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