History of TASCAM


Staff member
Sep 22, 2012
This post was originally written by drwho on May 17, 2004, a week after the forum was started. It's an excellent overview of TASCAM's history and its positioning in the music history through 2002.

If you want to help with writing Part 2 (2002 through present), please give me a shout.

A Little Tascam History Lesson, Maybe you'd like to see this.......
May 17 2004, 03:32 PM

Thought just in case you never seen this before.............................. A bit of TASCAM history.....

TASCAM, the company that invented the home studio revolution, is one of four divisions of TEAC Corporation, a $1.2 billion manufacturing company headquartered in Japan. While the other divisions of TEAC have grown into a multitude of high tech industries including data storage devices, consumer electronics tools and industrial products, TASCAM has remained dedicated to making innovative products for capturing creativity in the field of music and audio.
The beginning of TASCAM starts with the founding of TEAC nearly fifty years ago. In 1953, a pair of engineers in Japan - the Tani brothers - created the first TEAC product line, which was comprised of open-reel audio tape recorders. In the late 1960's, the Tani brothers and Dr. Abe, a senior engineer at TEAC, formed a special R&D group named TASC (TEAC Audio Systems Corp.) for the purpose of researching ways to apply TEAC's recording technology for musicians and recording studios. TASCAM (TASC AMerica Corp.) was established in 1971 for the purpose of distributing TASC products in the U.S. and conducting additional market research. The company's first home was at 5440 McConnell Avenue, on the west side of Los Angeles near Marina del Rey.

During the formative years in the early '70s, the music scene was flourishing. Musicians who wanted to showcase their talents and abilities to the recording industry needed a cost effective means to record their music. However, most musicians could afford neither the expense of recording in a professional recording studio nor the asking price of professional recording equipment. Realizing the dilemma facing these musicians, TASC adopted a philosophy of manufacturing recording equipment that offered the uncompromising quality and durability of professional studio equipment while remaining affordable to the masses.

The early TASC multitrack products were sold under the TEAC brand name. In 1974 TASCAM was absorbed by the rapidly growing TEAC Corp. of America sales and distribution company, and TASCAM became the official brand name of all TEAC recording products designed specifically for musicians and recording studios.TOP


1969... TASC (TEAC Audio Systems Corporation) was formed in Tokyo, Japan for the purpose of conducting Research & Development for recording applications in the musicians' market. Founders included Mr. K. Tani, a founder of TEAC-Japan and Dr. Abe, a senior engineer of TEAC-Japan.TOP

1971...TASCAM Corporation (TASC AMerica), a USA distribution company for TASC products, was formed near Marina Del Ray, CA and was presided over by Dr. Abe. Products include the 3300 series, which were TEAC A3340 quad decks modified to include Simul~Sync* capability.TOP

*Simul-Sync: the ability to record on one track while listening to another, and the basis for all modern overdubbing technologies.

1972...The first mass-produced 4 channel tape recorders with Simul-Sync... A3340S & A2340S...are shipped.TOP

1973...The first TASCAM branded products are introduced at the AES (Audio Engineering Society) show held in New York at the Waldorf Astoria. The models introduced are the M-10 mixer, Series 70H-X MTR, Series 70H-8 MTR.TOP

On March 4th, TEAC Corporation of America's eleven directors sign closing documents merging the TASCAM Corporation into TCA (TEAC Corporation of America). TEAC-Japan obtains the exclusive worldwide rights to the TASCAM brand name. The first TASCAM branded products (M-10 mixers) are shipped to dealers. TOP

The Advent of the Multi-Track

In order to get a clear picture of the advent of multitrack recording with regards to TASCAM, we must first begin our journey prior to 1974 with the introduction of products manufactured under the TEAC brand name. These products were:

(1) The TEAC A3340 was built specifically as a quadraphonic recorder. However, musicians were instantly attracted to the A3340 because of its low price and ability to record four tracks. This was fortunate for TEAC, as quadraphonic playback never caught on to the degree the consumer audio industry pundits had predicted. Dr. Abe and several TEAC employees in the United States quickly grasped the incredible potential of the A3340 as a multitrack recorder, and developed the Simul-Sync technology for the A3340S. This technology enabled the record head to also act as a play head, thus eliminating the delay time between playback and recorded tracks which occurred when record and play heads were physically separated.

Even though the TEAC A-3340S was not originally intended for use in a professional environment, its versatility and performance made it a huge success and cemented demand for this affordable multitrack technology. This model was the foundation upon which TASCAM's multitrack business was built.

(2) The TEAC A-6100 (a 1/4 inch 2 track reel-to-reel mastering tape recorder with Simul-Sync). One of the key features of the TEAC A-6100 was its rugged and durable transport. This product was significant as it was to become the basis for the very successful TASCAM 80-8 recorder.

(3) The TEAC Model 2 audio mixer featured six pan pots and four full size VU meters.

(4) The TEAC A-2340S (a 1/4 inch 4 track multitrack reel-to-reel tape recorder with Simul-Sync with 7 inch reels). The A-2340S was simply a less expensive version of the A-3340S.

Several other smaller companies were manufacturing similar types of products, but TEAC was the only company that could design, manufacture and maintain quality of these types of products at a price considerably less than the "pro" studio products.TOP

The Series 70

1974 (cont.)... The first TASC Series 70 reel-to-reel recorders were shipped to dealers in the United States. Originally manufactured in Japan under the brand name TASC, the recorders were rebranded under the TASCAM name. (The transport for the Series 70 recorders were based on TEAC's A-7030 transport.) There were four 70 series products:

1) 2 track, 1/4 inch master recorder
2) 4 track 1/4 inch reel-to-reel
3) 4 track 1/2 inch reel-to-reel
4) 8 track 1/2 inch reel-to-reel
- Introduction of the first TASCAM mixing console, the Model 10, which offered features found in far more expensive mixers. One unique feature of the Model 10 (8x4) mixer was that it was designed to be expandable. Featuring a Quad panner, used for Quadraphonic mixing and priced at a very affordable $2,350.00, the Model 10 would change the way the industry would view mixing consoles forever. Its functionality and price point drew the attention of musicians, television post professionals and die-hard audiophiles overnight. The Model 10 became the basis for the Model 5 mixing system.

- TASCAM relocated its headquarters to 7733 Telegraph Road, Montebello (Los Angeles), California, where it remains to this day. TOP

1975... In September, the long awaited TASCAM series Model 5 mixer (8x4x4), was shipped in limited quantities to excited dealers across the United States. The Model 5 had all the features of the Model 10. Its success in the marketplace was attributed to the fact that it was quieter, considerably less expensive than the Model 10, and was designed to give musicians the same precise control over their sound during a live performance as they had in a controlled recording environment. (List price $1,500.00)

- TASCAM ran its first full-page advertisement in November's issue of Rolling Stone Magazine. The advertising message targeted small studio business owners.

- In November, TASCAM changed its calibration tape for all TASCAM 70 Series recorders from Scotch 250 to AMPEX 456 Grand Master. TOP

1976...Although short lived, the Series 70 was the first 1/2" multitrack in existence. It paved the way for the 80-8. Introduced into the marketplace in January 1976, the durability and performance of the 80-8 1/2" 8 track reel-to-reel tape recorder squelched any remaining myths about the viability of affordable multitrack recording equipment. The 80-8 utilized the same transport as the TEAC A-6100 but boasted more durable motors, a better configuration of the tape path, and greater tolerance under prolonged use and stress.

The 80-8 was simple to align. Unlike the Series 70 recorders, all the adjustments could be made from the front of the recorder. Print advertising, the RIAA and Modern Recording and Mix Magazine's support of the 80-8 played a significant part in the ultimate success of this TASCAM product. Classic groups of the mid-70s like Boston and Kansas recorded hit albums using the 80-8 recorder.

The TASCAM 80-8 sold for $3,500.00. By comparison, an Ampex 8 channel multitrack recorder sold for approximately $10,000.00 at the time.

- Introduction of the Model 1, TASCAM's first (8x2) line level mixer.

- Introduction of the Model 3, TASCAM's 8-In, 4-out 2 Monitor (8x4x2) first versatile and portable mixer.

- TASCAM introduced the rack mountable DX-8 (8 channels of dbx noise reduction). The DX-8 significantly improved the fidelity of audio recordings. When combined with TASCAM's 80-8 multitrack recorder, the marked improvement of the audio mirrored those recordings made on multitrack recorders costing four times as much as the 80-8.

The DX-8 (dbx noise reduction module) would help TASCAM ultimately level the playing field with regards to its acceptance of a professionally recorded product on an affordable multitrack recorder.TOP

1977... The ideal combination of the 80-8 multitrack tape recorder and the Model 5 portable mixer paved the way for the introduction of the 25-2, a 2 track mastering reel-to-reel recorder far superior to the earlier TASCAM Series 70, 2-track recorders. The 25-2 had what industry professionals touted as being all the right ingredients... quality, durability, aesthetics and most importantly a very reasonable price. The 40-4 was TASCAM's first professional heavy-duty production and playback 1/4" 4 track recorder. TOP

1978...TASCAM introduced its most functional and professional mixer up to that point in its history, the Model 15. There were two versions: (16-in, 8-out) and (24-in, 8-out). The Model 15 had a width of 61.5 inches, a shipping weight of almost 400 pounds and was priced at $7,500...substantially less than its nearest competitor boasting similar features. TOP

- The Model 5B mixer incorporated a new Integrated Circuit (IC) chip which was four times faster than the previous Model 5 and offered a cleaner sound.

1979...TASCAM unveiled the 90-16, a 1", 16-track multitrack recorder with 16 channels of dbx. This was TASCAM's first 1", 16-track recorder. Its inception paved the way for the genesis of more 16-track studios than ever before, many of which also installed the Model 15 mixers. Designed for ease of operation, the 90-16 featured one button operation which could simultaneously switch three interrelated tape functions: tape/source, playback/record and dbx decode/encode functions. At the time every other 16-track recorder was using 2" tape.

- 1979 also saw the introduction of a product called the TEAC 124 Syncaset. The key to its success was that its Simul-Sync feature gave musicians the ability to do sound-on-sound on a standard stereo cassette. A musician could listen to one track and overdub on the other at the same time. The 124 carried the TEAC brand name but was marketed by TASCAM's sales organization.

THE PORTASTUDIO makes history

- In 1979, TASCAM unveiled the TEAC 144 Portastudio, the world's first 4 track recorder based on a standard cassette tape. Priced at only $1,100 suggested retail, the 144 brought unprecedented quality, economy and portability within the reach of every serious musician. The 144 Portastudio was a revolutionary creative tool. It allowed musicians the ability to record any number of instrumental and vocal parts on different tracks of the built-in 4 track recorder and later blend all the parts together while transferring them to another standard 2-channel stereo tape deck (remix and mixdown) to form a stereo recording.

TEAC-UK product planner Andy Bereza and Dr. Abe had a unique understanding for the way musicians thought, performed and orchestrated their music. Members of Dr. Abe's core engineering team in Japan were often referred to as "The Black Gang". It was often said that Dr. Abe had a unique knack for motivating not only his core team, but also all those who worked with him in Japan and America. Another individual who made a valuable contribution to the development of the Portastudio was an outside consultant by the name of d*** Rossmini.

At this time, TEAC was the only company in the world capable of making a record/erase head small enough to record and play back on 4 individual tracks of a standard audio cassette.

When the Portastudio was first introduced in New York at the AES show held at the Waldorf Astoria hotel, it was hailed by Billboard magazine and Pro Sound News as being the most revolutionary audio product to hit the marketplace. In the ensuing decade, the Portastudio would provide unparalleled career opportunities for the serious musician and greatly influence the course of popular recorded music in the world. (The title track from the Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band album, was used for comparison at TASCAM's 4 track Portastudio demonstration. The original Beatles album was recorded on 2 AMPEX 4 track recorders.) Spectators were amazed that the Portastudio, in its seemingly small and unassuming package, could faithfully reproduce each of the 4 tracks, separately or together.

Portastudio became a trademark of the TEAC Corporation. The term Portastudio has become a household name among musicians. Despite a growing number of competing multitrack formats and technologies, the Portastudio remains the most popular multitrack recorder in the history of audio recording. Over 20 years since its introduction, thousands and thousands of musicians and songwriters purchase and use Portastudios to capture the creative moment. Over one million TASCAM Portastudios have been sold since 1979!

1979 (cont.)... TEAC introduced the A3440S 1/4 inch multitrack, an upgraded 4- track open reel recorder. Even thought the A3440S had the TEAC brand name, it was sold by the TASCAM sales organization through music stores. TOP

1980...By 1980, TASCAM had begun designing recording products for new applications, and Dave Oren spearheaded the design teams for developing a cassette deck suitable for the professional broadcast and recording markets.

- TASCAM introduced the 122 cassette deck. The 122 was TASCAM's first professional, rack mounted, 3-head cassette deck with 2 speeds (1 7/8 and 3 3/4). A year after the product was first introduced, NBC standardized their entire operation using the TASCAM 122. The reason NBC made the change was because the 122 had all the capabilities for adjustments and spectacular performance characteristics, and no changes had been made to the product since its introduction into the marketplace. Aided by NBC's practical endorsement of the TASCAM 122, ABC and CBS followed, and before long the 122 became the industry standard. TOP

1981... TASCAM introduced the SYSTEM 20, a mixing system configured as a modular system. One only bought the component they needed and then connected the different modules together via cables. Unlike traditional consoles that were internally wired, assignments for the System 20 were configured using RCA cables via the external RCA outputs and inputs. The System 20 was one of the best learning systems for mixing ever developed.

- The model 22-4 was introduced, TASCAM's first inexpensive 4 track recorder using 7" reels. Also unveiled was the model 22-2, TASCAM's first inexpensive 2 track recorder using 7" reels.

- TASCAM introduced the 85-16 multitrack, nicknamed by the market as the "Flamingo" because of its orange legs...the result of miscommunication between the marketing dept. and R&D engineers. However, this did not deter customers because, as a 1" 16 track recorder with 16 channels of dbx, the 85-16 was the best value in the marketplace. The 85-16 was not only an improvement on the earlier 90-16, it was also 25% less expensive. TOP

1982... TASCAM introduced its second large format mixer, the Model 16 (16x8x16). The combination of TASCAM's Model 16 mixer and TASCAM's 85-16 recorder solidified TASCAM's position in the 16-track recording business.

In 1982 the 80-8 had run into too many applications conflicts. Although the product was considered a "workhorse" by the industry, it was not able to properly serve both the upper end 8-track market and the entry-level 8-track market at the same time. As a result, two new products emerged: the TASCAM 38 and the TASCAM 58.TOP

1983...TASCAM introduced the 30 series recorders. The TASCAM 38 was a 1/2", 8-track, 10 1/2" reel-to-reel recorder. Introductory price was under $3,000. The 38 filled a niche for the serious entry level recordist. The TASCAM 34 was a 4 track recorder with full frequency response in Sync Mode at an inexpensive price. The TASCAM 32 was a half track master recorder/reproducer using 1/4" tape.

- The TASCAM 58 and 58-OB were TASCAM's first +4dB multitrack recorders and were specifically targeted at serious production professionals. Later that year TASCAM introduced the TASCAM 52 1/4" 2-channel half-track mastering and broadcast on air recorder/reproducer. They also introduced the M-30, the replacement for the Model 3. The new model 30 included parametric EQ and phono preamps. The model M-35, an 8-in, 4-out, 8 monitor (8x4x2) mixer, offered modular construction and the option of adding the model M-35EX expansion module. The M-35EX gave expansion capability up to 28 inputs.

- The TASCAM M-50 was a 12 input, 8-buss mixer with 2 independent aux systems.

- The TASCAM M-16 was a mixer with 16 inputs, 8 outputs, and a 16-channel monitor section. This board was made in either a 16 input or 24 input configuration, a real flexible mixer that you could buy it with 16 inputs and then add modules later to increase the inputs to 24.

- Following the success of the 122, TASCAM targeted the multi-image market with the model 133, a professional 3 track cassette deck specialty product with 2 tracks of stereo audio and a cue track. The 133 was a huge success and dominated the multi-image production and presentation market.

- The TASCAM 234 Syncaset was the first 4-track rackmountable cassette recorder/reproducer with dbx and 3 3/4 IPS tape speed. TOP

1984...The TASCAM 225 Syncaset was the next generation 2 track, 4 channel cassette deck. It was priced at $350.

- TASCAM introduced its first battery operated (4 track) portable studio, the PORTA ONE MINISTUDIO, which operated on both AC power and D cell batteries. The PORTA ONE MINISTUDIO could record 4 tracks on a standard audio cassette.

- TASCAM introduced the M-512 and M-520 audio production mixing consoles. These were TASCAM's first cost-effective balanced consoles. They came in two input configurations...12 x 8 and 20 x 8. These were priced starting at $3,995 suggested retail.

- TASCAM introduced the model 244, the second generation Portastudio and the first featuring dbx noise reduction along with 2-band, 4-knob sweepable EQ.

- The TASCAM 40 series included the 42-NB 1/4" 2-track 2 channel half track mastering and broadcast on-air recorder/reproducer, the 44-OB 1/4" 4-track recorder/reproducer with 10 1/2" reels and 15 IPS, and the 48-OB 1/2" 8 track 8 channel recorder/reproducer with SMPTE interlock capability.

- The TASCAM 300 series mixers consisted of the M-308 a (8 x 4 x 8), the M-312 a (12 x 4 x 8), and the M-320 a (20 x 4 x 8) mixer.

- The TASCAM M-106 was the first rackmountable production audio mixing console (6 x 4 x 4) featuring six input channels with selectable mic, line or tape inputs, four channels with RIAA phono inputs and two aux sends. TOP

1985...TASCAM introduced a historic new invention, the TASCAM 388 Studio. The 388 was the first 8 track (8x8), 1/4" reel-to-reel multitrack tape recorder and mixer combination ever. The unit used a 7" reel of 1/4" tape and had an auto stop feature so it functioned just like a standard cassette for the user. The 388 was also SMPTE capable and had 8 tracks of dbx noise reduction. Its list price was under $4,000.

- The TASCAM ATR-60 Series. The ATR-60's were engineered for those who made their living with recorders. All six models shared a design philosophy stressing function over flash...efficiency paced by the right balance of features without excess. Refined and tempered by experience and materials to meet the harshest and most demanding environments with poise, speed, and tenacity, the ATR-60's were at home in any audio or video production facility.

ATR-60/2N Professional 1/4" 2 channel half-track recorder.
ATR-60/2T Professional 1/4" 2 channel half-track with center track time code.
ATR-602HS Professional 1/2" 2 channel half-track mastering recorder
ATR-60/4HS Professional 1/2" 4 channel mastering recorder
ATR-60/8 Professional 1/2" 8 channel 8-track production recorder
ATR-60/16 Professional 1" 16 channel 16-track production recorder

- The TASCAM 200 series mixers. Sound reinforcement, studio recording, broadcast and video production is what the TASCAM 200 series was built for. They were available in three models.

M-208 (8x4x2)
M-216 (16x4x2)
M-224 (24x4x2)


1986...TASCAM introduced its first cassette duplicator and slave units, the T-2620MS, T-26202S, T-2640MS and T-26402S.

- TASCAM added new models to enhance the profession lineup of cassettes decks. The TASCAM 112 was a basic 2-head machine that fully maintained the professional quality performance, stability and reliability of the top-of-the-line 122MKII. The TASCAM 112R was the deck of choice for professional applications requiring extended playback and record capability. The 112R was an auto reverse cassette deck using the unique symmetrical bi-directional transport with super-acculign rotating head.

- The TASCAM 246 replaced the 244. It allowed the recording of all four channels at once, and had six inputs instead of just four. It also allowed the option of running the cassette at double speed or at the normal speed of 1 7/8 IPS. TOP

1987...TASCAM introduced the MS-16, its first 16-track multitrack recorder with SMPTE. With a price point of under $8,000, and the addition of SMPTE, this 15 IPS recorder strengthened TASCAM's position in the 1" 16 track audio market.

- TASCAM introduced its first 2", 24-track recorder, the ATR-80/24. This multitrack was configured for +4 (in and out). The first A/B test of the ATR-80/24 was performed against the two most popular manufacturers of 2" recorders, MCI and Otari, at Lion's Share Recording Studios in Los Angeles. In performance specs and audio quality the ATR-80/24 equaled both the Otari and the MCI recorders in every respect.

- The TASCAM M-600 Series mixing consoles were developed in response to popular demand for TASCAM quality in a larger console designed specifically for the professional recording environment. The result was a high-performance console that offered broad mixing control and versatility while at the same time being remarkably compact and easy to use. 24 and 32 input channel versions were available.

- The 122MKII continued TASCAM's leadership in the professional cassette market. The new features included Dolby HX PRO, the ability to locate, a zero return function, and pitch control.

- TASCAM introduced the CD-501, the best CD player available featuring ZD circuitry, dual D/A convertors, on-the-fly programming, and balanced XLR outputs at a suggested retail of $1,095.

- TASCAM introduced the PORTA 05 self-contained 4 in/2 out production 4-track system, a truly compact, convenient creative companion.

- TASCAM introduced the PORTA TWO, a battery-powered, self-contained 4-track recorder with 6-input mixer and effects buss. TOP

1988... TASCAM introduced its first synchronizer, the ES 50, along with the ES 51 controller.

- The TASCAM MSR-16 was a 16-track that recorded on 1/2" tape. The MSR-16 was a remarkable recording machine that made first-class performance and features available in a convenient format. The MSR-16 ran at both low (7.5 IPS) and high (15 IPS) speeds. TOP

1989... TASCAM introduced its first 8-track, 8-channel cassette decks, the 238 Syncaset® and the 238S Syncaset® with Dolby S Noise Reduction. These models marked the introduction of Dolby technology into TASCAM products.

- TASCAM introduced its first DAT recorder, the DA-5O R-DAT. This recorder had a rotary head, as opposed to a stationary head (S DAT). The unit originated out of TEAC's special high end products division. It was reengineered for TASCAM's use in their professional audio division. The DA-5O paved the way for the highly successful line of TASCAM DAT recorders.

- TASCAM introduced its first 4 track, 4 channel PORTASTUDIO with MIDI capabilities, the 644 MIDISTUDIO (list price $1,499). Music magazines in the industry hailed the unit in such a positive light that sales skyrocketed. Its success paved the way for the TASCAM 688 MIDISTUDIO (shipped later that same year), which boasted 8 tracks and 8 channels and a 20 input mixer, all for $3,299.

- TASCAM introduced the M700, a 40x32 mixer. This was TASCAM's first mixer featuring built-in automation. The mixer had the familiarity of a traditional console and performed like more expensive consoles. It was dubbed the baby SSL. (A fader package was introduced at a later date.)

- The TASCAM 102 was a cost effective 2-head stereo mixdown cassette deck. The 102 featured Dolby HX PRO, B, and C noise reduction.

- The TASCAM 103 was a cost effective 3-head stereo mixdown cassette deck. The 103 also featured Dolby HX PRO, B, and C noise reduction.

- The TASCAM 202WR was the first dual-well stereo cassette deck that offered the musician a cost-effective method of both dubbing copies and mixing down tracks.

- The TASCAM 3030 represented a cost effective approach to broadcast two track audio production. The 3030 had a 4 head system --- 2 track, 2-channel erase, record reproduce and 4-track 2-channel reproduce. The 3030 also had mic inputs for simple direct voice-over spot production.

- The TASCAM MTS-1000 was a sophisticated synchronization device allowing MIDI sequencers or other MIDI devices to be precisely synchronized to SMPTE-based recording equipment. It would also allow you to lock up two tape machines.

- The TASCAM TSR-8 was an 8-track recorder using 1/2" tape on 10 1/2" reels with the ability to synchronize to other machines using the MTS1000 or the ES-50/ ES-51.

- The TASCAM CD-401 was a rackmountable CD player with XLR balanced outputs and optional remote control.

- The TASCAM CD-701 was a professional CD player with XLR outputs and first frame audio cue. TOP

1990... TASCAM introduced its first 1" 24 track recorder, the MSR-24 for an unheard of price of $13,999.

- TASCAM introduced the DA-30, a 2 track DAT master recorder for $1,899. With DAT rapidly becoming the mastering format of choice for the music industry, the DA-30 quickly became an industry standard.

- TASCAM introduced its first DASH multitrack, the DA-800/24 with S/PDIF-2 digital I/O. This was a cooperative developmental effort between TEAC (TASCAM), SONY and PANASONIC in an effort to standardize SONY's existing 24 track DASH format.

- TASCAM introduced the M-3700, a 24x8 recording console with a choice of either dynamic or snapshot VCA automation.

- The TASCAM M-3500 was an 8-buss console with in-line monitoring. The M-3500 was available in two different frame sizes to accommodate 24 and 32 channel configurations, and three standard models were available. TOP

1991... The DA-P20 was TASCAM's first portable DAT machine. The product sold out overnight and proved that that the portable DAT was an important new category.

- The TASCAM CD-601 was a professional CD player with XLR outputs.

- The TASCAM M2500 Series was an 8-buss recording console with in-line monitoring and MIDI mute automation. The M2500 series included the 24-input M-2524 and the 16-input M-2516.

- The TASCAM M1000 Series were live performance stereo mixers. The M1000 series included the 16-input M1016 and the 24-input the M1024.

- The TASCAM 1500 Series were 4-buss recording consoles with 8 directly assignable outputs. The M1500 series included an 8-input version, the M1508, and a 16-input version, the M1516.

- The TASCAM 202MKII was a dual transport, twin record dubbing deck. TOP

1993... TASCAM introduced the legendary DA-88 DTRS modular digital multitrack recorder. This still popular digital 8-track recorder was the first modular digital multitrack recorder to utilize the Hi-8 mm format. With the introduction of the SY-88 synchronizer card (time code reader/generator) a few months later the DA-88 became a standard in film/video post production, and eventually, in the music production market as well.

- The TASCAM DA-60 was a 4-head DAT recorder able to lock to time code with the addition of an optional sync card.

- The TASCAM PORTA-07 was a 4-input, 4-track cassette recorder.

- The TASCAM 122MKIII was an upgrade of the highly successful model 122MKII. The 122MKIII incorporated a new and improved transport assembly. TOP

1994... TASCAM introduced the DA-P1, which today remains a standard in professional portable DAT recorders.

- The TASCAM MM100 and MM200 were keyboard mixers with 16 line inputs and stereo outputs plus four effects sends. The MM200 was the same as the MM100 except it had MIDI patching and built-in BBE processing.

- The TASCAM M5000 was a sophisticated production mixer which was available with automation (M5000MFA). It was a 24-buss I/O console that was expandable to 40 inputs. It was sold complete with integral patch bays and stand.

- The TASCAM M2600 Series were 8-buss recording consoles with in-line monitoring. The M2600 series included the 32 input M-2600/32, 24-input M-2600/24, and the 16-input M-2600/16. TOP

1995... TASCAM introduced its first Mini Disc recorder/player, the MD-801R, along with the "play only" MD-801P.

- The TASCAM CD201 was a rackmountable CD player with cue to music.

- The TASCAM 302 was introduced and is still highly popular today. The 302 is a double auto-reverse bi-directional cassette deck containing two fully independent cassette decks housed in a 3U rackmountable enclosure. Each deck is capable of recording individually of simultaneously, and each deck contains its own discrete set of interface connectors, transport controls keys, noise reduction functions, and LED peak meters.

- The TASCAM M-2600MKII Series was an upgrade of the M-2600 series, providing the additional ability to add a meter bridge and switchable -10dBv or +4 dBm signal levels for tape in and group outputs.

- The TASCAM DA-20 was a very economical 3U rackmountable DAT recorder with wireless remote control.

- The TASCAM M-1600 Series were 8-buss recording consoles with in line monitoring. The M1600 series included the 16 input M-1600/16 and the 24-input M-1600/24.

- The TASCAM DA-60MKII was introduced and remains popular today. The DA-60MKII is an upgraded version of the DA-60 with an improved servo system that allows continuous time code recording in the assemble mode. It also has an improved signal to noise ratio, extended dynamic range and a built in chase lock synchronizer supporting Sony P2 protocol.

- The TASCAM CD-305 was introduced and still remains popular today. It is a rack mountable CD changer that will hold five CD's.

- The TASCAM M-08 was introduced. Still popular today, the M-08 is a compact utility mixer with 4 mono and 4 stereo inputs, XLR balanced mic inputs and 2 band EQ.

- The hugely popular TASCAM DA-38 was introduced. Still a best-seller, the DA-38 is an 8 track DTRS digital audio recorder which does not feature the time code ability of the DA-88 and DA-98. TOP

1997... TASCAM introduced the 564, the first Mini Disc multitrack DIGITAL PORTASTUDIO.

- TASCAM introduced the DA-98, an 8 track DTRS recorder utilizing the same Hi-8 mm format as the DA-88. Now an industry standard, the DA-98 is a more sophisticated version of the DA-88, with the addition of confidence monitoring and built-in synchronization capability. The DA-98 has been specifically designed to meet the exacting requirements of the high end film/video post production market.

- TASCAM introduced its first digital mixer, the 40x8 TM-D8000.

- TASCAM introduced the still popular DA-302, the world's first dual DAT deck.TOP

1998... TASCAM introduced the widely respected and still popular MMR-8, its first random-access, hard-disk digital multitrack recorder, and winner of the 1999 Post Magazine "Multitrack Recorder of the Year" award. The MMP-16 16-track "play only" version was introduced several months later.

- TASCAM introduced the still hugely popular TM-D1000, the world's first digital mixer with a "street price" under $1,000. Featuring a wide variety of analog and digital I/O, built-in dynamics and effects processing, snapshot automation, and a host of other features, the TM-D1000 has been recognized for its versatility as evidenced by the wide variety of applications end-users have found for it...multi-track recording, multitrack mixdown, mixing live sound, MIDI system mixing, sound-for-video mixing, hardware control of computer-based recording, etc...$1,299 list.

- TASCAM introduced the still popular DA-45HR, the world's first 24-bit R-DAT recorder, and winner of the PAR (Pro Audio Review magazine) Excellence, Studio Sound (magazine), and Key Buy (Keyboard magazine) awards for recording innovation...$2,165 list.

- TASCAM introduced the CD-R400W and CD-R400M, its first computer CD burner bundles for both the Wintel and Macintosh platforms....$630 list.

- TASCAM introduced the hugely popular CD-A500, an amazingly low cost CD player and auto-reverse cassette combination deck...$430 list.TOP

1999...(January) TASCAM introduces the enormously popular CD-RW5000, its first stand-alone CD-R and CD-RW recorder...$1,299 list.

- (January) TASCAM introduces the popular CD-D4000, its first personal CD duplicator...$1,299 list.

- (July) TASCAM introduces the CD-R624W and CD-R624M, the world's first CD burner bundles that enable the end-user to create MP-3 files...$749 list.

- (September) At AES, TASCAM introduces the MX-2424, the world's first 24-track, 24-bit HD recorder, priced at a mere $3999 list. Offering high-resolution recording, full editing capabilities, time-code generating and chasing and a flexible I/O structure, the MX-2424 set a new standard for the next millenium. (For detailed information on the MX-2424, go to the MX-2424 page.)

- TASCAM introduces the DA-78HR, the world's first 24-bit MDM. Fully compatible with all other DTRS recorders, the DA-78HR allowed users to add 24-bit capability to their existing systems. TOP

2000...Recognizing the fact that many musicians and studios were turning to software-based recording tools, TASCAM partnered with Frontier Design Group to apply their hardware expertise to this growing market. The result was the US-428, announced at the Winter NAMM show. The US-428 was crated with two purposes: first, as a high-quality audio and MIDI interface for computer audio. But the US-428 also offered the innovative capability of providing faders and knobs that gave real-time control over the software interface. For the first time, computer-oriented musicians and composers would not have to use a mouse to perform all needed adjustments to their mixes.

- TASCAM enters a whole new product market with the CD-302, a dual CD player designed for DJs. It marks the start of a new subdivision of the company - TASCAM DJ - that will go on to include a variety of popular, innovative tools for this exciting form of music creation. The CD-302 was the very first CD player with a scratch emulation, so that DJs who were accustomed to the sound and performance capabilities of vinyl could use it without sacrificing this important aspect of DJing.

- At the Summer NAMM show in Nashville, TASCAM introduced the 788, a hard disk version of their famous Portastudio products. The 788 Digital Portastudio featured an internal hard disk as its recording medium, with a slew of features that could not have been accomplished in the cassette Portastudio format (built-in effects, copy/paste digital editing and much more). Quickly becoming a wildly popular part of the TASCAM line, the 788 was TASCAM's first foray into the field of integrated digital recording tools.

2001...The DM-24, which TASCAM accurately billed as "the world's most powerful small format digital mixer ever made", was shown to the public at the NAMM show. The DM-24 was the first affordable digital mixer with 96kHz digital capabilities, and offered luxury console features like touch-sensitive motorized faders, LED ring encoders, built-in effects by TC Works and Antares, and an incredibly powerful internal automation system. Perfect for standalone hard disk systems like the DM-24 as well as mixing control of DAW applications, the DM-24 went on to become one of TASCAM's most popular mixing tools ever made.

- At the NAB show in Las Vegas, TASCAM announced the DS-D98. Designed at the bequest of Sony and based on TASCAM's DTRS recorders, the DS-D98 is the world's first tape-based recorder designed for Direct Stream Digital encoding, the basis of Sony's Super Audio CD (SACD) playback format. This technology records audio signals at a high sampling frequency of 2.8224 MHz, and converts them to 1-bit data for unprecedented sonic quality without the decimation and interpolation stages associated with conventional PCM technology.

- In May, at the AES show in Amsterdam, TASCAM displayed one of their most technologically advanced products ever, the SX-1 Digital Production Environment. A recording and composing workstation unlike any created before it, the SX-1 combined digital mixing, hard disk recording, MIDI sequencing, CD burning, sophisticated audio/MIDI editing and a huge variety of interfaces. Designed for music composition, recording studios, surround sound production, broadcast production and more, the SX-1 represented a huge cooperative engineering project between TASCAM's teams in Palo Alto (CA), Iruma Japan and partners such as TimeLine Vista.

- TASCAM also introduced the CD-RW4U, an affordable desktop-based CD recorder, the MD-350, a MiniDisc recorder with improved data compression technology, and the CD-A630, a combination cassette deck and triple-CD player, early in 2001.

- Later that year, TASCAM shocked the world of DJ performance tools with the introduction of the X-9 Digital DJ Mixer. More than just a standard mixer, the X-9 represented a brand new type of tool - the DJ production solution, with built-in effects, samplers and advanced sonic manipulation features.

TASCAM Gets Giga!

A special sidebar in 2001 was TASCAM's acquisition of NemeSys Music Technologies of Austin, Texas. NemeSys had been the creator of GigaSampler and GigaStudio, a revolutionary software-based sampler for PCs. Already in use by thousands of professional composers and musicians, Giga was the first tools that allowed samples to be streamed off a computer's hard drive instead of being limited to RAM storage. This patented technology, which was the only one to operate at the kernel level of a PC's architecture, allowed for samples up to 4GB in size.

The original founders of Giga in Austin remained with the TASCAM organization to continue developing the Giga platform, and became TASCAM's Austin Research Center for engineering.

An interesting side note: TASCAM was preparing for the Summer NAMM show in Nashville while the final details of the acquisition of NemeSys were taking place. TASCAM had already scheduled a press conference to announce this important milestone to the world on July 20, 2001. Fortunately, the final negotiations were settled in the afternoon of July 19, less than 24 hours before the announcement. Talk about late-breaking news!

- 2001 also marked the debut of the CC-222, a product that was spearheaded by TEAC Corporation of America's president Jimmy Yamaguchi. The CC-222 was the first combination CD recorder and cassette deck that offered RIAA equalized phono inputs, allowing for easy burning of CDs from vinyl LPs.

- The fall of 2001, a busy year in TASCAM product development, had the introduction of the MX-2424SE, a special model of the MX-2424 that featured a built-in removable disk drive in the front panel. Also, TASCAM premiered the CD-RW402, a dual-CD recorder/player duplicator meant for small record labels, bands and musicians.

2002...- The Winter NAMM show of 2002 was one of the biggest shows in TASCAM's history. There in Anaheim, California, TASCAM unveiled nine new products, the most at any single show in the company's history.

- The most eagerly received product was the introduction of the Pocketstudio 5. Drawing upon the qualities that made the original Portastudios so well accepted, the Pocketstudio 5 added a high-tech angle to the act of capturing creativity on the spot by using Compact Flash as it recording medium. It also offered several tools never before found on a small integrated recording system, including an internal MIDI synth module, a USB port and the ability to mix songs down in MP3 format.

- The CD-D1x4, an affordable cascadable multi-CD duplicator, was shown at NAMM of 2002.

- Five of the new products marked TASCAM's true commitment to the DJ product market. Their five new DJ mixers (XS-3, XS-4, XS-8, X-15 and X-17) were designed to expand the range of TASCAM DJs to accommodate everyone from bedroom scratch DJs to professional mobile DJs.

- The US-224, a "little brother" for the US-428, was also premiered. The US-224 not only represented an incredibly affordable tool for computer interfacing and control, but since it was self-powered via USB, it was also the most portable control surface made.

- In showing their continued commitment to the Giga product line, TASCAM introed GigaStudio 32, a low-cost solution for people wanting to get into the power of Giga.

The Future

No one in the world can truly predict with complete accuracy the direction of technological innovation in any industry. TASCAM remains full of inspired visionaries that truly care about the direction of the music and audio products industries, and our plans for the short- and long-term future are bright. TASCAM will expand its presence into areas that allow its current expertise in hardware design to shine, as well as brand new areas that are being developed by leveraging all of its new technologies in software and hardware-based digital audio.

In other words, if you're wondering who the next leader in the world of music and audio solutions will be, you don't have to look far. TASCAM has been on top for nearly 30 years, and that's where we'll remain.

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Even with all that history stated about Tascam, it was crooked, stupid and plain greedy for more money that the company did NOT include ALL the correct BIOS/CMOS sys configs for their X-48 HDD recorder. The ONE piece of info that really should have been in the orig manuals in 2008 were excluded ! F-'ed up guys and as an original owner who also bought the analog cards it has been a nightmare when this recorder screws up. The only thing at the Cali plant they said was "We don't know what to tell you" !! I am extremely cautious about buying any more taSCAM gear! a full time Producer/Engineer
Nice compilation! What I really miss from the content is Tascams cooperation with other manufacturers like Ampex, Sony.. I am interested in the Ampex ATR800, which is said to be built by Tascam on Ampex order, and marketing guidance. In Ampex groups it is too much Tascam, and they dont give much info. Anyone knows soemone who worked on this model back that time?
There was also a very specific product not mentioned here that was used by many professional sound editors and color correction facilities. The Tascam DS-M7.1 DIGITAL SURROUND SOUND MONITOR CONTROLLER, Loaded with powerful features at a terrific price-point! <<< A comprehensive surround sound channel monitoring capabilities, in film, video and music production, post production, mastering, and theatre sound applications. The powerful 24/96 capable, 8-channel unit>>> Tascam needed to see immediate sales and this type of product takes time to get it's audience. As 5.1 and 7.1 edit rooms became more popular, the demand for this product became evident. But by that time, Tascam had pulled the plug....Kinda what Sony does with their microphones. We still use one in our Digital Cinema Mastering room. Oh and I do have here in my office, a very early Tascam Series 70 1/2" 4 track recorder. And I also used a US-428 with a laptop an early Nuendo DAW as an effects processor for "live" guitar work.
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Amazing device. Thanks for posting that @Jay P.

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