Jan/Feb 2001

Welcome to issue #21 of Tape Op.


The magazine is creeping up on it's sixth year and it still seems people are just discovering us. Our book, Tape Op: The Book About Creative Music Recording, will be out any day now. It contains most of the first three years plus many more unpublished articles and expanded versions of stuff that have run over the last few years. I'm hoping a lot of people pick it up and get turned onto the mag and vice-versa! Check on getting a copy through <www.feralhouse.com>. And don't forget that many back issues are still available at www.tapeop.com!

In-between session overload at Jackpot! I rewired our control room with massive help from "permanent intern" Gail Buchanan, freelance engineer Jeff Saltzman and sleepy Jake. We threw aside tons of guitar cables and cheap snakes and made new harnesses out of Belden wire and added some new racks, patchbays, racklights and such. We also meticulously ran all the power cables away from audio lines and had them cross (only if unavoidable) at right angles The place looks so much better than the "added-onto" monster it had become over the years and I swear it sounds a little cleaner too. And we did it all in five and one half days!

Besides this I worked on sessions with the Pinehurst Kids, Dismemberment Plan, Old Joe Clarks, Fernando and many others. I worked 17 days in a row at one point. Yikes. That's why I went to Mexico for a week over Christmas time for the first "real" vacation I've had in years. I hope your holidays were fun too and let's get crackin' and make some more records in 2001!

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →

Under The Radar

by Rob Christensen

I've been thinking a bit about sound quality lately. An acquaintance of mine observed somewhat arrogantly that a CD-R written about in this column sounded a lot like a noted major-label recording...


Columns See more →

End Rant

One Week In Hell

by Larry Crane

It started innocently enough. The producer called me to feel me out and see if we'd work well together. The artist called, came by and booked some time. "Awesome", I thought. I would be able to...


Gear Reviews See more →

Custom Wiring

by Redco & Conquest  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

I've gone through two and half incarnations of my living room studio. And unlike most home studios, my current setup leans more in the hi-fi direction instead of in the all-in-one 4/8/16-track...

The Binaural Skull

by  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

Take a phantom-powered version of the "Build Your Own Mic" from Tape Op #16, install two in a plastic model of a human skull, and you have the coolest new mic to track stereo signals in the studio...

Audio Toolbox ATB-1

by Terrasonde  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

Does this scenario sound familiar? You're engineering a record for an indie-rock band. The band's on a budget. You hire a studio. One with an analog multitrack for that fat "rock" sound. And it being...


Audio Equalizer SR-107 Series

by Shure  |  reviewed by Steve Silverstein

Microphone selection and placement can provide a huge range of equalization options, and combining two mics to produce phase cancellation introduces even more possibilities but electronic devices can...

Mixer Stands

by Quik Lok  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

I own a number of stands and racks made by the Italian company Quik Lok. My current console sits on top of a castor-equipped Quik Lok WS-44 workstation. My last two mixers were supported by a Quik Lok...

Nile V Nearfield Monitors

by Audix  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

I don't think I've ever been 100% happy with a set of monitors - it's more a case of getting used to what you are working with in order to achieve mixes that will work in the real world. For the last...

Digital Time Delay

by MXR  |  reviewed by Steve Silverstein

This very primitive digital delay displays no visible model number. Early digital delays have grown unfashionable in comparison to analog delays or better quality newer models, so it is very...

Real Reverb Spring Reverb

by Demeter Labs  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

With the millions of multi-effects digital processors out these days it's kind of refreshing to see an effect that only does one thing and does it very well. This is a true spring reverb - like they...

Tec Pulsar

by Princeton  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

The best $10 you'll ever spend. How many times have you had to look behind/around/underneath a rack/mixer/recorder, and you kick yourself for not having your Mini Mag-Lite in easy reach? No excuses...

Superbaby tube amp

by Emery Sound  |  reviewed by Gail Buchanan, Larry Crane

I've had a lot of guitar players come in with smaller amps lately - old Supros and Champs that when pushed to the limit deliver excellent overdriven guitar tones at easily manageable volumes. You just...

Transient Designer

by SPL  |  reviewed by Brian Krawcykowski

First off, this unassuming one rack-space unit did not look capable of performing what the manual had written for performance capabilities. The unit, from Sound Performance Lab, is the Transient...

Music Reviews See more →

Music Reviews

tete a tete CD

by abbc | reviewed by Adam Selzer

It seems like there is something in every issue of Tape Op coming from those prolific sages in Tucson, but if they would stop making great records, we'd stop writing about them. This one is a...

Music Reviews

self/titled EP

by Shoes & Rider | reviewed by Adam Selzer

The debut EP from this New York band is an inspiration for the jaded... for those who don't have the patience or energy to traverse through the weeds. Founded upon beautiful melodic interplay between...

Music Reviews

Click et Craque LP

by Monsieur Mo Rio | reviewed by Steve Silverstein

Dating back to the Swell Maps and the Styrenes, bands approaching home recording with inexpensive technology often combined conventional pop elements with strange approaches to texture and layering....

Music Reviews

s/t CD

by Aix Em Klemm | reviewed by Roman Sokal

These days, defining the function of a 'remixer' is just as enigmatic and open-ended to explanation, much like the role of a 'producer'. But for Aix Em Klemm, a duo consisting of Labradford's Bobby...

Music Reviews

Chris Lee CD

by Chris Lee | reviewed by Leigh Marble

Chris Lee writes songs that are strong, sensual, and sad. He delivers his lines with vowel-bending vocal inflections, somewhat akin to Van Morrison. On this album, produced with Steve Shelley of Sonic...



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

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