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  • Welcome to the new site. Here's a thread about the update where you can post your feedback, ask questions or spot those nasty bugs!

Michael Tapes - USA

Michael Tapes

OPF Administrator/Moderator
My name is Michael Tapes. I met Asher at a Workshop a few years ago and we hit it off. I helped him with some color management issues he was having and we have corresponded via email from time to time as well as on the former Rob Galbraith forum. I am humbled that he has brought me into his new venture.

I am the administrator of the forums (which means that I do some tech geek work), an editorial adviser to Asher, and I moderate some of the forums. I am happy to be able to bring something back to the community that has been so kind to me over the years.

By profession, I was involved with professional audio, first as a mixing engineer, and then designing music and mix to picture audio mixing consoles. Also mixing automation systems. I never did the circuit design, but the ergonomics, the signal flow, panels layouts and writing a bunch of the software. I had my own companies Sound Workshop and Digital Creations, which at their peak had about 40 employees. We sold to a famous maker of tape recorders from Japan, called Otari, and I worked for them and as a continuing consultant for several years. In that time I enjoyed designing large (15-20 feet long) film/TV mixing consoles that were the vogue in Hollywood for about 10 years (The Otari Premiere Film Mix Console). They were in use at many of the major studios including Skywalker Sound, Universal, Columbia/Sony, Saul Zaentz, and many more. Films mixed on these consoles include (off the top of my head) The Player, JFK, Speed, True Lies, The Doors, The English Patient, and many 100s more. They were fun time in Hollywood. Otari decided not to pursue this market so with my leaving the company and their lack of follow-up we lost our foothold in Hollywood, but it was fin while it lasted. I later worked for Studer, that is the most famous tape recorder company in the world having had almost all of the worlds music recorded on their machines, from The Beatles Sergeant Pepper, though any analog recording still done today. I designed digital consoles for them, and also for Sony, where I was US Product Manager for the most expensive Sony product ever made, the Oxford Digital Mix Console, which sold in the high 6 figures.

My photographic history began as a small boy with a box camera eventually moving up to my first 35mm, a Yashica Lynx, and then a Kowa SLR. In school I was using a Speed Graphic 4x5 and worked in a great fully equipped 4x5 B&W darkroom. It was a great learning experience. In my teens and 20s I shot all 35mm, both Nikon and Canon almost exclusively Ektachrome slide film, and almost exclusively street photography, along with an assortment of party events. As family and career took my time, I began to shoot video and did not do too much with still photography.

Until.....A Canon digicam quickly followed by the D30 (bought from Canada to get one of the first ones), brought me to the conclusion that I would change my career to be part of the photographic industry. From then to now has included co-development of YarcPlus Raw Converter and Archive Creator software packages. And more recently, again, out of personal need I created the WhiBal Certified White Balance Reference, which I am proud to say is becoming an industry standard (in addition to being influential in selling a bunch of coffee filters and Pringles lids, as people see the need for proper White Balance :>)

Along the way I have been fortunate to hook up with Jack Hartzman (also a moderator here) and have been able to shoot major events all around the US as photographer and RAW workflow adviser. Nothing like being the only photographer in the room with 2 former presidents to test your chops!

In my personal photographic ventures, I am primarily a street photographer, although having recently moved to Florida, I have become most interested in photographing birds (well they practically are knocking on my door each morning). A lot of fun but hard to make great photographs of them (for me!).

I used to post a monthly gallery, but have not been diligent in this for quite some time, but I am beginning to put something together at www.michaeltapes.com. Now that I mention it here, I will have to make sure that I begin to post my work on a regular basis.

Boy can I talk. if you want to know my favorite color, please ask, and BTW...your "introduce yourself" piece does not have to be long winded like mine. Write what you feel. Thanks and welcome. I am happy to be here!

BTW...Since the D30 I have been a Canon shooter, and I now shoot a 5D and a 1DMkIIN 100% in RAW.

Doug Kerr

Hi, Michael,

Thanks so much for becoming part of the team that makes this new forum possible.

I look forward to working with you.

I had not realized until reading your quick bio above of your earlier work in the area of audio mixing and facilities therefor. Also an old love of mine!

By the way, I still have my Yashica Lynx 5000!

Michael Tapes

OPF Administrator/Moderator
Wow. I remember that Yashica as being my dream camera for a while. I believe it had match needle metering...Yes?

I also forgot to mention (I may actually add to that long post) about my thrill of living near Spiratone, the photo toy store of its day. I bought all of my darkroom supplies there, as well as the then famous SpiraLite Strobe. An electronic flash for $29.95 with external battery pack that took 8 C cells if I remember correctly. With lead-Acid batteries the recycle time was about 15 seconds, but with something called Alkaline batteries you could recycle in about 2-3 seconds, and it would run on AC, with a 1 second recycle time. I lived on Long Island and Spiratone was in Flushing, right across from what became the worlds fair site and Shea Stadium. I would go there and then to Jamaica to Lafayette Radio HQ (before HQ moved to Syossett, LI) to buy the Alkaline C cells, since that was the only place you could get them.

Some magic days...

I think we will have a good time and learn a lot here. Thanks for your participation!

Jason Anderson

New member
Wow...impressive background Michael. And good luck with the forums - I am sure you will grow exponentially. I will try to get the rest of the little group of ours in SC to come on board too. We are all amateurs (even though some of us could be pro), but never hurts to have more eyes and brains around, eh? (PM sent btw)


pro member
Hi Michael, I'm Sean McCormack.
I'll do a post about myself here too, but just thought I'd mention that I'm in the procces of exiting the audio industry, but will probably never get out fully! I run a small PA hire company and mix in a number of venues where I am, using there in house PA (roisindubh.net for one of them). Recently I've been making more and more money from photography and am trying to move into it as my main revenue stream.
When I was starting out I did some studio work on an Otari MX80 many moons ago.