Setup advice for Tascam M35 and 38 tape machine?

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naturalbridges
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Setup advice for Tascam M35 and 38 tape machine?

Post by naturalbridges » Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:38 am

Hi, everyone! I finally was able to make room to set up my Tascam 38 and M35 mixer and everything seems to be working ok. I hooked the mixer up to the tape machine and hear sound coming through the headphones and monitors. I’ve been perusing the manual online and it seems super dense! I only have previous experience with the 388 and am a newbie to standalone mixers and tape machines. Does anyone have a “Quick Start” guide to getting everything set up to record and mix? I would be greatly appreciative!

Matthew

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Re: Setup advice for Tascam M35 and 38 tape machine?

Post by vernier » Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:15 pm

Hook-up lines from recorders outputs to the board ...and use mic, line, tape-in select switch to control signal flows. The manuals should explain it, I'd study them thoroughly.

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A.David.MacKinnon
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Re: Setup advice for Tascam M35 and 38 tape machine?

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:46 am

For tracking, connect the 38's inputs to the M35's bus outs or direct outs for each channel. 38's output should go into tape returns 1-8 on the M35.
For mix down you'll likely want the 38 outputs connected to the line in of channels 1-8 on the M35 so you've got access to EQ and sends.

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Re: Setup advice for Tascam M35 and 38 tape machine?

Post by naturalbridges » Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:45 am

Cool! I did have everything set up correctly for tracking, then. Sorry for the complete beginner questions...is there a benefit to using the bus outs vs the direct outs? Thank you so much for all of your help!

-Matthew

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A.David.MacKinnon
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Re: Setup advice for Tascam M35 and 38 tape machine?

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:25 am

Sometimes the direct outs don't have as much gain as the bus does. My Soundcraft 600 has direct outs at -10 and bus outs at +4. In that case the direct outs are fine to drive prosumer gear like the RCA ins on a 38 but they're a bit weak into my converters. I don't know what the available gain is on the direct out vs bus out on your M35 but it should be in the manual somewhere.
Beyond that, using the bus allows you to combine multiple sources to one tape track. You could also use it as a master volume to the tape track in instances where you want to drive the input channel. You could max out the input and then use the bus fader to set the level you want to tape.

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Re: Setup advice for Tascam M35 and 38 tape machine?

Post by Magnetic Services » Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:56 pm

After many ups and downs with my old 38, I'd just say be very careful when it comes to calibration. I got an MRL test tape and did that whole thing, only to fuck up several cards by burning out the bias pots. My advice is to calibrate it just enough so it sounds nice and consistent across channels, but don't go down the rabbit hole of trying to get every track perfectly dialed in unless you're very experienced or willing to buy some replacement parts. Set it up the best you can, appreciate it for what it is (which is still awesome), and enjoy!

I had my heads aligned and relapped by JRF Magnetics and had the power supply rebuilt by Jim Williams, both expensive but definitely worth it (especially the PSU - don't skimp on that!). I got some parts from Reel Pro Sound Guys, but the customer service was terrible. Don't know if any of these folks are still in business, though.

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