Tascam 488mkii advice: symptom of dying track?

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

Post Reply
mikey_grapes
ass engineer
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:29 am
Location: Cleveland, OH
Contact:

Tascam 488mkii advice: symptom of dying track?

Post by mikey_grapes » Fri Jun 26, 2015 6:35 am

Hi, I've had this Tascam cassette multitracker for quite a long time. I've been working on a mix, and one of the 8 tracks (#7, an electric guitar part that comes in at the chorus) crackles and drops out for a few seconds before it rights itself. Like a bad instrument cord connection, where you have to turn the plug a bit to get the signal going through. But it only just started doing this. Seems to be somewhat helpful to move the fader up and down between mixes, but it is a recurring problem, ONLY on this track. Is this a sign that track #7 is "going bad"? Could it be humidity? (We've gotten a lot of rain!) Other ideas? thanks!

User avatar
A.David.MacKinnon
ghost haunting audio students
Posts: 3249
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 5:57 am
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:20 am

Does it always happen at the same point in the song or is it intermittent? HAve you cleaned the heads and everything in the tape path?

mikey_grapes
ass engineer
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:29 am
Location: Cleveland, OH
Contact:

Post by mikey_grapes » Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:23 am

A.David.MacKinnon wrote:Does it always happen at the same point in the song or is it intermittent? HAve you cleaned the heads and everything in the tape path?
same point in the track, right when the (sightly overdriven) guitar enters.
i cleaned everything, yes.

kslight
moves faders with mind
Posts: 2568
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:40 pm

Post by kslight » Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:15 am

If it's only at that same point every time, my guess would be your tape is worn in that spot (old tape of lots of rw and ff in that area???) or there's a bad punch in/splice, or the noise is from the guitar/amp/etc itself and it was recorded that way.

If a second machine is not available to test, then I would take a new cassette and record a 1khzi-ish tone (either a test tone from a console or your computer or a keyboard) across all tracks for the entire duration of the tape. playback and listen to each channel for any defects.

mikey_grapes
ass engineer
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:29 am
Location: Cleveland, OH
Contact:

Post by mikey_grapes » Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:52 am

kslight wrote:If it's only at that same point every time, my guess would be your tape is worn in that spot (old tape of lots of rw and ff in that area???) or there's a bad punch in/splice, or the noise is from the guitar/amp/etc itself and it was recorded that way.

If a second machine is not available to test, then I would take a new cassette and record a 1khzi-ish tone (either a test tone from a console or your computer or a keyboard) across all tracks for the entire duration of the tape. playback and listen to each channel for any defects.
Thanks, I will do that.
Definitely not the amp or punch-in. What's interesting is that the guitar signal is still there (i.e. printed to tape); when I cue to that spot and play it, it sounds fine. It's something about starting the song from the beginning and by the time that spot is reached (about 1:30 in) it causes the signal on that track to crackle.

Thanks again for your advice.

kslight
moves faders with mind
Posts: 2568
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:40 pm

Post by kslight » Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:01 am

mikey_grapes wrote:
kslight wrote:If it's only at that same point every time, my guess would be your tape is worn in that spot (old tape of lots of rw and ff in that area???) or there's a bad punch in/splice, or the noise is from the guitar/amp/etc itself and it was recorded that way.

If a second machine is not available to test, then I would take a new cassette and record a 1khzi-ish tone (either a test tone from a console or your computer or a keyboard) across all tracks for the entire duration of the tape. playback and listen to each channel for any defects.
Thanks, I will do that.
Definitely not the amp or punch-in. What's interesting is that the guitar signal is still there (i.e. printed to tape); when I cue to that spot and play it, it sounds fine. It's something about starting the song from the beginning and by the time that spot is reached (about 1:30 in) it causes the signal on that track to crackle.

Thanks again for your advice.
I can't think of any reason "mechanically" why you wouldn't have problems until and only at that point in the track, which is why I think it's not that "track," at least not the tape head. Possibly the mixing portion, possibly your level is too hot causing an artifact in the noise reduction decoding? But I would rule out other variables first.

For additional testing measures you should try recording from the "tape out" plug (assuming your machine has that) that bypasses the mixer entirely, into your computer...see if the problem still occurs.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 20 guests