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Music Technology Introduction

A full run-down on what's happening to E&MM next month, how it'll look, and why we're doing it.

What's in a name?

As from November, 'Electronics & Music Maker' will cease to exist. But don't panic. The world's longest-running and most successful hi-tech music magazine is not about to disappear overnight. It'll be on newsagents' shelves again in November, much as usual. But it'll carry a different name: 'Music Technology'.

The decision to change has not been taken lightly. 'Electronics & Music Maker' is hardly the neatest and sharpest of magazine titles, but the initials by which it became known after only its first issue - 'E&MM' - are almost as much of a music industry standard as EMI, LP or MIDI.

When those initials first became used, of course, E&MM was a rather different beast to the magazine we know today. In addition to devoting a small amount of coverage to hi-tech musical instruments and the people involved in using them, it also embraced CB radio, disco and lighting equipment, hi-fi, and the construction of electronic projects such as car battery testers and model railway speed controllers.

But as time passed, the market for new musical instruments broadened significantly, and E&MM's coverage of them broadened with it. By 1983, just two years after the magazine's first issue, well over three-quarters of E&MM's editorial content dealt specifically with the new music technology that was affecting everyone in the music business - from musicians and producers to record buyers and record company bosses.

Two years later, and the entire magazine had become dedicated to informing its readership of new musical and technological developments, reporting on the latest hardware and software innovations, and revealing the secrets of successful composers and musicians working in the hi-tech arena.

Thus, in August '85, the 'Electronics & Music Maker' logo gave way to one that read simply 'E&MM', with the line 'The Music Technology Magazine' underneath.

The final chapter in the story came in June of this year, when Music Maker Publications, the people who publish E&MM and four other musicians' magazines in the UK, launched an American edition of E&MM. We called it 'Music Technology', because it summed up the content of the magazine, its style and its purpose in life, better than any other title.

'Music Technology' is only just publishing its fourth issue as you read this, yet already it seems we have a winner on our hands. The US public's reaction to the magazine - and that title - has been more unreservedly enthusiastic than even our most optimistic dreams could have predicted. It's meant more work for us, and for our new Los Angeles office. But it's also benefited the magazines we publish in the UK, by providing us with in-depth news of Stateside developments, faster than any other music magazine publisher can muster.

That, in a nutshell, is why 'E&MM' will become 'Music Technology' as from next issue. The new name is brighter, more immediate, more contemporary, and more relevant than its predecessor - not to mention easier to say over the phone.

A Taste of things to come

But there'd be little point changing the name of a magazine if the magazine itself wasn't subject to a few improvements in its own right.

How could we improve E&MM, you ask? Well, it wasn't easy. The question we kept asking ourselves was the old chestnut - why change a successful formula? We decided there was no point, which left us with just one option open. Like the Mars bar people, we decided to make the magazine better by making it bigger. In other words, the formula stays broadly the same - it's just that, from now on, there'll be more of it.

November's issue - the first under the 'Music Technology' banner - will have 24 pages more than the last under the E&MM name. And almost all of those pages will be editorial, not advertising - giving 'MT' the best ed-ad ratio in the business.

What will those extra pages contain? Well, like we said, more of the same. A greater number of news pages, for a start, containing more stories, written in more detail than ever before. More space for reader participation, too, with an expanded 'Patchwork' section for musicians' own synth sounds, readers' charts for music and musical instruments, and more pages for comments (in the Communique section) and technical queries (under Interface), with free subscriptions going out to the best letters each month.

But as well as our readers speaking for themselves, 'Music Technology' will be letting more industry figures have more of a say, too. There'll be a wider variety of personalities - musicians, composers, engineers, producers, technicians and software writers - interviewed in each issue. And the results of those personalities' labours - the records, the concerts, the festivals - will be given more space as part of an extended review section.

None of which will detract from what has always been one of the most popular features of the magazine - its appraisals of new musical instruments. These will be as detailed and as authoritative as ever, and there'll be a greater number of 'In Brief' sneak previews and long-term user reports, in addition to the standard equipment reviews.

Yet any new instrument is of limited use unless the people who play and program it know a bit about what they're doing. With this in mind, 'Music Technology' will devote more space to features that give practical advice - on both creating sounds using new technology, and linking those sounds to produce music. Composing, performing, recording and programming will all feature heavily.

Finally, regular competitions - such a popular feature in E&MM in the past - will have a stronger presence than ever. We'll be kicking off with a bumper giveaway in the November issue, with equipment prizes worth thousands... And there's more to come.

Previous Article in this issue

Howard's Way

Next article in this issue

Is it Live, or Is It Art?

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


Electronics & Music Maker - Oct 1986

Donated & scanned by: Stewart Lawler


Previous article in this issue:

> Howard's Way

Next article in this issue:

> Is it Live, or Is It Art?

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