Tascam PortaOne

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General Calisti
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:25 am
Location: Sweden

Tascam PortaOne

Post by General Calisti » Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:56 pm

Lovely machine!

My friend bought one a month ago from some online auction thing and paid the equivalent of half a sack of potatoes for it and it sounds REAL nice, we tested it by feeding one of his ambient tracks from his interface and recorded the main output while i went to town "dubbing" it out (i routed his tracks main structure on three groups and all the ITB FX-return tracks to the last channel) and we were pretty happy with that as a test, it adds a certain character and roundness and being such a compact little cutie it offers a very basic workflow.
4 channels with sliders that are pretty slow, gain, hi and lo eq, pan, master slide, individual outs for each taped channel, pitch control, that kind of stuff.

The one he bought did have a minor issue with the transport mechanics (the heads were stuck in the up position) but we solved that by googling and following a pretty well detailed thread on gearslutz, it just needed a little coaxing to get the parts moving and not getting stuck, noting was even broken, just old grease that had gotten thick. There's plenty of vids on how to repair and use it. We'll get to scrubbing those heads with some isopropyl tomorrow.
Belts seemed to be ok (easy as pie to change), it runs both on a wart or batteries.

It has ONE major issue to me, and this might be because i'm still learning and figuring out dubbing and gear on my own basically and i'm just ignorant of any easy or obvious solutions for this but here goes:

It doesn't seem to be possible to track all four channels separately. From what i gather from the manual it has to be done channel by channel.

When my budy got it neither of us had a clue about this and we both thought we could use it as a budget version of a 4-track R2R if you know what i mean?

Plug each jack in, set the rec-levels, hit record and lay down a riddim track all at once with each section on one channel and there it is. But no no, haha, nope, ixnay, njet.

From what i can understand there is only the possibility to record one or two separade channels since it has 4 buses but they're grouped as two L/R options on two three-pole switches.

Bus 1 and 2 are L/R for option A

Bus 3 and 4 are L/R for option B

Bus 1 and 3 are on the same switch and the "safe" setting is what divides them, ditto for 2 and 4. You could of course use 1+4 or 3+2 but i don't immagine that matters because you end up having the same issue.

If you consider buying a similar machine check for this kind of thing and if anybody out there has a hack for this let me know. I will post pictures of cats on music gear as reward.

I'm thinking if i can find a schematic i could try hacking it by rewiring it but i'm haggling with a local repair-shop that has a 4-track R2R fixer-upper and they might even have a lead on an not so fixer upper 8-track so i'm just knocking wood and hoping they can give me a good price and include a couple of servicing discounts and a vintage compact-desk... Now i just need a new house. And perhaps a winning lottery ticket or something...

bla bla bla, this General Calisti, signing off, good night and good dub.
Non possomus facere laterem sine DUB

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