Which Tascam Portastudio?

I used that model extensively in the 90’s, I didn’t think computers were ready yet…

what affected the tone most was the dirt on the heads which accumulated very quickly. so if you want lofi ditch the q tips and rubbing alcohol.

I always used 90 minute maxell chromium dioxide…

Shit sounds good. I think eq stage is really nice.

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Oh man, I’m so psyched.

I’ve found some great videos online to get ready. I really enjoyed these. His demo tune makes me want to make an indie track. I feel 15 years old again. Haha. :slight_smile:

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are you considering an mts-30 midi sync?

I’m toying with the idea of adding / bouncing tracks one at a time, like I would do in a rock context. a different workflow than recording complete takes until I get one I like.

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I was always a TDK man. I’m no expert but I used cassettes quite a bit in the 90s. I don’t think there will be a massive difference in sound between 60 and 90 min but type I will probably have more tape hiss than type II so it depends what flavour of lo-fi you want

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Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking too.

424 does look great. I considered one of those as well, but I prefer the compact size of the 414 for my setup. I really dig that speed control function on the 424.

Cool. I just ordered some Type IIs. I’ll probably experiment with a Type I later though. I read somewhere that the thinner 90 minute tapes are more prone to jamming, not sure how true that is.

Another random question as I haven’t recorded to tape in nearly two decades. If I’m planning to mostly copy over tapes after I record my tracks to the computer, how long will a single tape likely last me. I’m just wondering how many blank tapes to buy.

Do you all have tons of blank tapes or only a handful? Do you archive multitrack cassettes for special stuff or just record over them and keep the digital files?

you can get a lot of tracks on a single cassette so I kept them all. destroying you’re master tapes… so cliché. don’t do it!

I used to bounce to minidisc and ended up devoting serious effort into getting my music off them digitally. all my old tracks, when I could hardly play guitar and put almost no effort into drum programming… but I love them all. my setup then was guitar, boss multifx, dr660 (which I hated) and a Dr sample -> 414. I got shit done!

this thread is getting me so stoked to pull out the 414. I just got it back from my parents who sold their house. my vinyl was ruined by a flood but the 414 still works. even after I cleaned it with the wrong trype of wd40 (silicon lubricant).


Yeah, I was thinking the same thing today. I want to make an EP next year, so if it happens it would be good to keep everything archived. Thanks and I can’t wait to hear your stuff!

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Hey man,

I’m still waiting on my machine, but I’d love to hear more about your typical workflow. Would you be willing to share some of the ways you have tended to work in the past? For instance, your typical process when using the mts-30 midi sync and when not using it.

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i was just thinking instead of the mts-30 I could just have a count in and sync manually. Like Dee Dee Ramone.

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Can’t remember who but another Jp based user on the forum was getting NOS tapes at a Hard Off.

Here we go… scroll down a bit for the HardOff

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Awesome. Thanks for the heads up! I’ll have to hit up @HisMostDarxxxellent to see if that’s still the case. We are connected off of Elektronauts as well.

Those prices look much more reasonable than what I’ve paid for NOS Type II tapes on Amazon, but I’m honestly just glad they are still available.

I’ve got three NOS 60 minute tapes to get me going when the machine arrives and after I make sure it’s in good working order, I’ll check out Hardoff and keep my eye on Mercari. Seems like quite a few people selling off little stashes of tapes for a couple of thousand yen.

I’ve got the Portastudio 244 and can’t say enough good things about it. The eq’s sound so nice and it really has become a huge part of my sound. The unit is very heavy and built to last.

I oftentimes record stuff from my computer to tape and really like how it saturates the sound when recording the material back to the computer and pushing the faders so that it goes into overdrive.

In my unit there is a slight difference between the 1&2 tracks that adds some imbalance to stereo sounds. It’s not drastic and I quite like it on pads etc. If I want more balanced results I record on tracks 2&3.


That’s a beautiful machine. Would love one of those.

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I love my 424 MKI, although I don’t use it that often. It’s the only machine I regretted selling. So I bought it again. The pitch control in combination with the three tape speeds is what makes this unit so special for me. And of course it sounds really good when you turn up the input gain.

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last night i was just like, sod it, i’m gonna stop pontificating and just setup my old 414. plugged in the rytm and a4. the sound was a bit warmer but what i noticed was the noise. maybe i need to clean my contacts. it’s been 25 years after all.

but aside from that not much difference than tracking into bitwig, except that i feel extra pressure to get my takes right because the tape quality degrades. so i’m thinking that the real benefit of a portastudio for me is the workflow, bouncing a track at a time. this way i can concentrate on focused manual tweaking and adding little details (i’m no dataline). this approach shifts a bit away from the elektron sequencer, for better and worse.

also my daughter came in, and said “Tascam. That doesn’t sound like a scam”. Made my day!


I’ve heard some great cassette recordings recently. Not just electronic stuff. Like this.

My 414 just arrived today. I need to try it out tomorrow. Really excited.

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I :heart: Japan

My 414mkii came and it’s in nearly perfect condition. Even the adapter looks brand new. I took it through the paces today and no scratchy inputs or anything.

I’m really digging it. Bass going straight into it sounds great, gets a nice fuzz tone when you overdrive the inputs.

Fits perfectly on my shelf with my old reverb tank and 70s Vibrochamp. I had originally envisioned an echo unit there, but this is a better fit for me at the moment and I plan to make good use of it in 2022.

Having cassettes back in my life feels good.


I still can’t get over the staggering amt of money these portastudios are going for. Even worse is what people are paying for unopened type iv tapes…