Tape Op is one of those zines that really have a double life, informing individuals through letters and interviews but also through the ample advertisements that find their way into the magazine. What seems to be the best thing about Tape op is that interested individuals that are in the field can get a free subscription. I do not honestly know where individuals would have to pay $4.50 for a copy, but the information contained within is useful enough to really merit the high sticker price. What Tape Op does for those lay people that happen to pick up the magazine is really show the people behind some of the most famous albums of today and yesterday, and really get some context for why the albums ended up sounding the way they do now. There seems to be little difference between the major and the minor here, as individuals are all given a fair share. The only think that I really see as somewhat problematic with Tape Op is the anemic layout of some of the pieces. The same font dominates much of the magazine, and when there is a derivation from this formula (such as in “Behind the Gear”, which has a piece of legal paper as the backdrop), the results are mixed at best. Still, though this is perhaps the best magazine for anyone that is looking to work in engineering or music production, or those members of bands that which to put out their own CDs and not have them sound completely gash. This is not all dry technical jargon, as there is a concerted effort to insert humor throughout the entirety of the magazine.
Tape Op #50 / $4.50 / 1:15 / 84M / http://www.tapeop.com / Reviewed 03 January 2006