rant: all i want is a reasonably priced four track

Get that song on tape! Errr... disk?
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bah humbuck
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rant: all i want is a reasonably priced four track

Post by bah humbuck » Fri Jun 18, 2021 9:03 am

For as long as I've been recording, I've always defaulted to using tape. First the shoebox - style cassette recorders from RadioShack and the like, then I picked up a Tascam MF-P01 at my local record/hifi emporium for $60. This would have been around 2012 or so. Luckily it came to me with working belts and I used it pretty constantly until it kicked the bucket two years ago.

I've used enough standard cassette players to know that these things run on belts and caps that get old and need to be replaced. But looking at tascam portastudios refurbished on ebay, I'm seeing them go into the stratosphere price wise. I'm talking $600 at the lowest end for something with new belts and replaced capacitors. What the fuck!!! I just want that crustified tape saturation sound without having to, say, buy a Tascam mixer that weighs as much as my dog and takes up the same amount of space. I know there's nothing to do but wait for a deal to appear out of the fog, but oy vey. I'm down and out enough already without having to set aside $50 a paycheck and wait for a year!
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Re: rant: all i want is a reasonably priced four track

Post by marqueemoon » Fri Jun 18, 2021 9:37 am

I started out recording in the 4 track era. There is a certain undeniable vibe to it, and it forces a certain workflow. Limitations are often good when doing creative work.

Still, between the convenience of being able to pick right up where I left off and the remote collaboration possibilities digital allows I would not seek out a cassette 4 track at today’s silly prices.

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Re: rant: all i want is a reasonably priced four track

Post by mbene085 » Fri Jun 18, 2021 9:39 am

Why not repair the one you got and enjoyed using? People charge a premium for their time and effort spent refurbishing old units, so why not repair it yourself or bring it to a reasonably-priced tech? There's a lot of demand right now for plug-and-play refurbished units from people who don't want to deal with repairs, but it won't cost you $600 to get your old one up and running again.

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Re: rant: all i want is a reasonably priced four track

Post by Maggieo » Fri Jun 18, 2021 9:57 am

marqueemoon wrote:
Fri Jun 18, 2021 9:37 am
I started out recording in the 4 track era. There is a certain undeniable vibe to it, and it forces a certain workflow. Limitations are often good when doing creative work.

Still, between the convenience of being able to pick right up where I left off and the remote collaboration possibilities digital allows I would not seek out a cassette 4 track at today’s silly prices.
That reminds me, I should put my Fostex X-15 on Reverb.
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Re: rant: all i want is a reasonably priced four track

Post by BeeTL » Fri Jun 18, 2021 10:08 am

Reach out to Ian League. He might be able to hook you up.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CIUUQv0n_9I/

It looks like it's listed here:

https://reverb.com/item/40908813-tascam ... e-recorder

You can reach him directly at ianbleague at gmail dot com & tell him Brad Lowe referred you.
Owner, Lowe Custom Guitars

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Re: rant: all i want is a reasonably priced four track

Post by northern_dirt » Fri Sep 24, 2021 1:03 pm

God I hate those old 4 track tape studios..
Actually I hate all tape recoding formats..

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Re: rant: all i want is a reasonably priced four track

Post by panoramic » Mon Oct 04, 2021 9:52 am

northern_dirt wrote:
Fri Sep 24, 2021 1:03 pm
God I hate those old 4 track tape studios..
Actually I hate all tape recoding formats..
cool story
i used to be cool

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Re: rant: all i want is a reasonably priced four track

Post by northern_dirt » Mon Oct 04, 2021 10:01 am

panoramic wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 9:52 am
northern_dirt wrote:
Fri Sep 24, 2021 1:03 pm
God I hate those old 4 track tape studios..
Actually I hate all tape recoding formats..
cool story
I speak from experience..

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panoramic
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Re: rant: all i want is a reasonably priced four track

Post by panoramic » Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:07 am

northern_dirt wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 10:01 am
panoramic wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 9:52 am
northern_dirt wrote:
Fri Sep 24, 2021 1:03 pm
God I hate those old 4 track tape studios..
Actually I hate all tape recoding formats..
cool story
I speak from experience..
preach on...
i used to be cool

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Re: rant: all i want is a reasonably priced four track

Post by øøøøøøø » Mon Oct 11, 2021 7:11 am

There are lots of things I wish I could find "reasonably priced."

Or even at prices that were considered inflated 30 years ago (a nice AKG C12 comes to mind)

But it seems to me like the most sensible thing is to do what pretty much all of my heroes did--make the best music I can make using whatever tools I have available.

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Re: rant: all i want is a reasonably priced four track

Post by Jaguar018 » Wed Oct 20, 2021 5:43 am

øøøøøøø wrote:
Mon Oct 11, 2021 7:11 am
do what pretty much all of my heroes did--make the best music I can make using whatever tools I have available.
I prefer to do what my ENEMIES did: I make the worst music with the tools I don't have available.

Somehow a career making music has never materialized. :'(

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Re: rant: all i want is a reasonably priced four track

Post by DeathJag » Wed Oct 20, 2021 5:52 am

bah humbuck wrote:
Fri Jun 18, 2021 9:03 am
For as long as I've been recording, I've always defaulted to using tape. First the shoebox - style cassette recorders from RadioShack and the like, then I picked up a Tascam MF-P01 at my local record/hifi emporium for $60. This would have been around 2012 or so. Luckily it came to me with working belts and I used it pretty constantly until it kicked the bucket two years ago.

I've used enough standard cassette players to know that these things run on belts and caps that get old and need to be replaced. But looking at tascam portastudios refurbished on ebay, I'm seeing them go into the stratosphere price wise. I'm talking $600 at the lowest end for something with new belts and replaced capacitors. What the fuck!!! I just want that crustified tape saturation sound without having to, say, buy a Tascam mixer that weighs as much as my dog and takes up the same amount of space. I know there's nothing to do but wait for a deal to appear out of the fog, but oy vey. I'm down and out enough already without having to set aside $50 a paycheck and wait for a year!
I have a beloved old Tascam Portastudio 464. I am only holding onto it for sentimental value, but it works fine. The head is certainly worn, but not enough so that it affects recordings. I feel this should go to you. What do you think? I also have a zoom 8-track digital thing that can record 8 tracks simultaneously onto a card. I think it’s called the R16, and it has eight linear faders which is great. I don’t use either one, so you can have either one for super cheap if you want.

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Re: rant: all i want is a reasonably priced four track

Post by mackerelmint » Wed Oct 20, 2021 12:25 pm

DeathJag, you're a mensch.

I've looked at those R16 units, they're pretty cool how you can press them into service as a mixing surface for a DAW.

Honestly, I'll be surprised if someone doesn't put out a new 4 track cassette machine at some point. Seems sort of inevitable. If it happens, I may get one just because I (like everyone) enjoy the immediacy of using it. Control surfaces for DAWs are cool, but it's just not the same as trashing around with headphones and dodgy cables and trying to get the best you can out of crunchy preamps and cheesy EQ knobs.
This is an excellent rectangle

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Re: rant: all i want is a reasonably priced four track

Post by cestlamort » Sun Oct 24, 2021 5:10 pm

mackerelmint wrote:
Wed Oct 20, 2021 12:25 pm
DeathJag, you're a mensch.

I've looked at those R16 units, they're pretty cool how you can press them into service as a mixing surface for a DAW.

Honestly, I'll be surprised if someone doesn't put out a new 4 track cassette machine at some point. Seems sort of inevitable. If it happens, I may get one just because I (like everyone) enjoy the immediacy of using it. Control surfaces for DAWs are cool, but it's just not the same as trashing around with headphones and dodgy cables and trying to get the best you can out of crunchy preamps and cheesy EQ knobs.
The R16 (and R24 I assume) is pretty great for the analog multitrack workflow but in a digital package. You can also use it as an 8 track usb interface. We used one tons for home demoing until the pandemic, then switched to Logic, since it’s easier to swap files / collaborate remotely.

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Re: rant: all i want is a reasonably priced four track

Post by DeathJag » Mon Oct 25, 2021 3:07 am

mackerelmint wrote:
Wed Oct 20, 2021 12:25 pm
DeathJag, you're a mensch.

I've looked at those R16 units, they're pretty cool how you can press them into service as a mixing surface for a DAW.

Honestly, I'll be surprised if someone doesn't put out a new 4 track cassette machine at some point. Seems sort of inevitable. If it happens, I may get one just because I (like everyone) enjoy the immediacy of using it. Control surfaces for DAWs are cool, but it's just not the same as trashing around with headphones and dodgy cables and trying to get the best you can out of crunchy preamps and cheesy EQ knobs.
Well I am moving to Olympia next year so perhaps you can definitely borrow it then! And I’m also serious about the Tascam.

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