Mar/Apr 2008

Welcome to issue #64 of Tape Op.


I find that as I interview more and more people involved in the process of recording music that I feel I may be backing myself into a corner of sorts. I like the fact that a lot of our interviews are more "human" — about the people and their journeys through music. Maybe it's running a studio as a business, the learning processes we all go through, or imparting what one has learned for others to peruse. But if I shy away from asking about specific studio techniques are these interviews less "useful" to our readers? I'm always curious what people think of the balance we present in Tape Op, so feel free to drop me a line telling me what you think.

What's always bugged me in other recording magazines are the articles that seem to claim to have all the answers. "Fix it in the Mix," "How to Get Great Guitar Sounds," "Master Your CD at Home" and their ilk are far removed from what I find interesting or representative of the real world — especially when the words "hot," "extreme," "killer," or "pro" are used. There are so many ways to make an exciting and creative recording — why would we want to suggest that we have found the only way and will tell you how it's done? I also find interviews that ask, "How do you mic a drum kit?" to be usually somewhat ludicrous. Oh yeah, this guy was recording John Bonham and the choice of mics was the key to the sound? C'mon.

But what do we talk about then? What is Tape Op covering? I've had more time to really focus on this magazine lately, and many thoughts come through my head. We'll keep moving forward and see where it goes — because I do think there is still so much to learn from each other and so many things to discuss. I'll just try to make sure we never get backed into a corner or profess to have the "hot tricks and tips" that you need.

Larry Crane, editor

PS. Our second Tape Op Book is finally back from the printer!

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →


Columns See more →

End Rant

Personal Taste

by Larry Crane

A friend slipped me a copy of her upcoming album recently. I liked her songs as well as her singing. The arrangements on the album showed that some thought had been put into making each song feel...


Gear Reviews See more →

KM69 small-diaphragm condenser mic

by MercenaryAudioMFG.  |  reviewed by Richard Lloyd

When I was at the last AES conference, I ran into Fletcher of Mercenary Audio, and I saw something sticking out of his shirt pocket. He pulled it out proudly and showed it around. I said, "That's got...

HP60 headphone amp

by PreSonus  |  reviewed by

The PreSonus HP60 solves two of the most common home- studio problems by providing individual headphone mixes for up to six people as well as a convenient talkback system. There are two main stereo...

ZED-14 mixer

by Allen & Heath  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

Some years ago, I owned an original Allen & Heath WZ20:8:2 MixWizard designed for use with an 8-track. It was a major step up from other small-format consoles of the time, both functionally and...

CT4 Compressor

by Massey Plugins  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

Massey CT4 is a straightforward compressor plug-in that comes in RTAS and TDM formats. With an uncluttered interface, CT4 has only four controls-compression, makeup, attack, and release-making it easy...

Portable broadband absorbers

by ModTrap  |  reviewed by J. Robert Lennon

Here's a neat solution for solving problems with your recording environment's acoustics. Take two sheets of rigid fiberglass, wrap them neatly in fire-rated acoustic fabric, glue them together to form...

HVTP2 & HJFP2 mic preamps

by Hamptone  |  reviewed by J. Robert Lennon

When Andy Hong asked me to write a review of the mic preamps currently-available from Hamptone (the tube-based HVTP2 and transistor-based HJFP2), I got a weird sense of deja vu. Haven't these already...

Dynamics Toolbox

by Safe Sound Audio  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

You may recall my review of the Safe Sound P1 Audio Processor (Tape Op #53)-a mic preamp, instrument DI, expander, compressor, limiter, and headphone monitor/mixer designed by Robert Campbell,...

AlphaTrack control surface

by Frontier Design  |  reviewed by Allen Farmelo

A number of years back, I was tracking a record in a room with a 24-fader Digidesign ProControl and then migrated to a situation with only a keyboard and a mouse. About halfway through the first day...

TO-2 mic preamp

by Matrix Audio  |  reviewed by Craig Schumacher

So we were strolling around AES last October and we run into Harley Fine who we met at TapeOpCon 2007. Harley took us over to meet Jim Kaye of Matrix Audio Systems. At his table were three 2-channel...

1589 mic preamp

by ALTEC  |  reviewed by Scott Callan

I am a home recordist with a humble 12-space rack filled with affordable (and occasionally interesting) gear. I am also a sucker for anything odd, old, and esoteric... and bonus points for strange...

Ela M 260 small-diaphragm tube mic

by Telefunken USA  |  reviewed by

It's funny how the audio industry sometimes seems to go in waves. Four years ago, summing mixers, like the Dangerous 2-BUS (Tape Op #35), were the new thing, and two years ago, monitor controllers...

Cubase 4 Tutorial DVD Level 1

by ASK Video  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

David Hidek and Garrett's positive review of the ASK Video Sibelius Tutorial DVD bundle (Tape Op #62) prompted me to check out ASK's Cubase 4 Tutorial. In short, if you are new to Cubase (or to DAWs...

G-Track USB mic

by Samson Audio  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

My wife is a filmmaker, and her primary platform is Final Cut Studio running on a Mac Pro. She is neither an audio engineer nor a gear geek like many of us are. For her current project, she needed to...

r8brain PRO Sample Rate Converter

by Voxengo  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

Voxengo is a company that has been selling digital audio processing tools online since 2002. The r8brain PRO application is a high-quality sample-rate converter for PCM audio. While it's hard to get...

Expose E8B active monitor

by KRK  |  reviewed by Jeff Elbel

I've been using a pair of KRK 7000B speakers, driven by a Bryston 3B-ST power amp, as my nearfield monitors for a dozen years. I trust them and know them inside-out, but after working with higher-end...


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

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