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I'm looking to digitize a bunch of 4-track tapes I made when I was teenager. I acquired a Tascam 424 (the same model I originally recorded on) which has the ability to route each track to a separate RCA output.

I was thinking of getting two Behringer U-Control UCA 222's and running them simultaneously with one handling tracks 1 & 2 and the other handling tracks 3 & 4. I'd be using Ableton Live 8 to record each input into it's own track.

So can I run two UCA 222's at the same time? And can I distcintly grab each input into it's own track?

Or do you have another low-cost suggestion? The 222's are about $30 a piece.

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1 Answer 1

First, make sure the head of your "new" 424 is in good shape. Tape heads can go out of alignment, which will significantly reduce the quality of the signal you are able to get our of your tape.

Next, even if you can get your system to recognize a pair of 2-channel recorders (easier on OS X with its Aggregate Devices than on Windows), they still won't be perfectly in sync. You will probably get sample-level jitter, possibly worse.

To keep costs absolutely rock-bottom, I'd try running two channels of the 424 into the audio input on your computer. Record the first two, then record the next two. Try and line up the recordings in Ableton, though this will be much easier in Logic, SoundTrack, Audacity or other DAW with a more traditional track layout.

If the results are good enough, just go with that. If it is too much work, or just impossible, look into getting a cheap four-channel interface.

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I have about 20 tapes to go through and some of them are up to 45 minutes, so the idea of going through them twice and lining them up is not very appealing. –  Brian Kelly Sep 18 '12 at 12:56
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