First Take: Surprise—It''s EM!

You''ve probably noticed a few subtle tweaks to the look and feel of our magazine over the past few months (not to mention the increased presence of musicians on the cover).
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You''ve probably noticed a few subtle tweaks to the look and feel of our magazine over the past few months (not to mention the increased presence of musicians on the cover). This month, however, we''re unveiling a completely new look, which includes a name and logo change: Electronic Musician magazine has officially been renamed “EM.” The name change is a no-brainer, because many of us refer to the magazine by its initials already.

But our new logo is only part of the redesign, and by no means the most important. We''ve updated and expanded our content to provide you with a greater variety of the tech-savvy information that you''ve come to rely on from us, while increasing our focus on the creative aspects of music making. In addition, we''ve spiced up our look with enhanced graphics and contemporary design elements, thanks to the combined efforts of EM''s new art director, Earl Otsuka, and our division''s group art director, Dmitry Panich.

In terms of content, there are three big additions to check out: “In Session” (p. 146) is an opinion column by Grammy and Emmy Award–winning engineer Nathaniel Kunkel who, with his production company, Studio Without Walls, exemplifies the EM spirit of getting the most out of a personal studio. Furthermore, our “Front Panel” column (p. 24) will combine music-news items and tech tips from longtime EM contributor David Battino with the ever-popular “Download of the Month” from Associate Editor Len Sasso. Finally, to increase our coverage of independent music making, we have added an extra page of “Pro/File” (p. 36) for good measure.

And speaking of musicians taking care of business, this month we offer a rare peek behind the scenes at the hit television show Metalocalypse (p. 48). This animated black comedy for teen and adult viewers astutely pokes fun at the death-metal subgenre while simultaneously paying tribute to its legends. The musical and comedic talents of composer Brendon Small, in conjunction with cocreator Tommy Blacha, have made this one of the most compelling series ever regarding the extremes of the rock ''n'' roll lifestyle, and I was floored to discover the degree to which Small uses his spartan recording rig to create the show''s intense atmosphere. When you''re done reading the feature, visit our Web site,, to see the video footage I shot of Blacha and Small describing how they developed the characters and sound of the band Dethklok.

Although this issue''s cover and its related story might give the impression that the magazine is going in a particular musical direction, EM remains genre neutral in its coverage. The tastes of its editors and contributing writers range from rock, pop, and the various subcategories of rap and electronica to folk, country, jazz, classical, and avant garde. So even if you aren''t a fan of heavy metal, the creative impetus in and concerns of this month''s cover story are the same as with articles about other types of music, so I invite you to read it with an open mind. And rest assured that we will maintain the strong focus on music technology that EM is known for, in order to help you grow as a recordist as well as a musician.

Best regards from all of us at EM for a prosperous 2008!