Jul/Aug 2023

Welcome to issue #156 of Tape Op.


As an adjunct to the End Rant this issue, I should explain something about myself and how I work in the studio; something that will likely seem incongruous with my position as Tape Op's founder and editor. Despite the sense of adventure, focus on creative recording, and the "use what you have in front of you" philosophy dispersed by this magazine, in sessions I usually prefer to be using recording equipment I am already familiar with. (See my End Rant "Eliminate Variables" from issue #92 for proof.) It can take me months to get around to trying out a new piece of gear on a live tracking date. For overdubs, I might be more adventurous with new items, depending on the musician's temperament and skill level. But when tracking a room full of people, it's doubtful you'll see me pulling out untested, brand-new equipment. I have too many moving parts to keep track of already, and I want to make sure any (possibly overlooked) details do not render a take useless. Clients have offered up, "Hey, I can bring a pair of those new mics for you to try out when our band records." But years ago I started telling them, "I think you'd rather I be recording and producing your band instead of auditioning new gear." I do love finding great new tools to use in the studio, but never at the risk of doing my job well! And, as much as I always hope to evaluate (and review) new tools within the scope of doing actual recording work, many times I find myself giving the gear a tryout beforehand just to be safe. Plus, this opens up the idea of more "staff days," where we try out new equipment and weird techniques. Now that's fun!

— Larry Crane, editor & Founder

In This Issue See more →


Columns See more →

End Rant

The DynoPopper X-10

by Larry Crane

Photo by Roman Sokal, courtesy of Audio Crowbar Dynamics. Having recently spent more time working on the Tape Op Gear Reviews section of this magazine, one thought keeps creeping into my mind and...


Gear Reviews See more →

Auto-Align 2 Plug-In

by Sound Radix  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

Ever since getting a very patient and life-changing call from mastering engineer John Golden [Tape Op #121], where he explained that my snare drum and overhead mics on many of my mixes were out of...

Custom Analog Console

by Iron Age Audioworks  |  reviewed by Walker Phillips

I recently got an email from Matt Walton at Iron Age Audioworks, “Hey John I’ll be in the San Francisco Bay Area in a few weeks installing a console. Maybe we could meet up for a beer or...

LiN2A Leveling Amplifier

by Lindell Audio  |  reviewed by Mike Kosacek

When I first saw the Lindell Audio LiN2A Vintage Leveling Amplifier, I admit I got excited. I use my Lindell Audio LiN76 [Tape Op #153] quite a bit, so I couldn’t wait to try this one. As soon...

IN-UNF Monitor System

by Kali Audio  |  reviewed by Adam Kagan

Kali Audio has swiftly established a notable reputation in both professional and home studios, and quite a few professional engineers have been quoted saying that Kalis match or outperform monitors...

Various Shock Mounts

by Peluso Microphone Labs  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

When I saw the Peluso ad for their shock mounts in the last issue of Tape Op, it immediately piqued my interest. I have several vintage microphones that do not have good shock mounts that Peluso makes...

Sub10 MK2 Active Subwoofer

by ADAM Audio  |  reviewed by Daniel Ryan Morse

When I tested the ADAM Audio A7V nearfield monitors [Tape Op #153], I also acoustically measured my control room for the first time. It brimmed with problem areas. Though I will defend home recording...

Hornet Mic/Instrument Preamp

by Useful Arts  |  reviewed by Corey Reidy

With the Hornet, Useful Arts had a mission: In 2018, the company's founder, Peter Swann, teased that a yet-to-be-named solid-state mic pre/DI “small enough to throw in a backpack” would...

Cloudlifter CL-X

by Cloud Microphones  |  reviewed by Scott McDowell

If you’re reading Tape Op reviews and love recording with ribbon and dynamic mics as much as I do, then you’re probably already familiar with Cloudlifters. Also known as “mic...

88M USB Audio Interface

by Neve  |  reviewed by Corey Reidy

As I began writing my review for Neve’s 88M – the company’s first step into the world of USB-powered desktop interfaces – I struggled to find words to describe Neve that...

SuperPlate Reverb Plug-In

by Soundtoys  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

I've been a fan of Soundtoys' Little Plate [Tape Op #123] since it came out years back, but in the back of my mind I aways wondered if "Little" meant a more complicated version was coming, in the vein...


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

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