Tascam 2488 Tutorial

By Candace Horgan

The Tascam 2488 is a 24 track digital recording workstation with a built-in hard drive and a CD burner. Up to eight tracks can be recorded simultaneously, making it easy to record a full band in one take without doing multiple overdubs. A mix can be created and saved to the built-in hard drive and then burned to CD. The 2488 has multiple effects and processors as well.

Getting Started

The 2488 is shipped from the factory ready to record a new song. If a song has already been recorded, when it is powered on, it will load the last song, so you will need to ready it to record a new song. To do this, press "Menu," then use the jog dial to scroll to "Song." In the "Song" menu, scroll to "Create." In the "Create" menu, select "Title" and use the dial to give the song a name up to 12 characters in length.

After titling the song, set up the metronome to provide a tempo to play along to. To do this, press and hold the "Click" key until it turns orange and the "Metronome" screen pops up. Use the jog dial to select the tempo in beats per minute, then press the home key to save the setting and exit.

Connecting Insturments and Microphones

Connect the various instruments and microphones to the 2488. The 2488 has four XLR inputs to accommodate microphones, as well as four standard 1/4-inch inputs. Inputs A-D can accommodate microphones and provide phantom power for microphones that need it. Check your microphone type before using phantom power. Never connect an unbalanced dynamic mic to inputs A-D with phantom power turned on. Before connecting any microphones, check that phantom power is off.

The 2488 has 24 tracks that can be assigned to specific inputs. This makes overdubbing easy. For instance, you can record a rhythm guitar track using input E and assign it to Track One, then assign input E to Track Two and record a lead guitar line over the rhythm track. To assign an input to a track, press and hold the input key under the trim pots on the board until it starts to flash, then press the channel "Select" key for the channel you want to assign the input to until it flashes, then release both keys at once. If they remain lit, you have properly assigned the input to a channel.

Recording

After connecting microphones and instruments, adjust the faders to select the proper input level. First, press the "Record" key of the channel you want to record. For instance, if you have assigned the guitar input to Channel One, press the record key for Channel One. Play (or sing) a note or chord and check to make sure the signal isn't clipping; clipping is a harsh distortion.

To record, press and hold down the "Record" key, then press the play key so both are lit up. The metronome you selected will start, and you can play your part along to it. When you are finished, press stop. To return to the beginning of the track, hold the "Stop" key down and press the "Rewind" key. If you are happy with the part, press the "Record" key under the channel you've recorded so it is no longer lit. Press the "Play" key to listen to the part you've recorded. You can re-record the part by repeating the steps if you need.

Record additional instruments and vocals as needed. The 2488 has EQ and other effects that can be applied according to your preference. After finishing your song, you will need to record it to a Master track to be able to burn it. Press the "Master" button and scroll to Pre-Master. Press and hold the "Record" key, then press and hold the "Play" key so both are lit. Let the recorder record all the tracks and EQs, playing back until the track is over. Check the Master check by pressing the "Master" button again to go to "Master Check" mode, then use the "Playback," "Rewind" and "Fast-Forward" buttons to listen to the track. Exit the Master mode by pressing the "Master" button again.

Burn to a CD by going to the "Audio CD" menu and using the jog dial to go to "CD Writer." Put in a blank CD, then select the name of the track you want to burn with the jog dial and press "Enter." If you want to "Finalize" the disk, meaning you can't add additional tracks but can play the recorded CD in standard CD players, choose finalize and press "Enter." The 2488 will ask if you are sure you want to record; press "Yes/Enter" and the unit will record and finalize the disk.

About the Author

Candace Horgan has worked as a freelance journalist for more than 12 years. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Denver Post" and "Mix." Horgan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and history.