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Tascam History - Part 2
Tascam History - Part 2

1979 (cont.)... TEAC introduced the A3440S 1/4 inch multitrack, an upgraded 4- track open reel recorder. Even thought the A3440S had the TEAC brand name, it was sold by the TASCAM sales organization through music stores. 1980...By 1980, TASCAM had begun designing recording products for new applications, and Dave Oren spearheaded the design teams for developing a cassette deck suitable for the professional broadcast and recording markets.- TASCAM introduced the 122 cassette deck. The 122 was TASCAM's first professional, rack mounted, 3-head cassette deck with 2 speeds (1 7/8 and 3 3/4). A year after the product was first introduced, NBC standardized their entire operation using the TASCAM 122. The reason NBC made the change was because the 122 had all the capabilities for adjustments and spectacular performance characteristics, and no changes had been made to the product since its introduction into the marketplace. Aided by NBC's practical endorsement of the TASCAM 122, ABC and CBS followed, and before long the 122 became the industry standard. 1981... TASCAM introduced the SYSTEM 20, a mixing system configured as a modular system. One only bought the component they needed and then connected the different modules together via cables. Unlike traditional consoles that were internally wired, assignments for the System 20 were configured using RCA cables via the external RCA outputs and inputs. The System 20 was one of the best learning systems for mixing ever developed.- The model 22-4 was introduced, TASCAM's first inexpensive 4 track recorder using 7" reels. Also unveiled was the model 22-2, TASCAM's first inexpensive 2 track recorder using 7" reels.- TASCAM introduced the 85-16 multitrack, nicknamed by the market as the "Flamingo" because of its orange legs...the result of miscommunication between the marketing dept. and R&D engineers. However, this did not deter customers because, as a 1" 16 track recorder with 16 channels of dbx, the 85-16 was the best value in the marketplace. The 85-16 was not only an improvement on the earlier 90-16, it was also 25% less expensive. 1982... TASCAM introduced its second large format mixer, the Model 16 (16x8x16). The combination of TASCAM's Model 16 mixer and TASCAM's 85-16 recorder solidified TASCAM's position in the 16-track recording business.In 1982 the 80-8 had run into too many applications conflicts. Although the product was considered a "workhorse" by the industry, it was not able to properly serve both the upper end 8-track market and the entry-level 8-track market at the same time. As a result, two new products emerged: the TASCAM 38 and the TASCAM 58.1983...TASCAM introduced the 30 series recorders. The TASCAM 38 was a 1/2", 8-track, 10 1/2" reel-to-reel recorder. Introductory price was under $3,000. The 38 filled a niche for the serious entry level recordist. The TASCAM 34 was a 4 track recorder with full frequency response in Sync Mode at an inexpensive price. The TASCAM 32 was a half track master recorder/reproducer using 1/4" tape.- The TASCAM 58 and 58-OB were TASCAM's first +4dB multitrack recorders and were specifically targeted at serious production professionals. Later that year TASCAM introduced the TASCAM 52 1/4" 2-channel half-track mastering and broadcast on air recorder/reproducer. They also introduced the M-30, the replacement for the Model 3. The new model 30 included parametric EQ and phono preamps. The model M-35, an 8-in, 4-out, 8 monitor (8x4x2) mixer, offered modular construction and the option of adding the model M-35EX expansion module. The M-35EX gave expansion capability up to 28 inputs.- The TASCAM M-50 was a 12 input, 8-buss mixer with 2 independent aux systems.- The TASCAM M-16 was a mixer with 16 inputs, 8 outputs, and a 16-channel monitor section. This board was made in either a 16 input or 24 input configuration, a real flexible mixer that you could buy it with 16 inputs and then add modules later to increase the inputs to 24.- Following the success of the 122, TASCAM targeted the multi-image market with the model 133, a professional 3 track cassette deck specialty product with 2 tracks of stereo audio and a cue track. The 133 was a huge success and dominated the multi-image production and presentation market.- The TASCAM 234 Syncaset was the first 4-track rackmountable cassette recorder/reproducer with dbx and 3 3/4 IPS tape speed. 1984...The TASCAM 225 Syncaset was the next generation 2 track, 4 channel cassette deck. It was priced at $350.- TASCAM introduced its first battery operated (4 track) portable studio, the PORTA ONE MINISTUDIO, which operated on both AC power and D cell batteries. The PORTA ONE MINISTUDIO could record 4 tracks on a standard audio cassette.- TASCAM introduced the M-512 and M-520 audio production mixing consoles. These were TASCAM's first cost-effective balanced consoles. They came in two input configurations...12 x 8 and 20 x 8. These were priced starting at $3,995 suggested retail.- TASCAM introduced the model 244, the second generation Portastudio and the first featuring dbx noise reduction along with 2-band, 4-knob sweepable EQ.- The TASCAM 40 series included the 42-NB 1/4" 2-track 2 channel half track mastering and broadcast on-air recorder/reproducer, the 44-OB 1/4" 4-track recorder/reproducer with 10 1/2" reels and 15 IPS, and the 48-OB 1/2" 8 track 8 channel recorder/reproducer with SMPTE interlock capability.- The TASCAM 300 series mixers consisted of the M-308 a (8 x 4 x 8), the M-312 a (12 x 4 x 8), and the M-320 a (20 x 4 x 8) mixer.- The TASCAM M-106 was the first rackmountable production audio mixing console (6 x 4 x 4) featuring six input channels with selectable mic, line or tape inputs, four channels with RIAA phono inputs and two aux sends. 1985...TASCAM introduced a historic new invention, the TASCAM 388 Studio. The 388 was the first 8 track (8x8), 1/4" reel-to-reel multitrack tape recorder and mixer combination ever. The unit used a 7" reel of 1/4" tape and had an auto s feature so it functioned just like a standard cassette for the user. The 388 was also SMPTE capable and had 8 tracks of dbx noise reduction. Its list price was under $4,000.

The TASCAM ATR-60 Series. The ATR-60's were engineered for those who made their living with recorders. All six models shared a design philosophy stressing function over flash...efficiency paced by the right balance of features without excess. Refined and tempered by experience and materials to meet the harshest and most demanding environments with poise, speed, and tenacity, the ATR-60's were at home in any audio or video production facility.

  • ATR-60/2N - Professional 1/4" 2 channel half-track recorder.
  • ATR-60/2T - Professional 1/4" 2 channel half-track with center track time code.
  • ATR-602HS - Professional 1/2" 2 channel half-track mastering recorder
  • ATR-60/4HS - Professional 1/2" 4 channel mastering recorder
  • ATR-60/8 - Professional 1/2" 8 channel 8-track production recorder
  • ATR-60/16 - Professional 1" 16 channel 16-track production recorder

The TASCAM 200 series mixers. Sound reinforcement, studio recording, broadcast and video production is what the TASCAM 200 series was built for. They were available in three models.

  • M-208 (8x4x2)
  • M-216 (16x4x2)
  • M-224 (24x4x2)

1986...TASCAM introduced its first cassette duplicator and slave units, the T-2620MS, T-26202S, T-2640MS and T-26402S.- TASCAM added new models to enhance the profession lineup of cassettes decks. The TASCAM 112 was a basic 2-head machine that fully maintained the professional quality performance, stability and reliability of the -of-the-line 122MKII. The TASCAM 112R was the deck of choice for professional applications requiring extended playback and record capability. The 112R was an auto reverse cassette deck using the unique symmetrical bi-directional transport with super-acculign rotating head.- The TASCAM 246 replaced the 244. It allowed the recording of all four channels at once, and had six inputs instead of just four. It also allowed the option of running the cassette at double speed or at the normal speed of 1 7/8 IPS.

1987...TASCAM introduced the MS-16, its first 16-track multitrack recorder with SMPTE. With a price point of under $8,000, and the addition of SMPTE, this 15 IPS recorder strengthened TASCAM's position in the 1" 16 track audio market.- TASCAM introduced its first 2", 24-track recorder, the ATR-80/24. This multitrack was configured for +4 (in and out). The first A/B test of the ATR-80/24 was performed against the two most popular manufacturers of 2" recorders, MCI and Otari, at Lion's Share Recording Studios in Los Angeles. In performance specs and audio quality the ATR-80/24 equaled both the Otari and the MCI recorders in every respect.- The TASCAM M-600 Series mixing consoles were developed in response to popular demand for TASCAM quality in a larger console designed specifically for the professional recording environment. The result was a high-performance console that offered broad mixing control and versatility while at the same time being remarkably compact and easy to use. 24 and 32 input channel versions were available.- The 122MKII continued TASCAM's leadership in the professional cassette market. The new features included Dolby HX PRO, the ability to locate, a zero return function, and pitch control.- TASCAM introduced the CD-501, the best CD player available featuring ZD circuitry, dual D/A convertors, on-the-fly programming, and balanced XLR outputs at a suggested retail of $1,095.- TASCAM introduced the PORTA 05 self-contained 4 in/2 out production 4-track system, a truly compact, convenient creative companion.- TASCAM introduced the PORTA TWO, a battery-powered, self-contained 4-track recorder with 6-input mixer and effects buss.

1988... TASCAM introduced its first synchronizer, the ES 50, along with the ES 51 controller.- The TASCAM MSR-16 was a 16-track that recorded on 1/2" tape. The MSR-16 was a remarkable recording machine that made first-class performance and features available in a convenient format. The MSR-16 ran at both low (7.5 IPS) and high (15 IPS) speeds.

1989... TASCAM introduced its first 8-track, 8-channel cassette decks, the 238 Syncaset® and the 238S Syncaset® with Dolby S Noise Reduction. These models marked the introduction of Dolby technology into TASCAM products.- TASCAM introduced its first DAT recorder, the DA-5O R-DAT. This recorder had a rotary head, as opposed to a stationary head (S DAT). The unit originated out of TEAC's special high end products division. It was reengineered for TASCAM's use in their professional audio division. The DA-5O paved the way for the highly successful line of TASCAM DAT recorders.- TASCAM introduced its first 4 track, 4 channel PORTASTUDIO with MIDI capabilities, the 644 MIDISTUDIO (list price $1,499). Music magazines in the industry hailed the unit in such a positive light that sales skyrocketed. Its success paved the way for the TASCAM 688 MIDISTUDIO (shipped later that same year), which boasted 8 tracks and 8 channels and a 20 input mixer, all for $3,299.- TASCAM introduced the M700, a 40x32 mixer. This was TASCAM's first mixer featuring built-in automation. The mixer had the familiarity of a traditional console and performed like more expensive consoles. It was dubbed the baby SSL. (A fader package was introduced at a later date.)- The TASCAM 102 was a cost effective 2-head stereo mixdown cassette deck. The 102 featured Dolby HX PRO, B, and C noise reduction.- The TASCAM 103 was a cost effective 3-head stereo mixdown cassette deck. The 103 also featured Dolby HX PRO, B, and C noise reduction.- The TASCAM 202WR was the first dual-well stereo cassette deck that offered the musician a cost-effective method of both dubbing copies and mixing down tracks.- The TASCAM 3030 represented a cost effective approach to broadcast two track audio production. The 3030 had a 4 head system --- 2 track, 2-channel erase, record reproduce and 4-track 2-channel reproduce. The 3030 also had mic inputs for simple direct voice-over spot production.- The TASCAM MTS-1000 was a sophisticated synchronization device allowing MIDI sequencers or other MIDI devices to be precisely synchronized to SMPTE-based recording equipment. It would also allow you to lock up two tape machines.- The TASCAM TSR-8 was an 8-track recorder using 1/2" tape on 10 1/2" reels with the ability to synchronize to other machines using the MTS1000 or the ES-50/ ES-51.- The TASCAM CD-401 was a rackmountable CD player with XLR balanced outputs and optional remote control.- The TASCAM CD-701 was a professional CD player with XLR outputs and first frame audio cue.

1990... TASCAM introduced its first 1" 24 track recorder, the MSR-24 for an unheard of price of $13,999.- TASCAM introduced the DA-30, a 2 track DAT master recorder for $1,899. With DAT rapidly becoming the mastering format of choice for the music industry, the DA-30 quickly became an industry standard.- TASCAM introduced its first DASH multitrack, the DA-800/24 with S/PDIF-2 digital I/O. This was a cooperative developmental effort between TEAC (TASCAM), SONY and PANASONIC in an effort to standardize SONY's existing 24 track DASH format.- TASCAM introduced the M-3700, a 24x8 recording console with a choice of either dynamic or snapshot VCA automation.- The TASCAM M-3500 was an 8-buss console with in-line monitoring. The M-3500 was available in two different frame sizes to accommodate 24 and 32 channel configurations, and three standard models were available.

1991... The DA-P20 was TASCAM's first portable DAT machine. The product sold out overnight and proved that that the portable DAT was an important new category.- The TASCAM CD-601 was a professional CD player with XLR outputs.- The TASCAM M2500 Series was an 8-buss recording console with in-line monitoring and MIDI mute automation. The M2500 series included the 24-input M-2524 and the 16-input M-2516.- The TASCAM M1000 Series were live performance stereo mixers. The M1000 series included the 16-input M1016 and the 24-input the M1024.- The TASCAM 1500 Series were 4-buss recording consoles with 8 directly assignable outputs. The M1500 series included an 8-input version, the M1508, and a 16-input version, the M1516.- The TASCAM 202MKII was a dual transport, twin record dubbing deck.

1993... TASCAM introduced the legendary DA-88 DTRS modular digital multitrack recorder. This still popular digital 8-track recorder was the first modular digital multitrack recorder to utilize the Hi-8 mm format. With the introduction of the SY-88 synchronizer card (time code reader/generator) a few months later the DA-88 became a standard in film/video post production, and eventually, in the music production market as well.- The TASCAM DA-60 was a 4-head DAT recorder able to lock to time code with the addition of an optional sync card.- The TASCAM PORTA-07 was a 4-input, 4-track cassette recorder.- The TASCAM 122MKIII was an upgrade of the highly successful model 122MKII. The 122MKIII incorporated a new and improved transport assembly.

1994... TASCAM introduced the DA-P1, which today remains a standard in professional portable DAT recorders.- The TASCAM MM100 and MM200 were keyboard mixers with 16 line inputs and stereo outputs plus four effects sends. The MM200 was the same as the MM100 except it had MIDI patching and built-in BBE processing.- The TASCAM M5000 was a sophisticated production mixer which was available with automation (M5000MFA). It was a 24-buss I/O console that was expandable to 40 inputs. It was sold complete with integral patch bays and stand.- The TASCAM M2600 Series were 8-buss recording consoles with in-line monitoring. The M2600 series included the 32 input M-2600/32, 24-input M-2600/24, and the 16-input M-2600/16.


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