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Tascam Porta02

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by stephanie, Mar 21, 2003.


  1. stephanie

    stephanie

    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    I finally got myself a recorder to record my ideas down: a Tascam Porta02 MKII (bought a Starter Pack that included master tape, headphones, and microphone). I like the looks of it, but I've been reading through the owner's manual all day and haven't a clue how to use it (silly me...please forgive me I'm a recording "newbie" :D). I guess I'm confused by a few things the manual states:

    1) It says in addition to the Porta02 itself I need "some kind of stereo mastering recorder...". I don't have one of these and don't see me being able to afford yet another recorder in the near future...so am I out of luck?

    2) It says I also need RCA cables to connect the Porta02 to other equipment. Are RCA cables the cables you use to plug your bass into the amp?

    3) It says "do not connect the speaker output (or headphone output...) of the amplifier to the Porta02..." I am lost by this because my amp (Squier BP-15) only has a headphone output and ext. speaker outlet and nothing else to plug anything into (except the input for the bass cable). So how do I go about recording?

    I probably have some more questions, but that's all I can think of for now. Sorry if these questions sound silly, but I am confused on how to set this up for just recording simple basslines. That's all I'm looking to do right now, to record my ideas.

    Thanks,
    Stephanie
     
  2. zombywoof5050

    zombywoof5050

    Dec 20, 2001
    1. What you have is a 4-track but once you record onto all four tracks (which uses both sides of the tape, btw), you wont be able to just take the tape out and play it on another cassette player. You will need to "mix down" the four recorded tracks onto a standard 2-track (left/right) cassette player in order to be able to play it back on any standard cassette player.
    Of course, anything that you record onto your recorder can always be played back on it.


    2. RCA connectors are the little "line in/out" connectors. Your bass uses a 1/4" phono plug.

    3. Speaker outs and headphone outs have a higher output level and should not be connected to a device which requires a "line level". To record your bass, you could plug the bass directly into the recording input (sometimes a Direct Box is desired if your bass has a low output level), or you can mic the bass amp with the microphone connected to your recording input.

    Hope this helps..
     
  3. stephanie

    stephanie

    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Hmmm...sounds like I'm stuck for now because I don't have another recorder...and I don't think I have any RCA cables. :confused: :(

    I was thinking of doing that.

    Thanks for the info,
    Stephanie
     
  4. zombywoof5050

    zombywoof5050

    Dec 20, 2001
    RCA cables look like this (see picture link below).
    Theses are what you'd connect from your 'line out' on the Porta02 to the 'line in' of another recorder when mixing your recordings down to a standard tape player.
     
  5. zombywoof5050

    zombywoof5050

    Dec 20, 2001
    Of course, you don't have to mix down onto another tape player. You could mix your recording down onto the computer. You'd need some kind of recording software (like SoundForge, etc.), and you would connect your Porta02 outputs to your computer recording input with a cable like the one shown below (that is, if your soundcard has an 1/8" input on it, which most do).

    Once you have the recording on the computer, you could then burn it onto a CD.

    Both of these type cables (RCA-RCA and RCA-1/8" stereo) are less than $10 and can be bought at Best Buy.
     
  6. stephanie

    stephanie

    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Thanks for that picture because I think I might actually have a couple of those cables hanging around.

    Sorry to say I don't own a computer :( I'm on a WebTV (bleh) and can't do anything musical on it.

    I'm so new at this recording thing. Now I feel I should have done more looking into the recorder (how to use it) before using up my last dollars on my Musician's Friend card (bah! it was good price, though) LOL. I've been reading around about it and everywhere I read it kept saying how easy it is use, etc. so I was happy to hear that and that's why I bought it.
     
  7. zombywoof5050

    zombywoof5050

    Dec 20, 2001
    You could probably get by with just the Porta02, here's how:

    If you just use tracks 1 & 2 of the Porta02, you should be able to play the tape back in a regular player.

    Tracks 1 & 2 on the Porta02 are the same as side 'A' on a standard player.
    Tracks 3 & 4 on the Porta02 are what is normally reserved for the other side of the tape (side 'B').

    So, to use the Porta02 like a standard cassette recorder, you would just use tracks 1 & 2 and then turn the tape over and use only tracks 1 & 2 again for that side of the tape. This way, the tape should play back in a standard cassette player.

    You could do more than two tracks (overdubbing and such) by bouncing the tracks back and forth (using all 4 tracks) as long as the last bouce is back onto tracks 1 & 2, where the tape should play back normally in another tape player.
    Anything recorded onto tracks 3 & 4 with the Porta02 will play back 'backwards' (on the other side of the tape) in another tape player.

    Does this make any sense?
    If not, it should all come to you once you get some experience with the Porta02.
     
  8. stephanie

    stephanie

    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Ooh, I will have to try that. Thank you for all the help you've given me. I appreciate it. :)

    (And I did find a couple RCA cable tonight :))