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Transferring old reel-to-reel music to Tascam digital

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  • Transferring old reel-to-reel music to Tascam digital

    Decades ago I recorded quite a few originals to reel-to-reel using an 8 track Fostex R8 recorder and a Fostex Model 812 mixer which I then mixed down to cassettes.  The cassettes are failing, so I'd like to get this music into the digital realm so I don't lose all of this music.

    I recently purchased a Tascam DP24 Portastudio.  The R8 is on it's last legs, so before it completely dies I'd like to transfer the original 8 individual tracks from the reels to 8 tracks on the portastudio and then remix them on this device down to CD's.

    I haven't recorded anything in decades, so let me start with the basics.  Does the 812 mixer need to be involed in this process or do I just connect the R8's RCA outputs to the DP24's inputs? (The DP24 has xlr/trs combo jacks for the inputs, so I'm guessing I would just get eight RCA to 1/4" adapters to connect these two units.) 

    Thanks for any help!

  • CloseEnoughRocks
    commented on 's reply
    Thanks for the help. I was mostly concerned with matching levels, not introducing noise, etc. I understood those concepts about 25 tears ago!

    Btw, you're psychic about the tapes. I already had them all baked because they were in pretty bad shape. Also had to make quite a few trips to my local tech to get the R8 in working order. I'm just hoping I can run all of them once so I can save this stuff.


    No, your DP24 is a mixer so you can plug the outputs from your recorder straight into its 8 imputs and set the inputs fro line level. I havent checked your manual but I'm guessing the TRS imputs can be set for line level. All you will need are RCA to 1/4" adaptors.

    All tou gace to do from there is set your gain levels for each channel so its at a comfortable level where its above the noise floor and below clipping somewheres around -10 to -16 db and you should get a decent recorded track.

    Be sure you clean the playback recorders heads. If the tapes are old the tales are likely to shed iron oxide onto the heads. In extreme cases you have to bake the tapes to prevent shedding which allows you a playback or two . It really depends on the quality of the tape and how thay have been stored over the years.

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