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Old 05-28-2005, 11:38 AM
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brianjanthony brianjanthony is offline
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Default Ways to Sync Tascam Reel to my 192 IO?

A friend (and ex studio partner) of mine recently offered to give me an 8 track 1/2" reel to reel to track drums with at my studio. Its a Tascam and I love the drum and bass sound the machine has gotten in the past.

In the past, we used to stripe the reels with SMPTE. Then we'd sync the reels to ADATS with a JLCooper Sync box.

My question is this? How would I go about getting the 192 and HD3 system to sync to the Analog machine? I already have a Big Ben Master Clock. I'd rather not drop another $2000 on a Sync IO. Any other boxes that can help? I am totally sync illiterate here.

For what its worth, I really only need the systems to sync on band tracking day (Once the drums are laid down on the tape, I'd like to transfer them into Pro Tools). All the other recording would be done in Pro Tools.

ANy help, URLS, etc is greatly appreciated...

Brian
G5 dual 2gig
PT HD3
192 IO
Big Ben clock
1622 IO for talkback system etc
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MacPro 6 core 3.46 Cheese Grater
HDX and HD NATIVE
48 gig Ram
PT 2019. Something
Sierra
192 IO and 96 IO

TDM user way back. PT user since 98.
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Old 05-28-2005, 03:08 PM
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brianjanthony brianjanthony is offline
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Default Re: Ways to Sync Tascam Reel to my 192 IO?

any ideas at all?

bri
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Brian
www.brianjanthony.com
MacPro 6 core 3.46 Cheese Grater
HDX and HD NATIVE
48 gig Ram
PT 2019. Something
Sierra
192 IO and 96 IO

TDM user way back. PT user since 98.
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  #3  
Old 05-28-2005, 03:23 PM
timc timc is offline
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Default Re: Ways to Sync Tascam Reel to my 192 IO?

The best is to have the tape deck resolve the SMPTE code, so that it diddles the tach motors on the transport till it's in sync to an absolute clock.

Another thing you could try would be to stripe SMPTE on a track of the Analog deck... and use that code alone to drive PT during the session. I've had luck with this method before. Depending on the band and the music and the gear... it may not be precise enough to satisfy you or your clients.

If the music is a track that can be recorded to a stricter time grid, you can stripe the tape... set-up the PT session with a click to a tempo grid... and use the SMPTE to drive PT and have everyone record their stuff to the SMPTE driven PT click. Then Beat Dick yourself to death...

It all sure seems like a lot of trouble to go to just to have printed the drums to analog... Do you really hear a difference?

( Just KIDDING, I am not trying to start THAT dang discussion again...! For the purposes of this discussion... try to imagine I believe there is NOTHING in the world as good as analog percussion. ) But then just the time spent searching for tape stock alone will probably put you over-budget.

I think the best suggestion is to route audio to the eight-track so the needles are moving... then roll tape with the red lights on when printing takes... (BUT all the while secretly printing the drums to PT)... and tell the band you transferred the analog to dig after the session while they were sleeping. Is that unethical?

With the method above, I can GUARANTEE sync.
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Old 05-28-2005, 04:17 PM
Shawn B Shawn B is offline
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Default Re: Ways to Sync Tascam Reel to my 192 IO?

We do this all the time at our studio. We have an Otari MX5050 and track drums and bass through it. The key is to record through it, not to it. We don't sync anything. Run the drums through the tape machine and come off of the playback head directly into protools. Use it like an effect. We never actually care about the sync because we just pass through the machine. If we need multiple takes we just rewind and re-use the reel. Let protools run in real time and then there is no need to do any transfers at all. The only issue is that you need to monitor tracking off of the record head for the analog latency that is inherent in using the playback head for the real time transfer. Set it up and try it a few times and you'll see what I mean. It's great because you get the analog tape overdrive and compression without the mess of ever having to do any analog editing. Plus you get to use all 8 tracks (none are wasted on SMPTE). Your probably thinking "How do they handle punches?" We don't! Just use a click and drop the "punched" parts at the end of the take and edit them in later.
If your really interested in syncing your tascam it can be done.

Some of the older analog options for those machine are:

MTS-30 - MIDI to FSK translator with Song Position Pointer - Provides MIDI sync for a single tape machine via FSK or SPP, with the tascam acting as the master. The MTS-30 plugs into the the in/out on track 8. Then it has MIDI ports for integration into your MIDI setup. It seems to be no different than any other MIDI/timecode interface. It doesn't utilize the 'Accessory 2' port.

MMC-100 - MIDI Machine Control via Tascam Serial - works in much the same way as the MTS-30 but implements full MMC protocol. Thus the tascam can be the slave or the master. In addition to using track 8 for timecode, the 'Accessory 2' port is used to maintain correct tape speed during playback to maintain sync. If you bought one of these for each deck, and used a MMC-based tranport master (like a sequencer, for example) you could use both decks at the same time.

ATS-500 - Two Machine Serial Synchronizer - This box uses one tascam as a master and one tascam as a slave. It has two 'Accessory 2' ports, one for each tape deck, and a bunch of I/O for the timecode on both machines, plus external timecode inputs (to sync both machines with a video deck or master timecode generator for example). Doesn't have a MIDI interface built in. Keep in mind that you'll only have 14 total tracks, since the timecode uses one track on each machine.

MTS-1000 - MIDIizer: Two Machine Serial Sync w/MIDI - Again, using one machine as master and one as slave in a MIDI environment. This seems to be the ultimate solution to everything. It does everything the ATS-500 does, plus includes MIDI.

Good luck finding any of these boxes. And your tascam may not have the needed ports. I recall most machines post 1990 had these. It's hard to remember so long ago But I had two tascam 238's that I used to lock together for 14 wonderful tracks of cassette recording. It worked like a charm.
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Old 05-28-2005, 08:38 PM
c-tone c-tone is offline
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Default Re: Ways to Sync Tascam Reel to my 192 IO?

You will need a Sync I/O and/or a synchronizer to do it right. Maybe you could just rent for the day. If you have a Tascam TSR-8, I am pretty sure that it does have the connections so that it will slave to a synchronizer, with the right cables. If you don't have the Sync I/O, you will need to record SMPTE to a Pro Tools track, and use the synchronizer to make the 8 track chase and lock. If you have the Sync I/O, then you can have Pro Tools chase and lock to the 8 track. Be aware that whenever Pro Tools chases an analog machine that is running on its own speed, the wow and flutter speed variations on the analog machine can affect the quality of the sound in Pro Tools, meaning that it is usually better to have the analog machine chase the Pro Tools.

You should also do an A/B test of the analog copied over vs. direct to PT, if you have time, to see if it sounds as good as you remember. A 192 with a Big Ben sounds way better to me than a 1/2" Tascam deck. I own all 3 of those, and have moved on to just going straight to Pro Tools after a lot of comparing.
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  #6  
Old 05-28-2005, 10:29 PM
Nexxt Nexxt is offline
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Default Re: Ways to Sync Tascam Reel to my 192 IO?

Sync the Tascam R2R to your HD system.

Simple. You've got mail.
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