May/Jun 2002

Welcome to issue #29 of Tape Op.

 

...also known as the official issue of the First Annual Tape Op Conference. If you get this issue soon enough there may be time to get down to Sacramento and hang with us, along with some of the recording geniuses of today and tomorrow. Plus you'll make new friends, learn things, go to rock shows and maybe even drink some beer. If you've missed it already stay tuned and see if we survive this event and schedule one for next year!

Earlier this year my grandfather passed away within days of David Blackmer's passing away. What does this have to do with Tape Op? My grandfather was kind enough to loan me the startup dough for my studio 5 years ago, something I'll always be grateful for (among many other things, of course). David Blackmer was the original brains behind dbx and later started Earthworks, where his belief in higher bandwidth audio recording translated into some amazing gear. Both of these men will be missed by many.

What also comes to mind is that we have an obligation to ourselves to do something with our lives before we're gone and missed. Helping others and pursuing dreams are two primary human pursuits — don't let the world slow you down or distract you from this path. -Larry Crane, Editor...

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →

Chris Ballew

by Pete Weiss

Seattle-based Chris Ballew has been a sideman for Beck, a front man for The Presidents of the United States of America, an integral part of Supergroup, the entire mysterious cast of The Giraffes, and...

Columns See more →

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Gear Reviews See more →

Vintage Warmer Plug-In

by PSP  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

As a two inch 16-track recordist, I'm pretty wary of digital plug-ins that claim to offer the "analog" sound. But, I'd heard really good things about this plug-in from a few people so I wanted to give...

UltraPhones

by GK-Music  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

Two of the biggest issues with recording at home are trying to protect your ears from the drums pounding and amps blaring only a few feet away and attempting to hear what you're recording while...

900-005 Cable Tie Tool

by Eclipse Tools  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

Being a DIY electronics geek, I think of the cable tie as one of the most amazing inventions of all time. They're cheap, they're easy to handle, and they can hold incredible amounts of weight (or...

Live Music Software

by Ableton  |  reviewed by Chachi Jones

For over 5 years I've struggled with a dilemma common among electronic music producers - how do you take compositions that took weeks to painstakingly compose and sequence and perform them to an...

US-428 Control Surface

by Tascam  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

I have recently been doing more mixing within the digital domain using a computer and recording software. While I like the flexibility of working this way, having to use a mouse for everything really...

ATH-M30 Headphones

by Audio-Technica  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

I've been on a quest for a variety of headphones for tracking use in my studio, as my trusty Sony 7506 cans are falling apart after 7 years of constant service. The ATH-M30 is the lower-cost...

LTD-1 Mic Pre/EQ

by Chandler Limited  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

The first mic pre I ever bought was a Brent Averill Neve 1272 and it remains one of my all-time favorite mic pres for guitars, vocals, snare - just about anything. It has this cool gritty kind of...

MOTM Analog Synthesizer

by Synthesis Technology  |  reviewed by Greg Costano

Synthesis Technology makes its MOTM synthesizers the old fashioned way: modular and analog. A modular synthesizer is a collection of individual units ("modules"), each of which shapes an audio signal....

SE3500 Microphone

by SE Electronics  |  reviewed by Steve McAllister

Recently the mic market has been swamped with a bunch of low cost alternatives to high end classics. You've seen the ads and reviews that claim they're "just as good a Neumann (AKG, Telefunken,...

VMP-2 Two Channel Mic Preamp

by Peavey  |  reviewed by Ian Swanke

Unlike many microphone preamplifiers in this price range (around $700), the VMP-2 uses Jensen input transformers and 12AX7 tubes to get the job done, as opposed to a solid state chip using a starved...

iPod

by Apple  |  reviewed by Darrel Herbert

I recently got an Apple iPod MP3 player for my local commute, and found out that it has a lot of other uses that make it into a viable tool for the traveling engineer. By now you have seen ads for it...

Sigma 6.2 Reference Monitors

by Earthworks  |  reviewed by Eric Broyhill

Easily the most surgical speakers I have ever heard. A good analogy would be that if the Meyer HD-1 were 16 bit these are 24. Flat within 2 dB from 40 Hz all the way up to 40 kHz with a low frequency...

VT-747SP Stereo Compressor/EQ

by Avalon  |  reviewed by Eric Broyhill

Avalon was kind enough to grace me with the presence of their solid state/tube compressor/limiter which also includes a 6 band EQ. The first thing that impressed me about the unit was the sound of the...

AT3035 Cardioid Condenser Mic

by Audio-Technica  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

As the world fills up with many low-cost Chinese condenser mics, the manufacturers who have been around a while have had to take notice of this and offer mics in a comparable price range. Shure...

Music Reviews See more →

Music Reviews

Age of the Sun

by The Sunshine Fix | reviewed by Larry Crane

Bill Doss must have been the poppier, less experimental, part of the Olivia Tremor Control. That's a good thing here. Wild psych-pop recorded in his home-based A World As Myth Sound. Fun sonics....

Music Reviews

Tilting at Windmills

by The Hurricane Lamps | reviewed by Larry Crane

Hey look, another Tape Op contributor! Eric Tischler fronts and records this band, tracking in his basement. It's good indie rock band action, a bit basement-sounding at times, but poppy and rocking....

Music Reviews

Shining Hours in a Can

by East River Pipe | reviewed by Larry Crane

The fact that one of the greatest living songwriters lives in a modest home in NJ making records on an old Tascam 388 escapes most people. Fred Cornog is ERP, was featured in the first issue of Tape...

Music Reviews

Volumes 1-3

by Breaking and Entering | reviewed by Larry Crane

CDs (or vinyl) of well-recorded drum beats, and that's all. You can dump these on your multitrack and write songs around them, cut them up in your computer and build new beats, or spin them at clubs...

Music Reviews

England, Half English

by Billy Bragg | reviewed by Larry Crane

If you have to have a band, why not hire Ian McLagan (Small Faces, etc) and ex-members of The Damned, PIL and 3 Mustaphas 3? Then get our wonderful pal Grant Showbiz to produce, with the ever-patient...

Music Reviews

Start at the Top

by Skinyard | reviewed by Larry Crane

Singles, outtakes and rarities from a band that lurked through the grunge years in Seattle. Note that Jack Endino played guitar in this band and probably recorded/produced it all though there's no...

Music Reviews

One More in the Cabin

by Jim and Jennie and the Pinetops | reviewed by Larry Crane

Old time is not a crime, especially when played with heart and fun. All original tunes, unlike most bands of their ilk, cleanly (but not too cleanly) recorded by Edan Coen at Soundgun Studio in...

Music Reviews

3 CD Box Set

by The Wipers | reviewed by Larry Crane

Greg Sage reissues his first 3 CDs from 1980-83. Important, amazing, powerful, ahead of their time - and all the more amazing that they had the initiative to record the latter two albums on their own,...

Music Reviews

TA

by Trans Am | reviewed by Larry Crane

Take the premise that New Order began with, of melding rock songs and electronics, and pull that screaming into this era with a lot of tongue-in- cheekiness and playfulness - you have Trans Am....

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