#1
So I'm just trying to record some songs on my Tascam 424mkiii cassette 4-track. Now, I have a stupid problem...
What is the best way to record more than 4 tracks?
Right now the only way I can think of is to get a second unit, and record back and forth between the two which would keep compressing my 4 tracks down to 4. But for one thing, if I do this, how could I mix it later? It seems like it'd be really tough. Also, that requires another 4-track, which seems like it is over complicating things. So what is the best way to manage this? Is the 4 track not going to give me enough control?
#2
You only have two options: Upgrade or bounce the tracks.

For track bouncing, you wouldn't need a second multitracker, just any other cassette recorder with an aux input. You plug the 4 track into that input and record a mixed version of what you've recorded so far. They go onto tracks 1 & 2 of the cassette (for panning left & right) and you can record a couple of extra tracks using the multitracker. Then rinse & repeat as often as required.

You'll probably find that it starts happening a lot though, and once you've bounced you're stuck with the mix you bounced to, so upgrading is the better option - you're using extremely outdated technology so any upgrade will provide you with countless additional possibilities.

There are two primary options for the upgrade:
1 - A digital multitracker. Personally I prefer using a multitracker, if your budget is low you can purchase them used on ebay, but it's still the more expensive way to move on.
2 - Software packages can be obtained for free (Reaper is the usual recommendation, although it's officially a paid product with a free introductory period that never expires) although you'll need a way to connect to your computer. For a low quality connection it is possible to simply use the mic input most PCs & laptops have, but for a minimal investment you should really get a proper interface which will act as an interface and replace your computer's sound card.

Both options provide similar additional capabilities and have advantages and disadvantages (you'll need to decide which is the best way for you to move on), although software is probably the more flexible option as you can download additional patches to whatever software you choose.

Pretty much everyone here will recommend you move on with one of those two options, nobody really uses those cassette based machines any more, and when you hear people talk about the glory-days of analogue recording, those aren't the type of tape machines they're talking about! So far, you've taken a first step into the world of recording, but it was only a very small step when you consider the options that are out there.
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#3
I'm 100% sure the Tascam 424 can bounce tracks without any external equipment. I know my old Teac 144 (considerably older than the 424) was able to do it unless you'd recorded on all 4 tracks.
Quote by fly135
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#4
Quote by Dilberto
I'm 100% sure the Tascam 424 can bounce tracks without any external equipment. I know my old Teac 144 (considerably older than the 424) was able to do it unless you'd recorded on all 4 tracks.

Possibly, although I wouldn't be 100% confident - I used to have a Tascam cassette recorder which couldn't do it without an external cassette recorder, but it was an older model than the 424.

Also, if you were to do internal bouncing you'd lose any panning unless you bounced to two tracks, then you'd immediately find you have nowhere left to record on as you'd always have to keep two tracks free for the bounce.

If you don't need any panning, bouncing to a single track would work OK, but realistically upgrading is the best option.
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#5
My old Fostex X260 could bounce within the machine itself, but with four tracks, you only had two to record on, because you always needed two for bouncing if you wanted to keep a stereo image.

CT
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#6
Quote by GaryBillington
Possibly, although I wouldn't be 100% confident - I used to have a Tascam cassette recorder which couldn't do it without an external cassette recorder, but it was an older model than the 424.

Also, if you were to do internal bouncing you'd lose any panning unless you bounced to two tracks, then you'd immediately find you have nowhere left to record on as you'd always have to keep two tracks free for the bounce.

If you don't need any panning, bouncing to a single track would work OK, but realistically upgrading is the best option.


My Teac (AKA Tascam) 144 was the (I believe) the very first cassette based four track, released in 1979 and it did indeed only bounce 3 tracks down to 1, in mono of course.
Quote by fly135
Just because one has tone suck it doesn't mean one's tone sucks.