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Tascam Porta Two Ministudio
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author Tascam Porta Two Ministudio
evs
i just bought a port two ministudio at ebay, it surely was a spontanious buy..
but great! can´t wait to experiment with looping tapes!

any cool tricks with this thing? any love for it here?

ah, and punch in/out, what would be a cheap foot controller for that?
mousegarden
evs wrote:
i just bought a port two ministudio at ebay, it surely was a spontanious buy..
but great! can´t wait to experiment with looping tapes!

any cool tricks with this thing? any love for it here?

ah, and punch in/out, what would be a cheap foot controller for that?


AAARRGGHH ! I'm extremely jelouse ! Been looking for a tape porta for ages, they seem to be really rare now ! Have fun !
neuroportal
"ah, and punch in/out, what would be a cheap foot controller for that?"

Plug in a normal lead, wrap tin foil around your foot and just touch it to the other end?

You did say cheap... smile
Paranormal Patroler
mousegarden wrote:
they seem to be really rare now ! Have fun !


hmmm.....
MindMachine
Paranormal Patroler wrote:
mousegarden wrote:
they seem to be really rare now ! Have fun !


hmmm.....


Maybe the 02 is 'rare'? 414's all day long.
suboptimal
I've had mine for years and years. Keep meaning to experiment with it more.

Keep in mind that the erase head needs to be disabled to make use of looping tapes, otherwise it'll just erase what you did before. I'm sure there are ways to get the previous recording to "ghost" on the tape anyway (maybe you need certain tapes, or you need to be hitting the tape hard, not sure). I've seen a how-to on disabling the erase head in another model, but nothing on the 02. It's one of those "would be nice to do" projects for me. I bought a box of looping cassettes before I realized I'd have to work this out . . .
MindMachine
suboptimal - you mean for live looping sound on sound style right?

I use loops in my 414 Mk II and record 4 tracks of hand drums or whatever all of the time.
evs
ahh.. shit. the tascam arrived, and its not working.. :-(
i can´t put a cassette into it, the playhead is in the way..
plus, play and f.forward is not working.

the seller says it worked when he shipped it..
hm.

is this easy to fix?

Zon
evs wrote:
ahh.. shit. the tascam arrived, and its not working.. :-(
i can´t put a cassette into it, the playhead is in the way..
plus, play and f.forward is not working.


Well.. the play and forward not working is probably because there's no tape in there.

Portastudio's are a tight fit but the tape should go in there, just make sure the top end of the tape is all the way down/in first.
evs
seriously, the tape won´t go in there.. can´t get it in. the play head is absolutely in the way..
i think its in the position where its normaly when the tape plays.. and its not gone back into the stop position..
fluxmonkey
i've had to open it up and manually advance the mechanism to get the tape heads to retract, usually after it's been sitting for a while... once it's limbered up it works ok. great machine.
evs
is it easy to open it? are there instructions anywhere? maybe with pictures? woah

something like ifixit for portastudios hmmm.....
sb
I took delivery of a Porta 02 the other day as well. I too had trouble getting the tape in....it'd been a while since I'd used cassettes. Might sound obvious...but did you try flipping the tape over ? Worked for me. d'oh!
evs
yes, i flipped the tape.. problem is, that the play head is in a position like when its playing. normally theres a point which the cassette pushes, so that the playehad goes into a position where you can put the cassette in.. thats not happenning.
hm.. hard to describe:-)

i found this movie, which describes it gooe. the playhead comes off when a tape gets in.. with my machine, the playhead is allways like theres a tape in it..

suboptimal
MindMachine wrote:
suboptimal - you mean for live looping sound on sound style right?

I use loops in my 414 Mk II and record 4 tracks of hand drums or whatever all of the time.


Not sure, I've never really gotten around to playing with it. Doesn't the erase head hit the tape just before the record head, so you lose everything you've recorded to the loop before? I know I've seen a thread discussing cutting traces to the erase head on another model, to defeat this behavior for making drone tapes.

I may be wrong about how the things work, though. Been years since I've given much thought to my tape recording, other than to reminisce about the brief period of time when I was actually productively creating music using a Tascam, a Boss DR-770 drum machine, a crappy Yamaha guitar and a POD.
stinkfist
evs wrote:
ahh.. shit. the tascam arrived, and its not working.. :-(
i can´t put a cassette into it, the playhead is in the way..
plus, play and f.forward is not working.

the seller says it worked when he shipped it..
hm.

is this easy to fix?



Mine does this too - you have to open up the unit (take out the screws on the underside) and gently prize open the front edge of the porta two where the join is between the top and bottom panels... wedge it open with something and look inside - use a torch- you will see a large chrome plated disk.

Get a pencil with a rubber on the end - poke it in through the open slot and push that chrome plated disc so it rotates a little bit and the tape head mechanism will snap back into place. thumbs up

It will more than likely do it again, so what i did was drill a pencil sized hole in exactly the correct position on the front edge so you can push the chrome disc without opening up the unit.
evs
i opened up the other day, and fixed that. stinkfist, exactly as you descibe it!
after that, i found out that play and fast forward is not working.
i opened up everything. (theres a good video on youtube how to do this..!
edit: here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UynyxbctZ0M)
and i cleaned everything. after tah, play AND fast forward were working again.

BUT..: i than checked the audio.. everthing just HUMS. LOUD humming. without anything at the inputs.
its such a loud humming, that you hear the inputs (if something is attached) just very subtle..
i recorded a bit on tape, the input also heavy distort. i can hear the inputs, but whats on tape i barely can hear.
i played the cassette back in a normal tape deck, and what i recorded was there. very distorted, but its there. withour the HUm! so i guess the hum is just on the outputs..

oh my.. any idea?
opruiming
This is only tangentially related to this thread but periodically I see someone asking (on different fora) for a manual for the Porta 07 by Tascam.
If you follow https://archive.org/details/TascamPorta07OwnersManual you will find it.
Tascam has no mention of the Porta 07 on their site and apparently don't have the manual available for download (last time I checked you could only download the one for the Porta 02mkII).
So I'm putting this link here in case someone stumbles across this via the search function.
smetak
Hum......I bought a Porta Two some time ago - it did play and all, but was way out of pitch, way too fast.

Had it sent to a friend of mine who's into repairing such equipment - but with zero success - it seems to use something called a "reverse motor" and these are very hard to come by.

I still have the thing tucked away, in my closet, with no possibility of repair in sight.....

I was able to get a Tascam 414 in excellent condition (no, these machines don't come cheap), which is a hard catch. These old recorders tend to be quite fragile and are becoming very hard to find in reasonable condition.

I also bought a broken Marantz PMD field recorder, but had it fixed - works perfectly and is fantastic! And an old Fostex X12, which also works quite well. And have an eye on an Ibanez RP200.
opruiming
smetak wrote:
Hum......I bought a Porta Two some time ago - it did play and all, but was way out of pitch, way too fast.


I guess you probably know this but the Portas (the 07 in any case, not completely sure about the others and too lazy to look it up right now) are high-speed recorders.
If you try to play a tape thats been recorded on other machinery with a normal basespeed you indeed get a way to high pitch.
The portas record at twice (if you don't adjust the pitch) the normal speed and given that you record "both sides" of a stereotape in one direction (to get the 4 tracks) this means you get only 1/4th of the playtime thats marked on your cassette, so on a 60 min tape you can record 4 tracks for 15 minutes.
I think your machine is OK, and what you consider a fault is actually the features of the machine.
smetak
opruiming wrote:
smetak wrote:
Hum......I bought a Porta Two some time ago - it did play and all, but was way out of pitch, way too fast.


I guess you probably know this but the Portas (the 07 in any case, not completely sure about the others and too lazy to look it up right now) are high-speed recorders.
If you try to play a tape thats been recorded on other machinery with a normal basespeed you indeed get a way to high pitch.
The portas record at twice (if you don't adjust the pitch) the normal speed and given that you record "both sides" of a stereotape in one direction (to get the 4 tracks) this means you get only 1/4th of the playtime thats marked on your cassette, so on a 60 min tape you can record 4 tracks for 15 minutes.
I think your machine is OK, and what you consider a fault is actually the features of the machine.


Woe, wasn't aware of that!

Let me ask you two questions:

1) There would be no way, than, to play a regular tape on it? Or is there?

2) Recording on a portastudio, can I have the tape played at normal pitch?
opruiming
Hello,

I just checked the tascam site and found the owners manual for the porta 02mkII.
This does record at the normal speed so you can scratch what I said about highspeed recording (the 07 does this the 02mkII doesn't).
So depending on what model of Porta you have this can differ.

Are you sure you're not hearing both sides of your tape at once, one going forward the other playing backwards.
I'll try to clarify: if you record on a normal stereo tapedeck you record 2 tracks (left and right of the stereoimage) on side A and 2 tracks (left and right) on side B. These play in different directions (you turn the tape over or it autoreverses)
So each side of your cassette is only half of the physical width of your tape.
The portas use the whole width of your tape in one direction to get 4 tracks out of a stereocassette.
So if you play a tape thats been recorded on a normal deck on both sides
your tascam reads all tracks at once, half of them play forward half of them play backwards.

In answer to question one
You can if the recording speed and playback speed are the same.
If your tape was recorded on a normal stereotapedeck you have to mute (with the faders) the tracks you don't want to hear(1-2 or 3-4) on your Porta.

In answer to question 2.
If you record on a Porta (4 tracks) usually people mix this mastertape down to a normal stereotape on another deck.
So your final tape will be recorded at the normal speed.

I hope this makes some sense.
I don't know exactly which model you have but in the manuals there are very clear pictures that probably make this clearer
smetak
opruiming wrote:
Hello,

I just checked the tascam site and found the owners manual for the porta 02mkII.
This does record at the normal speed so you can scratch what I said about highspeed recording (the 07 does this the 02mkII doesn't).
So depending on what model of Porta you have this can differ.

Are you sure you're not hearing both sides of your tape at once, one going forward the other playing backwards.
I'll try to clarify: if you record on a normal stereo tapedeck you record 2 tracks (left and right of the stereoimage) on side A and 2 tracks (left and right) on side B. These play in different directions (you turn the tape over or it autoreverses)
So each side of your cassette is only half of the physical width of your tape.
The portas use the whole width of your tape in one direction to get 4 tracks out of a stereocassette.
So if you play a tape thats been recorded on a normal deck on both sides
your tascam reads all tracks at once, half of them play forward half of them play backwards.

In answer to question one
You can if the recording speed and playback speed are the same.
If your tape was recorded on a normal stereotapedeck you have to mute (with the faders) the tracks you don't want to hear(1-2 or 3-4) on your Porta.

In answer to question 2.
If you record on a Porta (4 tracks) usually people mix this mastertape down to a normal stereotape on another deck.
So your final tape will be recorded at the normal speed.

I hope this makes some sense.
I don't know exactly which model you have but in the manuals there are very clear pictures that probably make this clearer


Thanks for the reply!

Yes, it works perfectly well - can hear both the tracks simultaneously (that's part of the fun, isn't it?) - the only problem is the pitch on the Porta two. The pitch is too high and I can't get it to normal playback speed.

As said, attempted to repair this, but to no avail - again, I don't know if, as you said, this is the way it should work or not. As comparison, on the 424, I can fully control the tape speed and hear pre-recorded cassettes without a problem. Unfortunately, not the case of the Porta Two.

Going to have to dig deeper into this.

Thanks once again for the kind reply!
opruiming
No problem.
I should have read the 02 manual first.
I don't know if your willing to hack your machine up a bit, but I guess if push comes to shove you could control the motorspeed with a potentiometer in series (limiting the voltage to your spindle motor).
Don't do this before asking someone more knowledgable than me.
If I recall correctly only using a potentiometer is not very efficient because your potentiometer will have to dissipate quite a bit of energy depending on wiper position.
But since these are pretty low current circuits I don't think you would run into trouble.
Again, if you want to do this get a more funded opinion before starting to take your machine apart.(I really need to refresh all the basics quite urgently)
smetak
opruiming wrote:
No problem.
I should have read the 02 manual first.
I don't know if your willing to hack your machine up a bit, but I guess if push comes to shove you could control the motorspeed with a potentiometer in series (limiting the voltage to your spindle motor).
Don't do this before asking someone more knowledgable than me.
If I recall correctly only using a potentiometer is not very efficient because your potentiometer will have to dissipate quite a bit of energy depending on wiper position.
But since these are pretty low current circuits I don't think you would run into trouble.
Again, if you want to do this get a more funded opinion before starting to take your machine apart.(I really need to refresh all the basics quite urgently)


Well, I should have read the manual (normally I get terribly bored and lazy on the first few pages and begin to punch buttons at random to see what happens - I think that was what attracted me to modular synths in the first place....hehehehe.)

That's quite a good idea - I will pass on to my friend who has the technical knowledge to do this (I'm a disaster with a soldering iron, so you can imagine my "fine expertise" here....) - but thanks once again - will pass your idea on to him.
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