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Thread: Tascam 414 Mkii to Tascam 488 mkii

  1. #1
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    Jan 2002
    Tucson, AZ
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    Tascam 414 Mkii to Tascam 488 mkii

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    I am really interested in buying the Tascam 488. Is it any good? Also, could I use my tascam 414 as a mixer for the drums to go into before it goes to the 488 and use the line outs so it goes into two channels of the 488? Also, how compatible are these two machines with each other? What kinds of things could I do involving both of the machines?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 1999
    grand rapids mi USA
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    Hey Brother: Why do you want to buy an obsolete piece of gear like the 488?

    I have owned two 488's. A good machine for its time; however, its time has passed. For example, if you record a 3 minute tune on a 488, you have to rewind the tape for every track you do if you're over-dubbing. I can't see the unit as being used to record a live gig; however, anything is possible.

    I have a pristine 488 in my storage area which I call the catacombs. Do you want to buy it? 300 pezuttos plus shiping.

    But. you would do better to buy a digital 8 track piece of gear, or better.

    I did some good stuff on the 488 and, in its time, it was a neat piece of gear; however, it's over for the 488. It doesn't have the headroom of a digital box.

    But, look around and if that's what you want, buy it. You don't have to buy mine -- but, I understand it isn't made anymore.

    Green Hornet

  3. #3
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    Jun 2000
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    First, the tapes are not compatible. The 488 uses two 4-track heads staggered like your knuckles when you fit your fists together.
    Second, you can do exactly as you say, micing the drums into the 4-track and sending two tracks to the other recorder. Good deal. I can't think of anything cool to do with two machines other than some phase-shifting, where you record to them both at once, then play the 4-track on to an adjacent track while micro-adjusting the tape speed.

    I can appreciate where your're at. The cassette world is simple, cheap, old fashioned, and fun. The fidelity is amazing considering the media used, but you will outgrow it eventually. In terms of fidelity, the bottom line is in the bass: the digital recorders reproduce the bass frequencies much better than the cassette systems.

    Also, the 488 may not be the best choice. I crossed the same bridge once and chose the Yamaha version instead because it had everything the 488 had plus 8 direct outs (one for each channel). This allows it to be used as a mixer to an additional recording device as well as the cassette. Because of this, I still use mine today. After a couple of years, when I decided to upgrade to digital, it was easy since I already had the mixer and the external equipment (reverb, compressors, etc.). The 8 outs I hooked up to a digital Fostex D824 hard disk recorder which allows me to go to either format, or both. The digital sounds awesome, but I'm still 'backward compatable' with stuff I've done before. I can pass my older material from tape to the digital and re-work it again, track to track. If a bunch of us are just jamming around, I record to cassette in case we stumble onto something with potential. If that happens, it's been captured and can be developed to fruition on the digital. Even if it's just regular junk, at a buck a tape, I can label the cassette, write down the date and other info on the chart, and file it away. Occasionally, we'll go
    back and listen to ourselves a year or two ago for fun. More ambitious projects, obviously, are initially recorded to the digital, but the operation is the same.

    The Yamaha version is called the MT8xII, and I think it's the nicest 8-track cassette system ever made, which is not saying much, but I like the differentiation between the cassette recording section and the mixing section. It has all the phantom power, inserts, aux sends and returns of an expensive board, so the money I spent on compressors, reverb units and cd recorders over the last couple of years was not wasted, because I still use them all as I always have. It's easy to get caught up in the latest gear, but you also have to consider your needs, your budget and what you're comfortable with.

    Saying that I still use a cassette system will solicit a lot of laughter on this board, but a recording studio is for fun and enjoyment, and you don't necessarily have to take it too seriously. Go with what works for you and enjoy it, but I recommend trying to choose a path where the equipment you buy is the equipment you'll use for a long time.

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