Jul/Aug 2015

Welcome to issue #108 of Tape Op.


As I was putting this issue together I was also moving into a new office. I feel lucky to finally have enough room to set up a shelf specifically for archive materials, such as magazine back issues, records by my old bands, and lots of hard drives. Yeah, hard drives. Some contain data from old issues of this magazine and others have backups of my own music, but a majority of these drives contain Pro Tools sessions from various projects I've recorded and produced over the last six or seven years. Unlike many recordists, I've been recording digitally for only a little over a decade. When I began using Pro Tools, I assumed that the artists I worked with understood the importance of backing up their data. I would usually keep copies of a session for a year, or until I saw a CD or LP released. It wasn't until a client (who had lost all their data a year after a one- day session) threatened to make me re-record them for free that I began keeping backups (on RAID or multiple drives) of every one of my sessions. Now I have a stack of hard drives in my office. I would have never kept analog tape copies of all my work back in the day. Imagine the expense and the space needed! But now the questions arise: How long do I need to hang onto this data? What do clients expect of me? Where do I store all these drives? The digital age has changed our workflow, our art, and our expectations. But it also has opened up all sorts of confusing new problems to solve.

Like Bob Dylan before me, I've been spending a fair bit of time in Nashville over the past few years. I really like the city's diverse community of musicians, engineers, producers and studios. And, as this issue is going to press, I'll be at the Summer NAMM show in Nashville. Check out the interviews in this issue with Kyle and Jason Lehning and Gary Paczosa for just two examples of the Nashville music community. 

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →

Mew: Copenhagen's Finest

by Alex Maiolo

Formed 20 years ago in a suburb of Copenhagen, Mew was first in a wave of indie bands to come out of Denmark. While their earliest recordings may hint at more challenging music to come, nobody could...

All About Wall Warts

by Garrett Haines

I was reading a review in another recording magazine in which the writer opened up complaining about a device's external wall wart power supply. He went on and on about how irritating wall warts...


Columns See more →

Gear Geeking

Gear Geeking #108

by Andy Hong

I've mentioned before that one of the goals of Tape Op Gear Reviews is to educate our readers. In other words, we strive to publish reviews that are just as informative about recording techniques as...


Gear Reviews See more →

ADR Compex F760X-RS dynamics processor

by Q2 Audio  |  reviewed by Chris Koltay

I've been thinking a lot lately about how we evolve as engineers, and in a way, it's my favorite part of the job. You wake up one day and realize you are doing something totally differently, like the...

U 47 fet condenser mic (reissue)

by Neumann  |  reviewed by Geoff Stanfield

The U 47 fet reissue from Neumann is a faithful recreation of the solid-state version of the U 47 manufactured from 1972 to 1986. It has a fixed cardioid polar pattern and employs a K 47 capsule and...

StereoMonoizer software

by Soundizers  |  reviewed by Adam Kagan

One of my biggest frustrations as a mixer is importing audio files from a client and finding 160 stereo audio tracks have been created in my DAW. Most of the time, I'll figure out that the bulk of the...

Two18 studio monitors

by Amphion Loudspeakers  |  reviewed by Tom Fine

A few months ago, I took on a project that pushed me into the dreaded realm of needing new studio monitors. After about ten years of using a pair of Behringer Truth B2031A passive monitors (don't turn...

Cassette tape splicing block

by RG-Recording  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

Many of us remember the days of cassette-based 4-track machines. Likewise, we can recall the days of receiving mixtapes on actual cassette tapes, not over email. I have found that the problem with...

SM9 active studio monitor

by Focal Professional  |  reviewed by Eli Crews

The quest for the right studio monitor can be long and frustrating. Or, the first pair you audition can instantly become the pair you know and trust, allowing you to do your best work right from the...

Lineage 8-channel mic preamp

by Harrison  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

I haven't spent any time on a Harrison console, but I do know that many important albums and films were recorded or mixed on Harrison consoles over the decades, and company founder Dave Harrison...

ATH-R70x open-back reference headphone

by Audio-Technica  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

I love this new model from Audio-Technica's growing line of professional studio headphones. It features open-back earcups housing proprietary 45 mm drivers, and a unique headband with spring-loaded...

Music Reviews See more →



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

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