Nov/Dec 2011

Welcome to issue #86 of Tape Op.


While interviewing Bob Weston in 2000 for Tape Op #18, one of his comments took me by surprise. He told me, "Some bands just assume I won't record them. They assume I'm too busy, that I'm too expensive or that I only approach bands. When I hear that someone's afraid to call me, or assumes they can't call me, I can't even believe it." I'd always assumed since Bob worked on records that my friends and I bought and listened to that he was a hot commodity in the studio and that he was able to pick and choose projects to suit his taste and timeframe. The reality is that he was (gratefully) taking most any job that came down the pike in order to keep busy.

People's perceptions of how busy, inaccessible or picky a producer/engineer might be are often skewed. Most of us are easy to contact (see Vance Powell's, "People wonder how to find me and I say, 'Google me!'" in #82). Many folks are far more affordable than their

credits might lead you to believe. And everyone needs work; no matter how "cool" their job may appear. I recently talked to a good friend of mine who had a number of weeks work disappear overnight when a record label changed their mind on a band, and he's the kind of producer whom you might assume was always busy. We all live mostly day-to-day in this business (those of us crazy enough to attempt to make it a full time job) and what keeps clients coming our way is word of mouth, our back catalogs and musicians who wish to work with us. So to all the artists out there who admire the work of anyone on the other side of the glass, please consider that we might be much more available than you assume and that we'd be happy to work with you on any project.

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →

Nick Lowe: Bashing it out Live

by Pete Weiss

Not many in our field can make the claim of composing a bona fide alternative anthem with "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding," producing a handful of the century's most...


Columns See more →


Gear Reviews See more →

RN17 condenser mic

by sE Electronics  |  reviewed by Adam Kagan

 sE Electronics recently teamed up with Rupert Neve to produce a new series of microphones, including the RNR1 active ribbon (Tape Op #85) and the RN17 small-diaphragm condenser. The principle...

CV4 large-diaphragm tube mic

by Miktek  |  reviewed by Adam Kagan

The CV4 comes from Miktek in Nashville, and it combines modern construction with classic tube mic design and componentry. Right off the bat, the mic gets your attention with its chrome head, brushed...

AR-51 tube condenser mic

by Telefunken  |  reviewed by Dana Gumbiner

Okay, let me be as clear and concise as possible: the Telefunken AR-51 is the best condenser microphone I’ve ever tested for this mag (and I’ve tested a few). This mic utilizes circuit...

Voodoo VR2 active ribbon mic

by SE Electronics  |  reviewed by Craig Schumacher

I have to say that as an engineer and producer, I’ve been blessed with being able to work with many talented singer/songwriters. The one thing I’ve discovered is that the best performances...

Opticom XLA-3 limiter

by Acme  |  reviewed by Steve Silverstein

The Opticom XLA-3 uses a photocell-based detection circuit coupled with tube make-up gain. The first famous compressor with this topology, of course, is the Teletronix LA-2A; its rich and dark tone...

Opal active nearfield monitor

by Event Electronics  |  reviewed by Brandon Miller

Fairly young and becoming something of an instant legend, the Event Opal is getting tons of attention. It’s not often that a company scales a rather diverse monitor range down to a single...

FliteMates earplugs

by Flents  |  reviewed by Brad Kelly

Are your ears being damaged? Do you attend loud concerts? Set up mics on fidgety drummers? Rehearse in a small room? Ride the subway? I don’t think that most of my friends are aware of the...

Comp.One tube compressor

by Rockruepel  |  reviewed by Allen Farmelo

 RockruepelWith so much amazing boutique gear available these days, I have to confess that I don’t get all that excited when I hear about yet another expensive tube compressor being made in...

OTB16 16 Channel Summer

by Tonelux  |  reviewed by Adam Kagan

Tonelux was one of the first companies to design and build summing amps, and as the field continues to grow, Tonelux has released their newest offering, the OTB16, a 16-channel summing amp designed by...

PortaGig 62 portable RAID

by Glyph  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

Glyph Production Technologies recently released a new member to its line of professional drives. Called the PortaGig 62, it packs the full features of a Glyph in a space that fits in the palm of your...

Music Reviews See more →

Music Reviews

Legs of My Own

by The Throwdowns | reviewed by Larry Crane

Forming a band in Hawaii and shooting for national recognition must be a difficult undertaking. Even to tour around your home state requires flights or travel by sea, and living in a tourist-based...

Music Reviews

Our Blood

by Richard Buckner | reviewed by Larry Crane

I've known Richard since the '80s when we both played in bands in California. Sometime in 2001 or so, Richard, J.D. Foster [Tape Op #34] and I began what was to be his sixth album. It was never...

Music Reviews


by Crock | reviewed by Larry Crane

Crock is Sam Coomes of Quasi [Tape Op #2] and Spencer Seim of Hella. Those rock credentials should indicate that the music might not be laid back or easy listening. Much of the album was initiated by...



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

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