Albums Recorded On Portastudios

Hot Rocks

New member
I am curious,Does anybody know of any albums that were done on cassette portastudios?I read somewhere B.Springsteen did "Nebraska" on a 4 track,I don't know what brand,and I also heard M.Manson did his first record on a tascam porta 1 or 2
Weens first 3 albums were done on a Tascam 464. (on the first album they later took the 4 track tapes to a studio and put real drums on them, on the others they use a drum machine).

Guided by Voices have released SEVERAL albums that were recording mainly on a Tascam Porta 1.

Beck did some four track stuff on his first 2 or 3 records but I don't know if it was porta or reel-reel.

Sebadoh has some stuff on 4-track.

Liz Phair or some other chick I can't remember the name of has an album of 4-track stuff.

Weird Paul recorded on a four-track.

Frank Zappa owned a 5-track when the industry standard was mono.
Hey hot rocks!
Springsteen's Nebraska was recorded on a portastudio. I think it was a tascam 246 iam not sure though.

sgt. Pepper album by the Beatles,now there's a work of art. It was recorded on a Telefunken German made 4 track.
Compared to todays 4-tracks the quality would be poor. but the beatles had George Martin as a producer.

I think if a person puts enough time into recording and has the talent ,and develops his skills, the sky's the limit no matter how many tracks you have on your machine.

I have a friend who made a demo tape on a little 4 track, and I defy anyone to tell the difference between it and a studio. To this day I haven't come close to it, but then he did go to recording engineer school. Well, maybe I come close, but the point is, his 4 song demo tape does sound excellent.

[This message has been edited by monty (edited 02-22-2000).]
Jimmimac,I own a 246 and I can tell you that is one great 4 track.excellant sound for a cassette. I believe it was the biggest cassette 4 track tascam a cassette console but still portable.thats good to know,but if your not sure another possibility is tascams 244 and porta 1 or 2.they too were in production when "Nebraska" was made. Monty,I know what you mean,I have a few friends that smoke me when it comes to mixing 4track cassette and 8 track cassette and 1/4 inch tapes.what they can do to the sound with a minamal amount of tweaking is amazing

I've a 488 MKII (8-track cass) in my studio that I've used since it came out. I use it mainly for a scratchpad, but I've recorded about 10 CDs with because the feel was there on the songs (a sometimes ironic event). Feel free to go to my band's web site at: and check out the MP3s on there. The new CD isn't out yet so everything on there (all of the MP3s) was recorded on my 488. Hope it inspires you- at least in the recording sense!
Hey,I tried to hear your songs but don't have a player,I downloaded win amp but it did'nt work.I will be getting a new computer in a few months. any suggestions on what I need to have in the new computer to listen to mp3's?
One of my favorite artists, Hayden (from Canada) first major label album was about 60-70% 4 track stuff. (not sure what model though) -

Also, I remember reading in a biograpy that whatever Springsteen had, it was Teac and it was reel to reel.

4 track cassette and 4 track reel to reel (1/4" tape) are not in the same quality class recording quality per track.

At least not with new machines in top form

the thing is, cotent will drive the audience. If the music is good, many will like it. If it is not good, few will like it.

my personal opinion is that a good 4 track cassette can easily exceed the sonic standards demanded by most listeners of music in the folk-pop-rock-electronica-blues genres.

The biggest influence is what is bing performed, how well, and how it is being recorded to maximize a portastudios strenghts and minimize its weaknesses.
The Bruce Springsteen Nebraska album was recorded on a Teac (Tascam)144 Portastudio its on the back of the album. At his friends house.
Last edited:
Revival of a 21 year old thread. That is something special indeed. :ROFLMAO:
Back to topic: No idea which famous artists used portastudios for recording, but I use a DP24 SD. So in case I become famous and record an entire album instead of few single songs only, you can add me to that list. 8-)
Well, since this thread is revived, let’s name some albums that have been recorded SINCE THE THREAD’S DEATH that were recorded on portastudios.

i know the demo versions of John Frusciante’s Shadows Collide With People we’re recorded on a 4 track. Didn’t Sufjan Stevens also record some stuff on a 4 track machine?
Richard Swift has recorded many things on a tascam 4track. It would be great to document all of them. He did an album with Damien Jurado called Other Peoples Songs Volume 1. He did an ep with Jesse Baylin called Pleasure Center. He was a master of Tascam 4 tracks.
Well, I have heard this has been done but maybe for the low end crowd. If a person records the ideas of the tune on a Porta Studio that is fine it is part of the constuctive process but to do a finished product here, well I don't think it is a good idea. You can do it on some 4 track from reel to reel with a well adjusted machine as the shortcomings there are all very minor when using a 15 IPS with good tape. I have made demo tapes for musicians using a A3340S with a dBx unit and they sounded as they did coming out of the mixer at the live session. The secret is a machine that is properly maintained and calibrated. Well when I worked at Teac that was my job for every machine I touched so mine was no different. I still work on the machines now so the venture continues.
I'm sure the folks who have had success with cassette recordings also had great noise reduction and signal enhancing gear to make it sound good because the hiss and signal loss on cassettes was never acceptable to me. I really disliked bouncing tracks on cassette.
Also, a bunch of PJ Harvey's stuff was recorded on a Portastudio, since it was (is?) part of her song writing process. Even when she had access to a real studio, she would often incorporate some of the tracks from the original demo (especially the vocals).