Tape Gear!


Did you disable or cover the erase head on the machine?


do you mean there is physically a piece of leader (non-magnetic) tape?
if yes, that’s why you haea ra gap. in that case you should cut out the leader tape and join the two ends back together.


@crushthered Sounds like this is the best course of action if it’s happening on an endless tape too.


a lot of tapes ment for answer machines etc have a metal strip at the join, which the machine would use to detect when to stop the tape, but makes for a gap in the recording. so yeah maybe you could splice it out tho it will be fiddly. and even DIY loop tapes i’ve made have at least a little dropout at the splice because it’s so difficult to do it perfectly. Cutting at an angle rather than at 90° helps somewhat


Cool, makes sense and I’ll try that, thanks for the info.

Makes sense as well, good to know.

Thanks everyone!


Hey everyone! 2 questions:

  1. I have a Tascam Portastudio 424mk2. The erase head doesn’t work well (specifically track 2 which is in the middle of the head) where it can’t fully erase the data and gets some really weird wacky (and slightly cool) tape warps. However, I’m looking to fix it and was wondering if anyone knows where to buy replacement erase heads? Can’t seem to track any down / get the proper model # since I can’t find the service manual.

  2. What are people’s opinions on Marantz tape recorders (PMD201, 430, etc)? I didn’t realize there were 3-head cassette decks that existed and now I’m looking into acquiring one!

Thanks! :open_mouth:


PMD201 is two-head only!! PMD221 is the three-head version.

I have a 201 and it is very lovely, if mono—I just can’t actually use it to do sound-on-sound.


The PMD 222 is a great three head deck and converts easily into a very usable tape delay. The microphone preamps are poor and don’t provide phantom power but the line-in sounds good. The 221 is very similar to the 222 but doesn’t have xlr connections only mini jack. However, as both have bunk preamps, the xlr connector doesn’t matter.
The PMD430 is the three head, stereo deck. The preamps are much better but don’t have xlr connection, just 1/4in jacks. The line in sounds ace. I’ve not attempted to convert the 430 into a delay. For me, converting a deck means activating the pitch control while recording. Normally, the pitch is only active during playback. Doing this conversion, allows the pitch control to adjust delay time.
They both have analog limiters and clip easily. The clipping saturation is quite nice on both decks when the limiters are off.


oof thanks for the heads up! I think I meant the PMD221! And yup just looking for a sound on sound.


Yea I think I’m half looking for a nice sound on sound processing tool / half make a cassette tape delay.

Any reason you didn’t change the 430 into a delay?? Also does that mean the PMD222’s pitch control works during recording? Thanks!


I never made my 430 into a delay because it has different pcbs than the PMD222 and I don’t have the bandwidth to riddle out the mod.

As built, the pitch knob on both decks only works during playback. It is disabled when recording. Unfortunately, for the deck to be patched as a delay, the deck needs to be recording.

Fortunately, activating the pitch knob during record for the PMD222 is an easy 3 step mod. Tape Gear!


Beautiful, of course Hainbach did it already! Thanks for the heads up! :slight_smile:


does anyone know if im likely to blow something on a Tascam 244, if i send in modular levels?
or will it just distort, and i can then attenuate on modular.

I plan to attenuate, but just wondering if i ‘accidentally’ forget :wink:

Ive not got a dedicated output module at the moment, so means I’d have to remember, when sending to tape rather than mixer (which can cope with modular levels)


I don’t know, but one solution would be to set up the tape as a mixer send if that’s possible? then you could set the attenuation up on the mixer and forget about it.


that’s what I’m doing currently.

however, I’m considering simplifying things a bit, and using the 4 track as a mini mixer, but that means sending the eurorack directly into the 4-track on a couple of channels.

partly this is exploring what options I have with connecting my audio interface/mixer and 4-track… in a way thats a little simpler to use than i currently have.


does anyone know if im likely to blow something on a Tascam 244, if i send in modular levels?

In my experience (of nearly 20 years of harsh noise, feedback, clipping various equipment) it’s very very hard to blow anything other than a power amp/venue monitor speaker by using too hot a signal :smiley: But don’t blame me if something does break. I believe that constant clipping could in theory wear out capacitors etc in a mixer channel and increase the noise floor? but my music is 80% mixer channel clipping and i’ve never had a channel stop working except by physically smashing up the mixer.

Running my eurorack into a Tasam 424 mkii at the moment in fact, my solution for getting managable levels has been to attenuate it using a cheap headphone extension cable with built in volume control :slight_smile:


WHAT? Don’t fix it, the warbles are good.


The first iteration of Marbles was called Warbles. Then we did some research about what the word could mean (actually I think somebody pointed it out to Èmilie) and… well all I can say is: don’t search for “warbles” in google image search.
So no… warbles are definitely not good. But as long as they are in your tape recorder I think they can be ok :slight_smile:


:nauseated_face: should’ve listened to @papernoise