Hooking up M308 to 238 Syncaset

Discussion in 'TASCAM Analog Forum' started by Wattagestudio, May 1, 2019.

  1. Wattagestudio

    Wattagestudio New Member

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    Hi friends. Loved my 424 mkiii for 20 years now and finally moved on to the 238. I have a question regarding connecting the m308 to it. The logical way to me was to use 8 rca outs of the Program outs, labeled such and located on the four buss channels and into the 238. Out the 238 and back in corresponding 8 program In/tape returns below them.
    What’s happening is when i use all 8 channel strips to record a band I have to assign a channel to a buss to get signal to show up on the 238. If no channel assign(1-4.LR), then no signal goes out program out rca. Assign it to Buss 1 and it shows up on 238, but since it’s four buss mixer I can’t record 8 tracks at once on 8 seperate tape tracks.
    The only work around i have found is using the channel direct outs straight to 238 rca ins, and return through the normal tape in/program returns.
    Sorry if this is terribly explained. Is this the best and only way to track 8 channels out at once on my m308? I would ideally like to keep the direct outs available to record a digital backup at the same time as tracking on 238.
  2. wkrbee

    wkrbee Active Member

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    Hook it all up to a normaled patchbay.
  3. Wattagestudio

    Wattagestudio New Member

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    Sure, but why is that necessary? The problem is that there are 8 program outs, but the only way I can get them to send is from the four busses. This combines mic input channels 1 and 5 post buss fader and records them together onto 238 track 1 and also combined again on 238 track 5. Surely tascam intended the 8 program rca I/O to be used in conjunction with their 8 track recorder without needing to convert from 1/4” channel direct outs?
  4. Wattagestudio

    Wattagestudio New Member

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  5. wkrbee

    wkrbee Active Member

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    I had the exact setup. Direct outputs of the M308 connected to the back of the top row of the patchbay. Inputs to the 238 connected to the bottom row on the back of the patchbay. When I wanted to bypass the mixer I used to bottom row-front. Line ins on the mixer-bottom row of the PB- were also normalled to the tape outputs on the 238-top row of the PB- so I could mix down through the channels. Instrument outputs were plugged into the patchbay Line ins. The tape returns on the mixer were used for virtual tracks during mixdown. That's how I did it.YMMV
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  6. Wattagestudio

    Wattagestudio New Member

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    Thank you much for your reply. Ive always had trouble wrapping my head around incorporating a patchbay, but i see a good deal on a tascam pb-32h
    Would this be the ticket to fully incorporate the tracking then switch via Line channel button to mixing with no unplugging?
  7. SkywaveTDR

    SkywaveTDR Active Member

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    As far as I know the use of 8 channels at once from a 4 buss mixer is only possible like you have used it. If recording up to 4 channels at a time you can double up on the output like you were doing but when you go over the 4 busses then the direct outs would be the way I would do it or get a M520.
    I don't see how a Patch bay will do anything about getting you 8 discrete channels from a 4 buss mixer
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  8. wkrbee

    wkrbee Active Member

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    The M-308 has direct outputs on each channel, so you can route each channel's output to a individual tape input.
  9. Wattagestudio

    Wattagestudio New Member

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    Thanks for the help. Just a quick follow up question on ping ponging.
    I tracked 7 tracks worth, sounds awesome, but I didn’t plan well and now need to add beatlesy oohhs bgv’s. How do i bounce tracks 4 and 5 onto track 1?
    Currently setup as channel direct outs into 238, 238 outs into tape returns. So i am only monitoring the mix through the monitor section, currently.
    Would i take 238 output of 4 and 5 into their channel strip line ins, then assign those to buss 1 and record buss 1 onto track 1? Or is there a better way?
  10. SkywaveTDR

    SkywaveTDR Active Member

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    First, I would avoid edge tracks as they are not as good as inside tracks- in decks like this you need to think ahead. Then you need more tracks you need a empty track to play the other into and hooking the deck outs to line in and then using Buss outs you can then assign and pan what channels to the one you want to record on. I would mix tracks 4, 5 to track 7 and then free up 4 and 5 for more use. Put non critical use items like bass or drums on edge tracks.
  11. Wattagestudio

    Wattagestudio New Member

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    Thanks. A little late for that on this particular track, but it sounds like indeed combining tracks to a buss is how it’s done. I’ll go give it a try. And plan better next time.

    Ps. That was me texting you this morning.
  12. Wattagestudio

    Wattagestudio New Member

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    Bass and drums are non critical?? It’s 2020 man! ;)
  13. SkywaveTDR

    SkywaveTDR Active Member

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    It is to mean that the high end drop outs are not noticed as much with these tracks and that material with that deck. If you want to use edge tracks for no problems you need to move up in tape thickness to at least 1". Even then the same rule applies but to a lesser extent- it all depends on the tape path condition and how new the tape is. Cassette tape being very thin and being subjected to all kinds of adverse conditions- like those people that do not keep their tape paths very clean to avoid any skew which then damages the edges. Even on decks that are larger format like 8 track on 1/2" tape the edge tracks do have trouble with level dropouts and inconsistency. People don't know this as much as Technician because they do not calibrate these deck to see what is really happening. Imagine those decks with 8 tracks on 1/8" tape. It is kind of amazing that it works at all but then they do.
  14. Mark Richards

    Mark Richards Well-Known Member

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    SkywaveTDR is correct. Back in the day, we always placed drums and bass on outermost tracks for the reasons SkywaveTDR mentioned. I got in the habit when all we had was 4-track reel-to-reel MTRs, and kept on doing it when we moved up to higher capacity decks and wider tapes.
  15. Wattagestudio

    Wattagestudio New Member

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    Gotcha. Well, this track i ended up with drums and bass on 6/7 and acoustic and tambo/cymbals on 1/8, so im completely backwards! Haha. But it sounds great! Did a completely analog process until printing the final stereo into Reaper. Amazing how much easier a mix comes together over digital.