TASCAM Products Assume an Integral Role in the Success of Producer/Musician Frankie Siragusa

His work with The Posies and other artists reflects a long-term relationship with TASCAM gear

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Whether working with The Posies or engineering at his own studio known as theLab Studio, producer/musician Frankie Siragusa has a long-term relationship with TASCAM products. He started with a Porta-05 Ministudio cassette recorder and has used TASCAM equipment as part of his recording efforts ever since. While his use of a TASCAM Series 208i 20 IN/8 OUT USB Audio/MIDI Interface with his DAW is indicative of many studio environments these days, Siragusa’s long-term relationship with TASCAM gear has made an indelible impact on his approach to recording.

Siragusa plays drums for the American power pop group The Posies, which are best known for their radio hits Golden Blunders as well as Dream All Day, Solar Sister, and Flavor of the Month. He also plays for Scottish musician/vocalist Kyle Falconer. In addition to his drumming work, he is a central figure in the recording efforts of The Posies, which are on track to release a new record in 2022. Siragusa discussed his studio work, his fondness for TASCAM, and how his experience with analog tape-based recording systems influenced his approach to recording.

“The TASCAM Porta-05 and the TSR-8 8-track open reel recorder made a huge impact on my production techniques as well as my musical arrangement decision making,” Siragusa explained. “With tape-based recorders, you must make certain decisions - such as the overall song structure - ahead of time, rather than postponing them, compared to working digitally on a computer. With a tape-based system, you can’t playlist or make adjustments to your punch-in edits later. You must be on your game from the start, and you must know what you’re doing at all times. This results in a much more intentional final product come time to mix. Even when I work in Pro Tools, that initial lesson starting with TASCAM tape-based products carries with me and makes me a much more deliberate producer and tracking engineer.”

“My use of TASCAM gear dates back a good 23 years,” Siragusa added. “On a new record for The Posies, I used a vintage TASCAM 112 cassette recorder to sample tracks, provide grit and overdrive, and then I recorded it back into Pro Tools. I also recorded a lo-fi Pop Punk project of mine called K4DET on the TSR-8 8-track reel to reel, which is still in-use in the studio.”

Siragusa also provided some insight regarding the popularity of open reel analog recorders like the TSR-8 in the digital age, “The TSR-8 has been a lovely addition to the studio. It delivers all of that analog tape goodness and imparts an EQ curve that saturation plugins simply struggle to provide.”

Jumping forward to today’s digital recording environments, Siragusa shared some insights about his use of the Series 208i interface, “Presently, the Series 208i Interface serves as the 4th member of The Posies live. We use Ableton Live on a MacBook Pro for synth bass tracks as well as little ear candy pieces to fill out The Posies sound. The Series 208i is a versatile interface for all types of DAW work and, like everything else TASCAM builds, it’s a rugged tool that musicians can confidently use in a live environment.”

Before shifting his focus back to the business of the day, Siragusa offered his thoughts about TASCAM customer service, audio quality, and reliability. “TASCAM is one of very few companies that I have not required technical support from,” he said, “and to date, I have yet to have a TASCAM piece of gear break down. The gear is intuitive to use, and the build quality is unbeatable. That’s a big advantage TASCAM has over the competition. I also think one of the reasons TASCAM has been such a successful brand is that the products seem to be designed for artists. Artists have been able to carve their own sound from these devices. With TASCAM gear, I have never felt locked into a single sound or single method of working. TASCAM gear provides the artist with many options for creating new sounds and music. Not only can you make a highly competitive sound recording with TASCAM, but it can also be - in many ways - a preferred sound to that of other brands. With TASCAM, there’s something for everyone, even if it’s for a niche application. I’ve been a TASCAM fan for years and will always have a soft spot for the brand.”