Jan/Feb 2009

Welcome to issue #69 of Tape Op.


Every few years it seems time to give a brief explanation of how Tape Op Magazine "works." We constantly get letters from folks who are amazed that this magazine arrives to them for free. Well, it's actually very simple: you pay for these free magazines. We get subscribers and readers because we have content that (hopefully) they enjoy. Because the magazine is being read by all these people, that makes the concept of advertising appealing to companies who make and sell audio equipment, make software or plug- ins, run mastering studios, have studios available to freelance engineers and many others with services that producers, engineers and musicians might need. So we sell ad space to these folks, based on the number of people like you who are out there reading Tape Op, and hopefully the advertiser is happy with the exposure and increase in interest generated by working with us. The revenue from these ads covers the cost of printing, shipping, distributing the magazine, as well as the costs of the Tape Op website, expenses in our offices, travel to conferences and sometimes even for John and I to collect a paycheck so we can pay rent and buy food. But the key thing to remember is this: Our advertisers need to know that you, the readers, are seeing the ads that they place in Tape Op Magazine. If you've been reading our mag for years, you might have noticed that advertisers come and go — and some have been with us for a decade or more. I can't overstate how much we appreciate all the levels of support that we get from our advertisers. Without them, Tape Op might not exist — hell, the first two years I published it by myself were thanks to Visa more than any advertising income. So next time you purchase studio time, a piece of gear or any other service you see advertised in our pages, make sure to tell them that you read Tape Op and thank them for the support. We thank you for doing so.

Larry Crane, editor

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →


Columns See more →

End Rant

A Worthwhile Investment?

by Larry Crane

As I was editing the letters section for this issue, one of them triggered a memory from fourteen years ago. I remember trying to build up my home studio and having stacks of catalogs on my desk. I...

Gear Geeking

Gear Geeking #69

by Andy Hong

I still have a vivid memory of unboxing my first Mackie product, the CR-1604 16-channel, 4-bus mixer-almost twenty years ago. After a stint at the then fledgling Digidesign, where I had been fortunate...


Gear Reviews See more →

ATB Series Console

by Toft Audio Designs  |  reviewed by Steve Silverstein

A recording console is arguably one of the toughest pieces of gear to review. Connectivity to other gear, internal routing capability, build quality, ergonomics, and all-around workflow are necessary...

M3 small-diaphragm condenser mic

by R0DE Microphones  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

A lot of people write me asking what kind of small-diaphragm condenser to buy. To quote Craig Anderton, "That's like asking me to pick your girlfriend." But people still ask, so I'm always keeping my...

Edirol R-09HR portable recorder

by Roland  |  reviewed by Geoff Farina

The original R-09 was reviewed in Tape Op #63. The new HR version adds 24-bit, 96 kHz recording capability as well as numerous improvements to function and form-factor. It's always a good sign when I...

Modular Snake System

by Planet Waves  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

As its name implies, this is a modular multi-channel wiring system. It utilizes an 8-channel "core" cable, available in 5, 10, and 25 ft lengths, with DB25 terminations on both ends, plus various...


by Cakewalk  |  reviewed by Alan Tubbs

I started using SONAR years ago for work at home. It fit my way of working, and I've stuck with it all the way to the latest version. (Version 6 was reviewed in Tape Op #61.) SONAR remains...

Sub12 subwoofer

by ADAM Audio  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

As I've mentioned in the past, a properly positioned subwoofer can reproduce the low frequencies that the main speakers simply can't due to room geometry and placement constraints. Even if a...

Si 500-series mic preamp

by ShinyBox  |  reviewed by Joel Hamilton

Every time I record something, I am thankful that I have the right tools to simply get things rolling for the client. I don't make them stand around for hours, nor do I need the drummer to play the...

PEQ-1A tube equalizer

by Amtec  |  reviewed by F. Reid Shippen

I never really set out to "review" gear, per se; it just sits around the studio until it fights its way into the workflow. I'm sure that wears out the guys who send me the stuff, but it's really my...

Drumagog 4.11

by WaveMachine Labs  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

In some circles, purists scoff at the idea of replacing drums. As a drummer and a microphone addict, I understand. But the fact remains there are times when you need to augment or fix poorly-recorded...

M7 Stereo Reverb Processor

by Bricasti Design  |  reviewed by Joel Hamilton

When you walk into a room that seems like a cool acoustic space, do you clap your hands to hear the decay properties? Do you keep the conversation rolling while part of your brain tunes in to the...

SuprEsser plug-in

by Sonnox  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

At first glance, SuprEsser seems to be a straight-laced de-esser with a tidy user-interface centered on an orderly FFT spectral analysis display. But after time spent, you realize that even...

Xtra Boom & Jam Nuts

by Latch Lake Music  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

Pop quiz. Do you record drums? Do you make a living as a recording engineer? If you answered yes to either one of these questions, you need to check out the Latch Lake Music Xtra Boom. Look, I'll warn...

Studio 100 speakers

by ProAc  |  reviewed by Allen Farmelo

The ProAc Studio 100 is a passive two-way monitor sporting a 6.5" bass/midrange driver and a 1" soft-dome fabric tweeter housed in a traditional-looking ported cabinet. The crossover allows for...

ScaryDrive pedal

by Doc's Custom Amplification  |  reviewed by Mike Jasper

My buddy Steve Bright told me about a spanking-brand-new, hand-made distortion unit crafted in, of all places, Placerville, California-which used to be called "Hangtown" back in them Gold Rush Days....

Ultimate Digital Performer 6 Learning DVD

by MacAudioLab  |  reviewed by Ken Dravis

While working on a project at Click Studio in Stowe, VT, I was introduced to MIDI sequencing through Mark of The Unicorn's Performer in 1991. Even then, the editing possibilities seemed overwhelming...

Music Reviews See more →

Music Reviews

Un Día

by Juana Molina | reviewed by Larry Crane

When I think of home recording, my worst imagined nightmare is someone trying so hard to make their recordings sound "polished" or "professional" that they lose sight of the music and feeling - and...

Music Reviews

Haste, Error

by Bleaks | reviewed by Larry Crane

Some bands exist by situation. Bleaks are a band because they gathered and created a record in Chicago at Semaphore Recording in a few days. Kyle Bruckmann (Pink Mountain, Lozenge), Jeremy Lemos...

Music Reviews

Acid Tongue

by Jenny Lewis | reviewed by Larry Crane

Some of you might know that M. Ward and I worked on part of her amazing last album, Rabbit Fur Coat [with the Watson Twins] (and that Mike Mogis [issue 51] did the majority of it). Since I bought Acid...

Music Reviews

Frankie Ray

by Jonathan Wilson | reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

Hey Larry did I ever play you Jonathan Wilson's album, Frankie Ray? It's one of my favorite albums that I picked up last year. He's an amazing musician with a beautiful voice. His songs are moody and...

Music Reviews

Make the Road by Walking

by Menahan Street Band | reviewed by Leigh Marble

Thomas Brenneck, guitarist for Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and Amy Winehouse, busts out some sweet lo-fi soul on his debut as the all-instrumental Menahan Street Band. Intricately arranged, with...

Music Reviews

Hold This Ghost

by Musée Mécanique | reviewed by Larry Crane

Earlier last year I had the pleasure of mixing a CD for the Portland Cello Project. The album featured many guest artists, and one of my favorites was Musée Mécanique's version of their...



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