.

Can I use my Tascam to play back through my powered monitors using the condenser mic on 48V phantom power without having to record first please or would I need something like an interface; I'm totally new to this kind of thing so please ignore my ignorance. I'd like to play my violins/balalaika through my powered monitors or through my guitar amplifier but my Rode NT1-A requires phantom power which the Tascam supplies.; at the moment I'm struggling with this. I'm now spending time in my studio with lots to learn. Many thanks.

Kind regards, Colin.

Can I use my Tascam to play back through my powered monitors using the condenser mic on 48V phantom power without having to record first please or would I need something like an interface; I'm totally new to this kind of thing so please ignore my ignorance. I'd like to play my violins/balalaika through my powered monitors or through my guitar amplifier but my Rode NT1-A requires phantom power which the Tascam supplies.; at the moment I'm struggling with this. I'm now spending time in my studio with lots to learn. Many thanks.

Kind regards, Colin.
I play back a track I have already recorded and listen on head phones while recording a new track. I don't see why you couldn't play back through monitors.

Many thanks for your reply R D Smith; much appreciated.

Like you I've no problems in recording a track and playing back but if possible I'd like to amplify as I play without actually recording; as I say all this is new to me but I see so many with a pick up microphone attached to their violin and simply playing directly through an amp; here's an example;

Karolina has the mic on her violin and this connects to a transmitter in her pocket; this I understand but where does the transmitter signal get converted allowing it to be played through the amp? I already have the Rode condenser mic and Tascam plus amplified monitors I also have a guitar amp to play around with; reading through the Tascam manual takes ages hence I thought I'd just ask on the forum.

I'm wary of playing around too much because a while ago I was using my guitar amp and thought I was going to destroy it because it suddenly lifted the roof; I think because I still had "Recording" switched on at the Tascam; I could buy an interface but don't understand these and would an interface then need a computer? My computer is remote from the studio.

I'd like to simply amplify without recording first? Can I use the Tascam to do this? The Tascam supplies the 48V phantom power to the Rode mic.

Sorry if I sound thick but I learn so much by asking questions; in meetings at work I was the one who would ask the silly questions no one else dare ask.

I have funds available but don't want to buy the wrong kit. I'm now keen to learn having time to get into the studio at last.

Kind regards, Colin.

I'm still gathering kit and have now bought this;

I've also bought a laptop but not managed to connect everything up yet although I'm trying. I'll eventually win in the end.

Kind regards, Colin.
Hi Colin,

If I understand correctly, you would like the ability to do two different things. First, you would like to record yourself playing violin, and you have achieved this goal with a Rode NT1A plugged into a Tascam DP-008x plugged into some M-Audio studio monitors.

Second, you would like to amplify your violin while you are playing it, without recording it.

To achieve the second goal, you have to understand what causes "feedback" and avoid it. Feedback is the shrieking, piercing, annoying tone that continues to increase in volume under some conditions. The cause is as follows. When a sound source (your violin) is picked up by a microphone, and then sent out some loudspeakers, the sound from the loudspeakers then additionally is picked up by the microphone, which is sent out the loudspeakers, which is then additionally picked up by the microphone, which is sent out the loudspeakers, etc. ad nauseum. This is called "feedback" because it is the resultant sound from the originally source, "fed back" into the same source, causing a loop / cycle.

You can prevent or alleviate feedback. There is some hint about how to do this in the video of the girl which you posted. Notice that the microphone she is using is closely focused on just one part of the violin, and additionally, it faces the opposite direction from the loudspeaker.

You can try the same approach in your situation. The Rode NT1A microphone has a cardioid pattern which means it should (somewhat) reject audio entering it from the rear. If you look at the microphone, it has a brass-colored dot on one side. This is the front of the microphone. The other side rejects sound to some degree.

Try facing the brass-dotted side of your NT1A away from your loudspeakers, while playing your violin into the microphone.

To get the sound you are playing into the microphone to come out of the loudspeakers in the first place: turn the Tascam on and plug in the microphone to one of its tracks. On the track which the microphone is plugged into, arm it for recording (so that the red dot is flashing), and make sure the volume for the track is up. The Tascam does not need to be actually recording. It will "monitor" the sound immediately, meaning it will actively send what the microphone is picking up out into the M-Audio speakers. You can verify this by tapping on the microphone and observing the sound coming from the speakers.

If you still have feedback once you begin playing your violin into the microphone, it is the result of sound bouncing off the wall behind you and back into the front of the microphone. You can try to alleviate this issue further by facing the monitors themselves away from the back of the microphone, so that the monitors and microphone are now "back to back." Even this may not work in a small room, though. The sound is going to make its way (via reflection) into the front of the microphone in a small enough room, at enough volume.

And purchasing different recording gear will not alleviate this issue. Instead, you would likely have to purchase a violin pickup which picks up the sound electromagnetically instead of acoustically. The sound in the room cannot feedback into an electromagnetic pickup since it doesn't pickup sound waves.

Hope it helps and if I have said anything too confusing please let me know.


Thank you so much Brody for taking the time to post this highly informative and useful reply which I truly appreciate which I'm sure will also benefit others having similar problems I'm experiencing.

Now you've pointed out about feedback it's so obvious and I'm aware of feedback but being new to recording studio kit it never occurred to me; Years ago whilst restoring vintage valve radios feedback was always a problem; connecting my engineering lathe and woodturning lathes to a single VFD drove me round the bend for ages until I found "cross talk" was the problem; I'd run the signal cables alongside the power cables which made the VFD do strange things; having found the cause I then used CAT 6 signal cable and isolated both the signal cable and power cable now both lathes and VFD are happy.


I'm sure you've solved my problems Brody; here's my studio and yes it's small; because of constant demands on my time the studio has been thrown together not only intending to use it for music but in winter to make a violin from scratch hence the benches and woodworking vice.

You really did get it right Brody because here's the problem; mic and monitors much too close together hence massive feedback which you described in detail.

A picture of the studio from the other end; my lovely wife does card making and crafting so I added this section for her where she can be seated in comfort by the laptop; mostly it's just me in the studio.

Now you've kindly given me the solution Brody I'll certainly have a go at sorting out the studio moving the kit around and another useful piece of advice you've kindly given me is to look for the dot on the mic which I wasn't aware of but with my luck I bet the dot is facing the monitor when I check.

Yes as you say Brody I've sorted out recording and playback using the Tascam which wasn't easy for a total novice but I'm stubborn enough to sort things out however long it takes; with your help I won't waste a great deal of time and effort in playing my violin directly to the monitors using the Rode mic I'll just buy one of the electromagnetic pickups you suggest; funds aren't a problem so I'll buy a pickup today there are lots on eBay unless there is a recommended pickup because sure as anything I can always buy the wrong item.

I'll isolate the Rode mic from the monitors; I can site both monitors at one end of the studio nearer the ceiling but allowing easy access for volume adjusting and the mic at the other end of the studio but I'll also take care to seperate the cables as much as possible; I've possibly bought the interface and laptop not really needing these for what I wanted to achieve but now I've got them I'm sure they'll both be useful especially the laptop which will allow more serious recording; I've a great deal yet to learn but I'm pleased so far with my progress; yesterday I enjoyed three peaceful violin practices; I'm obssessed with wanting to play Lara's Theme on my violin and the final practice yesterday I was delighted to play a decent section of Lara's Theme four times in a row with near consistency so I'm now also gaining more experience with my violins.

Time has been my biggest enemy in not having enough of it even though I've been fully retired 21 years; maintenance of our detached bungalow and gardens is very high placing demands on my time; after recent storms I ended up removing 15 very tall trees in just under two weeks working on my own in terrible conditions then other jobs followed; in order to read my "The Strad" magazines I take a copy with me whilst shopping; I visit Morrison's at around 7am then pop round to Aldi by around 7:30am where I enjoy a bit of peace and solitude sitting in the car until Aldi opens at 8:00am; last Friday as usual I parked at Aldi and was nicely settled starting to read the magazine when a car parked next to me although the car park had lots of empty parking spaces; nothing at all wrong with this but this particular car seemed to have twenty doors including the hatchback which the owner liked to keep opening and slamming closed; after a session of this he then wandered around a bit before repeating the door opening and slamming; I was just being selfish expecting a bit of peace.

The car door slamming set up my day very nicely indeed; back home I had a job to do this was to re-lay three loose very heavy paving flags but these were difficult to access due to foliage; it took ages and I finally completed the job thinking at last perhaps now I can get into the studio. Saturday WOW I was seated in the studio at peace with the world when my wife came in looking distressed; our neighbour was here asking if we'd seen her cat "Dudley" saying he was missing but she could hear a cat crying?

Our garage is beneath the bungalow and also I have access right under the bungalow so Dudley might have been locked in for a day; I checked but no sign of Dudley but standing to the side of our bungalow we could hear light crying and it was coming from under our feet; the pathway is hollow underneath this being flood defences; back into the bungalow and put on my working clothes then lift a flag to see Dudley staring at us looking terrified. I'd entomed the little lad who must have gained access under the pathway whilst I was mixing mortar; what a relief though he was safe; now I had the loose flag to relay which I didn't begrudge in the least; it was Saturday afternoon and I had just enough time to sort the flag out. Going down to the garage I couldn't help but notice the pigeons had made a huge mess all over the back and side of our car; choice here; do I sort the flag or car and it was already looking like rain; I covered the flag hole witb a sheet of plywood and washed the car so now this was Friday & Saturday without peace and Sunday too because I then relaid the flag; we've lived here for 35 years and even in retirement I have problems with time.

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Relaying these flags was an horrible job but with my luck why not do the job twice. I felt sickened for Dudley.

Yesterday I really enjoyed the three violin practices and fingers crossed I'll now have more time to call my own; the hedges are trimmed the grass is cut; the trees are felled and disposed of; the garden bench is painted; the iron railings are painted; the car is washed; the gardens are weeded; the paving flags are sorted; the shopping is done; can I have a day off please?

A huge thank you once again Brody for your valuable help; I'll post with progress; now to sort out the studio at last before I'm wanted elsewhere.

Kind regards, Colin.

A lot of progress this morning thanks to your generous help Brody; I've not relocated the monitors because I wonder if it's worth the time and trouble given my small studio but what I've just done was to disconnect the passive monitor; this is the monitor very near the mic; I can now switch everything on without the monitors going ballistic due to feedback; I found I could induce feedback to the active monitor be carefully turning it to a point where feedback was starting to be present but because of the low volume setting I couldn't play back the violin but by tapping near the mic it picked this up through the monitor so yes the problem as you rightly pointed out is due to feedback.

Now with this information I think I might be better going the electromagnetic pickup route so I can easily switch between Rode mic and the violin pickup?

I've done a bit of web browsing looking at various violin pickups and these vary greatly in price;


Perhaps something like this would be OK for my hobby need or any other that is recommended.

Kind regards, Colin.
Fishman generally makes pretty good stuff. Their piezo systems are standard on a lot of guitars.

Should you find the sound not to your liking compared to the microphone, I would also suggest you find a nice stand. Then you can place the mic a good distance from the speakers and orient it properly.

A simple K&M 260/1 stand is only £27 from Thomann. Sometimes you can find them at the local music store on holiday sales for less. Check places like PMT or Andertons.

Many thanks @TalismanRich for your welcome suggestion; I'd love a proper mic stand but unfortunately anything placed on the studio floor would be under my feet because the studio is very small hence I made the rough wooden mic stand allowing the mic to sit on the bench; definitely not ideal but once I've gathered all the kit I'll have a serious look at the studio layout; the K&M stand you quote looks excellent for little money and for only £27 it's not worth the bother shopping around even with P&P added.

Most of my problems are simply me being so new to all this electronic kit but I'm a fast learner even if I do make every mistake possible first; I learn from my mistakes and I learn a lot because I make so many mistakes.

I've been spending a great deal of time browsing the web and buying kit but eventually it'll all come together then I can concentrate on playing my violins.

Out of interest can anyone enlighten me please as to how to change balalaika strings are the three pegs removable or are they glued in; I've got the new set of strings but I'd like to retain the original steel strings without cutting them if possible?

Kind regards, Colin.

My wife is a real gem saying buy anything at all you need or want for the studio; having spent £309 this Meris Enzo arrived very quickly;

It can be hooked up to most instruments and mine are violins; it's just incredible the sounds that can be got out of it; I've only briefly played with it a couple of times but I'm most impressed; I had better success just plucking the strings but no doubt with more practice I'll get used to it. The Enzo is very easy indeed to connect up to the guitar amp or amplified monitors and it sure is loud without the need for a pre amp.

There is a downside though; Meris are extremely mean in not supplying a correct mains adapter and it's not the standard 9V adapter that's needed; I got caught out very badly indeed already having a selection of 9VDC adapters; I simply plugged it in only to find the Enzo remained dead; it needs a NEGATIVE CENTER adapter something I've never come across before; fortunately the Enzo is reverse polarity protected but what a load of hassle obtaining the correct adapter; I bought an adapter through eBay at £10 thinking job done but when it arrived the Enzo remained dead; DOHHHHHHHHHHHHH I'd only bought yet another standard adapter by mistake but now sick of adapters I got the soldering iron out; severed the DC cable and transposed it making the adapter NEGATIVE CENTER; easy enough but why did I need to buy the adapter in the first place; I've got studio kit bought for £10 new with adapter included. £309 is not cheap.

I've now got lots of studio gear and need to learn how to use it all. It's wonderful though now to play the violin via the new Fishman pickup directly into the amp or through the Enzo for some strange sounds; I've even learned a bit more "Lara's Theme" on the violin; I'm looking forward to some interesting times ahead in the studio and with my birthday coming up next month I might let my wife spoil me again with a new Ted Brewer electric violin but I need to think about this because my 1880 German acoustic "Trade" violin is a lovely instrument and now it's both acoustin and electric. Ths picup was easy to fit just very gently using abrasive paper to open up the bridge until it was a nice tight push fit; then I need more jack to jack cables.

It's not all one sided though at first and after lots of asking my wife didn't want anything but more asking she said we could do with a new sofa; with the sofa of her choice ordered and due end of August at £2,000 she was very happy hence I too was happy to please her; a few days ago I received an email stating the sofa will now be end of September. I took my wife over to M&S to buy her a new skirt so now skirts at M&S are an endangered species with only a very few on display; it appears M&S think 99% of women wear slacks/trousers so an aborted trip. Next my wife said she'd like a leather jacket so off to Boundary Mills in Catcliffe; Hide Park have a stand with a selection of both mens and womens leather jackets; trying on the usual size she buys from M&S the jacket wouldn't even close; trying on a much larger size the zip locked up; another aborted trip; I'm determined to buy my wife something nice but options are running out; being so spoiled with all this new studio gear I feel my wife deserves spoiling too.

Kind regards, Colin.