Model 12 Channel (1&2) insert to patchbay or external fx?

Discussion in 'Model 24/16/12' started by Tahiche, Aug 17, 2022.

  1. Tahiche

    Tahiche New Member

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    Gear:
    Model 12
    I’m trying to picture a way to keep things organized and avoid the plug/unplug mess. I have some guitar pedals and a Voicelive3 that I’d like to have in my setup.
    The idea is to record dry and wet versions of vocals, guitars, etc. Or dry first and then post-process with the pedals and Voicelive3 (vocal harmonies and fx).
    I’m thinking of getting a basic patchbay so I can send whatever to the pedals and Voicelive3. I believe the preamp on the model 12 is better than the Voicelive3 so I’m guessing I would plug the condenser into channel 1 on the model 12 and use the insert to send to the (mic) line input of the voice 3 via patchbay. Would that work?. Id do the same for guitars, record dry on channel 2 using the insert to send to the patchbay, through whatever pedals and back to a different channel.
    To recap, I’d have the condenser mic into channel 1 using the model 12 preamp and phantom power (I’ve read mixed opinions about dangers of running phantom through the patchbay). Then the insert to the patchbay, to the voicelive line input for harmonies, etc, back into say channel 3 via patchbay.
    Guitar on channel 2, insert to patchbay through whatever pedals back into channel 4.
    I’m sorry in advance if this post is messy and unclear!. Thanks in advance.

    EDIT: The insert jacks would be inserted half-way as per (https://www.tascamforums.com/threads/how-to-use-external-effects-on-model-12.8325/). Maybe using the Aux send into the patchbay would make more sense... as it could be post comp and eq.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2022
  2. Max Relic

    Max Relic New Member

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    Cagliari, Italy
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    Portastudio 244, Model 12
    Hi Tahiche,
    it seems we are walking on a similar path :) A patchbay is useful in terms of flexibility of connections and less wild cables going everywhere in the studio, in three words: it brings tidiness. Whether you need one it's up to you to decide. I think it depends on how many inputs and outputs will be frequently cross-connected during a recording session, the more you have the more a patchbay will help. You can use the tip-only (or half-plugged jack) trick to tap a signal to send to an effect box; or permanently connect the TRS insert jack via a Y-cable (the stereo kind) to a normalled or semi-normalled channel of the patchbay and operate from there. I would play safe and connect the mics to XLRs on Model 12, and avoid messing with phantom power and TRS jacks until you know very well how to operate your equipment safely (i.e. don't insert a TS jack in a phantom powered TRS socket).
    Anyway, I think the strategy you depicted (direct on track 1, insert or aux send to fx and back to a separate track) would work, at least you will have a wet track to use as a reference in case the project should land on DAW. Consider that each time a signal is converted from Analog to Digital or viceversa it is added latency, tiny but it's there. Take in account when mixing dry signal with an image of itself processed through Model 12 strip channel 1 -> Aux Send -> FX 1 -> FX2 -> Model 12 strip channel 2, it could be audible as a subtle comb filter effect. Time-aligning tracks on a computer is a job that doesn't require more than a few seconds.
    Maybe you could find useful these SOS articles on the patchbay subject:
    https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/all-about-patchbays

    https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/patchbays-modern-studio
    https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advice/patchbays

    Cheers
  3. Mark Richards

    Mark Richards Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Aug 18, 2022
    Tahiche likes this.
  4. Tahiche

    Tahiche New Member

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    Thanks for your answers. Btw I just received and unboxed my Model 12 (looks great), all these questions you’ve been helping me with make me feel more focused about where I want to go.
    @Max Relic yes, I agree, definitely not messing around with phantom and Patchbays when I’m pretty much clueless, I’ll be extra careful.
    Regarding the slight delay on the wet track, yes, I understand and I’ve done phase aligning correction in the past.
    I do think I’m gonna get a patchbay, they’re not too expensive and it’ll help me get not only physically organized but also better understand routing. I have 2 iPads, I might use the older one as a “permanent” fx unit. Mixing some real guitar pedals into some word fx and an amp sim on the iPad and back into a track. Sounds like fun. Makes sense to use “aux 1” for these kind of things as it’ll be handy and more hands-on to be post-eq.

    @Mark Richards thabks for the link. To be honest is over my head. I can’t grasp impedance and the different levels. I guess it’s not “dangerous” as in damaging the pedals and hardware. Right?. If it sounds distorted I’ll try something else, GDG some more reading, maybe get one of those revamp boxes… or ditch the idea. Or maybe I’m ok with the slightly distorted sound for the fx… I’ve probably encountered stuff like this in the past and haven’t paid enough attention.

    Thank u all for your help and patience!. I’ll probably be dropping by in the next days in desperate need for something
    Mark Richards likes this.
  5. Tahiche

    Tahiche New Member

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    Forgot to mention about the Voicelive3…
    Since it seems to have a line input aswell as mic, in this scenario I believe the following makes sense:
    -condenser mic straight into Model 12 input 1
    - insert jack on track 1 halfway in out to voicelive input. This should be line level (according to Max’s link above).
    - return from Voicelive3 into a separate track, only wet fx (patchbay is handy here). Voicelive also has an option to exclude the lead vocal from the signal.
  6. Max Relic

    Max Relic New Member

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    Gear:
    Portastudio 244, Model 12
    Thanks Mark Richards for the reference, IMO the two topics match perfectly.
    @Tahiche the Voicelive is a nice box, sure it triggers creativity. About patchbays: look for a balanced one that is easily configurable, IMO the Samson S-Patch Plus has the right combination of configurability and price point, having the switches (to configure each channel as normalled/semi-normalled/thru) on the front panel is great but it leaves no much room for labels. The Behringer Ultrapatch Pro is another low-budget unit, switches are on the top panel so you have to plan the configuration of each channel before screwing the unit to your rack.
    In general, a signal going from low impedance output to high impedance input will translate well with minimum loss; the opposite (high Z output to low Z input) will degrade the signal and should be avoided when possible. One must know the rules to break them judiciously (creatively?). :)
    As engineer Ken Scott said: if it sounds good, then it's good.
  7. Tahiche

    Tahiche New Member

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    Model 12
    I see. So the problem would be guitar pedals and fx chain gettin too hot of a signal from the Model12, not the other way around.
    I guess this Impedance issue has nothing to with the actual signal level (volume) being sent. Right?. I mean lowering the volume sent on the fx signal won’t help…
    Now that we’re here… @Max Relic have you thought about using the sub outputs for FX?. It’s stereo, has a fader…. It seems like a good candidate. Would also serve to bounce track groups. Send to sub bus and back into a stereo channel.
  8. Max Relic

    Max Relic New Member

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    From:
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    Gear:
    Portastudio 244, Model 12
    The VoiceLive 3 balanced Line Input has a sensitivity range of -40 dBu / +19 dBu at 3.08 kOhm which is compatible with the Model 12 in/outs, provided you check the respective attenuators/gains in order to match level requirements of both units. You shouldn't have any difficulties in using the VL has outboard gear, feed it with a signal from the Aux Send or SUB outputs and judge the resulting sound by ear. Personally I try to use the Model 12 connectivity in the most possible flexible way that fits the idea of the moment, included using the Sub Bus as FX Send or Subgroup mix. From an artistic point of view there is no such a "wrong way" to use gear, focus your mind on the musical thing. The manual is pretty concise but luckily there is Tascam Forums that's a great learning place, there are also several good tutorials on YT. What I find tremendously useful is the block diagram at the end of the manual: I printed it big and went reading every single detail on it over and over because that's the roadmap that keeps you on track when the track seems lost ( i.e. "Help: no headphone audio!") :)
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2022