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  #1  
Old 12-06-2012, 09:39 AM
tysonreesmusic tysonreesmusic is offline
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Default Newbie trying to record with a TASCAM US1800

Hey all,

So I've finally got all this recording gear together, and I plugged some headphones into my interface to test out the sound and it was just stupidly quiet! Even when I maxed out the volumes for everything I could just hear it.. Is this normal? I always assumed I'd be able to hear everything clearly over the sound of the kit. My headphones do cut out a fair bit of noise too.

My equipment is:

The TASCAM US-1800 as my audio interface,

MICS:
Audix i-5 on the snare
2 PG81's as overheads
3 PG56's on the toms
and a PG52 on the kick

I've just put them into the inputs 1:snare, 2:kick 3&4 overheads and 4, 5, 6: toms.

I also have no idea how to use phantom power yet, I feel like I'm on a massive learning curve, if someone could point me towards a nice guide for all this I'd be very grateful.
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  #2  
Old 12-06-2012, 01:45 PM
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Xero Talent Xero Talent is offline
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Default Re: Newbie trying to record with a TASCAM US1800

Quote:
Originally Posted by tysonreesmusic View Post
Hey all,

So I've finally got all this recording gear together, and I plugged some headphones into my interface to test out the sound and it was just stupidly quiet! Even when I maxed out the volumes for everything I could just hear it.. Is this normal? I always assumed I'd be able to hear everything clearly over the sound of the kit. My headphones do cut out a fair bit of noise too.

My equipment is:

The TASCAM US-1800 as my audio interface,

MICS:
Audix i-5 on the snare
2 PG81's as overheads
3 PG56's on the toms
and a PG52 on the kick

I've just put them into the inputs 1:snare, 2:kick 3&4 overheads and 4, 5, 6: toms.

I also have no idea how to use phantom power yet, I feel like I'm on a massive learning curve, if someone could point me towards a nice guide for all this I'd be very grateful.
I have a TASCAM 1800US as well, so I'll try and help.

First of all, what DAW are you using? Is it configured properly? You have the correct audio device selected?

Do you have your default Windows sound device set as the Tascam? (Control Panel -> Sounds)

Next... when you say everything is quiet, do you mean while you're playing, or when listening to the playback of your recording?
When you are recording, are you getting full levels, or are the input levels low as well? Or is it just the output that's low?
Are all your channel volumes up to at least half?
Are all your cables securely connected?
If you record yourself and solo each channel, are all channels really quiet, or just one?


Next... there are three knobs at the right side of the panel: Monitor, Mix, and Phones.

Phones is the volume going into your headphones. Make sure that's up.

Mix decides how much of the live recording gets fed back into your headphones. For testing purposes, put this all the way to "Computer" (ie: all the way to the right).

Monitor is the volume for the live recording getting pumped into your headphones, so you can turn this up to half just to make sure you're getting volume (even though your Mix is all the way over to Computer, it will help with troubleshooting). The way this works is if you select a channel in your DAW for "monitor", the volume of that monitor mix is controlled by this knob.

As for Phantom power, your overheads require it. Since you have your overheads on channels 3 and 4, you'll need to press the little gray 1-4 button on the left side of the front panel. This will give phantom power to channels 1-4, on which your overheads are located.

Hope that helps!
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  #3  
Old 12-10-2012, 01:48 AM
tysonreesmusic tysonreesmusic is offline
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Default Re: Newbie trying to record with a TASCAM US1800

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xero Talent View Post
I have a TASCAM 1800US as well, so I'll try and help.

First of all, what DAW are you using? Is it configured properly? You have the correct audio device selected?

Do you have your default Windows sound device set as the Tascam? (Control Panel -> Sounds)

Next... when you say everything is quiet, do you mean while you're playing, or when listening to the playback of your recording?
When you are recording, are you getting full levels, or are the input levels low as well? Or is it just the output that's low?
Are all your channel volumes up to at least half?
Are all your cables securely connected?
If you record yourself and solo each channel, are all channels really quiet, or just one?


Next... there are three knobs at the right side of the panel: Monitor, Mix, and Phones.

Phones is the volume going into your headphones. Make sure that's up.

Mix decides how much of the live recording gets fed back into your headphones. For testing purposes, put this all the way to "Computer" (ie: all the way to the right).

Monitor is the volume for the live recording getting pumped into your headphones, so you can turn this up to half just to make sure you're getting volume (even though your Mix is all the way over to Computer, it will help with troubleshooting). The way this works is if you select a channel in your DAW for "monitor", the volume of that monitor mix is controlled by this knob.

As for Phantom power, your overheads require it. Since you have your overheads on channels 3 and 4, you'll need to press the little gray 1-4 button on the left side of the front panel. This will give phantom power to channels 1-4, on which your overheads are located.

Hope that helps!
Hi, thanks for such a detailed reply good sir!
  • I'm afraid I don't know what a DAW is.
  • I havn't set it as my default sound device no, I was under the impression that if I'm just listening through the tascam PHONES port, the computer wouldn't be playing a part.
  • While I'm playing everything is quiet. Basically what I wan't to do, is be able to play while hearing the mic output from the kit. I havn't actually tried recording yet, which I know sounds silly, but I was just trying to get this down pat first. All cables are connected and volumes are up way past half, most of them full.
  • Phones knob is up plenty high.
  • I havn't messed with the MIX knob, I'll turn that up.
  • I managed to work out the PHANTOM part, thankyou!

    Hope that gives you a better Idea of what I'm doing, I'll do as you said, then I'll try some recordings and see how they sound. I just figured if it was barely coming out the phones it wouldn't barely come through on an attemted recording as well.

    Thanks again for the help, legend!

    Also, what epipment/software do you use besides the tascam? I'd be very interested to see how you do it!
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  #4  
Old 12-10-2012, 05:47 AM
Embalmer Embalmer is offline
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Default Re: Newbie trying to record with a TASCAM US1800

I, too, have the TASCAM 1800. It is connected to my PC via USB and uses my soundcard as a liaison. I have the phantom power set (5-8) to power my 2 overheads. I can turn on the TASCAM and not connect it to the PC and still hear all my mics very clearly. The most that any mic is turned up is halfway, for my kick. I'm also using a headphone amplifier because I want to hear myself thru my isolation headphones (Sennheiser 280's) as well as my son's guitar. You may need one of these.

Are you sure you're not clipping? When you hit the snare or kick, are the red lights visible by the individual volume knobs? If so, you're clipping and you need to turn them down.

Here's a video I did showing my setup. It may or may not be of any benefit to you.

http://youtu.be/VbO9iUzyZY4

P.S. In order to record, you will need a Digital Audio Workstation. I use Reaper because it's reasonably priced, and free to try. There are a ton of them out there but the good ones are not cheap. Any questions, feel free to ask!
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:05 AM
tysonreesmusic tysonreesmusic is offline
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Default Re: Newbie trying to record with a TASCAM US1800

Quote:
Originally Posted by Embalmer View Post
I, too, have the TASCAM 1800. It is connected to my PC via USB and uses my soundcard as a liaison. I have the phantom power set (5-8) to power my 2 overheads. I can turn on the TASCAM and not connect it to the PC and still hear all my mics very clearly. The most that any mic is turned up is halfway, for my kick. I'm also using a headphone amplifier because I want to hear myself thru my isolation headphones (Sennheiser 280's) as well as my son's guitar. You may need one of these.

Are you sure you're not clipping? When you hit the snare or kick, are the red lights visible by the individual volume knobs? If so, you're clipping and you need to turn them down.

Here's a video I did showing my setup. It may or may not be of any benefit to you.

http://youtu.be/VbO9iUzyZY4

P.S. In order to record, you will need a Digital Audio Workstation. I use Reaper because it's reasonably priced, and free to try. There are a ton of them out there but the good ones are not cheap. Any questions, feel free to ask!
Hey there Embalmer,

Thanks for the reply mate. That video was quite helpful for me, awesome kit you have there!

Now, as for the lights coming on, yes, all of them are, but if i turn it down anymore I can't hear anything.. Maybe I need a headphone amplifier? I'm assuming this just gives the headphones more sound maybe?

All I know is if I back off the volumes any more than what it's at, I can't hear anything..
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:12 AM
Embalmer Embalmer is offline
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Default Re: Newbie trying to record with a TASCAM US1800

Quote:
Originally Posted by tysonreesmusic View Post
Hey there Embalmer,

Thanks for the reply mate. That video was quite helpful for me, awesome kit you have there!

Now, as for the lights coming on, yes, all of them are, but if i turn it down anymore I can't hear anything.. Maybe I need a headphone amplifier? I'm assuming this just gives the headphones more sound maybe?

All I know is if I back off the volumes any more than what it's at, I can't hear anything..
Yes, first be sure you're not clipping on any of the mics. Turn the knobs down just past where the light comes on while you are hitting that specific drum. Second, do you have a picture of how the mics are mounted? You may be having phase issues.

I recommend downloading Reaper and using a computer (if you have one available) because you have no way to record otherwise. It has a lot of cool features and add ons to tweak the recording you've made.

And third, yes, you may need a headphone amplifier. I couldn't hear myself over my son's guitar amp so we got the headphone amp and now he plugs in to the TASCAM too and we listen to a "mixed" version of the both of us in our headphones.

Let me know if you have any more questions.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:15 AM
tysonreesmusic tysonreesmusic is offline
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Default Re: Newbie trying to record with a TASCAM US1800

Quote:
Originally Posted by Embalmer View Post
Yes, first be sure you're not clipping on any of the mics. Turn the knobs down just past where the light comes on while you are hitting that specific drum. Second, do you have a picture of how the mics are mounted? You may be having phase issues.

I recommend downloading Reaper and using a computer (if you have one available) because you have no way to record otherwise. It has a lot of cool features and add ons to tweak the recording you've made.

And third, yes, you may need a headphone amplifier. I couldn't hear myself over my son's guitar amp so we got the headphone amp and now he plugs in to the TASCAM too and we listen to a "mixed" version of the both of us in our headphones.

Let me know if you have any more questions.
Roger that, Thanks a heap.

I'll definately give reaper a try, I have a computer right next to my kit fortunately. I tried Cubase LE5 and It's very confusing.

I'll get a pic up tomorrow when I'm home. My room definately isn't ideal, It's very small.

Thanks again.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:28 AM
Embalmer Embalmer is offline
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Default Re: Newbie trying to record with a TASCAM US1800

Quote:
Originally Posted by tysonreesmusic View Post
Roger that, Thanks a heap.

I'll definately give reaper a try, I have a computer right next to my kit fortunately. I tried Cubase LE5 and It's very confusing.

I'll get a pic up tomorrow when I'm home. My room definately isn't ideal, It's very small.

Thanks again.
The Cubase LE5 is a joke. It's severely handicapped and doesn't allow you to do much. If you want the uncrippled version, I think they want $400. Reaper is only $50 and there are a TON of tutorials out there and I can help you as well.
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:21 PM
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Xero Talent Xero Talent is offline
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Default Re: Newbie trying to record with a TASCAM US1800

  • I'm afraid I don't know what a DAW is.
    DAW is Digital Audio Workstation... it's the software you use to record. I am using Reaper.
  • I havn't set it as my default sound device no, I was under the impression that if I'm just listening through the tascam PHONES port, the computer wouldn't be playing a part.
    Yes, you need to set your default Windows sound device to the TASCAM. The same in your recording software
  • While I'm playing everything is quiet. Basically what I wan't to do, is be able to play while hearing the mic output from the kit. I havn't actually tried recording yet, which I know sounds silly, but I was just trying to get this down pat first. All cables are connected and volumes are up way past half, most of them full.
    Then you need to make sure that the channels/tracks that are your drums in your software are set to MONITOR so that you can hear them in your headphones. You also need to turn the monitor knob up, and put the MIX knob in the middle between Computer and Mix

Hope that helps. And yes, Cubase sucks. Reaper is very easy and I can help you with specifics if you need it.
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:40 PM
Embalmer Embalmer is offline
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Default Re: Newbie trying to record with a TASCAM US1800

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xero Talent View Post
  • I'm afraid I don't know what a DAW is.
    DAW is Digital Audio Workstation... it's the software you use to record. I am using Reaper.
  • I havn't set it as my default sound device no, I was under the impression that if I'm just listening through the tascam PHONES port, the computer wouldn't be playing a part.
    Yes, you need to set your default Windows sound device to the TASCAM. The same in your recording software
  • While I'm playing everything is quiet. Basically what I wan't to do, is be able to play while hearing the mic output from the kit. I havn't actually tried recording yet, which I know sounds silly, but I was just trying to get this down pat first. All cables are connected and volumes are up way past half, most of them full.
    Then you need to make sure that the channels/tracks that are your drums in your software are set to MONITOR so that you can hear them in your headphones. You also need to turn the monitor knob up, and put the MIX knob in the middle between Computer and Mix

Hope that helps. And yes, Cubase sucks. Reaper is very easy and I can help you with specifics if you need it.
Thanks for clarifying those points for me, Xero. I'd forgotten to mention the monitor/input switch. That usually makes all the difference!
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:14 AM
tysonreesmusic tysonreesmusic is offline
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Default Re: Newbie trying to record with a TASCAM US1800

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xero Talent View Post
  • I'm afraid I don't know what a DAW is.
    DAW is Digital Audio Workstation... it's the software you use to record. I am using Reaper.
  • I havn't set it as my default sound device no, I was under the impression that if I'm just listening through the tascam PHONES port, the computer wouldn't be playing a part.
    Yes, you need to set your default Windows sound device to the TASCAM. The same in your recording software
  • While I'm playing everything is quiet. Basically what I wan't to do, is be able to play while hearing the mic output from the kit. I havn't actually tried recording yet, which I know sounds silly, but I was just trying to get this down pat first. All cables are connected and volumes are up way past half, most of them full.
    Then you need to make sure that the channels/tracks that are your drums in your software are set to MONITOR so that you can hear them in your headphones. You also need to turn the monitor knob up, and put the MIX knob in the middle between Computer and Mix

Hope that helps. And yes, Cubase sucks. Reaper is very easy and I can help you with specifics if you need it.
Thanks a ton Xero and Embalmer. I've done all that you said. I got reaper and I have started doing some recording! So that's all good, still not sure if I'm doing it correctly, but it sounds okay to me!

Now I still can't hear myself through the headphones. I think It may just be because my headphones don't cancel out enough outside noise, so I've ordered some shure headphones that cancel up to 37 DB of sounds which should help!

Oh and Ebalamer here is a pic of my set up mate!

http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/b...2-11153249.jpg

Last edited by tysonreesmusic; 12-11-2012 at 06:08 AM. Reason: Made progress!
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:11 AM
Embalmer Embalmer is offline
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Default Re: Newbie trying to record with a TASCAM US1800

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Originally Posted by tysonreesmusic View Post
Thanks Xero. I've done all that you said. I now have reaper and have no idea what I'm doing. Couldn't find any drum tutorials for it anywhere, haha I'm hopeless..

Can anyone help me get started?

The first thing I did was download the ASIO audio drivers. You need them to reduce latency issues. http://download.cnet.com/ASIO4ALL/30...-75724497.html

Next, is install the TASCAM unit drivers to your PC using the supplied CD.

Third, check out the youtube video on how to get started with Reaper.

http://youtu.be/iAUwDhtEono

Go to options-> preferences-> audio-> device and set the first input as TASCAM 1 and the last input as TASCAM 16. Also, change your audio system settings to ASIO.

Then, post back.

You will need to first create as many tracks as you want to record by right clicking on the left side of the screen and then assigning them to the specific inputs from the TASCAM unit.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:14 AM
Embalmer Embalmer is offline
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Default Re: Newbie trying to record with a TASCAM US1800

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Originally Posted by tysonreesmusic View Post
Thanks a ton Xero and Embalmer. I've done all that you said. I got reaper and I have started doing some recording! So that's all good, still not sure if I'm doing it correctly, but it sounds okay to me!

Now I still can't hear myself through the headphones. I think It may just be because my headphones don't cancel out enough outside noise, so I've ordered some shure headphones that cancel up to 37 DB of sounds which should help!

Oh and Embalmer here is a pic of my set up mate!

http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/b...2-11153249.jpg
Last thing to check, are you turning the input/mix knob to see if you don't have all the sound going to the PC instead of a mix between the PC and phones?
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:03 AM
tysonreesmusic tysonreesmusic is offline
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Default Re: Newbie trying to record with a TASCAM US1800

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Originally Posted by Embalmer View Post
Last thing to check, are you turning the input/mix knob to see if you don't have all the sound going to the PC instead of a mix between the PC and phones?

I have messed around with it, if I turn it I can start to hear it, but still not enough. Is there a way to turn it up through reaper? Like monitor volume or something?

Oh and thanks for the REAPER info, I actually worked it out but must have edited my post just too late haha!

I've recorded a couple of tests, and a couple of covers, and I'm starting to realize that hearing myself through the headphones may not be as important as i first though.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:11 AM
Embalmer Embalmer is offline
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Default Re: Newbie trying to record with a TASCAM US1800

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Originally Posted by tysonreesmusic View Post
I have messed around with it, if I turn it I can start to hear it, but still not enough. Is there a way to turn it up through reaper? Like monitor volume or something?

Oh and thanks for the REAPER info, I actually worked it out but must have edited my post just too late haha!

I've recorded a couple of tests, and a couple of covers, and I'm starting to realize that hearing myself through the headphones may not be as important as i first though.
It sounds to me like either your phones aren't getting the job done or you may need that amplifier I mentioned earlier. If your headphones are open back, then you definitely need some better ones to keep out the Noise. If I have my phones on, a cannot hear my son 10 feet away unless he screams at me.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:07 AM
tysonreesmusic tysonreesmusic is offline
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Default Re: Newbie trying to record with a TASCAM US1800

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Originally Posted by Embalmer View Post
It sounds to me like either your phones aren't getting the job done or you may need that amplifier I mentioned earlier. If your headphones are open back, then you definitely need some better ones to keep out the Noise. If I have my phones on, a cannot hear my son 10 feet away unless he screams at me.
Yeah I think you're right. I'll just wait for my new ones to arrive.

I mean the ones I have now are great, they are Audio-Technica ATH M50's but they just don't cancel enough sound.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:44 PM
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Xero Talent Xero Talent is offline
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Default Re: Newbie trying to record with a TASCAM US1800

Make sure you have the "Monitor" button clicked on the tracks you want to return into your headphones in Reaper (circled below).



If you want the entire drum kit in your headphone mix, create a new track called "Drum kit" and then add all the individual tracks within that folder. Then you can click the Monitor button on that folder track and you'll get all the tracks.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:19 AM
tysonreesmusic tysonreesmusic is offline
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Default Re: Newbie trying to record with a TASCAM US1800

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Originally Posted by Xero Talent View Post
Make sure you have the "Monitor" button clicked on the tracks you want to return into your headphones in Reaper (circled below).



If you want the entire drum kit in your headphone mix, create a new track called "Drum kit" and then add all the individual tracks within that folder. Then you can click the Monitor button on that folder track and you'll get all the tracks.
Yeah I've did all that, I've decided it's just my headphones allowing too much interference from outside, because I can hear it faintly but it's dominated by outside noise.

Moving on my friends! I have some raw recordings now, so what steps do you take in regards to mastering, mixing and eqing in reaper?

Here's my first attempt :/

https://soundcloud.com/tysonreesmusi...recording-test

Last edited by tysonreesmusic; 12-13-2012 at 09:46 AM.
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  #19  
Old 12-13-2012, 12:59 PM
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catlover catlover is offline
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Default Re: Newbie trying to record with a TASCAM US1800

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Originally Posted by Xero Talent View Post
Make sure you have the "Monitor" button clicked on the tracks you want to return into your headphones in Reaper (circled below).



If you want the entire drum kit in your headphone mix, create a new track called "Drum kit" and then add all the individual tracks within that folder. Then you can click the Monitor button on that folder track and you'll get all the tracks.
The "m" button is not for monitor, it's for mute.
The monitor button is here (with a speaker icon):

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Old 12-13-2012, 01:36 PM
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Xero Talent Xero Talent is offline
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Default Re: Newbie trying to record with a TASCAM US1800

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Originally Posted by catlover View Post
The "m" button is not for monitor, it's for mute.
The monitor button is here (with a speaker icon):

Weird... I have a different skin for Reaper, and that one has the M as monitor and a speaker with a line through it for mute... sorry for the confusion. It might be different than the pic!
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