The last great cassette multitrack, the Tascam 688

My Tascam 688

Cassette 4-tracking was a considerable micro-culture during the 80s and early 90s. While a cassette doesn’t have the sonic range seen in digital equipment or in high-end tape machines, it does have a certain quality that’s hard to replicate. The pinnacle of cassette multi-tracking was the Tascam Midistudio 688. No slouch, this workhorse has produced hit songs and is well-regarded by those who can harness its power.

Tascam 688 Control Panel

The power of the Tascam 688 was also its curse. A quick look at the control panel gave the immediate urge to grab a manual. Nevertheless, once the muscle memory kicked in, the ability to work miracles with the 688 kicked in, too.

The most recognizable song recorded with the 688 was White Town’s “Your Woman” (in fact, the entire record Women In Technology was done on the machine).

If you’ve got your hands on one of these machines, chances are it’s second hand (they were first produced in 1990) and you’ll need to check the manual. It’s your lucky day, because I have a zipped up copy for you. Enjoy!