Jul/Aug 2005

Welcome to issue #48 of Tape Op.


A few weeks back a potential client asked me for a CD-R of tracks I'd worked on to get an idea of what kind of projects I had done in the past and the sounds I went for. I put it off for a while, but finally had time last week and grabbed a batch of CDs off the "Wall of Shame" at Jackpot! and started copying tracks onto my computer. Nineteen songs later I was ready, and I burned them onto a CD-R (using Jam with Toast). I even made a nice little CD tray insert on the computer that I could print on those perforated sheets they sell. Looked pretty good, or at least functional — I'm no graphic designer, ask John Baccigaluppi. Anyway, I grabbed a copy and put it in my car to see how it sounded, all these tracks from the last eight years compiled together. It was a great learning lesson, and one I'm still working on. In what ways do these tracks sound consistent? How do they improve over the years? Do they get worse? Which have better drum sounds? What's up with the varied level differences (all are post-mastering)? Can I tell which mics I used? What skills do I need to improve?

I'd recommend that anyone involved in recording try an experiment like this. It's making me think a lot, and also listen to a spectrum of past work and try to grow. It's all part of this learning-something that will never end for me, I guess. 

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →


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Gear Reviews See more →

MondoTraps bass traps

by RealTraps  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

In Tape Op #36, I reviewed the panel traps that RealTraps used to manufacture out of wood. In issue #38, Larry Crane reviewed RealTraps MiniTraps, which performed so well (while being easy to ship)...

Proscreen XL pop filter

by Stedman  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

You may recall my positive review of the Proscreen 101 in Tape Op #23. Since then, I've used my four Proscreens (I keep buying more!) on many sessions, packed them in my luggage when recording...

33 1/3 book series

by Continuum  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture." I've heard this quote attributed to everyone from Igor Stravinsky and Thelonius Monk, to Frank Zappa, Laurie Anderson, and Elvis Costello....

Reverb 2016

by Eventide / Princeton Digital  |  reviewed by Adam Kagan

We have reached a point, more than 20 years into the digital revolution, where vintage digital is being sought after almost as much as vintage analog. This is especially true in the area of reverbs....

VMP-1000e mic preamp

by Sebatron  |  reviewed by Henry Robinett

The Sebatron VMP-1000e is a really-cool tube mic preamp. It's kind of its own thing (thank goodness), and it doesn't seem to be a clone of anything. It has a very warm tone-great for guitars-and...

MaxCom Dual Compressor

by BBE  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

I get a lot of letters asking "what should I buy next?" I'm hardly ever in a position to give such advice. But I also get questions like "what's a good starter compressor?"- which is a bit easier to...

SheetBlok Sound Isolation Barrier

by Auralex Acoustics  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

The live room in my recording studio has lots of natural light (see www. kimcheerecords.com/articles/studioacoustics/ for photos), much of it from two skylights. When we first built out the studio, we...

ANF-10 passive studio monitors

by ADAM  |  reviewed by Scott Craggs

It was five years and one issue ago when I reviewed the Event 20/20 monitors (Tape Op #18), and they've been my mainstays ever since. I raved about them then, and I still like them, but after doing...

23500B microphone bar

by K&M  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

A microphone bar is a device that allows you to mount two or more mics on it. It usually looks like a metal tongue depressor with threaded mic mounts on each end. Replace a standard mic clip with the...


by Frontier Design  |  reviewed by Jeff Robbins

A 150-foot snake. I bought it on Craigslist about a year ago. I thought it would be great for mic'ing up drums in my living room or backyard, vocals in the bathroom, or a string quartet in my garage....

VL-S21 compact monitors & subwoofer

by TASCAM  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

Despite the fact that I'm an übergeek, I only recently installed foobar2000 on my primary desktop machine in my home office so I can listen to all the various audio files that I have stored on...

The Art of Digital Music

by David Battino & Kelli Richards  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

When we interviewed Alan Parsons last year, he asked if we could shoot a photo of him for a book for which he'd just done an interview. I happily emailed him one of the digital pictures I'd taken of...


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

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