Jan/Feb 2021

Welcome to issue #141 of Tape Op.

 

As we watch technology change and the world shift around us, one aspect of making music appears to be moving in a very obvious way; the writing and recording of music is becoming one in the same. Many musicians and songwriters that we talk to these days use the process of recording as a part of the songwriting. Decades ago this was only the territory of huge recording budgets, where aesthetes had the time and money to “write in the studio” or use the sessions to create sounds from experiments and ideas. This opportunity also sometimes existed in someone’s personal studio where they had accumulated enough gear to capture their creativity – but it was still hard to afford more than four or eight tracks to work with, and even modest gear was more expensive than now. I’m sure I don’t need to explain to our readers the many changes computer-based recording has wrought. But what is always interesting to witness is what creative people do with advances in technology, how they adapt to what is in front of them, and how they use the tools in any way they can to build tracks, make songs, and express something new. This magazine began almost 25 years ago with my intent to focus on art over technology in the recording process, and it’s exciting to me to see more tools than ever in the hands of artists, as well as creativity moving in new directions. Let’s continue bringing more music into the world for all to listen to and enjoy!

— Larry Crane, editor

Charlie Clouser home studio detail, see interview here. Zoe Wiseman

In This Issue See more →

Charlie Clouser: Scoring

by John Baccigaluppi

Last fall, I had the pleasure of meeting up and chatting with two successful Hollywood film composers (Charlie Clouser & Lyle Workman), each in their respective home studios. Interestingly, what...

Laraaji: True Listening

by Geoff Stanfield

Laraaji (born as Edward Larry Gordon) may be most well-known for his 1980 album Ambient 3: Day of Radiance, a collaboration with Brian Eno for his legendary ambient series of recordings, but...

The Music of JG Thirlwell

by Larry Crane

Composer, musician, and producer James George Thirlwell has been known as JG Thirlwell, Clint Ruin, Frank Want, and most famously, Foetus and its many incarnations. Lately he has been doing quite a...

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Columns See more →

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Gear Reviews See more →

EQs

LH95 500 Series Inductor EQ

by Iron Age Audio  |  reviewed by Brendan Connors

With the current market for analog audio hardware crowded with clones of coveted pieces, the myriad of redundancies can be a drag once you tire of the usual suspects and begin to seek new tonal...

Element Microphone

by Aston Microphones  |  reviewed by Ben Bernstein

At $199, the Aston Element is a very affordable mic, but by no means is it cheap gear. That is to say, the value at this price point is immeasurable. An expertly crafted microphone paired with a...

B173 MKII Preamp

by Black Lion Audio  |  reviewed by Dave Hidek

Four years ago, Black Lion Audio introduced the B173 [Tape Op #100], their single-channel take on a British-style preamp at a wallet-friendly price. Last year, their B173 Quad improved on the design...

500 Series Tie Line Panel

by Bleeding Ear Audio  |  reviewed by Scott McChane

It’s time to open up about those empty spaces in our 500 Series racks – it feels like a sickness inside you, doesn’t it? Every time you see a shadowy gap or blank panel in your rack,...

HDI Studio DI

by Radial Engineering  |  reviewed by Eli Crews

As gear reviews go, this is a pretty easy one to write, as the issue isn’t whether or not this is an excellent product. It most definitely is, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who...

BF-S PRO DI

by Useful Arts  |  reviewed by Tony SanFilippo

The Useful Arts BF-S PRO DI is everything you’d expect in a high-quality, all-tube, single-channel studio DI. Besides the IEC power receptacle on the back, all connections are on the front...

EQs

CEQ 6-Band EQ

by Terry Audio  |  reviewed by Gus Berry, Adam Gonsalves

I’d been curious about Marshall Terry’s passive/active EQ beast with hieroglyphic-looking markings since before the pandemic hit. He pulled me over to his booth a few years ago during the...

Myrtle Microphone

by Ear Trumpet Labs  |  reviewed by Ben Bernstein

When I was asked to review an Ear Trumpets Labs microphone, I jumped at the opportunity. I’ve always been attracted to their vintage-style designs and have had good experiences with their Edwina...

MBC Master Buss Converter

by Rupert Neve Designs  |  reviewed by Gus Berry

For some time now, I’ve been on the hunt for a mastering-grade A/D converter to capture the summed stereo output of my Shadow Hills Industries Equinox [Tape Op #55] for printing final mixes back...

Spencer Tweedy & Lawrence Azerrad

by Mirror Sound (Book)  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

Subtitled “The People and Processes Behind Self-Recorded Music,” this is a beautiful, hardbound coffee-table-style tome about making recordings that matter. Featuring excellent photos by...

 

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

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