May/Jun 1997

Welcome to issue #5 of Tape Op.

 

If this issue is a little late, or maybe it looks like a bunch of other people got to write this time, here's the story.  In a strange twist of fate I ended up putting together a studio with someone I had just interviewed (Elliott Smith, see issue #4).  We started in mid January and by the end of the month had a lease on a building and equipment was being shipped in from all over the country.  Besides combining our piles of recording gear, we got an old 2" 16 track machine, a used Mackie 32 x 8 board and a few more goodies.  So what's happened?  I've learned more about repairing old MCI tape decks than I would have ever imagined, we had to build a "soundproof" wall, window and door, days of painting, and we set up security, insurance and things I'd never even considered before. 

Our first sessions have gone well.  The drum sound in our "live" room is leaps beyond my basement setup.  The sound of 2" 16 track tape is also a major revelation--you can hear so much more detail in the sound than I ever heard before.  I'm loving having real monitors and actually hearing some low end too!  We've got bands booked up for over a month in advance too, so I'm not completely worried that I quit my "other" job.  It's definitely been a lot of work but the amount of stuff I've learned in the last few months has amazed me... so look forward to squeezing some of it out of me in the future.

Elliott and I put in some long, long days but I'd like to thank some folks who helped out quite a bit.  Marila, Neil, John C., Todd, Sean, Eric, Scott S., Mike, Joanna, Scott M., Jed, Rick (my dad), Greg F., and others have all helped the place get off the ground.  Special thanks must be mentioned to the studio's Godparents, John Moen and Rebecca Gates.

Oh, we decided to call it Jackpot! Recording Studio, and Elliott (as of late April) has announced that he's moving out of town and pulling out of the studio.  I owe a million thanks to him is all I can say...

Yes, there are a lot of outside contributors this time around.  Thanks to all of them for pitching in--otherwise this issue would have taken far longer to complete.  If you crazy readers have any of these sort of ideas for articles please contact me!  I need this kind of help if Tape Op is to continue.  And hey, if any of these writers suck, let me know and I'll fire them!  

Oh, you know I finally tried to build the PZM modification circuit I printed in issue #1.  It doesn't work at all.  I think I left out the transformer or something.  More news on those mods next issue!

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →

Reading Materials

by Larry Crane

THE BEATLES RECORDING SESSIONS The Official Abbey Road Studio Session Notes, 1962-1970  This book is required reading for all Tape Op readers.  Writer and researcher, Mark Lewisohn, also...

Reviews, etc...

by Larry Crane

So, here's the REVIEWS section.  Tape Op gets a lot of CDs, singles and (yuck) cassettes sent our way.  Most of them are in a box behind my couch and are waiting to be traded in for Beatles...

Columns See more →

End Rant

End Rant #5

by Larry Crane

AUDIO ALCHEMY Various Artists (Ubiquity) I was ready to dismiss the whole trip-hop/dub whatever thing as a waste of time until I heard this stuff.  You can tell there's people out there who...

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