Tascam makes brand new cassette tapes for their old 4-track recorders

Tascam knows that some musicians crave the “warm” quality of cassette recordings, and are willing to effectively revive dead technology for their needs. The company introduced the 424 Studio Master High Bias Type II Cassette designed for four-track Portastudio cassette recorders decades ago. Artists can record analog samples and beats without tracking down rare tapes and worrying about degradation.

The cassette is not exactly the same. Tascam said it is using existing magnetic oxides to produce tape as “closer as possible” to the material the Portastudios was supposed to use, but record owners still have to do some “fine tuning” to adapt to 2021-era tapes.

However, this isn’t just an appeal to nostalgia – in a sense, it’s all about preserving the analog cassette recording. Cassette production has been in oxide-deficient since 2019, after years of reviving the tape (which is still in progress). TASCAM notes that it is now the only company that makes High Bias Type II cassette tapes. Although there are already tapes on the market, they are rare and expensive.

Availability is only listed as ‘Coming Soon’. Nor will TASCAM cassettes satisfy creators who want truly new recorders to replace the declining supply of old hardware. This might be the next best thing, and it might come as a relief to Portastudio fans who don’t want to make the full leap into the digital world.

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