Jan/Feb 2011

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 

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →


Columns See more →

Gear Geeking

Gear Geeking #81

by Andy Hong

I travel a lot — enough that I've been awarded a lifetime Platinum membership with American Airlines for flying two million miles, and I recently converted my Amtrak points into $2000 worth of...


Gear Reviews See more →


by Avid  |  reviewed by Allen Farmelo

Converters and clocks are hotly debated topics, and it’s been my opinion for a while now that the reason they’re such sore topics is that people are often trying to establish objective and...

Creamer mic preamp

by Sonic Farm  |  reviewed by Kirt Shearer

I’ve said it before; I really like being in audio production right now. There is a seemingly endless supply of small manufacturers that are bringing innovative products to the market. This is...

Silent Way plug-in suite

by Expert Sleepers  |  reviewed by Dana Gumbiner

Do you love analog synthesis? Great, let’s nerd out on Control Voltage for a bit. CV is essentially the analog equivalent and predecessor to MIDI. It’s a tried and true method used to...

Yardstick 2496

by Quantec  |  reviewed by Joel Hamilton, Andy Hong

Here I am, Tape Op’s Gear Geek, butting into an otherwise enthralling review from Joel Hamilton. After reading Joel’s draft of this review of the Yardstick, I asked him to send me the unit...

The Indie Band Survival Guide

by Randy Chertkow & Jason Feehan  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

Like it or not, bands view audio engineers as subject-matter experts when it comes to “the music industry.” And while you probably don’t mind providing pointers and suggestions,...


by Avid  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

Just preceding the launch of Pro Tools 9, Avid released new versions of their venerable Mbox audio interfaces. Confusingly, the product names are now simply Mbox, Mbox Mini, and Mbox Pro, while...

Pro Tools 9

by Avid  |  reviewed by Allen Farmelo, Andy Hong

A couple months before the official unveiling of Pro Tools 9, Avid shared with the press that it was implementing significant changes to its customer value proposition. We were given a few sparse...


by XILS L  |  reviewed by John Baccigaluppi

This “matrix based modular synthesizer” softsynth, based on the EMS VCS 3, was an impulse purchase for me on AudioMIDI.com’s eBay store – one of their “No Brainer”...

Music Reviews See more →



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

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