The cassette-based Tascam PortaStudio revolutionised home recording, and no machine in the range was more successful than the Porta One Ministudio. Released in 1984, this went on to become the best-selling PortaStudio in history, and if you own one of 25 current Tascam products you can currently download an official plugin emulation for free.
This comes courtesy of IK Multimedia and Tascam itself, and is lifted from the T-RackS Tascam Tape Collection, a collection of mixing and mastering plugins that emulates four classic Tascam tape machines. Although cutting-edge at the time, the Porta One is now known for its old-school sonic charm, and until 31 August 2023, Tascam customers have the chance to experience it in their DAWs for nothing.
This software emulation features a simplified control set that enables you to adjust the bias and EQ of the record head, tweak the stereo channel's 2-band EQ and choose from two distinctly different tape formulas. Recording veterans will recall that, for best results, you were meant to use Type II cassettes in your PortaStudio, but if you plump for a Type I ferric cassette you’ll get an instant lo-fi sound.
To download your free Porta One plugin you’ll first need to create a Tascam ID and register one of the 25 eligible products: Model 12, Model 16, Model 24, TA-1VP, Portacapture X8, Portacapture X6, DP-006, DP-008EX, DP-03SD, DR-05X, DR-07X, DR-40X, DR-44WL, DR-100MKIII, GB-10, MiniStudio US-32, MiniStudio US-42, Mixcast 4, SERIES 8p Dyna, SERIES 102i, SERIES 208i, US-16x08, US-1x2HR, US-2x2HR, US-4x4HR.
You’ll then receive a code that you can register via the IK Multimedia website.