Old 06-03-2021, 08:46 AM   #1
karbomusic
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Default Thar She Blows - Tascam Model 24

I've had this for a couple weeks now. I got it because I do a lot of initial composing/writing with just my guitar/amp and pedal board with a couple of loopers. There usually becomes a phase where I need more (like vocals) but for a myriad of reasons, I do not want to move to a computer/DAW yet.

It eventually ends up in Reaper, but at least 60% of the time, it's just more efficient, simpler and faster to use old school dedicated hardware. I've been looking around for awhile and this unit really bridges the gap and adds some cool hybrid options:

1. My normal cadence of the looper/amp but mic'd into a track on the Tascam. I can then overdub and try things on ~24 tracks and really 'rough mix' to great extent.

2. I can haul it to a gig or rehearsal and use it as the PA mixer and record the full band live.

3. I can MTC it with Reaper - say I want a drum track from Reaper synced. My choices are keep it hybrid and I can copy the Tascam tracks into reaper later when it's far enough along and align with the drum track in Reaper. Or... I can record the drum mix coming from Reaper onto two tracks in the Tascam (I can do this via digital or analog).

4. I can set it as Reaper's ASIO interface. Take an existing Reaper project and set folders/groups or up to 20'ish tracks to feed into the Tascam tracks via ASIO hardware outputs. Since the mixer is all analog, it can be used as an analog summer/mixdown unit. This isn't high on my list but I did try it and it works. In this setup, I technically have the reaper track and any features FX etc. that then routes to the analog channel.

5. More hybrid stuff, I could technically set Reaper track inputs to Tascam ASIO outputs and flow in the other direction (or both). I don't have much reason to do this since I could as easily grab the files directly of the SD card and put in Reaper but it does offer various geeky creative options. There's more but these are the highlights I remember.

Other things I like...

- The per channel compressors are before the AD converter, they aren't great compressors but they can do what they are designed for which is to smooth out a highly dynamic peaky incoming signal.

- Except for the digital recorder, the entire unit is analog and very old school.

- If you ever had a PortaStudio et al back in the day, this is exactly like that workflow wise, warts and all. I wanted that though because it forces me to concentrate on the quality of the music and performance and most of all keeps the "millions of options, slice and dice" temptation off the table. This is a big one for me personally.

I could go on and on but thought I'd share. So far I'm loving it and it's super nice to be able to make a credible amount of music without having to move a &%* #*$&#$ mouse and deal with computer screens and app windows and god knows what LOL. /rant


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Old 06-03-2021, 09:30 AM   #2
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Considering the only difference between this and the 12 is MIDI in/out and the extra channels, and I'm not sure the MIDI is worth it, I'm thinking I shoulda got the 16 or 24 for future proofing. Its interesting that the mixer comes with a bunch of presets for all the major DAW's except Reaper. Not quite sure why that is?

OTOH, I'll probably under utilise the 12 as it is, so in reality it doesnt matter what I've bought

The only thing I think that limits the 12 is the lack of proper send/returns, as using stereo returns means not being able to use the inbuilt fx.

I hadnt considered the mixdown/summing thing you mention. It really does sound nicer than the Focusrite Saffire did (to my ears), and the all analog summing thing isnt something I've ever looked into before, being usually ITB. I'll consider this! Thanks!

Anyway, great write up. This range of mixers seems to be pretty classy to me, its surpassed my expectations for sure.
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Old 06-03-2021, 10:01 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by maxdembo View Post
Considering the only difference between this and the 12 is MIDI in/out and the extra channels, and I'm not sure the MIDI is worth it, I'm thinking I shoulda got the 16 or 24 for future proofing. Its interesting that the mixer comes with a bunch of presets for all the major DAW's except Reaper. Not quite sure why that is?
I'm pretty sure the mixer et al is all digital in the 12 and/or 16 but I'd need to confirm for the 16 as I can't remember. The 24 is literally an analog mixer with a digital recorder attached with some hybrid options. This is why the 12 can be a MIDI controller and the 24 cannot be a MIDI controller.

That's what I was looking for so I'm cool with that (amazed someone designed what I actually wanted for a change LOL) and FYI, pretty sure the analog summing thing won't be the same in the 12 because it's mixer is digital IIRC. So even though all three are from the same product, the 24 differs quite a bit from the other two.
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Old 06-03-2021, 10:19 AM   #4
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Interesting. I'm looking over the specs of all three but I cant see where that info is, or how it would be displayed.

Either way, its not something I'd considered until about 10 minutes ago so I can live without it

I felt the same when they released this btw! Seemed like the perfect device for my needs, just if the 16 had the MIDI option, I'd have gone for a few extra channels, but its not a big deal

Felt good to give my old mixer away too.
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Old 06-03-2021, 10:28 AM   #5
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Interesting. I'm looking over the specs of all three but I cant see where that info is, or how it would be displayed.
It's in various reviews on YT and I think in the block diagrams in the manuals. The feature pages sneakily imply it but omit saying it directly but it is so, the fact that the 24 can't be a MIDI controller is because the mixer section is fully analog instead of encoders etc.

Tascam 16: "All-In-One Mixing Studio"

Tascam 24: "The best of both worlds, the TASCAM Model 24 is a full featured 24 Track Digital Multitrack Recorder and 24 Channel USB Audio Interface with integrated Analog Mixdown capabilities. "

The term analog doesn't exist on the 12 or 16 feature lists - but that isn't a deal breaker - I'm sure most people prefer the controller/digital features vs me so they are just trying to cover all the bases me thinks. I just happened across it because the EQs etc. on the are analog and so on but again it's purely horses for courses here.
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Old 06-03-2021, 10:40 AM   #6
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It's in various reviews on YT and I think in the block diagrams in the manuals. The feature pages sneakily imply it but omit saying it directly but it is so, the fact that the 24 can't be a MIDI controller is because the mixer section is fully analog instead of encoders etc.

Tascam 16: "All-In-One Mixing Studio"

Tascam 24: "The best of both worlds, the TASCAM Model 24 is a full featured 24 Track Digital Multitrack Recorder and 24 Channel USB Audio Interface with integrated Analog Mixdown capabilities. "

The term analog doesn't exist on the 12 or 16 feature lists - but that isn't a deal breaker - I'm sure most people prefer the controller/digital features vs me so they are just trying to cover all the bases me thinks. I just happened across it because the EQs etc. on the are analog and so on but again it's purely horses for courses here.
Yeah, same, that sneaky wording is about all I could find as reference to it. The sneaky devils!
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Old 06-03-2021, 10:40 AM   #7
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Looks cool!

What's the attack and release on the compressors like? Is the EQ useable? And no solo buttons?
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Old 06-03-2021, 10:43 AM   #8
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A few differences listed here - https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/tascam-model-12

"Arguably the biggest ‘game changer’ is how you can deploy these processors. In the Model 24, the A‑D and D‑A converters were at a fixed point in the signal path, which limited how you could access the processing. For example, the compressors were always placed before the converters, which meant that you could record and mix live performances through them but couldn’t access or tweak them during playback. Similarly, the EQs always came after the converters, so you could mix through them but print the settings only in the stereo mix, not to the separate tracks in a multitrack recording. This has been ‘corrected’ in the Model 12: on each channel, you can choose via the Menu button and Multi Jog wheel to record the signal pre the compressor (ie. directly after the preamp, HPF and, on channels 1 and 2, the insert point), post the compressor but before the EQ, or post both the compressor and EQ. It’s a vast improvement, since the new routing options make possible so many different workflows."
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Old 06-03-2021, 11:23 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Judders View Post
Looks cool!

What's the attack and release on the compressors like? Is the EQ useable? And no solo buttons?
I have no idea on the compressor times as it doesn't appear to be published - I hear they are program dependent and not super fast per se - they sound to me not like character but more "use me sparingly to tame the incoming signal" as I haven't tested them much but slamming them didn't sound so great to me at least on bass and guitar. Light to moderate seemed OK though and better than not being able to at all on the way in IMHO.

I dig the EQ so it's useable and it sounds analog for sure. Yea, no solo, kind of annoying.

One cool feature I found by accident is if you have a channel live but forget to record enable it, hit record and think you are recording and you are not.... You can after the fact, "mix down" whatever was on the master at the time to a file and reimport that to a track. So this happened to me and I was able to print to a file, then import that back to the track that it should have been recorded to, had I not forgotten to record enable. That only worked because there weren't any other tracks playing FYI.

TLDR: if you click record on transport, it always records whatever is going through the master regardless, which is a nice thing to have. That's also how you would do an old school bounce down of several tracks, just an extra step to import.
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Old 06-03-2021, 11:31 AM   #10
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That sounds about right but the only place I would want a compressor on this unit for my usage is before the AD converters. By the time I'm doing anything fancy enough to compress after it's recorded, would be when I took what I had and imported into Reaper. And, AFAIK the 12/16 EQs are digital and the 24 analog but you might need to check behind me on that one.

Mainly, I have no intention of replacing Reaper at all, this is hybrid middle ground for all those times I'm better served not being on a computer/DAW. Stuff will most always end up in the DAW but there is an awful lot of stuff I can do before I need to futz with a mouse.
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Old 06-03-2021, 12:20 PM   #11
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Finally found the info listed...

https://www.tascamforums.com/threads...24-16-12.7968/

"The Model 12 operates 100% in the digital domain"

That would say youre correct about the EQ's etc.

Kinda wishing I'd got the 16 now, but I dont think it'll really matter to me much for the final product.

EDIT: "The Models 16 and 24 operate in the analog domain."
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Old 06-03-2021, 12:27 PM   #12
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Thanks for checking, and no I don't think there is any reason at all for you not purely enjoy the 12.
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Old 06-03-2021, 12:49 PM   #13
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Thanks for checking, and no I don't think there is any reason at all for you not purely enjoy the 12.
Tricky details to find indeed. Interesting the SoS review doesnt bring this up at all. Tascam themselves arent exactly up front with the entirely digital thing, but no matter
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Old 06-03-2021, 01:27 PM   #14
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Default Tascam Model 24 - Love it!

A buddy and I bought the Tascam Model 24 as well since he works much better focusing on the recording aspect in the analog domain - just watching him work it's so much faster than I could do it in the digital domain in Reaper - plus no worrying about running out of laptop battery, system crashes, etc. Recording new tracks is super-efficient too once you get the mechanics down. I didn't even consider using it as an analog summer; that's brilliant. Did I mention the ability to capture an entire band live? That alone is fantastic. Plus being able to just pop the SSD card out and into your laptop to pull into Reaper vs having to connect and import via USB is really convenient. The only thing I wish they added was the ability to record to two SSD cards at once just like your standard DSLR Cameras for the occasional SSD card that gets corrupted or dies.

If they were somehow able to keep all the analog components while letting you go into a different mode to use as a controller for Reaper, that would be absolutely fantastic. The only other thing that would really make this stand out is to be able to daisy chain multiples as Master-Slave to expand to 48 tracks or more. Currently, I don't think that is possible, but if anyone figured out how to do it, let us know!
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Old 06-03-2021, 02:03 PM   #15
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Tricky details to find indeed. Interesting the SoS review doesnt bring this up at all. Tascam themselves arent exactly up front with the entirely digital thing, but no matter
You might dig this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HC4Lu9Vdydk
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Old 06-03-2021, 02:07 PM   #16
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A buddy and I bought the Tascam Model 24 as well since he works much better focusing on the recording aspect in the analog domain - just watching him work it's so much faster than I could do it in the digital domain in Reaper
Since I "grew up" on cassette 4-Tracks I've always missed that simplicity but not missing some of the other limitations. I LOVE what DAWs give me, they aren't going anywhere and I still use them, but do I remember when I switched to DAWs in 1998, a number of things slowed down in comparison as far as just getting tracks and basic pre-pro stuff done.
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Old 06-05-2021, 09:03 AM   #17
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Really cool Karb.

Looking forward to hearing what you come up with using it.
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Old 06-10-2021, 08:49 PM   #18
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I wanted that though because it forces me to concentrate on the quality of the music and performance and most of all keeps the "millions of options, slice and dice" temptation off the table. This is a big one for me personally.
See, you screwed yourself by learning all those tricks that REAPER can do and now you're using that as an excuse to be a gear slut!

Seriously, that's a cool looking unit. I had a Tascam Model 3 that looked similar, but with fewer knobs and 100% analog. I never bothered to learn how to use any of REAPER's "helper" features, so I am forced by choice to record in REAPER similar to how you intend to use the Tascam.
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Old 06-11-2021, 01:49 PM   #19
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I've had this for a couple weeks now. I got it because I do a lot of initial composing/writing with just my guitar/amp and pedal board with a couple of loopers. There usually becomes a phase where I need more (like vocals) but for a myriad of reasons, I do not want to move to a computer/DAW yet.


Looks really cool Karbo.
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