Sep/Oct 2006

Welcome to issue #55 of Tape Op.


Making records is lying. Recordings are fake performances.

Even when they document a live performance, the reproduction over speakers in a listening environment is nothing like the live event. If they are creations of overdubs, edits, fixes and mixing, then of course they are lies — these are events that never happened. We are lying to the listener, asking them to believe in our recorded lies, to imagine that a recording communicates what music really is.

The other day I edited a drum overdub in a manner that created a weird artifact — a swooshing cymbal hit cut off at an odd time. Initially I laughed and reached for the mouse to clean it up. Someone said, "No! Leave that." I did. Now I eagerly anticipate this mistake as it comes up.

The art of recording music is full of lies and mistakes. What we take for granted as a "good" drum sound has been determined by years of listening to other people's lies and mistakes. What is right or wrong? Nothing. Just keep churning out more of these fantastic lies and mistakes.

Larry Crane, editor and liar

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →

Limits: Limits

by Chris Mara

Admittedly, this is a hypocritical topic for me to write about — I'm the first to tell you that I don't like limits, especially the speed type. But, as I sit here listening to a record (yes, an...


Columns See more →

End Rant

Name Recognition?

by Larry Crane

My studio is at a point where the majority of the work being done there is by freelance engineers. This is great, as I spent many years as the main engineer and built the studio's reputation by...


Gear Reviews See more →

Nice Pair mic preamp

by No Toasters  |  reviewed by Pete Weiss

The fledgling No Toasters company, headed by Boston-based tech-whiz Bo Dixon (who says he's willing to repair anything except toasters), has combined clever Class A, J-FET circuitry with a quirky...

Avantone Mixcubes

by Avant Electronics  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

First off, let me state that I am a huge fan of using the original Auratone 5C Sound Cubes for mixing. My usual methodology when mixing is to get tones on my ADAMs while switching my Event subwoofer...

LO-2B quick-release

by Atlas Sound  |  reviewed by Allen Farmelo

The Atlas LO-2B is a quick-release mic clip adapter that basically eliminates forever the need to thread another mic clip onto a stand. One piece threads into the mic clip and stays there. The other...

Biz mic preamp

by Purple Audio  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

I've run out of room in my 11-space 500-series chassis to hold all the mic preamps I'd like to put into it. And my rack isn't big enough for a second chassis, so I end up powering down my chassis and...

S8R studio monitor

by SLS Audio  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

I love attending sessions at Peerless Mastering with Jeff Lipton (Tape Op #34). His "A Room" is the most accurate listening environment I've ever experienced. The room is so well designed and treated...

ADL 600 tube preamp

by PreSonus  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

Before we move my studio to its new location this winter, I've been scouring the control room looking for gear that doesn't get much use and making plans to sell or put the units aside for rental use....

MA-200 condenser mic

by Mojave Audio  |  reviewed by Craig Schumacher

David Royer and his company Royer Labs have a great reputation for their fine line of ribbon mics. When the time came to manufacture David's designs for non-ribbon mics, Mojave Audio was formed to...

Silverbox 4 tube preamp

by Hamptone  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

Here's a funny story. Some years ago, the only outboard mic preamps I owned were Brent Averill-refurbished Neves and APIs. I recorded direct to a TASCAM MS-16 1'' 16-track and mixed on a Panasonic DA7...

Fat Head ribbon mic

by Cascade Mics  |  reviewed by John Huebner

Like many readers, when I receive Tape Op, I thoroughly take in every page. One item I came across recently was a very small ad for Cascade Microphones. For a while now, I've wanted a ribbon mic to...

PCM-D1 portable recorder

by Sony  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

I saw this sucker for the first time over a year ago at one of the annual gear conventions. I was immediately impressed with its utilitarian but attractive design. It seemed to have all the right...

FeQ-50 parametric EQ

by Summit Audio  |  reviewed by Raymond Richards

I use all outboard preamps in my studio, and none of them has an EQ section. I really didn't know what I was missing until I borrowed a friend's 1073 module and discovered what a difference a little...

K35 FET condenser mic

by Karma Audio  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

Karma is a new microphone brand based out of Cupertino, CA. The units are produced in China according to Karma's specifications. But let's make something clear right away: this is not another line of...

PreMaster CD 1.1

by Sonic Studio  |  reviewed by Larry DeVivo

PreMaster CD is Sonic Studio's entry-level, host-based software for creating DDP masters and standard Red Book Audio CDs. I was anxious to try PreMaster CD for a number of reasons. I've owned a...


by Rain Recording  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

This is one of those fairly affordable, simple products that falls under the "how did I get by without this" category. Elegantly simple, the Airfoil is an anodized aluminum tray that holds your laptop...


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

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