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Additions to TapeOp.com

Yesterday, electronic musician, producer, educator, and all around tech-forward-woman-in-audio, Erin Barra, is releasing "Dear John," the single from her upcoming EP, Undefined. Barra, however, is taking a much more literal approach to the term -...
 
Everyone has been talking about Dave Grohl's new documentary Sound City a lot lately. That's cool; it's a fun romp of a movie, even if Dave can't decide whether he's making a film about a Neve console, a dying studio, a rock star jam session or an...
 
With news of Neil Young pushing to get studio quality audio out to the consumer, it occurred to me that it would be good to get some perspective on how we go about comparing audio quality.  One of the most problematic issues surrounding audio...
 
As we exit the era of digital audio data compression and begin the ascent into higher sample rates for consumer consumption (via multiple platforms, though most popularly Neil Young's PONO system), we are finding ourselves as a community of...
 
With news of Neil Young pushing to get studio quality audio out to the consumer, it occurred to me that it would be good to get some perspective on how we go about comparing audio quality.  One of the most problematic issues surrounding audio...
 
Creating Community - A Regional Audio Industry Gathering On Saturday March 5, Recording Arts & Technology (RAT) @ Cuyahoga Community College will host a Regional Audio Recording Industry Gathering and Open House from 4-10pm at the new...
 
Subconscious Auditory Effects (SAE) is a term I have cobbled together to encapsulate a broad range of phenomena in this barely-studied field of inquiry.  An SAE is any measurable effect on a person caused by a sound, or change in sound, that is...
 
In a fascinating and really open Facebook debate initiated by fellow producer, cycling enthuiasist, and coffee-drinking pal, Eric Ambel (www.ericambel.com), I was alerted to what was finally a clear insight into how and why Spotify could possibly...
 
In a fascinating and really open Facebook debate initiated by fellow producer, cycling enthuiasist, and coffee-drinking pal, Eric Ambel (www.ericambel.com), I was alerted to what was finally a clear insight into how and why Spotify could possibly...
 
As recording continues to become a predominantly freelance profession and as more artists decide to operate without the aid of record labels, setting our various agreements into writing is even more important. These days there are fewer standard...
 
I'm about to write something that at first will seem like another gray-beard waxing nostalgic for a by-gone analog era. But, stick with me, because I think the tables are turning to where going analog might be as forward-thinking as it gets. Let's...
 
Everyone has been talking about Dave Grohl's new documentary Sound City a lot lately. That's cool; it's a fun romp of a movie, even if Dave can't decide whether he's making a film about a Neve console, a dying studio, a rock star jam session or an...
 
"...from what I have seen, the industry is fatally flawed. Everyone seems to want something for nothing and few are willing to pay for what something is actually worth. Plus, there are thousands of graduates flooding recording studios each year...
 
Over the last few years we've seen an explosion of online music services. Pandora, iTunes, Spotify, Rhapsody, Soundcloud and dozens of other platforms are touted as groundbreaking ways to deliver music to listeners. But this success is on the...
 
Dear Tape Op Reader, We wanted to let you, the folks we make this magazine for, aware of a fundamental change in our business.  Short version: We are cutting our ad rates nearly in half. Why? Here's the long version: Tape Op is an...
 
    Issue 99 of Tape Op is now available! In this issue we have: - Brad Wood on the Idful Music Corporation and making Liz Phair's Exile In Guysville - Tim Palmer on coming up as an engineer in late 70's London scene and the mixing...
 
After reading Larry's "Eliminate Variables" End Rant from last issue, I was compelled to write a response. Don't get me wrong, I agree completely with everything he said; so before you read any further, revisit the back page of issue #92. I...
 
So for quite a while now we've been trying to figure out how to best bring the full Tape Op print magazine into the digital era, and we've think we've settled on some sort of mobile app..but we'd really like your input before committing to one...
 
Years ago John Fischbach, a well-established and respected producer/engineer, came to my studio to record an album that our mutual friend, Luther Russell, was producing. [See Tape Op #21.] In those days my studio, Jackpot! Recording, was a diamond...
 
A reader just informed me that APPLE's recent Logic Pro X includes "Drummer", a virtual drummer plug-in. One of the virtual drummers is named "aidan", who apparently cannot find the CAPS key on his virtual MacBook. In Aidan's "Portland Kit" we...
 
A reader just informed me that APPLE's recent Logic Pro X includes "Drummer", a virtual drummer plug-in. One of the virtual drummers is named "aidan", who apparently cannot find the CAPS key on his virtual MacBook. In Aidan's "Portland Kit" we...
 
"I sent a package to you several months ago containing some music I asked you to evaluate for me. I respect your background and was hoping that you personally might allow for cutting out a spare hour to do me this favor. Since I never heard from you...
 
Dear Tape Op Reader, We wanted to let you, the folks we make this magazine for, aware of a fundamental change in our business.  Short version: We are cutting our ad rates nearly in half. Why? Here's the long version: Tape Op is an...
 
I don't want to explore this concept with as many words as I might for a Tape Op "End Rant", but I had to dump this shit out of my mind immediately. Someone dropped me a line recently; "I'd like you to hear this record I worked on. We didn't use EQ,...
 
Due to some abrupt and unexpected events with our mobile app developers, we are making some big changes to the ways our readers can digitally access our magazine. We think it will be way better for everybody - including our current iPad app readers -...
 
This is a fascinating article about a brand new study in human auditory perception that is showing that there have been "naive" applications of mathematical formulas onto our understanding of human auditory perception. I cannot claim to...
 
Wall Street PR reports on the woes of Avid, the company behind Pro Tools. What does the future hold? I'm just terrified of having to learn a new platform, buying more gear and software, and there not being a de facto DAW standard for professional...
 
    Issue 98 of Tape Op Magazine is out now! In this issue: - Ed Stasium recounts decades of making records with everyone from Gladys Knight to the Ramones to Living Colour - Manny Nieto puts a L.A. recording career on hold to spend...
 
I don't want to explore this concept with as many words as I might for a Tape Op "End Rant", but I had to dump this shit out of my mind immediately. Someone dropped me a line recently; "I'd like you to hear this record I worked on. We didn't use EQ,...
 
Over the last few years we've seen an explosion of online music services. Pandora, iTunes, Spotify, Rhapsody, Soundcloud and dozens of other platforms are touted as groundbreaking ways to deliver music to listeners. But this success is on the...
 
 

Welcome to the Mar/Apr 2011 issue of Tape Op!

When an aspiring engineer/producer/musician asks me how they should get their start, I always tell them that the most important aspect for me early on was being part of a community, and not necessarily one based on where I lived. This issue of Tape Op illustrates that quite well. Jack White III and Brendan Benson originally hailed from Michigan, and now live in Nashville, Tennessee. Besides their collaboration in The Raconteurs, Brendan's excellent solo career and Jack's groups The White Stripes, The Dead Weather and his Third Man record label have had far-reaching effects with others all over the world. Producer/engineer Vance Powell grew up in Missouri, but now also living in Nashville he's worked extensively with Jack in the studio - the career trajectory he's taken is filled with collaboration, hard work and friendships. Dungen might hail from Sweden, but they have recently cut a single for Third Man, with Jack producing and Vance engineering.

It all ties together through a shared love of music.

It was 15 years ago that the first issue of Tape Op made its debut. I photocopied all the sheets, spray- painted the covers and hand-stapled the pages together. My goal was to learn more about music recording, to note that it could frequently happen outside of a proper studio and to celebrate that making records is truly an art and not simply a technical process.

In my heart I still know the most important aspect of creative music recording is the fact that this is art we're dealing with. Creating works that resonate with listeners and communicating through music and sound is our goal. Recording equipment is necessary, but gear is only part of the tools that we use. If anything, the changing face of audio production technology only proves that it is the music and creative recording process that matters, and not merely the equipment.

Over the years thousands of readers have joined us for the ride and many have become contributors. My partner, John Baccigaluppi, deserves half of any praise due. A few years into Tape Op, he took my raw ideas and helped turn a tiny magazine into a leader in its field - something I could've never imagined in 1996. I gratefully thank John, our Tape Op staff, all of our wonderful contributors and, of course, our faithful readers. I also thank my beautiful wife Jenna, who has literally been with me since the beginning of this journey.

There are a million ways to create and record music. There always will be. Keep your minds and hearts open, use and improve your skills and bring more music into the world.

Our own Tape Op Books is extremely proud to announce that we have published Phill Brown's Are We Still Rolling? In Tape Op #12 Chris Eckman and I interviewed Phill, and in issues 16 to 32 we ran excerpts from his then unpublished book. An amazing story, this is one of the finest memoirs of classic studio sessions one will ever read, with Phill's own personal story setting an arc across the music of the '60s to the current day. Many readers have asked us when this book would come out, so we did it ourselves. You can find Are We Still Rolling? wherever books are sold, so grab a copy today!

We're also excited to show off the magazine's new website. Dave Middleton, Hillary Johnson, AJ Wilhelm and the gang have been hard at work rebuilding and redesigning our site and filling it with more content than ever. Look for online bonus articles with each new issue, search our past gear reviews and enjoy videos and other new online content at tapeop.com.

#82

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