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