Big fan of everything you do with keeping the Tascam M520 community alive — I've been reading the thread quite a bit, and it's so inspiring to see how kind and generous you are with your time and extensive knowledge. :,)
Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate that.
…use PGM buses 1 through 6 as 3 pairs of parallel compression buses…
I’m curious how this works. How do you get the output of your three parallel compression busses to the mix?
…use PGM buses 7-8 as the mix bus, use the FX buses 1-2 and 3-4 for two different stereo reverbs…
Are you using input channels 17~20 then as returns for the reverb boxes?
…and then use the Send/RCV ports for channels 1-16 for any other individual delay or compression effects.
Can you clarify that last bit? You’re not saying you’re using the SEND/RCV jacks as general feeds for other outboard processing gear right? Is this another way of saying what you are stating: I have other outboard processing gear like delays and dynamics processors I’ll be applying to individual DAW return tracks using the SEND/RCV access points. Is that what you’re saying?
Maybe you explain all this further below but I haven’t gotten there and I’m just jumping right in.
The problem is: I've been struggling to get sound out of M520, even though I was assured when I purchased it that it was in perfect working order...
Here are my settings:
- The 16 tracks are each going into TAPE IN, as I've understood from reading the thread that that's preferable for a hybrid set-up like mine, since the DAW will be functioning effectively as the "tape machine" (I've bounced all the stems to tape already).
Okay we’re good so far…
- All 16 channels are set to "Tape" as the input.
- Just to test a simple set-up for now so I can make sure it works, I've only assigned the channels 1-16 to buses 7 and 8.
- Assign for channels 1-16 is turned "ON".
Just to clarify, the ON button is not an assign button and doesn’t turn on the assign function. It just does exactly what it says…it turns the channel on and allows signal to flow to what’s downstream of the channel. IIRC, FWIW, the direct out jacks or pre ON switch so the direct outs are always live. I should probably verify that before I lob that out here.
- For the monitoring section in the top-right, all 16 channels are switched to "Tape" (though I've tried switching them to "Bus" and it doesn't yield sound either)
Okay here’s where you start to stray and it’s not uncommon because a lot of people don’t understand the MONITOR mixer. Those toggle switches are source switches, okay? They set whatever their respective channel listens to. So you set your input channels 1~16 to TAPE because you wanted them to listen to what’s plugged up to your TAPE jacks right? And now you want to listen to those 16 sources summed to PGM groups 7 & 8 right? So ask yourself why set the source of the MONITOR mixer channels also to the TAPE jacks? I’m presenting it this way because I want you to think critically about that for a moment. You want to source the output of your input channels 1~16 right? Which are summed to PGM groups 7 & 8 right? You want to listen to the output of PGM groups 7 & 8, not bypass your input channels and monitor the TAPE jacks directly. That’s what you do if you source MONITOR mixer channels to the TAPE jacks. The MONITOR mixer is a 16 x 2 mixer within the mixer. Each of the 16 channels can source either their numerically corresponding TAPE jack, or the PGM group who’s fader is directly below that MONITOR mixer channel. You set the level and PAN controls to establish a stereo mix you source in the headphones and control room monitor speakers by selecting the MONITOR MIXER stereo output as the source in the MONITOR SELECT switchrack. See that vertical row of buttons directly above the PGM group 3 fader? That’s how you pick what you hear in the cans and monitor speakers. Each switch sources a buss. The top button is labeled MON. Push that and you are sourcing the stereo output of the MONITOR mixer in the headphones and at the STEREO A and B busses. So let’s back up and come to us on if that makes sense. You now know if you want to listen to the output of the PGM groups you set the source of a corresponding MONITOR mixer channel to BUSS.
- For the stereo master A section to the right, I have "MON", "2TR A" and "2TR B" pressed.
Okay…why 2TR A and 2TR B? What do you have connected to those inputs?
And let me ask a general question. Are all the SEND/RCV jumpers installed? You either have to have the jumpers installed, the jacks connected to a full normal patchbay, or the jacks connected to the inputs and outputs of devices, and in some cases you have to have those turned on for signal to pass. The SEND/RCV jacks break the signal path. The jumper, full normal patchbay or outboard gear restores the break.
Haha I see @flyingace
beat me to that one…excellent question…spot on. Sometimes it takes me hours to compose a reply…a bit here, a bit there in between interruptions.
- I'm running two RCA-to-XLRs out of the back of the unit from the "Output ST MSTR A" into my Apollo Twin X which connects back into the DAW.
I do get a very quiet "buzz" from the stereo outputs, but that's it... Same out of the headphone port. I've tried routing the "SEND" output for channels 1 and 2 directly into my Apollo Twin X, and that isn't returning any signal either...
You’re using the same RCA-XLR cables when connecting the SEND jacks to the Apollo? I’m not familiar with that unit…
Okay so you have, like, a Twin X Duo? Correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t the XLR inputs on the Apollo mic inputs? I think you need RCA-TS cables. That doesn’t explain your problem, but you do r want to connect a line level out to a mic level input.
What am I missing here? Is it as simple as there being a single button I've neglected to press? Are there some troubleshooting steps I haven't thought of?
I think you need to scale it back, start with just the analog console and get that happening before trying to involve the return path to the DAW.
Do this…we need to verify you are getting signal to the console. And BTW what hardware are you using for those 16 D/A channels that are feeding the TAPE jacks? Press PLAY on the DAW, and take any input channel, and make sure it is sourced to TAPE and the TAPE trim control is set to maybe 2:00 or 3:00, now press the PFL switch above the channel fader, that’s for Pre Fade Listen…it sources a point in the signal path ahead of the channel fader but after the EQ section. So hit PFL, connect your headphones to the M-520 headphone jack, turn the SOLO knob at the right of the control surface to maybe 2:00, and slowly rotate the headphone level control clockwise…do you hear the DAW track that’s connected the channel you are soloing?