Welcome to issue #66 of Tape Op.
Let's talk about critiques. You'll notice my End Rant this issue involves music criticism. Our "Letters to Tape Op" section this issue features a nice jab at the content of this magazine as well as your humble editor himself. (I'm a "hotshot"?) However, where would we be without critical faculties? A few issues back I "endranted" about "Personal Taste", and how my taste influenced actions while recording. This same sense is what leads the magazine down its path. I'm certainly not going to publish anything in Tape Op that John and I don't find interesting, informative, unusual, historical or possibly just inflammatory (in order to stir up some fun discussions).
But when criticism arrives as blanket statements, like stating that we "pander to the manufacturers," that we should "strive for something other than mediocrity" or that "Tape Op used to be better" what am I supposed to do with this information? I want this magazine to be different and to stand out. Forty-six percent of our readers don't read other "music recording magazines" — I think that says something right there. Do we want feedback on what Tape Op could be? Hell yes. But please make it constructive feedback, just as if you were in a recording session working with an artist whose music you gave a shit about. Be honest, but also be helpful. I promise to listen and to consider everything I hear — because you never know where the good ideas come from, just like in a recording session.
Larry Crane, editor
PS: A lot of sad and terrifying news lately regarding our peers. "Wall of Sound" engineer Larry Levine (#45) passed away in May. Mikey Dread, amazing Jamaican artist and producer (The Clash!), is no longer with us. Norman Smith, engineer to The Beatles and producer to early Pink Floyd, passed away in March. Atlanta's Tom Wright had a varied and busy career; he's gone too. Engineers Chad Clark (#36) and TJ Doherty (interview upcoming) are recovering from major illnesses and hospital stays. Producer Scott "Scotty Hard" Harding was returning home from a session when the cab he was in was hit by a stolen car. Now he's partially paralyzed with no health insurance (go to www.scottyhardtrust.com to help out). We send the best to our friends and peers still with us and to families and acquaintances of the colleagues we have lost. We wish for a day when health care could be available to everyone in the US.