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Letters from Our Readers
I'm not in the music industry, but my husband is. Needless to say there is always a copy of Tape Op around. Being a hairstylist, this should make me run in the other direction (no fashion or beauty articles?) but I have to tell you that I find it almost as interesting as he does. I think a testament to good writing and content is that it can be understood and enjoyed by anyone. So I had to write, because who knew you had a secret fanbase of non-industry "insiders." Keep up the good work; I'll be reading!
In your articles, the interviewer (always well- prepared and familiar with the interviewee) will ask about certain songs/passages of music, to find out how the engineer got a particular sound. It's a perfect way to present a question because then the reader can listen to the specific song/passage referred to in the question. Perfect! But I am almost always unfamiliar with the songs/music referred to, so I can't put the response in context to fully understand it. I wish it was possible for you folks to have a snippet of the music [indicated in the articles] posted on your website (just enough for reference), so that people like me could listen. What an amazing educational benefit it would be!
We do put links to YouTube videos in the online, or bonus versions, of our articles. But we're reticent to host any music on our site due to probable copyright and ownership issues. In this day and age isn't it fairly easy to hear snippets of music via iTunes or Amazon's stores? And many songs seem to be up on YouTube, no matter what copyright owners may wish. The music is out there; enjoy the search!
My name is Gerardo Montoya. I'm from Mexicali, Baja California. Mexico. I'm writing to you because I'd like to thank you for every story Tape Op brings to us. I've been recording bands in my town as a profession since 2007. I would like to share what I do with you. Thanks for every story and honest advice you write, or decide to publish.
John La Grou's article, "The Future of Audio Engineering," [Tape Op #100] was excellent, and I'd love to see more forward-looking thought pieces in Tape Op. In my opinion, the recording community has a tendency to fixate on the past. This fixation borders on nostalgia, and it seems to pull our interests, as well as the work of our technology developers (who respond to our interests), in rather conservative directions. Do we need yet another U 47 or 1073 knock-off? And, on the digital side, wouldn't it make sense to build new processors, rather than to focus on getting plug-ins to imitate vintage gear? It shouldn't come as a surprise to us that, as John notes in his article, the innovation in audio is not coming from the audio community, but from the gaming, TV, and film industries. All of these fields have stayed on the cutting edge of technology and, not coincidentally, are thriving, while the music industry continues to sink into an unprecedented financial and artistic devaluation. Please continue to bring us articles such as John's, so that we can collectively imagine, and help create, a future that's as innovative and exciting as our past was.
It feels like you have been a mysterious member of my (and my family's) life for years. I have subscribed to Tape Op off and on since 2000. Even my wife, who isn't into recording, will skim through the new issue when it arrives. Know that your work has been, and will continue to be, appreciated. Thank You.
Hello, just wanted to write and give a quick thank you for issue #101's producer interviews, in particular the triple-whammy of Ryan Freeland, Colin Marston, and Just Blaze. Reading those three back to back is as admirable an introduction as I can think of for someone asking the question, "Yes, but what IS a producer really?" The answer of course is that there are as many ways to produce as there are producers, and getting to hear nuts and bolts of technique as well as philosophy from three such diverse talents is a great illustration of this. The best compliment I can give is that the interviews inspired me to go listen to the productions of all three, and I was as impressed with the end products as I was with the thinking behind them. Thanks for another great issue.
I like reading your magazine, but it would be really nice if you would edit out the cursing. It would keep people like me from having to keep a sharpie on hand while I'm reading. The advice of the grandmother of a comedian, whose name I don't remember, was to keep his material clean. It will draw in the people who don't care if it is clean or not, and it will also draw in the people who do care. Thank you for your consideration, and for putting out a free (emphasis on free) recording magazine. God bless.
I understand your sentiment, but it ain't gonna happen. Many times I feel the language used in interviews reflects the tone of the interviewee. See the interview I did with Snuff Garrett [Tape Op #73]. He dropped an f-bomb every five words, and I edited out many of them. But to edit out all of them would not create the same feeling of hanging out with this cowboy of a record producer. While there may be a couple of words I'm reticent to print, I plan to utilize language in the best ways I can to get any points across.
In regards to the recent "eat its young" letter [Tape Op letters #99] written by Don Hershman, I'm not entirely certain that Don has a firm grasp of the point of an audio education. It's been common knowledge that back when studio jobs did exist that few would ever see any longevity come from it. The point of an education is to prepare an individual for a variety of audio disciplines where some form of studio knowledge crosses over. Because our industry is in a constant state of flux, one area that may be the bellwether one year may not be the next. In light of this, that original training may translate into other opportunities, whether it is live sound, production or post audio, sales and manufacturing, or perhaps even education itself. Plenty of opportunities exist in these fields, but only for the committed individuals that are willing to stick it out. Not that John McBride's rebuttal needs additional defense, but he only focused on a narrow side of the business - record production - historically a tough field to break into. This does not mean the training that he and other schools provide is meaningless. On the contrary, they can be a major contributor to the grooming of an individual's lifelong career, despite the changes we may endure along the way.
I just wanted to thank you for the PDF version of Tape Op. As a casual reader of your magazine since 2009, I loved getting your issues in the mail. My intention was to save every copy. However after moving numerous times it just made sense to get rid of my precious collection. Even though I'm not an audio tech practitioner, I wanted to let you know that there are music lovers like me who enjoy reading this kind of stuff just to have a bit more than common knowledge on the subject of music. Thanks for working hard at revealing the art of music making.
This is a great way to get your magazine! I really prefer it. Now since it's just on my tablet I can spend more time reading the issue. Not to mention it's way more environmentally friendly. It would be awesome if all things were done in the digital distribution sense.
For years Tape Op used to arrive in the post and I felt guilty that such a fine product was free n' gratis. A few months ago I was delighted to start paying for it via the Apple Newsstand app. I even re-purchased the book, just to have it digitally. Then, after issue #97, it stopped. So now I have signed up to get the PDF, via email. But it's free and I feel guilty all over again. What happened?