Nov/Dec 2000

Welcome to issue #20 of Tape Op.


There's another wide variety of features this time around, and I hope you dig it. What have we been up to? Glad you asked. Besides the usual work at my own studio, I had the pleasure of tracking a song for The Black Heart Procession over at Portland's Type Foundry studio (Jackpot! was booked!) which was a great experience. On September 10th I was on a panel for NARAS (you know, the Academy/the Grammy people?) during a Northwest Studio Summit. It was a blast trading insights with Paul Speer (Rainstorm), Joe Hadlock (Bear Creek), Terry Date (mega-producer), Martin Feveyear (Jupiter), Ron Vermulean (The Warehouse) and Steve Albini (Electrical Audio/guest speaker). I get the feeling that Albini and I got the most wisecracks in. I also felt like the junior representative. It was great to talk shop with everyone there, enjoy the BBQ dinner and spend the day in the beautiful countryside at Bear Creek Studios. A few weeks later, John went down to the AES convention in LA. From what I heard he and Geoff Daking did a bunch of socializing and even got to have dinner with Walter Sears and ride around in EveAnna Manley's sports car with some guy named only Razor. I missed out (I promise to be there next year in NY) because I had committed to moderating a panel at North By Northwest (NXNW), the Portland music conference. This panel was fun too, with Barbara Manning (songwriter supreme), Craig Schumacher (WaveLab), Tony Lash (producer supreme) and Luther Russell (producer, musician, etc.). We talked about recording on a budget and could have gone on for several more hours. The only problem was getting there by 10 AM! Craig and I went to a lot of parties and shows, knocking back beers and enjoying Dead Moon, The Walkabouts, John Vanderslice and many others. One long weekend. I even played guitar with Franklin Bruno on one song during his set! Anyway, now it's time to get back into the studio — we just installed a power conditioner and soon are rewiring the whole control room, putting down new carpet, etc. I'll let you know how that goes... Thanks and enjoy this issue!

Larry Crane

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →

Phill Niblock

by Steve Silverstein

While most subjects of Tape Op interviews have discussed their interest in recording, Phill Niblock thinks far more about reproduction of sound. He composes his pieces, which are often described as...

Andy Hong

by Scott Craggs

I first became aware of this Andy Hong fella after hearing the latest Karate record "The Bed Is In the Ocean." Besides having great songs and equally great performances, the recording is just...

Adam Lasus

by Paul FitzGerald

Deep in the industrial wasteland of Red Hook, Brooklyn, Adam Lasus has turned an old firehouse into a recording outpost called Fireproof Recording. With the pole still intact, the firehouse proves...

Walford Studio: Special Ed?

by Paul Middleton

Now I know a lot of people established in the industry today say, "A school can't teach you about recording, what could a class possibly teach you about the complexities of the recording industry?"


Columns See more →

End Rant

Open Letter To A Friend

by Larry Crane

25 REASONS NOT TO OPEN YOUR OWN STUDIO: 1. Freelance engineers. They always complain about your choice of gear, especially speakers. They also point out what's broken on a regular basis. damn. 2....


Gear Reviews See more →

Pro Tools Free

by Digidesign  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

At the recent AES show, Digidesign was handing out postcards that promoed their new free version of Pro Tools. It's an 8 audio/48 MIDI track version of Pro Tools 5.0.1 that will run on a Mac or PC...


by CAD  |  reviewed by Eric Broyhill

Many of the new large diaphragm condenser microphones coming out lately make the claim that their mic sounds just like a Neumann U-67 or U-87. Sadly though, none that I have tried even come close. The...


by Geoffrey Daking & Co.  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

When I first started Tape Op I wanted to only talk about inexpensive gear (PZMs!) and records that were done on small budgets. Now I find myself stretching out a bit - my 8-track studio is long behind...

E-Magic Software

by Logic Audio Platinum  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

I briefly reviewed this software in Tape Op #18, but now I have been able to really spend some time with it. Let's get the bad stuff out of the way first. This software, when compared to Cubase or...

Ashbory Bass Guitar

by Dearmond  |  reviewed by D. Matz

This strange bass is none other than a 31 inch (with a 13-1/4 inch fretboard), rubber stringed, fretless bass guitar. You tune it like a regular 4-string bass (E, A, D, G), and it sounds absolutely...

Sony Playstation

by Sony  |  reviewed by Jonathan Kreinek

Not the soon-to-be released one, but the standard-issue one has a built-in CD player. Most people who have come into contact with them know that. Some may even know that when you hit the "select"...


by Audio-Technica  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

This is the first time it's happened. As I was packing up the loaner 4047 to send back to Audio- Technica I got kinda sad. I'd been using this $500 beauty on everything - guitar amps, vocals, drums -...

Music Reviews See more →

Music Reviews

Remue CD

by Dominique A | reviewed by Steve Silverstein

Many current recordings employ an unnecessarily cartoon-like style that abandons natural instrument sounds in favor of exaggerated caricatures of these sounds. Recorded both with Nicholas Vernhes in...

Music Reviews

Hef CD

by Ab & Terrie | reviewed by Steve Silverstein

An equal balance among all players provides a guiding principle for freely improvised music. Hef presents engineer Colin McClean the challenge of balancing electric and acoustic instruments. The...

Music Reviews

Doozy CD

by Lozenge | reviewed by Steve Silverstein

Lozenge's music combines a powerful sonic density with carefully composed melodies. To capture this challenging mixture, they turned to Cheer-Accident guitarist Phil Bonnet, who until his untimely...

Music Reviews

The Flamethrower CD

by Chicago Underground Trio | reviewed by Dewey Mahood

The Trio, actually a quartet since the addition of Jeff Parker on guitar, continues in their quest for the hippest sounds in new jazz. Straight up bop dominates on this disc with drummer Chad Taylor...

Music Reviews

Heaven and Earth CD

by ProjecKt X | reviewed by Roman Sokal

Whereas King Crimson present ground-breaking and challenging compositions, ProjecKt X is it's alter-ego, living in an alternate reality- in the land of exponential improvisation and discovery, where...

Music Reviews

Kid A CD

by Radiohead | reviewed by Larry Crane

It's not that often a CD comes along that I really have to listen to closely and try and figure out where all the sounds are coming from. This is one. Where OK Computer had interesting textures and...

Music Reviews

Byrdmaniax CD

by The Byrds | reviewed by Larry Crane

I've been buying all the Byrds' reissues, and just today completed my collection. There's some great music, of course, but in the process of being a completist there's always the glimpse into what...



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