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mu:zines - music magazine archive launched

Postby desmond » Mon Mar 21, 2016 11:37 am

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mu:zines is a new non-commercial website dedicated to archiving and crowd-sourcing old UK music technology and production magazines from the 80s and 90s.

Many of us have a variety of early issues of Sound On Sound, Music Technology, Home & Studio Recording, Electronics & Music Maker and others, in varying condition, in boxes in the roof, but access to this content is difficult and none of it has been available online.

We're now able to get this great content out of storage and online for everyone, to be archived before it gets lost forever, and hopefully build out complete collections of these publications.

This age is a fabulous one for music technology - the high-end analog polysynths were in their prime, digital synthesis was opening up new sounds and possibilities (hello, DX7!), high-end sampling workstations (Fairlights, Synclaviers and Emulators), low-end affordable sampling (Mirage's and S612s) and a wealth of new drum machines were changing the face of popular music, and MIDI was bringing new power to home-recording setups by letting everything talk to everything else.

The "home micro" was beginning to invade the studio, and ever more software was being created to fulfil every need, bringing us along the path from the early sequencer to the modern DAW.

And artists were keen to talk about their music, and how they use the technology to make music they previously wouldn't have been able to dream of making, from pop producers, new age artists and song-writers, to the birth of modern dance music via acid, hip-hop, house, rave and techno.

You'll find all this and more - features on MIDI, sampling and sound design, reviews of synths, samplers and FX, interviews with famous and talented producers and artists. Even music-focused electronics projects from back in the day.

Whether you are looking for reviews of obscure gear you want to buy on eBay, checking out how classic records were made and what gear was used, or just for a bit of music tech nostalgia, there should be something here for you. And all without having to wade through those old storage boxes!

With hundreds of magazines scanned so far, the task of collecting and getting them online will be an on-going project, and we need your support.

So check out the site, and if you have any issues in storage that we are missing, you might be able to help fill in the gaps!

www.muzines.co.uk

Link to online press release
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Re: mu:zines - music magazine archive launched

Postby Rich Hanson » Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:53 pm

Good stuff, thanks to you and all that are helping out with it. I can relive my misspent youth now :lol:
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Re: mu:zines - music magazine archive launched

Postby Forum Admin » Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:39 pm

Superb effort Desmond and a lovely site. Brilliantly useful resource for time immemorial.

It was an exciting time, and that enthusiasm shows through in the articles/writers. Great to see and read lots of music magazines I was involved in.

Hope it develops and people donate the missing magazine copies or scan them for you.

cheers,
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Re: mu:zines - music magazine archive launched

Postby desmond » Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:43 pm

Thanks Ian!

A few fellow SOS forumites have already started to contribute some of their old issues, so I'm optimistic we can get there eventually! :angel:
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Re: mu:zines - music magazine archive launched

Postby Forum Admin » Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:58 pm

BTW, your site works well on my iPhone.
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Re: mu:zines - music magazine archive launched

Postby Eddy Deegan » Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:02 pm

Pure magic, well done Desmond!
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Re: mu:zines - music magazine archive launched

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:36 pm

Most excellent resource desmond - good work that man! :thumbup:


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Re: mu:zines - music magazine archive launched

Postby Alich1978 » Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:54 am

Thanks for sharing.
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Re: mu:zines - music magazine archive launched

Postby John Willett » Wed May 17, 2017 1:21 pm

I have every (or almost every) issue of Studio Sound in my archive - I just sent a message to the site.
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Re: mu:zines - music magazine archive launched

Postby desmond » Wed May 17, 2017 2:20 pm

John Willett wrote:I have every (or almost every) issue of Studio Sound in my archive - I just sent a message to the site.

Hi John - thanks for this.
Studio Sound is not something I'm planning (at this stage) to cover, for a few reasons.

Firstly, it's more in the realm of what I call a "broadcast/industry" publication (though that term is a little fluid here), and those are outside my initial remit at this stage. Secondly, there are a *lot* of them, going back to the 50s... I would be OCR'ing them for the rest of my life! - and thirdly, there is already an almost complete archive of Studio Sound in PDF form already on the internet - and I'm more keen to bring stuff online that's *not* already available elsewhere...

*If* I can get nearer to the goal of getting everything in the current remit online (that's around a thousand issues) *and* it doesn't kill me (!) *then* maybe I might choose to widen the scope a little, but that's quite some way off.

So it is on my radar (as it was such a great publication), and I do keep info of people who have content that might be useful and are willing to help (thanks!), but due to the fact that it's mostly already been scanned it's crazy to do that work again, but I'd obviously need to contact the people who provided and scanned the content in the first place and see if it was possible to use those files directly.

Otherwise it's just too much for one guy with no resources to practically do... :)
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Re: mu:zines - music magazine archive launched

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed May 17, 2017 3:38 pm

Quite right Desmond. The challenge you have taken on board is quite enough, I'm sure, and very much appreciated and enjoyed I might add.

Studio Sound is already available as an online pdf archive (along with a few other related titles) here:

http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Studio-Sound.htm

... and it goes right back into the Tape Recorder days from February 1959.

Another source of good quality PDF scans of ancient UK-based audio-related magazines is from an Australian going under the name of 'bassboy':

http://www.bassboy.com.au/getreel/tapemags.htm

These aren't online, and are instead provided on a USB stick for a fee... but if you're after something specific there's a wealth of brilliant hard-to-find material here.

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Re: mu:zines - music magazine archive launched

Postby Agharta » Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:41 am

Only just came across this archive and a big thank you for all the time you're put into it.
I used to read some of these back in the 80s and 90s and had forgotten just how many I had bought.
I chucked them all out though.

Been reading mainly interviews but scanned a few keyboard reviews which brought to mind just how limited some of the hardware was and the cost even without inflation is an eye opener.
All those proprietary 4MB memory expanders and the like seems archaic now.
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Re: mu:zines - music magazine archive launched

Postby desmond » Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:10 am

You're welcome!

It's really reading things like cassette and low-end tape recording, home studio stuff like mixing before automation, track bouncing, tape editing, so many article on noise and dynamic range, that really puts in perspective how *amazing* things are today, and how *horrendous* things were back then (with the hindsight of what we have available to us now), to those on a limited budget.

I would imagine young folk that didn't live through that era would read that stuff and wonder how anything got done at all, at least on a home studio basis.

Of course, back then, we did what we did because we had to, and there are things about that way of working that had some benefits (I'm sure that I did way more music making when I was constantly frustrated by gear limitations, than when I had everything I needed, in spades).

Yep - cartridges of DX7 or M1 sounds (32/50 patches for £60+). Akai sample CD ROMs for £300. 8MB memory upgrades for £2000+. Truly a different world, today.
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Re: mu:zines - music magazine archive launched

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:13 am

Technical question: is there an online log or some other means of discovering what's been recently or newly added to the site?

I appreciate magazines get put online piecemeal as and when you can, but is there a quick and easy way of finding what's new rather than wading through each magazine lust and trying to remember what I've already seen?

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Re: mu:zines - music magazine archive launched

Postby desmond » Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:28 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Technical question: is there an online log or some other means of discovering what's been recently or newly added to the site?

I appreciate magazines get put online piecemeal as and when you can, but is there a quick and easy way of finding what's new rather than wading through each magazine lust and trying to remember what I've already seen?

The top of the home page shows the 13 most recently added issues (scroll right/ right cursor for the next/older 6), with the issue on the immediate left being the most recently added (so new issues work through left to right). Given that the two pages of recently added issues usually covers a month or so, I figure that's usually enough for people to see since the last time they visited.

I also tend to work in batches of usually about 6, so you can see the most recent added issue on the home page is E&MM Sep 81, so I'll be doing E&MM's moving forward from that issue in this batch, and you'll see new ones get added here.

There is also an RSS feed, so if you use an RSS feed reader, that will display each new issue that comes up, and the mu:zines twitter feed also highlights each new issue, if you'd prefer to keep up that way. Even if you don't use Twitter you can go here: https://twitter.com/mu_zines and scroll to see each added issue over time.

I've shied away from doing email notifications of new content as that requires people to "sign up" somehow, and so far I'm resisting asking or holding any personal user data where possible, but if that's something people would prefer, I can add that too.

I have though of adding some kind of "event log" of activity, but haven't come up with a satisfactory solution that's actually useful to people (not just new content, but activity, such as items scanned, purchased, donated and so on). I'm just not sure whether people will really care about this that much.

So for now - the "Recently added issues" on the home page, and the RSS and Twitter feeds are the main ways of displaying new content (our Slack channel also gets notified of new issues).

If there are any other suggestions to ways in which people would like to be notified of new content, I'm happy to listen! :thumbup:
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Re: mu:zines - music magazine archive launched

Postby Guest271017 » Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:38 am

desmond wrote:I've shied away from doing email notifications of new content as that requires people to "sign up" somehow, and so far I'm resisting asking or holding any personal user data where possible, .

To me, this is a sign of true public service. Resources provided with no hoops to jump through. Well done, that man. :clap:
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Re: mu:zines - music magazine archive launched

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:44 am

desmond wrote:The top of the home page shows the 13 most recently added issues...

Ah yes... right below where it says: Recently Added Issues... :blush: I knew you must have thought of this; I'm just too stoopid to have spotted it. :headbang: Thanks.

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Re: mu:zines - music magazine archive launched

Postby Jumpeyspyder » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:01 pm

Congrats Desmond - fame at last ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2--lQVT9yvo
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Re: mu:zines - music magazine archive launched

Postby desmond » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:00 pm

Heh yeah I saw that, and I’ve been chatting with Woody to try to improve his navigation experience.

We’re doing well on traffic and reach overall, and are continuously growing. I do monitor incoming referrals and traffic comes from interesting places..!
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Re: mu:zines - music magazine archive launched

Postby mac.churchmouse » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:09 am

Jumpeyspyder wrote:Congrats Desmond - fame at last ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2--lQVT9yvo
Been reading and loving Mu:zines - especially the interviews - but hadn't realised that there was a way of seeing scans of the actual pages. Discovered it now - d'oh! - which is excellent as the ads are fascinating.
Thanks Desmond for a fabulous resource.
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