Condenser With A 388. Would It Make Much Difference?

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Mark
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Condenser With A 388. Would It Make Much Difference?

Post by Mark » Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:37 am

I love my 388, but at that speed, and that track width, I can't see how you could ever hope to record frequencies that aren't already within the range of a quality dynamic. But maybe I'm wrong.

So what's the truth of the matter?

kslight
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Post by kslight » Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:59 pm

Obviously of course you'd need phantom power..

In my experience using a condenser with the 388 makes a difference, while it certainly doesn't have the fullest frequency response you can absolutely benefit from it if brightness is what you seek. Its better on these and other tape machines to record bright if you want to have some top end to work with in the mix, because if you tried to add it after the fact it is mostly noise. I often find myself boosting high end on the way in, just to make sure I have it if I need it.

Mark
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Post by Mark » Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:07 pm

That's a good point. It's a shame Tascam didn't make it with a couple of phantom power enabled channels (maybe in a MK II version), as it does make it a bit more awkward to use capacitor mics with the beast.

kslight
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Post by kslight » Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:36 pm

I suppose, at the same time just one of those quirks that makes it what it is...

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Post by jrdamien » Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:51 pm

kslight wrote:Obviously of course you'd need phantom power..

In my experience using a condenser with the 388 makes a difference, while it certainly doesn't have the fullest frequency response you can absolutely benefit from it if brightness is what you seek. Its better on these and other tape machines to record bright if you want to have some top end to work with in the mix, because if you tried to add it after the fact it is mostly noise. I often find myself boosting high end on the way in, just to make sure I have it if I need it.
I always boost the highs now on the way in, having learned that trying to add highs afterward always sounds either distorted or plain harsh. Taming the highs, however, does just that.

Mark
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Post by Mark » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:52 am

What about lows?

The Scum
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Post by The Scum » Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:13 pm

Frequency response is only one of the reasons you might try a condenser.

The greater sensitivity, faster transient response, and different polar patterns can be very useful.

You might also look into getting really close to the mic, to exercise its proximity effect - that works on dynamics, too. It gives you a bass boost that can be useful - jazz radio announcer voice effects.

That said, in the heyday of analog tape, it was common to use bright sounding mics when you tracked. It was a preventative measure for the lesser hi frequency response and eventual degradation that the highs would see as the tape wore. There are a number of smaller condensers that seem to have fallen out of favor with digital recording, where we don't need to be paranoid about preserving the highs.
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Post by WilH » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:09 am

I use an Audio-Technica TCP8506 4 channel phantom power supply with my 388.

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Post by eh91311 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:26 pm

I've always used an external preamp with phantom power when using condensers with the 388. I have some single Audio-Technica phantom power units, I think I'll try them to see what the 388 pre's sound like with condensers. I do know that the 388 pre's are closer to the Tascam mixers of the same vintage, as compared to the cassette portastudio pre's of a similar era, which aren't good at all.

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Post by Mark » Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:51 am

I look forward to hearing your results.

Use cheap, mid priced and expensive ones so we can get a decent comparison. :)

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