New App Turns iPad Into TASCAM Portastudio Audio Recorder

iPad Music Software: Portastudio (App Store link) is a new $9.99 iPad app that turns an iPad into a virtual TASCAM Portastudio.

This raises the question: does it make sense to based the user interface of a modern multi-touch digital audio recorder on a nearly 30 year-old hardware design?

Here’s what TASCAM has to say about it:

TASCAM’s Portastudio brings 30 years of easy-to-use home recording to your iPad. Based on the PORTA ONE recorder that revolutionized recording in 1984, the Portastudio app records up to four tracks with a vintage vibe.

Record one track at a time using the built-in mic or a headset microphone connection, monitoring on authentic VU meters. A cassette transport with position counter tracks your position while you mix with level, pan and EQ controls. When you’re ready to mix, the built-in mixdown function saves your song as a CD-quality WAV file. Your mix appears in iTunes when you’re finished, ready to share with friends and bandmates.

A generation of your favorite bands crafted their songs with Portastudios, now it’s your turn. Start capturing your songs with the company that invented home recording using Portastudio by TASCAM.

A backwards looking user-interface like this probably makes sense from a marketing standpoint and may offer immediate usability for people old enough to have experience with hardware Portastudios

But conforming modern apps to the limitations of a previous generation also seems like a lost opportunity to innovate and come up with original ideas for interacting with sound that might be more intuitive and powerful.

Check it out and let us know what you think!

The TASCAM Portastudio app was designed by Audio Damage’s Chris Randall. You can read his thoughts about the project at his blog.

Portastudio FAQs

There are a few items from the Portastudio FAQ that are worth reviewing, if you’re interested in the app.

  • The iPad does work with a few class-compliant audio interfaces through the Apple Camera Connection Kit. (No TASCAM interfaces work this way.) TASCAM doesn’t officially support this.
  • There’s no support for bouncing tracks.
  • There’s no support for exporting individual tracks.

via TASCAM Portastudio Unveiled for iPad

17 thoughts on “New App Turns iPad Into TASCAM Portastudio Audio Recorder

  1. TASCAM probably knows what they're doing.

    This does look like an incredibly dumb app – but they'll sell a lot of copies of it, just because people already know what a Portastudio is.

  2. TASCAM probably knows what they're doing.

    This does look like an incredibly dumb app – but they'll sell a lot of copies of it, just because people already know what a Portastudio is.

  3. TASCAM probably knows what they're doing.

    This does look like an incredibly dumb app – but they'll sell a lot of copies of it, just because people already know what a Portastudio is.

  4. TASCAM probably knows what they're doing.

    This does look like an incredibly dumb app – but they'll sell a lot of copies of it, just because people already know what a Portastudio is.

  5. TASCAM probably knows what they're doing.

    This does look like an incredibly dumb app – but they'll sell a lot of copies of it, just because people already know what a Portastudio is.

  6. TASCAM probably knows what they're doing.

    This does look like an incredibly dumb app – but they'll sell a lot of copies of it, just because people already know what a Portastudio is.

  7. I don't give a damn whether it makes sense; I had a 4-track Portastudio for all of my guitar demo work 20 years ago and the nostalgia factor alone is worth it.

  8. I don't give a damn whether it makes sense; I had a 4-track Portastudio for all of my guitar demo work 20 years ago and the nostalgia factor alone is worth it.

  9. I don't give a damn whether it makes sense; I had a 4-track Portastudio for all of my guitar demo work 20 years ago and the nostalgia factor alone is worth it.

  10. I don't give a damn whether it makes sense; I had a 4-track Portastudio for all of my guitar demo work 20 years ago and the nostalgia factor alone is worth it.

  11. I don't give a damn whether it makes sense; I had a 4-track Portastudio for all of my guitar demo work 20 years ago and the nostalgia factor alone is worth it.

  12. I don't give a damn whether it makes sense; I had a 4-track Portastudio for all of my guitar demo work 20 years ago and the nostalgia factor alone is worth it.

  13. I owned the original 144 Portastudio and wore out a record head, I used it so much. Too bad you can't bounce, that would be the ultimate nostalgia trip.

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