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Additions to TapeOp.com

The name Jim Scott has graced many excellent albums since he made his debut as first engineer on Sting's The Dream of the Blue Turtles. Artists as varied as the Dixie Chicks, Wilco, John Fogerty, the...
 
Soundtoys Decapitator has been around for a while now, and it's one of my favorite plug-ins. I was surprised when Andy Hong asked if I wanted to review it — oddly, it had never been reviewed in...
 
The legendary TG12345 consoles made by EMI are very rare and scattered around the world, from England to Brazil. If you have scratched the surface of recording history, you know the impact that EMI...
 
Sometimes, it's right in front of your face, and you just don't see it. You're working with your preconceptions and past experiences — and it takes a little time, a flat out mistake, or just...
 
Carol Kaye is one of the most recorded bass players of all time, with 10,000 sessions and 40,000 songs under her belt, including a staggering list of hits for Ray Charles, The Righteous Brothers,...
 
You kids today and your audio interfaces. Back in my day, we had to trudge five miles uphill in the snow by foot to a dilapidated brick and mortar music shop, then find the one crusty, bitter employee...
 
This is the most innovative headphone I've ever seen, and it sounds great. Its low-frequency reproduction is especially impressive — better than any headphone in my collection. But before we...
 
Any one of Les Paul's amazing careers would make him remarkable. His wide-ranging excellence (and longevity) make him a legend and a living treasure. He is in the hall of fame for songwriting,...
 
When Roland's AIRA line was announced at NAMM last year, it was the buzz of the show, mainly for the new instruments inspired by the classic TR-808, TB-303 and SH-101. The VT-3 seemed a bit like the...
 
When Mike Rutherford steps in to his hotel lobby from the busy New York City streets, there's barely a stir. Though tall and remarkably unchanged from his days as the guitarist in Genesis and...
 
 
 

Welcome to the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Tape Op!

Imagine that you've become somewhat comfortable recording songwriters and bands in your very modest home studio. It's been fun; you've pushed the gear to its limits to get half-decent results, and you've already got a few loyal clients. Then you get the call, "Hey, we've been working in a pro studio and aren't happy with the mixes. Could you come down and help us out?" Panic and fear take over. How will you be able to figure out all this unfamiliar gear, in a different room? What will the speakers sound like? Certainly they should just find someone else. But this is also the moment you've been waiting for. What do you do?

This is the exact situation I found myself in nearly 20 years ago. I took the challenge. The studio manager gave me his home number on the way out the door saying, "You'll be calling me." He said it with a bit of resignation, capped with a raised eyebrow and a grin. He knew I was green as heck. What did I do? I asked that the house engineer (who seemed wholly unhappy with this situation) explain the signal routing to me, and I made sure the console output fed the DAT machine before he left for home. I brought headphones along that I knew well, and a boombox with some blank cassettes in order to make sure the mix would hold up in the real world. I only used EQ or compression when it was needed, and I listened closely to what was happening to the tracks. But mostly I tried to sculpt the mixes closer to what had been working for us previously in my basement studio. I kept everything very simple and worked with what I knew - and I didn't spend any extra time exploring gear I wasn't familiar with. The mixes came out pretty good and they made the cut for the CD release, along with tracks from my home studio. But no matter what I did that night, I made sure I never called the studio manager for help. No way would I do that. I had to prove I could do this, and I did.

-Larry Crane, Editor 

#93

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