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4 Track cassette recorder

Discussion in 'Recording' started by ferociousj, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. ferociousj

    ferociousj Active Member

    Im no stranger to recording, Ive been recording on my computer for years. Im interested in diving into the realm of analog. Whats a good brand to look for on ebay or something?
  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Do you have an understanding of how tape machines work? How to maintain and align one? How to obtain parts and where the local service person lives that really knows these types of machines?

    These are what you will have to answer yes to when considering a tape machine. And not just the big ones either. They all require maintainence. They all have to be aligned or you're wasting your time tracking on them.

    Have you ever heard an out of alignment machine?

    Have you ever thought about having the Ghosts-Of-The -Track-next-Door visit you at mix down?

    Ever try to get rid of this?

    So, in answer to your question, and I wanted to be very deliberate about letting you in on these few things...there are others..., What is your budget? How many tracks do you need? Have you priced tape lately?

    Dont get me wrong....I LOVE tape and the machinery that goes with them.
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    A crappy consumer recorder can actually sound reasonably good if aligned professionally. Working with analog tape machines is kind of like working with race car engines. Very small minor adjustments can make the difference between stellar & not worth burying. Not only must you have expensive calibrated playback alignment tapes, you'll also need a working knowledge of head alignment & the demagnetization of all the heads & the tape path. Azimuth, skew, height, wrap & more. Good eyes since they're really weren't any preset jig's for even rough head settings. And then there is the common mistakes that people make when utilizing their expensive sinewave playback calibration tapes. You don't adjust low-frequency equalization in playback with the low-frequency playback frequencies. You adjust low-frequency playback response when recording, while playing. And a mistake everybody seems to make. Now the record bias adjustment has no cold & fast rules. It's an adjustment you can make depending on the kind of music you may be recording. Over bias for rock-and-roll is rather typical. Under bias is not too often used. Peak bias it is quite popular for the greatest articulated sound. And sometimes you can just tweakbias for best low frequency recordings with the fewest amounts of bias rocks & gravel sounds. Yup, you read that right. And it's different for every brand, type & batch of tape. We used to aligned our machines not just once a day but for each session! And after all of that, you still may not like the saturation effect you'll get? Maybe the tracks are too narrow? The speed too slow? Transistor or integrated circuit chip electronics. Playback head transformers or no playback head transformers. And do you want 6SJ7 metal tubes or, 12AX7's? 12AY7? 12AT7's? Find yourself an Ampex 351-4 and you'll never look back. Probably because it will be blocking your vision?

    Don't forget to use old sticky recording tape so that your sound doesn't come off.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  4. ferociousj

    ferociousj Active Member

    Are you describing a reel to reel 4 track? Cause I'm looking for a cassette 4 track, the kind that 12 year old kids record their punk bands on. I used a cassette 4 track the other day and it was one of the simplest things i've ever used so im going to assume all that you're referring to a reel to reel.
  5. Feverdream

    Feverdream Guest

    You can probably pick up a Tascam for next to nothing on Ebay. I've got one knocking about that I need to sell actually.
  6. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    You should change your header to indicate a cassette machine rather than a tape machine.
  7. ferociousj

    ferociousj Active Member

    My bad. You guys really gave me a scare.

    I realize its a really simple question. I just know nothing about cassette 4 tracks and I wasn't sure if there are good ones and bad ones because they essentially all do the same thing...
  8. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    In my opinion there are bad ones and worse ones. Back in the age of the dinosaur, when I was young, this was a major breakthrough making it relatively easy to track some ideas. I used Fostex and Tascam models, quite a few different ones. It was good enough to get down some songwriting ideas or put together an arrangement to distribute to different band mates but it never sounded good to me. The quality of the recording is poor, there were bleed issues, and cassette tapes even good ones wow and flutter is a huge problem. So if you are looking for an analog quality sound you can forget these units IMO.
  9. ferociousj

    ferociousj Active Member


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