May/Jun 2005

Welcome to issue #47 of Tape Op.


Every day I get asked many questions about audio recording. These can range from queries about specific pieces of gear to my thoughts about attending recording schools. The questions come via email, phone calls and face-to-face interaction. And for most of these questions I usually don't have a solid answer. "What mic should I use for kick drum?" "Should I go to recording school?" "Should I buy an outboard preamp?" "Should I open a studio?" Why can't I answer these questions? Because there are so many variables, of course, and many times the only way to approach the problem and create a solution is to confront it directly — not to discuss and theorize. But the real answer is, "What is your goal?" If you're curious about recording school, don't see education as the goal, but instead consider what you plan or want to do post-school. If you're wondering about gear or techniques, consider what the tool or process will add to the desired final result of the recording. It's not the process, the tools or the education that matters — it's the final product that these things help create that matters in the end.

P.S. TapeOpCon2005 is right around the corner, June 10-12 in New Orleans. While there might be no solid answers there's nothing like picking the brains of many of our peers — engineers, musicians and producers — and finding the many techniques, processes and skills that they use to make music recordings that we enjoy and admire.

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →

Mark Linett

by John Baccigaluppi, Larry Crane

Grammy award winner Mark Linett is the veteran of many years in the studio, starting in Hollywood at Artist Recording, Paramount and Mystic Studios in the early seventies after running his own PA...


Columns See more →


Gear Reviews See more →

microKORG Synth/Vocoder

by Korg  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

I know that this little synthesizer is already very popular and quite a few units have sold, but just in case you somehow haven't heard or seen one, let me clue you in. This is one bestseller that...

EQ III plug-in

by Digidesign  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

Finally! An EQ plug-in from Digi that rivals most third- party EQ plug-ins-and even better, it's free!! Prior to the release of EQ III, if you didn't own a good third-party EQ plug-in, mixing in Pro...

X73i Mic Preamp Equalizer

by Vintech Audio  |  reviewed by Allen Farmelo

The Vintech Audio X73i is a single-channel, 1RU preamp and equalizer, designed to emulate the Neve 1073 at an affordable price ($1350 street). The X73i uses Class A, all discrete, transformer-balanced...

Plate 140 Reverb plug-in

by Universal Audio  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

As a long time Altiverb fan (largely because of the excellent EMT plate impulse response), I have to admit I was just a bit skeptical about whether the UAD-1's modeling-or algorithmic-reverb would...


by Ableton  |  reviewed by Dana Gumbiner

I've been using Ableton Live since version 1, and it has become the primary workspace for my bedroom, IDM- ish electronic music. So I was excited to test drive Operator, which is the first new...

SA538 tube condenser mic

by CharterOak  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

CharterOak have been quietly making quality tube mics for the past three years. Their first model is the SA538, a squat-looking condenser reminiscent of a short- bodied U 47. The outer shell is...

RSM-2 Ribbon Studio Microphone

by Nady  |  reviewed by Craig Schumacher

The Nady RSM-2 is the latest entry into the field of inexpensive Chinese mics. Asian-made condensers have been on the market now for several years, so it was inevitable, given the retro craze in...

XLogic G Series Stereo Compressor

by Solid State Logic  |  reviewed by Craig Schumacher

The XLogic G Series Compressor is another addition to the Solid State Logic family and is part of their SuperAnalogue series. This 1RU stereo compressor is modeled after its patriarch, the compressor...

635A dynamic mic

by Electro-Voice  |  reviewed by Pete Weiss

Where have I been all these years that I've never tried out an EV 635A? These things have been seen everywhere in the broadcast world for the past, like, forty years. You'd know the mic if you saw it;...

Speaker Building 201

by Ray Alden  |  reviewed by Joseph Lemmer

This new book cleared up many mysteries for me. It's a great resource even if you don't intend to build speakers. It's very detailed and goes into deep math for building enclosures and designing...

PRO 37 small-diaphragm condenser mic

by Audio-Technica  |  reviewed by Pete Weiss

At last year's TapeOpCon, I found myself loitering at the Audio-Technica table, chewing the fat with affable A-T Marketing Director Gary Boss. I was completely bewildered by the huge number of...


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

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