When I think of home recording, my worst imagined nightmare is someone trying so hard to make their recordings sound "polished" or "professional" that they lose sight of the music and feeling - and end up mucking around on the same 12 songs for a decade and eventually have a CD in their hands that doesn't really move anyone or achieve the initial goals of the project. When I imagine the absolute best use of someone recording on their own outside of a "proper" studio, I think of people like Argentina's Juana Molina and the results she gets. On her fifth album she continues to loop, overdub and delay (via a BOSS Loop Station RC-20) her vocals and guitar playing, but also brings in more "natural" percussion at times than previous releases. The result is intimate, engaging work that probably would come out quite different if attempted in a "pro" studio. (www.dominorecordco.us) -LC

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

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