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Additions to TapeOp.com

When I was younger and flat broke, I was offered a place to stay in my friends' house. It was a room in an old, unfinished basement, and I thought it'd be nice to have some walls. Being without funds to hire anyone, I decided I could probably...
 
You might not know Brian Reitzell's name, but you probably know his work. As the music supervisor and composer for most of Sofia Coppola's films, he's worked with the French electronic duo Air on...
 
Chad Clark serves as one of the main engineers working at Inner Ear Studios in Arlington, VA, recording many of DC's finest acts, among them Dismemberment Plan, Burning Airlines, Calibos,...
 
This article ran a few years ago when Beauty Pill was in the throes of their public recording project called Immersive Ideal. After band leader Chad Clark [Tape Op #36] won...
From Our Archives
 
So, Fort George Brewery & Public House in Astoria, OR, made an actual Tape Op-branded craft beer. It's called Overdub IPA, and it looks like this: Here is what Fort George had to say about their creation: A good beer is like a good sound...
 
Phill Brown has had a 30 year long career as an engineer, something most of us are barely even capable of imagining. And not only has he been working for a long while, he's worked with some of the...
 
We just released the audiobook version of Phill Brown's amazing studio memoir -- Are We Still Rolling? -- which has stories about recording Hendrix, the Stones, Zeppelin, and countless other music icons. We've been releasing one story a day to...
 
We interviewed Phill Brown in issue number 12 of Tape Op. Over the years he's worked with some of the greatest artists ever, like Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Traffic, Spooky Tooth, Jeff Beck, Led...
 
We just released the audiobook version of Phill Brown's amazing studio memoir -- Are We Still Rolling? -- which has stories about recording Hendrix, the Stones, Zeppelin, and countless other music icons. This week, we'll be releasing one story a day...
 
We just released the audiobook version of Phill Brown's amazing studio memoir -- Are We Still Rolling? -- which has stories about recording Hendrix, the Stones, Zeppelin, and countless other music icons.  This week, we'll be releasing one story...
 
 
 

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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