May/Jun 2009

Welcome to issue #71 of Tape Op.

 

Have you ever had an experience you assumed would go one way, but instead it lead in another direction? Like taking a bite of food you assume is chocolate and then tasting black beans? That sudden shock of your senses taking in something unexpected can be jarring, causing you to reevaluate the experience that is occurring. When recording music I find people being led astray by this all the time. Our mind fills in information around what our senses take in, based on experiences we've had before and knowledge we've gained. Everything we see and hear is not taken in as brand new information and "rescanned" so to speak, but is instead augmented by memories and knowledge from our brain's past. When you're locked in a room with no natural light, listening to the 100th playback of the same song, your mind might be lulled into assuming you're hearing what you think you should be hearing — not what is really being played back in the room.

Learning to recognize the times where you need to open up your senses, reset your assumptions and reevaluate what you are hearing is as important in creating great music in the studio as it is to a chef tasting their creations in a kitchen with no bias towards what they think it should taste like. Make sure you are really hearing what is going on all the time.

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →

Death & Black Metal

by Ron Vento

You've seen the spikes and corpse paint, Satanic or ancient themes, or maybe even the blood and guts album covers. Maybe you assumed death and black metal was something not to be taken seriously, but...

Mixing and MP3s

by Paul Abbott

I recently worked with a client who referenced a popular band as their sonic target for mastering. Although I was already aware of the band, I went on iTunes to really listen to a few tracks. After...

Columns See more →

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Gear Reviews See more →

CM-47 large-diaphragm tube mic

by Advanced Audio  |  reviewed by Kirt Shearer

It used to be that you couldn't get a large-diaphragm condenser mic for under two grand, and there weren't that many choices anyway. Then some less expensive mics started appearing, and it seemed like...

Mic Pre One

by Daking  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

We have a Daking console here at The Hangar and a pair of his FET compressors that see near constant use, so when Geoff Daking and Brad Lunde at TransAudio Group offered to send us a pair of Mic Pre...

REQ-2.2 Resonance Equalizer

by Buzz Audio  |  reviewed by Larry DeVivo

I recently sold my beloved solid-state Pultec EQP-1A3 equalizers, so I was in the market for a new unit to fill the empty void left in my mastering rig. Unlike my old Pultec program equalizers, this...

CMS 65 Monitors

by Focal Professional  |  reviewed by Allen Farmelo

If you work in a purpose-built, acoustically-treated studio in which room anomalies are at a minimum, then the acclaimed Focal SM6 series of monitors (Tape Op #60, #61) is a first-class choice....

C720 variable-pattern mic

by Josephson Engineering  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

The C720 Anniversary Special commemorates Josephson's twenty years in business. Like many other large-diaphragm condenser mics employing a two-sided capsule, the C720 has multiple, user-selectable...

Analogue ToneBuss

by Rascal Audio  |  reviewed by Thom Monahan

Switching between in-the-box mixing, external summing, and console mixing has been a project-by-project reality in my personal world for a long time now. There are merits to all of these different...

BH-1 Black Hole condenser mic

by JZ Microphones  |  reviewed by Pete Weiss

JZ Microphones is a new Latvian company started by mic designer Juris Zarins, who at one time worked closely with the company BLUE. JZ's promotional literature touts its old world, no-compromise...

FutzBox plug-in

by McDSP  |  reviewed by Dave Hidek

FutzBox is a brand-new distortion and noise generator plug-in for mashing, destroying, and making low-fidelity versions of your tracks. The main interface offers configurable "futz" effects, including...

X-M omni mic

by Naiant  |  reviewed by Mike Jasper

Since November, I've been working on a huge shootout of small-diaphragm condenser mics; I might have mentioned this in my last review. Frankly, I might mention this in every review forever, since it...

V67N small-diaphragm mic

by MXL  |  reviewed by Mike Jasper

Since November, I've been working on a huge shootout of small-diaphragm condenser mics; I might have mentioned this in my last review. Frankly, I might mention this in every review forever, since it...

M-Five Ribbon Microphone

by Art Pro Audio  |  reviewed by Scott McChane

Most of us at one time or another have owned or thought about buying an ART product. In my opinion, they offer one of the best price-versus-performance product lines on the market. At the January NAMM...

Music Reviews See more →

Music Reviews

No Line on the Horizon

by U2 | reviewed by Larry Crane

What do you do after being a band for 30 years? How does anyone even survive being in a band for that long? U2's studio workflow has evolved into a slow process of addition and subtraction over the...

Music Reviews

Never Say Never

by Ian McLagan & The Bump Band | reviewed by Larry Crane

I had the pleasure of meeting Ian McLagan in Austin, Texas recently, and I will tell you this man is a treat to hang with. Ian's a soulful keyboardist and a music veteran of The Small Faces/Faces and...

Music Reviews

Fretworx

by Brian Tarquin | reviewed by Larry Crane

With a title like Fretworx you might assume this CD is all about guitar playing - and you'd be right. Brian is one of those "guitar technique" guys, and while he can play with speed like Steve Vai...

Music Reviews

Booty Beats Fully Realized

by Loudest Boom Bah Yea | reviewed by Larry Crane

Chris Deaner (+/- {plus/minus}) and Karl Lundin (Mandible) create pop songs with just drums, percussion, a bit of chanting and some processing and editing. Instead of some crazy drum jam, these are...

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