Q: “Can I use two Tascam 788s together? My drummer and I both have one, but one alone doesn’t record our whole band.”
A: The 788 has the ability to chase MTC from an outside source. This allows the 788 to lock up with another all-in-one studio, whether it’s another 788 or an offering from another manufacturer. Basically, if you’re new to syncing two machines together, one of your 788s will act as the Master and the other will act as the Slave. So, when the Master 788 is engaged into motion, time code (MTC) starts emanating from it. The Slave 788 will lock to the position relayed from the master. When the Master 788 stops, it stops broadcasting time code, and the Slave 788 will also stop. It’s really that simple.
So, how do you connect all of this? Connect a MIDI cable OUT of the Master 788 and IN to the Slave 788 – the MTC information will transmit along this cable. By the way, Tascam suggests that you “use up” the first 788′s tracks before connecting and using the second 788, although they don’t suggest any reason for your not being able to record to both 788s at the same time. Next, the audio from the Slave 788 needs to be combined with the audio in the Master 788. Perhaps the easiest way to do this is to connect the STEREO OUTPUT of the Slave 788 to the AUX INPUT on the Master 788. Then, route the AUX INPUT to the INPUT SUBMIXER on the Master 788 (The 788 has a dedicated mixer for inputs that can route to the main mix… this way, you don’t need to eat up tracks just to bring in external sources. Plus, each channel has PAN and LEVEL controls.).
Finally, the settings for the 788′s are made in the menu at MENU > SYNC/MIDI > MIDI. Make sure that both [Sync Gen] are set for [MTC]. One the Slave 788, press the PLAY button once. The PLAY LED will flash when it’s waiting for time code, and go solid when it’s in PLAY.
That’s it! The 788 is a really great multitrack recorder that’s amazingly affordable – especially when you consider how and where you can use one. I’m sure your band would agree that it’s been a worthwhile investment. Record on!