That Was the Year That Was


By Steve Oppenheimer

(December 2005)

As we wrap up the final issue of 2005, I’ve been struggling to get a grip on all that has happened this year. War, natural disasters, problematic relief efforts, political divisions, and economic uncertainty are age-old problems, but we had a terrible and exceptional combination of them in 2005.

The music industry mourned its share of passing industry veterans in 2005, including electronic-music pioneer Bob Moog. The most dramatic natural disasters, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, hammered the great New Orleans music scene, and while we can’t change what happened, we can help our fellow musicians from the Gulf Coast. To that end, we’ve supplied special links on our Web site at (Special thanks to New Orleans evacuee and EM author Todd Souvignier for the links.)

EM, on the other hand, had a good year. As well as the usual collection of good stories, we offered several firsts in 2005, such as the field-recorder roundup in our October issue and the “Art of Podcasting” story in this issue (see p. 42). We’ve updated our online Back Issue List and 2005 Article Index so you can review our 2005 offerings. The lists, and all EM articles published since September 1999 (except for this issue), are available for free on the Web site.

We also created an assortment of email newsletters and online special reports, trade-show reports, and Web-only articles and published the 2006 edition of our Personal Studio Buyer’s Guide. The 2006 edition of our Computer Music Product Guide will reach newsstands and domestic (U.S.) EM subscribers this month and will also be available from our new online bookstore.

I’m proud to announce the first in our Personal Studio Series of special magazines, created in partnership with Thomson Learning Solutions. Each magazine in the Personal Studio Series will present focused information on one topic or product. The first in the series is Mastering Pro Tools LE 7.0, a start-to-finish guide to creating a project in the new version of Digidesign’s popular DAW. This full-color magazine, designed by EM‘s talented art department, combines Thomson’s step-by-step Pro Tools instructional materials and EM‘s broader recording stories for DAW-based personal-studio owners and features a CD with example sessions and more. It will be available this month wherever you find EM, including on our online bookstore.

Here’s a bonus: the Webinar, or Seminar on Demand (SOD) that I mentioned in last month’s First Take will be available starting this month for free viewing on our emusician Web site. This special streaming video features ace Korg USA sound designer Jack Hotop showing how to personalize a variety of sample-based synth sounds. Hotop is a master, and his tips apply to most hardware and software synths, so head for our site and check it out.

The fallout of the many tragedies of 2005 will be with us for a long time. Nevertheless, I am optimistic about 2006 and see it as a year of potential growth and recovery. To all who had a tough year, I trust that the joy of making music helped you to find strength, and I hope that we were able to help you along the way. Here’s to a great 2006 for all!