[Harp-L] Questions of a technical nature

I don't ask questions often here. Mostly I make off-topic wise-cracks that never see the light of day, or post the coolest clips from youtube. 

But someone recently found it in his heart to pass on to me a piece of equipment called the "Tube MP Studio", by Applied Research and Technology, or "ART".

I wonder if anyone here has one of these things, or is familiar with them. It's basically a tube pre-amp that is designed to "warm up" a microphone, on the way to the PA, from what I've read. 

To what extent are these useful for amplified harp? Gigs? Recording?

Also, on another subject, still gear-related, I've been given a "TASCAM Porta02 mkII" 4track cassette tape recorder by my wife, who used it to record textbooks for disabled students for CalState Long Beach. It has the capacity to record 4tracks on a chrome cassette, 2 tracks at a time. It looks like it'd be fun to play around with, but my son, 20, says he's got a mixer and I/O box that he bought to do some recording via his computer, for his classical guitar studies. He tells me that this tape stuff is just old-school, and that I'd be better informed investing my time in the digital future rather than outdated technologies. 

Me,,I just want to do some recording, without much hub-bub. I like the idea of making some recordings of me just playing with myself,,,I mean,,on guitar and harp, just for kicks. I've always thought I'd like to do that, since, without trying to sound too proud, but failing to do so, I feel I'm more musically talented than almost anyone I'm presently acquainted with. I'd like, as a father, to incorporate my son in this, but his strengths are in sight-reading and classical, not in funky/improv/jazz. He hasn't learned how to "get a groove on", so we play differently, to put it bluntly. He's classical/techno, and I'm all about "the feeling". 


Again,,two subjects here,,or maybe three. 

1)The ART TUBE MP Studio mike pre-amp. (Is this anything like the harp commander?)

2)Tape vs. digital recording, or the TASCAM in my room vs. my son's digital devices.

3)Playing with myself

Any and all responses will be welcomed, online, or offline if there's nothing valuable to the group.


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