Nov/Dec 2002

Welcome to issue #32 of Tape Op.


I'm gonna take the space here to plug what's become a major source of entertainment for me and many of my friends. At you can find what's known as The Daily Adventures of Mixerman — A Documentary. It began innocently enough as an "anonymous" engineer in the L.A. area decided to do nightly postings of his days in the studio on a new session that began July 27th. The hijinx that ensue are amazing, from the producer missing the first week to the bass player going AWOL. It now seems as if he's either not come back to this project or decided to drop the diary after a while. It's amazing to sit and read these accounts, as Mixerman is a great writer (and sounds like he's also a great engineer), but after laughing a lot and being amazed at the crazy events what finally dawned on me was that this is exactly how I don't want to spend my own time in the studio (and Mixerman questions this a lot too).

A & R guys lurking around, record label presidents throwing unlimited money at the band, a group that was forced to spend two years writing after being the object of a two million dollar bidding war, a very lousy drummer who's afraid of Pro Tools, tracks being replaced while the band is on a cruise, assistants that don't seem to have any real studio knowledge... and this doesn't even include the drug and alcohol abuse and general dysfunctional nature of the band.

I'll stick to my "non-L.A." way of making records, where $3000 can buy over a week of recording time instead of one day of people having bitter arguments and getting nothing done. I must confess that I do not understand that world, and as much as I would like to get paid what Mixerman makes I would find it hard not to walk off if I was recording projects like this. But hell, I'm glad he's doing it so we can read about this crazy shit and have a glimpse into someone else's hell. Look for an interview with Mixerman in the next Tape Op!-Larry Crane

P.S. You might notice that our hard-working "Gear Geek", Andy Hong, has pulled in more gear reviews than ever for this issue. We're curious what you, our faithful readers, think of this? Do you want more gear reviews at the expense of possibly another interview per issue? We want to know, so email me and let us know:


— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →


Columns See more →


Gear Reviews See more →

KSP-8 effects processor

by Kurzweil  |  reviewed by Pete Weiss

Every once in a while, a signal processor comes along that does so many things so well that you feel like it's the last 19" wide box you'll ever have to buy. In the '80s, it was the Yamaha SPX-90. In...

CA-805U2 ATAPI to USB enclosure

by Part II Research  |  reviewed by David Huber

It's common knowledge to computer-based digital audio geeks (like myself) that USB is the latest, greatest thing since sliced humble pie. For those who are new to the scene, the Universal Serial Bus...

GRM Tools Classic and ST plug-ins

by Electronic Music Foundation  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

When I was just learning my way around a recording studio almost 20 years ago, the idea of using a computer for music was pretty much unheard of. The idea of every control room having a computer in it...

Reason/Pro Tools Bridge

by reFuse Software  |  reviewed by Graham Hick

As a home Pro Tools Digi 001 user I've gotten heavy into software synths and all of the benefits they bring. Reason is one of my favorites. I love the interface, and you can load it with as many...

Oxford + GML EQs for RTAS

by Sony  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

Julian Standen did a short review of the Oxford Eqs for Pro Tools TDM in Tape Op 26 and mentioned how great they sounded. I firmly agree with Julian and have to pretty much say that this plug-in(s)...

EL-8X Distressor

by Empirical Labs  |  reviewed by F. Reid Shippen

I am a compression junkie. I admit this freely and without shame, because I've found that certain boxes give me a character that I can't create any other way. This is the reason 1176, LA-2A, BA-6A and...


EQ-200 Parametric Equalizer

by Summit Audio  |  reviewed by Eric Broyhill

As a mastering engineer, a good analog EQ is not only one of many very important tools, but the one I am most critical of. Having had the opportunity to use almost every EQ made, up to this point the...

KSM141 Microphone

by Shure  |  reviewed by Scott Craggs

I am a man of few microphones, I somehow get by on the kindness of friends who seem to not mind leaving their mics in my possession for months at a time. So I was certainly pleased to have a pair of...

D6 Kick Drum Microphone

by Audix  |  reviewed by Ramsey Tantawi

The D6 is the newest member of Audix's D series of microphones, which are intended mainly for use on drums and percussion. A large-format dynamic with a cardioid polar pattern, the D6 is designed for...

MP2-MH microphone preamplifier

by Great River  |  reviewed by Mike Caffrey

This is a great mic preamp. It's very quiet, has plenty of gain and does a great job of accurately reproducing what you feed it. It's a Class A, discrete, solid-state pre, and all the internal audio...

Echo Pro Delay Modeler

by Line 6  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

Unless you've been recording only straight bluegrass, someone has probably brought in a big, green Line 6 Delay Modeler stompbox to use on a session. The thing sounds great, and frees up musicians...

Music Reviews See more →

Music Reviews

Murray Street

by Sonic Youth | reviewed by Larry Crane

On their newest record, Jim O'Rourke recorded and mixed at their Echo Canyon studio, with Aaron Mullan assisting. Sonic Youth produced. John Golden mastered, once again. It has kind of a subdued...

Music Reviews

The Golden State

by Mia Doi Todd | reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

Are you curious about what Mitchell Froom's been up to since he split with Suzanne Vega, and Tchad Blake moved to England? (Ms. Vega's last disc sure was great, reeking of heartbreak and betrayal.)...

Music Reviews

S.T.R.E.E.T. D.A.D.

by Outhud | reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

This is one of those albums that took years to make, but in the end was worth all the trouble involved. In the ensuing time the band (the sister/brother band to !!!) mostly moved from Sacramento, CA...

Music Reviews

Halogen Sons

by Hubcap | reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

I get handed a lot of CDs at trade shows from 'industry' types and I wish I could say good things about them, but it's usually pretty hard. I was pleasantly surprised by this disc of surprisingly good...

Music Reviews

Rabbit Songs

by Hem | reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

I've been seeing occasional Tape Op contributor Geoff Sanoff's name pop up on quite a few cool CDs lately (Boys Vs. Girls, etc) and this is the latest to grab my attention. Sparse, lonely and lovely,...

Music Reviews

Free So Free

by J Mascis + the Fog | reviewed by Larry Crane

In issue #27 we interviewed J about his home studio, Bob's Place, named after his dog. Here's his second album from there, and it sounds great. Big guitar solos and different sounds for each song help...

Music Reviews

Kill the Moonlight

by Spoon | reviewed by Larry Crane

In issue #27 we interviewed these guys in Jim's "home studio", The Garage. The difference between their home studio and most others is that there's some quality gear inside and that they hire an...

Music Reviews


by Consonant | reviewed by Larry Crane

One of my favorite bands ever was (is?) Mission of Burma. Clint Conley was their bassist, and until now hadn't really done much since they stopped playing in the early '80s. He leads this band,...

Music Reviews


by he Soft Boys | reviewed by Larry Crane

How is it that a band could not exist for 22 years and then get together and not suck? If you ever enjoyed Robyn Hitchcock or the Soft Boys in the past you will enjoy this. I do. Recorded with Pat...

Music Reviews

Freight Train Riders of America

by Freight Train Riders of America | reviewed by Larry Crane

I've been lucky to work on a few "old time" records and I totally enjoy it. With acoustic instruments in this context it's all about mic'ing skill and capturing the right feel and great performances....

Music Reviews

Model 91

by Christmas Decorations | reviewed by Larry Crane

Steve Silverstein has been a Tape Op contributor for ages now, and finally he has a damn record out, by his duo Christmas Decorations, and it's cool. "Recorded with a little help from our friends...

Music Reviews

I Know by Heart

by Pete Krebs and the Gossamer Wings | reviewed by Larry Crane

It's always interesting when you do a few albums with someone whose music you really like and then they move on to work at another studio. Maybe it was my tasteless jokes? Anyway, the best thing is...

Music Reviews

Free Beer Tomorrow

by James Luther Dickinson | reviewed by Larry Crane

After 30 years Jim Dickinson releases another solo record. After 7 producer Grammies, Big Star's Third and playing on Rolling Stones and Dylan sessions you'd think he'd be satisfied. But nope, he's...

Music Reviews


by Econoghost | reviewed by Larry Crane

Shalini Chatterjee is known to many as a power pop icon, having led Vinyl Devotion for years and now playing music with Mitch Easter with Shalini and The Crackpots. But here she replicates the sounds...

Music Reviews


by Peter Gabriel | reviewed by Larry Crane

I know people perceive Tape Op as being supportive of an "independent music world", but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy listening to records that take ten years to make and have giant budgets! Our...



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