Since the launch of Tascam's 'budget priced' 24-track tape recorder - the MSR24 - at the tail end of last year, those fortunate individuals and companies with enough spondulicks to afford one have been eagerly scouring the pages of recording magazines, trade journals, and mixer manufacturers' brochures in an attempt to find a 'suitably priced' mixing desk with sufficient channels, subgroups, and monitoring facilities to do justice to their machines.
"But there are tons of suitable 24-track desks around - so what's the problem?" I hear the massed throngs cry. Sorry folks, I beg to differ. Sure, there are good 24-track desks around (most being home-grown products as well) but their cost is disproportionate to that of the Tascam recorder. With people's natures being what they are, many (but not all) seem reluctant to fork out more money on their mixer than they have spent on their tape machine. This dogmatic attitude might not prevail in the top end professional audio market, but it certainly appears to be evident amongst 'serious' 16-track users. And it is this market, after all, that will probably be most attracted to the extra freedom a further eight tape tracks offers, and will seriously consider upgrading to an affordable 24-track recorder. At present, until some other manufacturer follows suit, Tascam's machine is the only 24-track you can buy 'new' for less than 10 big ones!
So, it appears that if a 24-track mixer is going to appeal to MSR24 owners, it will have to come in under the psychological £10,000 price barrier - and that seriously reduces the number of players in the field. There are but a handful of suitable candidates, one of which we are reviewing in this issue - the Soundcraft 6000.
Naturally, other mixer manufacturers are keen to get a slice of this budget 24-track action and I feel sure that it won't be too long before the options are widened and even more '24-track compatible' mid-priced mixers start appearing. In the meantime, if you've been looking long and hard for a mixer to mate with your Tascam 24-track, have a good read of our Soundcraft 6000 review. Enjoy the issue.