I bought this yamaha four track analog recording unit in 1998 in a small but cozy music store in johnson city tn . A happy town that encourages heavy metal and bluegrass and celtic viking songs. The recording unit was on sale possibly because yamaha intended to discontinue the model or possibly perhaps it could be that because of the growing popularity of digital recording units it was a mere 350 dollars retail and new.
My yamaha unit is black and shiny and has knobs and little twirly things that go round and round like the nobbins on a jukebox and flashing lights that help define the increments of sound volume and keep me from passing out when the feedback from the microphone comes in. It is lightweight and portable and has a rat tail for regular 110 volt plugs and doesn't need a converter or anything. It has four tracks all still working and performing after 2 years of steady workhorse performance
My little yamaha four track recording unit makes me mad sometimes because you always have to have the black knobs set just so or you affect bleed over problems from the other three tracks and you have to push the buttons on it. I push and push and push but sometimes I can't remember to turn the knobs around. I wish my unit had RCA plug ins available as well as the standard quarter inch plug ins...then i could stuff in noises from cdr and cd sources and off tape or cassette without having to go buy a rank little adapter.
It is a straightforward shiny black and white little rectangle with a nice upwardly sloping foreground top area for convenient veiwing whilst one is engaged in the recording process, LED lights are very good and meters are shiny and fine...knobs are for twistin',and also for turnin', and pots are available for setting and fine tuning the recorded sounds both before and after and during the recording phase of the entire process.
This is a very good little workhorse of an analog cassette fopur track tape recorder that is or at least was available at a low, low inexpensive price and is a good quality unit for home or garage band type recordings on cassette tape. I like this unit ands use it a lot but I would be hesitant to buy one used...
How long have you been using the product?
I've been using it for four years.
Which feature do you like the most / the least?
Its simplicity and the fact that this recorder can also be used as a mixer and that you can record four sources at the same time. These are very interesting features to me.
How would you rate its value for money?
Interesting value for money now, if you need a secondhand recorder, don't think it twice!
Based on your experience, would you buy this product again?
Yes, because I only need to record small combos, so I don't need a very complex device to record 30 tracks...
This unit was offered to me in January '98. It cost about $600 back then.
Up to then, I did two-track DIY recordings with two tape recorders (the first playing back the rhythm section next to the mic of the second while I recorded vocals and lead guitar...). In other words, this 4-track changed my life!! I tested the unavoidable Tascam (which sold a little cheaper at the time), but I really cut my multi-track chops with this unit.
I also used it as a mixer (especially for headphone monitoring).
On the rear, the connections are on 1/4" jacks and RCA exclusively. Jacks for the inputs and aux sends, RCA for the stereo and monitor outputs, as well as the separate outputs for each track (tracks 3 and 4 don't work on mine). You only need to press the power switch and it works.
Regarding the mixing section, the tracks are pretty traditional: gain, 3-band EQ, aux, track assign buttons, a PAN knob (equally indispensable to assign tracks when recording), a small mic/line switch and a fader.
Be careful when assigning tracks, a concept that isn't too clear when you are starting out: A bad assignation can mean hissing and a lousy sound.
The Master section features, besides a fader, obviously, a small Cue section (that I've never really mastered), which allows you to fine tune the output levels of each track without touching the faders, and an Aux return section.
For me, this unit is best for recording: The electric buttons make it really comfortable to use, they are placed in a logical space (you can see them clearly), the locators are precise and very handy, you can choose between two recording speeds, and a "dbx" function attenuates noise (I have never been able to work without activating it).
The screen is bright, not too big but it displays the essential info: Activated tracks or not, locator or not, input level per track and master output level.
Using it however requires some dexterity: You need to give it some gain to have a good sound with a mic, and you should set it between 0 and 1 so that the line input doesn't distort. A good input level avoids having to drive noisy preamps a lot, and it's indispensable to make a good ping-pong (the famous way to reduce a 7-track song to 4 tracks).
This device has a nice design, even if it's a bit big. It's a comprehensive 4-track recorder with a solid construction and rather comprehensive connections.
However, you won't get a good sound just like that. It's a machine you need to tame, which has helped me quickly feel comfortable in a digital home studio but also doing live sound for small gigs.
This recorder sounds fine and, if you put yourself to it, you can get a nice analog sound out of it.
If you are a digital guy but want a different (and educational) approach to recording, go for it! Right now, I'm in no hurry to sell mine...
I love this unit, but I won't give it 10/10 because the sound quality will never be the same as that of a CD.
The Yamaha MT4X is an old school, four track cassette recording device. Of course recorders like this are quite outdated at this point, but there's still a little bit of worth in this and even though they aren't highly sought after, there's still a number of these floating around. I'm not sure the year on the MT4X, but a good friend of mine still has one, although we haven't used it together in years. I did some of my earliest recordings a number of years ago with him on this tape recorder, really just to get down ideas. It wasn't like we sought this out as his older brother had one and we ended up using it just because it was around. It's got all the things that you'd expect with a four track cassette recorder, which by modern standards honestly isn't much. Each of the four channels has built in EQ and gain control, as well as their own fader. There's also a master channel. As far as connections go, each channel has it's own 1/4" input, although there's no XLR jacks or phantom power built in. For outputs it's got RCA jacks for monitor outs, stereo outs, and four tape outs. There are also auxiliary send and returns in the form of 1/4" jacks. You've really just got the bare minimum here, but what else do you want when you're recording to a cassette? The price of these shouldn't be very much these days, as I do think you're a bit crazy if you go this route rather than setting up your own DAW, but in addition there's something to be said for it. I don't know that I'd necessarily recommend the MT4X over other 4 track cassette models, but if you're looking for one and come across this one at a cheap price, there's no reason why it won't work just as well for you as most others out there...