Tascam M520 Story...

RFR

Well-known member
There are those “repairs” that make you feel like a dumbass. But that’s a small price to pay. No parts or soldering involved :)
 

flyingace

Active member
There are those “repairs” that make you feel like a dumbass. But that’s a small price to pay. No parts or soldering involved :)
Yes, as the great Sweetbeats has said time and again: "RTFM again, then again!"
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Interesting. The SOLO/PFL buss is not supposed to propagate to the STEREO B buss. Are you sure you had the cables to your monitor system connected to the STEREO B output jacks and not just the second set of STEREO A jacks for your test? Anyway, if that IS the case (that your SOLO/PFL buss propagates to both STEREO A & B busses), clearly that’s less of a problem for you, and likely would be an easier fix if you wanted it corrected.
 

flyingace

Active member
Interesting. The SOLO/PFL buss is not supposed to propagate to the STEREO B buss. Are you sure you had the cables to your monitor system connected to the STEREO B output jacks and not just the second set of STEREO A jacks for your test? Anyway, if that IS the case (that your SOLO/PFL buss propagates to both STEREO A & B busses), clearly that’s less of a problem for you, and likely would be an easier fix if you wanted it corrected.
SORRY, I’m an idiot. SOLO/PFL is not working on Stereo B monitors but in headphones. But it works via Stereo A monitors AND in Headphones. The only reason I won’t be using Stereo A is because i can’t get VU levels on 9/10, so I’m using Stereo B for monitoring via speakers right now. But the problem still stands, if I want to use SOLO/PFL functions with monitors, I’ll have to use Stereo A. Ugh. I hope that I’m finally understanding and making sense. So sorry, this is a super complex console and when i worked at the recording studio, I knew how to use the MCI but I never had to set anything up, that’s for sure!!

Which brings me to a really NEWB question: if I want to record to Track 1 on my MS-16 and I have the DIRECT OUT from Track 1 on the M-520 going to input 1 on the TO MS-16 patch bay (half normaled) continuing on to the MS-16 input on the back of the patch bay, but I’m wanting to use a LINE input on say, Track 5 on the M-520… do i use patch cables to take direct out of M-520 track 5 over to MS-16 Track 1? Is that best practice? Gosh, I sure hope that makes sense, if not, then it shows how I have my mind screwed up about all the ins/outs of this monster right now!
UPDATE: I FIGURED IT OUT, YES IT’S A PATCH BAY SOLUTION… thought I’d leave up my original question in case it helps someone else.

That said, I had a keyboard plugged into M-520 Tracks 5/6 and recorded to 5/6 on the MS-16 (sounded great in playback too!), then I put the MS-16 into sync mode and plugged the keyboard into M-520 Tracks 7/8, recorded to MS-16 7/8 and it worked great!! Super impressed with this M-520/MS-16 combo!!
 
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sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
I can’t help myself…

When you’re talking about “tracks”, that means tape tracks.

If you’re talking about strips on the mixing console, those are channels.

It just helps things to not get too confusing when communicating questions or solutions or whatever.

So, that’s great news there is nothing wrong with your SOLO/PFL buss routing. So it’s just the 9/10 meter issue. So when you can, connect the signal wire from meters 7/8 to meters 9/10 and see if there is any life in meters 9/10. If no, then we’ve got two issues, #1 it would seem there is no signal propagating over the meter 9/10 signal wire, #2 there is a problem with meters 9/10 themselves. If there IS life, then it’s just a matter of figuring out why there is no signal coming across the meter 9/10 signal wire.

You exercised the meter 9/10 signal source select switch, yes? And refresh my memory: it doesn’t matter if the source is AUX 1-2 or STEREO A, you get nada, correct? I’m asking in order to narrow down the potential source of the problem.

Anyway, glad you are enjoying the setup and having some successes along the way.

FWIW if I was doing things your way and using a patchbay, I’d probably have a full-normal bay with direct outs 1~16 normalled to tape inputs 1-16, and full normal so when I’m patching a direct out, say, #5 to track 1 it breaks the normalled connection on the bay from direct out 5 to tape track 5. Just a thought. And you’re not using a patchbay on the tape machine outputs right? Those are just directly connected to M-520 TAPE IN jacks 1~16?
 

flyingace

Active member
I can’t help myself…

When you’re talking about “tracks”, that means tape tracks.

If you’re talking about strips on the mixing console, those are channels.

It just helps things to not get too confusing when communicating questions or solutions or whatever.
Thanks, I’ll remember that.
So, that’s great news there is nothing wrong with your SOLO/PFL buss routing. So it’s just the 9/10 meter issue. So when you can, connect the signal wire from meters 7/8 to meters 9/10 and see if there is any life in meters 9/10. If no, then we’ve got two issues, #1 it would seem there is no signal propagating over the meter 9/10 signal wire, #2 there is a problem with meters 9/10 themselves. If there IS life, then it’s just a matter of figuring out why there is no signal coming across the meter 9/10 signal wire.

You exercised the meter 9/10 signal source select switch, yes? And refresh my memory: it doesn’t matter if the source is AUX 1-2 or STEREO A, you get nada, correct? I’m asking in order to narrow down the potential source of the problem.
Yes, heavily exercised the switch and used Deoxit on it as well. No, doesn’t matter what source it is, nada.
Anyway, glad you are enjoying the setup and having some successes along the way.

FWIW if I was doing things your way and using a patchbay, I’d probably have a full-normal bay with direct outs 1~16 normalled to tape inputs 1-16, and full normal so when I’m patching a direct out, say, #5 to track 1 it breaks the normalled connection on the bay from direct out 5 to tape track 5. Just a thought.
The Tascam PB-32p says it’s half normalled but when I patch, say, #5 to Track 1, no signal is transmitting (via meter on front of MS-16) to Track 5. So far seems to be working. All that said, I do have three Pro Co 48 patch bays that are awesome with switches to select: Open, Full Normal, Half Normal and Parallel
And you’re not using a patchbay on the tape machine outputs right? Those are just directly connected to M-520 TAPE IN jacks 1~16?
I am using a Tascam PB-32p for tape outs as well, so that I can patch those direct into my 16 channel interface/DAW. That also seems to be working well.

Again, thanks for all your efforts to help. I’ll try to be more accurate in the future.
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Oh yeah I forgot…thanks for the reminder…forgot you had the tape machine outputs going to the console and the interface. Okay.

The PB-32P, if I’m not mistaken, is a full-normal patchbay. It is configurable per jack set to be half normal by soldering jumper wires at strategic points on the jack modules according to the manual. At least that’s my understanding…looking at the manual…have four of the things but I’ve never used them…
 

flyingace

Active member
Oh yeah I forgot…thanks for the reminder…forgot you had the tape machine outputs going to the console and the interface. Okay.

The PB-32P, if I’m not mistaken, is a full-normal patchbay. It is configurable per jack set to be half normal by soldering jumper wires at strategic points on the jack modules according to the manual. At least that’s my understanding…looking at the manual…have four of the things but I’ve never used them…
That’s good, I’d prefer full normal for those units, but love that my ProCo PM148s are so easily switchable so I can use top and bottom as needed. Very handy!!
Hope to get out there to test those meters tonight or tomorrow day. I’ll let you know what I find out.

Oh, and if you ever want to sell a couple of those PB-32P‘s, let me know. I had purchased two more off reverb but the guy never shipped and I am in the process of getting a refund.
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
I don’t know if I need all my PB-32s or not. 3 are good, 1 is parts donor. I got them because they match my prototype Tascam console. I probably need all three for that. But it’s dormant because of the Studer console…for that I have 5 96-point TT patchbays.

Just because the native state of the PB-32 is full-normal doesn’t mean somebody hasn’t reconfigured it though, so check it out. If you can plug a cable into the top jack of a jack set, get signal on that cable but signal still propagates to the bottom jack, it’s been configured half-normal.

I never liked the patchbays with switches for configuring the mode. Sometimes the switches are flakey or the solder joints fail. I like the Tascam bays because you hardwire jumpers to change the configuration and that’s generally more reliable. But ProCo stuff is generally pretty hearty, or at least it was back in the day when I was gigging 2-3 nights a week.
 

RFR

Well-known member
PB 32 can be configured to half normal by clipping one jumper. Converting it back if modified involves soldering a new jumper.

Plenty of people have done partial mods. IE, half the bay is full normal the other is half
 

RFR

Well-known member
Edit to above post.

How many channels does the M520 have?

20 bingo!

I like the Furman because it has,,,,,20 Tascam only 16

Furman is great for having all your inserts on one patch bay.
;)
 

flyingace

Active member
Edit to above post.

How many channels does the M520 have?

20 bingo!

I like the Furman because it has,,,,,20 Tascam only 16

Furman is great for having all your inserts on one patch bay.
;)
I have three ProCo 48s
2 PB32P
1 PB32B (balanced)
I was hoping to add one more. I’ll look into the Furman 40, maybe sell the ProCos and load up on that 40, makes total sense!
 

flyingace

Active member
So, that’s great news there is nothing wrong with your SOLO/PFL buss routing. So it’s just the 9/10 meter issue. So when you can, connect the signal wire from meters 7/8 to meters 9/10 and see if there is any life in meters 9/10. If no, then we’ve got two issues, #1 it would seem there is no signal propagating over the meter 9/10 signal wire, #2 there is a problem with meters 9/10 themselves. If there IS life, then it’s just a matter of figuring out why there is no signal coming across the meter 9/10 signal wire.
Tested meter bridge again today, connected plug from 7/8 meters to 9/10 meters. Ran music through 7/8 and 9/10 responded perfectly.
So good news that the meters themselves work...
Bad news is that it's in the inside of the mixer master section that I'll have to delve to find the problem... eventually. Stay tuned and I'll try to get that thing out of the desk and on it's side to open up the bottom panel soon.
Thanks for your continued support and help!
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Indeed. Your problems with your M-520 just keep getting more simple. Good deal. Okay. So it’s just a problem with signal passing. Before tipping it up on its side you need to get the console to where you can tip open the meter bridge. All the way. All the wires from the meter bridge go down through part of the structural tubing I think. But I think you’ll be able to follow bundle down and then those wires plug into connector on the right-hand motherboard behind the master section. So just start by seeing if you can see where the grey wire from meters 9 & 10 plugs into the motherboard, and if you can see it and get to it then you can get out your ohm meter and start testing for continuity across the wire, then from the meter end of the wire to the pins on the motherboard with the wire plugged in, and if that’s all good then it’s time to tip it on its side and just start tracing back testing for continuity. Just follow the traces. We’ll be able to fix this.
 
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