Mar/Apr 2014

Welcome to issue #100 of Tape Op.


This issue marks the occasion of our 100th issue of Tape Op. As I sat on my front steps 18 years ago, spray painting photocopied magazine covers by hand, I never would've imagined that my crazy little idea would ever have carried on this long, found so many readers, or become such a huge part of my life. Over the years Tape Op has certainly changed. What started as a magazine mostly focused on creating and tracking what would become known as "indie rock" (hey, that was the world I mucked about in!), has become a forum about working with every style of music, from any era. While early issues featured ads from small record labels and independent book stores, the last 15 years have seen advertising for every kind of recording product one could imagine; even including Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, at one point.

But while there have been changes, I feel that the core values of this magazine remain the same, even if they're not always visible on the surface. Creativity, passion, beauty, excitement, and honesty remain an important backbone for what we discuss and promote in these pages. Pushing the art of recording forward, while always respecting the artist and the music, is key as well. Almost everyone involved in Tape Op records music, and most of us at the professional level. When we interview a recordist it is as a peer, not simply as a journalist or a fan (though we can wear those hats too). I think these things are just the tip of the iceberg as to what makes Tape Op different, as well as what draws our readers to the magazine.

For this issue I trawled through 100 old copies of this mag and found 100 corresponding quotes — one from each issue. I've always seen Tape Op as an extension of my own growth and learning when it comes to recording music, and many of these quotes are ones that have resonated with me for years. John La Grou, owner of Millennia Media and a fine recordist himself, has written up a piece for us on his thoughts about the future of music production — you may be surprised (or distraught) to learn where he thinks it is heading. Gerald Seligman of The National Recording Preservation Foundation discusses preserving historical recordings. Barry Cleveland illustrates many of Joe Meek's innovations in the studio.

There's far more about the future and the past of recording in this issue, so get to it. And get ready for another 100 issues of Tape Op!


Larry Crane, Editor

PS: Many thanks and a raised glass of wine to my partner/publisher/friend John Baccigaluppi. Without him Tape Op probably would have disappeared into a fog of credit card debt and exhaustion 14 years ago. He believed in my vision, and took it up a big notch overnight. He is the backbone that lets this magazine flourish, and I don't think it could be what it is without his hard work and input. Also I owe a HUGE thanks to the many contributors and "staff" over the years. Many of you are my close friends and have helped guide the magazine. You know who you are. Thank you.  

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →

100 Issues! 100 Quotes!

by Larry Crane

In late 2005 we celebrated the 50th Tape Op with an end page of "Fifty Issues, Fifty Quotes," featuring one quote from every Tape Op up to that point. And here we are at Tape Op number 100, so I...

Ben Greenberg of the Men

by Dan Duszynski

2012's Open Your Heart put The Men on the map. Their aggressive, raw rock 'n' roll was a welcome jolt, a reminder of the power of energetic live performances. Ben Greenberg is the band member and...


Columns See more →

End Rant

The End of the Day

by Larry Crane

It's getting late. We've been working on this album off and on for months. We're nearing the end of the last mix, and it's sounding pretty good. It came together fairly easily, as we'd carefully...

Gear Geeking

Gear Geeking #100

by Andy Hong

Despite everything that we know about acoustics, and the trouble we go through to treat our rooms properly, a popular practice in recording studios is to place nearfield monitors on top of the...


Gear Reviews See more →

SwirlyHook headphone holder

by SwirlyGig  |  reviewed by Pete Weiss

Headphones tend to get dropped, placed, or temporarily forgotten on the studio floor - right? And then stepped on, tripped over, and/or kicked and busted. And once they are broken, they need to be...

Z-67 tube mic

by ADK Microphones  |  reviewed by Ryan Hewitt

The Neumann U 67 is one of my favorite mics of all time; I use it on nearly every tracking date that I do, on a variety of instruments, including electric and acoustic guitars, as well as vocals. When...

RX 3 Advanced

by iZotope  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

When I began work on what would become Elliott Smith's New Moon album in 2006, I knew I might have a few noise issues to tackle. One song in particular, "Angel in the Snow," had been recorded onto...

RED48 Summing Console

by Coleman Audio  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

The RED48 is the love child of a control-room monitoring system and a 48-channel summing mixer, housed in a 2RU- height rackmount box with a companion desktop remote. I don't know if anyone else...

B173 mic preamp

by Black Lion Audio  |  reviewed by Pete Weiss

Lately, Chicago-based Black Lion Audio has been earning praise for its sensibly-priced homages to classic audio gear. In particular, the B12A preamp, a half-rack-format API-inspired mic preamp, has...

ONE USB audio interface

by Apogee Electronics  |  reviewed by Jeff Elbel

After making enhancements to the company's two-channel Duet [Tape Op #65, #89] and introducing the four-channel Quartet [#93], Apogee went on to upgrade 2009's original ONE audio interface [#78]. Now...

HOC1 optical compressor

by Hamptone  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

I've been using a pair of Hamptone HOC1 single-channel compressors on my mixing and tracking sessions for several months now, and they have become my favorite tools. I think this is a very unique and...

NT1 condenser mic

by RĂ˜DE Microphones  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

The original NT1 was a big deal when it hit the market. Back then, most large- diaphragm studio condensers cost over a thousand dollars. Australian company RØDE aimed for the small studio and...

LED covers

by LightDims  |  reviewed by Adam Kagan

Over the past year or two, I have had many pieces of both professional audio gear and consumer electronics that employ exceedingly bright LED lights. In the studio, these lights can be especially...

500-series Analog Delay

by Moog  |  reviewed by Chris Koltay

I tend to think of things in reference to a chronology of gear purchases. Like, "Oh yeah, we had just gotten that mic when we tracked those vocals!" Along those same lines, my studio's chronology...

Sterling ST6050 condenser mic

by Sterling Audio  |  reviewed by Mike Jasper

Sterling Audio teamed up with legendary engineer/producer Allen Sides of Ocean Way Recording to create an affordable go-to FET condenser mic, the Sterling ST6050. Recently, I was lucky enough to try...

Music Reviews See more →

Music Reviews

Silver Bell

by Patty Griffin | reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

I've been a fan of Patty Griffin's since I heard her first album, Living With Ghosts in 1996. The record is just Griffin solo with her acoustic guitar, and the sound quality is pretty rough. It sounds...



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

Or Learn More