Sep/Oct 2012

Welcome to issue #91 of Tape Op.


One topic of conversation I always have with fellow engineers centers around keeping up with new local music and how to go about getting recording gigs. Professional engineers can get locked away in endless sessions and, in the process, lose touch with the scene they'd originally been part of. Standing around a club waiting for a band to play after 12 hours of recording music can be trying. And simply keeping up with a city's music scene is a somewhat daunting task. In Portland, Oregon, there seems to be an endless supply of new groups and performers — keeping track of this could be a full-time job, not to mention all the established, talented artists in various genres.

I kept the third weekend of July open just so I could partake in PDX Pop Now!, a free three-day event featuring all local music. Before I jumped on my bike to head out for day one, I looked at the schedule and noted that out of 49 performers, I'd only heard of a few. A good sign, as I was hoping to see as many local bands that were fresh to me as possible. I had a great time. I saw so much new music. I met a few new people and handed out business cards to bands that I hope to see in my studio. But, best of all, I now know what a bunch of local artists sound like — ones that I'd never heard before. Somehow I doubt this will be a bad thing.

-Larry Crane, Editor

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →


Columns See more →

End Rant

Tell the Truth

by Larry Crane

A while back I had an interesting session recording auditions and providing camera audio feed over the course of three days for 24 instrumental and vocal performers, all of whom were hoping to get on...

Gear Geeking

Gear Geeking #91

by Andy Hong

SM's review of Scott Colburn's Practical Studio Construction DVD in this issue got me thinking about the difficulties of studio construction. On one hand, you need a room that is acoustically isolated...


Gear Reviews See more →

Source monitor controller

by Dangerous Music  |  reviewed by Thom Monahan

With every recording session, there's one piece of the puzzle that never rests; it's constantly in use, informing every decision that you make - and that's your monitor controller. You'll use...

m502 optical compressor

by Grace Design  |  reviewed by Scott McChane

The Grace brothers (Michael and Eben) are well-known for their uncompromised designs. I've been a big fan of Grace since JB introduced me to the Model 101 preamp [Tape Op #27] five years ago, and I've...

SOC-20 stereo optical compressor

by Buzz Audio  |  reviewed by Steve Silverstein

New Zealand gear manufacturer Buzz Audio is best known for its REQ-2.2 mastering EQ [Tape Op #71], which some have compared to a classic Sontec. This impressive reputation made me curious enough to...

DJ Style Pro Headphones (Item #8323)

by Monoprice  |  reviewed by Joseph Lemmer

I have not tried every pair of headphones on the market, but I have tried a lot. I think these Monoprice DJ Style Pro Headphones are the best value out there. Closed-back, high-quality build, great...

Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio (book)

by Mike Senior  |  reviewed by Scott Evans

Mike Senior has written about a million things for Sound On Sound magazine, but I associate his name with their "Mix Rescue" column. Each month, he does a "makeover" mix of a reader-submitted song,...

10DC compressor/limiter

by BAE Audio  |  reviewed by Marc Alan Goodman

In the world of boutique audio equipment, the classics are held in high regard. Manufacturers are praised for releasing the most accurate clones of gear from what people now consider to be the Golden...

Practical Studio Construction (DVD)

by Scott Colburn  |  reviewed by Scott McChane

Perhaps your car is not worth parking in the garage anymore? Or maybe you've cleared out your basement, deciding to generally complicate your life further by building a recording studio in your home?...

HDSPe MADI FX interface

by RME  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

I bought my first RME product, an ADI-648 MADI-ADAT converter [Tape Op #63] a decade ago, when my primary recording devices were an Otari MTR-90 2'' tape machine, a TASCAM MX-2424 standalone HD...

MC-125 mic boom stand

by Ultimate Support  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

I can't believe this boom stand streets for $200, because its quality is far above what you'd expect from an affordably-priced studio boom. I've used plenty of boom stands during the many decades I've...


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

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