May/Jun 2014

Welcome to issue #101 of Tape Op.


Now that Tape Op has passed the 100th issue mark and survived 18 years, the astute among you may have noticed some changes.

We now offer a FREE protected PDF subscription version of Tape Op, available to anyone who signs up, fills out a short questionnaire, and has an email address. You can also view all of your current and past delivered issues by signing in on our site. We are excited to be able to send this magazine out, for free, anywhere in the world. We hope that fellow music recordists around the globe find out what we have to offer, and take advantage of it. Spread the word!

Readers in the United States will still receive a free print version of the mag, along with the PDF version. Contrary to most reports in mainstream media, publications like ours remain viable, due to the niche market we exist in. Continuing support from our advertisers, and readers who are passionate about music recording, are of the utmost importance to the content of Tape Op.

We've discontinued paid subscriptions. This may seem counterintuitive for a small business like ours; but it makes sense when you look at the time involved in managing, maintaining a database, addressing, shipping, responding to customer issues, and keeping a website updated for paid subscriptions. We have over 35,000 free subscriptions to the print magazine and less than 250 paid subs. It takes us about 5 minutes to process the 35,000 free subscriptions and a full day to process the 250 paid subs. We apologize to anyone who is upset about the lack of a paid subscription service, but the demand for this is so low, and we cannot find an outside company to handle this small of a job. (You can buy single copies from Hal Leonard; more info on this below.) We wish to thank our friends at Good Mountain and Tonevendor who've worked with us for years on this, as well as selling back issues.

Our tireless online publisher and web developer Dave Middleton has built our in-house PDF delivery system (no more relying on Apple and flaky app developers), and we have set even more delivery systems in motion: Individual back issues, from issue 20 and on, are available for purchase directly from us as PDFs. Tape Op Archive Subscriptions can access PDF versions of this same content (or text only for mobile devices) for the low cost of $5.99 a year, via a HTML5 PDF viewer. Our books will also be available on PDF directly from us, as well as through Amazon. Related to all this, the fine folks at Hal Leonard, who have distributed our Tape Op books for a number of years, will now also carry print copies of our back issues via their Music Dispatch arm, and can ship globally. For anyone that misses an issue, or lives outside the US and wants a printed copy of the mag, this is the way to go. Check out our books while you are there! This is all in effort to streamline the process of getting Tape Op to people like you, and hopefully gaining some new folks along the way. Thanks to all our readers for your continued support! We don't take it for granted.

Larry Crane, Editor & John Baccigaluppi, Publisher

Subscription Management and PDF Back Issues <>

Mail Order Back Issues <>

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →

Ryan Freeland

by Larry Crane

Ray LaMontagne's 2010 album, God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise, may have won a Grammy award for Best Contemporary Folk Album, but I'd refute that narrow categorization. It's an album of honest...

Lou Clark: Studio Designer

by Josh Nachbar

    Lou Clark is an accomplished recording studio designer, engineer, and avid supporter of the Audio Engineering Society. With over 20 years of studio design expertise on a national...

Columns See more →

Gear Geeking

Gear Geeking #101

by Andy Hong

For those of you interested in how Tape Op gear reviews are produced, I'd like to relate what happened with a particular review published in the previous issue, and springboard to a summary of the...


Gear Reviews See more →

Pro-MB plug-in

by FabFilter  |  reviewed by Dave Hidek

It seems like every time that I use a new plug-in from FabFilter, I find myself ceasing to use another similar plug-in that'd I'd been religiously using for years. Such was the case again with...

S2 stereo amplifier

by SBS Designs  |  reviewed by Brandon Miller

Getting prepped for this review was something of a unique experience. For the first time in five or six years of doing reviews for Tape Op, the founder of a company wanted to speak live over the phone...

Media Center

by JRiver  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

I often need to audition audio files or compare different sources. I used to have a generic session in my DAW for this, but that became unmanageable. There were simply too many sample-rates, formats,...

TrackSpacer plug-in

by Wavesfactory  |  reviewed by Eli Crews

This is a simple little plug-in that does one thing extremely well - it gets other stuff out of the way. It does that by employing a unique and elegant method, creating a reverse EQ profile of...

London 12 Room Kit

by Primacoustic  |  reviewed by Scott McChane

Many of us live in the "real world" - a place where we don't always have the resources to select, structurally modify, or build a "perfect" production room within the spaces we rent or own. Nine times...

SCM25A three-way active monitor

by ATC  |  reviewed by Thom Monahan

At its core, recording, like any creative endeavor, is about us making decisions one-by-one, until they all pile up on each other to form something meaningful from the raw material - in our case, the...

SOM50 SuperOmni condenser mic

by Ashman Acoustics  |  reviewed by Adam Kagan

In a world of modern mics which are all beginning to look and sound alike, the SOM50 mic stands out from the pack both visually and sonically. Ashman Acoustics, a Seattle based company, is headed by...

RC 500 channel strip

by Presonus  |  reviewed by Joseph Lemmer

The RC 500 is a 1RU-height, rackmount, solid-state channel strip, with a mic/line/instrument preamp that routes to a FET VCA-based compressor followed by a three-band semi-parametric EQ. The EQ and...

Channel Compressor (500-series)

by AwTAC  |  reviewed by Chris Garges

AwTAC (Awesome Transistor Amplifier Company) of New York is quickly proving itself as a manufacturer with high standards. Since the introduction of its Channel Amplifier [Tape Op #93] three years ago...

Radial PowerTube 500-series mic preamp

by Radial Engineering  |  reviewed by Will Severin

I have always been a fan of Radial's direct boxes and have gotten plenty of use out of their JD4 rackmount DI over the years, so I was excited to record some tracks with their latest 500-series unit....

Music Reviews See more →



Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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