We were a bit stunned when we first saw pictures of the Tascam Model 24 multi-track live recording console. Wooden side panels! Gain pots! Analogue EQ! And it looks sooooo 70s! After the shock of the retro cool wore off, we dug into the specs. This is an amazing bit of kit that we didn’t know we needed, and now are totally in love with it.
While looking like it’s straight outta analogue, the Model 24 functions as a live desk, recorder, and USB 2.0 DAW interface all at the same time, and looks good doing it. The recorder covers the 22 input channels plus stereo mix, putting down 44.1/48 kHz, 16/24 bit WAVs directly to SD, SDHC, or SDXC (up to 128GB) cards, which are cheap as chips and rock-solid. There’s a stereo Bluetooth connection for walk-in music from your mobile. Try THAT on an analogue board.
All the I/O is on the surface, and the controls are totally self-explanatory – 12 mono input channels with XLR or TRS ins, with channels 1 and 2 also sporting a TRS insert point. 13 to 20 are four stereo input channels, but you can run a mic in via XLR. 21/22 can take RCA, 3.5mm jack or Bluetooth stereo. The 12 mono ins give you a high pass filter, 3 band semi-parametric with sweepable mid, and a ‘one knob’ compressor, while the stereo channels get a high-pass and 3 band fixed EQ. Each channel has a ‘Routing Mode’ switch, which selects between live, USB, or SD card input. The high-pass and compressors sit before the Routing Mode switch so you can apply them to the track being recorded.
For live work, there’s a seven band stereo graphic EQ you can drop over your mains or monitors. A stereo FX processor is built in, with 16 presets including reverb, delay, chorus, and flanging. There’s XLR and ¼-inch outputs for the stereo bus, two ¼-inch monitor sends, an effects send, stereo control room outputs, and a stereo ¼-inch headphone monitor output.
The Tascam Model 24 is going to be equally at home in live venues and project studios. It’s sonic heritage, amazing looks, and old-school interface are sure to put a big goofy grin on the face of any engineer who has the pleasure to mix and record with one!