Sep/Oct 2010

Welcome to issue #79 of Tape Op.


Remember that first time you tried to record some actual live music? Do you remember it being difficult, confusing and eventually unsatisfying? I do. I remember thinking my $18 Radio Shack microphones must be great, because they had batteries inside and were made of shiny aluminum. But then I couldn't figure out why "P" sounds popped on the vocals, why the acoustic guitar sounded odd when the needles were pegged or why the performance came off like a high school kid playing guitar in an attic. But most of all, I couldn't figure out how I'd get these recordings to be as cool as the records I listened to and loved.

I'm a bit older now, and my recording skills have improved somewhat (I hope). But you know what? I still listen to some of the records I love and I wonder, "How the hell did they do that?" I guess that same quest is still driving me forward. On we go.

Larry Crane, Editor

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →

Prepping Drums

by Steve La Cerra

Most engineers would probably agree that recording a drum kit is one of the most challenging studio tasks. The popularity of sampled drums and drum replacement software is a testament to the facts...

Other Drum Tips

by Chris Garges

Die cast hoops Die cast hoops give a drum more body, not "crack." I totally think of triple-flanged hoops as giving a drum more crack without the substantial body that a die cast hoop adds. Nylon...


Columns See more →


Gear Reviews See more →


2A3 Dual Program EQ

by RETRO Instruments  |  reviewed by F. Reid Shippen

This story begins badly, but stick with it; it gets better. Naturally, I was amped to fondle the new RETRO 2A3 Dual Program EQ, whose circuits are based on one of my favorites, the venerable Pultec...

Restore plug-in suite

by Sonnox  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

This new trio of plug-ins from UK-based Sonnox (the group that brought us plug-ins based on the Sony Oxford digital console) includes Oxford DeClicker, Oxford DeBuzzer and Oxford DeNoiser. They...


by KuSh Audio  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

I bought my first Empirical Labs FATSO Jr (Tape Op #24) almost ten years ago, soon after purchasing my first digital multitrack recorder, a TASCAM MX–2424, (#22). Since then, I’ve...



by Dangerous Music  |  reviewed by Eric Broyhill, Greg Calbi, Allen Farmelo, Dave Kutch

Every once in a while, you run across a product that is seemingly simple, but offers so much more than its faceplate implies. The BAX EQ is one of them. After reading the review that Allen Farmelo...

B2 Bomber ADC & DAC

by BURL Audio  |  reviewed by F. Reid Shippen

Here’s another game-changing product that deserved multiple opinions. Allen Farmelo, who also collected opinions from several other well-known engineers, leads with his review, and F. Reid...

A3X powered monitors

by ADAM Audio  |  reviewed by Steve Silverstein

     I’ve learned the hard way that small, powered monitors are ideal for my mobile recording work. As the mix setup in my apartment has grown more permanent, I have also found...

Music Reviews See more →

Music Reviews

Songs for the Ravens

by Sea of Bees | reviewed by Larry Crane

Some of you may know that the first time I met my partner in Tape Op (publisher, layout, business brains, co-conspirator) it was in 1988 or so and he met up with my band (Vomit Launch) to talk about...

Music Reviews

Weisstronauts In Memphis

by The Weisstronauts | reviewed by Larry Crane

I love instrumental rock. You know, like The Ventures, surf music, Dick Dale, Duane Eddy, Link Wray, etc. I can't get enough of it. And I love Pete Weiss, long time contributor to Tape Op and head of...

Music Reviews

Roman Candle

by Elliott Smith | reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

As we're reviewing contributors here, we can't end this column without mentioning our own editor, Larry Crane. The last time he passed through town, he dropped a vinyl copy of this remastered album...



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

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