Since founding editor Craig Anderton launched EM more than 20 years ago, our primary objective has been to champion the do-it-yourself spirit in the personal studio. Over the years, EM has expanded its focus beyond kit-building projects to include all levels of audio production. And as new ways of working materialize, we're here to help you, the musician, get a handle on them so you can fulfill your creative goals when they involve technology.
Our authors and editors filter out the marketing hype, educate you about the latest hardware and software in our reviews and roundups, and teach you how to use those products through tutorials, columns, and master classes. But it's always in service of the music — the products we cover are merely the tools that help us make and deliver music.
I feel strongly that Musician is the most important part of the magazine's name. Over the next few months, EM will focus more and more on the work of musicians in their studios and, in particular, how they deal with the issues that are important to music making. For instance, check out this month's featured artist, drummer extraordinaire Omar Hakim. As an A-list percussionist, he has been doing remote recording sessions for more than a decade — well before it was practical to exchange large audio files over the Web. Hakim's dedication to the craft of recording makes him a prime example of the tech-savvy musician that EM will focus on in the coming issues.
Sure, it's fun to geek out over a sexy new monitor, microphone, or soft synth, or drool over some obscure vintage piece. But we're not a magazine for collectors; EM is for artists who are interested in expanding their knowledge and skill set. So even though the engineers and recording artists we interview may have an impressive mic closet or synth collection, our emphasis will always be on how to solve practical musical and technical challenges in the personal studio.
For instance, in this month's recording feature about large-diaphragm dynamic mics, Myles Boisen concentrates on a common type of transducer that is frequently taken for granted and gives you specifics on how and when to use it. Although he names a few of the mics he prefers, the crux of the article is about practical applications. So even if you don't have this kind of mic, you'll still take away some useful tips on recording.
During my nine years at EM, I've particularly enjoyed seeing how far musicians will stretch to achieve their musical dreams. All of our editors started out as instrumentalists, but they honed their DIY tech chops so they could record their music or sound great live without having to rely on someone else to make it happen. The same goes for our freelance authors, such as Boisen, Michael Cooper, and Eli Crews, each of whom has a byline in this issue. Not only do they work as professional musicians and record outside clients in their studios, but they also enjoy sharing their expertise with others, putting to rest the myth that “those who can, do; those who can't, teach.”
Consequently, the features, columns, and reviews in every issue of EM represent dozens of years of experience. I hope you find our work both educational and inspiring. Keep in touch!