Who works for Tape Op?
Scott McChane: Gear Reviews Editor/Production Manager
Marsha Vdovin: Advertising Sales & Social Media
Geoff Stanfield: Online Publisher
Anthony Sarti: CTO/Digital Director
Andy Hong: Senior Reviews Contributor at large
Can I intern for Tape Op?
We generally never need interns but if you really want to do some menial office work, contact John at the San Rafael office.
Can I run an ad in Tape Op Magazine?
Of course! Please check out our Media Kit.
What issue was so-and-so in?
We have a search engine for this that will scour our entire back issue archive. Please use it!
Can I post a question to the Letters section of Tape Op?
Sure, but keep in mind the lead time in producing a magazine!
Can I run an ad on TapeOp.com?
Yes, please check out our Online Media Kit for all the relevant info.
Can I send you the new mic preamp, etc. that my company is selling to get reviewed?
Contact Scott McChane, our Gear Reviews Editor for more information.
Please be patient.
I'd like a subscription. How do I do that?
Free subscriptions are available in digital format to anyone in the world with a valid email address. All subscribers will receive each new issue of Tape Op directly in their email inbox in a protected PDF format, as well as be able to view all of their current and past delivered issues directly at tapeop.com. You will not be able to access issues from before the date your subscription started, you will need an archive subscription or box set for that.
If you live in the U.S., we will also send you a paper copy of each new issue via good ol' snail mail. Basic print subscriptions are indeed free, but not 100% guaranteed to arrive, or may arrive torn. However, 98% arrive just fine.
Check out our main subscriptions page for all of the above options.
Can I start my subscription with issue number___?
No. Subscriptions start with the next issue to be sent out, not with one that's already out.
The easiest way to access back issues is to purchase one of our online archive subscriptions, which gives you online access to all our back issues back to the year 1996. These are digital copies only, but they have the significant advantage of searchable access. Individual print back issues are available for purchase via Vompire. Browse all our individual issues here.
A recent issue didn't show up. Can you please send me a replacement copy?
We do not replace missed free subscriptions. It seems the postal service loses about 2% of them each issue, which is unfortunately a fair amount of magazines when you're mailing 35,000 copies. But hey, it is a free subscription and 98% of them get there just fine!
Back issues are available here.
If you had a FREE subscription and then stopped receiving issues, several things may have occurred. Subscription renewal is handled via an email to you, once a year. If you have changed your email address between signing up and renewal, then you will not receive this notice and your subscription will be cancelled. If your spam filter grabs it, you will not receive this notice of renewal. If you signed up long ago, before we required an email, then randomly you may be dropped from the mailing list as the list is purged of non-email addresses. In all of these cases, for a free subscription the easiest thing to do is sign up for a new subscription. If you do start receiving extra copies, email email@example.com and give your address, name and email address used to sign up.
Where do I change my address, renew my subscription, check my status, etc?
The best way to manage all aspects of your subscription is to log in with your provided email address (reset your password here if need be). Your name will appear in the upper right of the page once logged in - click/tap/headbutt your name to see all your account and subscription information.
If you're not sure what email address you gave us, search for your sub here. If all else fails, you can fill out our lost subscription form and we will look it up ourselves the old fashioned way and send you your information (please allow us some days to do this!)
I'm not sure if my address change went through. Can you check?
Where can I find a copy of Tape Op in my town?
We don't know exactly. Our distributors send them to lot of stores big and small across the country and Canada, but we don't know what stores carry them for sure. The larger chains like Barnes and Noble, Books A Million and Chapters (in Canada) should have the current issue of Tape Op. Our distributors are CMG and Small Changes, feel free to ask your favorite local newsstand to order Tape Op from one of them!
What's your policy with renting your "free subscribers" information to advertisers?
As you know, Tape Op is a free magazine that's supported by our advertisers. That's how we can afford to print and mail it to you for free. This will include an occasional snail mail piece from some of our advertisers as well as these semi-regular e-zines. We'd like to be a bit more clear about how this works for those of you who are interested in this:
- Anytime we rent our list, it is for a 'one-time' usage. You are not being added to anyone else's database.
- We usually send out our list to a bonded third party mailing house, which further prevents your data from being pirated.
- We will only rent out our list to our advertisers who are professional audio companies. You won't be getting anything from long distance companies or timeshared condos in Cabo San Lucas.
- Any e-mailed 'spam' will only come from us. We will not give out e-mail addresses to any third party, all e-mail will be forwarded to us and sent to you by us.
Can I put a link on your website?
If you have a link to an "educational resource" that isn't trying to sell us on gear, a studio, services or some band then contact Geoff. Non "educational resource" links are considered advertising. Contact John for ads.
Can I send Tape Op an idea for an article?
We are usually backlogged with too many articles we can't find room for, but contact Larry with your idea. Please make sure that it hasn't been done before by checking the archives and back issues. You'd be surprised how many readers haven't read all the back issues and books. Please make it clear if this is just an idea you are passing along or if you intend to write it yourself.
Can I write for Tape Op?
Drop Larry a line with what you'd like to write about and your qualifications to do so. Ask for the Writer's Guidelines too. Please be aware that we have a mass of articles already in motion and many on deck that need to run. There isn't enough space for all the articles we get. Also be aware that if you have never interviewed someone and transcribed three hours of talking and then edited it down that it is a lot of work. Many people have started interviews that they never finished. That sucks and makes Tape Op look lame. Don't be one of those people!
Can I write a column for Tape Op?
No. Notice there are no regular columns in Tape Op besides letters, gear reviews, table of contents and the end rant. This is because space is at a premium and we want to offer a variety of features. So the answer is no.
Who Started Tape Op?
Larry Crane founded Tape Op in April 1996. John Baccigaluppi and Larry became partners late 1999. Larry primarily is the editor and John the publisher, though they confer on most issues and John has input as to content.
All the gear reviews seem to be positive. How come I never read bad reviews in Tape Op?
We strive to review products that we think are relevant to our readers and often pass on reviewing products we think are less relevant or that we feel aren't something we would want to use ourselves. Space in the magazine is very limited and we almost always have far more editorial than we have space for. Our feeling is that we should write about products and gear that we think is worth buying and not waste space writing about things we think suck. These products will disappear soon enough anyway. As far as manufacturer input, when we've finished a review we send it to the manufacturer for a fact check. If we have written something in error, we will correct it. If the manufacturer strongly disagrees with something we've said, we'll sometimes add their comments into the review.
How come you don't run product photos in the gear reviews section?
1. We'd rather run more interviews and content and these photos would just take up more space. 2. We also think gear photos are usually pretty boring. 3. This way we can run more reviews. 4. You can find photos of gear on numerous websites, so why waste space reprinting them in the magazine?
Sometimes I see an ad for a product that you review right next to the review. This seems biased to me and I don't trust the review to not be influenced by the ad.
Tape Op is a free magazine that is supported by advertising. When we know that we are going to run a review, we contact the manufacturer and let them know the opportunity exists for them to advertise that same product in the magazine and support the review. We are already going to run the review, so if they decide to buy an ad because of that it allows us to add more editorial to that issue. The more ads we have the more editorial we can run. If the ad has a photo of the product, and if our page layout allows us, we will often put the ad next to the review so that you can see a photo of the piece of gear being reviewed.
Review and Ad Policy
Here at Tape Op Magazine we get at least ten requests per day from various audio companies asking us to review their products – we cannot possibly accommodate them all. This also sets up a conflict: Tape Op is supported by advertising, and that is how we are able to print and mail out the magazine for free every two months. As advertising budgets have increasingly moved online – primarily to Google, Amazon, and Facebook – this conflict has become more pronounced. Many manufacturers wish to see their products reviewed in the printed magazine, but they are reluctant to spend money on our print advertising. With this in mind, we want to be clear about how we run the reviews section of Tape Op Magazine, and how our publication functions.
1. Tape Op is an advertiser-supported magazine. If you are a Tape Op reader, please let our advertisers know you appreciate their support of Tape Op. If you are an audio company, you should advertise in Tape Op and reach our readers.
2. These ads help us cover the cost of printing and mailing the magazine to our 38,000 subscribers; the largest subscriber base of any music recording magazine in the world.
3. Our readership is knowledgeable and loyal, and they purchase products they learn about via ads and reviews in the magazine.
4. The primary focus of Tape Op Magazine is interviews, which usually fills up the first 75% of the magazine. Specific gear and software gets mentioned in these interviews as well.
5. The last 25% of the magazine is reviews of music recording related products. The reviews are written by working engineers and musicians using the equipment or software in real world scenarios. Your product ends up being used on recordings that people actually hear and care about, not just in some bench test or silly key-jingling audition.
6. We get far more requests for reviews than we can possibly delegate and edit, and we still generate more reviews than we can ever get into the printed magazine.
7. This is how we prioritize reviews: If you are an advertiser and you support us, we will prioritize our resources (writers, editors, space in the magazine, etc.) to run a review of your gear. This does not guarantee you’ll get a good review, but it guarantees we will do our best to get your gear reviewed by a qualified reviewer in a timely manner.
8. Keep in mind we are bi-monthly and publish only 6 issues per year. An issue’s content is frequently locked in up to two months prior to publication.
9. If you are a smaller, newer boutique audio or software company, we will do our best to get your product reviewed. If we run a review we will give you the opportunity to advertise in that issue. You do not need to advertise to get a review, but see 7 above. Note that we do not run any images in our reviews – they are text only. If you decide to run an ad for a reviewed product this will allow our readers to see what your wares look like, reinforcing the power of the published review.
10. If you are a larger, established company that chooses not to support Tape Op with advertising, we’ll contact you if one of our reviewers is interested in writing about your product. We do run lots of reviews from companies that do not advertise with us, but we do not have the resources to prioritize or assign writers for your products. We look to our reviewers to tell us what gear they are interested in reviewing – not from suggestions from PR companies. We really like and respect a lot of the PR people in the audio industry, but please see points 1-9 above.
11. It is your company’s job to get end users interested in your products. It only becomes our job if you support us with advertising, which helps us print the magazine and get it mailed to our readers.
12. The more pages of advertising an issue of Tape Op has, the more reviews we will run. It’s a direct correlation.
Can I get my organization's or company's content up on the Tape Op website or social media?
Short Answer: No.
Long Answer: If we tended to every request to place content on our website or social channels we'd literally have no time to do anything else. We focus on working with our current advertising partners (who support us and allow us create content) to amplify their marketing efforts and use our channels to work together with them to bring our readers and 165k social media followers compelling and useful content. It doesn't mean we only post advertiser content, but what we do post is soley at our editorial discretion.