January 18, 2009: I have been recording new material on the Tascam 58 for a few weeks now, the first new Viosac recordings in several months given the time consumed by promoting Rusty Pile and reworking older pieces on You are Planning to Enjoy the Apocalypse. The Tascam normally works perfectly, but last week it exhibited two problems:
- Depositing significant amounts of oxide on the heads and guides in a reasonably short period of time.
- When recording some tracks, others were erased, or kind of washed out, half volume, sputtery.
The first problem, can be dealt with by cleaning the heads, etc. every 1/2 hour, but why is it happening? The store where I bought the tape said that some runs from the factory (RMGI:SM900 tape) were not vacuumed/cleaned along the tape edges after being cut into reels; the solution the offered was to FF and RW the tape, holding a soft cloth along the edge to pick up material. This does pick up bits of oxide, but the problem still occurs, though not always. Very frustrating.
The second problem is even more frustrating: once you’ve recorded one track, the adjacent track is half erased, here and there, randomly. This has only occurred on one tape, so I’m assuming that that tape is defective. (Defective tape?)
All this makes me more cautious and not completely trust the Tascam. To deal with it I’ve been (on each take) running the outputs and new track into the computer and simultaneously recording everything there. At least I have a second copy. The whole situation highlights how important it is to have equipment you trust.
The technical problems have given Ovis Christus (last piece on YAPTETA) a slow start, but the raw form is ready; now I need to find some text for St. Deborah to read. Below are pictures of the Tascam 58 and its heads …