Mar/Apr 2002

Welcome to issue #28 of Tape Op.


This issue marks the sixth year Tape Op has been publishing, and that's something I'm very proud of. John Baccigaluppi has been my partner in this since issue #11, and without his hard work and skills I seriously doubt I would have kept doing the magazine. It takes a lot of my energy and time just to deal with the editing, emails, discussing stuff with writers and other tasks — and I still think of myself more as an engineer and studio owner than an "editor". I'm just grateful we've built this team around us, with John handling so much of the "publishing" work, Laura Thurmond helping us sell ads, all of our freelance writers who selflessly donate their time and sweat in getting these articles and reviews done, and, last but not least, the many advertisers who have given us a chance and run their ads with us which makes this whole venture work. Tape Op is young, and it's certainly the underdog of the "recording magazine" world, but what we have in place is a reader-supported, grass roots look at the "real" world of making albums and music. I think we will persevere and help change the way people look at our work and maybe even help advance the art of recording in general. And that's what this is all about to me!

Larry Crane

PS: I hope I'll see many of you at the first ever Tape Op Conference in late May. See for details!

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →

Rafter Roberts

by Zack Wentz

Almost everything of note that's come out of San Diego for the last few years has the name "Rafter Roberts" on it somewhere. Besides being the local master of mastering, Roberts has also been...

Dalek: Hip-Hop from space?

by Jesse Cannon

It's not everyday you hear a band that makes music unlike anything you've heard before. When I first heard Dalek it made me feel really good to know that someone was making truly challenging music....


Columns See more →


Gear Reviews See more →

BC-10, CS-9

by IBANEZ  |  reviewed by Steve Silverstein

Once upon a time, notable bands like Wire and the Cure used chorus as a creative effect. By the mid-'80s, so many bands had so brutalized the effect that engineers and musicians everywhere shuddered...

U5 Active Direct Box

by Avalon Designs  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

I don't know if it's just my awareness of them or what, but it seems like there are more active direct boxes available now than there ever were. I first stumbled across the Avalon U5 last year while...

Kosmos Sub Harmonic Generator

by Peavey  |  reviewed by Oz Fritz

This unit rocks! Kosmos puts out the bass - bass with attitude, an attitude that translates as tight, punchy, low end in extreme abundance. It even has what I would call an "exciter" function. Peavey...

MXL 603S Microphone

by MXL Microphones  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

In my continuing quest to find a microphone that emulates a KM-84 for less money, when I was given the opportunity to check these mics out, I quickly said, "Yes". This is a straight-ahead small...

Nuendo version 1.5.2

by Steinberg  |  reviewed by Mike Reavill

A few months ago I was in the market for better DAW multitrack software. I had previously been using Cakewalk Pro, which was lacking in a few areas to me. I already knew Pro Tools was out of the...

LTD-2 Compressor

by Chandler Limited  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

Chandler is making a buzz for themselves as the small company that builds Neve-based mic pres and compressors. The LTD-2 is a Class A, single channel compressor based on the Neve 2254 (and similar to...

MP-2NV 2 channel mic pre

by Great River  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

This is another fine product in the "Mercenary Edition" line, meaning that it's endorsed, used by and has passed the test of Fletcher and crew at Mercenary Audio. It's two channels of solid state...

Music Reviews See more →

Music Reviews

Exploded View

by Granfaloon Bus | reviewed by Larry Crane

I cannot ever express the gratitude owed to Greg Freeman for providing an honest/affordable place to make records (Lowdown) during the '80s and '90s in San Francisco. Barbara Manning, Donner Party,...

Music Reviews


by The Transmissionary Six | reviewed by Larry Crane

are really just two, Terri Moeller (Walkabouts drummer) and Paul Austin (Willard Grant Conspiracy). They recorded this at Flora Ave Studio with the fabulous Tucker Martine (look for an article on him...

Music Reviews

Low Kick and Hard Bop

by Solex | reviewed by Larry Crane

Elisabeth Esselink has a record store in Amsterdam with her small studio in the basement. In there she deconstructs samples of bootlegs and records nobody wants, to make songs that she can sing over....

Music Reviews

Hibernation Generation

by Pope Factory | reviewed by Larry Crane

This album was recorded at home on one of those Roland digital multitracks (I don't remember which one) by a band that had no budget. It sounds so good I wouldn't have guessed. Pink Floyd meets...

Music Reviews

Long Distance

by Ivy | reviewed by Larry Crane

Andy Chase and Adam Schlesinger are part owners in Stratosphere Sound in NY, and they're also part of Ivy with vocalist Dominique Durand. Streamlined pop with French-accented vocals - plus the...

Music Reviews


by Kitty Gordon | reviewed by Larry Crane

Our buddy Mark Addison is 1/2 this band with Nina Singh, and they recorded it at his fully-equipped Slaughterhouse home studio in Austin. Modern- sounding rock-pop with some cool production twists and...

Music Reviews

My Day is Just Beginning

by Lee Sankey | reviewed by Larry Crane

Tracked by our pal Phill Brown, this is white jazz/blues at it's finest, carving out his own style within the genres and playing and singing like it matters. Phill's engineering is tops, of course....

Music Reviews


by Jim O’Rourke | reviewed by Larry Crane

All over the map: Beach Boys, garage, artsy, pop songwriting. Recorded quickly after tossing many other sessions, this has the right spirit to it. Good call Jim! (

Music Reviews

What We Did

by M. Girard/D. Matz | reviewed by Larry Crane

Home-recorded collaboration between leaders of the Swans and Windsor for the Derby. Subdued, engrossing and really clean recording quality. A treat. (

Music Reviews

High Uinta High

by Cub Country | reviewed by Larry Crane

Jeremy Chatelain (bassist for Jets to Brazil) records a country-ish album in his apartment with friends dropping by. Excellent songs and a cool atmosphere. (

Music Reviews

Songs in a Northern Key

by Varnaline | reviewed by Larry Crane

Anders keeps plugging away, sounds like his old 8- track 1/2" got pulled out for use and then mixed by Ray Kennedy (1/2 Twangtrust with Steve Earle). Amazing songwriting as always. (

Music Reviews

Various CDs and CD-Rs

by The Lost Patrol | reviewed by Larry Crane

Stephen Masucci is a synth rebuilder and studio wiring guru by day - his band is Linn drum powered, pretty femme vocals, and tracked onto 8-track cassette - spaghetti western Cocteau Twins?...

Music Reviews

The Ride

by Seaworthy | reviewed by Larry Crane

Joshua McKay's spin-off from the defunct Macha spreads out the ideas into even more territory - a super-fun trippy listen. (Jetset)

Music Reviews


by Elaine Summers | reviewed by Larry Crane

Songwriter-lady pop produced by Pete Droge, mostly at home. I hear a lot of Distressor action on the drums. (

Music Reviews

Mixed Signals

by Tristeza | reviewed by Larry Crane

Deconstructed remixes of their last LP - even Simon Raymonde of Cocteau Twins lends a hand! On CD or vinyl (extra tracks). (Tiger Style/Rocket Racer)



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

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