Magazine Archive

Home -> Magazines -> Issues

Sound On Sound

Editor Notes

"We quickly dismissed the idea as foolhardy..."Founders, SOS

Founding Sound On Sound
by Paul & Ian Gilby (former HSR, SOS Editor, Co-founders SOS)

Soundtrack? "Mmm, nice play on words..."
Synthetix? "Nah, people will think it's a haberdashery magazine..."
Recording? "Simple and to the point..."
Multitracker? "Getting better..."

Two hours later, my brother Paul and I were still thinking up names for our dream magazine when we stuck our favourite Bill Nelson album on the turntable and stopped to make another cup of tea. Glancing at the album sleeve, inspiration struck.

"What about 'Sound On Sound', I enquired? "That's the one!" confirmed Paul.

And that's how, way back in May 1985 in a rented bungalow in rural Cambridgeshire, the monthly magazine that recently celebrated its 30th anniversary came to be called Sound On Sound.

Looking back, it seems like only yesterday when two young, enthusiastic lads resigned from their editorial jobs because they were at loggerheads with a publisher who did not understand their vision of a magazine that would encapsulate the converging worlds of recording and music technology.

That's what we were interested in, and it was obvious to us back then at the birth of MIDI that it was only a matter of time before tape recorders were replaced by digital sequencers with random access, ample capacity and resolution to record entire performances, as well as control the entire mix. How could you publish a magazine about recording and not include MIDI sequencers?

So we left our jobs and signed on the dole. Two weeks passed and our rent became due, and that's when 'Red Cross food parcels' and financial subsidies from our parents commenced and we quickly realised that we had to get another job. Encouraged by our father, the obvious solution was to start our own magazine!

We quickly dismissed the idea as foolhardy and a guaranteed way to make ourselves bankrupt, as we knew nothing about running a company, but the seeds were sown that night as we lay asleep, dreaming of what might be. Next morning, we awoke filled with an ingrained sense of passion for the subject that still underpins the magazine today.

The November inaugural issue of Sound On Sound hit the UK streets on October 18th 1985, backed by a TV advertising campaign that aired within Channel 4's cult music programme, 'The Tube'. Tina Turner should have headlined the show that week, but due to illness was replaced last minute by Ultravox lead singer Midge Ure (interviewed and featured on our front cover), whose first solo single had just leapt up the charts to No.1. We couldn't have planned a better launch campaign, and Sound On Sound Issue 1 flew off the newsagent's shelves and into history!

Sound On Sound is very much a team effort, and we have been very lucky over the years to attract some of the most talented individuals in the industry. I cannot let this opportunity pass without thanking and praising all past and present SOS staff and contributors, our loyal readers and advertisers, for it is your contributions and support that have helped shape SOS and make it what it is today: the most respected, authoritative publication in its field. We're immensely proud of that achievement.

Ian Gilby, Paul Gilby
Co-founders, Sound On Sound

There are no Needed issues of this publication to display.

Try selecting some of the other filter options above - the currently selected view is indicated in orange.

What the filter options above mean:


- show all originally published issues.


- show the issues we have fully processed and re-published here so far.


- show the issues we have acquired.


- show the issues we have scanned.


- show the issues we still need. We either don't yet have these issues, or we need a better copy to replace missing or damaged pages.

Sound On Sound - SOS Publications Ltd.
The contents of this magazine are re-published here with the kind permission of SOS Publications Ltd.


Magazine Info

About Sound On Sound

SOUND ON SOUND is the world's premier music recording technology magazine. Based in Cambridge, England and independently-owned, SOS Publications has been delivering the quality monthly print magazine since 1985, and is the only UK publication featured on mu:zines which is still successfully publishing today.

SOS Publications have kindly granted us permission to collect and republish the early years of SOS (1985-1993) that are not in their own digital archive on the Sound On Sound website.


Ian Gilby,
Paul Ireson,
Paul White


Ian Gilby,
Paul Gilby


SOS Publications Ltd.


98 (1985 - 1993),
1994 - current

First issue:

Nov 1985


Format changes: May 92 (Hard Spine),
Jun 93 (Incorporated "Recording Musician")


SOS Publications Ltd.
The contents of this magazine are re-published here with the kind permission of SOS Publications Ltd.

Help Support The Things You Love

mu:zines is the result of thousands of hours of effort, and will require many thousands more going forward to reach our goals of getting all this content online.

If you value this resource, you can support this project - it really helps!

Donations for November 2023
Issues donated this month: 0

New issues that have been donated or scanned for us this month.

Funds donated this month: £48.00

All donations and support are gratefully appreciated - thank you.

Magazines Needed - Can You Help?

Do you have any of these magazine issues?

> See all issues we need

If so, and you can donate, lend or scan them to help complete our archive, please get in touch via the Contribute page - thanks!

If you're enjoying the site, please consider supporting me to help build this archive...

...with a one time Donation, or a recurring Donation of just £2 a month. It really helps - thank you!

Small Print

Terms of usePrivacy