As I write this just a few days after the holidays, I’m afforded a moment to slow down and reflect on Waveform’s first year: we put out our first two issues, met a ton of cool people, traveled a bit, and learned a lot! It’s been a great and transformative experience. A new year doesn't always mean change, though the desire is there. Perhaps we try to be more understanding, more open to experiences, or to be more engaged with things that matter. Or maybe it’s to eat better, sleep better, exercise...Obviously we don’t always succeed; inevitably though, things do change, no matter what we do or don’t do.
This new year is also bringing changes to Waveform. With over 7,000 subscribers to date, to say we’ve been surprised by the way the magazine has connected and taken off in such a short amount of time is an understatement. We’re humbled by the positive response we’ve received since releasing our first issue last year and the community that has opened up to us and expanded. It’s counterintuitive, but it’s the sheer speed at which this has unfolded that’s been a positive, yet unexpected challenge. It’s been a good dilemma and we feel very blessed to have folks believe in what we were doing from the outset and give us a shout out to help spread the word. We owe a big thank you to: TapeOp, Synthopia, Darwin [Art + Music + Technology podcast], Esoteric Modulation, Data Cult Audio, and Podular Modcast! And yet the reality is, as an advertiser supported publication, we would have to either significantly raise our ad rates, hold an online fundraiser for every issue, or beg/borrow/steal to keep up. Or stop making Waveform.
It is with this in mind that we have made the decision to move to a paid subscription. We believe this is fair for everyone, and is the best way to ensure that Waveform continues to exist and thrive. We’ve done our best to try and keep the costs reasonable and a subscription to the print edition for a year is comparable to the price of a t-shirt or a couple packs of patch cords. We have all manner of cool ideas that we’d like to see come to fruition, and moving to a paid subscription will help make sure that they do. We also believe that people should get paid for their work. Unlike the model of so many businesses today, we want to pay the writers, photographers, artists, etc., that contribute to this magazine. You might have noticed a larger page count in this issue as well as an overall increase in physical quality. These changes are something we’ve talked about for a while, and something that will be standard going forward. We’ve also decided to pay a little extra so that Waveform can be printed on FSC certified paper, meaning that our publication is taking steps to maintain a responsible environmental footprint. We want to expand on this, and are working on ways we can do so in the future.
One of the tenets of Waveform is for it to be an accessible outlet for smaller companies, record labels, shops, etc. The smaller–many times just one person–enterprises are important, not only to the synth/sound/electronic music community, but important to us on a personal level. When you meet the people behind Mordax, Schlappi, Livestock, Joranalogue, 1010Music, Folktek, Animal Factory, Metasonix, and on and on, it’s hard not to get excited, not to fall in love with this amazing and unique community. Along with the larger companies in the synth world, they help make up a rich part of the ecosystem that is the synth world, a world that we love. Speaking of the world, we’re now happy to be able to offer print subscriptions not just to subscribers in the United States, but everyone, anywhere [almost!].
Along with these changes, we have plans to run longer interviews, more photos, more DIY projects, letters from readers, and longer, more in-depth gear reviews. We’re also planning on some cool Waveform subscriber exclusives.
And what about the actual music being made by the equipment we’re all excited about? We want to showcase more of that. As Waveform grows, we intend to expand on that as well. More exposure for artists, labels, and more music reviews. Moving to a paid subscription will help us accomplish these goals by giving us more pages to do so.
On that note, previously we’ve had a physical-format-only review policy and we did this primarily with space in mind. There are a LOT of albums released on Bandcamp/Soundcloud/etc. every day! A monumental amount. It was impossible to imagine that we’d be able to listen to everything that was submitted and whittle it down to just the six short reviews that we had in the last issue. With the increased page count, we are able to dedicate more space to reviews, which we hope will become a valuable resource. These music reviews will also be published on our website where they’ll be available for all to see. As such, our music review policy has been updated: We will review any format - digital, physical, metaphysical, etc. HOWEVER, please understand that physical formats sent to us are more likely to catch our eyes and ears, and therefore, ultimately have a better chance of making it into the magazine. It’s just a fact. How many times have you downloaded an album only to forget about it a day later? We’re no different. We will do our best to listen to as much as we can, so feel free to send us a link [no attachments please] to your music and we’ll take it from there. We know how much work goes into making music/putting it out/etc., and as musicians ourselves, we’ve been there, and then some. It’s really hard. We want to help.
To go along with this new direction, I would like to formally invite those who wish to contribute to send us your pitch ideas. We’re not saying that everything sent our way will make it, but it’s always been my vision and intention to have as many people and voices involved as possible. We’re very proud of Waveform, thrilled that you’ve joined us so far, and hope you will subscribe and continue to be a part of it all. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ellison Wolf January 2020
P.S. - If you would like a subscription but for any reason can’t afford it, drop us an email and we can discuss options.