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Gear Geeking

Gear Geeking #67

by Andy Hong

Around New Year 2007, I suped up a new Mac Pro and configured it for dual-boot. Although my primary DAW platform, Steinberg Nuendo with RME hardware (Tape Op #63), is both Windows and Mac OS...


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7720 Stereo Compressor

by Chameleon Labs  |  reviewed by Ralph Stover

At one time, I owned an Alan Smart C2 compressor, but these days, I mix in the box and rely on the Waves SSL compressor plug-in, so I was excited to try out the VCA-based 7720, which relies on THAT...

ATS-1 Analog Tape Simulator

by AnaMod  |  reviewed by Allen Farmelo

The emulation of analog gear in the digital realm is nothing new, but the emulation of analog gear in the analog realm is a new concept-analog modeling. AnaMod was founded in 2006 by two long-time...

HR824 MK2 active monitors

by Mackie  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

In my personal studio, I've relied on ADAM S3-A's (Tape Op #33) as my main monitors for the past five years. But for many years before that, I counted on Mackie HR824's. I purchased the HR's after...

MR5 active monitors

by Mackie  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

The first time I connected these tiny speakers to my console's outputs, I couldn't believe the size of the sound I was hearing. After playing through a few more songs, I had to walk out of the control...

ISA One preamp/DI

by Focusrite  |  reviewed by Al Lawson

When the ISA One first arrived, I was worried that its features seem to be targeted at the solo, at-home recordist and that I wasn't going to get the best out of it purely because that's not usually...

Live 7

by Ableton  |  reviewed by Dana Gumbiner

Yet another timely upgrade to Ableton's unparalleled DAW sequencing software instrument, Live 7 offers up a great number of optimizations, enhancements, and new instruments. I can be a bit wary of...


by Massey Plugins  |  reviewed by Allen Farmelo

There aren't a lot of de-essers out there, probably because they're not very sexy and not at the top of many people's wishlists. But a good de-esser is invaluable, especially now that so many people...

schOPE VST audio analyzer

by Schwa  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

Schwa/Stillwell are a cool plug-in company. I'm going to start writing about one of their utilities to help our readers ease into this product line. Simply put, the titles you'll find at...

Model 5 mic preamp

by Gordon Instruments  |  reviewed by Mike Jasper

My first outboard preamp was the much-maligned Drawmer 1969. I wanted to keep the signal chain as simple as possible and use a preamp with a built-in compressor, so I chose two channels of Drawmer...

The Earlybird 1.2 tube preamp

by Thermionic Culture  |  reviewed by Mike Caffrey

Although Thermionic Culture's Phoenix compressor (Tape Op #63) gets raves from everyone I know who has one, as does the Culture Vulture (Tape Op #45), The Earlybird 1.2 has yet to receive the...

Masterpiece 2

by Legendary Audio  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

The Legendary Audio Masterpiece 2 is a comprehensive 2-bus analog processing system conceived by Billy Stull and designed by Rupert Neve. Physically, the Masterpiece is a 6RU-height 19" rack unit that...

Masayuki Akamatsu Oscillator

by Masayuki Akamatsu  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

This is a great little app for the iPod Touch or iPhone available from the iTunes store. It outputs a sine, square, or sawtooth wave with variable pan and output gain. It also outputs white noise....

micKing 2200 mic stand

by Latch Lake Music  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

A few years ago, we lucked upon an old Neumann U 87. Cosmetically, it was pretty beat up, so it was only $1200. After testing it, we were exceptionally pleased with its sound. I supplied Neumann with...

MicPort Pro USB mic preamp

by CEntrance  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

In my review of the Samson Audio G-Track USB mic (Tape Op #64), I praised it for its ease of use and affordability as well as its built-in zero-latency monitoring. Without the latter, a USB mic would...

UAD-2 plug-in processor

by Universal Audio  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

Universal Audio more or less set the standard for hardware plug-in processors with their UAD-1 series. They were one of the first to release a product of this type and currently have one of the...

UAD-2 plug-in processor

by Universal Audio  |  reviewed by Eric Broyhill

Universal Audio more or less set the standard for hardware plug-in processors with their UAD-1 series. They were one of the first to release a product of this type and currently have one of the...

BPM Tap Tempo

by Audiodog  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

Another iPhone app, this utility helps you determine tempo and delay times. Just tap the tap button in time to a track, and it outputs the tempo and delay times in milliseconds for whole, half,...


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Music Reviews

Carried to Dust

by Calexico | reviewed by Larry Crane

How does a band continue to grow, yet not change so much that their audience becomes disgruntled? Calexico's previous album, 2006's Garden Ruin, took a slightly different path from their...

Music Reviews

The Ax in The Oak

by Ben Weaver | reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

Mr. Weaver is a solid songwriter who gives me a mental image of Leonard Cohen backed by Wilco. Cool stuff, produced and mixed by Brian Deck (Tape Op #36) at Engine in Chicago. Mastered by Alan...

Music Reviews

The Veronica Project

by Here Comes Everybody | reviewed by Curtis Settino

I can't review this album objectively because I've been friends with Michael Jarmer and René Ormae-Jarmer - Here Comes Everybody - for about 10 years. I participate in the same songwriting...

Music Reviews

Here With Me

by Jennifer O’Connor | reviewed by Larry Crane

Jennifer's fourth solo album was produced, recorded and mixed by John Agnello (Tape Op issue #14/book Vol. II) in 12 quick days at Headgear (issue #65) in Brooklyn, NY. Apparently all basic tracks and...

Music Reviews

Sucker Punch Requiem

by Lisle Ellis | reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

This is a post modern homage to the late, great artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat. Heavy on the electronics (but not laptop music), this was performed by a small ensemble with woodwinds, brass, percussion...

Music Reviews

Hallowed Ground

by I See Hawks In L.A. | reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

Jeff Scott Roberson Summer's Here These two albums carry the torch for traditional country music. Hawks land in the Gram Parsons camp, which is a pretty good place to be. This CD has some great tunes...

Music Reviews

$ell The Sky

by Upwell | reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

Jack Endino (Tape Op #13/book Vol. II). did an awesome job producing, recording and mixing this at Soundhouse in Seattle. His quote on the band's press release sums it up perfectly, "Upwell is one of...

Music Reviews


by Conor Oberst | reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

I've really enjoyed Oberst's last few albums under his Bright Eyes moniker, and this CD is nothing new or unexpected (that's a good thing). Well crafted, literate songs that would loosely fall under...

Music Reviews

True Dirt

by The Snow | reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

A nice disc of jazz inflected pop. Well written with tasty covers of Bruce Springsteen and M. Ward songs. Recorded in Brooklyn, NY, by Bryce Goggin (Tape Op #40) and Adam Sachs at Trout Studios and by...

Music Reviews

Be Kind, Rewind

by Be Kind, Rewind | reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

I know this isn't a CD, but it has the same shape as a CD. Seriously though, this DVD by one of my favorite directors, Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind), has a theme that is very...

Music Reviews


by Radar Brothers | reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

Jim Putnam Mt. Wilson Repeater I always like to get a new Radar Brothers album, they're comfort music to me, like mac and cheese on a cold winter evening. So when I finally got around to getting a...