Bringing My Old Tascam Porta One 4-Track Recordings Back to Life

My brother, Wayne, hosted the family Thanksgiving dinner this year and I brought one of my old Porta One 4-track cassettes to get some of the old songs of the tape and into my ears again.

Wayne purchased a Tascam 424 a few years ago and it was a true blast from the past working the sliders on a mix down again. I remembered the old feeling of bringing random bits of audio nestled on the four tracks; sometimes a random guitar line would be found along side a random synth line necessitating the need to discover everything on all the tracks and then remember where each element appears and how loud it is and workflow all that and the panning in a live mix session.

Here’s one of those tracks from yesterday. I just realized I’m hitting the forty year mark on these early recordings and this is one of those. It’s called “Fishin’ In the Rain.”

I’m making all the sounds on this one. Most of the time I had something new about a recording I was trying to accomplish. Sometimes a track wouldn’t be so awesome but there might be something about it I liked; something I thought turned out cool.

On this one I remember it being more improvised than usual. The vocal was mostly ad libbed, along with the guitars. The little synth line is from a Casio CZ1000. The vocal “oohs” come from a loop I voiced into a Digitech rack delay. Percussion is from a Roland TR-707. I fed the drum track out to the speakers and mic’d an old tin trash can to get that reverb effect on the bass drum.


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dabodab is best described as a blog about various things DiY. Music, zines, graphic arts, print, crafts, publishing, local and personal history, business, app development and AI. I am Briyan Frederick (aka Bryan Baker), probably best known as the publisher of GAJOOB and a founder of Tapegerm Collective read more.

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How can I find even more underground and unknown songs?Tom Dahl (Caddy)
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