Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Tascam Bass Trainer

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by blaire, Nov 25, 2003.


  1. blaire

    blaire

    Jul 15, 2003
    The land of Rice
    Hey everyone, Id just like to ask your opinion on the Tascam bass trainer as Im thinking about buying it. It seems pretty cool how you can slow down the cd speed to 50% without affecting the pitch or key which would make songs a lot easier to learn, especially slap bass where the notes are so fast. Anyway what do you think? It sells for $149 at samash.com if you want to check it out , go to tascam.com
     
  2. LoJoe

    LoJoe

    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    I've had mine about 3 weeks now. It's a lot of fun. The slow down feature is pretty cool. You can either slow it down and keep the same pitch (slightly weird sounding but still usable) or you can change pitch without changing tempo. The most usable function I've found is the section looping. You push a button at the start of a particular section of song you want to focus on, and then again at the end of it. You can then hear that same 5, 10, or however many seconds you want over and over and over until you get it right. The CD bass suppress and boost comes in very handy also. You can enhance the bass on the CD to really hear what's going on, or supress it so that you can play your own part. It sounds great through some decent headphones, and I have also run the line out of it into the effects loop input on my SWR Amp. The effects are fun, especially the MWAH and Distortion, but the menu is a royal pain in the arse. I need to get around to saving some setups as custom presets, but haven't gotten around to it. It's a fun little gadget though. It really helped me work out some difficult parts on some songs I was working on. Well worth the price, in my opinion. I suggest getting a power supply also as it will eat batteries too quickly if you don't.
     
  3. KPJ

    KPJ

    Oct 2, 2001
    Methuen, MA USA
    I've had mine for about two weeks now and it has really helped. I'm in a country/rock band doing mostly covers and it has really sped up my song-learning time, especially since I have to practice when my wife and daughter are sleeping.

    The one drawback is that the Bass Enhance feature which "boosts and enhances the bass frequencies" boosts all bass frequencies and oftentimes, depending on the quality of the recording, the result is a muddy sound with no discernable pitch. This is especially true of converted MP3 files. Original CD's don't come out as bad. The Bass Boost feature usually works best. There is also a Bass Cut which lets you see how you sound along the recording.

    The key change function is awesome! I had to learn a song that the singer was doing in E but the only recording he had was in A. I was able to drop it down and be right in tune. It blew my mind the first time. My band does "Crazy" in A but the recording is in B flat. No problemo, drop it down a half step and I'm in business. The loop function is great, too.

    It's not perfect, but it is probably the best bass oriented practice tool out there. I've recommended that the guitarists I work with buy the CD-GT. Oh, yeah, there is a line out, so you can record the output, so if the recording is in A and you want to do it in G, you can make copies for the whole band.

    Buy it, you'll like it! No, I do not work for Tascam!

    Oh yeah, GET THE POWER SUPPLY! Don't even think about using non-rechargeable batteries in this puppy.
     
  4. Boozy

    Boozy

    Apr 29, 2002
    Kelowna BC, Canada
    NeatO! I want one!
     
  5. blaire

    blaire

    Jul 15, 2003
    The land of Rice
    Thanks everyone, So far so good, I was expecting a couple of " mine broke the first week" or something but it sounds good. Im sure a lot of bassists wished this machine had come out years ago. I think Ill buy one.
     
  6. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999

    Back in the early daze of CD players-
    All of 'em had that function...2 little switches labeled "A" & "B". Eventually, the manufacturers decided no one used them(except musicians) & the switches went away.
     
  7. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    The only CD player I've seen with the AB function was a software one on my brother's old Amiga. Mind you, I was in my early teens when CD players started becoming generally available and they were well outside my price range and thus didn't get a lot of attention from me :D

    Being able to loop a section of a track is invaluable for transcribing (and adjusting the speed without altering the pitch is also handy). How does the Tascam unit do it - does it take a short sample or just go round and round re-reading the same portion of the CD?

    Wulf
     
  8. GooseYArd

    GooseYArd Guest

    May 15, 2003
    Hey Blaire,

    I was looking into similar stuff a while back- I have one of those little Korg Bass Pandora boxes with time expansion/compression, but it could only do about 8 seconds of audio, and it was kind of a pain to capture.

    Someone turned me on to Transcribe! for Windows. I think it's cool to have a box like the Tascam thing that you can just plug in anywhere, but if you have already have a computer, Transcribe uses a much more sophisticated algorithm for speed change that the little boxes, has a lot of more advanced looping controls, and can also display pitches in the snippet of the song that you've looped, which is awesome if you're transcribing or just having a hard time figuring out a note. The guy has sound samples of Transcribe vs. other stuff on slowed down playback, and it's definitely way better than my little Pandora.

    I probably used it without paying for 2 or 3 months before it started nagging me, but by that point I had gotten so reliant on it that I was almost happy to spend the money (I think its 40 or 50$). It's nice that its not another one of those 1 or 200 dollar blinking boxes that I used for a couple of months and then put in the closet.

    The URL is http://www.seventhstring.demon.co.uk/xscribe/index.html
     
  9. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    IMO, this Tascam doesn't 'sample'.
    I've seen/heard some units that do sample up to 15 seconds or so...some have the ability to capture/freeze a particular note, too(great for tone deaf weasels like me).
     
  10. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I'm also a great fan of Transcribe! Now I've been using it a while I tend not to bother with displaying the pitch analysis (there's too much going on to make it useful in most cases) but the ability to add markers to a song and choose a section to loop by dragging the mouse are brilliant.

    The only problem is when I want to work on transcribing something and my wife wants to do something else with the computer :)

    Wulf
     
  11. blaire

    blaire

    Jul 15, 2003
    The land of Rice
    Transcribe eh? Thanks, Ill have a look into that too. If its cheaper and better then it must be good. Thanks for all of your input! :D
     
  12. Bump:
    Well...how 'bout it guys 'n' gals? There must be a bunch more of us out there that've bought this thing? (the Tascam). How does the 1/2 speed playback sound compared to say... the Zoom BFX sampler in the 708 II? Is it distorted pretty severely? Does the bass enhancer make copying parts for transcribing MUCH easier to hear and delineate what pitches you're hearing clearly?
     
  13. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Did I mention that the Transcribe! software allows you to put the sound through a pretty powerful EQ section to bring out the bass or reduce distractions? Although, having said that, not requiring a computer to work could be a point in favour of the Tascam unit ;)

    Wulf
     
  14. Slot

    Slot

    Oct 17, 2003
    Sydney - The Shire
    Hey wulf, shh about transcribe! dude ...its a secret....


    I do all my transcribing straight from the record, no assistance, i swear !;)
     
  15. DannyBoy

    DannyBoy

    Nov 22, 2003
    A music store sent me one as a gift. I find that with a Passive Bass, you can't get enough gain on the bass input to hear over the track.

    A simple software application like Sonic Foundry's Acid Music will do the same things but it also allows you to compose, record and master as well. If you have a decent computer (and soundcard), $69.95 for Acid is a better value IMHO.
     
  16. LoJoe

    LoJoe

    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    That's interesting. With my G&L L-2500 set to passive, I can't even turn it up all the way or the bass will blow out my ears. As far as transcribing, I'm sure there are better tools out there, however I have recently found the best use of all for this toy. I recently went on a week long business trip. I took a little Steinberger and the BT-1 along. It was nice to be able to jam for an hour or more a night in my hotel room instead of watching the same HBO movie 8 times. A bass, the BT-1, and a handful of CD's and you can play anywhere from a hotel room to the back seat of a van, to your departure gate at the airport. That week alone was worth the price of admission for the BT-1
     
  17. DannyBoy

    DannyBoy

    Nov 22, 2003
    You are absolutely right. I keep it at work for that very same reason.

    I'm not sure what the deal is with my Passive Bass problem. When I'm using my Warwick Streamer STD with passive MEC electronics, I can barely hear it. With active EMGs, on my Spector, I have to back off.

    Anyway, as a mobile practice tool... it rocks.
     
  18. The specific thing I really want to know is:
    Is the onboard EQ sufficient to separate the bass from the lower toms and kick drum etc. on slightly muddy recordings? (the latest Rush, CSNY's "Everybody I Love You" from Deja Vu for examples...)

    My multi effects unit (Zoom) is pretty glitchy at half speed but usable. The one quarter speed (three quarters slower) is actually easier to hear bass on some recordings!

    I'm asking because I have a 100 mile plus drive to "audition" a Tascam and would like an inkling whether or not I should take the drive.
    Is the Tascam merely "workable" in the EQ/bass enhancement without muddy drums or is it the best non computer unit since sliced bread? Is the Tascam similar in glitchy/distorted half speed playback to the Pandora Akai, etc.?

    Please give as much detail as you can. Thanks!:)
     
  19. pbd

    pbd Commercial User

    Jul 17, 2003
    Metro Detroit
    owner Procables N Sound
    Dannyboy, have you checked the switch on the end for active/passive bass?
     
  20. DannyBoy

    DannyBoy

    Nov 22, 2003
    Yeah, I've tried it in both modes. To hear it, I have to keep the CD-Track Volume between 1 and 2 (very very low) and the Input Volume all of the way up.

    I have a digital recording studio in my basement and, between the 2 basses, I notice a 4db difference at full volume. Going into a mixing-board, it doesn't make much of a difference but on the BT-1... my Passive Bass is virtually useless.