25th Anniversary: EM and Music Technology

A Look at EM Coverage and Technology Changes of the Past 25 Years
Image placeholder title

Click for a pdf of this information.


June: The first issue is published under the name Electronic Musician. Previous to that, it had been a newsletter called Polyphony, which was published by PAiA Electronics, a company known for its D.I.Y. synthesizer kits.

Atari launches the 520 ST computer, featuring a half-meg of RAM, color graphics, a mouse, and built-in MIDI ports.


January: EM publishes its first issue as a monthly magazine. The focus is still on D.I.Y. projects, but the magazine branches out into other types of coverage. This issue sports a new logo, which is dubbed the toothpaste logo by the staff.


Alesis wows the personal studio world with the HR-16, an inexpensive and great-sounding, 16-bit sampled drum machine.


September: This issue features another new logo, which lasts for 20 years. The cover story spotlights the CD + MIDI format, which seems like a sure thing then, but never amounts to much.

The Korg M1 popularizes the workstation-keyboard concept, offering a range of sounds, a sequencer, and effects.


Opcode Studio Vision is released. For the first time, digital audio recording and MIDI sequencing are integrated into one program.


October: This issue has a buyers'' guide for videotape-based modular digital multitracks, such as the Alesis ADAT and the Tascam DA-88. These machines rule the home-recording roost until computer-based DAWs make them obsolete.


Antares releases Auto-Tune, its game-changing pitch-correction software.

Seer Systems introduces Reality, the first commercially available software synth. It''s not a commercial success, but is groundbreaking nonetheless.


Propellerhead Software launches Reason, which puts a rack of virtual instruments and a sequencer at the user''s fingertips.


July: The cover story “Build a Personal Studio on Any Budget” is a recurring and always popular feature, in which the editors offer their recommendations for outfitting complete studios.

With the release of its HD systems, Digidesign (now Avid) Pro Tools becomes the first DAW to support 96kHz and 192kHz audio.


October: Starting with this issue, the magazine officially sanctions the name that most people (including the staff) have been calling it for years, when it introduces the EM logo.

The Dave Smith Instruments Prophet ''08 is one of the best of a new crop of analog synths, which cater to musicians looking to “warm up” their digital productions.