Jan/Feb 2003

Welcome to issue #33 of Tape Op.


Well, the results are in. After my asking about the ratio of reviews to interviews last issue, I'd have to say a vast majority of our readers would like us to keep the reviews section at the length it has been in the past, unlike issue #32 which had an unusually large amount. It's also given us a glimpse into how our readers use Tape Op. Many folks pointed out that they like the interviews because that is where they get tips, tricks and ideas to apply to their own recording sessions, and that they feel inspired by the people we talk to. Readers seem split on what they'd like to see us run reviews of. Some people want more coverage of older, esoteric gear. A few wanted us to only focus on new, inexpensive gear which anyone could afford. One mentioned that the "high-priced" reviews gave them gear to strive for. Others were worried that if we reviewed more older gear we'd drive up the price of such items. We're planning to keep moving ahead, with a mix of "high-ticket" and affordable new gear, some older curiosities, and occasional items (like the books and CD-R pen this issue) that can help educate us or make our jobs easier. Andy Hong is doing a great job as our resident "gear geek" reviews editor, and has many surprises in store for us down the road, but don't expect to see the reviews section "take over" Tape Op - we'll always have plenty of interviews with interesting, creative folks, and I'm working on more articles that cover subjects relevant to our readership. Don't forget to also mark your calendar and purchase your entry to the upcoming Tape Op Conference, May 30th, here in my hometown of Portland. Check www.tapeopcon.com for details.

We're heading into year number seven, full steam ahead! -Larry Crane

PS. If you're wondering where our interview with Mixerman is, hold tight as it should be in the next issue. He's a hard man to track down!

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →

Keith Olsen: Mixing Magic

by Kevin Ryan

Though Emitt [see interview this issue] wrote the songs, played every note, and acted as his own engineer and producer, when mixing time rolled around the tapes were whisked away to Sound City where...


Columns See more →

End Rant

More Music, More Music!

by Larry Crane

I was working on a two-week session for the upcoming fifth Richmond Fontaine album in November, engineering with J.D. Foster producing. One of the first things that J.D. did when we arrived at the...


Gear Reviews See more →

AM16 Dual Mono Mic Preamp

by Langevin  |  reviewed by Ian Swanke

Langevin was a manufacturer of consoles in the 1960s. Manley Labs has since purchased the name, and although they base some of their solid-state designs on the original Langevin topology, the original...

MicPre 5.0 mic preamp

by Speck  |  reviewed by Eric Tischler

When I caught wind that Speck was working on a single-channel mic preamp, I was excited. I'm a big fan of Speck's reasonably-priced ASC parametric EQ. So I extrapolated and figured a Speck mic pre...

MP1-A, MP1-C, MP1-L

by Old School Audio  |  reviewed by Nathan Eldred

Right from the start, I noticed that the Old School Audio MP1-A ($499) has an extended, "airy" top and sounds flat and accurate in the low end with very little coloration. Compared to the other two...

TC PowerCore DSP card

by TC Works  |  reviewed by Will Bailey

What a luxury TC Works, a TC Electronic sister company, has bestowed us native platform users. TC Works introduced the PowerCore several years ago and if you haven't had a chance experience the power...

DAC1 2-Channel D-to-A Converter

by Benchmark  |  reviewed by Jeff Lipton

D/A converters are often an afterthought in many project studios, but high quality converters are essential for both accurate monitoring and analog processing. Converter quality can be assessed most...

AD 24, DA 24 mk 2

by Swissonic  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

There are many reasons to need another eight channels of digital conversion, but the most common is if you have a Digi 001 or 002. You really need an ADAT Litepipe compatible converter to maximize...

Studio Pack backpack

by M-Audio  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

I'm a bag geek. Bags make up a big part of my lifestyle. When I'm in town, I commute by bike with a courier bag. When I'm on the road, I commute by plane with a carry-on bag. I'm also a gear geek, so...

P11-A active monitor

by ADAM Audio  |  reviewed by Ramsey Tantawi

The first thing you notice when listening to ADAM P11-A bi-amped monitors is the incredible detail. These aren't overly bright, thumping speakers with smiley-face frequency response curves-the...

S3-A active monitor

by ADAM Audio  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

I saw (and heard) a bunch of gear at the annual AES show this past Fall. With so many cool new products to discover, you'd think that it'd be hard for a gear geek like me to choose one product that...

Mosfet Overdrive pedal

by Blackstone Appliances  |  reviewed by Geoff Farina

The MOSFET (Metal-Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor) was used in attempts to produce tube-like clipping in some '80s Marshalls, Carvins, and other high-powered guitar amps. MOSFETs never...

Harlequin guitar amplifier

by Cornford Amps  |  reviewed by Geoff Farina

The Cornford Harlequin is a hand-wired, 6-Watt "recording amplifier" with a stripped-down design that utilizes two 12AX7s, a single EL84, and a sparse control panel (Pre-amp Volume, Treble, Bass,...

AT4050, AT4040

by Audio-Technica  |  reviewed by Scott Craggs

If you read my review of the Shure KSM 141's last issue, you know that I rarely spend my own money on mics. Instead, I rely on the kindness of others for most of my transducing needs. The AT4050 is...

Extreme Isolation Headphones

by Direct Sound  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

I'd been having problems with drummers and headphones for years. The headphones would fall off drummer's heads, they would bleed too much click track into the mics, and their output wouldn't be loud...

MA 2.2 True Class A Mic Preamp

by Buzz Audio  |  reviewed by Brian Lucey

I first heard this two-channel preamp from New Zealand's Buzz Audio on 3D Audio's 3D Pre CD. Compared to other "clean" pres on the CD, the MA 2.2 sounded more real on the takes of male vocal mic'ed...

Music Reviews See more →

Music Reviews


by Ivy | reviewed by Larry Crane

What do bands do for fun in between albums? A collection of cover songs! Tunes by artists like The Cure, Papas Fritas, Steely Dan (!), Serge Gainsbourg, The Go- Betweens (my favorite) get the breezy...

Music Reviews


by George Harrison | reviewed by Larry Crane

Maybe out of respect to the dead, Jeff Lynne doesn't overproduce this posthumous release by the deceased Beatle. There's a sort of loose, low- key quality to these songs that lends a bit of mellowness...

Music Reviews

One Bedroom

by The Sea and Cake | reviewed by Larry Crane

I totally respect John McEntire, and have really enjoyed some of the records he's produced, but man is this one tight, controlled digitally- worked record. It feels like everything was labored over...

Music Reviews

Highly Refined Pirates

by Minus The Bear | reviewed by Larry Crane

I dropped by Avast! Recording Co. in Seattle looking for Stuart Hallerman (who wasn't there) but Troy Tietjen was hanging out in the office. He mentioned that Steve Fisk was mixing a record, so I...

Music Reviews

Mount Eerie

by The Microphones | reviewed by Larry Crane

Phil Elvrum, of Olympia, WA, was profiled in last issue and is also the force behind The Microphones. Mount Eerie is his strange new record he made at K Record's Dub Narcotic studio. It's like a...

Music Reviews

Type Foundry Sessions EP

by Doug Shepherd | reviewed by Larry Crane

I wish people would name their records after my studio! Doug's soft songs were captured well at Portland's Type Foundry, with local musicians brought in to back him up. This is #1 in a series, and I...

Music Reviews


by Sigur Rós | reviewed by Larry Crane

Shimmering, lumbering, beautiful music from these Icelandic boys, recorded at Alafoss, their studio built in an indoor swimming pool that they bought. This was recorded on Soundscape, and mixed at...

Music Reviews

The Museum of Me

by Chris Butler | reviewed by Larry Crane

Chris Butler, long-time Tape Op reader and formerly of The Waitresses, is a man after our hearts. Recording here was done on Studer J-37 4-track, Ampex A300 mono deck, Neumann VMS62 Special Lathe,...



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