While doing some pre-emptive spring-cleaning, I stumbled across a box full of (mostly bad) songs recorded on a PortaStudio. Of course, I don’t have the unit anymore, so I did some quick research on how to get my hands on a unit today.
I was (pleasantly) surprised to learn that Tascam is still selling enough of them to keep three models in their product line. There is something truly special about the tactile experience of recording to a 4-track taping device. There’s no boot time, no file corruption, no compatibility issue and you don’t need no freakin’ manual to operate it. I almost hope someone would come out with a DAW software sporting a “PortaStudio” UI. Imagine the simplicity…
Like many songwriters, I had my first introduction to multi-tracking via a Tascam PortaStudio. I learned to make quick decisions though “ping-ponging” (breaking the 4-track limit by re-recording several tracks into another – no undo folks). I also discovered the beauty of tape saturation on the cheap. Good times.
For some reason, a tape-less digital PortaStudio is not an attractive proposition. For 550$ nowadays, I can buy a MacMini running GarageBand. If I want portability, the hand-held digital recorders do a surprisingly good job at capturing the moment.
Tape’s not dead yet.