Jul/Aug 2013

Welcome to issue #96 of Tape Op.

 

While preparing to interview Ken Caillat for this issue, and reading his book, Making Rumours (about his time engineering and producing Fleetwood Mac's Rumours), I decided to ask him if he felt there was any sort of "doctor/patient" confidentiality code while working closely with artists. In Ken's case, the resulting fame of the band, three decades gone by, and the desire to tell his own story made the decision easy.

It got me thinking; are there any rules regarding spilling the beans about an artist's working methods, insecurities or lifestyle choices that one picks up while recording them? While I've heard some engineers blatantly shit talk their clients by name, I'm uncomfortable doing so. I do have a few humorous, odd, and anonymous studio tales I share with clients on occasion for fun; but I'm more likely to keep mum, especially when the end result is a recording I'm proud of.

But my recording history only goes back a few decades, and I've certainly never worked on anything with the success and impact that an album like Rumours has had. We all want to know the drama, heartbreak, and hard work that went into a record of that caliber. I know I do. By reading these tales I learn more about the art of recording music, and I make use of these lessons. Thanks to Ken Caillat for sharing that with us, and for sitting down with me to talk about the art of making records.

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →

Ben Harris: of Dirty Vegas

by Larry Crane

    Ben Harris, along with Paul Harris and Steve Smith is one third of the UK-based group Dirty Vegas. I met Ben through his father in law, Snuff Garrett (Tape Op #73), and interviewed...

Columns See more →

End Rant

Getting Serious

by Larry Crane

I remember the day clearly. It was when everything that I thought was fun about recording got turned on its head. Until that point I'd enjoyed mucking about with tape decks as a way to document my own...

Gear Geeking

Gear Geeking #96

by Andy Hong

Most of you by now have read elsewhere about the new Pro Tools 11 release, and I imagine some of you have already upgraded and are benefiting from its many enhancements. There are, as you'd expect,...

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Gear Reviews See more →

EQs

Q4 500-series semi-parametric EQ

by Radial Engineering  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

This is a fantastic-sounding EQ. It's not a surgical tool, and given the density of knobs on the front of its real-estate- limited 500-series faceplate, setting the controls is not a precise affair....

A-10 four-channel attenuator

by GAS Audio Recording Equipment  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

While recording and mixing Boston band The Monsieurs (featuring members of Tunnel of Love, Shepherdess, and Fuzzy), I was serendipitously contacted by GAS owner George Balogi, Jr, who offered me a...

Tune-Bot drum tuner

by Overtone Labs  |  reviewed by Joseph Lemmer

I have learned the hard way that the most important factor in achieving a good drum recording, next to the drummer, is proper tuning. Unless you're going for a garbage kit sound (which is a valid...

PL-DK5 5-piece drum mic set

by Electro-Voice  |  reviewed by Joseph Lemmer

This drum mic set has been serving me well for about a year now. It consists of four PL35 supercardioid snare/tom mics; four DRC-1 drum rim clamps; one supercardioid PL33 kick drum mic; one SAPL-2 mic...

GAV19T guitar amp

by Chandler Limited  |  reviewed by Adam Kagan

Wade Goeke of Chandler Limited has built his business on the solid foundations of vintage audio circuits with modern enhancements in both manufacturing and audio character. Chandler mic preamps and...

PM9 supercardioid dynamic mic

by Miktek  |  reviewed by Adam Kagan

Miktek is an American mic company that has quickly gained traction in both professional and project studios. Recently, Miktek attacked the live sound stage with an array of microphones for vocals,...

Eclipse 384 stereo AD/DA converter

by Antelope Audio  |  reviewed by Adam Kagan

Antelope Audio's founder, Igor Levin, came on the scene in the early 1990s as lead designer of Aardvark, before most commercial studios even owned a DAW. By the mid-'90s, the AardSync was the de facto...

Calibrated Dayton EMM-6 mic

by Cross·Spectrum Labs  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

A reliable measurement mic is something every engineer should have. However, high-end, certified models can be expensive. But can't you just buy a cheap measurement mic off the shelf from the likes of...

 

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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