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Additions to TapeOp.com

In an industry that has become more and more digitized, Nashville's Welcome to 1979 and its owner, Chris Mara, are offering clients an opportunity to step back in time. With a recent purchase of a...
 
For me, the highlight of the inaugural A3E (Advanced Audio + Applications Exchange) event in Boston (September 23-24, 2014) was the closing keynote, which featured Dr. Richard Boulanger, Professor...
 
This past September, I attended the inaugural A3Exchange in Boston and had one of the most enjoyable conference experiences in years. A small team of forward thinkers, under the leadership of Paul Sitar, is putting together an "exchange" for...
 
I've pulled together a collection of recent thoughts I've had about the recording process. You can agree or not agree. The important thing is to use your ears, mind, and creativity to make great recordings. Recording equipment...
 
What do Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, LL Cool J, Ozzy Osbourne, Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, U2, Mick Jagger, AC/DC, The Damned, The Posies, and Rage Against the Machine all have in common? They all...
 
 
BreakTweaker is a fantastic new rhythm/drum-sequencing plug-in from iZotope and Grammy-nominated musician, producer, and all-around genius Brian Transeau (better known as BT). Their previous...
 
Somehow, a strap-on keyboard can pass as dorky/cool, especially with the rise of "nerdcore." But IMHO, a synth guitar is just... well... dorky, and always will be. Just check YouTube for shredders...
 
Don Zientara is a name I became familiar with simply by seeing it over and over again on record, and then CD, liner notes. From his Inner Ear Studios, he's been engineering and producing...
 
Our pal and Tape Op contributor Ryan Hewitt told us he's hosting another one of his Studio Prodigy Master Class sessions in Valencia, CA on November 8 and 9 with Jim Scott. We interviewed Jim in Tape Op #75 and we speak from experience when we...
 
 
 

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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