all the Right Connections
to unravel the spaghetti that came with your new electronic wonder
This can be
one of the many daunting tasks that faces one when first unpacking that
marvelous new technological goody. Actually, though, it's not usually
that difficult, as long as you don't let the panic of being in unknown
territory get to you.
It's easy to
panic when you look at the rear panel of your receiver/amplifier (or whatever
you're using) and see a mass of plugs staring blankly out at you. But
fear not, a little common sense and some derring do and you're in business.
Here's a quick
rundown on how to get sound and picture out of and into your tape deck
Most plugs these
days are colour coded, and this gives you a good head start. For audio,
plug the red plugs into the red sockets, and white into white. The yellow
jacks are for video connections. Easy, eh? Getting the rest of it right
is a bit more complex, but only a bit.
Ins and Outs
It may seem
absurdly simple, but you'd be surprised how many people neglect some of
the most basic concepts. For instance, you have to make sure you get "Play"
connected to "Play" and "Record" into "Record."
But what happens if the manufacturer throws you a curve?
Well, if your
tape deck or VCR's plugs are marked "Line Out" that means the
signal is going "out" from the player. So that's
"PLAY." Likewise, "Line In" means record. For the
video signal on your VCR, it works the same way, with "Line In"
being "Record" and "Line Out" being "Play."
At the other
end of the equation is your "destination," the stereo receiver,
TV, or whatever. If these plugs are labelled with a modicum of thought
behind them they'll say "Record" and "Play," just
like the above. That makes it easy. But beware Murphy's Law...
and "Line Out" here mean exactly the opposite to what
they do on the tape deck. "IN" here means the signal coming
FROM the tape deck/VCR (or tuner or whatever) and "OUT" means
it's going somewhere else, like back to the tape deck/VCR (for recording)
or to some other device, like a TV. Ditto for video patch cords.
So, if you want
to play a tape, your patchcords should go from "Line Out" or
"Play" on your tape deck to "Line In" or "Play"
on your receiver/preamp. For recording, you follow the same analogy, with
the appropriate differences.
To record from
one deck to another, patch 'em both into the audio video receiver identically,
then use the switcher in the receiver to control them both. On the switcher,
select the playback deck (this works for audio and video), put the recording
deck on "Record" (usually by pressing the big, red button),
and the record deck will get the signal.
to press "Record" and "Play" on the right decks, otherwise
you'll erase one tape and not record the other one, leaving you with two
should only have to do this hookup once, 'cause you're not going to change
your equipment every week. The only time this could change is if you're
doing the occasional recording from one deck to another without going
through the audio/video receiver, like when you're dubbing from one VCR
(or a camcorder) to another.
In this case,
patch "Play (Line Out)" and "Video Out" from your
playback deck into "Record (Line In)" and "Video In"
on the recording deck.
be able to record to your heart's content!
Tell us at TechnoFile what YOU think