TASCAM's Model 12 Multitrack Recorder

TASCAM’s Model 12 multitrack recorder is the latest in a series of hybrid mixers sharing many of the core features with the larger TASCAM Model 16 and 24. The TASCAM Model 12 is designed to be a self-contained recording environment, allowing it to be used for tracking, mixing, mastering, podcasting, as a DAW controller and much more.

TASCAM is the professional audio division of TEAC Corporation. Arguably, TASCAM invented the home recording market when, back in 1979, it released the TEAC Model 144. While it is easy to be taken for granted now, when it was released, the TEAC Model 144 was a truly revolutionary product giving singers songwriters and musicians the ability for the first time to record, overdub and mix their musical ideas to a standard cassette tape.

Over the years, TASCAM has evolved the original portable studio concept––the “Portastudio”––to incorporate features and technological advances that continued to make the product relevant. The original concept, however, a hands-on portable recorder that has the look and feel of a traditional recording console, has not changed. It is interesting to note that the prices for a vintage Portastudio often exceed the retail cost of the TASCAM Model 12.

Fast forward to today, the TASCAM Model 12 provides a flexible recording tool that allows you record up to 10 tracks simultaneously and then mix, master and export a final product. As the unit saves files to .WAV files it is easy to copy your raw files to other computer- based DAW platforms such as ProTools or Logic for editing. It is also easy to import loops, beats and other audio content for songwriting. The first 10 of the 12 available tracks are assignable to one of three modes––Live, PC or Multitrack Recording–– while tracks 11 And 12 are the Master outs.

The TASCAM Model 12 allows you to record onto SD and SDHC cards as well as SDXC cards up to 512 GB. The TASCAM Model 12 is a great tool for capturing band practices, performances, live recording and tracking sessions. You can use the Model 12 as a Playback engine or simply as a live mixer for mixing and capturing live performances. It also has a storage mode that makes it easy to transfer files to your computer desktop for file storage or importing into other software programs.

The TASCAM Model 12 can record at 44.1k / 48k Hz. The Model 12 features TASCAM’s Ultra HDDA Mic Preamps. The preamps have a maximum of +22DB of headroom. Its mixing surface features sweepable EQ on all 12 channels. Each channel features Low Cut, Hi Shelving Mid Peaking and Low Shelving. The unit features a Master EQ section with High Shelving, Mid Peaking and Low Shelving controls. Each channel also has available Compression. The Aux sends can be used to route signal to the FX engine, or to the Aux 1 & 2 outputs on the TASCAM Model 12. Next to the faders are buttons for routing signal to either Main or Sub outputs, or both simultaneously. There are Inserts on channels one and two.

The TASCAM Model 12 features a built-in Metronome, two Headphone outputs with

individual volume controls. The TASCAM Model 12 has a dedicated TAP Tempo function allowing you to monitor and adjust the recording tempo in live and recording situations. It also has Bluetooth capability that provides for a variety of playback options. The TASCAM Model 12 connects to your computer via a USB Type C Connector. While the TASCAM Model 12 has the basic capability to control many basic recording functions (including fader, Pan, Solo, and Record), it does not have the more advanced MIDI Machine Control functionality required to control more advanced features on your DAW.

TASCAM recently released a firmware update for the Model 12, which adds VAMP looping functions, auto-calculates tempo sets in and out points. This VAMP feature allows you to easily set a start and endpoint and loop playback selected audio content on the TASCAM Model 12.

You can, for example, rehearse a selected track before you record the part. The TASCAM Model 12 is compatible with the TASCAM RF 1 Footswitch for controlling VAMP looping and punching in and out. TASCAM has invested a significant amount of resources in the podcasting market. The TASCAM Model 12 features mix-minus and smartphone inputs. The basic concept of a mix-minus is to input multiple sources of audio into an audio mixer (your microphone, phone messages, Skype, etc.) then send that audio back out to Skype, minus (without) the Skype caller's voice.

The TASCAM Model 12 shines as a standalone recorder that brings a lot of the original Portastudio functionality dialed in for the 21st century. It is easy to use and is a fun, refreshing change from “all in the box” computer-based recording while retaining tight computer integration and the ability to control the basic functions of your DAW if you want it to. It’s a portable, flexible and cost-effective recording tool adaptable for
a wide variety of home and professional recording environments.

The TASCAM Model 12 has a MAP price of $599.00.