Despite the daily barrage of innovation taking place in the audio and recording industry, there are still those who yearn for the older days. Yes, digital files are more efficient and are the industry norm, but many audiophiles still refuse to harken to MP3 files, instead choosing the analog way. We’re not talking about vinyl, by the way. No, we’re talking cassette tapes, the final form in analog music’s long evolution. The brave company doing the audio recording lord’s work is TASCAM, which is introducing a new cassette tap for its Portastudio series cassette recorders.
The TASCAM 424 Studio Master High Bias Type II Cassette was a joint project between TASCAM and the National Audio Company, which is the largest manufacturer of cassette tapes and the world’s largest duplicator of recorded music cassettes. Despite cassette being an antiquated form of recording, TASCAM implemented modern technology when making the TASCAM 424 cassette. To make the new cassette, TASCAM manufactured a hand-assembled shell using traditional injection molding and 3-D printing to re-create the original TEAC shell, complete with miniature gold reels from the early 1980s. While the new TASCAM 424 cassettes are dead ringers for the genuine articles, they are a tad different due to the companies’ being forced to use alternative materials for tape construction. They could only use current magnetic oxides available to create the recording tape in the cassettes, which “are as near a match for Portastudios as possible with materials available in 2021,” according to Steve Stepp, President of National Audio Company. This difference in tape materials ultimately means that users will have to do a little “fine-tuning” on their end when recording at home.
Whether you’re into the vintage modes of recording or not, it’s great to see companies working together to preserve a type of technology that introduced music to millions. TASCAM has announced that the TASCAM 424 Studio Master High Bias Type II Cassette will release soon.