May/Jun 2008

Welcome to issue #65 of Tape Op.


This is for real — I did not make it up. But damn, I really wish there was a "secret" that I could pass along to all of you so you could easily make "classy high- end" recordings at home "within a week." It seems to me that great recordings can come from many different scenarios and backgrounds. However, in all these cases, there is some actual hard work involved — whether that work manifests as songwriting, performance, arrangement, recording, mixing, mastering or combinations of these. Experience and hard work (and sometimes lucky accidents) get the job done — not some "easy way out" simple answer from a charlatan on the Internet! "Secret" my ass... -Larry Crane 

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →


Columns See more →

End Rant

Guilty as Charged

by Chris Camden

I stand before you and I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. So help me... I have abused Pro Tools. I have used it in ways that are extremely inappropriate. I have...


Gear Reviews See more →

The Musician's Guide to Pro Tools

by John Keane  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

We reviewed the original version of this book in Tape Op #31, and back then I felt it really helped get me through my introduction to Pro Tools. Now, six years on, Digidesign keeps moving ahead with...

Making Records: The Scenes Behind the Music

by Phil Ramone w/ Charles L. Granata  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

Has Phil Ramone made some records? Yes he has-and classics at that. Just the cover alone shows CDs from Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Barbra Streisand, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan,...

Duet 2-ch FireWire audio interface

by Apogee  |  reviewed by Jeff Elbel

Apogee has designed Duet to fit the Apple world. At first glance, it's just a brushed-aluminum, paperback-sized case with a big knob on top. There's also a 1/4" headphone jack on the front, along with...

Elixir mic preamp

by Buzz Audio  |  reviewed by Chris Garges

About two years ago, I received a Buzz Audio MA-2.2 preamp to review for Tape Op (#57). After a while of using this preamp for the review, I fell in love with it, but by the time I had to return it, I...

AT8681 UniMix mic combiner

by Audio-Technica  |  reviewed by Chris Garges

I am a sucker for recording through outboard preamps direct to a recording device. I'm also a sucker for using a lot of microphones on a sound source. Sometimes these two loves can cause problems in...


by SPL  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

I'm a sucker for innovative tools that allow for more efficient methods of working, especially when such tools afford you increased flexibility and therefore heighten creativity. My latest acquisition...

992EG 2-ch tube preamp

by LaChappell Audio  |  reviewed by Craig Schumacher

Once you've tasted boutique audio, you're definitely spoiled. A good piece of hand-made gear is like a fine meal at a gourmet restaurant-not food from a formula-based chain restaurant. So, like great...

M4 tube console

by TL Audio  |  reviewed by Roland St. John Perez

Despite staying somewhat under the radar as far as marketing and promotion in the US, the UK-based TL Audio seem to put considerable time, effort, and love into developing products that find many...

P-touch electronic labeling systems

by Brother  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

A few years ago, we splurged on a P-touch labeler for Jackpot!-a PT-1900/1910 for about $60. As anyone who freelances knows, labeling is important in the studio. Stumbling around in a barely-lit room...


ASC-V 500 equalizer

by Speck Electronics  |  reviewed by Chris Garges

For some time, Speck Electronics has maintained a reputation for making really excellent-sounding and flexible equalizers in what most consider to be a reasonable price range. I had an opportunity a...

RX Advanced restoration bundle

by iZotope  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

  For many years, the restoration software hierarchy was etched in stone. The top tier featured outstanding performance at a premium price (often costing thousands of dollars per application)....

BK-5A vintage ribbon mic

by RCA  |  reviewed by Allen Farmelo

Ever since the studio where I do my tracking (Mavericks in NYC) acquired a pair of vintage RCA BK-5A ribbon mics, I've become a big fan and have found a ton of uses for them. It's difficult to track...

BG No. 2 mic preamp

by DAV Electronics  |  reviewed by Scott Craggs

Awhile back, I was looking to augment my meager mic preamp collection, as I found myself not having enough "good" preamps to track a band all at once. I had read a lot of praise for the DAV Broadhurst...

Rack Writer dry-erase panels

by Rack Writer  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

For our studio, this was like one of those (smacks forehead) "why didn't someone think of this sooner" inventions. After all, our console has a built-in scribble strip for dry-erase or grease pencils....

AT-02T Nomad & AT-CF94 tripods

by Dynatran  |  reviewed by

I recently learned that mic-clip thread adapters-typically called "Euro thread adapters"-fit onto standard camera tripods. This is good news if you are on a budget or have to travel with stands. An...

Dimension4 SpringTrap

by MSR Acoustics  |  reviewed by Larry Crane

The SpringTrap is described by its manufacturer as a "spring-loaded, triple cavity, ported Pistonic/Helmholtz bass absorber." It measures 46" high, with an 18" x 18" triangular footprint, and fits...

Liquid, Fluid, and Vapor plug-ins

by Audio Damage  |  reviewed by Dana Gumbiner

I first ran across the excellent Audio Damage plug-in line via, the blog of Chris Randall (ex-Sister Machine Gun frontman). Chris is one-half of the company with Adam Schabtach,...

Morphine soft synth

by Image Line  |  reviewed by Dana Gumbiner

Here's a flexible additive software synthesizer from Image Line, the developers who made the nearly-ubiquitous FL Studio app. Morphine is a standalone application, VSTi, or Audio Unit plug-in for...

Liquid Mix

by Focusrite  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

Liquid Mix is a FireWire hardware controller and processor that utilizes Sintefex's Dynamic Convolution technology to offer emulations of classic and vintage compressors and EQs. 40 compressors and 20...

Viceroy 1x12 guitar amplifier

by Carr Amplifiers  |  reviewed by Geoff Farina

If you read my glowing review of the Carr Mercury in Tape Op #39, you already know that in my humble opinion, Steve Carr builds some of the best guitar amps on the market. So I was not surprised that...


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

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