Jul/Aug 2003

Welcome to issue #36 of Tape Op.


I gotta tell you about the second annual Tape Op Conference, which was held at the end of May in Portland, OR. It was a blast, with around 600 people turning out from all over the world. We had panels and workshops on all sorts of audio-geekery — from mics to acoustics to maintaining one's health. The excitement of the attendees was exhilarating (I know, I rarely slept), and the sharing of information, knowledge, tips and such was non-stop — along with the excellent shows at night. Craig and John and I felt like it was much stronger than the first year's Con, and we're already working on ideas for next year — it's gonna be even better! Look for TapeOpCon2004 in New Orleans, May 28-30. www.tapeopcon.com

Thanks again to our event sponsors and all the people who made it out to the conference! You're the ones who made this all possible.

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →

Michael Ivins

by Keith Hanlon

Many fans of the Flaming Lips might know Michael Ivins as that quiet, cigarette- smoking bass player. Indeed, he is often overshadowed by his media-savvy bandmates. However, many may not realize...

Timothy Powell: Metro Mobile

by Graham Hick

Timothy Powell of Metro Mobile Recording has been a music and gear fanatic his whole life. Walking into his main recording truck, M-48, is proof enough of that. I was amazed not only at the...


Columns See more →


Gear Reviews See more →

FET Compressor II

by Daking  |  reviewed by Craig Schumacher

Geoff Daking gets it. With the new Daking FET Compressor II, Geoff has created an instant classic. Those who are familiar with other Daking products will find the same attention to audio craftsmanship...

3310 limiter modules

by Neve  |  reviewed by Chris Garges

A couple years ago, I bought a pair of Neve 3310 limiter modules from hi-fi guru Early Bender-Worth (www.hifitown.com). I wasn't familiar with these particular modules, but I figured that if I didn't...

Blockfish, Dominion

by Digitalfishphones  |  reviewed by Chris Anderson

Two members of Digitalfishphones' collection of freeware audio plug-ins, Blockfish and Dominion, have become my first choice for certain dynamics-shaping applications "in-the-box," standing up to both...

RealTraps bass traps

by RealTraps  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

Ethan Winer is a name you may recognize. He's been a published author of audio-related articles since the 70s, and he's a regular contributor to many of the online forums. In 1995, he wrote an article...

Versipanel Wrap-Around Wall

by Versipanel  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

I usually track "basics" with all the players, instruments, and amps in the same room. I find that musicians perform better this way. Unfortunately, the situation can get pretty "washy" with all the...


by Auralex  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

In Issue #34, I wrote about my studio's lack of floating floors, and how the Auralex GRAMMA isolation platform reduced the amount of bass-amp rumble escaping the main room. I also noted that the...

Freeport acoustic panel

by Primacoustic  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

I've been outfitting my new studio with various acoustic treatments for the past eight months or so. In my "live" room, I've tried hard to spec out treatments that are easy to mount, unmount, move,...

24 I/O interface

by MOTU  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

This is the perfect PCI/ASIO based audio interface for all of us studio owners looking for a high quality, versatile, yet simple, audio interface for a full sized music recording studio. It's best...

C2s Compressor

by Studio Electronics  |  reviewed by Mark Owen

During my time as an engineer I have used some of the world's finest compressors, and at the same time, I've heard some of the worst. Having grown up in a studio, pretty much my whole life, I've been...

Toad guitar amplifier

by SonicCord  |  reviewed by Pete Weiss

Is it me, or is modeling getting a bit out of control? Seems like every plug-in, amp, outboard effect, keyboard, and even guitar these days relies on modeling circuitry to simulate some classic sound...

JDV Mk3 Direct Box

by Radial  |  reviewed by Pete Weiss

DI boxes. We all rely on them to record electric instruments directly and to perform impedence matching chores. They've never been known as the most glamorous piece of studio gear, but they're surely...

SM7 microphone

by Shure  |  reviewed by Drew Townson

"No, not the Shure SM57," I said to the young clerk at the mega guitar market, "I need an SM-SEVEN." " Dude," he replied. "There's no such thing. You mean a FIFTY-SEVEN." At that point, luckily, I...

Music Reviews See more →

Music Reviews

Built on Squares

by Starlight Mints | reviewed by Larry Crane

In 1997 we ran a great interview with Trent Bell of Bell Labs in Norman, Oklahoma. He's been running that studio for years now, and mostly is working on "regional" acts when we catch up on one of our...

Music Reviews

Do You Party?

by The Soft Pink Truth | reviewed by Larry Crane

The product of Drew Daniel, one half of the electronic duo Matmos. It's more like a Kraftwerk dance party than Matmos, based on a dare to make a "house" record. Turntable destruction and chopped up...

Music Reviews

Original Living Dub Vol. 1

by Burning Spear | reviewed by Larry Crane

Winston Rodney is Burning Spear, a roots reggae legend who's still touring. This CD, a dub version of Marcus' Children a.k.a. Social Living, was engineered by Sylvan Morris (king of Studio One and...

Music Reviews

World Peace

by Culture | reviewed by Larry Crane

I've been digging through many of the recent Studio One and Trojan reissues, listening to all kinds of reggae from the sixties through the seventies. I really dig the sounds, but as reggae eased into...

Music Reviews


by The Delgados | reviewed by Larry Crane

Dave Fridmann is mostly known for his work with Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev, but other projects he works on have similar traits. He mixed the new Delgados CD at Tarbox Road Studios (his second with...

Music Reviews

Edgy Not Antsy

by Jonathan Segal | reviewed by Larry Crane

Jonathan was/is one of the core members of Camper Van Beethoven, playing violin, keyboards, guitar and more on their records. He's also one of those kind of guys who knows just a little bit too much...

Music Reviews

Sunlight Loping

by Alexis Harte | reviewed by Larry Crane

Matt Boudreau has been contributing to Tape Op and our conferences for a few years but I hadn't heard any of his work as a producer or engineer. He fills those roles on this CD and does them well. The...

Music Reviews

Hail to the Thief, Sumday

by Radiohead, Grandaddy | reviewed by Larry Crane

These are both widely available CDs on major labels that are amazingly creative. Radiohead continue their recording relationship with Nigel Godrich (and his magic boxes), this time laying a lot of...

Music Reviews


by Buzzcocks | reviewed by Larry Crane

They haven't made too many records since their early '90s reunion, and I was always suspicious of how they might stand next to the classics. Well, this new CD surprised me a lot. Produced by current...

Music Reviews


by Goldcard | reviewed by Larry Crane

What do you do when your buddy no longer wants to make music? If you're Off Records you put out his CD! Goldcard is Charlie Campbell who used to be in Pond, a Portland band that had some bright...

Music Reviews

Soft Spot

by Clem Snide | reviewed by Larry Crane

Joe Chiccarelli is a great pal of ours at Tape Op, so we keep an eye out for work he does (although I was too scared to listen to the Elton John record he worked on...) So here I open up this Clem...

Music Reviews

The Dark Side of the Moon

by Pink Floyd | reviewed by Larry Crane

I wonder how many different copies of this record I've bought over the years. I think three vinyl and three on CD now. This is a multi- layer CD, with a remastered regular CD version that sounds...

Music Reviews

You Are Right To Be Afraid

by Beauty Pill | reviewed by Larry Crane

Beauty Pill, despite member Chad Clark being a studio denizen of note in the D.C. area, isn't a prolific band - having released only two EPs in the last three years. It's also interesting that their...



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