TASCAM's Portacapture X8 used by Rony Feliz


With much of his work being focused on capturing live performances, the need for a compact studio setup that travels easily cannot be underestimated. Welcome to Rony Feliz’ world. Nominated for a Latin Grammy for best Merengue/ Bachata of the year in 2022, Engineer/Producer/Musician Rony Feliz has worked on projects with Latin Grammy award-winning artist Milly Quezada and has recorded guitar for vocalist Nicky Jam. He has also engineered for Grammy Award winning artist Pitbull (AKA Mr. 305) and is now on tour playing guitar for him. When you operate at this level, the need for versatile, quality gear that won’t disappoint is essential - and that is why Feliz relies on his TASCAM Portacapture X8 Multi-track Handheld Recorder.

“The Portacapture X8 is an essential tool in my arsenal,” Feliz reports. “Considering the many ways that media is consumed these days, you need to be as versatile as possible - not just with audio, but video as well. For the most part, I use my Portacapture as an all-in-one solution when I’m on the road. There are times where I need to cut demos, mix records, record performances, and create content, and my Portacapture is the ideal solution for everything I need.”

Feliz has been using his Portacapture X8 for roughly a year now, and in that time, has become very fond of several key features. While touring, I don’t have the luxury of carrying multiple pieces of equipment with me, so I must be very selective about what I carry. If I want to cut a quick vocal or instrument track, I can record directly using the Portacapture X8’s built-in microphones. If I want to record a band performance/jam, I can take advantage of its available input/output connectivity, plug everything in and capture it all without the need of a computer or lugging around a bunch of other equipment.”

“The Portacapture X8 also makes my life easier with its built-in Bluetooth feature,” Feliz added. “With the available AK-BT1 Bluetooth adapter, not only can I capture all the things I just mentioned, I can do so without ever needing to run across the room while controlling it all from my phone or tablet. And most importantly, the Portacapture X8’s USB audio interface enables me to record and mix down my projects using a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). With this capability, the entire setup can be quite sophisticated, all while being very streamlined. With these features, I can handle many applications with one device to rule them all.”

The TASCAM Portacapture X8 has several application specific presets that make it quick and easy to use the device for podcasting, outdoor recording, voice capture, and more in addition to having a Manual mode for custom configurations. When queried about his experience with these features, Feliz offered the following thoughts, “For the most part, I use Music and Manual modes to get everything I need. If I'm going mobile performance based, I’ll take advantage of the Music setting and its built-in effects. For the most part, I’m recording dry, and I can send a line directly to my camera for slate/sync or dialing something run and gun style. When I need to dig in, I use Manual Mode.”

“Manual mode,” he continued, “enables me to quickly look at things the way I’m accustomed to as an engineer with input meters, I/O selection, Low Cut, EQ, etc., and use auto gain for those times when I might not be able to keep an eye on the gain to manually make adjustments. Everything I need is right at my fingertips. I don't have to wait until I get back to the computer to hear things the way I want to. And if I want to do a quick mixdown, I can. The Portacapture X8’s flexibility is amazing because I’m able to free myself from all the devices I normally would need for these types of tasks. If I want to commit to a take, I can send a feed straight to my camera and print. The fact that the Portacapture is battery powered is amazing, and If I need to connect it for extended use, the USBC ports let me stay connected as long as I require. If I have some headphones, I can dig in and work wherever I want.”

Before shifting his attention back to the business of the day, Feliz offered these final thoughts regarding his experience with the TASCAM Portacapture X8, “I think the Portacapture x8 is amazing for a wide range of applications. Whether it's recording ideas/performances and connecting instruments/microphones, recording out on the field with the built in mics, or using it as a standard interface, you don't need to change out equipment or carry a pelican around. You have it all in the palm of your hand, and with Bluetooth, you can control it all remotely. The Portacapture X8 covers everything I need and then some - without making me break a sweat. The fact I don't have to worry about equipment and still can be creative tells me TASCAM has really created something special!”