Question about Tascam Porta 414s and tape sync in general

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resetlfo
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Question about Tascam Porta 414s and tape sync in general

Post by resetlfo » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:49 am

hey

I would like to go for multitrack tape recording, for the very first time.
I do have knowledge about tape recorders but when they are multi, I have some questions regarding tape sync

Say it Tascam 414 4 track , or a big reel to reel machine doesn't matter , will I have to lose 1 track for tape sync always ?

Or any of these machines can provide those pulses internally from their sync outputs with a given tempo so that I don' t have to waste tracks on tape ?

The machine I am after is Tascam 414 MKIII or Tascam 388 .

4 tracks generally enough , but if I need to lose track for sync , than a 8 track would be better for my app.

thanks a lot for the help !

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Jason Brock
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Re: Question about Tascam Porta 414s and tape sync in genera

Post by Jason Brock » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:51 am

resetlfo wrote:Say it Tascam 414 4 track , or a big reel to reel machine doesn't matter , will I have to lose 1 track for tape sync always ?
If it's analog tape, you'll always lose one track in order to stripe timecode onto it.

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ersatzplanet
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Post by ersatzplanet » Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:18 am

I'm not sure what you are talking about when you use the phrase "tape sync". This phrase originally was used like Jason Brock uses it, to sync two tape recorders or to sync a tape to film. This required recording a sync track onto the tape with a time code, typically SMPT, so that two similarly SMPT coded sources could be aligned.

The second use of the term was on multi-track tape decks like the TEAC ones where this only meant that the record head was temporarily used as a playback head so that the previously recorded tracks monitored off the tape were listened to at the same place on the tape as the new tracks added, instead of a half an inch away on a separate playback head. No tracks are wasted this way. The only penalty you pay is that the Record head doesn't play back with the same fidelity as the dedicated playback head, and also if the playback tracks are really hot, they can sometimes bleed into the new record tracks.
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