22 Jan 2022

SoundBytes Recommends TASCAM

“I doubt you’ll find one that does a more accurate job.”

SoundBytes recently published a review of IK's T-⁠RackS TASCAM Tape Collection. The review offers helpful background information on each of the 4 tape machines and discusses their features and applications. 

Extracts from the SoundBytes review:

Is the TASCAM Tape Collection for You?

This will be of most interest to those wanting an authentic tape-process imprint on their final productions. I doubt you'll find one that does a more accurate job of duplicating what a real tape recorder would do than the IK T-⁠RackS tape plug-ins.

How to use the TASCAM Tape Collection

What I appreciate about this new collection compared to the Tape Machine Collection is that in this case, the plug-ins are not so subtle that only expert ears will be able to discern an effect on the audio.

First, you do get compression, but it's different from what happens when using an actual compressor. Furthermore, it should be clear that if you don't drive the input signal a bit, compression will never kick in, and you'll enjoy fewer benefits of using this type of effect.

Another thing that happens is saturation. Again, this is something that also requires some kick in the input signal level.

Once we hit and exceed 0 dB, the fun starts!


Details about TASCAM tape machines 

Let's start with the TEAC A-6100 MKII, a recorder designed for mastering purposes that was introduced in 1973. This was not a multi-track unit intended for studio recording use – stereo was all you got. Two tape speeds, 7-1/2 and 15 ips, were available.

The TEAC 3340S 4-channel Simul-Sync tape deck was also introduced in 1973. It was intended for music recording, offering 4 tracks with quadraphonic capacity. The Simul-Sync feature was especially compelling. Again, two tape speeds, 7-1/2 and 15 ips, were available.

The two TASCAM units, specifically, can make things audibly warmer.


Next up is the TASCAM PORTA ONE introduced in 1984. This was the third iteration of the porta-studio design. Unlike the earlier models, which doubled the standard cassette tape speed of 1-7/8 ips, the PORTA ONE used the normal cassette speed, but it did incorporate dbx (Dolby) technology.

Finally, we have the TASCAM 388, introduced in 1985. It was the first 8-track 1/4" tape unit, and it included both the recorder unit and a mixer. Somewhat surprisingly, it only offered a 7-1/2 ips speed. Needless to say, it became essential gear for lower-budget producers who at last had something they could only previously have dreamed of.

Read the full SoundBytes review here.

The T-RackS TASCAM Tape Collection is available for purchase from IK's online store and from IK Authorized dealers worldwide at a special limited-time introductory price of $/⁠€129.99 (reg. $/⁠€199.99) through January 31, 2022.

product image
TASCAM Tape Collection
$/€199.99 $/€129.99 introductory


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