These machines are typically used by artists to record demos, although they are also often used in Lo-fi recording. The analog portastudios by TASCAM and similar units by Fostex, Akai, Yamaha, Sansui, Marantz, and others generally recorded on high bias cassette tapes. Most of these machines were 4 track but there were also a couple of 6 track and a few 8 track units. Some newer digital models record to a hard disk, allowing for digital effects and up to 24 tracks of audio.
The highest-selling of these was the TASCAM 424 (in three versions), which offered a great deal of flexibility while still remaining inexpensive to use. For bands prior to the advent of digital recording, the 424 was one of the easiest and affordable ways to record demos or even commercial albums.