Welcome to issue #81 of Tape Op.
Fourteen years ago I opened up my first commercial studio space. I moved out of my home basement studio into a small, rented building down the road. Looking back, it's simply staggering to think about the changes in recording that we've all encountered over these years.
I just finished mixing an album for a group, My Sad Captains, from the UK. The album was recorded with a small amount of portable gear and a computer in a barn in Cornwall. They mailed me (in a small envelope) an entire album's worth of audio files on a small USB flash memory drive. I edited and prepped the album at home using Pro Tools in my office on a laptop, and then dumped the sessions onto a tiny, portable hard drive and hopped on a plane. (Remember having to lug three or more 2" reels of tape around back in the day? And being afraid to check them with your luggage?) When I got to Portland I started mixing with a hybrid of analog and digital gear. When a mix was finished I would email the band a link to download their mix. We'd pass ideas back and forth via email for a bit, and then wrap up a mix (as they stayed up into the early morning). Five days later the album was done. I emailed an invoice and the band placed money in my Pay Pal account.
None of this would have been possible 14 years ago. I probably would've never even been considered for the job.
Larry Crane, Editor