Nov/Dec 2008

Welcome to issue #68 of Tape Op.

 

Okay, let's get this straight:

Last issue I wrote an End Rant entitled "Purity and Honesty in Recordings." In this piece of over-the-top, satirical writing, I attempted to lampoon the idea of creating a set of impossibly tight-fisted, analog-based rules to be imposed on others during the recording process. Unfortunately, despite my attempts to make this piece come off as ridiculous as possible, many people took it as a serious statement of intent. I was shocked and amazed that anyone reading this would think it was a real set of rules, especially given that I proposed a system of certification from which Tape Op would financially benefit! Yikes. No way.

Are there any rules that should be adhered to while recording music? Sure — I find myself placing limitations on aspects of every album I record and produce. But these are self-created rules to help focus the project at hand, and even these rules get tossed out at times in order to achieve what needs to be done.

Should anyone impose his or her own rules on others who are involved in the creative process of recording music? I would hope not. The variety of recording equipment and the techniques used to help capture and create this art form should be left as wide open as possible. Anyone who feels the need to tell others that they are "recording the wrong way" is so full of shit I don't know where to begin. When we interview someone and they have something to say about how they like to record, are they inferring that others are working in lesser ways? A number of people wanted to point out that T Bone Burnett's "rules" seemed as ridiculous as my satirical ones — I completely disagree. I feel that his thoughts and processes are generating results, and in no way does T Bone come across as someone who expects others to only work in his manner. Sure, someone like Steve Albini may have a seemingly strict methodology in the studio, but he ain't out there telling anyone to follow his rules. See our "Letters to Tape Op" for various thoughts on T Bone's interview from last issue.

Keep everything as wide open as possible in the creative process, and then define your project with any limitations and rules you feel will bring the best results. We all have a myriad ways of recording audio and making records, and that is why we can fill issue after issue with interesting people making interesting music.

And please, read more carefully next time, Larry Crane, editor

PS: At the time I was receiving the initial confused and accusatory responses to "Purity and Honesty in Recordings", I was also beginning the first sessions for a "solo" album at The Hangar in Sacramento, CA. Ironically enough it's being recorded in Pro Tools with lots of editing, nudging, plug-ins, drum triggers and plenty of processing. In fact, you'll see later as I report more, this record would be very expensive and more difficult to do in the analog realm. I used the tools best suited for the job — in my opinion!

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →

Arnie Acosta

by Sasha Zand

Arnie Acosta is a man who always plays an integral part when and where his efforts are put to use. He was established as a part of the hit factory that was A&M Records in the label's heyday, the...

Columns See more →

Gear Geeking

Gear Geeking #68

by Andy Hong

Here's a roundup of some of the products I saw at the annual AES show that piqued my interest. Digidesign unveiled the Beta version of Pro Tools 8. Earlier this year, I sent my contacts at the company...

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Gear Reviews See more →

AE6100 & ATM650 mics

by Audio Technica  |  reviewed by Bryan Cord

As a radio station primarily interested in close-mic'ed, live-in-the-studio recording (and also a radio station on a budget), WMBR relies heavily on inexpensive, durable dynamic microphones. While the...

m101 single-channel mic preamp

by Grace Design  |  reviewed by

Prepare to be impressed with a single word-transimpedance. What the hell does that mean? I think it's best explained by Michael Grace; refer to "Behind the Gear" in Tape Op #61 (also available on...

Juggernaut 500-series mic preamp

by Atlas Pro Audio  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

In my personal studio, I rely heavily on outboard preamps: Brent Averill-racked vintage Neve 1272; BA-racked vintage API 312 (in 500-series form), two with original AP2622 input transformers and six...

m902 Headphone Amplifier

by Grace Design  |  reviewed by

Before considering any gear, I like to poke around the web for reviews, articles, and forum activity. I found very little talk of the m902's performance for pro audio applications. Most of the...

Oxford Limiter plug-in

by Sonnox  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

When Sony Oxford released the OXF-R3 in the 1990s, it was one of the most ambitious digital consoles ever. It featured programs so advanced that the company had to fabricate custom DSP chips to run...

Mini Massive equalizer

by Langevin  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

I had a Manley Massive Passive. But the tracking guys "borrowed it" for a session. That was over a year ago. I don't think I am getting it back. So, I was excited when I heard Manley released the Mini...

SE4 small-diaphragm condenser mic

by SE Electronics  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

The SE2200A large-diaphragm condenser (Tape Op #48) is one of my favorite mics. At $300 street, it's easily one of the best deals in pro audio. Up until recently, I also had in my cabinet a matched...

Chromium Series K-Stereo plug-in

by Algorithmix  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

Algorithmix, in conjunction with Bob Katz, has released a software incarnation of Digital Domain K-Stereo, a patented process that can extract ambience and depth from existing recordings, allowing for...

EQs

V14 EQ

by Arsenal Audio  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

The Arsenal line is the new range of gear from API that is more affordably-priced than the legacy API gear. I am always interested in new EQs, so I asked the folks at API to send me a pair of the V14s...

Nuendo 4.2 & Cubase 4.5

by Steinberg  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

I'm afraid that this is an unwieldily long review, and even at its length, I'm only touching on a few of the countless points worth discussing if you are considering Nuendo or its near-identical...

Music Reviews See more →

Music Reviews

Object 47

by Wire | reviewed by Larry Crane

At under 35 minutes, Wire's usual economy shines as they deliver tight little packages of streamlined post punk on what appears to be their 11th album (depends how you count them). Now stripped down...

Music Reviews

Shotgun Singer

by Kris Delmhorst | reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

I meant to review this CD last issue along with some of the other reader submitted CDs I reviewed. It's probably a good thing that I missed it however as Shotgun Singer is in a class of it's own....

Music Reviews

Cold Fact

by Rodriguez | reviewed by Larry Crane

Released in 1970, this is one of those "lost classics" type albums that vinyl collectors freak over and I wait for reissues of. Rodriguez was/is a tough-ass, who comes off like an angry,...

Music Reviews

Patriarch’s Blues

by Victor Krummenacher | reviewed by Larry Crane

Recorded live off the floor in two days (with minimal overdubs) at Fantasy Studios [Berkeley], this is Victor's "musical wake" for the passing of his father and stepfather. Imagine gathering your...

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