Hold down the "record" button and push "play" while continuing to hold the record button down. If it's working it will record.
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Since it's been almost a year since your post, you may have figured this out by now. If you didn't figure it out, you might have gotten so frustrated you sold the deck. You need to know a just little bit more than "hit play and record, and if it's working, it will record" for this model...
Teac made a companion dbx noise reduction box for this deck. To connect it, you need 16 extra RCA male-to-male cables to get the 4 tracks to the encode side of the dbx, then 4 more to get the signal back to the deck; and likewise, 4 and 4 for the decode side. Here's the hitch:
If you DON'T have the dbx unit in-line, you MUST have the jumpers that link those inputs and outputs together. You will need 8 such jumpers. If you don't have them, 8 RCA male-to-male cables work just fine. But you won't be able to record or play without those dbx inputs/outputs jumpered together, because you have an open circuit between the record amp and the tape heads themselves. (Without the cables, you will still get a muffled sort of playback off the record head if you hit the SYNC buttons, but this is not recommended. And you still won't be able to record, which is what you asked.)
Once those connections are made, THEN you can do all the obvious, intuitive things: make sure the record enable switches are pressed for the tracks you want to record on, and hit RECORD and PAUSE; set your recording level; hit PLAY to start recording; stop, rewind, and play back your recording.