May/Jun 2022

Welcome to issue #149 of Tape Op.


In our previous issue (Tape Op #148) while talking about why he does his beaunoise solo music, Beau Sorenson noted “how a lot of engineers and producers had a need to satisfy their creativity through the projects they worked on, and that caused conflict” with the artists they were producing. This is part of the balancing act of being in the studio that we all need to keep an eye on. Not every recording session is an experiment – see my End Rant this issue – just like not every session is a chance for everyone involved to be the star. I always feel a need to push my abilities, try different techniques, and sculpt sound in new ways; but, at the same time, I am also very careful not to step all over the artists I work with.

In April 2020 I received an email about a Real World Records remix contest, featuring a song, “Love,” by Les Amazones d’Afrique. What a perfect way to give myself a challenge and try some new techniques out! I ended up completely writing new music around these vocal tracks, and had a blast trying out weird gating tricks, sitar guitars, and big Moog drones. I didn’t win, but that really wasn’t the goal. Getting to do something “for myself” was a giant “reset button” that gave me a little mental boost in the studio.

Rokia Koné
Rokia Koné
Karen Paulina Biswell

Over a year later, the publicity folks at Real World Records dropped a line about BAMANAN, “a really unique collaboration between a Malian artist Rokia Koné (photo to right) and producer Jacknife Lee. The album came to fruition thanks to a connection we made with Jacknife Lee when we launched a lockdown remix contest.” The same contest I had entered! It turned out Jacknife had heard the cool (extra) guitar of Salif Koné included with the remix tracks, leading him to Rokia Koné and this long-distance collaboration. Everything came full circle as Jacknife Lee and I got to chat and discuss many of these same concepts about remixing, working with artists, and pushing for greatness. Another exhilarating “reset” for my brain; see his interview this issue!

— Larry Crane, editor & Founder

PS: Everyone at Tape Op is saddened to report that magazine contributor, moderator, and TapeOpCon panelist – plus drummer, studio owner, and all-around great person – Chris Garges, lost his battle with cancer in February 2022. Talented and sharing, he will be missed. -LC

In This Issue See more →

Roger Eno: Chasing Colours

by Larry Crane

I first heard Roger Eno via Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks, the dreamy music written for the NASA footage-based documentary, For All Mankind. The album featured him collaborating with his...

Glenn Brown: A Michigan Legend

by Andy Reed

Immersed in the world of recording since the age of 15, Glenn Brown wears many hats. With Michigan as his home base, Glenn has followed his Midwestern roots and developed an incredible work ethic....


Columns See more →

End Rant

Sorting it Out

by Larry Crane

Recently, I was helping out a client via one of my Virtual Recording Workshops. In his single song session, there were almost 100 guitar tracks, with multiple amps and mics for every part and...

Gear Geeking

Gear Geeking w/ Andy...

by Andy Hong

F. Reid Shippen [Tape Op #125], Pete Lyman of Infrasonic Mastering, and I are breaking ground on a 15,000 sq ft media production and mastering facility in Nashville. One of the rooms in our complex...


Gear Reviews See more →

T-67 Microphone Kit

by MicParts  |  reviewed by Will Stratton

MicParts, the DIY-oriented company run by Roswell Pro Audio’s Matt McGlynn, has built up a faithful clientele over the last decade by delivering meticulously sourced and well-documented...

LCD-5 Headphones

by Audeze  |  reviewed by Geoff Stanfield

I’ve been using Audeze headphones for several years now, have written glowingly about them, and wholeheartedly recommend their headphones. The LCD-X [Tape Op #119] Reference Series models are my...

Workflow Platform for Creatives

by SoundFlow  |  reviewed by Eli Crews

EC: The past two years have given many of us an opportunity to reexamine our daily routines. For me, this manifested most profoundly in my work environment. I was already doing a fair amount of...

Refurbished Vintage iPod

by Elite Obsolete Electronics  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

My last iPod died about three years ago when the hard drive failed. Since then, I've lost my iPhone and iPad music library of MP3s during various upgrades when trying to keep them compatible with my...


by iZ RADAR  |  reviewed by Anthony Gravino

Most people who have ever had the pleasure of using an iZ Technology RADAR 24 [Tape Op #56] recorder know they are rock solid digital audio recorders, with an analog workflow and exceptionally...

M1 Tube Condenser Mic

by Myburgh  |  reviewed by Evan Sutton

I recently became frustrated with what felt like an all too common theme in the conversation about gear: a hyper-reverence to the gold standard “classic” mics and how out of reach...

MA-37 Tube Microphone

by Mojave Audio  |  reviewed by Adam Kagan

Vintage sound has become the new modern. To this end, Mojave Audio (Burbank, California) has released its adaptation of the vintage Sony C37A large-diaphragm tube condenser microphone. The original...

Paragon Reverb Plug-In

by Nugen  |  reviewed by Michael Romanowski

Space. The final frontier. Is it? So, what is space as it relates to music? Space is that last audible cue that gives listeners a sense of location. Near, far, big room, small room, no room, etc. It...

A23-M Powered Monitor

by PSI Audio  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

The A23-M is a 3-way studio monitor from Switzerland’s PSI Audio. My account of the company’s two-way A17-M monitors [Tape Op #142] provided details about the product line, so I...

AIR LINK DW 20BR Bluetooth Receiver

by Klark Teknik  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

Looking for an easy way to stream audio from laptops and phones during sessions? For years, Jackpot! has had a 1/4-inch jack mounted on the producer’s desk, with a long cable line feeding a...

VIP-60 Microphone

by Milab Microphones  |  reviewed by Dan Knobler

The new Milab VIP-60 large diaphragm condenser mic is marketed as an update to its flagship VIP-50, but in all honesty, I had never heard of, seen, or used its predecessor. It’s quite refreshing...


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

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