TASCAM is Central to Studio Activities of Mizraim 'Limon' Leal

Two Series 8p Dyna preamps/compressors, a Series 208i interface, and DR-40 handheld recorder facilitate used

Tascam MLeal

As the lead vocalist/guitarist for Quinto Sol, one of LA’s top Reggae bands (originators of Barrio Roots Reggae - a fusion of conscious Cumbia and Barrio Soul music), musician/engineer/producer Mizraim Leal is a longtime enthusiast of TASCAM recording products. Known as ‘Limon’ to his friends, Leal and Quinto Sol have been the backing band for over thirty local and international reggae artists, including Jamaican musician Sister Nancy, Jamaican singer/songwriter Sister Carol, reggae vocalist Half Pint, and the Jamaican rocksteady band The Melodians to name but a few. Quinto Sol has also shared the stage alongside the incomparable Stevie Wonder. And at the center of Leal’s studio activities, there is a sizeable collection of TASCAM gear, including two TASCAM Series 8p Dyna 8-channel mic preamps with analog compressor, a Series 208i 20 IN/8 OUT USB Audio/MIDI Interface, and a DR-40 4-track handheld audio recorder.

Lately, Leal has been spending much of his time in the studio. In addition to producing new music for Quinto Sol and several other acts he has worked with over the years; he is also involved with some new up-and-coming artists. His TASCAM gear is at the heart of everything he does. “In my studio, I use two 8p Dyna preamp/compressor units with a Series 208i USB Audio/MIDI Interface,” he reports. “I have the two 8p Dyna preamps connected to my Series 208i interface. This setup gives me 20 ins and 8 outs of clean, noise-free, transparent recording when I’m tracking to Pro Tools.”

He added, “The 8p Dyna mic preamps give me two combo jacks in front that enable me to connect mics or instruments when tracking from the control room or to patch in external preamps. The other channels connect to the tracking booth via a snake from the rear side of the units. The fact that each 8p Dyna has analog compression built in is another huge plus!”

Leal elaborated on his fondness for the TASCAM Series 208i interface. “The Series 208i is a great interface. It includes four combo input jacks with individual 48V phantom power with Mic/Line or instrument selection per channel. There are also two headphone outputs, which make it great for sharing what you hear, along with built-in DSP. This is a terrific unit—both for on-the-go projects or in the studio. With my Series 208i linked to two Series 8p Dyna units via optical cable, I have 20 inputs feeding my DAW. It’s a clean setup that is incredibly versatile.”

In addition to his Series 208i and Series 8p Dyna units, Leal is also a huge fan of the TASCAM DR-40 4-track digital audio recorder/USB audio interface. “My DR-40 24-bit 48k handheld recorder is my sidekick,” he says. “I work with many bands as a backing musician, so I frequently use it to record rehearsals for reference. In addition to recording new instrumental song ideas, I routinely use my DR-40 to write and overdub lyrics and other ideas! I also use it to record live shows and then transfer the WAV files to my DAW. This way, I can process the files and sync those performances to video, which I can then post to social media.”

Leal shared his longtime fondness of TASCAM products. “I’ve been using my DR-40 a good ten years or so, and I’ve had the Series 208i and the Series 8p Dyna units for a bit more than two years. I actually started using TASCAM when I was a 13-year-old kid. I started with a Porta 07 4-track Portastudio, and I’ll never forget discovering the magic of overdubbing. I was amazed! It’s my experience with that Portastudio that led to all the other TASCAM products I now own.”

As with any electronic music gear, questions inevitably arise. Here too, Leal has had positive experiences with TASCAM. “TASCAM technical support is excellent. Their staff consists of musicians who understand what you’re trying to accomplish, so they are able to point you in the right direction quickly and efficiently.”

Before shifting his focus to the various musical challenges awaiting him, Leal offered these parting thoughts regarding his TASCAM experience. “TASCAM has been part of my musical journey from my first introduction to tracking and overdubbing as a young kid. Their products continue to be a regular part of my creative work. TASCAM products offer great features and reliability - making them well worth the investment. I’m excited about my Series 208i interface and my two Series 8p Dyna preamps—and I can’t wait to release some new music to the world. I can’t thank TASCAM enough for all they have meant throughout my career.”