Jul/Aug 2008

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.

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →


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Gear Reviews See more →

ATM250DE dual-element mic

by Audio-Technica  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

A dynamic mic and a condenser mic packaged together into a single body? Kinda gimicky, no? I've seen the trick that inspired the design of this mic many times-tape together a condenser and a dynamic...

AE3000 large-diaphragm condenser mic

by Audio-Technica  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

Most large-diaphragm condenser mics are too big to use in tight situations. The AE3000, on the other hand, is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. I originally bought this mic because I...

Gomez Michael Joly Edition ribbon mic

by Cascade Microphones  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

The Gomez results from a collaboration between Cascade microphones, headed by CEO Michael Chiriac, and Michael Joly (Tape Op #59) of OktavaMod. Its single-ribbon motor is enclosed in a single-layer,...

Carbon Microphone

by Bing  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

Check out these little lo-fi gems. The Bing Carbon Mic is made from retired telephones, but transformer-coupled to provide a balanced XLR connection for studio use. It comes in a compact housing...

Various plug-ins

by Airwindows  |  reviewed by Walt Szalva

By day, Chris Johnson is a mastering engineer. By night, he's an audio plug-in designer. Or maybe it's the other way around. In any case, I was first drawn to his Airwindows plug-ins because they...

Zbreeze rack cooling fan

by Parasound  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

Parasound is a California company that is well known by audiophiles and consumers of high-end audio gear. One of their lines, Zcustom, is a set of half-rack components for situations where space is...

Ministry of Rock & Quantum Leap Gypsy

by EASTWEST  |  reviewed by Walt Szalva

EASTWEST has grown into quite a juggernaut within the sample library and software instrument market. Originally formed in 1988, the company found success in 1989 when it teamed with Bob Clearmountain...

M-Patch 2 volume control

by SM Pro Audio  |  reviewed by "DanDan" Fitzgerald

SM Pro Audio are an intriguing company. Half German, half Australian. They sell unusual devices and problem solvers for little money. I discovered them while searching for a pro-quality volume control...


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

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