Here's a list of things that would make our recording lives easier.

Larry's List

Pro Tools LE that would run on my laptop without a piece of hardware attached, even if it didn't record, so I could comp and edit!

A mic that really sounds like what I hear in the room when the musicians are playing.

A super simple line mixing console with 48 channels, six aux sends, eight buses, no mic pres, no EQ and a price I could afford. (I'm broke.)

A delay box that listens to the program material and gives you options that fit the beat coming in.

Analog gates that can look ahead!

Console tape that leaves no residue.

Headphones that get louder without distorting.

TRS and TS 1/4" cables that don't fall out of the jacks.

Patchbays that don't mysteriously cut out.

Mic shock mounts that don't turn into a useless pile of metal bits and rubber bands after two years.

An active DI box that doesn't automatically create a ground loop with the bass amp.

A way to have a console in front of me, three sets of speakers above and a computer screen and keyboard handy while still being able to see the artists through the glass. Invisible speakers?

A magic tape deck that could handle every speed, formulation, width and track count of any tape I play on it — and would self calibrate!

Word clocks that don't revert to some random clock rate just to fuck with you.

A computer without a noisy fan in it.

Hard drives that really are quiet.

A full set of Yamaha NS-10 replacement drivers.

Metering on every outboard mic preamp.

A Leslie cabinet that doesn't hum.

Dimmer operating lights on most gear — I get blinded by some of these lamps and LEDs around the studio!

VU meter lights that don't burn out and aren't yellow LEDs.

Non switching computer power supplies so there's no RFI crud floating back down the power line.

Pop screens that actually mount where you need them.

Mic stands that don't sag or droop.

Direct Brain DI — A box you can plug right in to your recording device to get the music ideas direct.

Al's List

A vocal booth in the control room as wall as the live room.

A pause button outside Protools so I can get some sleep when the band want to keep going!

Andy's List

A low-cost material in the same form factor as drywall that works as both a sound barrier and a bass trap — and it's available in clear.

Non-slipping flooring that doesn't scuff or make noise, and functions as an electrical ground for everything placed on it.

An iso booth for electric guitar/bass with a soundproof neck hole so the player's head can stick out into the room while the guitar and amps remain in the iso booth in case feedback is a required component of the recorded sound.

A wireless mouse that recharges via all the stray RF that's in my studio so I don't have to go looking for batteries in the middle of a session.

A device that soaks up all the stray RF in my studio.

A wireless mouse RF trap.

A single, true master clock somewhere in the world (with all clock frequencies available) to which all devices worldwide automatically lock without jitter.

A cell phone hack that would turn my phone into a universal smart key (iLok, etc.) and PT LE interface.

John's List

Headphones that sound really good and cost less than $25 a pair.

Headphones that cost less than $25 a pair without any plastic parts that break really easily.

Headphones with cables made with real wire, not that weird zmicron stuff interwound with cloth that solder won't stick to.

Headphones that are easily replaceable user serviceable cables that cost less than $25 a pair.

Headphones that terminate in a 1/4" TRS plug.

In lieu of the above , how about a pair of super well built, unbreakable headphones that cost $500 and sound great. Also, please add anti-gravity capabilities so they can't be thrown on the floor, and built in GPS tracking system in case they leave the building. 

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

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