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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 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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