I recently acquired a brand new 2012 Tascam DP24 (24 track multitrack digital recorder) to begin recording my first album in 15 years! I'll follow up with reports about that later, as time progresses, but for now I'd like to introduce the unit and describe its features. (No afilliation with Tascam, other than having owned 4 or 5 different Portastudios over the years, this one being the most elaborate yet.)
It's a Portastudio, with a simple, straightforward layout, not unlike the tape-based units I'd previously owned. This made the workflow a bit familiar, and actually made for easy tracking and recall for mixing. The system runs on SD cards as opposed to hard disc drive. Tascam states that this method cuts down on the danger of damage to the unit in transit (less mechanical as well). Storage comes in 8, 16, and 32 GB SD cards that easily plug into the port at the top left rear of the DP24. The unit is shipped with a measley 2 GB card, so it's imperative that a larger card be obtained before attempting a song. The 2 GB card only stored 15 tracks of a 3 minute song, so that was frustrating, getting only so far and being held up. Get the larger capacity card right away and avoid the frustration before you even get started...
There are effects built in, but there is only one effect assignable per track. Amp sounds give authentic guitar effects, and noise suppressor, chorus, flanger and delay are among the common effects processes available. There are mastering effects (compression, reverb, and separate delay) but I've yet to delve in too deeply.
Inputs on the first 8 channels can record simultaneously, and there are features to facilitate bouncing (track reduction) and volume normalizing. There's a dedicated 3-band eq for each track as well as a separate effects loop for external effects. Of course, outboard effects can also be run before the input of a channel for those who prefer that for any given reason. Certain effects prefer that approach, and some work best in FX loops, again, personal preference applies here as well. Rules, as always, are meant as a starting point and experimenting can take you to places hitherto uncharted.
There are 8 virtual tracks for each dedicated track, to pick and choose from a variety of recorded parts, and that is a nice feature. I'd like to have seen a bit more versatility with regards to internal FX, but this was obviously a cost-saving decision. It obviously pays to have an arsenal of rack units and stompboxes at your disposal, all of which are readily compatible and accessible either fronting a channel or through the provided send/return located on the back. Standard are stereo out, monitor out, phantom power on Tracks 1 and 2 (labeled A and B), and switchable line/instrument level settings on input 8 (labeled H). Each of the 8 inputs facilitate 1/4" balanced or unbalanced, and TRS connectors as well.
Tracks 1-12 are mono inputs, while 13-24 are stereo (in pairs). There's copious amounts of editing, a built-in metronome, a headphone jack as well as a place to plug in a punch-in footswitch. You can back up your recordings to wav files that can be exported to the CD drive or, optionally, your laptop or PC via USB 2.0. It's possible to import CD material through the CD interface as well.
Other features include a built-in guitar/bass tuner, panning, trim controls for the first 8 channels, solo, track editing, locate features for rehearsing punch-ins, monitor select, and Song Depot, a dedicated folder where the songs are stored before they are exported to your PC.
All in all, it's a nifty little unit that is perfect for desktop multitrack recording and is very portable (hence the Portastudio moniker). My price? $600 (I'm sure an industrious online shopper can score the same price if I could! There are places that charge more but mine came from Colorado). You can read more about it and my recording projects at http://mindseyemusic.blogspot.com, my blog. Stop by and leave a comment.
Freedom is the right to discipline yourself.
Edits: 08/09/12This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors:
Topic - Tascam DP24 - michaelhigh 06:44:58 08/09/12 (1)
- RE: Tascam DP24 - Davypie 10:56:41 09/14/12 (0)