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Happy Birthday, MT

The world's leading hi-tech music magazine celebrates its tenth anniversary this issue. Tim Goodyer considers the role MT has played in shaping the industry and the music.


YOU'RE HOLDING A unique magazine. Ten years ago it was launched as an electronics hobbyist's magazine under the title Electronics & Music Maker, today, as Music Technology, it's the world's premier hi-tech musicians' magazine. But more than simply documenting the progress of technology in music, the magazine has actively helped shape that progress - a claim no other mag can rightly make. It even played a major part in shaping many of the other musicians' magazines which have since appeared - not only did it provide the basis for the launch of MT's sister magazines (Home & Studio Recording, Guitarist, Rhythm and Keyboard Review), but a remarkable number of journalists now working on other magazines have passed through the MT stable.

An obvious statement, but it has to be made: much has changed in those ten years. From the early days of synths and "popular" electronic music, technology has become an integral and formative part of today's music. High technology in music is no longer considered esoteric or novel; in fact much of the modern music industry is based on technology.

Throughout, MT has successfully followed the cutting edge of technical developments and their applications - a promise often made, but rarely honoured. The magazine has never been afraid to follow any lead set by progress and has often been criticised for it. Yet its insight has repeatedly been justified by the direction taken by mainstream music and technology (and other magazines). MT's readers have been secure in the knowledge that the magazine has kept them amongst the best-informed people in the field.

Right now we're caught up in an analogue renaissance - something recognised by MT well in advance of the musical instrument trade and many musicians. But don't expect it to last forever. While analogue technology is currently affordable, friendly and hip, it won't remain so. And when technological advances displace it from its present importance, or the "FM renaissance" begins (and brings a fresh musical revolution), you can bet that MT readers will know about it first.

So what of this issue? Well, alongside our regular equipment reviews, interviews and technical features, you'll find a selection of articles marking our tenth anniversary. A feature from MT's last editor, Dan Goldstein, offers another slant on the history of MT and the hi-tech music scene, while an article modestly entitled Making History relives selected highlights from the magazine's past. We also canvassed a variety of musicians with an interesting question about their choice of the "ideal" keyboard instrument - see Shipwrecked! for the results. There are also two competitions: one for a brand new Roland JX1, the other for a classic analogue monosynth, the ARP Odyssey. Check them out. Interestingly, MT shares its birthday with Roland UK - who have certainly played their part in shaping the hi-tech music scene (see Designing the Future). Happy birthday, Roland.

As I said, all this is in addition to our regular items, including special features which have helped make MT so popular and influential. Take Nigel Lord's long-running On the Beat series, for example. Nobody could have predicted just how popular that would be, or that its popularity would extend to so many pro musicians.

Thanks, then, to all who have contributed to MT over the years: Nigel and Dan, Jim Grant for his expose of the mighty Fairlight a few years back, my brother Clive and the other illustrators and photographers who have brightened our pages (respect, Normski!) and all the others whose musical and technical expertise has been so valuable.



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Music Technology - Copyright: Music Maker Publications (UK), Future Publishing.

 

Music Technology - Aug 1991

Editorial by Tim Goodyer

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