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Recording on a portastudio

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tradsteve 26 Oct 00 - 02:53 AM
wysiwyg 26 Oct 00 - 08:47 AM
IanS 26 Oct 00 - 09:23 AM
wysiwyg 26 Oct 00 - 09:25 AM
IanS 26 Oct 00 - 09:58 AM
wysiwyg 26 Oct 00 - 10:05 AM
IanS 26 Oct 00 - 10:40 AM
GMT 26 Oct 00 - 11:14 AM
tradsteve 26 Oct 00 - 03:46 PM
wysiwyg 26 Oct 00 - 03:53 PM
GUEST,CraigS 26 Oct 00 - 08:49 PM
wysiwyg 27 Oct 00 - 12:05 AM
Steve Parkes 27 Oct 00 - 03:21 AM
GMT 27 Oct 00 - 03:30 AM
Lady McMoo 27 Oct 00 - 03:32 AM
Steve Parkes 27 Oct 00 - 04:46 AM
wysiwyg 27 Oct 00 - 10:31 AM
MK 27 Oct 00 - 11:05 AM
Hardiman the Fiddler 27 Oct 00 - 01:33 PM
MK 27 Oct 00 - 01:41 PM
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Subject: Recording on a portastudio
From: tradsteve
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 02:53 AM

Anyone want to toss me any tips or advice they've come to learn through using these buggers? Also, does anyone know of any articles on how elliott smith recorded his first few albums? Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Recording on a portastudio
From: wysiwyg
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 08:47 AM

We have an old one, and my husband has experimented with it some. We have some manuals too. I'll ask him to come see this thread tomorrow, his day off-- otherwise he's not on the Cat much. I know he will appreciate any tips others have, too.

We use ours now weekly to catch our Saturday night service, and we use it about like you'd make field recordings for now-- two mics going in that catch ambient sound from mic'ed and amped vocals and autoharp pickup. There area variety of reasons why we are set up that way now. But Hardiman has also used it to do multi-track recording of the various instruments he plays, and has done a few mixdowns.

We bought ours used from Yale Music, Sayre PA. The owner and his band had used it week after week to do a bluegrass radio show, and found even the small unit quite wonderful for all their purposes. Bet they'd spill their secrets too. I'll dig up the phone number for you when Hardiman posts. Far as I know, they aren't online yet.

Which model do you have, made approximately when, and what features does it have? And how many people and instruments are you trying to catch? Are you also using a mixer? What's your setup?

A good resource for more sound tech tips is Kingdom, Inc., located near us, which supplies church musicians internationally. Their catalogs are a wealth of how-to-use tips, and they have done some other publications also that may be of some help indirectly. Don't be fooled by how primitive their website is-- they are mostly order-by-phone consultants. For a catalog, go to:

www.kingdominc.com

~S~


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Subject: RE: Recording on a portastudio
From: IanS
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 09:23 AM

Hi,

I had a lot of fun with a Tascam 424 before I moved up to hard disk recording system. Avoiding hiss and getting the maximum recording level without distortion are the two main issues. For the best results I would recommend the following:

1) Always record using the highest speed feature to get the best SNR/bandwidth.

2) Always use good quality tapes as recommended in the manual.

3) Always clean the heads before every recording session.

4) If you have to bounce tracks try to restrict this to less important things and certainly not lead vocals.

5) Get hold of as good a mikes as possible - if you are on a tight budget in my opinion a Tandy PZM will beat everything under £200 for recording.

6) Due to the narrow track pitch of cassette tape adjacent tracks can spill into each other. Loud bass frequencies are the main culprits so be aware that if at mix down you don't like the reggae bass that put on an adjacent track to the vocals you may not be able to erase it completely.

7) Don't be too violent with the high equalisation as this will just lead to hiss. If you want a brighter guitar sound change your strings before resorting to adding treble.

8) When recording guitars use a mike and not an internal piezo pickup - they are good live but when recorded they tend to sound naff.

9) Experiment.

Have fun

Ian


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Subject: RE: Recording on a portastudio
From: wysiwyg
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 09:25 AM

Wow!! Hardi will love that!

But what's [naff]?

~S~


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Subject: RE: Recording on a portastudio
From: IanS
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 09:58 AM

To be quite honest I don't know the origins of the word naff !! In the UK it just means not very good, though I have heard it used to tell somebody to go way as in "naff off". I don't belive it is actually swearing but then without knowing the origins I'm not sure - any ideas anybody ?

Ian


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Subject: RE: Recording on a portastudio
From: wysiwyg
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 10:05 AM

Thanks, Ian! If I understand it, I think I am feeling a little naffed today myself. Not just naff. Naffed, too. Naffed over, naffed around, would that be right? Had a bit of naffin'. Oh wait-- I know-- it's about leaving a BADDD job, just yesterday, and I think I can say, "What a naff lot of losers!" Yeah???

'Naff said? What we learn at the Mudcat!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Recording on a portastudio
From: IanS
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 10:40 AM

I had a quick search on the net and the best definition I've found suggests that the word naff comes from a Polari word - naph meaning cheap, nasty or bad. The Polari language is believed to be a mix of English, Italian, Jewish, Irish Gaelic, Romany and anything else that happened to be around which was spoken by travelling entertainers over the past few centuries. It seems to be only a select few Polari words have ever made it into the english language (Khazi for toilet is one !!!)

Ian


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Subject: RE: Recording on a portastudio
From: GMT
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 11:14 AM

Hi all

I have to agree with IanS. Get your levels as high as you can without distortion. Good tape (I used TDK with my 424mkII) will saturate nicely and is quite forgiving (unlike my new digital thing which has to be spot on or it clips).
I bought a small Makie mixer which allowed me to route through a compressor and effects unit. The compressor can help even out the signal and let you record hotter. The effects were mostly used on mixdown but it is nice to have a little reverb in the monitor mix when recording.
A good mike helps a lot, having said that I had great sound from a couple of cheap Behringer mikes and a small electret mike worked well on acoustic guitar.
With IanS again, keep the heads clean. I used to clean every session as well as demaging the heads (I used the cheap cassette type demager which some say doesn't work but I never had any problems with drop out).
Have a look at the following they may help

homerecording.com
homerecording.about.com/musicperform/homerecording/library/weekly/aa041900a.htm
www.ozemail.com.au/~opmnet/guideh.html

Have fun
Gary


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Subject: RE: Recording on a portastudio
From: tradsteve
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 03:46 PM

I've been using a 424mk2 with some nice mics: shure sm57, sennheiser 835, Rode nt1 (sounds terrfic). I'd like to keep hearing everyone's experiences, it could help a lot. Does anyone have any experience with tascam's eight track model? I see a used one from time time, and have considered purchasing.


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Subject: RE: Recording on a portastudio
From: wysiwyg
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 03:53 PM

GMT, maybe you could put some links in Mudcat links for sound and recording equipment-- know how?

~S~


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Subject: RE: Recording on a portastudio
From: GUEST,CraigS
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 08:49 PM

The antonym of "naff" is "bona", but how are our poor friends in the US going to know about Polari if they are not also told that it is local to central London? I'm only commenting because "Naf Naf" is a French designer label which chic shops all over France and London have plastered across their windows - always makes me laugh, as does a curio shop in Boulogne which is named, in letters a foot high, "Les Mysteres de Fanny"


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Subject: RE: Recording on a portastudio
From: wysiwyg
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 12:05 AM

So, naff-- it would be like "Not... quite... nice." I bet it will come out of my mouth soon at some opportune but unexpected moment. A good word to have at the ready.

Love that other image, Fanny's.... Translates to [crap].

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Recording on a portastudio
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 03:21 AM

Not in England, it doesn't, Susan! However, let's discuss it on BS: naff, Polari, etc., before we get too far from the original topic.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Recording on a portastudio
From: GMT
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 03:30 AM

Praise, er no I don't, but then I'm still finding my way around here. Do you mean links to perhaps Tascam, Soundcraft and Mackie who all have helpful hints at their sites.
Cheers Gary


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Subject: RE: Recording on a portastudio
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 03:32 AM

I always thought "naff" originated from UK forces' use where the NAFFI (sp?) was the canteen/catering part of the military. Because of its less than Egon Ronay reputation it gave rise to the term "naff" as meaning less than good.

However, do not take too much notice as I might be completely wrong!

Peace

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: Recording on a portastudio
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 04:46 AM

Mcmoo, NAAFI = Navy, Army and Air Force Institiute, which is still going strong (as is their famous tea).


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Subject: RE: Recording on a portastudio
From: wysiwyg
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 10:31 AM

GMT-- yes, that sort of link would be great. And Kingdom, the one I posted up there.

I believe you enter them from your personal page-- check FAQ thread?

~S~


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Subject: RE: Recording on a portastudio
From: MK
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 11:05 AM

I've set up a new link in the LINKS section called HOME RECORDING. I started it off with a link to the Home Recording Website. Feel free to add more.

In order to add links you need to be a member with cookie enabled. Then click on LINKS underneath the main menu title (like the one at the top of this page) and you will go to the links section. There, you will find a drop down box. Within the drop down box, you will see a newly created link category called HOME RECORDING. From there you can add additional links to other home recording sites.


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Subject: RE: Recording on a portastudio
From: Hardiman the Fiddler
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 01:33 PM

I found a book by Peter McIan, "Using your Portable Studio," to be a useful resource, but I think the key to learning to use it is to experiment. You can also get an owner's manual from Tascam, if you don't have one (which mine did not) by going to their website. The 424 does have its limitations, but I've had a lot of fun with mine, and I think the best way to get acquainted with what it can and cannot do is just to set aside an evening or two to "play" with it. I mean, don't bother trying to record something for posterity---just play around and see what you can do, and get familiar with what all those little knobs do.

I would recommend a "punch in/out" foot pedal as a highly useful accesory.

Remember not to try to flip the tape over to record on the other side! I made that mistake only once. Or, if you want to listen yourself playing and singing backwards, please do turn the tape over!

Clean the heads often; happy recording!

Hardiman


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Subject: RE: Recording on a portastudio
From: MK
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 01:41 PM

I've posted a link to the Tascam 424 and it's operations and tweaking, etc.....in the Links section of Mudcat under the category name HOME RECORDING, as well as a new thread letting those interested know about these new links.


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