Sep/Oct 2016

Welcome to issue #115 of Tape Op.


Looking back over the history of recorded music, one thing is for sure: the technology used is always in flux. When I’ve interviewed engineers from the ‘60s or ‘70s, there will invariably be a point where the number of analog tape tracks (1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 12, 16, 24, 32, 48) a studio was able to offer would affect the financial end of running a business (see Annette Cisneros’ interview this issue). These days, it’s quite different; and while some studios, engineers, and producers will look to the past and pick and choose the recording technology they wish to utilize, the majority of recording folks are looking at a computer screen, unlimited track count, and data to back up.

Check out John Baccigaluppi’s End Rant this issue. As technology focuses on the everyday user, he’s questioning his faith in computer companies – as many other professionals might be doing these days. Note Billy Bush’s tale of job advancement due to his eagerness to explore new technologies. Read Jack Shirley’s story of moving from digital to tape for better sounds and workflow. The technology of recording is fascinating, but we must always keep in mind that it only serves a means. Capturing art, expression, and emotion – in any way possible — is the goal.

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →


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Gear Reviews See more →

Xkey mobile USB MIDI keyboard

by CME  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

I'm a big fan of the iPad for virtual instruments, especially soft-synths, and I use my iPad in the studio much more than instrument plug-ins within my DAW. I like the at-your-fingertips interface of...

Push 2 USB controller/instrument

by Ableton  |  reviewed by Dana Gumbiner

Whoa. Ableton has delivered a major upgrade/revision to their innovative Push controller [Tape Op #97]. This new version sports a ton of new features, including a vastly improved display with enhanced...

UE Pro Reference Remastered & UE Pro Sound Guard

by Ultimate Ears Pro  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

Five years ago, I reviewed the original UE Pro Reference Monitors [Tape Op #83], in-ear monitors (IEM) that were co- developed with Capitol Studios. I liked these a lot and continued to use them for...

LE-10 Mono & Stereo Tube Preamps

by Edwards Audio Research  |  reviewed by Adam Kagan

Paul Edwards of Edwards Audio Research came to be a manufacturer the honest way. That is, he needed a good mic preamp for his vintage Altec 639A dynamic/ribbon mic, so he set about to build one with...

Mercury7 500-series Reverb

by Meris  |  reviewed by Adam Kagan

Meris may not yet be a household name in pro audio, but its team of three have put in plenty of time developing products and designs for companies like Strymon and Line 6, and working creatively for...

Liverpool Tube Compressor

by Grove Hill Audio  |  reviewed by Geoff Stanfield

When I plug in a piece of gear (or use a plug-in) I want to be inspired. Sometimes all I need is a little mojo to pull me out of a stall or tailspin. Phase-linear EQ and transparent gain are just fine...

IFET Condenser Mic

by Bock Audio  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

While there are more new microphone models being manufactured now than ever before, most of them will never attain the classic status (nor hold the resale value) of an older Neumann U 47, AKG C 12,...

HA15 & HA75 headphone amps

by Hafler  |  reviewed by Tom Fine

These days, pro audio's end products often live in the "Headphones World." The home stereos of the past have been supplanted by the mobile devices of today. Fewer listeners have full-size speaker...

Halo reflection filter

by Aston Microphones  |  reviewed by Scott McChane

Don't you just love things that are simple? Aston Microphones believes that reflection filters should be simple — easy to use, lightweight... and purple. Since the introduction of the SE...

Miza D-Stand speaker stand

by ZAOR Studio Furniture  |  reviewed by Scott McChane

How about some sexy Italian desktop stands for your sassy French monitors? Oui — I mean sì. In a previous issue, I reported on Italian studio furniture manufacturer ZAOR and its fabulous...

Eris E66 active monitor

by PreSonus  |  reviewed by Scott McChane

Over the years, PreSonus has impressed many of us with its consistency in offering a wide range of essential products for the price-conscious, and the Eris MTM Studio Monitor series certainly follows...

Quantum DAC for Solaris, Avocet II & IIA

by Crane Song  |  reviewed by Geoff Stanfield

When Crane Song told me it had a new converter that was a step up from the one that I raved about in my review of the Crane Song Avocet II monitor controller [Tape Op #103], I was excited and...

1073 DPX two-channel preamp/EQ

by AMS Neve  |  reviewed by Dave Cerminara

The AMS Neve 1073 DPX is a dual-channel preamp/equalizer in a 2RU-height rackmount chassis. With vintage Neve 1073 strips fetching more and more coin, and dependable techs becoming harder to find, I...

Scarlett 2i4 USB interface (2nd generation)

by Focusrite  |  reviewed by Mike Eagan

Back in the day, when I was running a commercial recording studio, my best front-end setup was a two-channel Gordon Instruments preamp [Tape Op #67] to Lavry Engineering LavryBlue A/D converters, and...

Cloudlifter CL-Z Mic Activator

by Cloud Microphones  |  reviewed by Scott McDowell

The original Cloud Microphones CL-1 Mic Activator [Tape Op #85] has been an indispensable tool for me ever since I first discovered it (ironically enough, through a Tape Op review). The Cloudlifter...


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

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