Behind the Gear

Jeff Lipton

by Andy Hong

Mastering. It's kind of like the snake oil of making records. It's that secret elixir that gives your songs sheen, size, and consistency. It brings out the best sound in your recordings, while...

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March 15, 2003


Hrvatski: IDM and beyond

by Dan Smith, Sean Wolfe

Keith Fullerton Whitman, aka Hrvatski, is a record buying addict who blends experimental drum 'n' bass, academic music and his washer and dryer into some very exciting and listenable music. I was...


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End Rant

Paint by Numbers

by Larry Crane

When I was a kid my mom worked with ceramics. She had a business, out of our home, where she made incense holders, "pencil pots" and other small, hand-made items that sold pretty well in the...


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ML52 Ribbon Microphone

by Oktava  |  reviewed by Chris Garges

Ribbon microphones have gained considerable popularity in the past few years. Unfortunately, the fact remains that although the availability of new, inexpensive condenser mics has grown, the...


by Line 6  |  reviewed by Scott Wyatt

Well, now the question becomes, "Do I sell my entire guitar rig that I spent years building and lugging around?" After a few moments with the new Line 6 PODXT I was on my way to my favorite pawn shop....

TW100 Tension Watch

by Tama  |  reviewed by Scott Craggs

I will gleefully hack away at most any instrument in front of me, but I'll always be a drummer at heart. Drums are just the most fun. And after years of moving microphones and flipping phase buttons I...


Ultra-Curve Pro DSP8024 Digital EQ

by Behringer  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

For years, I've been wanting a dedicated real time analyzer (RTA) in my studio. An RTA is a device that will display the amplitude of frequencies across the audible spectrum, thus allowing the...

Super-X Pro CX2310 Crossover

by Behringer  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

About one hundred issues ago (#10, actually), we ran an interview with Dan Rathbun of Polymorph Recording who discussed at length his technique of using crossovers to split signals into two or three...

SM53, SM54

by Shure  |  reviewed by Steve Silverstein

While Electro-Voice has established a reputation for building reduced proximity-effect dynamic microphones, Shure's sole entry in the field has disappeared from production and also from public...

PBP-362 Litepipe Patch Bay

by Hosa Technology  |  reviewed by Eddie Ciletti

The digital revolution did not eliminate the need for analog patch bays, nor did it simplify wiring or routing. No matter how modest your rig, a few different flavors of digital and analog...

Dangerous Monitor

by Dangerous Music  |  reviewed by Larry DeVivo

I've been asking for a high-quality monitoring system like the Dangerous Monitor ever since I started mastering some seven years ago. Many mastering engineers have custom-manufactured desks or...

OctoPre 8-channel mic preamp

by Focusrite  |  reviewed by Tom Eaton

Focusrite's take on the 8-channel mic preamp, the Platinum Series OctoPre, has everything one would expect in an outboard mic preamp, including good sonic performance, a clean user interface, and a...

Ela-M 251 microphone

by Telefunken USA  |  reviewed by Kirt Shearer

I've been waiting for many years for someone to accurately recreate the legendary Telefunken 251 microphone. I've had several conversations wondering why this had never been done, with of course no...

BX8 Reference Monitors

by M-Audio  |  reviewed by Mike Caffrey

The BX8's are low-cost, self-powered monitors with an 8'' woofer and a 1'' silk-dome tweeter. Each monitor has two 65 watt amplifiers, one per driver. The rear panel features four switches (Acoustic...

Nano Head tube amplifier

by Z.Vex  |  reviewed by Craig Schumacher

By now, most of us have seen the products made by Zachary Vex of the Z.Vex Company. Z.Vex pedals are incredibly cool in both design and function. Every time I go to the good music store here in...

GRAMMA isolation platform

by Auralex  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

My brother and I recently built a "real" recording studio to replace my home studio. As a cost-savings measure, we chose not to float the floors; but we did spend the big bucks on well-built walls,...

CRW-F1 CD-R/RW drive

by Yamaha  |  reviewed by Rich Hardesty

Now that writable and rewritable DVD's are all the rage right now, not a lot of excitement can be drummed up for new and decidedly better CD-R/RW recorders. However, Yamaha has pulled a neat trick...

V69 Mogami Tube Microphone

by MXL Microphones  |  reviewed by Pete Weiss

The MXL V69 Mogami Edition is the latest in a parade of low-priced tube condenser mics on the market today. MXL's parent company, Marshall Electronics, has been the North American distributor for...

C42 MP cardioid condenser mics

by Josephson  |  reviewed by Brian Lucey

I borrowed a friend's Josephson C42's and am having a hard time returning them. I like a small-diaphragm mic with extended, smooth highs and good detail, full midrange, and lows without any boom or...


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Music Reviews

Summer At Shatter Creek

by Summer At Shatter Creek | reviewed by Larry Crane

Craig Gurwich has been a long-time Tape Op subscriber, and it's great to get a CD in the mail and recognize his name as the creator. This CD is a dreamy delight, tracked on his 8-track 1/2", and...

Music Reviews

The Sky Above The Mud Below

by Tall Dwarfs | reviewed by Larry Crane

Chris Knox was interviewed some time ago in Tape Op, and along with his partner Alec Bathgate has been the Tall Dwarfs for many years now. This album began on Chris' 1/2" Tascam 8-track but ended up...

Music Reviews


by Blues Goblins | reviewed by Larry Crane

Sam Coomes of Quasi is the Blues Goblins. One original song appears among severely frantic, disturbed takes on classic blues tunes by artists like Muddy Waters and Leadbelly. Sam played all the...

Music Reviews

The Escapist

by Lee Baby Simms | reviewed by Larry Crane

Kevin Friedman is a Portland-based guitarist of note, having been in many interesting local bands. This is his solo alias, recorded on a Roland VS880 Expanded with an Ensoniq ASRX, Kawai K-1 synth and...

Music Reviews


by Bitter, Bitter Weeks | reviewed by Larry Crane

One time Tape Op writer and manager of MinerStreet/CycleSound studio in Philadelphia, Brian McTear is also a musician, having played in Marinernine and Mazarin among others. So what does he do when...

Music Reviews


by Camper Van Beethoven | reviewed by Larry Crane

Ostensibly 4-track cassette recordings from 1987 that were "restored" in 2001, this is CVB's reworking of the classic cocaine-fueled Fleetwood Mac album - song by song! Some of it is funny, some is...