I got a question. No Reely.

got a TEAC A-3440

Hey guys. Long time to read. I recently aquired a TEAC A-3440 for free from a guy. It looks in good condition, but I haven’t set it up to try it yet. My question is, what can I do with this thing? I guess I’m saying that, if you were me, what would you do?

Fish

It’s big
IT looks cool
:)

Well I’m not sure you’d want to record with it… it would be fun/interesting etc. but the cost of the tape would probably be a consideration as well as the fact that you are limited to 4 tracks and don’t have the editing possibilities of your DAW.

Could use the mic pre’s for feeding into your DAW. Not sure what they sound like but you may like them or have ause for them in some situations - might give you an old skool lo-fi sound… who knows…

Always nice getting stuff for free… even when you have no use for it :)
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure…

You might could fly out tracks to tape then record them back to digital to get REAL tape warmth. I don’t think the quality of the tape deck is good enough to do it to full mixes, but it’s worth a try. You’ll have hiss to deal with after doing that, but some good noise software can get rid of that. It really depend on the condition of the machine and all that. You should definitely try it with a few tracks then compare how the tape tracks sound compared to the originals. It’s very easy to keep them in sync by having some kind of click on each tracks that can be used to visually line them up after recording them back into n-Tracks.

Play a tracks at a time out of n-Tracks to the tape, then play the tape back into n-Tracks. Slide the new track so the beginning guide clicks are PERFECTLY in sync visually. Zoom all the way in.

The mic preamps are definitely worth a try. Use them in the conventional way, then see how they sound when they are on the verge of distortion. Sometimes there’s nice limiting, and the distortion can add a bit of sparkle, depending on the instrument…even voice.

Are the headphone outputs in good shape? I’m at a slight disadvantage. I don’t remember the spec of that one. I have a 3340S and yours a newer very similar model. I can’t remember the differences…google search time.

funny… i worked in radio for 10 yrs and accumulated quite a few 10 inch reels of music–around 40. a couple of years ago a friend gave me an old teac deck that could hold 10 inch reels. i used it a couple of times and that was that. but, since i’ve started using n-track, i keep eyeing that deck wondering how it can fit into the whole mix. so far the only use i can think of is as a preamp for mics… otherwise i think i would be going backward to old technology.

for what its worth

cliff

Here’s a tip to keep in mind if you use a 4-track for FX.

Tape hiss is reduced by 3dB if you use two tracks together (feeding them both from the same input, and summing the outputs – either in a mixer or in your DAW). This is due to the way uncorrelated sound (noise) adds.

So, for a stereo feed, you’d send left to tracks 1 & 2 and right to tracks 3 & 4. And you’d get 3dB less tape hiss.

For a mono feed, you’d send it to all 4 tracks, and you’d get 6dB less tape hiss.

I have the 3220’s big brother (40-4) sitting in my attic. I ought to get rid of it somehow. I suspect the flight case it’s sitting in is worth 4 times what the deck is worth!

Warning: sending a track to tape and back will cause the timing to change a bit. Hopefully not enough to matter, for “one-track-at-a-time” recording. But if you record whole rhythm section at once, you would NOT want to use the tape-warmth trick on any one or two of the recorded tracks, because the bleed through (esp drums) would get out of sync when recorded back into the DAW, causing a variable phasing sound on the bleed through. Changing it from being something that’s easy to ignore to something that sticks out annoyingly.

Finally, if you use the tape as FX trick, make sure to put a count-in click or some kind of “sync signal” near the beginning of the track before sending it out & back, so that you can visually line it up later. Might be a good idea to put one at the end too, and if the front lines up but the end doesn’t, you know it’s drifted and rougly how much.

My guess is that “tape FX” would be best on vocals and electric guitar. It has a natural warm compression effect due to tape saturation. Play with how far you peg the meters. Do it a few times with a given track, at different record levels, and find where the sweet spot is. If you’re not pushing the meters over 0dB, you’re pretty much just adding hiss.

Jeff,

I have a lot of 7" reels of my singing/guitar playing that I need to get off of there and onto my computer now that I can no longer sing/play. I had the A4010S until the mechanics froze up and I trashed it. If you want to sell yours, lets talk. Please PM me.

Don

Hey, that’s my machine! Did hundreds of hours of recording on one of those. Totally cool. Dunno if it will be of any use to you, but it sure brings back memories! Still hve boxes of radio shack cheapo tape with lots and lots of songs on them…

:)

I recorded with a 3440 for about 10 years. I have two big boxes of old tapes from those sessions. The last Reel-to-Reel I used was a Fostex 8-track on 1/4" tape. I have a bunch of those too. I keep telling myself I need to transfer all of those old tapes onto CD’s. I sold the 3440 a couple of years ago, but I still have the Fostex. I found that I can play the 4 track tapes on the Fostex with no problem. Of course it’s 15 IPS only. I have some 7 1/2 IPS mixes on R2R. When I retire, I guess I’ll do like Louis Armstrong did when he got older and spend all my time compiling all those old tapes and reliving the associated memories.

OK, this is just a rant. But that old 3440 was my best friend for a long time, and I just had to go on for a little while.

Don

Don - I got your PM before reading this post. The 40-4 is not a good deck for 7" reels – it’s pretty rough on them. (It has a switch for large vs. small reels, but it doesn’t make it relax nearly enough. It will even break the tape if it’s cheap, thin tape.)