Jul/Aug 2002

Welcome to issue #30 of Tape Op.


As I write this I'm still recovering from the first ever Tape Op Conference, which was held in Sacramento, CA, May 31-June 2. The event went very well, with informative panels, lots of passionate opinions, rockin' music at night, funny recording clips from movies on the big screen, a mariachi band at lunch and a blowout party at The Hangar to wrap things up on Sunday. Thanks again to everyone (especially Craig Schumacher who came up with the idea for the conference) who was there in any capacity — there was a real positive, exciting feeling about this whole event and many people made new friends and acquaintances. It looks like we'll probably do another Tape Op Conference next year, so keep your eye on the mag and the website to see where and when. We're also trying to figure out what to do with the video and audio from the event, and we'll let you know when that gets done. I think my biggest surprise (besides the fact that it went so smoothly) was that I learned so much. I got to sit for hours and listen to people share their knowledge and experience. Shit, it was almost like a live version of the magazine!

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →


Columns See more →

End Rant

Document & Archive

by Larry Crane

Okay, here's the rant I've been building up on for years and during the Tape Op Conference it came up a few times. What the fuck is wrong with some of you engineers out there that can't be bothered...


Gear Reviews See more →


by Digidesign  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

Like a lot of midsize studio owners, I have a dilemma. I'm committed to my two inch analog machine, but for a variety of reasons I need to be able to offer my clients a non-linear digital medium and...

100-G Tube DI

by ADL Labs  |  reviewed by Ed Pettersen

With the advent of home-based digital recording, the search for a decent, versatile tube direct box with gain control felt like the search for the Holy Grail. The ADL G- 100 ($599 retail), is not a...

M-11 Printed Ribbon Microphone

by Fostex  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

This unidirectional ribbon mic has been the secret pride of the Fostex pro audio arsenal for quite some time. While at the NAMM show in January I asked if it would be possible to review one of their...

Valvet Voice Condenser Mic

by Brauner  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

The new Brauner Valvet Voice is a fixed pattern (cardioid) large diaphragm tube mic, specially designed for recording voice. It's only available in a limited run of 500 mics, and is at a lower cost...

Repeater Looper/Sampler

by Electrix  |  reviewed by Ed Pettersen

Loopers have been asking for years for a product that not only repeats phrases or loops that they create but a unit that SAVES and STORES the information for later use. The folks at Electrix have...

L-2 Stereo Limiter

by Waves  |  reviewed by Eric Broyhill

This is the Holy Grail of limiters - the most transparent limiter I have ever used. This is not a plug- in, but a dedicated piece of hardware that does all its own number crunching at 48 bit. It's...

Vacuum Tube Direct Box

by Uncle Albert’s  |  reviewed by Ed Pettersen

My seemingly endless search for the perfect tube DI has led me to Uncle Albert's doorstep. Here I found a no-frills, basic but excellent vacuum tube direct box for under $500. All the essentials are...

T50RP Headphones

by Fostex  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

Most studios have pairs of T40RP headphones on hand for tracking. I've got three and have been using them constantly. The cups don't swivel all around like some headphones so they're easy to take on...

MoPads Monitor Stands

by Auralex Acoustics  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

The MoPads are a set of 4 dense foam pads that fit under your studio monitors to isolate them from low end acoustic coupling that occurs all too frequently in studios. The pads go two to a speaker,...

Omni Condenser Microphones

by Stapes  |  reviewed by Roger Lavallee

When I received these mics I was shocked at their size. They are built right into standard XLR connectors with a small brass tube coming out of the end. All told, these things are about 3 1/2" inches...

Music Reviews See more →

Music Reviews

Treasures from the Folk Den

by Roger McGuinn | reviewed by Larry Crane

Wherein our hero Roger (ex- Byrds) and his wife Camilla drive around (with a computer loaded with Cool Edit Pro and a Yamaha SW1000XG card, a Stedman 1100B mic and a mixer and mic stands) visiting...

Music Reviews

Sparks on a String

by Orbiter | reviewed by Larry Crane

A shining example of the work of Tucker Martine (issue #29), recorded at his Flora Ave Studio, another place called Airstream, and also at Martin Feveyear's Jupiter Studios. It's a sonic treat with...

Music Reviews


by Concentrick | reviewed by Larry Crane

Concentrick is the baby of Tim Green of the Fucking Champs, ex-Nation of Ulysses, and proud owner/engineer of Louder Studios in San Francisco. If you know the Champs for their abrasive, loud guitars...

Music Reviews


by David Bowie | reviewed by Larry Crane

Here's the record that Tony Visconti was talking about in issue #29. Is it good? Certainly the best I've heard since Outside and my favorite since Scary Monsters, Tony's last previous co-production...

Music Reviews

The Worst You Can Do is Harm

by The Long Winters | reviewed by Larry Crane

John Roderick is an introspective songwriter who is lucky enough to have friends like Chris Walla (Death Cab For Cutie) and Sean Nelson (Harvey Danger) help him record and play on his record. Not to...

Music Reviews

Exit the UXA

by Go Go Airheart | reviewed by Larry Crane

Rafter Roberts, who was featured in issue #28, helped record this record in various places and mixed it at his Singing Serpent studio. A great example of an arty rock band making a record on a tight...

Music Reviews

The Private Press

by DJ Shadow | reviewed by Larry Crane

Is there anyone out there that can carefully craft samples, loops and noises as well as Josh Davis? I doubt it. A lesson in what can be done in a home studio given talent and what must have been a lot...

Music Reviews

Tricks for Dawn

by Mary Lorson and Saint Low | reviewed by Larry Crane

Mary Lorson and Saint Low Tricks for Dawn Mary Lorson, once the voice of Madder Rose, steps out with this haunting collection of songs on her second "solo" record. She and partner Billy Coté...



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