IBP stands for "In Between Phase." In other words, this box provides you with a continuously variable phase knob-as opposed to a fixed on/off 180-degree phase switch-allowing you to combine signals that are partially out of phase while minimizing the effects of phase cancellation. The process relies on analog all-pass filters and is different than the "time aligning" that you can do with a DAW or delay. What does this mean to us engineers? Bass guitar cabinets and DI lines can finally complement each other in the way they should! This is the main usage I've found for the IBP-running the DI through it to tape and dialing in the amount of phase shift until the bottom end sounds best and the overall tone of the instrument fits the mix better. In fact, I originally thought this would be a tool with "scientific" purposes, but now I find myself using it in a creative manner, as phase relationships will change the tone or color of an instrument, opening up new sonic territory. In one mix session I printed a guitar over to a new track while dialing the IBP for some cool phasing sounds that were totally unlike any I could get with effects units. I also found myself using the IBP on mics when multiple-mic'ing guitar amps, and adjusting the phase for certain tones. It even helped on a snare drum that was not "sitting right" in the mix-changing the phase slightly made it feel better. This box has been indispensable on every session since I received it. Now I just need a few more IBPs! It even has a high quality Little Labs DI and re- amping capabilities built in too. Damn.

($550, littlelabs.com)

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

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