Dumping tracks from a Tascam 488 mkII?

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benton netty
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Dumping tracks from a Tascam 488 mkII?

Post by benton netty » Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:42 pm

Hello, all!

I'm wondering what might be a cheap way for me to get the tracks off of my Tascam 488 mkII 8-track and onto my computer. I'm okay with paying someone to do the job, but I wonder if I can do it myself for not much money. Because, well, I'm poor.

Currently, I'm running Mackie Tracktion and that's it. I've got no preamps or anything to accept 8 inputs from the Tascam, but is there a Macgyver way I'm not aware of where I can get the audio off the tapes? I thought of going two tracks at a go (panned hard left and right), but I'm hoping I can do all 8 at once just to save time. Short of purchasing an 8-input piece of gear, can I do anything else?

Thanks for your help!

RefD
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Post by RefD » Sat Oct 25, 2008 2:00 pm

you shouldn't need mic pres to accept the line outs from the 488.

how many inputs does your converter have?
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dwelle
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Post by dwelle » Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:53 pm

you can't get 8 outs out of the 488 anyway. it doesn't have direct outs, one of my only gripes about that machine. you've got a line output, a monitor output, and an auxillary send. that's 6 if you can even get all that to work at once...

RefD
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Post by RefD » Sat Oct 25, 2008 9:28 pm

dwelle wrote:you can't get 8 outs out of the 488 anyway. it doesn't have direct outs, one of my only gripes about that machine. you've got a line output, a monitor output, and an auxillary send. that's 6 if you can even get all that to work at once...
you can send 4 of the 8 tracks out at a time on the 488.

do it in two passes and then line up manually in the DAW.

not a big deal.

you can also do it one of the ways outline on this page:

http://homerecording.com/tas488tips.html
?What need is there to weep over parts of life? The whole of it calls for tears.? -- Seneca

benton netty
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Post by benton netty » Sat Oct 25, 2008 10:48 pm

yeah, i'd actually saved that homerecording page as a word file some time ago -- seems like it would work doing it that way, but i'd need something that would accept 8 inputs at once, and i don't have that.

i guess i wasn't aware, though, that you can send 4 at a time. doing 4 twice isn't too bad, at all, especially because i was using 30-minute tapes at 2x speed. this piece of advice helps me. although i guess i still need to figure out how to get the four inputs in at once...what might be a cheap piece of gear that would let me do this?

i'm using a ridiculously rudimentary setup. i just run an old four-track into my sound card and then record using mackie tracktion. i know, i know, it's silly. but i actually really like it.

please forgive my incredible lack of knowledge about this stuff. i know this is probably so very simply solved.

RefD
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Post by RefD » Sat Oct 25, 2008 10:54 pm

hunt down a 4 input converter that's within your budget?
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kinger
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Post by kinger » Sun Oct 26, 2008 5:17 am

benton netty wrote:
i'm using a ridiculously rudimentary setup. i just run an old four-track into my sound card and then record using mackie tracktion. i know, i know, it's silly. but i actually really like it.
Nothing silly about this; I had a 488 when I first started out and used to get some really cool sounding stuff out of it. Now that I'm a wildly famous and respected engineer/musician (in a very small circle) I pretty much just use my DAW as an 8-track tape machine and use outboard gear for mixing, compression, 'verbs...

Anyway, I picked up a used 1010LT for a great price and have had a lot of success with it.

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Post by djimbe » Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:10 am

RefD wrote:you can send 4 of the 8 tracks out at a time on the 488.

do it in two passes and then line up manually in the DAW.

not a big deal.

The 488 is going to drift in speed releative to the way it ran during your first 4 track dump. Maybe it won't be that hard to line up segments of a song, but I found the process tedious and the results poor.

Try it for sure. But the lack of sync and the phase shift is noticable and noticably bad sounding. I found the best performance of the "record on 488 and dump to DAW" by using the middle of short tapes. Keeping the tape amount on feed and take up more even makes the machine run smoother.
I thought this club was for musicians. Who let the drummer in here??

RefD
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Post by RefD » Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:12 pm

djimbe wrote:
RefD wrote:you can send 4 of the 8 tracks out at a time on the 488.

do it in two passes and then line up manually in the DAW.

not a big deal.

The 488 is going to drift in speed releative to the way it ran during your first 4 track dump. Maybe it won't be that hard to line up segments of a song, but I found the process tedious and the results poor.

Try it for sure. But the lack of sync and the phase shift is noticable and noticably bad sounding. I found the best performance of the "record on 488 and dump to DAW" by using the middle of short tapes. Keeping the tape amount on feed and take up more even makes the machine run smoother.
pfft!

it'll be fine, unless you have a stereo pair on tracks 4 and 5! :lol:
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littlesongs
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Post by littlesongs » Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:51 am

I had a 488 for a couple of years and it was a challenge to dump tracks into PT. In my experience, the secret is to keep the tightly rhythmic elements all in one pass, and the less critical bits in the second pass. For example, drums, bass, rhythm guitar, lead vocal and the like are all kept together. Then, the shorter passages from solo instruments, simple backing vocals and things you grabbed just for color are all you have to sync up in the box.
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Knight79
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Post by Knight79 » Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:26 am

I love my 488mk II, (mines actually a 7 track now that I blew one) I mix down in garage band, throw distortion on the whole mix, add some treble reduction...and voila! lo fi heaven

RefD
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Post by RefD » Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:39 am

*post redacted*
Last edited by RefD on Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
?What need is there to weep over parts of life? The whole of it calls for tears.? -- Seneca

benton netty
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Post by benton netty » Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:34 pm

littlesongs wrote:I had a 488 for a couple of years and it was a challenge to dump tracks into PT. In my experience, the secret is to keep the tightly rhythmic elements all in one pass, and the less critical bits in the second pass. For example, drums, bass, rhythm guitar, lead vocal and the like are all kept together. Then, the shorter passages from solo instruments, simple backing vocals and things you grabbed just for color are all you have to sync up in the box.
ooh, this is a really good tip. makes a ton of sense.

anyone have any other suggestions on a cheapo 4-input converter? i checked out that 1010LT, and i think that one may be too rich for my (quite poor) blood. anything out there that i could get for under, say, $50 that would do the trick?

RefD
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Post by RefD » Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:12 pm

$50?

not that i can think of offhand, no.
?What need is there to weep over parts of life? The whole of it calls for tears.? -- Seneca

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