New digital recorder with old board.

New digital recorder with old board.

Post by William A. Goldsmi » Fri, 11 Feb 1994 13:55:05


>       Subject: New digital recorder with old board.

>            The college administration isn't in a hurry to give us
>       lots of money to update the production studio, but they just
>       -- miraculously -- approved the purchase of a TASCAM DA88
>       (digital 8-track) recorder. The unit was ordered with a sin-
>       gle unit controller, RC808. I wasn't involved in the deci-
>       sion making process to buy the recorder, but it looks like
>       it's something we'll be able to use for many years.  I
>       expect delivery in a few weeks.

>            Now the challenging part.  The audio console in the
>       production room is an old Arrakis 500SC on-air (post-
>       production) board. It may be a year, or more, before we get
>       enough nerve to even ask the school for a production board.
>       I don't have much experience in muli-track radio production,
>       but it seems like it would be difficult to exploit the bene-
>       fits of the 8-track connected to the old "air" board.

>            Are there any creative -- and hopefully cheap -- ways
>       to configure the two?  Perhaps, a cheap unbalanced sub-
>       mixer, distribution amplifier, patch-bays . . .
>       Any information or discussion from an "engineering" or
>       "functional" point of view would be appreciated.

>            Thank you.

Arrakis console, eh?  My condolences.  Anyway, here's a suggestion.

1. Think of the 8 track as 4 2-track recorders operating in tandem. Hook
the output of the console to the recorder as follows: Left to 1,3,5,7;
Right to 2,4,6,8.  Hook the outputs from the recorder (in stereo pairs)
to the 'B' inputs on the console. i.e.: Ch 1 & 2 to console input 3B;
Ch. 3 & 4 to console input 4B, etc.  (this is assuming that inputs 1 &
2 are dedicated mic inputs you don't want to share).

2. This arrangement has a lot of advantages - primarily ease of use by
those with no multitrack production experience. It also has a number of
disadvantages - primarily the lack of any pan function, and the need to
tie up 2 channels for purposes such as voice-overs & sound effects that
could easily be recorded on 1 channel. However, think about what the unit
will be used for: producing promos & IDs, possibly simple music recording
projects, etc. These really don't require the efficent use of all 8 tracks.
Just a starting point. Good luck. Call me if you want. I'm pretty good at
the efficent use of marginal resources & the Arrakis console is as marginal
a resource as you're likely to find. I know - I deal with 2 of them every
day...  
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