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Dust Off That Old Portastudio; TASCAM’s Got Tape

TASCAM has just introduced its new TASCAM 424 Studio Master High Bias Type II Cassette tape

TASCAM 424 Studio Master High Bias Type II Cassette tape
TASCAM 424 Studio Master High Bias Type II Cassette tape

Santa Fe Springs, CA (December 22, 2021)—The pandemic has put many people in a Marie Kondo-frame of mind, looking to clean out their place so that the only things left “spark joy.” That goes for audio pros, too, of course, but what about when you come across that old cassette multitrack recorder? Sure, you haven’t used it in 25 years, but how can you possibly toss it out? Few things spark joy more than the memories of learning audio recording and getting those early tracks on tape. Well, if you’re not gonna give it the heave-ho, you might as well get it back up and running—and if that recorder happens to be a vintage Tascam Portastudio series cassette recorder, you’re in luck: TASCAM has just introduced its new TASCAM 424 Studio Master High Bias Type II Cassette tape, reportedly specifically designed for Portastudios.

The 424 Studio Master C-60 was developed for the 50th anniversary of TASCAM. In 1979, TASCAM/TEAC created the 144 Portastudio, which was soon followed by other Portastudios such as the 244, 246, Porta One, Porta-02, 424 series, all of which used inexpensive and easily found Type II High Bias cassettes. In the early 1980’s TASCAM created the legendary “gold reel” cassettes, which are now collector items, but today, any high bias type II cassettes are very hard to find.

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The new cassette was developed with National Audio Company, Inc. of Springfield, MO, the world’s largest manufacturer of cassette tape and largest duplicator of recorded music cassettes. The TASCAM 424 cassette employs a hand-assembled shell manufactured using traditional injection molding and 3-D printing to re-create the original TEAC shell with miniature gold reels from the early 1980s. The cassette packaging will read ‘TASCAM 424 Studio Master C-60’.

Steve Stepp, president of National Audio Company, said, “The TASCAM 424 Type II cassette is a Type II High Bias cobalt formulation using currently available magnetic oxides to recreate the tape which Portastudios were designed to use. The recording bias and equalization settings for this tape are as near a match for Portastudios as possible with materials available in 2021. Operators familiar with Portastudios will easily be capable of ‘fine tuning’ for the new tape.”

Stepp added, “To ensure the utmost authenticity, we used a TASCAM 424 Portastudio that was refurbished to like-new condition for beta testing during the tape formulation process. These new cassettes are, without a doubt, the optimal media to use on vintage TASCAM Portastudios.”

The TASCAM 424 cassette tapes are expected to become available soon.