Tascam porta studio 05 setup beginner


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Hi I am 70 and learning the guitar, I know crazy isn't it. However I need help. I want to record how badly I play. I have a Tascam porta studio 05 with tape, A guitar, A Positive grid Spark Amp A Panasonic mini hifi CD tape. and Alesis drum machine. What I am not sure of is how to link it all together. I want to play a backing track or drum rhythm, play the guitar to either and record it on the Tascam tape deck while hearing it on the Spark Amp. Anyone know how to plug it all together. If I have to take a stereo out of the hifi how do I connect it to aTascam input. All this may seem simple to some, My first radio was a cristal set. Ray
Hi Ray. It's not crazy to start learning guitar at 70. I'm 68 and still learning and playing with all this recording. It's just fun stuff.

If you have "tape" outputs on your mini hifi, its a simple matter of taking a cable from that to the input channels of the PortaStudio. It's no more complicated than the old days when you plugged your cassette deck into a stereo receiver. Likewise, you can run the output of the Alesis to inputs on the Tascam. Then plug in your guitar or microphone and play along with the track.

You don't mention a microphone so I'm assuming you will be trying to run the Spark Amp directly to the Portastudio which might present a problem. The Spark doesn't have a line output, just headphone out. You would have to wire up a cable to do that.

I'm curious as to why you are using the tape PortaStudio. Is it something you've had for a while, or received from someone? I gave up on tape years ago, and never used cassette multitracks.

Your Spark Amp comes with USB output, which lets you feed directly to a computer. It also comes with recording software, so should be able to use your computer directly, meaning that you can drag an audio file to your program, select the guitar for another track and hit record. It's not terribly complicated once you take a little time. After it's set up, then doing it again is quick and easy.
Hello thanks for the reply, I just happen to have the Tascam plus it allows me to adjust things. The other thing is I am stuck with only being able to really understand the older stuff ie I still think if you hold an electric cable up by one end the wiggle bits would fall out. TeHe. Actually I also like old would stuff.
Anyway one final question the stereo output would be a 3.5 jack say or left right out. The input on the Tascam is 4 + mic mono, do I just put left into one mono and right into another. Ray
You record each channel, and when you play them back you can pan the output between left and right. The outputs of the Porta 05 appears just to be the two RCA jacks on the side. Mics go into channels 1 and 2 with the level set with the trimmer pot. Inputs 3 and 4 are line level only, it appears. The selector switch activates the record for either channel 1/3 to left and channel 2/4 to right. There should be no 3.5mm jacks.

Looking over the capability of the Porta 05, it leaves quite a bit to be desired. Assignment options are minimal, EQ is applied globally, the effects send wouldn't be useful for much other than reverb. For casual "am I playing this correctly" recording, it's adequate. As a multitracker, there are better options. I did read that Tascam made a bit deal out of the cleaning the tape path, heads and capstan. You might watch for that if you start to lose performance. I haven't been able to find the full user manual.

I did find one of Tascam's brochures on HiFi Engine, and was surprised that this unit was $500 when released in 84. It makes me realize how good of a deal the Zoom R24 is at $500 (Got mine for $425 from GC with a 15% discount coupon).