Mar/Apr 2012

Welcome to issue #88 of Tape Op.


Tape Op gets a certain kind of letter frequently, and they all basically say the same thing: "I'm young. I really like recording. Where do I go from here?" Part of me can empathize with and understand the situation, yet another part of me cannot. In most cases the writer's experience level, with clients and with equipment, is minimal. Yet I don't see them pushing themselves to go even further.

You have a few pieces of outboard gear? Then borrow and try out more. Do short term gear trades with friends. You don't have friends that have recording gear? Then find new friends. You've learned Pro Tools? Then learn Logic Pro... and then Reason, Live, Record, Studio One, Cakewalk, Cubase, Reaper, Tracktion, Digital Performer, Audacity, SAW, Nuendo and Sound Forge. There are no recording studios within 100 miles of where you live? Then move somewhere else and hit the pavement. And believe me, there are always people out there to record.

Look, you're young and hopefully have a long, interesting life ahead of you. You have to make these things happen for you. Compared to most other fields, education (whether trade school or college) is no guarantee that you will find any work or be a good recordist. To produce and engineer an album you need to know and understand a lot of different subjects — inside and out. You need to build up these personal experiences.

But first look inside yourself and make sure this is what you really want to do. Do you want to help other people work on their music? Or would you actually prefer to record your own music instead? Are you ready to listen to songs that you may not enjoy, for days on end, and still remain enthusiastic about the recordings while putting 100 percent of yourself into the project? Are you ready for the crippling self doubt that might accompany the start of a session that haunts you as you mix a song for a discerning, unrelenting and unsatisfied client?

Read the interviews in Tape Op. Every man and woman has a different story to tell about how they ended up making records. Yet they also have one thing in common — recording music wasn't something they could escape. It is their life.

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →

Liam Watson (bonus)

by Larry Crane

In issue #15 we ran a rather brief interview with Liam Watson about his London-based Toe Rag Studios. In the following 12 years I always remarked that Tape Op needed to revisit Toe Rag and chat with...


Columns See more →

Gear Geeking

Gear Geeking w/ Andy...

by Andy Hong

In the previous installment of this column, I discussed my current favorite computer mouse, the Logitech Anywhere Mouse MX ($50 street;, which I use both at my desk and while I'm...


Gear Reviews See more →

DocDerr EL-Rx 500-series EQ/compressor

by Empirical Labs  |  reviewed by Eli Crews

I jumped at the chance to audition the DocDerr EQ/compressor, a new 500-series module designed by ELI’s founder/designer Dave Derr. I, along with almost everyone else in the audio world, am...


EQ4 equalizer

by Maag Audio  |  reviewed by F. Reid Shippen

The Maag EQ4, from the designer of the venerable NTI EQs with their legendary Air Band, isn't really an equalizer at all. So if you're looking for a new parametric EQ, stop reading, because the...

Little Devil Pre Amp (500-series)

by Chandler Limited  |  reviewed by Adam Kagan

Most of you are probably familiar with Chandler Limited and Wade Goeke from previous reviews and experiences with Chandler gear — the cool-looking, vintage-styled processors with innovative,...

Vac Rac TSL-4V tube limiter

by Inward Connections  |  reviewed by Adam Kagan

Inward Connections and its Vac Rac series of tube audio processors may be some of Pro Audio’s best kept secrets. The TSL-4 represents the latest incarnation of Vac Rac tube limiters that graced...

The Curve Diffusor

by Acoustic Geometry  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

Acoustic Geometry is a new line of professional sound products from Acoustical Surfaces, Inc. ( Their debut product group, called the Curve System, is a family of...

D5 compact powered monitor

by Equator Audio  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

Inspired by the straightforward approach Equator Audio takes in selling the D5 direct to consumers — without middleman margins and BS sales tactics — I’m going to just cut to the...

E1 Guitar

by Moog  |  reviewed by Pete Weiss

These are fun days for adventurous electric guitarists. All sorts of permutations of the quintessential rock instrument have reared their headstocks in the past decade. We’ve got easy access to...


Clariphonic Parallel EQ

by KuSh Audio  |  reviewed by Kirt Shearer

Gregory Scott of KUSH Audio is one of those guys that seem to really think about the process of making music. In talking with him at trade shows or seeing his posts in recording forums, he...

M5 Stompbox Modeler

by Line 6  |  reviewed by Pete Weiss

Like many Tape Op readers (especially guitarists), I've amassed a somewhat embarrassing collection of effects pedals over the decades. For me, it started in 1982, too young to drive, when I...


Tonelux Tilt equalizer plug-in

by Softube  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

Softube is a Swedish company that develops pro audio hardware and software, with plug-in titles that include official emulations of gear from Abbey Road Studios, Tube-Tech, Trident, and more....

Juice Box tube DI

by Retrospec  |  reviewed by Larry DeVivo

The Retrospec Juice Box is an all tube, Class A direct- injection box for recording musical instruments. It is fairly simple in layout and unique in looks. It has the usual 1/4'' I/O and an XLR...

Head, Red & Roll Cleaner

by MDI PrecisionMotorWorks  |  reviewed by Garrett Haines

I've been using the same brand of head cleaner for a decade. Nice alcohol-based stuff. But I ran low and found that MDI PrecisionMotorWorks was able to reintroduce their "right stuff" cleaner. (The...

Fireface UCX USB/FireWire interface

by RME  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

This compact audio interface allows you to record up to 8 channels simultaneously on an iPad; delivers 18 input and 18 output channels on Windows and Mac OS X (8 analog, 10 digital); supports USB 2.0...

Music Reviews See more →

Music Reviews


by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds | reviewed by Jeff Slate

Noel Gallagher's post- Oasis debut is nothing short of outstanding, and Gallagher sounds confident. It doesn't hurt that the songwriting on Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds is his strongest since...



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

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