There have been several beautifully designed and written coffee table books published in the last few years that focus on music gear, including guitar pedals, modular synthesizers, microphones, and more. Yet, despite the increasingly crowded field, Matthias Fuchs has managed to find a niche and make it completely his own. Per the title, this book focuses on studio effects, from the early plate and spring reverbs and tape delays to the advent of the digital multi-effects processors and everything in between. I have a soft spot for many of these, in particular the first generation of digital effects as pioneered by companies like Eventide, Lexicon, Ursa Major, Quantec ProAudio, Publison, and many more. Eventide’s own Anthony Agnello wrote the preface to this book, and did a great job of contextualizing the digital effects revolution. The writing, photography, and design are uniformly excellent. Each effect is well described, with multiple photos and a section on records it was used on. As much as I thought I knew about some of these effects, I learned quite a lot from this book! While many were familiar, some were new to me, and I grasped new insight about effects I own and have used for years. At under 300 pages and similar in size to an LP box set or a 10.5-inch roll of 1/4-inch tape, this book could sit well with your tape library at the studio, or in your record collection at home.

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

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