Discussion:
Tascam 2488 - Trouble recording 6 tracks at a time
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Paul Carmen
2004-05-29 15:09:51 UTC
Permalink
Hi all,

finally I decided to go for a Tascam 2488 to record my drum tracks.

I record everything dry because I want to force
myself to focus on the quality of the drumsound
itself, not on the effects. So I tuned my kit and
improved the sound of my practise room and got
everything together.

Micing was as follows:
- Bassdrum (D112)
- Snare (Sennheiser MD409)
- Toms 10" and 12" (Beyerdynamics M400)
- Toms 14" and 16" (Beyerdynamics M500)
- HiHat (Sennheiser BF530 - bad idea, I know)
- Overhead (some crap to be replaced by a condenser mic)

Any comments on this are welcome. But that is not my problem.

So I have mapped 6 input channels to 6 tracks. Then
I recorded a few bars and checked/corrected the position
of the microphones etc. until it sounded ok. My test
recordings were up to 3-4 minutes. I played over
this again and again.

When I started recording a song, the following happened:
After 42 seconds the counter stopped and it was impossible
to stop the recorder. The harddisk was not working. The red
"record" light in each of the 6 channels was on and it was
not possible to turn it off. It was not possible to shut down
the system. The click was still clicking, even when I pressed
stop. At the end I had to power it off without doing a real
shutdown.

Repeating this procedure the next time it stopped at 1:20,
then again at 0:42, then at whatever.
I did another try with only 5 channels recorded simmultaneously
and it stopped after 2:40; perhaps the unit cannot manage the
high I/O when recording 6 tracks? That would be a shame, as
this was the only reason why I bought this thing.

Does anybody have an idea what could have happened here.
Of course I will also talk to my dealer, but that is not
possible before end of next week. I don't think I can stand
the pain for so long ;-) Any ideas??? Formatting the harddisk?

Thank you
PC
Paul Stamler
2004-05-29 17:03:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Carmen
After 42 seconds the counter stopped and it was impossible
to stop the recorder. The harddisk was not working. The red
"record" light in each of the 6 channels was on and it was
not possible to turn it off. It was not possible to shut down
the system. The click was still clicking, even when I pressed
stop. At the end I had to power it off without doing a real
shutdown.
Repeating this procedure the next time it stopped at 1:20,
then again at 0:42, then at whatever.
I did another try with only 5 channels recorded simmultaneously
and it stopped after 2:40; perhaps the unit cannot manage the
high I/O when recording 6 tracks? That would be a shame, as
this was the only reason why I bought this thing.
Does anybody have an idea what could have happened here.
Of course I will also talk to my dealer, but that is not
possible before end of next week. I don't think I can stand
the pain for so long ;-) Any ideas??? Formatting the harddisk?
First guess is that you have a bad hard drive. There are other
possibilities, but that's what I'd look at first.

Peace,
Paul
Mike Rivers
2004-05-29 20:57:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Carmen
After 42 seconds the counter stopped and it was impossible
to stop the recorder. The harddisk was not working. The red
"record" light in each of the 6 channels was on and it was
not possible to turn it off. It was not possible to shut down
the system. The click was still clicking, even when I pressed
stop. At the end I had to power it off without doing a real
shutdown.
Repeating this procedure the next time it stopped at 1:20,
then again at 0:42, then at whatever.
I did another try with only 5 channels recorded simmultaneously
and it stopped after 2:40
Sounds to me like it's broken. If it will let you put that many tracks
into Record simultaneously, you shold be able to record them. I'd call
TASCAM Tuesday morning unless there's something in the manual about
disk maintenance that you can try in the meantime. At least you don't
have any projects recorded that you don't want to lose, so if there's
a disk reformatting tool, you might try that. It might tell you that
there's something wrong with the drive.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (***@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Paul Carmen
2004-05-30 09:14:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Rivers
Sounds to me like it's broken. If it will let you put that many tracks
into Record simultaneously, you shold be able to record them. I'd call
TASCAM Tuesday morning unless there's something in the manual about
disk maintenance that you can try in the meantime. At least you don't
have any projects recorded that you don't want to lose, so if there's
a disk reformatting tool, you might try that. It might tell you that
there's something wrong with the drive.
Thank you, Mike.

Yes, by specification you can record 8 tracks at one
time (the reason why a drummer needs something like that).

Reformatting the partition did not give any error messages,
but did not solve the problem either. I tried it several
times already.

Perhaps I could reformat the whole harddisk, but I don't
expect anything from this. As I have now unplugged my
recording setup and sent an email to the reseller, I will
wait and see what next week will bring.

PC
Paul Carmen
2004-05-30 09:27:29 UTC
Permalink
Thank you, Mike.

Yes, by specification you can record 8 tracks at one
time (the reason why a drummer needs something like that).

Reformatting the partition did not give any error messages,
but did not solve the problem either. I tried it several
times already.

News!
=====
The latest status is now that it starts recording
as before, but after a short time (1-2 minutes)
the system does a real crash and the display shows
only "Error Code 02".

Perhaps I could reformat the whole harddisk, but I don't
expect anything from this. As I have now unplugged my
recording setup and sent an email to the reseller, I will
wait and see what next week will bring.

PC
Don Cooper
2004-05-30 02:21:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Carmen
finally I decided to go for a Tascam 2488 to record my drum tracks.
After 42 seconds the counter stopped and it was impossible
to stop the recorder. The harddisk was not working.
Sorry you're having that problem, Paul. I hope it gets resolved quickly.

I was thinking of getting one of these soon. I may wait a little while,
for 1.1, or something.


Don
Paul Carmen
2004-05-30 09:30:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Don Cooper
Sorry you're having that problem, Paul. I hope it gets resolved quickly.
Thank you very much for your sympathy.
Ok, there is bigger trouble one could have in life, but however ...
Post by Don Cooper
I was thinking of getting one of these soon. I may wait a little while,
for 1.1, or something.
At the moment I wouldn't say that the product is not mature.
Perhaps I received _the_ system with the broken harddisk while
others did not.

However, I became aware of the risk to buy a brand new product.
Being an IT person I know that the latest beta-test often
happens on the market. We will see.

By the way: I was really happy about the ease of use.
The documentation is very clear, but on the other hand
not in-depth: For example, I could not find any information
about the meaning of "error code 02", which is shown since
I reformatted the partition.

Perhaps "error code 02" translates to:
"Drummer not 100% in sync with click. Recording device will
take a 3 days break to give the drummer the opportunity
to improve timing and precision."

:-)


PC
Mike Rivers
2004-05-30 14:56:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Carmen
By the way: I was really happy about the ease of use.
The documentation is very clear, but on the other hand
not in-depth: For example, I could not find any information
about the meaning of "error code 02", which is shown since
I reformatted the partition.
It's pretty common these days for instruction manuals not to have very
much detail other than basic operating instructions. Error codes scare
people, and the concept that a user might actually see such a message
scares the marketing people (who are usually responsible for the
instruction manuals). When I worked with the documentation for a
recorder we all know and love, the product manager (who's no longer
with the company) didn't want a detailed instruction manual, he wanted
a quick start manual. His reasoning was that a major selling point was
simplicity, and if the first thing the user picks up when he opens the
box is a 200 page manual, he won't think it's as simple as what he
thought he was purchasing.
Post by Paul Carmen
"Drummer not 100% in sync with click. Recording device will
take a 3 days break to give the drummer the opportunity
to improve timing and precision."
More likely it means "I can't write anything to this disk." I think
you need TASCAM's help to sort this out. The dealer isn't likely to be
able to help you other than to exchange the unit.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (***@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Paul Carmen
2004-05-30 18:41:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Rivers
Post by Paul Carmen
By the way: I was really happy about the ease of use.
The documentation is very clear, but on the other hand
not in-depth: For example, I could not find any information
about the meaning of "error code 02", which is shown since
I reformatted the partition.
It's pretty common these days for instruction manuals not to have very
much detail other than basic operating instructions. Error codes scare
people, and the concept that a user might actually see such a message
scares the marketing people (who are usually responsible for the
instruction manuals). When I worked with the documentation for a
recorder we all know and love, the product manager (who's no longer
with the company) didn't want a detailed instruction manual, he wanted
a quick start manual. His reasoning was that a major selling point was
simplicity, and if the first thing the user picks up when he opens the
box is a 200 page manual, he won't think it's as simple as what he
thought he was purchasing.
Good point. The manual looked really more than a quick-starter,
so indeed I was looking for the full handbook when I saw it.
But there is only this one this 90 page thing. It starts with a
step-by-step on how to create a first song with 2 guitar tracks
and then shows chapters "mixer", "recorder", "harddisk maintenance",
etc., but none of them goes very much in detail.
Post by Mike Rivers
Post by Paul Carmen
"Drummer not 100% in sync with click. Recording device will
take a 3 days break to give the drummer the opportunity
to improve timing and precision."
More likely it means "I can't write anything to this disk." I think
you need TASCAM's help to sort this out. The dealer isn't likely to be
able to help you other than to exchange the unit.
But anyhow I contact the dealer:
For various reasons, I have some bucks left over and could perhaps
get a good deal for an upgrade to another system now.
I could afford a Roland VS 2000 CD or perhaps even a VS 2400 CD.
If the dealer agrees on that I would take a week or so to evaluate
based on my new budget and change the broken Tascam to a more
professional workstation. I wonder if the dealer agrees.
(Apart from the fact that I "found" some money, this is a very
emotional decision from my side, but very often those decisions
are the best on the long run.)

PC
Don Cooper
2004-05-30 15:46:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Carmen
"Drummer not 100% in sync with click. Recording device will
take a 3 days break to give the drummer the opportunity
to improve timing and precision."
:-)
It's good that you have a sense of humor about it.

Good luck.


Don
WillStG
2004-05-31 00:06:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Carmen
"Drummer not 100% in sync with click. Recording device will
take a 3 days break to give the drummer the opportunity
to improve timing and precision." >>
Paul, the good news is the Tascam users board is back!

http://www.tascamforums.com/

The bad news is you aren't the only one having such problems.

http://www.vaporpark.com/invboard/index.php?act=ST&f=3&t=773&s=42fa41650dc
69540a77948641328eef2

Users speculate it may be a firmware problem, but maybe something less
drastic as not everyone is having trouble. You might like to try the
following so you can eliminate possibilities over which you might have some
control.

* Get a vibration dampening mat to help isolate your 2488 from
environmental vibrations.

* Get a power line conditioner / UPS for your 2488 to filter out any
power line issues. "

Good luck.

Will Miho
NY Music & TV Audio Guy
Off the Morning Show! & sleepin' In... / Fox News
"The large print giveth and the small print taketh away..." Tom Waits
Paul Carmen
2004-05-31 09:39:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by WillStG
Paul, the good news is the Tascam users board is back!
http://www.tascamforums.com/
The bad news is you aren't the only one having such problems.
Thank you very much for this great hint.
In fact, I should have been looking for such forums before
purchasing.
Post by WillStG
Good luck.
Thank you.

Concerning Tascam devices, you can learn a lot in this forum.
Those guys are keen enough to take the screwdriver and look
what is inside the boxes.

Reading about the guy who got his 2488 replaced by Tascam last
week and ran into the same trouble with the new unit makes me
thinking that I should go for another type.

It looks like all those who run into the same problems as I
(error 01 or 02 and/or "MTR busy") are all trying to record
many (5 to 8) tracks at the same time. Perhaps the thing is
ok for "typical home-studio" stereo tracks, but that the
A/D translation on the input and/or the harddisk I/O is not
made for drums or band-recording. However, I am not an expert.

If my dealer allows to trade the 2488 for another (Tascam,
Roland, or whatsoever) unit, I will look for simillar forums
before I make up my mind. A lot of decision making arguments
I did not know as I had no experience at the recording
console. I had focused on simultaneous tracks, ease of use,
number of total real/virtual tracks, but neglected e.g.
extendability, quality of display, mouse or screen connectivity.

For those of you who are interested, I will keep you
posted on how nice my dealer is to me.
I am hoping the best.

Again thank you all for your help. Waiting this long weekend
without doing anything would have been tough. (No, I cannot
share the details of this trouble with my wife ;-))

PC
Mike Rivers
2004-05-31 13:14:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Carmen
Post by WillStG
http://www.tascamforums.com/
Concerning Tascam devices, you can learn a lot in this forum.
Those guys are keen enough to take the screwdriver and look
what is inside the boxes.
This forum is a private resurrection of the excellent forum that
TASCAM used to run themselves, in which TASCAM's product specialists
were active participants. Policies changes at the company caused the
forum to be removed, and the "Product specialist" job changed.

Since my dreams of being hired by TASCAM have completely evaporated,
I've not followed this new forum. Is there any company participation
at all? I realize the value of user experiences as a form of suppport
(both technical and moral) but company participation was what made the
original TASCAM forums special.
Post by Paul Carmen
It looks like all those who run into the same problems as I
(error 01 or 02 and/or "MTR busy") are all trying to record
many (5 to 8) tracks at the same time. Perhaps the thing is
ok for "typical home-studio" stereo tracks, but that the
A/D translation on the input and/or the harddisk I/O is not
made for drums or band-recording. However, I am not an expert.
Did anyone report what the actual problem was? Did the replaced units
work as specified? Manufacturers don't like to tell customers (and
potential customers) "Oops, we goofed." There's rarely a product
recall unless there's a safety problem, for example a power supply
that's improperly insultated and there's an electrical shock hazard,
or a tendency to burst into flames. Generally software updates (if
that fixes a problem) are issued and those who learn about them get
them.

There's no more stress on the hardware whether the tracks you're
recording are simple parts or something very complex. A/D conversion
is still done in hardware and it's not more work to digitize 16th note
hi-hat hits for five minutes as it is to digitize a two word vocal
phrase every fifteen seconds. I suspect that there was a hardware or
firmware problem that couldn't be fixed in the field.
Post by Paul Carmen
Reading about the guy who got his 2488 replaced by Tascam last
week and ran into the same trouble with the new unit makes me
thinking that I should go for another type.
The trouble with buying a product that's new on the market is that
often all the kinks haven't been worked out. I've found this more
frequently than I like when getting products for review these days.
The manufacturers don't always test the unit in every way that a user
might apply it, or they do, find something that doesn't work, and
figure that few enough users will do that so they can deal with
individual cases rather than redesign around the issue. And all too
often, the life span of a product isn't long enough for the kinks to
be worked out, or at least documented - so the second generation
buyers often get bit.

Things were better when it cost $100,000 to equip a studio. There were
still bugs, but they were usually easier and more reliable to fix, and
there was enough money in each sale to fund sustaining engineering
support.
Post by Paul Carmen
If my dealer allows to trade the 2488 for another (Tascam,
Roland, or whatsoever) unit, I will look for simillar forums
before I make up my mind.
Asking around is a good thing. You'll find that the older products
have fewer problems, but they may not have all the features you
desire, and may cost more than the newest thing.
Post by Paul Carmen
I had focused on simultaneous tracks, ease of use,
number of total real/virtual tracks, but neglected e.g.
extendability, quality of display, mouse or screen connectivity.
It sounds like you were looking for what you needed, and you simply
didn't get it because the unit doesn't work the way it's supposed to
work - it's supposed to record eight tracks simultaneously, and it
doesn't. Your choice is to either wait for the manufacturer to fix it
or bail out and try to find something else that works for you. I
haven't paid much attention to the latest Roland SIBs
(Studio-In-a-Box) but the early ones were quite complicated to
operate. The Korg SIBs have usually not had as many features as the
Rolands but have been more intuitive to operate.
Post by Paul Carmen
For those of you who are interested, I will keep you
posted on how nice my dealer is to me.
I am hoping the best.
There's no reason why your dealer shouldn't allow you to exchange your
TASCAM for full credit on something else. He'd just going to return it
to TASCAM for credit so he's not losing anything, and he's keeping you
as a customer.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (***@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Paul Carmen
2004-06-02 17:24:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Rivers
There's no reason why your dealer shouldn't allow you to exchange your
TASCAM for full credit on something else. He'd just going to return it
to TASCAM for credit so he's not losing anything, and he's keeping you
as a customer.
Looks like you know the habits on the market. (They are not
obliged to, but they have sent me now some papers to send
the Tascam 2488 back at their cost and will in return get a
voucher so I can take the time I need to select a new product.

Another good point from your side:
I had ordered and received what I need. It just didn't work.
It may be wrong to look for new features I might not need.

Many people say the Rolands are complicated to use.
Perhaps the manuals of the newer types will show the opposite,
so I will read them first.

As I am new to this forum, it might be a FAQ, but if you
don't mind it would feed my curiosity to know what your
role in this business is. Pro user? Expert/Editor?

Btw: I'll give the Korg stuff a glance.

PC
Mike Rivers
2004-06-02 23:27:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Carmen
it would feed my curiosity to know what your
role in this business is. Pro user? Expert/Editor?
All of the above at one time or another. Also doofus.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (***@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Paul Carmen
2004-06-06 13:25:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Rivers
Did anyone report what the actual problem was? Did the replaced units
work as specified? Manufacturers don't like to tell customers (and
potential customers) "Oops, we goofed." There's rarely a product
recall unless there's a safety problem, for example a power supply
that's improperly insultated and there's an electrical shock hazard,
or a tendency to burst into flames. Generally software updates (if
that fixes a problem) are issued and those who learn about them get
them.
This week's news:
Finally I got informed that Tascam has stated the following:

- The problem is known at Tascam;
- There are only 4 people / units in the world having this problem;
- The new firmware has been sent to my reseller; I could have an
upgrade from the current version 1.0.

The thing with the 4 people sound strange to me. Either most
people don't record drums or whole band-gigs or Tascam just
counted the bug reports in forums and newsgroups. ;->

What they did not say is whether the firmware upgrade will
solve the problem or if it is just a try.

Anyway: I will not stay with the Tascam.

PC

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