May/Jun 1998

Welcome to issue #9 of Tape Op.

 

   So here we are with the new, bigger look for Tape Op.  I hope people like it...  This means there are more articles, more photos and pictures and such.  That means there's more that has to be written, so if any readers have people they wish to interview or features (like a how-to on tape splicing?) they want to write please let me know.  There's no way I could possibly fill a whole issue with my own writings any more.  

     Damn, anyway, it'd be hard to convey how much work goes into this mag without sounding like a whiner, so I'll shut up.  I'd like to point out that there's a lot of people who really help out on it, and I hope they're all listed to your left.  

     One complaint that has come up a lot is lack of info for or on 4 track cassette recording.  There's no conscious decision to ignore 4 track stuff, and I'm always looking for great records done on that format, but as far as full-length interviews, it seems there's only so much you can talk about when it comes to 4 tracks.  I hope that our chats with people working in other studio settings can shed some light on tricks that can be used with 4 tracks too.  Let's face it though, even with a 4 track, if you expand and get a separate mixer you can open up a lot of avenues that were closed before.  Thus the perpetual search for more gear...

     In my non-Tape Op life some fun things have happened.  A song, "Miss Misery", that Elliott Smith recorded (and co-produced) with me last year was nominated for an Academy Award after it was included in the film Good Will Hunting.  It must have been Rob and Tom's mix that saved it since we spent next to no time getting the drum sounds and such.  He's also using basic tracks from a couple of our Jackpot! sessions on his next record.  As you read this the third Quasi album, Featuring "Birds", should be out.  That was one of the funnest recording sessions of my life and I think the record shows it.  Buy it. Now!  Shit, there's a lot of other great records coming out that I got my little fingers into but I'll let you figure that out.  One of them was the Spinanes fabulous Arches and Aisles, but I can't even figure out what I did on that one!  And Jr. High, Satan's Pilgrims, Bingo, Worthington, Cadallaca...Anyway.

   The last few issues I have been printing the phone number for Tape Op (which is really my studio phone number).  Feel free to call with ideas for articles, questions about ad rates and deadlines, or other stuff relating to the magazine.  I've received several calls from people asking if they should buy certain 4 track decks and such.  I'm sorry, but I'm not gonna call anyone back, long distance, to advise on gear.  The reasons?  Well, I actually don't know everything about every tape deck ever made.  In fact, in most cases I don't know much at all.  I also don't have unlimited funds to call people back on, especially when it's not directly related to the magazine.  I don't mean to sound rude but think about it before you call!  There's only so much time in my day.

     Other Tape Op upcoming things include a compendium of issues 1 through 8 in a format similar to this issue but with many more pages.  All the articles and reviews and such (with some updating) will be combined into one huge issue.  Hopefully this will relieve me of the continual Xerox frenzy that is the backorders department and it should serve as a great resource, I hope.  People keep telling me to try to sell it as a book to some publisher but I doubt it.  As Sam Coomes has told me, "The workers must maintain control over the means of production."

     The other project I'm undertaking is a compilation CD featuring many of the artists we've interviewed or reviewed in Tape Op.  This should make for some fun listening and I hope to have extensive liner notes that describe the recording gear and environment.  Please don't send unsolicited tapes for this compilation, as we're already inundated with artists to choose from!

     Anyway, thanks for reading, buying, subscribing or whatever you're doing here.  This mag would not exist without the readers, contributors, and the sheer need for an outlet like this.  Pat yourself on the back!

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →

Cassette Corner #2

by Rob Christensen

Welcome to Cassette Corner #2.  So far it's been very rewarding talking with people about how they record their music.  I guess that's what Tape Op is all about.  Last time around I...

Recording Recipes #9

by Curtis Settino

Since I often record alone, I've developed a few techniques to compensate for the lack of extra eyes, ears and hands (until cloning is available to the masses) that I work without. Not all these...

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Music Reviews See more →

Music Reviews

TIED AND TICKLED TRIO CD

by TIED AND TICKLED TRIO | reviewed by Dewey Mahood

Highly reminiscent of a Teo Macero or Manfred Eicher production, these recordings posses an antiseptic cleanness that is both beautiful and eerie. The music too lies somewhere between 60's soul jazz...

Music Reviews

Lookout CD/cass

by CALIFORNIA BACKWOODS | reviewed by Rob Christensen

California Backwoods is a more or less family affair that counts mother, sister, and brother among its five members. They call their music "American Eclectic" as it incorporates several down-home...

Music Reviews

Reseda Spring

by VENTILATOR | reviewed by Larry Crane

I'll make no bones about it, Big Star's one of my favorite bands ever. It sounds like Matt Devine, the main Ventilator, is a big fan too. One of the charms of the Big Star records is that they were...

Music Reviews

information changer

by ELTRO | reviewed by Larry Crane

If you remember last months editorial, one of the things I was going on about was that you can do great sounding records on eight tracks. Here's an example of one. Eltro are a dreamy, spacey,...

Music Reviews

The Chopper

by SKULPEY | reviewed by Larry Crane

This fine record was recorded by the esteemed Robert Poss, who used to be in the sublime Band of Susans and has also produced Tone and Skeleton Key. Here, he aids this quirky trio in capturing some...

Music Reviews

3 Speed

by SUGARBOOM | reviewed by Larry Crane

There's a lot of great bands in Portland, and some of them go quite unnoticed while doing great work and influencing others. Sugarboom are one of those bands, dutifully playing hypnotic sets to loyal...

Music Reviews

Dispepsi

by NEGATIVLAND | reviewed by Larry Crane

As much as I like certain carbonated beverages, I'm not much of a fan of sodas, and especially not Coke or Pepsi. Negativland should be required listening for all you home-recordists out there as...

Music Reviews

Despina By Land

by SPATULA | reviewed by Dewey Mahood

This CD has seen the inside of my player quite a bit since arriving - the music is alarm-ingly unique, emotional and quirky. Guitar, cello, keyboards and drums are used to create mini-epic...

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