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The Tascam 388
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curtiswyant
re-cappin' neve


Joined: 21 Oct 2004
Posts: 727
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 3:34 pm    Post subject: The Tascam 388 Reply with quote

Just wondering who out there is recording regularly with a 388. I love mine, and I can't really see outgrowing it.
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eh91311
re-cappin' neve


Joined: 07 May 2003
Posts: 766
Location: NW Los Angeles

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 12:58 am    Post subject: 388 Reply with quote

Ah, the 388. A great machine. Did my first "decent" recording project on one years back. still have it. Has a sound of its own. Doesn't sound like a 2" pro tape recorder but who cares? It's a cool piece of gear.
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Slider
george martin


Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Posts: 1486

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:14 am    Post subject: Re: The Tascam 388 Reply with quote

There is something amazing about that deck.
I loved that thing. Sometimes I wish I still had one.
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Snarky
takin' a dinner break


Joined: 25 Oct 2003
Posts: 186
Location: Columbus, OH

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:39 am    Post subject: Re: The Tascam 388 Reply with quote

For finacial reasons I have to sell mine, though it breaks my heart, and honestly folks I'm really not trying to hard to sell it, because I still love to caress its' awkward brown face.
It stares at me from a distance in the control room proped up sideways watching in jealousy as I yet do another fucking track in ProTools. It cries at my glowing white face as I gaze into the screen, wondering how this new love tore me away from her sweet, luminescent orange faders. Getting angry at the fact that this new "tool" has a complete, hypnotizing effect on me, thinking I might have been brainwashed by that damned digidesign device. My 388 is sad, and it misses me, and I miss her. But ProTools has more power. She says "but I have more character."

Alright guys, I'm done, Still conflicted though. I used to record drums and bass on that and then dump it into Vegas and finish my overdubs and
editing there, I haven't done anything like that in a while........anybody got a good lead on 1/4" tape??? Ahhhh yes....nice pic duder......


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konabuzz
takin' a dinner break


Joined: 09 May 2003
Posts: 177
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 9:13 am    Post subject: Re: The Tascam 388 Reply with quote

Kelley Stoltz has recorded all of his releases with the 388 in his home studio....Very Beatle-esque, poppy....shades of psych. Very cool arrangements and he's another wunderkind who plays everything.

http://www.subpop.com/scripts/main/bands_page.php?id=448
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Jeff White
ghost haunting audio students


Joined: 26 Feb 2006
Posts: 3257
Location: Philadelphia, PA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 11:33 am    Post subject: Re: The Tascam 388 Reply with quote

konabuzz wrote:
Kelley Stoltz has recorded all of his releases with the 388 in his home studio....Very Beatle-esque, poppy....shades of psych. Very cool arrangements and he's another wunderkind who plays everything.

http://www.subpop.com/scripts/main/bands_page.php?id=448


Thanks so much for posting this. What a talent.
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ThunderFaceWizardHead
alignin' 24-trk


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 65
Location: in the taco truck line

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 4:59 pm    Post subject: Re: The Tascam 388 Reply with quote

I just put mine in storage yesterday, and as I closed the door to the unit, a single tear rolled down my cheek.

It is going to be a rough couple months without her.
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shedshrine
george martin


Joined: 01 Jun 2004
Posts: 1417
Location: sf bay area

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 4:02 pm    Post subject: Re: The Tascam 388 Reply with quote

Tascam 388 User Guide and Service Manual courtesy of The Snowfields

___________________________________________________________________





curtiswyant wrote:
a 388. I love mine, and I can't really see outgrowing it.


eh91311 wrote:
Ah, the 388. A great machine. Did my first "decent" recording project on one years back. still have it. Has a sound of its own.


darfking wrote:
I still love to caress its' awkward brown face..


btaylor319 wrote:


I just put mine in storage yesterday, and as I closed the door to the unit, a single tear rolled down my cheek.

It is going to be a rough couple months without her.



Slider wrote:


There is something amazing about that deck.
I loved that thing. .



Such Passion! Such Fire! What is this special sound you speak of that doth swell thine loins, this special something? Can its beauty be rendered by mere words? Do tell...
Very Happy
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Quote:
"the sound of a typical, well-maintained 388 deck is
warm, round, thick sounding, no ultra-low end, rolled off upper highs. Great sounding, nonetheless."
-eh91311



______________________________________________________________________________________________________________



Albums Tracked on a Tascam 388


The Black Keys

2003 "Thickfreakness" The Black Keys
___________________________________

"One of their trademarks is their preference for simple, lo-fi recording techniques. They refuse to use big-name studios, and do most recording, producing, and mixing themselves. Most of Thickfreakness was recorded in about 14 hours in Carney’s basement, using only an early 80’s Tascam 388 8-track recorder. Often, their recordings still have background noises (such as an owl hooting)."

"This one (link no longer available)doesn't have much recording info, but talks about them overdriving their compressor while recording and the engineer getting pissy.

Keep in mind that a huge part of their sound is not just the recording equipment, but also Dan's guitar gear, where they record, and their unorthodox methods.

Dan uses some crazy stuff in the studio. Old Ampeg guitar amps and vintage guitars, as well as a large variety of vintage fuzz pedals. One of the tracks he recorded out of a 6" speaker on one of the old guitar cases with a built in amp. Their first two (The Big Come Up and Thickfreakness) albums, as well as their fourth (Magic Potion) were recorded in their concrete-walled basement, and that definately adds a huge amount of vibe to the recordings. I think Dan mentions in that first article that "I Cry Alone" on Thickfreakness is his favorite example of the basement's ambience.

For your listening pleasure: http://hypem.com/track/488482

Their third album (the aptly named Rubber Factory) they recorded in an abandoned tire factory. Sort of a unique environment, I'd say.

Favorite story from their recordings I've heard is how they put down the solo for "Hard Row" on Thickfreakness. Dan had Pat hold a microphone by the cable and swing it in a circle in front of his guitar amp in order to get a sort of reverse-leslie effect. Spinning mic instead of spinning speaker." soures: wiki and this homerecording forum thread.



2001 "Antique Glow" Kelley Stoltz
______________________________________
"Kelley Stoltz stumbles with a melodic drawl into a batch of creatively-recorded pop on Antique Glow. Recalling everything from the Beatles, Leonard Cohen and Nick Drake to Beck and Wilco, this disc feels like a classic you've known all your life. There are shambling, energetic cuts and morose folkish laments, each memorable and bursting with great lyrics and sonic treats. And you won't hear a better sequencing of songs this year than the four that close this record out. Antique Glow was recorded by Stoltz, mostly in the bedroom of his San Francisco apartment on a Tascam 388 1/4" reel to reel with just an SM57. Recording at home allowed Stoltz to capture songs as they were conceived. "I've never had much success reworking things, redoing vocals and stuff. I usually find that the initial inspiration gets trampled or dulled by repetition." He notes though, "when writing and recording simultaneously, it's really important to keep good notes. Pay attention to the timer and what comes in when. That way you can cram as much stuff as possible on each track: percussion, harmony vocals or whatever in the spaces you have." After getting the majority of the album down on tape, Stoltz and the 388 went to Kevin Ink's Studio That Time Forgot. "Kevin's sonic janitorial skills were invaluable..." (Matt Mair Lowrey) Tape Op Nov/Dec 2002

Kelley Stoltz links:
KelleyStoltz.com
KelleyStoltzsubpop
KelleyStoltzMySpacePage
emusic article


"They're so ugly and beautiful at the same time," explains Kelley Stoltz, who purchased his Tascam back in 1999. "Today, no one would design a piece of musical furniture with shit-brown everywhere and some orange buttons. It looks like a video game. It's very of its time." Depending on whom you ask, Stoltz is the father of the 388 in the SF Bay Area.


_______________________________________





2004 Dr. Dog "Easy Beat"
Click for Review and samples


" ‘Easy Beat’ was recorded on a machine that Toby and I bought in 1999 off of Ebay, a Tascam 388. It’s a quarter inch tape machine, and it’s a wonderful tool. The preamps are built right in. It’s basically an inflated looking 4 track with one giant tape window… 8 channels built right into the whole thing. It’s heavy as hell, but not too unmanageable. You can move it around. We recorded on that for years, and so by the time that we got to making ‘Easy Beat’, we had so much experience with it that I feel like we knew exactly what we were doing. We had really kinda schooled ourselves on it over the years. It prepared us to make more of a ‘legitimate’ sound. So many of the earlier recordings are less a representation of the band, and more just experiments, like the kind of thing you would hear on ‘Toothbrush’ our actual first album. "
____________________________________________
More 388 recordist links:




Truth&SoulRecords
The Olympians

"Recorded in his bedroom on a Tascam 388, The Olympians give us that gritty yet sweet sound that can only from NY."





Willoughby
"Gus Seyffert's Willoughby project basically shows off the sound of a typical, well-maintained 388 deck;
warm, round, thick sounding, no ultra-low end, rolled off upper highs. Great sounding, nonetheless."





Killionsound Studio
"Run by house engineer & guitar player Sergio Rios , KillionSound represents an aesthetic:
the vision of a vintage time, resurrected into warm, full & soulful sounding contemporary records..."
This promo reel has samples of country, folk, and especially funky soul prog latin jazz rock. ..amazing stuff. Wow.

Killionsound's house band's band, Orgone
http://www.myspace.com/orgonemusic

Artists who record at Killionsound:
The Lions http://www.myspace.com/lionsbread
The Expanders http://www.myspace.com/expandersroots
______________________________________________________________

The San Francisco scene:

Pitchfork discovers the 388 (thanks iamthecosmos)
"In the heyday of David Lee Roth and Q*bert back in 1985, the Tascam 388 was the the cutting-edge of home recording technology-- a 1/4" multi-track tape machine with a built-in mixing desk and eight channels of DBX noise reduction. By today's standards, it's a dinosaur, an 80-lb., faux-wood-paneled behemoth with dirty-orange faders. It has character, but not much else.
But, in San Francisco, the bulky brown desk is still the pinnacle of mid-fi cool."


[b]The Fresh and Onlys

"Miles: I was hanging out with Tim and Shayde in the record store, and Tim had asked me, 'You record stuff at home?' and i was like, 'Yeah, I just bought a a Tascam 388 right before I moved out here,' and he just stopped and stared at me, and grabbed Shayde was like, 'We just bought a 388.' And we all just kinda looked at each other and were like 'OK,' you know? Just like three eyes and we all knew something was going to come of it. And the tape machine became the cornerstone. The Sisters Of Mercy have that drum machine they always accredited to the band: The 388 is the silent fifth member of the band.

Sartin: The 388 is amazing. In San Francisco, it's almost its own entity. Of the bands in SF: The Sic Alps, Thee Oh Sees, The Hospitals, and all those bands, the 388 is their machine. And Kelly Stoltz, he's like probably the Genesis-

M: The OG.

S: The original Genesis of the 388 in San Fransisco. He was the first guy to do the 388 and the first guy to be so DIY, not in a punk sense, but he was the first one to make massive, dense records with it. And every one was like, 'Holy shit, you made all this with that little machine?' And it's not too little, and it's not too big.

Yeah, and I just want to tell you guys out of those recordings I get a real vintage Nickelodeon feel, circa Pete and Pete/Hey Dude.

S: Never heard that one before, it's very American."

The Fresh & Onlys

The Hospitals

The Sic Alps


The Sic Alps Tascam 388 studio

The Oh Sees


____________________________________________



Atlas At Least- The Electric Foodgun
Clicky

I met Eric Gieg through a homerecording thread discussing the 388.
He had just bought a 388 that came with about 120 reels of 456 (pic on pg 7 of this thread). He had just found out all the tape was sticky shed and useless.
He was bummed. So I sent him a reel of 457.
This is the album they recorded with it.
Crazy fun chords and changes. Great stuff.
Band Members Eric G- guitar, vocals Eric T- drums, vocals
Influences "Norway, German Expressionism, Scissors, early Descendents records, Black Flag instrumentals..."

Read more: http://www.myspace.com/atlasatleast#ixzz13TTtH3YB


__________________________________________________


Last of the Blacksmiths

________________________________
The Bakery Studio, Manchester



http://soundcloud.com/thebakerystudio

http://www.myspace.com/bakerystudio

all reggae jazz Blues + funk with a positive message.

___________________________



1989 "Suck on This" Primus
Reissued April 23, 2002 along with Frizzle Fry.

Recorded live at the Berkeley Square in Berkeley, California on February 25 and March 5, 1989 with $3,000 borrowed from Les' father.[1]. A compilation of several performances, the live material was recorded on a TASCAM quarter-inch 8-track Portastudio and mixed on Hi-Fi VHS.[1]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suck_on_This


"Precipitation"
http://www.bassplayer.com/article/les-claypool/jan-00/5944
I recorded this one in my little Berkeley apartment bedroom at least five years ago. I was using my old Tascam 388 reel-to-reel, which is still one of the best-sounding devices I've ever come across. I guess we stuck a mike in front of the TV, 'cause there was a sample of this Michael Palin comedy thing on it. But I couldn't get clearance to use it, so I had to redo all the vocals. I'm still working on the clearance, though--so someday there might be a B-side with Michael Palin on it.

2007 interview claypool:
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/interviews/interviews/les_claypool_i_dont_like_going_backwards.html
I understand that you also record at your home.
I do. Yes, I pretty much predominantly do since the mid-90s. It’s an evolutionary process. I think I started out with a Tascam 388, which is a ¼ inch reel-to-reel eight track. Our first Primus record was done on one of those machines actually. I produced the Charlie Hunter on one of those machines. Various bits and pieces of Primus records were recorded on those machines. Then the ADATs came along, the Mackie consoles. We got an Amek console for a while, then obviously Pro Tools came along. Now my whole studio is filled with all old vintage analog gear. It’s been an evolutionary process of accumulation.
_______________________________________
eh91311 said:
Quote:
There's lots of people using 388's for something other than the "East River Pipe" and "Kelley Stoltz" singer-songwriter-band thing. This young guy Wiggins from suburban Atlanta has been using his 388 for years to record hardcore and punk bands there. His current band, Hawks (myspace.com/hawksisaband) recorded their LP on his 388 primarily because that's what they had to record on and there was no budget for a "real" studio. Other ATL bands he recorded such as Benard and Fox Trotsky on Alaska Records (RIP), he used the 388 to track, bounced over to a computer or ADAT then back to the 388. I don't think he used the DBX, but kept the levels high. Not much treble on those tracks, but they sound very powerful. No one would think they were done on tape that skinny or a deck that old.




click here for
East River Pipe aka F.M. Cornog



__________________________________________________

"Onward" by Jonny Nowhere


"I own a 388 Studio 8. 1/4" 8 track with the built in desk. It's as heavy as a Volkswagen. This is the machine you are referring to. If you want to hear what it will do I will offer this link.

This was all recorded on the 388, converted direct to a wav file and then converted to an mp3. I experience great results. The four band parametric eq is more than adequate. The deck just doesn't have phantom power, but if you're using mic pres, no problem. It is made to be fully serviceable.

Just keep the heads shiny clean and don't fiddle with the adjustment controls until you have the proper test equipment and fully understand what you are trying to do. Be extremely careful when you demagnetize. If you are lucky enough to get the manual with your purchase, it will give you thorough instructions. "
__________________________________________________


Jon Sonnenberg Studio pics on page 7 this thread


_____________________________________

ElephantWest Recording Studio in Vienna

_________________________
Trio Los Michelle Ginga
3rdアルバムレコーディング開始!

みなさん、ご無沙汰してしまいました......ごめんなさい......orz。
 
さて今月の5日からいよいよ3rdのレコーディングが始まりました!
今回は今までと違いドラムの曲もあります。そこで白羽の矢が立ったのが
村岡君、通称『兄ィ』。素晴らしいドラムプレイを聞かせてくれます。
 
今回のレコーディングはとにかくある一定の雰囲気を出すためにあらゆる
努力をすることになるのですが、そのもっとも重要なメインの核となるのが
こちら。




TASCAM 388フルチューンバージョンです。アナログオープン8chのテレコに
ミキサーが付いた大変便利な機械。僕はコイツともう15年以上の付き合いで、
幾度もメンテナンス、ヘッド交換などをしてきました。極めつけは12年前の大改造。
全ての回路を作り直したのです。ミキサーのEQはおかげで大型のコンソールに負けない
音色となりました。S/Nも驚異的に良くなり、これが本当に1/4の8chの音なのか?
というくらい素晴らしいものです。
 
そしてウワサの兄ィのショット!






なかなか現代に見かけないワイルドなルックスです。
今回はいろいろと無理難題を吹っかけてみましたが、快く(笑)引き受けてくれました。
実際、すばらしいトラックが録音出来ました。
 
内容はまだ言えないのですが、少し現代に近づいた音になっていることは間違いありません。
 
今回のドラム録音の立役者、T・H・E・社のBS-3Dという超立体音響のマイクロフォン。

(Rough translation: These guys are working on their third album
and the guy in the pic has had his 388 for 15 years)

_____________________________________________________________________


Herbert Vianna

Ê Batumaré
(1992) Gravado nos meses de junho e julho de 1992 em uma garagem,
num equipamento Tascam 388 de 8 canais, Ê Batumaré
é a primeira experiência solo de Herbert Vianna sem os Paralamas.
Um disco um tanto quanto "cru", que valeu apenas como experiência sem ambições de vendas.
Este disco vendeu cerca de 25 mil cópias.

(Reggae, ska, latin album that sold 25 million copies)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Vianna

_______________________________________________________________

Soundcloud site: Recordings made on a Tascam 388started by tomber "dustypants"
________________________________________

Apparently there is a facebook page for the machine now..
Tascam 388 Studio 8 page
_______________________________________
This entire 388 thread on one page..

___________________________________________

MosquitoPlanet


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Last edited by shedshrine on Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:27 pm; edited 66 times in total
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E.Bennett
re-cappin' neve


Joined: 10 Jun 2004
Posts: 617

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 6:56 pm    Post subject: Re: The Tascam 388 Reply with quote

i haven't recorded on mine in years, but i wanted to play something back on it the other day. when i hit play, i got a clunk, then nothing, then my heart sunk. it was just a capstan belt, but i was hell bent on repairing it right away. i couldn't stand the idea that the 388 wasn't working, even though i never use it. there's something very compelling about that device. my computer has been crapping out for two weeks and i haven't even pulled it out of the rack.

i think i'm going to stick that 388 in the live room and just turn it on. i bet i'll get better takes out of bands just by having that thing in the room.
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creature.of.habit
buyin' a studio


Joined: 27 Nov 2004
Posts: 878
Location: lisbon, portugal

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:22 pm    Post subject: Re: The Tascam 388 Reply with quote

someone please stop bumping this thread..i cant read "388" without blowing up with GAS..

stop already Shocked

please?
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shedshrine
george martin


Joined: 01 Jun 2004
Posts: 1417
Location: sf bay area

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 9:03 pm    Post subject: Re: The Tascam 388 Reply with quote

creature.of.habit wrote:
someone please stop bumping this thread..i cant read "388" without blowing up with GAS..

stop already Shocked

please?


Well, I for one would never dream of trotting out this old chestnut just to read glowing fuzzy love kernels for a 17 year old machine that has brought joy to millio...um, lots of folks! Gimme! Very Happy

Nice pic up there "Snarky"

Here are a couple well-lit, photoshopped-to-perfection ones by Jeff "Ghost of FM" Peletz of homerecording.com:







Here's one of mine:


One with custom hardwood wrist rest..



...Alligator armrest:



________


source for Solid Wood Tascam 388 "Studio 8" Side Panels


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Last edited by shedshrine on Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:32 pm; edited 18 times in total
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shedshrine
george martin


Joined: 01 Jun 2004
Posts: 1417
Location: sf bay area

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 4:22 pm    Post subject: Re: The Tascam 388 Reply with quote

eh91311 wrote:
Has a sound of its own. Doesn't sound like a 2" pro tape recorder but who cares? It's a cool piece of gear.


shedshrine wrote:
How would you describe it's sound? Does it have a sonic signature?


excellent question shedshrine! Yeah, describe it's sound. I mean this thread already has the killer Darfking photo, and the proclamations of love, let's make this thing complete...

Say shedshrine, you wouldn't happen to be in the market for one of these, would you?

Why yes, apsatively mint one arriving...FRIDAY!! whoohoo!! Better sounding than a 246, not quite a 38, but it's got the mojo baby!!
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the velour fog
buyin' a studio


Joined: 07 May 2003
Posts: 874

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:14 pm    Post subject: Re: The Tascam 388 Reply with quote

shedshrine wrote:
eh91311 wrote:
Has a sound of its own. Doesn't sound like a 2" pro tape recorder but who cares? It's a cool piece of gear.


shedshrine wrote:
How would you describe it's sound? Does it have a sonic signature?


excellent question shedshrine! Yeah, describe it's sound. I mean this thread already has the killer Darfking photo, and the proclamations of love, let's make this thing complete...

Say shedshrine, you wouldn't happen to be in the market for one of these, would you?

Why yes, apsatively mint one arriving...FRIDAY!! whoohoo!! Better sounding than a 246, not quite a 38, but it's got the mojo baby!!


let's hope it remains apsatively mint when it arrives. i recently sold my 388 (very reluctantly) and the shipping company messed it up pretty good. though i was able to get the insurance and it looks like it's fixable. so i get to keep it, though it's a bit hobbled right now. poor guy.
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thefiremelted
ass engineer


Joined: 07 Nov 2005
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:34 pm    Post subject: Re: The Tascam 388 Reply with quote

if anyone needs to sell theirs, sell it to me!!
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swelle
takin' a dinner break


Joined: 27 Jul 2004
Posts: 195

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:37 pm    Post subject: Re: The Tascam 388 Reply with quote

It can be hard to find techs who will work on them... something about the 'all in one' unit, and you can't pull out channel strips. New users should probably learn to fix them themselves?

The sound amazing, btw.
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