Every now and then, I have to merge a stereo recording that's split into separate L and R files (like a Pro Tools stereo track) into a single, interleaved stereo file. There are plenty of ways to do this conversion using a DAW, but when I'd rather not wrestle with a full-blown audio-editing application to bounce/render tracks while making sure the application's stereo pan law doesn't subject the audio to a gain change (and therefore unwanted math), I open Interleaver (www.railjonrogut.com/interleaver.zip), a tiny, standalone, Windows utility (less than 500 KB), authored by notable engineer Rail Jon Rogut of Platinum Samples (www.platinumsamples.com). Its user-interface is dead simple, and it can batch- process any number of merges in one go. ••• In previous Gear Geeking columns, I've mentioned using short (12'', 18'', 36'') IEC power cables from Cyberguys.com (Tape Op #57, #70) to neaten up the wiring in the back of my racks. At about $2 a piece, it's a no-brainer to replace all the removable power cables feeding your racked gear. But then what do you do with all the unused 6-10 ft power cords that came with the gear? Well, when you order your short replacement cables, remember to also order a bunch of PC Power Outlet to 110 V AC Adapters ($16.80 for 10) to convert all those leftover IEC cables into standard extension cords. I also suggest buying some Power Strip Liberator Classics ($12.49 for 5) so you can plug big-ass wall warts into your power strips without losing use of any outlets. You might find the Flat Plug Liberators ($12.95 for 5) more useful if you need to access AC outlets behind furniture; yes, the heads of these are flat (duh), but even cooler, they're rotated 120 degrees so you can still use them with power strips. ••• I'd bet that most readers of this column have laid cable between two points that are far enough apart that you can't reach both with your hands at the same time. If you're working with long cable runs, a tone and probe kit, like the Fluke PRO3000 ($65 street; www.fluke.com) is extremely handy for tracing multipairs from one end to the other. You clip the generator on one end and then wave the probe at the other end until you hear a buzz or beeps as you get closer to the correct multipair. ••• You may have noticed while assembling your computer (or performing an upgrade to its internal components) or teching audio gear manufactured in Europe (or New Zealand) that your regular Phillips drivers weren't grabbing the screws very well. If that's the case, you probably encountered Pozidriv heads without knowing it. A telltale clue is the use of cross- shaped marker lines placed 45 degrees off of the driver slots on the fastener head. There are many advantages to Pozidriv over Phillips, all of which become irrelevant if you use the wrong tool! Although it's tough to find Pozidriv tools in a typical American hardware store, I've purchased high-quality Pozidriv tools made by Wiha, Felo, and GearWrench from Amazon.com.

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

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