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INTRODUCTION ------------------- Computer Music is a monthly magazine aimed at those who are creating music with their computers, or those who wish to do so. The magazine consists of interviews with artists regarding audio production, reviews of the latest audio production software and plug-ins, articles on music theory and technological advances, as well as tips and tricks and tutorials to achieve specific sounds. The magazine covers both PC and MAC based software. WHO IS IT AIMED AT? --------------------------- Computer Music has a broad appeal, being relevant both to the very beginners and the more novice music creators and producers. The tutorials are done step by step with accompanying screenshots and instructions. More advanced producers may find the magazine too basic in its approach, but the wide scope of the magazine ensures there is something interesting for almost anyone to learn in all issues. However, more advanced users might deel more at home with Sound on Sound or a similar magazine. THE COVER DVD -------------------- Every month the magazine comes with an accompanying DVD. Sometimes the contents on the DVD are worth the price of the magazine alone. Every month you get the latest version of Computer Muzys, Computer Music Magazine's own free sequencer, as well as several gigabytes of royalty free samples you can use in your music productions. An extensive and ever-growing collection of exclusive VST effects and instruments are included with every issue. All this adds up to an extremely valuable collection of tools. It's possible to do all your music creation with only that you get on this DVD for free, although the VSTs are still of such a high quality that even power users will find something of interest here! THE PRICE AND WHERE TO BUY --------------------------------------- The price is £5.99 I usually buy the magazine in W.H. Smiths or sometimes in corner shops that feature a wider selection of magazines in their shops. Magazines can also be ordered from www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk, where you an also set up a subscription. Failing these alternatives, you may also be able to find the magazines on eBay, although the newer magazines are usually not sold any cheaper than what you would pay in the store.
This magazine is how most should be. It isn't cheap and the cover price in the shops is £5.99 but this can be reduced by subscribing of course. The price is worth it however as each month they build up their own 'library' of various software which then makes it onto the DVD every month after that. Some software appears as a one off. One of the editions I bought contained Zynewave Podium, a full music sequencer with VST (where you can use sound effects and synthesizers written by other people - all software). This was a full music sequencer and not a demo. There are plenty of VST effects and instruments in the Computer Music library. They also have a huge number of samples on the DVD each month and they are usually over 2000 per month. A useful item on the DVD is they film an artist showing you what they have done to their tracks and taking you through step by step - this is very, very helpful. Usually these last around an hour but some specials (such as a drum and bass special) lasted for about four hours! I haven't even talked about anything other than the DVD yet. The magazine contains very few adverts, is very well written, has step by step guides and contains interesting articles. You might find how to record heavy electric guitars and drum and bass in the same issue - and each technique is useful to know. There are reviews of new products, including hardware and often have lists of free products or downloads too. Some articles have high-end, mid-range and free products recomended, so whatever your budget you are catered for. Overall, I can't rate this magazine highly enough. I have never seen another magazine as good which deals with technology and music. But then I haven't read Future Music for a number of years which was a very good magazine about 4 or 5 years ago.
But I haven't got Cubase, or any other VST sequencer. Ah, says the little voice again, but you will have it in the future, won't you? I love Computer Music. There, that's the synopsis. I love it even though I don't have an all singing all dancing sequencer. I'd like to have one, but I just can't afford one right now. Neither can I afford the 'net costs of downloading a (ahem) copy. But I don't mind. So 30% of the magazine is useless right now. I can read the rest of it. Yes. Computer Music is a relatively new magazine, and the Future guys must've realised that if people pay so much for the equipment to make music on a computer, they'll be wanting a high class magazine to guide them through it. I began reading at issue 2, and I try to buy it whenever I see it. The mainstay of making music on a computer is the sequencer. Now these can be expensive blighters, from £90-£500. And many people, like me, only dream of such purchases at the moment. But not to worry. I have been making music on computers of one kind or another for years, and all I can do is record some midi (from a keyboard) and make mod (what they used for the old Amigas) music. Not brilliant, but hey. Computer Music is aimed at people who have a computer, an electronic keyboard of some sort with a midi conection, and a VST sequencer. VST is a standard for plugins, instruments etc that can be used with various sequencers like Steinberg's Cubase. As I said, this can mount up, but really its the only way to make decent music on a computer. But if, like me, you will buy a sequencer one day, just not yet, Computer Music is still good. I usually read the news, letters, reviews and reader submissions pages, and I tend to skip the tutorials on how to make various VST effects, programme my own, etc. This is because I have all my old CM's hanging around so the second I get the sequencer, I'll have a good pile of tutorials to play with. <br> Computer Music is great to read, whether or not you have all the kit yet, as they explain it all as they go. They do cater for Mac people as well as PC people, and most of the tutorials and advice is the same for both, as the software is the same. Obviously as Macs can't use PCI sound cards, these will be lost on Mac and laptop people, but you still read them as they tell you about emerging technologies. Much of the magazine is about technologies and techniques, liek using reverb properly, or writing good drum rhythms. They do round-up reviews each month, so if you're looking for a new keyboard there'll be a review of them all every few months to help you decide. The reader submission section is also really helpful as you can listen to (via the cover cd or the website) what people have sent in, then read what they suggest to improve it. Sometimes its obvious that the vocals are too loud or something, but often it's something subtle like the synchronisation of the melody to the beat, or the level of use of flange. If you are a total beginner, there is now a central insert in the magazine that guides beginners through buying a sequencer, or installing a sound card. This can be very useful if you are new or unsure of something, so don't be put off if you're a computer music virgin. Computer Music does assume that you know your way around the computer, what a midi port looks like, that kind of thing. They also assume a working knowledge of music, like chords, instruments, tonality etc, so if you don't know what something like that is, you might have to refer somewhere else as they won't explain it, except maybe in the beginners section. I would thoroughly recomment Computer Music to anyone who like making music and is interested in using their computer to do it with. If you're new to computers and music you will struggle a bit, but once you have some idea you'll understand more. If music be the food of love, press OK.
Well, it is for me, and im sure it is for a lot of other musicians out there. Computer Music is a relatively new magazine as it is a relatively new subject that it explores. For all of you musicians out there, the PC is a great tool for making music and in my opinion, Computer Music is a good way to learn how to get into this. Theres also a new mag called Digital Music Maker which anyone reading this might be interested in. Give it a go! Update -------- Magazine contents: Well, one of the features I like most is that it includes a Buyers Guide that guides you as to the programs worth getting, and those to avoid. It not only features software, but different soundcards, sound modules and speakers, among other things. The magazine has several sections: News- Of course, it starts with a news section which goes over recent events and new pieces of gear. This is quite an interesting section. Tutorials - Every month there are a couple of tutorials which are aimed at different skill levels. I find these a bit advanced usually but if your quite into computer music, you may find these useful. They usually cover how to use different pieces of software, either new famous pieces of software, or those given away on the cover discs. Features - These vary, covering all kinds of subjects, rangeing from getting your music online and making money online to What are REX files and Remixing. Reviews - This is a VERY useful section, going through lots of new software which I find very useful to read. If you're considering getting any new software, check this out first. It gives me ideas and the reviews are accurate. There's also a new begginers section called Start-up with tips, FAQ's, a glossary and short software reviews. Reader questions are also covered here, as well as in another seperate section for more advanced musicians. I hope with this more detailed review, you get a better understan ding and if you're interested then either buy the magazine or reply here. I'll try and help you more if you want. Dan
With the advent of the computer and hard disk recording, every me, JC and Dave has wanted more than ever to make and record music and be a big rock star (well, maybe). People like Moby can make records in their bedroom with some instruments (even virtual software ones), and it's not only cheaper but more convenient too. Even if you're just a singer with an acoustic guitar you can still use computers to your advantage, you don't have to be Fatboy Slim or whatever to want to merge music with computers; that's a big misconception. Computer music doesn't exclusively refer to electronica, dance, industrial or whatever. It's simply making music of any kind, whatever you want using your computer. You can even use it for pure evil like Steps... Now unless you've had any grounding whatsoever in music technology (I did it for A-level), most computer users won't know too much about computer music, and so you'll have to rely on your friends, books and even software instruction manuals to merge your creations with machine at any level; thankfully one of the best monthly magazines out there is Computer Music. Unlike many dumb guitar magazines (I think they're dumb anyway) and other computer music type magazines etc., CM has a very apt name and it's not just wads of big producer experts telling you how great they are and how you should be like them, and millions of reviews and adverts on what you should buy, infact it's pretty empowering. And yes, because 'computer' is a generic term, there's even a very healthy coverage of stuff for Mac users. CM is geared for beginners to professionals which is a rare thing in computer music mags, and so is digestable to everyone. They tell you what products are out and tell you if it's useful to you, not that it's something you must have, there's extensive tutorials rather than people just boasting (although allowed on star interviews), and there's a dis tinct community vibe in the magazine (lots of reader input from letters to tips, CD demos, and prize) and even the whole art and layout of this fiver glossy montly. It's a refreshing, enjoyable and rewarding reading. Maybe a fiver's a bit much for any mag, even a montly one, but if you think of this as a kind of never ending book in installments (and ads, not a vast amount though) you'll find the price is justifiable, and coupled with a CD packed full of useful shareware software, freeware essential, demos, samples, music and even full fledged old but very usable packages being given away a free. I'm not a subscriber, but that's only because I really only buy it for the cover discs or certain articles on occasion; but I would like a subscription, I wouldn't mind it. I think subscribing saves you some money though too! It maybe monthly but it's always as concise and up-to-date as possible; hell it might be the kind of computer music mags, it probably is! So what are you wannabe computer musos waiting for? Scream a sound into your wave editor, save it, and head down to your local newsagent ASAP!
I love it.. do I need to say more? Well.. apparantly I have to write over 75 words so I guess I'd better! Computer Music is a magazine from Future Publishing dedicated to the art of producing music on a computer (like that wasn't obvious!). In it are articles on subjects like softsynths, samplers, MIDI sequencers, keyboards, musical styles and techniques, and anything else you could possibly imagine. Every issue features a masterclass on getting more out of your music software (let's face it, how many of us actually have a clue what half the functions actually do?). There is also news about the latest developments in the industry and reviews of the latest software and hardware as you would expect. The magazine is well-written though perhaps the layout and design is a tad uninspiring, but overall it's an excellent read. Buy it!
I have only bought one copy of this magazine but I will be buying more. I am completely new to this subject and needed some specific guidelines re software. Not only did I find this but also interesting atricles and tips. Although there are pages for the expert the division of tips into beginners and experts means you can head straight for your area. The answers given to queries are clear and the magazine as a whole is easy to navigate around.
The guys at Future Publishing turned out an absolute miracle with this one. It's surprising that it took so long for someone to realise that there was a gaping hole in the music magazines market. Us Musos have been using computers for quite a while now, but things have been done by word of mouth, and there was no way of knowing that there wasn't some fantastic product out there that you didn't know about. Enter Computer Music, which pulls together everything you could want between its two covers. Objective product reviews, tutorials, FAQs, beginner's guides and now lessons on various musical styles. This is all done in a lightly humorous tone. As a young magazine its team are still learning. For me there was a slight slump in its usefulness; after finding it invaluable in helping me set up a system from scratch, and learn to run it, I then found that I left it behind as it continued to be aimed at novices. But recently they have taken on board requests that they cater for those of us who know what we're doing, and I am finding it very useful again. If you are into computers and music you cannot be without this magazine.