Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the eighth annual Editors' Choice Awards, sponsored by Electronic Musician magazine. We trust you enjoyed the food and wine; now settle back with your dessert and coffee, and we'll get on with the show!
Each year since December 1992, the editors of Electronic Musician have chosen their favorite new products from the many that were released in the previous 12 months and tested by us. To be eligible for this year's awards, products must have initially shipped between October 1, 1998, and October 1, 1999. We considered software upgrades only if they offered major and significant improvements. To be fair, we allowed a few products that shipped slightly before October 1998 but arrived too late to be tested for last year's awards. However, we made no such exception if a product could not be tested in time simply because a manufacturer chose to withhold review units.
We want to emphasize that we give our awards only to products that have actually been field-tested by Electronic Musician editors and authors and a select group of trusted colleagues who have proven technical backgrounds and extensive recording experience. We are not saying that the award winners are the best products ever, or even the best of the past year. They are our top choices from the products released during that time that we and our extended "family" checked out.
We don't give these awards lightly, and if nothing we test in a particular category especially impresses us, we don't give an award in that category. On the other hand, we sometimes create new subcategories to reward exceptional products. For instance, this year we have a Ribbon Microphone category for the first time. On rare occasions we have a tie, as with our Digital Audio Sequencers category. We struggled to break the tie, but each product had fierce advocates, and we ultimately decided that both products truly deserved the award.
We won't keep you in suspense any longer. The envelope, please!