Cassette Tape Track Formats and Recommended Tapes for Tascam Portastudios


Tascam made the popular Portastudio 4 track cassette recorders. Clients often ask us what tapes should be used with these machines. Well first of all, you need the record tabs to be IN so look for tabs in cassettes (C0-TI). Once you have your final mix you would punch out the record tabs to prevent accidental erasure. The 414 and 424 machines need high bias tapes like TDK SA, Maxell XLII, or BASF Chrome Plus. These tapes came in C-60 and C-90 formats. The C-60 tapes are preferred for the thicker base film and slightly better overall performance. Keep in mind these Portastudios run at double speed (3.75 inches per second) and record all 4 tracks in one direction, so a 60 minute tape only gives you 15 minutes of recording time.

The Portastudios used a propietary track format laying down all 4 tracks with even spacing between all tracks. Regular cassette decks have a larger space between the A and B side, and a narrower gap between the left and right channels of each side. Here’s an illustration from Tascam’s manual:

Tascam Portastudio cassette track widths

Tascam Portastudio cassette track widths

Tape recommendations

Tape recommendations for Tascam Portastudio 414 and 424

Tape recommendations for Tascam Portastudio 414 and 424

Butterscotch/Camel Brick Pattern Cassettes In Stock

A new colour for your 2016 tape projects – butterscotch / camel cassettes! A great colour that goes well with all sorts of artwork. These cassettes also feature a swank brick pattern and debossed A/B side markings. The record tabs are OUT so if you’re recording on home cassette decks you need to put scotch tape over the holes.

Butterscotch cassettes with brick pattern

Butterscotch / camel cassettes with brick pattern

See the complete list of our cassette inventory.

Discogs Turns Record Collectors’ Obsessions Into Big Business

Interesting article about discogs found via slashdot writes:Ben Sisario writes at the NYT that Discogs has built one of the most exhaustive collections of discographical information in the world, and with 24 million items for sale, (eBay’s music section lists 11 million) Discogs is on track to do nearly $100 million in business by the end of the year. One of Discog’s secrets is the use of Wikipedia’s model of user-generated content with historical data cataloged by thousands of volunteer editors in extreme detail. The site’s entry for the Beatles’ White Album, for instance, contains 309 distinct versions of the record, including its original releases in countries like Uruguay, India and Yugoslavia — in mono and stereo configurations — and decades of reissues, from Greek eight-tracks to Japanese CDs. “There’s a record-collector gene,” says Kevin Lewandowski. “Some people want to know every little detail about a record.”