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For many years now, the Tape Op Message Board has been a lively hub of discussion and knowledge, full of inspiring projects, cool tricks, and great music. But as the community around it has grown, we've started talking about things that are not strictly related to recording, and this has created a huge time sink. It's now very easy to spend hours clicking through threads about all sorts of extremely interesting but irrelevant subjects before you finally find the post containing the information you need. If you get there at all, that is — you might just as easily get sidetracked and forget what you came for in the first place.

So please join us now in welcoming the new Questions section. This is a forum as well, in a sense, but it's explicitly modeled after Stack Overflow, which has emerged as a definitive knowledge base for computer programmers because of its Q&A format. We wanted to provide the same thing for the audio world.

The main difference between this and the older message board is that you can now vote for specific responses and pick the ones you'd like to highlight; this helps useful information bubble up to the surface more readily, which in turn tends to keep the posts more on topic. There's nothing wrong with discussing our favorite sandwiches or sending birthday wishes around, so the old forums won't be going away — the People Skills subforum, in particular, is irreplaceable. But from here forward, the Questions section is the preferred home for focused technical information, and now the forums can gradually shift toward content that fits with the more casual and conversational format.

Over time, this approach will help us all find what we need more easily. Efficient, concise questions and answers will be great for people who are, you know, actually trying to be productive; everyone else is still free to blather on in the forums as usual. We hope you'll continue to do both.

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

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