Hip Hop Production.com reviews PE Mag!
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Hip Hop Production.com reviews PE Mag! Expand / Collapse
Posted 3/2/2008 11:56:28 PM

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Producer’s Edge calls itself “The Journal of Hip Hop, R&;B and Rap Music Production.” While this title is accurate, it’s too humble. ; I first heard of PE a few months ago, but was under the impression that it was just an online blog, not an actual printed publication (which it is). ; This 140-page full-color magazine is filled with interviews, production tips, tutorials, product reviews and articles, all printed on quality gloss paper – and hardly any advertisements. In fact, among the 140 pages there are only 7 full-page advertisements. ; The mag also comes with a DVD that includes demo software, plugins, sound clips, samples and more.

Their timing couldn’t be any better, especially with XXL’s Scratch Magazine pushing out it’s final issue last year. ; However, where Scratch fell short by trying to reach in too many directions, Producer’s Edge seems to be more in tune with their intended audience of producers. ; The interviews are long and informative, the reviews are relevant and the tips range from intermediate to extremely advanced. ; Also, compared to any other magazine, this is by far the best content-to-advertisement ratio I have ever come across… along with being one of the more expensive magazines as well - just under $10 (probably because of the great ad-to-article ratio). ; Speaking of content, that’s what really matters – so let’s get to it.

Among the various features in the second issue (Winter ‘08), I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only were there plenty of good interviews, but they ranged from artists to lawyers, DJs, various professionals and a handful of successful businessmen. ; Instead of the typical, “so what project are you working on?” that I am used to reading in various magazines asking random artists, PE presents questions directly related to production, like asking Easy-Mo-Be about the S950, MPC, ASR-10 and SP-1200 along with business and digging tips. ; Havoc talks about the production gear used on his new album, The Kush, along with his favorite gear and industry politics. ; Sadly, he decides not to give any production tips, saying only: ; “No secrets.” Diamond D gets asked about sample clearance, favorite gear, production process and comments on the current state of music. ; They even get 9th Wonder to address rumors from various forums and blogs:

...if I want to make beats with the same snares and kicks (sic) you know what? ; I’m going to do it… that producer or dissector or whatever can keep downloading my beats.

The articles in this second issue cover lots of ground. ; Most notable are the articles about setting up a “Digital Record Label” for the next generation of the music industry, explaining mp3 sales using SNOCAP and tuneCORE, and one of my favorites - “The SP1600, SP2400 and Other Urban Legends.” This is the type of content any true producer will appreciate, and the type of content all other magazines have been lacking to a certain degree. ; One of the tutorial sections in the second issue was written by L-ROX of RedSecta, called “Mastering Part II.” It covers balance, signal path, mono vs stereo, reading meters, monitor placement, room calibration and much more. ; With many articles like this, PE proves that it isn’t just some watered-down excuse to show lots of pretty pictures. ; In fact, the lack of pretty pictures is one of the only cons to this great mag (the other being price).

After such a praising review of the actual content, I feel a need to balance it out a little with some critiques of the overall layout and design of the magazine. ; First, the magazine is printed in high quality glossy paper with color printing… however, most of the magazine is just black text on a white background. ; Most of the colors in the magazine are from the (very few) advertisements. ; Most of the articles also follow the same three-column format, which makes the whole thing feel more like a news paper than a magazine. ; And one of my biggest gripes with the design is about the fonts used (or rather lack of). ; Of course, content is king – but when there are 140 pages filled with lots of information, it’s good to have a pleasing design; I found myself getting bored with reading more than a few articles at a time, because of everything just mentioned.

All of that being said, I have very high hopes for Producer’s Edge. ; The magazine touches on lots of specialized topics that may leave music fans scratching their heads, but beatmakers and producers will be taking notes. ; If you haven’t already grabbed a copy from your local bookstore/news-stand, you can get more details at ProducersEdgeMagazine.com. ; All of that said, I am definitely signing up for 2 years (8 issues) soon, which gives you 50% off cover price.
Post #548
Posted 3/3/2008 12:48:21 PM

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Nice review.

Pro Tools || Ableton Live 7 || Absynth 4 || Z3TA || Alesis SR16 || Roland JP-8080 || Juno 106 || Korg MS2000
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