Welcome to issue #60 of Tape Op.
Okay, for those of you following my misadventures over the latest issues, here's an update. We finished moving Jackpot! (my crazy studio) into our new Hamptone digs in Portland at the beginning of June. What do they say about doubling time and money when you build a house or start a business? It was like that. Ouch. The studio is now open, and studio manager Kendra did the first tracking with a BBC radio session for The Gossip. Engineers are giving it a favorable review, so we're relieved. What was weird for me was to not be the first engineer to track there, as Jenna and I had to hit the road to get back to Arizona to our home and then to Tucson for the sixth and final TapeOpCon. "Final?" you ask? Check out the TapeOpCon recap this issue. Now we're off to host Jackpot!'s 10 year anniversary and opening party. Eventually will all this settle down? I'm not even sure how the mag gets done at this point. Just kidding.
My pal Dave Allen recently (via his website www.pampelmoose.com) recently turned me onto The Long Tail, a concept noted by Wired Magazine's Chris Anderson (and recently in book form as The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More, published by Hyperion). The idea is that in media there are the "hit" products with mass sales (the green part of the chart above) and then the "non-hit" products with less sales (the yellow part to the right). What he's noticed is that companies like Netflix and Amazon are selling more volume of the "non-hit" products. This is happening with online music retail and downloads as well. And this is the theory that I always had in my mind about Tape Op.
Most of the music being recorded in the world is being done in low (no?) to mid budget recording scenarios. This might seem obvious, but eleven years ago when I would look at the cover of other magazines and see some brand new room with a $250,000 console that I would never be able to set foot in, I knew that there was a world of music recording that was being ignored. My friends and I were all making records with great local engineers and studios, and some of us recorded releases at home on out-of-date gear. Eleven years on it seems more obvious than ever that great music can come from many different places — and as an avid music fan I'm happier than ever about that. Bring on The Long Tail. It's where most of us really live. www.thelongtail.com
Larry Crane, Editor