Tascam M520 Story...

flyingace

Active member
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.
GOOD NEWS!! Stereo Master A now works!
I started with tilting the meter bridge back, as you stated, checked the connections and continuity there. All good. Realized that from that PCB the wires came off it and fed into the hole into the master section. On a lark, I thought instead of removing the console from my desk and accessing the bottom, that I'd just try pulling it from the top like I did when I fixed the headphone jack that had fallen through...
Then I spotted the little 4 conductor white plug UNPLUGGED. Cleaned it with deoxit while I was there and VOILA, they work now! I'm pretty sure it happened when I removed it to fix that jack and I didn't see it disconnect.
SO HAPPY!
Thank you Cory for everything and all your help and guidance. I'm glad it turned out to be something easy, but also glad that you were there to guide me if it wasn't! It also helps me realize that sometimes it's good to look at the simplest things first, like a channel isn't out, maybe it's just the patchbay or cable! (which was my channel 7 problem!)
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sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Hey @flyingace …it’s been a bit of a rough day…your post was a pick-me-up. Thanks. So glad I could help and things are working! Super satisfying. Yes. My signature line, before I put in the link to my YouTube channel, was “Never underestimate your capacity to be a complete ignoramous.” It was a jab at myself. All the times I did something stupid. Yes, sometimes, not ALL the time, but SOMEtimes it’s something simple we did ourselves that caused the problem, and it’s always worthwhile to retrace our steps. This still holds true for me. I once spent hours and hours trying to figure out why my tractor wouldn’t start…had just about pulled the carburetor off…had the service manual out. Injured my knee…turned out I’d forgotten to switch the fuel on. I will never forget that. Always walk through basics or retrace your steps first. So glad your M-520 is 100%!!!
 
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flyingace

Active member
Hey @flyingace …it’s been a bit of a rough day…your post was a pick-me-up. Thanks. So glad I could help and things are working! Super satisfying. Yes. My signature line, before I put in the link to my YouTube channel, was “Never underestimate your capacity to be a complete ignoramous.” It was a jab at myself. All the times I did something stupid. Yes, sometimes, not ALL the time, but SOMEtimes it’s something simple we did ourselves that caused the problem, and it’s always worthwhile to retrace our steps. This still holds true for me. I once spent hours and hours trying to figure out why my tractor wouldn’t start…had just about pulled the carburetor off…had the service manual out. Injured my knee…turned out I’d forgotten to switch the fuel on. I will never forget that. Always walk through basics or retrace your steps first. So glad your M-520 is 100%!!!
YES! Always walk through the basics first. I’ve already seen this using the non-soldered patch bays I have, couldn’t get channel 7 to work, was about to start spraying deoxit and exercising the knobs, switches, sliders, etc. then assume it was the board failing… glad I went over to check that the plug on the backside of the patch bay had slipped out!! I have now rewired all of my connections (yesterday was a long day of crawlling underneath my desk!) and installed cable ties and supports to take the weight off of all of them.

I’m so glad it’s 100% too. I have now sent signal through every line input, tape in, D Out on every channel and happy with levels, sound, etc. I really got lucky with my board (fingers crossed, knock on wood), and I LOVE IT, it’s the center of my studio and I am really looking forward to the relationship we will have and the music I can make with it. Feels like I need to give “her” a name? I mean as much tweaking, caressing and poking I do, I should at least know her name, eh? Ha ha

Next up is testing mic inputs and get my SND/RCV connected to my outboard gear. I have a new TC Electronics M-One XL dual channel effects unit to run through AUX 1/2 and to figure out how that should be done. I know you or someone had a post on this thread about that, I’ll search.

Again, thanks and please know how important you are to so many here at homerecording.com We appreciate you!
 
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RFR

Well-known member
Yes, having used a M520 for 30 years now, I can say it is a great board.

I think They were about 10k brand new, but as people lost interest and moved on to protools prices dropped dramatically, giving me a chance to actually purchase something previously unaffordable.

My first one cost me 500 bucks. Not bad for being only a few years old.
Took a break for a bit and sold stuff off.

When I got back into it, I got another one. This was 200 bucks, with some minor issues.

Then I bought a mint one for 600 bucks which I still have.

So I guess you could say I’m a fanboy 😂
 

flyingace

Active member
Yes, having used a M520 for 30 years now, I can say it is a great board.

I think They were about 10k brand new, but as people lost interest and moved on to protools prices dropped dramatically, giving me a chance to actually purchase something previously unaffordable.

My first one cost me 500 bucks. Not bad for being only a few years old.
Took a break for a bit and sold stuff off.

When I got back into it, I got another one. This was 200 bucks, with some minor issues.

Then I bought a mint one for 600 bucks which I still have.

So I guess you could say I’m a fanboy 😂
I might need to bend your brain on a few questions I have about best usage on this thing seeing how after 30 years, you’ve likely seen every scenario. Mind if I PM you or would it better to start a new thread OR would it benefit others to see the questions and get answers? Just don’t want to hijack Sweetbeats M-520 story any more than needed. LMK!
 

RFR

Well-known member
I might need to bend your brain on a few questions I have about best usage on this thing seeing how after 30 years, you’ve likely seen every scenario. Mind if I PM you or would it better to start a new thread OR would it benefit others to see the questions and get answers? Just don’t want to hijack Sweetbeats M-520 story any more than needed. LMK!
Pm or keep it on this thread I think.

This thread is THE premier source of information on these mixers in all of internet land.

But, since it’s Cory’s thread check with him?
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Oh just put it here. The questions should be public so others have the chance to learn from them. And I don’t care if they are here or on a new thread. If they are here then this continues its trend of being something of a repository, and the only downside is the information might get buried, BUT this thread seems to hit pretty high on M-500 web searches, so people seeking info will likely end up here anyway, and if they want to know and/or learn about their M-500 console they’ll take the time to read/peruse the thread. All good.
 

flyingace

Active member
Ok, here goes, @RFR & @sweetbeats, and anyone else in the know:
Next up in wiring my studio, I want to connect my effects unit, a TC Electronic M-One XL. It’s two channels and I have it running parallel or each channel separate, with reverb on one and delay on the other. I want to connect this to AUX 1/2.
Suggestions on best practices? The M-One XL is balanced output/input.
Where do I connect the send and return from the M-520? I will likely not ever write wet to tape, but only for recording, dry to tape. But I’m guessing that by using the pre/post switch I can choose for each channel.
Is this is a good way to deal with effects? Are there better ways or potential issues?
Thanks All!
 

RFR

Well-known member
Just me, but I’ll run time based effects on the aux (send) and run the outputs of the effect into mixer channels 17 to 20. This way I’ll have either two stereo effects returns or 4 mono returns.

Let’s say I want to do the Van Halen guitar trick, dry guitar ion the far left, reverb on the far right, I only need a mono verb.
Mix to taste with the fader.

Any compression effect goes right into the insert of the channel that needs it.

Overall, I’m only using 16 channels of the mixer for tape and even daw mixes because I’m grouping the daw tracks down to 16. Channels 17 to 20 are for effects returns.

Never had a need for more than those 4 channels.

Hope that made sense. Easier to do than explain ;)
 

flyingace

Active member
I kinda remember doing that when working at the studio but I never had to set it up. So, if I have, say, that guitar example scenario above, would I record the original guitar channel to a track AND the reverb (ch17) to another track and then mix them down after? What if I just want the dry channel recorded but I want to use the reverb just to make recording sound better? Just record the original channel/track? What is the value of doing this instead of just using AUX1 or 2 Through the channel Set to pre/post (which one records it? I forget)
 

RFR

Well-known member
No, the effect isn’t printed to tape. None of my effects end up on tape. The tape always has the completely raw dry tracks

The effects only come into play at mixdown time.
 

flyingace

Active member
What is the point of putting the effect on channels 17-20? As opposed to just using the AUX controls on each channel? Is there a reason for one way or the other?
 

RFR

Well-known member
What is the point of putting the effect on channels 17-20? As opposed to just using the AUX controls on each channel? Is there a reason for one way or the other?
lets use reverb for an example. Say you want it to sound like every thing is recorded in the same space.....
Using channels 17 and 18 panned hard right and left, everything you have recorded is in that same space. You want a bigger space for everything? Bring up those two faders.
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
The AUX sends are just that…SENDS. They don’t simultaneously send and return signal. The AUX pots on the channel strips feed the corresponding AUX master faders in the master section which feed the AUX out jacks on the back. Those go to your outboard unit input jacks. Now ask yourself where do you connect the output jacks of your outboard gear? You have to return them to the console somewhere. I would do exactly as RFR and use channels 17~20 because then you have full control of assigning those effect returns to wherever, EQ shaping control, and additional send capability for wet cue feeds or whatever. Does that help?

And I agree 100% with everything else RFR suggested.
 

RFR

Well-known member
The AUX sends are just that…SENDS. They don’t simultaneously send and return signal. The AUX pots on the channel strips feed the corresponding AUX master faders in the master section which feed the AUX out jacks on the back. Those go to your outboard unit input jacks. Now ask yourself where do you connect the output jacks of your outboard gear? You have to return them to the console somewhere. I would do exactly as RFR and use channels 17~20 because then you have full control of assigning those effect returns to wherever, EQ shaping control, and additional send capability for wet cue feeds or whatever. Does that help?

And I agree 100% with everything else RFR suggested.
Ah, you said it so much better than I could. ;)
 

RFR

Well-known member
What is the point of putting the effect on channels 17-20? As opposed to just using the AUX controls on each channel? Is there a reason for one way or the other?
You have a manual, right? I’ve found playing with the desk them going back to the manual is very effective.

Manual by itself can be quite daunting. It’s quite detailed. But going back and forth from hands on to the book learning will really help you to fully comprehend it. ;)
 

flyingace

Active member
The AUX sends are just that…SENDS. They don’t simultaneously send and return signal. The AUX pots on the channel strips feed the corresponding AUX master faders in the master section which feed the AUX out jacks on the back. Those go to your outboard unit input jacks. Now ask yourself where do you connect the output jacks of your outboard gear? You have to return them to the console somewhere. I would do exactly as RFR and use channels 17~20 because then you have full control of assigning those effect returns to wherever, EQ shaping control, and additional send capability for wet cue feeds or whatever. Does that help?

And I agree 100% with everything else RFR suggested.
Thanks both of you, for some reason this is hitting my brain like an algebraic equation… aye yi yi!
So, wired as follows:
AUX SND 1 —> M-One Ch. 1 (reverb) IN —> M-One Ch. 1 OUT —> ?? Ch. 17 on M-520? Should I do this with a patch bay since LINE IN Ch. 17 is already connected to my patch bay?
 

flyingace

Active member
You have a manual, right? I’ve found playing with the desk them going back to the manual is very effective.

Manual by itself can be quite daunting. It’s quite detailed. But going back and forth from hands on to the book learning will really help you to fully comprehend it. ;)
Yes, I was just reading that a few minutes ago and I think it managed to mess up my brain a little more! :) I’ll go out to the studio in a bit when our guests finally check-in and I can close the front office to test out a scenario
 

RFR

Well-known member
There are so so many Jacks on the back panel, it can make your head spin.
Start with the basics. Like for example just hook up your tape machine.
I like to use the direct outs rather than the 8 busses.

For example, with direct out and tape In, you’ve eliminated 32 of the 5 million jacks ;)
It’s instantly less confusing.
Add you patchbays to the mix later. For now, the patch bay system will just introduce even more jacks and confusion.
 

flyingace

Active member
There are so so many Jacks on the back panel, it can make your head spin.
Start with the basics. Like for example just hook up your tape machine.
I like to use the direct outs rather than the 8 busses.

For example, with direct out and tape In, you’ve eliminated 32 of the 5 million jacks ;)
It’s instantly less confusing.
Add you patchbays to the mix later. For now, the patch bay system will just introduce even more jacks and confusion.
I have already connected my D OUT & TAPE IN to two patch bays and it’s working great!! But I get what you are saying.
 
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