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rant: all i want is a reasonably priced four track

Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2021 9:03 am
by bah humbuck
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!

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

Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2021 9:37 am
by marqueemoon
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.

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

Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2021 9:39 am
by mbene085
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.

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

Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2021 9:57 am
by Maggieo
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.

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

Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2021 10:08 am
by BeeTL
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.

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

Posted: Fri Sep 24, 2021 1:03 pm
by northern_dirt
God I hate those old 4 track tape studios..
Actually I hate all tape recoding formats..

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

Posted: Mon Oct 04, 2021 9:52 am
by panoramic
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

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

Posted: Mon Oct 04, 2021 10:01 am
by northern_dirt
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..

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

Posted: Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:07 am
by panoramic
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...

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

Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2021 7:11 am
by øøøøøøø
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.

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

Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 5:43 am
by Jaguar018
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. :'(

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

Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 5:52 am
by DeathJag
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.

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

Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 12:25 pm
by mackerelmint
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.