Jul/Aug 2007

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and I were all making records with great local engineers and studios, and some of us recorded releases at home on out-of-date gear.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

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →


by David Weiss

If the good men and women of NASA who put the Hubble Telescope together were ever to visit Sonicraft in Freehold, New Jersey, they just may come away ashamed of the shoddy work they'd done. That's...

Jace Lasek / Dave Smith

by Martin Horn

My first encounter with the sprawling collection of keyboards, pianos, British-made guitar amplifiers and homemade walls that is Breakglass Studios happened when I had the opportunity to sit in on...


Columns See more →


Gear Reviews See more →

Solo6 Be active monitors

by Focal  |  reviewed by Allen Farmelo

The French company Focal has dominated the audiophile speaker market since its inception in the 1970s. Today, Focal helps to form what I consider to be a vanguard of studio monitor designers who are...

VMX tube mic

by Brauner  |  reviewed by Joel Hamilton

I have always been curious about the Brauner microphones. I have seen the name for a while now, and the fact that Klaus Heyne got involved with this company, when any company would probably be glad to...

TM-1 & TM-2 tube mics

by Pearlman Church  |  reviewed by Mark Warren

There are legends in microphone technology, and there are legends in microphone technology. Everyone has surely heard about the legendary U 47 microphone, but have you heard about the U 47 Church...


by Generator LLC  |  reviewed by Tony SanFilippo

Bass drums are a strange thing. They are big and can be unruly, or worse yet, tiny-sounding if packed with a bunch of crap. They have a lot of interior space that is reflective and rounded. And they...

SP1 large-diaphragm condenser mic

by MCA  |  reviewed by Terry Setter

You knew it. You knew that with all the microphones on the market, there had to be at least one cheapo Chinese mic that stands head and shoulders above the rest. You were right! Interestingly, this...

M 160 & M 130 ribbon mics

by Beyerdynamic  |  reviewed by Scott Craggs

Does the Beyer M 160 even need a review? Surely everyone knows by now that this is the mic Andy Johns used to record John Bonham's drums on "When The Levee Breaks". Does anything else need be said? I...

B:Assmaster distortion pedal

by Malekko  |  reviewed by Pete Weiss

Distortion aficionados, take note-Malekko has served up the indie-stompbox scene with a doozie. The B:Assmaster is a contemporary tribute to the exquisitely rare Maestro Bass Brassmaster, a '70s-era...

CL2 Pencil Condenser Mic

by Samson Audio  |  reviewed by Dana Gumbiner

Here's a couple of new and very affordable mics from Samson. First up, the CL2s are sold as a matched pair of small-diaphragm pencil-style condensers with high-pass filters and 10 dB pads. The mics...

VR88 Velocity Ribbon Mic

by Samson Audio  |  reviewed by Dana Gumbiner

Here's a couple of new and very affordable mics from Samson. First up, the CL2s are sold as a matched pair of small-diaphragm pencil-style condensers with high-pass filters and 10 dB pads. The mics...

NRV10 mixer/interface

by M-Audio  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

When I first saw the NRV10 at the NAMM show in January, I said out loud, "Duh! Why didn't anyone else think of doing this?" The sucker is an analog mixer and multichannel audio interface in one. It...

Reveal 6D active nearfields

by Tannoy  |  reviewed by Josh Peck

When Andy first asked me to take a listen to the new Tannoy Reveal 6D studio monitors, I was eager to hear what improvements had been made from its predecessor the Reveal Active, a speaker that I...

Monitor ST

by Dangerous Music  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

Probably more than ever, recording studios have seen a need for monitoring different inputs and routing these signals to a variety of speakers. In my studio, we monitor the DAW, console LR, console...

R-1 ribbon mic

by SE Electronics  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

My guess is that a lot of people considering the purchase of the SE R-1 will wonder how it compares to the Royer R-121. Both feature a rectangular ribbon that's offset-mounted within the magnet...

RM-5C ribbon mic

by Telefunken | USA  |  reviewed by Barry Hufker

Students enrolled in the Audio Production program at Webster University, St. Louis and I had the great experience of evaluating the new Telefunken USA ribbon microphone, the RM-5C. The students...

SLD Total 44.1 ReFill

by Sounds Like Drums  |  reviewed by Jeff Elbel

Michael Moushon and Glenn Forsythe are Boston-based musicians with lengthy studio tenures and expertise in development of music production tools. The pair undertook a major endeavor with Sounds Like...


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

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