TASCAM Model 12 used by Colton Weatherston

Tascam CWeatherston

When your work involves everything from teaching college level courses to being a film score composer, the necessity for versatile, capable, and easily transportable audio equipment becomes vitally important. Such is the case for Colton Weatherston, Adjunct Professor of Music Technology and Audio Production, Klein College of Media Studies and Production, Temple University. Regardless of whether he is teaching, composing, or arranging, Weatherston relies on his TASCAM Model 12 Integrated Production Suite to keep the creative juice flowing.

In addition to teaching voiceover production and podcasting, Weatherston served as the Music Assistant for the 2022 release of Butcher’s Crossing, a Western drama based on the highly acclaimed novel by John Williams starring Nicolas Cage. He also served as Music Producer for the TV series Slasher (2021), Arranger / Musician for the 2019 release of the film Benchwarmers 2: Breaking Balls, and provided additional music for the 2018 release of the TV series Adam Ruins Everything. And central to all this activity is his TASCAM Model 12, which he fondly discussed.

“The Model 12 is great for teaching audio in the classroom environment,” Weatherston reports. “I particularly love it for recording round-table discussion format podcasts. It is light weight, has a fast set-up time, and a quick learning curve. My students also love it! With the Model 12, they are up and running in no time - recording multi-channel audio on day one of the semester. It’s also a great introduction to the larger scale mixing consoles they encounter in our main studio at Klein - the Trident 88. In many ways, the Model 12 is like a small-scale Trident.”

Weatherston went on to explain how he uses the Model 12. “For my personal use, I use the Model 12 for a variety of purposes. While my primary studio mixer is the larger TASCAM DM-24, I use the Model 12 for portable applications, for example, to playback pre-recorded audio for live concerts. In the studio, I use the Model 12 as a sub-mixer and for playback from my TASCAM TSR-8 open reel recorder and Tascam 112MKII cassette deck - both of which I used extensively in Butcher’s Crossing, where I made use of the vari-speed tape features for abstract sound design. The Model 12 is a very effective tool for patching in all these older machines and sending to hardware units such as my Eventide H3000-D/SE Ultra Harmonizer. I also use it to set up tape echoes with my Revox A77 open reel recorder. For me, the Model 12 a great sound design tool set.”

When queried about those Model 12 attributes he finds particularly useful, Weatherston offered the following thoughts, “I love how quickly I can unpack this mixer in a classroom, see my students patch a microphone into it, and instantly record high quality audio. The Model 12 is so hands-on. The students learn all about gain-staging and headroom just like old-school, pre-digital engineers did. But at the same time, it has a digital multitrack recorder, so everything necessary for recording is right there. With its integrated A/D and D/A and the fact that it requires fewer cables and no computer to lug around, the Model 12 really is a self-contained production suite. There’s no need to lug around a separate recorder and I’ve never had a crash during a session. It’s just flawless.”

With so much TASCAM equipment to his name, the ability to get timely and capable technical support is important so as not to slow down production. When asked about his experience with TASCAM technical support services, Weatherston was very complimentary. “I own a lot of TASCAM products and they all still work. Even with the older tape machines whose parts can be hard to find when they need service, TASCAM has been great. They helped me source a gear they no longer manufacture from a machine shop in Stuttgart, Germany that knew how to manufacture a replacement. How many companies even keep records of their discontinued lines to offer that level of assistance?”

Before turning his focus back to the business of the day, Weatherston shared these concluding thoughts, “I’ve had my Model 12 for three years and I love it. It’s easy to use, sounds great, and can be used in a variety of settings. In my mind, the Model 12 provides analog soul for a digital age. It’s fantastic for teachers because it’s not intimidating like a larger format console - but once you learn on a Model 12, you can easily scale up! Students just ‘get it’.”