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hpr2884 :: TASCAM Porta 02 MiniStudio 4-Track Cassette Recorder Demonstration

I demonstrate the use of a vintage home studio device

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Hosted by Jon Kulp on 2019-08-22 is flagged as Clean and is released under a CC-BY-SA license.
Multi-Track Recording, Recording Devices, Home Recording Studios, Cassette Tapes, Vintage Recording. 7.
The show is available on the Internet Archive at:

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Duration: 01:17:16


I discuss and demonstrate the latest retro gadget I found at the flea market last weekend, a TASCAM Porta 02 MiniStudio 4-Track Cassette Recorder. It was in a bin full of junk—filthy, lacking its power supply, and I got it for only $5. I hacked a power supply, disassembled it completely, washed everything thoroughly, and put it back together. It worked perfectly with the exception of the pause button. This has been one of the most fun projects I can remember, especially because my daughter is into it too, and she's learning how to make multi-track recordings. I always wanted a 4-track when I was in high school but never had one. Now I do!

TSACAM Porta 02 4-Track Recording Demonstration

Links to info about stuff I mentioned


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Comment #1 posted on 2019-08-22 02:36:10 by Clinton Roy


Thank you so much for this episode, I've never heard someone go through this process, it was wonderful to go along the ride with you.

Comment #2 posted on 2019-08-22 09:54:21 by tuturto


This was really great episode to listen to. Reminded me of times when we messed around with 4 tracks as students.

Comment #3 posted on 2019-08-22 20:31:24 by jezra

super fun!

What a fun episode. Thank you. Did you determine the HPR melody by ear, or did you happen to stumble upon some sheet music?

Comment #4 posted on 2019-08-22 22:35:35 by Jon Kulp

By ear

Thanks for the comments,y'all. There's no sheet music as far as I'm aware. I sat down and wrote out a chord sheet about 10 minutes before I started recording haha! I've been doing this a long time and it's not a very hard song. It does have one strange chord progression that I had to think about a couple of times before I figured it out, but otherwise it's pretty easy. I also ran through the melody a couple of times on the harmonica. It was fun. Maybe sometime I'll do a proper job of it and make a recording without annoying mess-ups that can actually be used as the outro music.

Comment #5 posted on 2019-08-24 12:26:05 by mcnalu


Loved this show. I had a four track which was a model up from this I think - a Portasound 04. I got it in 1987 or 1988 and recorded a lot of music on it and pushed it to its absolute limit by bouncing tracks. In fact I still have that four track and all the cassettes so I promise herewith to dig it out from the back of the cupboard and see if it works in an upcoming HPR show. Thanks Jon, superb stuff!

Comment #6 posted on 2019-08-24 13:44:52 by Jon Kulp

Can't bounce

Hey McNalu that’d be great to hear you do a show about your 4-track! One of the things mine **can’t** do is bounce multiple tracks down to one and free up tracks for more. The Porta 02 is REALLY minimal. Bouncing is a key feature of typical 4-tracks and it would fill a significant gap in my coverage if you talked about that for us. I’d love to hear that.

Comment #7 posted on 2019-08-29 04:25:54 by johanv

great show

I was listening to this with a big smile on my face. It was great fun to hear you actually create this piece of craftmanship!

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