The Tascam 388 (also known as the Studio 8) is a 1/4" 8 track recorder with a built in mixer that was released in 1985. It is very similar in function to Tascam's cassette based Portastudio, although it never received that same designation. The mixer section sports 8 channels, 2 groups, an auxiliary loop, an effect loop, and "access" on each channel. The access runs just like a TRS insert, but without the need to run a TRS cable. Each channel has three band semi-parametric EQ. The machine can be run with or without dbx Type I, which is selectable by banks of four tracks (tracks 1-4, and then tracks 5-8). Track 8's dbx can be disabled for the purposes of SMPTE or other timecode encoding. All 8 tracks can be recorded on simultaneously.
The tape machine section is designed to use 7" reels at 7.5 ips. The tape should be of 1 mm thickness, but in a bind 1.5 mm thickness will work, too. The best tape still being produced for this machine is RMGI LPR 35. If you can find Quantegy 407 or 457 these will also work, and in a bind Quantegy 406 or 456 will work in spite of the additional thickness, shorter running time, and increased wear on the heads and transport.
Considering the relatively slow recording speed, this machine does a tremendous job of recording with the dbx noise reduction engaged. Without the dbx, recordings are hissy and noisy due to the narrow track width. This machine isn't really designed to produce tape saturation, which analog recorders are so renowned for, but it will produce solid sounding recordings.
The machine weighs around 100 lbs., so it is not very portable. It should be moved as infrequently as possible and should be located on a table or stand sturdy enough to support its weight. When being moved, make sure you have a friend to assist you due to its awkward size and weight.
In the five or so years that I owned one, the only issue I had was with the capstan belt. This is a relatively easy repair as their is documentation available from Tape Op online that demonstrates how to replace the belt and is a commonly needed fix.
If I had a wish list for this machine, it would be the ability to record on 10-12 tracks. For the type of rock 'n' roll music I played, recording onto 8 tracks was at times limiting, but it forced us to record creatively, which included squeezing multiple instruments onto a single track or recording dueling guitar solos onto one track (literally two mics on two separate amps to record while switching back and forth, then on mixdown using the pan knob to recreate the feel of two dedicated guitar solo tracks). In addition, at least two extra channels would have been appreciated, as is customary on the higher tiered cassette Portastudios, but I do recognize this would have made the 388 even wider than it already is.
For the money, this is probably the best "bang for the buck" for a starter analog studio as it comes with a decent mixer and could easily be interfaced with a DAW for additional tracks using a JL Cooper or other SMPTE to MTC device. If you are interested in this machine, make sure to acquire it locally, because shipping these is a recipe for disaster (believe me, I know). If you can get one in decent shape, a good price would be between $400-$600.
I've had two years now. I bought used for 180 euros, the guy who sold it to me did not know if the party worked magneto ... Everything works actually. The engines are fatigus, I often help with the fingers to launch them.
There is nothing I do not like this magneto. If not we quickly completed the 8 tracks.
Before I was working on a PC. Incommensurate. Less than ddu possiblit was digital but the sound is undeniably the charactre.
I rachterais without hsiter. For those who make the Deep Funk 60's / 70's style is what you need !!!
Lately used to store a battery for the big nag with fairly cheap microphones (T-bone ...) and compress Behringer while arinject in Pro Tools. + Ben is that cool. Just have the beefy buddies if you carry it.
Webmusicprod's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
I got it in hand for six months. I sold it for a Tascam M50 and frankly I would not!
I tried a few analog console in search of a special sound is a vintage soul / jazz production hiphop / rap and this one to sound really special. The EQ gives a soul to the drums and bass in particular. I imagine the duo Tascam388/MPC60.
Well it's not a console but also an 8-track tape 1/4 inch. It is true that if it is clean and properly adjusted it can make. Unfortunately mine had some failures.
For me it is the best series from Tascam (also M320 and other M3 "" in console model only) for those looking for a cozy and warm atmosphere. Better than the M5 series "" of the same brand for my taste.
To save jazz it must be nice.
If I find the prices that are taken (150 €) I shall live and this time I keep it warm. deg 'for selling him.
So fans opinion. This is also a highly sought after model.
I have this since magnto prs of 20 years. It's an unstoppable machine. I use it in sync with SMPTE ATARI (Steinberg Time-Lock) and it gives me any satisfaction. I love the mixer, trs pro with qualiseurs parameter. I pass a 4-track K7 YAMAHA MT44 this machine and I stood in 8 tracks, more than enough for what I record. I'd pay the epoch around 22,000 francs nine. It was an investment that still works perfectly ... Super simple to use (I also have a 4-track MD much more complex to use). Trs a beautiful machine.