Nov/Dec 2014

Welcome to issue #104 of Tape Op.


Every two months I have to pull myself out of the studio and take some time to put together an issue of Tape Op. In many ways it's a nice break from constant sessions, plus poring over the interviews and gear reviews for an upcoming magazine makes me excited to return to the studio. The burnout factor in the recording world is real. I've considered, many times, running an article where we only interview folks who have decided to quit music recording as a career, if only as a cautionary tale for the rest of us. For myself having this variety is key, and I find that many "lifers" in this business end up with parallel career paths. In this issue Oliver Ackermann exemplifies this lifestyle, running a stompbox company (Death By Audio), recording bands, in addition to performing and touring with A Place to Bury Strangers. Chris Mara runs a Nashville studio that also features vinyl mastering, rebuilds analog tape decks, and puts on many events. Jorge Explosion produces sessions at his studio in Spain and fronts his band, Doctor Explosion. I'm convinced that everyone wears several hats in this biz. I'm sure of it.

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →

Ian Shaw

by Ian Shaw

Ian Shaw, engineer and producer from London, England, relocated to the heart of tropical Key West, Florida, the southernmost point in the continental US. In the winter of 2011 Ian shipped his...


Columns See more →

End Rant

Food for Thought

by Larry Crane

I've pulled together a collection of recent thoughts I've had about the recording process. You can agree or not agree. The important thing is to use your ears, mind, and creativity to make great...

Gear Geeking

Gear Geeking #104

by Andy Hong

This past September, I attended the inaugural A3Exchange ( in Boston and had one of the most enjoyable conference experiences in years. A small team of forward thinkers, under the...


Gear Reviews See more →

Console and Buss Colors plug-ins

by Airwindows  |  reviewed by Kirt Shearer

Twenty years ago, there really wasn't much of a market for "plug-ins." Sure, there were some limited software tools for audio, but they were mostly proprietary to a specific editor. Very little...

Advanced Stands Systems

by Triad-Orbit  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

Triad-Orbit is a new brand of professional microphone stands from Access Products Group, a company that has been designing and producing products for other market leaders for over twenty years. The...

iD22 USB audio interface

by Audient  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

What sets the iD22 apart from countless other compact audio interfaces I've tried is its big-console feel and sound. And really, it's the most "analog" sounding USB audio interface I've heard! The...

Studio Collection plug-in suite

by Softube  |  reviewed by Eli Crews

The first thing one notices about Softube plug-ins is that the graphics are kinda stunning. Now, I'm not foolish enough to think that skeuomorphic precision and meticulous shading are going to make...

ADL 1700 Liquid Mu tube limiter

by Anthony DeMaria Labs  |  reviewed by Daniel Schlett

In today's boutique audio market, variable-mu designs have become very popular after the rediscovery of such classic units as the Fairchild 670, General Electric BA-5-A, and Gates Sta-Level. What...

583S mk2 tube preamp

by LaChapell Audio  |  reviewed by Geoff Stanfield

Let's paint a picture. If you are new to painting, let's paint by numbers. If you have been at it awhile, let's explore and start mixing our own colors and use more than just a paintbrush to apply...

N90-DRC/500 compressor/gate

by Pheonix Audio  |  reviewed by Adam Kagan

I am a fan of the 500-series format, but each time I see a new module enter the fray of over 200 different modules, I have to wonder what makes this one special. Phoenix Audio produces high quality,...

A77X active monitors

by ADAM Audio  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

I've had a pair of ADAM S3-A [Tape Op #33] powered monitors for about a decade at Jackpot! Recording Studio, and they've treated me well. I had been through a number of speakers before them, and in...

Alpha 65 active monitors

by Focal Professional  |  reviewed by Scott McChane

French loudspeaker manufacturer Focal recently introduced the mid-priced Alpha series of professional studio monitors, all of which feature a polyglass cone woofer, double front bass ports, and an...

Music Reviews See more →

Music Reviews

La Isla Bonita

by Deerhoof | reviewed by Larry Crane

In issue #55 we chatted with Deerhoof, and learned about Greg Saunier's unique and obsessive ways of working on recordings. Their new album, La Isla Bonita, began as demos that soon became the core of...



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

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