Nov/Dec 2006

Welcome to issue #56 of Tape Op.


We are all human, and our love of music is usually what draws us all into the world of music recording. Music crosses many boundaries — we don't need to know what words Ali Farka Toure was singing in order to feel something. We also don't care what color someone's skin is, or what nationality they might be when we love their music.

I just finished reading a book, Fools Rush In, written by a friend of mine, Bill Carter. In this book Bill shares his memoirs of time spent in Sarajevo while the city was under siege. It's an amazing journey, but what Bill does best is show us that the people trapped in this city are like you and me — people with creative pursuits (painters, musicians and others), business owners, families and children — all of whom are deeply affected by their situation. When you hear of wars in foreign (to you) lands and you think of them in the abstract, like the way one might think of sports teams, or you register it as just "more news", remember that these places are full of people like us — creative people fostering other creative people and themselves to do and capture their best work — and this part of their lives may be on hold due to the decisions of men in power — sometimes their lives might even be threatened.

This world isn't a simple place, but being able to imagine yourself in another human's situation can sometimes be the most compassionate thing to do.

The world is a big place as well. In this issue of Tape Op, three of our feature articles are on engineers outside of the USA, or even the UK, the 'other' most reported music scene in the world.

Hope you enjoy the issue,

Larry Crane Editor

A note about the front cover: The photographs on this month's cover is one of the first Neve consoles manufactured in 1961. The console was all tubes, or valves as they say in the UK, and is stuffed with old Mullard 12ax7's. Although we don't normally run 'gear shots' on the cover, Brian Charles' photos of this early handmade console just looked so cool, we scrapped our existing cover and ran with these instead. Below are two alternate covers we toyed with before settling on the three photos we juxtaposed for the cover we ran. Thanks to Brian and AMS/Neve who brought this over from the UK for the recent AES show. -JB

In This Issue See more →

Steve Evetts

by Jesse Cannon

Punk rock is often considered a genre of slackers pretending they are doing something exceptional, but actually doing something pretty insignificant. Producers often have to make excuses to justify...


Columns See more →

End Rant


by Larry Crane

I own Jackpot!, a recording studio in Portland, Oregon. There are many other recording studios in this town, including Kung Fu Bakery, Supernatural Sound, Smegma, Type Foundry, Dead Aunt Thelma's,...


Gear Reviews See more →

Sonic Orbit stereo matrix

by Peter Engh  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

Elsewhere in this issue is my review of the Groove Tubes MS encoder, which was designed to be an M/S to L/R encoder for recording with Mid/Side microphones. The Sonic Orbit accomplishes the same task,...

H4 Handy Recorder

by Zoom  |  reviewed by Mark Weissburg

This latest entry into the portable recording market tries to be all things to all people. The H4 is first and foremost a lightweight, field stereo recorder. Its built-in electret condenser mics are...

Recording The Beatles

by Kevin Ryan & Brian Kehew  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

Subtitled The Studio Equipment and Techniques Used to Create Their Classic Albums, this 540-page hardbound book arrives in a pseudo EMI tape box and is heavier than a 2" reel of tape. It has three...

R92 ribbon mic

by AEA  |  reviewed by Mike Caffrey

When I first pulled the R92 out of the box, I was shocked at how light it was. In fact, my first reaction was disappointment because I have such a strong association with heavy being better. Once I...

Reflexion Filter

by SE Electronics  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

Here's something that all of us could use-acoustic treatment that's portable, adjustable, affordable, and extremely easy to set up and use. The Reflexion is an arc-shaped acoustic filter that...

Signal Buffer2

by Red Iron Amps  |  reviewed by Adam Kagan

Love 'em or hate 'em, digital guitar amp simulators and modeler plug-ins have become a big part of our lives. While we all love the convenience and versatility of amp simulators, none of us feel...

Advanced Pro Tools DVD: Volume II

by Secrets of the Pros  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

This DVD pretty much saved my ass on a recent Pro Tools project that required way more editing than actual mixing. Let's start by saying that I'm not really a fan of PT, despite being an ex-employee...

Germanium Tone Control EQ

by Chandler Limited  |  reviewed by Mike Caffrey

If gear design were a sport, I'd be calling for steroid testing of Wade Goeke, as he seems to hit a home run every time he's at bat. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say his Germanium Tone...

TrackPlug 5 and MultiDynamics 5

by Wave Arts  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

In last issue's "Gear Geeking" column, I mentioned how producer and Tape Op contributor Thom Monahan (Devendra, Vetiver, The Pernice Brothers, The Capital Years, etc.) turned me on to the plug-ins...

PR40 large-diaphragm dynamic mic

by Heil Sound  |  reviewed by Inverse Room

While appearing on a couple of radio shows at two different studios, I found myself amazed by the sound of my voice through two well-known broadcast mics: the Shure SM7 and Sennheiser MD 421. I'm a...


by iZ Technology  |  reviewed by Tony SanFilippo

For my next project on the RADAR V, I recorded local artist Backseat Radio at 192 kHz. We multitracked "Throat", a guitar-driven pop tune with Wurlitzer, Syndrums, additional guitars, and vocals...

A27M stereo mic adapter

by Shure  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

All I want is a stereo mic adapter that's solid, flexible, and reliable. There are some expensive ones out there, but I want one I can count on for live work or rowdy punk bands. I was going through...

MS Mid/Side encoder

by Groove Tubes  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

This past summer, I helped mix Nedelle's latest home-recorded album at JB's Hangar Studios through his Neve broadcast console onto tape. On the morning of the first day, John strapped a Thermionic...

R14 ribbon mic

by Peluso Microphones  |  reviewed by Henry Robinett

I've learned to really respect John Peluso-designed microphones. John Peluso too. He's taken the plunge into ribbons with his brand new R14. He's not new to ribbon technology however. He's been...

Modified Oktava MK-219

by OktavaMod  |  reviewed by Joel Hamilton

Let me start this rant of a review by saying that endeavors like this one warm my recording heart. I love it when I meet someone that loves recording as much as I do, and in this case, the expression...

SE-Pre1 mic preamp

by Sage Electronics  |  reviewed by Mark Rubel

Phillip Victor Bova, along with his wife Janet Kirby and their son, Philip Shaw Bova, have a recording studio called Bova Sound in Ottawa, Canada, and their company Sage Electronics makes wonderful...

BOB-32 breakout box

by RME  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

This is one of those "why didn't they think of this sooner?" devices. If you use any type of DB25 connections-analog or digital-in your studio, you need to check out the BOB-32. Personally, I hate...


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