Need some advice on mixing

Normally I just record everything live. But I had the opportunity to use a tascam 32ds and an old midi to tape sync box - just wanted to see how it would work. It worked perfectly, but now I have 20 tracks of various drums, guitars and synth parts… each drum piece has it’s own track (i know this is a little crazy, just wanted to test out this sync box).

My question is this… as I have a 2 or 3 ways I could mix this… just not sure how to tackle…

  1. I could use the mix down down option on the tascam (but I think once you use this option you can’t go back.

  2. I can bounce all 20 tracks to a stereo track… and essentially use the two tracks as the final mix… or

  3. I could directly mix those 20 tracks, onto a portal digital recorder…

Just curious. how you folks would go about doing this. I’ve never worked with 20 in ideal tracks like this before - again it was more of an expirement.

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Got the Tascam for DAW-less recordings myself …

  • After recording you have several options and if you don’t delete audio, you always can go back.
  • If effects are used during recording, those will be imprinted on the stored tracks as well.
  • The “mixdown” creates its own mixdown track, which is then ready for the mastering. The original tracks are preserved.
  • All tracks can be exported as *wav and transferred to a computer via USB. I use this all the time for working on the recordings in my DAW.

I would strongly recommend to read the manual, because some features of the Tascam are implemented a little weird - IMO - particularly the use of effects for the mixdown. There are some limitations as well, which users of a DAW or a digital console would not expect.

You can cut, slice, move, delete from your tracks, as you wish. You even can copy the entire project and work on the copy, and go back, if something went wrong.

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I don’t use a DAW - so that is out of the question. SoundRider I hope this doesn’t come off as rude (it’s not intended so). But you didn’t really suggest and ideal option or what you would do in my situation (my biggest issue when creating any type of music is making decisions lol). The manual is horrible btw, I’ve watched a video series on you tube that was superb.

What is your preferred method to mix your tracks (no PC DAW involved). One of the options that you didn’t suggest, which the video did, and the guy in the video seems to do this method the most, is mixing all the channels to a stereo channel via bounce (that’s the option I’m looking at currently… it seems the less complicated one). Most of my effects will applied with external effects, bouncing a track with no effects, to it with the effects applied.

I appreciate your time and answer, again I hope you didn’t find my first paragraph rude, it wasn’t meant to be :slight_smile:

Hey, no offence taken, because there was no reason.

I understood you had a concern about the Tascam as a recording/mixing/mastering machine in general. That was obviously not the case.

You didn’t describe, what is on your tracks, so a general answer is hard to find. But I can outline, how I use the Tascam and maybe this can be of some help.

  • I keep on each track just one single voice or instrument. Every piece of audio is in place and the arrangement already done. So there will be no further applying of effects, copy, paste, move, delete of audio etc.
  • I set the levels, apply compression and equalizing on each track, and work until all sounds are balanced.
  • Sometimes I use the send-FX to have some reverb on the main mix.
  • If I like the mix, I initiate the mixdown, which will generate the audio-file for the mastering.
  • After the mixdown I swap to mastering, engage the master compressor to glue the mix, apply some final equalising and if that sounds okay, commit to it and generate the master file. If it’s not okay, I go back to the mixing stage, improve my settings, and come back, if I like what I hear.

Oh, and during the mixdwon, we can ride the faders. That can help to smoothly fade-in/fade-out audio.

I essentially did that, every guitar, synth, and drum piece in the kit is it’s own track :). I’m curious though what you mean by if you like the mix (you would mean you like all the effects where they are, and all the levels to where you want them, then hit the mix down button?)

It was my fault, I should have described this better… let me break it up a bit… this why I don’t think the mix down feature will work for me… Just keep thing simple I’ll explain it this way…

Let’s say my song has Intro, Chorus, Verse, End… just going to use one instrument to make it simple… I really rocorded this backwards, which makes my mix harder? but I wanted to test our my midi to tape sync box.

Let’s just refer to my snare drum. I have 4 different tracks with snare drum recorded. They are all slightly different… So lets say track 1 I raise the fader for the snares in the intro, Then Chorus and Verse uses track 1, but also track 2 which has a little bit of a overlapping pattering to make the snare rythem different…

Then the End as it’s own complete snare track of tracks 2 and 3… so I will have to fade down tracks 1 and 2 and bring up track 2 and 3 for the snare drum pattern for the END… I hope this makes sense… that’s why I don’t think mix down will work… but maybe bouncing the mix to a stereo channel? Then mix down that stereo bounced track?

Typing is so bad, I apologize I only have mobile.

Makes much sense. Theoretically you can do this, but how many tracks do you want to operate like this in parallel? There are only two hands and ten fingers. Would be some acrobatics needed :wink:

If all tracks are synchronised and aligned you can silence those parts, which shall not play. Work with copies of tracks and you can always go back until it’s okay.

In your example, the snares would “not play” all time long and be faded-in and out with the fader as needed, rather they would be silenced (audio rendered to 0-volume), if they shall be quiet. At the end each track would have exactly the content like a band beeing recorded, which is playing the song from the first bar to the last. With all intro/verse/chorus/ending etc. Since the Tascam is a digital device, we can also copy/paste/overwrite/delete/move parts of the audio as we like.

If this is achieved, the mixing starts.

Now this is a hard question, because this is very much depending on the individual taste of the artist/engineer. But I give it a try … :wink:

If I play back my recorded tracks for the first time, there is almost something to do, to “balance” all the sounds. I always mix with all tracks playing. I try to get the most “transperent” mix possible, which means that

  • all voices have an adequate loudness, which fits to the mood of the song
  • all voices shall have their own place and don’t clash with others
  • the tonal spectrum is balanced - meaning - right amount of well defined low end, but not hammering away the rest, care to be taken on sounds, where our listening is most sensitive (about 2kHz - 5kHz), not to much high end (hiss)
  • beeing old-school I love much dynamics in my tracks and don’t fight in the “loudness-war” :wink:

I remember in the tutorial videos you could assign group-faders, this might work for me. Since most of the tracks are in order ie intro tracks 1-4, chorus 5-7, etc… for the most part anyway :slight_smile:

Yes all my tracks are synced… So the fader all the way to the bottom, isn’t the same is audio volume rendered to zero? Do you think it would be more efficient to cut and paste and move parts? to line my tracks from start to end, then rather try to mix with 20 channels?

I guess what I will have to do is make a backup copy of my tracks, and just fiddle, because I’m not really sure what to do :slight_smile:

Yes, this is true, but if I read the manual correctly, there is only one Fader-Group at a time possible. You should check this out yourself.

For the mix it’s definitely the same, but not for the workflow. If every track is only containing exactly the amount of audio, which shall be in the final mix, the riding of faders during mixdown is obsolate to “switch” tracks between beeing heard or not.

There is a “CLONE TRACK” edit function. You could use this to make a copy from the original track and work on the copy.

If this is needed to create the song structure, yes.

Maybe we have a different understanding, what “mixing” means in our workflows.

In my workflow “arranging” moves all audio to its intended place in the song structure. But I keep all tracks, if possible. Well, there will be long tracks with some audio, some silence, some audio again, doesn’t matter, because storage is sufficiently available. If this is done I “mix” the sound. To have the best sense for the mix, I listen to all tracks simultaneously and mix with iterations, until I commit to the result. I never mix a solo-track, because this can’t tell, how a solo-sound works inside the mix.

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I’ve never really mixed before, I usually just record live. I think I am bit confused and appreciate your time :slight_smile:

When you mean clone, I can clone track 1 on entire new project… then add track two from the old project to the new one?

Firstly… about muting… so say I want a new snare to come in at the 1 minute mark… I can mute original snare and have the new one come is that what you mean by muting the track and not having to ride the fader up and down at the one minute mark?

As of now, like I said I record each instrument or piece of instrument on a separate track. My song is 3:00 minutes long… but what I did was… lets just say tracks 1, 2, 3, and 4… all have a snare recorded to it, but in a different pattern. So what I did was record tracks 1, 2, 3, and 4, it’s pattern for the entire length of the song and in sync(hope that makes sense). So what I was planning on doing was play the intro snare with is one track 1, then the verse snare was on track two, so I would play it and stop playing track 1, or in some cases the snare tracks may overlap. So yes, for me there are going to be about 14 tracks that are not playing (muted) at certain points of the song, but those tracks have instruments recorded throughout the entire song… does that make sense?

Now with this being said… do think it would be better for me to cut and paste all the intro instruments together, and so on? So like if this is possible… for the intro says it’s 1 minute long, cut and paste every track together layered just for the intro, and do that for each part?


yes, I also do much jamming along an idea and end up with much more audio than I use for the final track. It’s a creative method of song writing.


yes, but I would keep the tracks. It is not necessary to bounce tracks.

Most efficient would be, to have the song structure already prepared before the recording starts and record the tracks accordingly. Editing for arrangement on the Tascam is combersome, if compared to a DAW.

It’s already arranged… Just have to trigger the right parts at the right time essentially - and you think cutting and pasting would be best. I’ll give that go, won’t be till next week, if I have any issues during it I’ll ask :slight_smile:

So in theory, I cut and paste Track 1, 6, 9 13 (intro tracks)… then cut and paste track for verse 1,2, 15, 17 and cut and paste tracks 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 19 for the end?

Seems to make sense to me :smiley:

Perfect, thanks for you time - tomorrow I go work and I’m brining the manual with me… though I’m not really good with manuals :). Just one further question so I understand how copy/paste/cut works… do I copy and paste to a new track, or all the cut and paste points marked virtually?

We can do track editing in a track and from track to track. The track edit functions use “source” and “target” tracks.

The cut and paste points have to be set by you. How this is done, is also explained in the manual. Its quite easy :wink:

I read the manual :). It’s not as bad or confusing as people in reviews state, maybe it was because I watched the youtube tutorials first. One thing I couldn’t find in the manual, and your probably can’t do it - but I’ll ask… Let’s take track 23/24 for example… You can either select it as a mono or stereo track.

Can you essentially record two different mono tracks one on the left the other one the right? I’m suspecting you can’t?

Well, I haven’t done this myself, but if recording only is required, it should be possible.

  • Let’s assume we connect two mono audio sources S1 and S2 to input A and B
  • To record stereo channel (23/24) the audio inputs are routed to the stereo channel as input A->23 and input B->24.
  • The recoring should be A->23=S1 and B->24=S2
  • In the mixing section we can’t handle them separately. All eq and fx will be applied to both.
  • But it should be possible to set the panning hard left, to listen to 23 only and hard right to have 24 only.
  • And … we can export all tracks to the audio-pool. The stereo track 23/24 will be exported as two tracks, which would be Track 23 and Track 24.

BTW in an other thread you have asked about synchronising external gear to the Tascam.

Since there is no midi sync we have to do it the old-school way, using a klick-track. This can be anything, which is recognised as an audio-clock signal by external devices.

There is a small device named “KLIK” from BASTL, which can generate midi-clock from audio-impulses. I tried it and it worked fine:

I have an old tascam to syn box, that works great :). And it was much cheaper then that box :slight_smile: pulse it hows to midi outs :slight_smile: very nice box from the 80s.

Also have a smaller box from midi solutions that was under 30 bucks, and it allows for temp changes but only one midi out, haven’t tried it yet.

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Read the manual, got a good understanding of everything works… I’ve used the silenced part, and it works great… but after many adjustments and tweaks, I wish to unsilence a part. How is it done? Undo won’t work cause it’s way past the undo change… for the silence…


I know this thread is dead, I’m hopefully hoping that soundrider can read this :stuck_out_tongue: instead of starting a new thread.

My question is this. After I have tracks already recorded onto the unit… how do I apply effects seperately to a certain track. It seems as soon as I go apply an effect to another track, I loose the effect that I had prevoiusly applied on the other track?