Past, Present and Future: Tascam Unveils Model 24 Digital Multitrack Recorder

August 28 2018, 03:00
Tascam will probably cause a big smile (or not... depending on the memories!) in the face of every musician, producer and audio engineer with this announcement. Recovering one of its glories of the past and the predecessor of every multitrack home- and project-studio system since the eighties, the new Model 24 Digital Multitrack Recorder is certainly a time travel experience for everyone, combining a good-looking compact mixing solution with a built-in 24 track digital recording system with specifications that are "good enough" to today's market. Interesting depending of the price, no doubt.

Tascam introduces the new Model 24 Digital Multitrack Recorder as "an excellent choice for studio and live applications." The Model 24 digital multitrack recorder offers 24 tracks of 24-bit, 48 kHz audio capture (22 channels and a stereo main mix) and 22 playback tracks via either USB 2.0 or to the unit's onboard SD Card recorder. So, not only is it limited to 48kHz (the only option is 44.1kHz) in a time when 96kHz is the standard, but also the interfacing options are only the "good old" USB 2.0. It must be really affordable for those options to make sense in 2019!

The SD Card recorder offers quick, easy one-touch recording and includes transport controls, auto and manual punch in/out, and overdub capability (for those who are still able to work that way!). With color-coded knobs, faux-wood sides, and a retro design, the Model 24 is reminiscent of vintage Tascam products but it's based on the company's industry-leading digital Portastudio technology, as evidenced by its LCD screen and digital recording and Bluetooth input features.

Mixdown is easy thanks to a built-in 22-channel mixer with 100mm long-throw faders - a feature rarely found in this price class. The two monitor returns, subgroup bus, and stereo main bus also are equipped with dedicated 100 mm faders. The Model 24 offers 12 mono channels, each with XLR mic and 1/4-inch line inputs; 1/4-inch channel inputs 1 and 2 can be switched between line and instrument level, enabling plugging in a guitar or bass, and feature a 1/4-inch TRS insert point. We also get 4 stereo channels with mono XLR mic and left and right 1/4-inch line inputs. All 16 microphone inputs sport a preamp gain control and an overload (clip) indicator for the channel's "premium" Tascam microphone preamp. Each of the first 20 channels includes Mute and PFL solo.

An additional stereo channel (21/22) is equipped with unbalanced RCA, unbalanced stereo minijack, and wireless Bluetooth connectivity and offers Mute and Pairing buttons. This enables streaming audio from a laptop or mobile device (the only 2018 update options...). Stereo channel 21/22 has also been optimized to feed the Monitor 1 and Monitor 2 buses via rotary auxiliary send controls.

A Routing Mode selector enables each channel to be independently set to accept live input, the return from the USB bus, or the return from the SD Card recorder. This enables users to overdub in the studio and to fly in backing tracks for live performance. Multi-segment LED meters monitor the stereo main bus output levels. Outputs include stereo XLR and 1/4-inch main outputs, two 1/4-inch monitor sends, an effects send, stereo control room outputs, and a stereo 1/4-inch headphone monitor output.

The Model 24 also provides plenty of signal processing to perfect the sound. Each of the 12 mono channels include a simple one-knob compressor, a low cut filter, and 3-band semi-parametric EQ with sweepable midrange. The compressor and low cut filter are pre-Routing Mode selector so they can be applied to any recording track. The stereo channels include a low-cut filter and 3-band fixed EQ. A stereo 7-band graphic EQ with easy-control toggle buttons and instant bypass can be applied to the main mix or monitor outputs, enabling users to shape your mixes and prevent monitor feedback. An onboard stereo multi-effects processor features 16 preset effects, including reverb, delay, chorus, and flanging.
Yep. Not much to see here, except for the "good-old" USB 2.0 interface...

With its choice of multitrack recording methods, onboard processing, variety of inputs, and flexible mixing and routing options, the Tascam Model 24 digital multitrack recorder is "a great choice for project studios and for live recording and mixing," and basically anyone that is nostalgic of the past, or tired to work "in-the-box" all the time. The Model 24 is expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 2018, but no price as been confirmed at this stage.

Now, if this thing could only have a Dante networking interface... we could be in business!
We will update the announcement as soon as we learn the price.
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