Tascam's 788 Digital Portastudio ($1,149) gives you eight tracks of uncompressed 24-bit, 44.1 kHz audio recording. You can record up to six simultaneous tracks via the 11/44-inch balanced TRS inputs, which accept line- or mic-level signals. Input D is designed to accommodate direct electric guitar or bass input. The 788 has stereo outputs on RCA jacks for mixdown, and a stereo pair of RCA jacks for monitors. You also get two auxiliary outputs.
The 788 boasts a variety of multi-effects algorithms, including reverbs, distortion, flange, phase, and pitch-shifting. It also offers dynamics processing, de-essing, and EQ. Its SCSI port can be used for mastering to CD-R and for archiving data to external media, including Zip, Jaz, and fixed drives. You can record a maximum of 4 GB of digital audio directly to an external SCSI hard drive; if the drive is larger, the 788 will divide the drive into 4 GB partitions. An optical S/PDIF output allows you to transfer tracks digitally to an external device.
The MIDI In and Out ports let you use the 788 as a master or slave with MTC. The 788 also sends MIDI Clock and receives MIDI Machine Control. Although the 788 does not transmit fader and panning moves, any sequencer or device that can map Control Change messages can be used to automate mix parameters.
The unit offers an extensive list of editing features. Dedicated In, Out, and To controls let you select editing ranges, and 999 locate points help you keep track of edit regions. The waveform display gives you visual feedback on your edits. If you change your mind and decide to revert to earlier stages of editing, you can take advantage of the unit's 999 levels of undo.