Tascam Portastudio 414
Tascam Portastudio 414
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themaddog 09/19/2011

Tascam Portastudio 414 : themaddog's user review

« Decent cassette based idea pad »

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This is a cassette based (1/8") 4 track recorder that records on high bias, type II cassettes in a single direction. It has dbx type II noise reduction, but on my used machine this had drifted, so recordings sounded better without it engaged. dbx on track 4 can be disengaged separately for timecode purposes. There is a pitch wheel that allows for 15% plus or minus speed change, putting the wheel to the maximum speed will cut down on some of the tape hiss.

There are four main channels which correspond to the four tracks. There are faders for these channels along with high and low eq knobs and pan controls. There are two stereo channels, 5-6 and 7-8 that can be used for effects routing or as auxiliary inputs. These channels only have volume knobs without an other control. Inputs are all 1/4" and RCA. All four tracks can be recorded onto simultaneously.

There is an analog tape counter with engageable zero return. There are no facilities for automated punch ins, but there is an input for a punch in pedal.

This machine is much more limited than its big brother the 424 and recordings are not as high quality as that machine. By comparison, this machine's recordings sound like the quality of the 488, which is an 8 track cassette Portastudio. Both of those machines (and the 464 as well) have more features in terms of punch in and digital control of the transport. But, this machine will function well as an idea sketchpad, for someone who insists on recording on cassette tape, or for someone who needs a more mobile solution than any of the above listed multitrack recorders. I purchased this for my classroom for the students to make some basic recordings. It has done a decent job in that capacity, but I soon replaced it with a 788, which with its MIDI capabilities was better suited to our purposes.