Jul/Aug 2022

Welcome to issue #150 of Tape Op.

 

When we hit milestones (such as 150 issues of this magazine!), I always pause and think about what it all means. This magazine is named Tape Op for a reason. What is a tape op? Well, as we get further and further into a digitally-dominated music recording landscape, it’s important to recall that a tape op was originally the person who acted as a human tape deck remote – sometimes even in an adjacent space to the control room – where they would stop, start, rewind, and punch in as needed. When the lead engineers were given actual electronic remotes to control the decks, the tape op became more of a second assistant engineer – someone who was learning by watching, and likely asking questions of the higher-up assistant during downtime. They were essential to the recording process, all while building up the skills to become engineers and producers themselves.

John Beaudoin
Thank you very much to artist and Tape Op reader John Beaudoin for this issue’s cover art! - JB

When I founded and named Tape Op Magazine in 1996, I was reflecting on this concept of on-the-job education. Sure, there were (and still are) studios where people learn the craft in this way. But how many of us, me included, learned recording mostly on our own in a home-based studio by simply jumping in and tracking, making mistakes, and (hopefully!) getting better? We essentially became the new “tape ops” – the ones that needed to learn more – but we had no one to ask the questions of. So, I thought, “Why not start a magazine?” I’m continually learning more about recording and music every day, as well as helping others to get better at their craft, while having so many conversations with a wide range of creative individuals.

After 150 issues of Tape Op there is still more to discuss and cover, and my compatriots at the magazine and myself will excitedly keep at it as we discover great music and amazing people to talk about the art of recording music with.

— Larry Crane, editor & Founder

In This Issue See more →

Steve Genewick: Carry That Torch

by Gus Berry

A few months back, I stumbled upon a documentary called The Art of Recording a Big Band [reviewed in Tape Op #118]. The film allows the audience an intimate experience of watching the late, great...

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Gear Reviews See more →

AL95 Ribbon Microphone

by SAMAR Audio Design  |  reviewed by Mike Kosacek

I love the sound of ribbon microphones, and I put one in front of a guitar amp nearly every time I record one. I ran across the Samar Audio Design AL95 online, and after reading about it, I had to...

Crystalline Reverb Plug-In

by BABY Audio  |  reviewed by Dave Hidek

BABY Audio is quickly developing a reputation for boiling plug-ins down to their essential components and reshaping them into concentrated, powerful production tools. With their newest release, a...

Really Good Rejects (film)

by Alice Gu (director)  |  reviewed by Gus Berry

Attention guitar nerds: A new documentary by Alice Gu premiered at SXSW this year that spotlights Reuben Cox, the man behind Old Style Guitar Shop in Los Angeles. Reuben is responsible for developing...

Blank Patch Bay Labels

by Trace Audio  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

If you have a single rack space 1/4-inch patchbay from the likes of dbx, Behringer, Samson, or Neutrik, you understand the challenge of marking things clearly. Nashville’s Trace Audio has an...

BiG SiX Mixer

by Solid State Logic  |  reviewed by Adam Kagan

Solid State Logic, better known as SSL, boasts a four-decade history of producing leading products for commercial studios, broadcast facilities, and live sound. However, SSL has recently directed...

MS-Series Mic Slipcovers

by Mic Sentry  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

You know the scenario: You’ve mic’d up a whole band, did the first day of tracking, and are shutting down for the night, coming back tomorrow for more takes. There are over 25 microphones...

MagicVerb Reverb Plug-In

by DDMF/MagicDeathEye  |  reviewed by Dan Knobler

There is absolute magic contained in the plastered walls of classic studios’ echo chambers. I’ve been lucky enough to make many records at Sound Emporium Studios in Nashville, which has...

True Mid/Side Plug-In

by Raising Jake Studios  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

Every stereo mix has a phantom center, or middle channel. This “mid,” includes any audio that is not panned (or recorded) exclusively to the right and left “side” channels, and...

Mic-Pre 4T 4-Channel Preamp

by Daking Audio  |  reviewed by Brendan Connors

I recently moved into a new control room, and because of this much of my gear, interface, monitoring, and general workflow changed drastically. My new mantra was to scale down the physical footprint...

520 De-Esser Dynamics Processor

by dbx  |  reviewed by Don Gunn

In our world of recording gear, there are plenty of “classics” when one thinks of compressors, mic preamps, or microphones. However, one particular piece of gear that usually isn’t...

 

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

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