Tascam manufactures and sells a variety of guitar and vocal trainers. All of these products are similar and work in a similar manner. They all, roughly share the same strengths and weaknesses. There are at least five Tascam "trainer" products. Here is a list with a brief description of what they do:
The CD based products were the first on the market, followed by the MP3 based products.
A review of the literature and customer reviews on the Internet yields an abundance of comments. After reviewing a number of these a pattern of problems begins to revealed. This is summarized below:
The sound quality is not great, but certainly good enough for practice. There is a rapid deterioration when music is slowed. The sound is described as jerky, garbled, and underwater.
The trainer units must be connected to a computer; they are supposed to be plug and play, but they can have problems booting up, they freeze up, and the on/off button is difficult to use. On a scale of 1 to 10 the average reliability factor given my customers seems to be around 5.
They do not allow the saving of loop points. So if want to practice a song again tomorrow, you must relocated and re-set the loop points.
There is a problem with them cutting off the last few notes of a song.
The MP models play ONLY mp3 files. The CD models play only CDs. Moreover, the CD models will only play original CDs not discs that you might burn yourself.
Song Surgeon Comparison
Song Surgeon is a software product price as low as $49. It is available in both a PRO and a Standard Version. The Standard Version will do everything that a Tascam unit will do at about 1/3 of the price – and with 3X the features. In addition, from a sound quality standpoint, Tascam doesn't even come close to Song Surgeon's distortion free audio. In addition to pitch and tempo change, SS enables you to create (and save) practice loops, has EQ adjustment, a vocal reduction function, and allows the use of either CD's or ANY of he major file formats, including .wav, .mp3, .mp4, wma – and this is when compared to the basic version of Song Surgeon Standard..
Song Surgeon PRO, the more advanced model, runs circles around Tascam and still is less than 1/2 the price. Feature-wise, the comparison is stunning when you see the differences (see the table below). Song Surgeon can take the place of all five of the Tascam units listed at the top of this article because Song Surgeon does not limit use to a CD or particular file format or to a specific instrument. In fact, Song Surgeon is used by musicians of all stripes. While guitarists are the largest group of users, drummers, keyboard players, violinists, fiddle players, harmonica players, etc all are using Song Surgeon. At last count we had 22+ different instruments represented by Song Surgeon customers. Similarly, the genre of music makes no difference.
The comparison table below highlights some of the main differences between Song Surgeon PRO and the Tascam Trainer products.
Song Surgreon PRO
|Tempo Change Range||+400% to 10%||+16 to -50%|
|Pitch Change Range||+/- 24 semitones||+/- 6 semitones|
|File Formats||MP3, CD, MP4, WMA, WAV, AIFF||MP3 or CD|
|Allows Multiple Loops|
|Wave Form Editing|
|Cut and Paste|
|Custom Loop Settings|
|File Changes Permanent & Portable|
|Internal Project Files|
|Guarantee||Guaranteed 90 days. 100% money back||30-60 days, vendor specific|
The slow down the music approach to learning is extremely valuable. Both of these products help musicians do that. However, Song Surgeon is by far the better product and better value. And, in addition for practice purposes, Song Surgeon's new sound engine features performance/recording quality, distortion-free audio with pitch and tempo change.
Download Song Surgeon's fully function, 4-hour, FREE demo and take it for a test drive. That's the best way for you to determine if Song Surgeon will meet your needs.