Hi. I have a dp-01fx/cd and to me the owner's manual is very confusing. I have recorded about 10 songs using track 1 and I cannot burn a cd. When I try to master the songs the equipment tells me that the song is too short. I tried to download the beginners manual for recording from the Tascam site but it doesn't let me do it. I am new at this and there is a lot of jargon that I do not understand in the manual. Please help.
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I don't use my Tascam to create CDs for exactly the reasons you are asking about. I do a bounce mix to a couple of tracks and then export via usb to a PC for finalizing and CD creation there.
To answer your questions, you do always need to create a master first for each sermon on the DP-02 before you can burn it to a CD. You also have to finalize the CD to play it on other players.
Mastering as well occurs in real time, so it does take 60 minutes to create a master for a 60 minute recording.
As I don't burn from my Tascam, I didn't realize the burn time was so long though. I would have expected that to be faster for sure. I know my old 2488 MkI is supposed to burn at 4x and I believe the MkII burns at 8x. The DP-02 is newer than both and I would assume it would burn even faster.
Anyway, as I said you might wish to go the PC route. That way you can export the tracks without having to master them and burn them from the PC to CD at up to 40x (depending on the speed of your PC's burner).
You'll first need to find some aux audio out jacks on your karaoke machine. You might need an adapter, but the basic idea will be to connect the aux out from the karaoke machine to an input on your Tascam DP-02.
Then on the DP-02 you need to assign whatever input your plugged into to one of the 8 tracks. Let's say you're using the left input (input A) and want to put the karaoke music on track 1. You'll press the 'Assign A' button on the DP-02 and while holding it then press the 'Rec' button of track 1. The 'Rec' button will flash rapidly to show its been assigned. (for reference: assigning an input is better described on page 23 of the manual). Then you'll want to arm track 1 to record. Press the 'rec' button for track 1 and it will start to flash slowly to show it has been armed for recording. Now you are ready to start recording. On the DP-02 press the large round play and record buttons on the lower right together to start recording and start your karioke machine playing. When the song is done press stop on the DP-02.
Now to record your vocals you'll need your mic to be plugged in (lets' say it's in input B). You'll need to assign this input to a free track (track 2). Press the 'Assign B' button and while holding it press the 'Rec' button for track 2 (rec button will flash rapidly). Then you'll want to un-arm track 1 and arm track 2 for recording. To do this press the 'rec' button for track 1 so that the light goes off and then press the 'rec' button for track 2 so that it flashes slowly.
So now when you press play and record together to record, you'll hear track 1 playing (the karaoke track you recorded earlier) and you'll be recording vox on track 2. Of course you'll also be recording whatever you hear in the room onto track 2 along with your singing, so in order to get a clean recording there (prevent bleed) you'll want to plug some headphones into the DP-02 and listen to those as you record.
That's pretty much all there is to it. Some variations if you wish to record the karioke in stereo vs mono (I gave you the instructions for mono here), and you may need to turn on phantom power if you have a non-powered mic, but the idea is basically the same.
Unfortunately it's pretty much impossible to get a recording to sound like anything produced commercially these days without using lots of compression. Your burned CD problems might be the result of a faulty burner on your DP01-FX/CD. I have a 2488 and I still export all my mastered songs as wav files and burn them onto disc using my PC just because of the flexibility on the PC and you can control settings better which can cause disc burning problems (not to mention that the burner is newer and faster on my PC).
If you don't want to work on a PC you could look into replacing the burner in your Tascam. It is similar to replacing a PC's burner and the either the Tascam site and/or the Tascam Forum should be able to provide you with the specs and a list of compatible CD burners.
To get the final product to sound louder you could invest in an external compressor (a good used one should run you less than $100). You'll have to use the DP01's send loops to route a bounce of the stereo mix out to the compressor and then route the result back into the DP01 inputs and record on a couple of free tracks.
Nothing really specific other than to make sure you are recording as close to 0 db as possible without going over. Your master fader also needs to be set at 0db or above as this effects the volume when mastering.
Commercial CDs use a lot of compression to attain volume levels which aren't attainable without it. You should however be able to reproduce onto CD the volume levels you are hearing on your Tascam without resorting to compression.
To troubleshoot, you might want to try exporting your master tracks as wav files onto your computer via usb and then listening to them there. If the volume is low there you aren't creating master tracks with good volume (see above: master fader level), if the tracks sound good as wavs on your PC, then burn them onto a cd from there. If that CD has proper volume then you may have some problem with your Tascam CD burner although I've never seen a situation where a burner actually caused low volume like this.
Alternatively you could load your stereo instrumental track into a wav editor, then export each stereo track as a separate mono wav file which you can transfer via usb into you DP-01 and then on you DP-01 import those wav files into two separate tracks which you can pan hard left and hard right so they are in stereo.