Nov/Dec 2012

Welcome to issue #92 of Tape Op.


How do we get better at the craft of recording music? For me, and from what I've gleaned over the years from other producers and engineers, there is one simple fact: I am never 100 percent happy with the work I have done. Every studio session presents unique challenges, and each time I end up making a few choices I am less than thrilled about or other times maybe I don't take action when I should. Mind you, the records I make aren't ruined by my decisions, and I'm probably the only one that notices these issues. This isn't about some perceived goal of perfection — I don't labor under the belief that every drum hit should be in exact time or that every note has to be impeccably pitched. For me it's about the small details that could have been captured better: the choice of a certain mic, the tone of an amp, the tempo of a song or length of a chorus. I keep a mental log of all the times I've let myself down in any way. And, as I start a new session, I push myself further to look out for anything that might need more attention. This is how we get better — because we never look back and think that we've done the perfect job. Never.

-Larry Crane, Editor

— Larry Crane, editor

In This Issue See more →


Columns See more →

End Rant

Eliminate Variables

by Larry Crane

I finally figured out what makes for a successful tracking session: simply eliminate the variables. On one level this could be seen as pre-production combined with concise decision making. Certainly...

Gear Geeking

Gear Geeking #92

by Andy Hong

I've always had my DAW computers in a rack at the rear corner of my control room, which is farther from the video monitor than the DVI spec recommends for maximum cable length for standard copper....


Gear Reviews See more →

Sonar X2 Producer

by Cakewalk  |  reviewed by Alan Tubbs

SONAR X1 [Tape Op #82] was a major change from the previous eight or so iterations of SONAR. X1 looked, operated, and felt very different from its predecessors, which were so... Windows looking, with...

Acoustic Ramp diffuser

by XIX Acoustics  |  reviewed by Andy Hong

The modestly-sized control room of my personal studio is acoustically treated with a Primacoustic Primakit [Tape Op #36], twelve wood-panel RealTraps [#36], nine broadband RealTraps Mini/MondoTraps...

MA-301fet condenser mic

by Mojave Audio  |  reviewed by Craig Schumacher

Following up on the success of the MA-300 large-diaphragm tube mic [Tape Op #87], Mojave recently released a FET version. As was the case with the MA-200 - tube version first, then roll out the FET....

5059 Satellite Summing Mixer

by Rupert Neve Designs  |  reviewed by Adam Kagan

By now, we are all familiar with the Rupert Neve Designs Portico Series of processors and RND's big-daddy 5088 console [Tape Op #73]. Over the last few years, these products have proved themselves...

MLA-3 multiband compressor

by Maselec  |  reviewed by Adam Kagan

The worlds of project studio and commercial studio have collided in a big way over the last few years, and now we are seeing the same convergence with gear that was developed for the mastering lab...

Titan compressor/limiter

by Dave Hill Designs  |  reviewed by F. Reid Shippen

Perhaps in a bid to thumb his nose at Thermionic Culture's usurpation of avian nomenclature, Dave Hill has come out of the Crane Song witness-protection program with a new sideline of self- labeled...

16x2 tube mixer

by Manley  |  reviewed by Adam Kagan

In the land of DAWs, we have become obsessed with infusing some analog-ness back into our productions. Obviously, we still require some analog gear to record acoustic sources, but the search has been...


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

Or Learn More