Old 09-05-2006, 08:43 PM   #1
wheel
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Default 4 track cassette

I was told to check out the Reaper program,, I'm using a 4 track cassette recorder, can someone tell me how to hook it up to my computer in order to use this program, I looked at the manual online, didn't and\or couldn't find info, may have overlooked it,, thanks for help, I'm new at this, so pardon the stupidity, thanks again
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Old 09-05-2006, 10:23 PM   #2
Spon
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What do you want to do with the 4-track cassette?

If you want to make new music, REAPER replaces it - you probably won't need it. You will need some way to get music into REAPER - synths, mics, guitars, a mixer. Or you can play softsynths via MIDI, and just use your computer. If the cassette has good guitar/mic inputs, you might want to use it as an input to your computer's soundcard. Even if it's cheap, it's probably better than the mic inputs on the soundcard, and will certainly do a better job with guitars. In this case, connect the cassette's stereo mix out to the soundcard's line in. A better mixer or guitar preamp would be a step up from this.

If you already have music on 4 tracks that you want to mix down in REAPER, you should have a soundcard that has 4-channel input and a 4-channel cassette that has individual track outputs. Connect the cassette's track outputs, to the soundcard's inputs. Record your tape into REAPER, and put the cassette away.

If you don't have four outputs, or four inputs, but want to get four tracks into REAPER through a stereo soundcard, it can be done, but requires a bit of patience. Play tracks tracks 1 and 2 and record them in REAPER. Then, play tracks tracks 2 and 3 and record THEM. Now, solo both track 2's, invert the phase of one of them, and slide BOTH the second track 2 and track 3 until they phase into perfect alignment. Now, delete the second track 2. Record track 4 and track 2 again. This time, use the second track 2, inverted, to line up track 4.

Or did you have something else in mind?
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Old 09-05-2006, 10:34 PM   #3
Justin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spon
If you don't have four outputs, or four inputs, but want to get four tracks into REAPER through a stereo soundcard, it can be done, but requires a bit of patience. Play tracks tracks 1 and 2 and record them in REAPER. Then, play tracks tracks 2 and 3 and record THEM. Now, solo both track 2's, invert the phase of one of them, and slide BOTH the second track 2 and track 3 until they phase into perfect alignment. Now, delete the second track 2. Record track 4 and track 2 again. This time, use the second track 2, inverted, to line up track 4.

Or did you have something else in mind?
I'd be surprised if the tape stayed in close enough sync to be "perfect".. anybody have any experience doing this?

-Justin
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Old 09-05-2006, 10:45 PM   #4
Spon
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Yes.

It doesn't - not "perfect". If the cassette has a speed control and you're a good knob player, so much the better.

Some music tolerates it, some doesn't. Hocketed tuned percussion is particularly intolerant. Ambient washes are particularly tolerant.

If they're four separate tracks and not a mix, it's amazing what you can get away with. You might have the bass behind the beat at the beginning of the song and pushing the beat by the end, but that's just one of those things that, if you're lucky, make it sound magic, and not like machine music.

But stereo mixes will phase. They can start out in sync, but it only takes a few samples of offset to get audible phasing. If the cassette and transport are in good condition, you can get through a whole song with nothing worse than phasing, though. But not always.

Last edited by Spon; 09-05-2006 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 09-05-2006, 11:01 PM   #5
randygo
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I pulled some tracks off an old 8 track reel-to-reel tape into my computer via a two-input interface and got pretty good results syncing them up.

Here is what I did.

1) Tracks 1 and 2 were stereo drums, so pulled those in together as a stereo WAV in my first pass through the tape.

2) Then I rewound and pulled in Tracks 1 and 3 as a stereo WAV.

3) Then I repeated step 2, with tracks 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/7, 1/8.

4) Using the left channel of each stereo WAV (Track 1, Drums left) as a visual guide, I was able to sync up all tracks manually with a few minor edits.

5) Then I switch to "right-channel-only" for tracks 3-8 in my DAW, Sony Vegas.


It was a bit of work, but it went smoothly. You could not do this if there is much bleed between tracks or the tracks were not tracked individually, due to phasing issues.

Cheers,

Randy
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