Author Topic: Kinda lost with the Portastudio 488 MKII  (Read 416 times)

platfus118

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Kinda lost with the Portastudio 488 MKII
« on: May 31, 2018, 03:04:47 PM »
  Hey, I'm kinda new to the analogue world. I'm an Ableton producer. I feel most at home with DAWs, that's where I grew up.
I gotta refresh a little, I have all the options in the world when I produce ITB.
The unpredictability, imperfections and limitations (and the sound of course) of cassette tapes reeled me in pretty quick.

I'm kinda lost though. Even when I read the manual front to back, I still don't understand how the most basic of things work -
1. When I record a track, can I EQ it later when I'm done tracking my parts?
2. Panning - if I use the panning function to send the recording to a certain track, how can I pan? (I know it sounds stupid, but it's really confusing)
3. Hooking up effect pedals... I got a decent pedalboard that can be used for every instrument, yet I can't seem to send effects to it. I tried connecting the input to the effects send and the output of the pedalboard to a track, nothing happens.. (I played with the effect knobs everywhere on the machine.. nada..)

I have a lot more questions and nowhere to find answers.
If someone can walk me through, please PM me and we'll find a way to communicate.
Love you all.
Also, thank you Mike for your great tutorials. (Some of them really helped me, even though they are for 424)

mike

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Re: Kinda lost with the Portastudio 488 MKII
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2018, 09:59:38 AM »
Hey platfus, glad to hear you're stepping out of the box!

Glad to hear the vids have been helping out! My pleasure and thanks for watching  8)

I'll try to answer your questions:
1. You can EQ in post. However you set the EQs before recording is the sound that will be recorded to cassette.
2. So the pan function is two functions: during recording, panning works as a bus. During playback, panning works as panning.
3. Try using one of the stereo channels for your pedal board. I think they are 9/10 and 11/12.
Here's a couple vids that should help: https://youtu.be/hCqnNe4FJ28 + https://youtu.be/1NgYWSMMZ1U

I wish I had a 488 haha. But I think the workflow is similar enough to the 424! Let me know if these answers help!
Mike

platfus118

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Re: Kinda lost with the Portastudio 488 MKII
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2018, 12:17:44 PM »
Hey platfus, glad to hear you're stepping out of the box!

Glad to hear the vids have been helping out! My pleasure and thanks for watching  8)

I'll try to answer your questions:
1. You can EQ in post. However you set the EQs before recording is the sound that will be recorded to cassette.
2. So the pan function is two functions: during recording, panning works as a bus. During playback, panning works as panning.
3. Try using one of the stereo channels for your pedal board. I think they are 9/10 and 11/12.
Here's a couple vids that should help: https://youtu.be/hCqnNe4FJ28 + https://youtu.be/1NgYWSMMZ1U

I wish I had a 488 haha. But I think the workflow is similar enough to the 424! Let me know if these answers help!

Yo, what an honor.
Thanks so much for the response..
1. What is the workflow to EQing while the tape plays? I try to play with the knobs while it plays and nothing happens :(
I want to set the EQ to the middle while recording and EQ + Pan only when I hear everything together
2. Awesome.
3. The stereos are sends? Do I just record into them with the pedalboard hooked to send into them?

I think my basic understanding of analog signal flow is really bad... Some stuff just don't click...

Julius2790

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Re: Kinda lost with the Portastudio 488 MKII
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2018, 04:13:26 PM »
 
1. When I record a track, can I EQ it later when I'm done tracking my parts?
2. Panning - if I use the panning function to send the recording to a certain track, how can I pan? (I know it sounds stupid, but it's really confusing)
3. Hooking up effect pedals... I got a decent pedalboard that can be used for every instrument, yet I can't seem to send effects to it. I tried connecting the input to the effects send and the output of the pedalboard to a track, nothing happens.. (I played with the effect knobs everywhere on the machine.. nada..)

The 488 IS more confusing in operation that some of the 4-track models and it took me a while to get my head around all of it as well.

Regarding questions 1&2, check out page 23 on the manual...you have to hit Group 1&2 monitor selector switches, turn all the Input assign switches off, and turn each tape knob all the way counter clockwise to the Mix position. Then press the "I/L-2R ASSIGN switch. Now the mixer is armed and you can pan and use the faders for each track prior to mix down.

I haven't played around with outboard effects with the 488 yet...I'm waiting on the TascFam Pre-amp to drop so I can use guitar pedals. It looks like what you want is to use effects on the "Send/Return" portion of the 488. I think page 33 explains how to get that going.

We have a forum member, Twin Reverbs Are Loud, who also has a 488 and has been using it regularly for a while. You might PM him about using the send effects. He's a good dude and has been kind enough to answer a couple of questions I had.

Good luck with everything! I've been using a DAW for a while too and there's a learning curve with the cassette stuff that can be confusing but very rewarding.
John (Jeb) Pittman

-TascFam is the preferred nomenclature for a particular subset of imbibers who are nothing less than ravenous in their pursuit of recording excellence!!!

mike

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Re: Kinda lost with the Portastudio 488 MKII
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2018, 05:57:44 PM »
Thanks, Jeb! I didn't realize how different the 488 is; might be a bit out of my wheelhouse. Hopefully, I didn't give ya any misinformation.

1. Are you playing the tape back from the tape, or monitoring thru one of the outs? I know there are some outs that are independent of the EQ section...

re: Workflow: that's usually a solid way to do it. Get your sounds, record them, then pan and EQ.

2.  8)

3. Effect send ---> First pedal input
Last pedal output ---> (if stereo) into 9/10, (if mono) into 9.

Adjust the volume of the effect with the 9/10 level knob or slider, dial in the sounds you want on the pedals, dial in the volume of the sounds on a track using the Effect (or effect 1, effect 2) knobs on that track.

Yeah, hopefully Twin will check in. He's usually hanging in the livestream, Wednesdays at 7pm EST. Come thru and I'm sure someone can give you some pointers!

Definitely takes some time to get used to these machines. I'm constantly learning new stuff on them haha
Mike

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Re: Kinda lost with the Portastudio 488 MKII
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2018, 10:01:42 PM »
Hey!

Im a litte late to the party, but Mike and Jeb nailed it!

 
1. When I record a track, can I EQ it later when I'm done tracking my parts?
2. Panning - if I use the panning function to send the recording to a certain track, how can I pan? (I know it sounds stupid, but it's really confusing)
3. Hooking up effect pedals... I got a decent pedalboard that can be used for every instrument, yet I can't seem to send effects to it. I tried connecting the input to the effects send and the output of the pedalboard to a track, nothing happens.. (I played with the effect knobs everywhere on the machine.. nada..)

The 488 IS more confusing in operation that some of the 4-track models and it took me a while to get my head around all of it as well.

Regarding questions 1&2, check out page 23 on the manual...you have to hit Group 1&2 monitor selector switches, turn all the Input assign switches off, and turn each tape knob all the way counter clockwise to the Mix position. Then press the "I/L-2R ASSIGN switch. Now the mixer is armed and you can pan and use the faders for each track prior to mix down.

Jeb explained that really well. When the track is on MIX you should be able to pan like normal

Thanks, Jeb! I didn't realize how different the 488 is; might be a bit out of my wheelhouse. Hopefully, I didn't give ya any misinformation.

1. Are you playing the tape back from the tape, or monitoring thru one of the outs? I know there are some outs that are independent of the EQ section...

re: Workflow: that's usually a solid way to do it. Get your sounds, record them, then pan and EQ.

2.  8)

3. Effect send ---> First pedal input
Last pedal output ---> (if stereo) into 9/10, (if mono) into 9.

Adjust the volume of the effect with the 9/10 level knob or slider, dial in the sounds you want on the pedals, dial in the volume of the sounds on a track using the Effect (or effect 1, effect 2) knobs on that track.


Yup, you got the right idea! That's how I've always used effects with my 488.
In 424 we trust

mike

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Re: Kinda lost with the Portastudio 488 MKII
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2018, 08:13:48 AM »
Dope! Thanks for weighing in Twin! Pretty much the same workflow as the 424 in some regards. Never hear of that MIX function... I'll have to get my hands on a 488 at some point...
Mike

platfus118

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Re: Kinda lost with the Portastudio 488 MKII
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2018, 01:28:42 PM »
Thank you all so much!
I just can't manage to pan / EQ after recording...
That's what I did.

1. Assign track to INPUT, record that channel,
2. Assign track to TAPE
3. Unarm the channel
4. Play back the tape and try to spin knobs around

Nothing happens. How am I supposed to mix in post?

Julius2790

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Re: Kinda lost with the Portastudio 488 MKII
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2018, 04:05:34 PM »
Thank you all so much!
I just can't manage to pan / EQ after recording...
That's what I did.

1. Assign track to INPUT, record that channel,
2. Assign track to TAPE
3. Unarm the channel
4. Play back the tape and try to spin knobs around

Nothing happens. How am I supposed to mix in post?

"you have to hit Group 1&2 monitor selector switches, turn all the Input assign switches off, and turn each tape knob all the way counter clockwise to the Mix position. Then press the "I/L-2R ASSIGN switch. Now the mixer is armed and you can pan and use the faders for each track prior to mix down."
John (Jeb) Pittman

-TascFam is the preferred nomenclature for a particular subset of imbibers who are nothing less than ravenous in their pursuit of recording excellence!!!

mike

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Re: Kinda lost with the Portastudio 488 MKII
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2018, 06:38:24 AM »
+1 to Jeb  ;D
Mike