Magazine article Guitar Player

Tascam Pocketstudio 5 Version 2.04

Magazine article Guitar Player

Tascam Pocketstudio 5 Version 2.04

Article excerpt

Beginning with the original Tascam Porta-Studio introduced nearly a quarter-of-a-century ago, portable recording studios have become increasingly compact, while simultaneously sporting ever-larger feature sets and ever-smaller price tags. So where will it all end? Nuclear-powered 48-bit/192kHz recorders the size of Star Trek communicators packing unlimited tracks, SSL console emulations, and miniature cloned accompanists?

While the Tascam Pocketstudio 5 ($449 retail/$299 street) doesn't quite fit that description, it is impressive--and the V.2.04 software update adds some significant new functions, such as a metronome tool, mp3 playlists, SMF and MIDI Pattern key changes, built-in marker names, improved editing features, and support for Mac OS X (as well as OS 9.0 add Windows ME/98SE/2000/XP). Designed for entry-level recordists, songwriters, and musicians who wish to do their own arrangements--particularly guitarists--the Pocketstudio 5 packs a 4-track audio recorder, an internal stereo mixdown recorder, five independent effects processors, a 64-note polyphonic MIDI tone generator (with 100 editable song styles/backing tracks), and much more into a diminutive and inexpensive package. But the Pocketstudio 5 is no toy--it boasts 24-bit internal DSP, a 44.1kHz sampling rate, 16-bit A/D/A converters, relatively sophisticated audio and MIDI editing capabilities, remarkably convincing reverbs and more than 100 other effects (including a handful of amp models), a MIDI In jack, and a USB interface (for transferring files to and from a computer, and updating software).

The Pocketstudio 5 utilizes the popular mp3 format for both tracking and mixdown, and backs up to removable Compact-Flash cards (or to a computer). The included 32MB card provides approximately 10 minutes of four-track recording/mixdown, but you can use up to 128MB cards for additional recording time. …

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