Steve O 2005

Front Page/First Take

The definitive collection of Steve O editorials from Electronic Musician.


Episode IV: A New Hope (January 1998)
In my first editorial column, I reflected on the history of Electronic Musician magazine and the rebellion against the belief that only the few who can afford to record in commercial studios can produce professional-quality music.

Eyes on the Prize (October 2000)
Setting goals, establishing reasonable rules, and being flexible and patient helps keep people positive and productive and will get you far.

Giving Back (March 2001)
The best way to thank your benefactors is by helping others. Get involved in something that benefits society, using your knowledge and skills to help others in your community.

Keepers of the Flame (March 2000)
We in the music industry are the keepers of the flame of musical knowledge. Do your part to keep the flame burning brightly.

Steve O

Alone at Home (July 2001)
Get feedback before your project is too far into production, especially if you are trying something new or unusual.


Pro Choice (December 2000)
There is no right way or wrong way to record, as long as you know what you are doing or are willing to take the risks that accompany unguided experimentation.

A Clear Message (December 2001)
Media consolidation presents a danger to freedom of speech.

In Search of Cibola (May 1999)
If you fail to find public acclaim, you can still accomplish something important and lasting.

Liberation Theology (October 1998)
If it feels wrong, don't do it!


Lessons Dogs Have Taught Me (August 2006)
Dogs have taught me many lessons that I have found useful when dealing with musicians in a studio environment. (This includes additional material that didn't fit in the original version.)

Steve O with Attila the Kuvasz puppy

Contemplating a Rat's Rear (May 2002) Periodically, you have to step back from whatever you are doing and ask yourself, "Who gives a rat's ass?"

Giving It All Away (September 2000)
If musicians won't fight for the right to determine what we charge for and what we voluntarily give away - including giving away our rights to the big labels - we might as well resign ourselves to sharecropping.

All in a Day's Work (March 2003)
Every job has its challenges and problems. The secret is to keep things in perspective.

The Land of Opportunity (May 2003)
If you want music programs in the schools to prosper, let your local and state officials hear about it loud and clear. Otherwise, be prepared for a generation that knows a lot about Brittany (Spears) but nothing about (Benjamin) Britten.

Organization, Man (August 2001)
Being well organized doesn't guarantee success, but your chances are far better if you apply these simple tips than if you just shuffle along and hope.

Spring Cleaning (May 2000)
Spring is a great time to take mental and emotional stock of your studio, your band, and your music.

When Times Get Tough (September 2003)
Whether you are operating a studio, a band, a magazine, or a widget factory, the bottom line includes doing business in a sensible, ethical, and just way.

Steve O
Steve O

Complete "Front Page" and "First Take" Editorials, Arranged by Issue

January 1998    

Episode IV: A New Hope January 2003 Coming Into Site (2003)

February 1998

Something Old, Something New February 2003 Celebrating a Revolution

March 1998

Solving the Plug-in Dilemma March 2003
All In A Day's Work

April 1998

I'll Take One of Each April 2003 One More Thing to Sing the Blues About

May 1998

A Blast from the Past May 2003 The Land of Opportunity

June 1998 

A Knave Judges A King June 2003 We Play Requests

July 1998

The Studio of Dreams July 2003 Life is Change

August 1998

What's the Plan? August 2003 Share and Share Alike

September 1998

A Bit Much September 2003 When Times Get Tough

October 1998

Liberation Theology October 2003 Plugging In

November 1998

Baked, Not Fried November 2003 Listening to You

December 1998

The X Files December 2003 Picture This

January 1999

A Modest Proposal January 2004 Value at Any Cost

February 1999

To Sir with Live February 2004 Starting Over

March 1999

Multiple Personality Disorder March 2004 Guiding the Blind

April 1999

More Than Meets the Eye April 2004 Technical Nonsupport

May 1999

In Search of Cibola May 2004 Spring Cleaning (2004)

June 1999

Walk the Plank! June 2004 Producing Good Music for Bad Singers

July 1999

Celebrating Independence Day July 2004 Get It While You Can

August 1999

The Chairman of the Boards August 2004 Creating a Multiheaded Computer Beast

September 1999

What's in a Name? September 2004 Can We Still Count on the Big Five?

October 1999

How Sweet it Is October 2004 Buying In

November 1999

The Price We Pay November 2004 Spreading Your Web

December 1999

Future Shock December 2004 A Reviews Extravaganza

January 2000

High Anxiety January 2005 Dangling Dongles

February 2000

Hear Ye! February 2005 It's Getting Better All the Time

March 2000

Keepers of the Flame March 2005 Emulating Sliding Piatti

April 2000

It's No Joke April 2005 Coming Into Site (2005)
May 2000 Spring Cleaning (2000) May 2005 You Better Mess Around
June 2000 May We Quote You? June 2005 Smoked Out
Steve O
Steve O
July 2000 Simple Pleasures July 2005 Little Things That Matter
August 2000 From the Exotic to the Mundane August 2005 Fearless Production
September 2000 Giving It All Away September 2005 Seq and Ye Shall Find
October 2000 Eyes on the Prize October 2005 A Legend Passes Into History
November 2000 Back to Basics November 2005 The Client
December 2000 Pro Choice December 2005 That Was the Year That Was
January 2001 Fifteen Candles January 2006 It Was 20 Years Ago Today
February 2001 You Better? You Bet! February 2006 Reviewing the Reviews
March 2001
Giving Back March 2006 Blog Is a Four-Letter Word
April 2001 'Tis Magic April 2006 The Expedition
May 2001 Studio Integration May 2006 Meals and Media
June 2001 A Midyear Review June 2006 The Analog Revival
July 2001 Alone at Home July 2006 The Man Behind the Curtain
August 2001 Organization, Man August 2006 Lessons Dogs Have Taught Me
September 2001 Weaving Home September 2006 Doing It Because You Can
October 2001 What? A Card? October 2006 A Site for Sore Eyes
November 2001 Lessons Learned November 2006 The Final Mix
December 2001 A Clear Message December 2006 AES Online
January 2002 Trivial Pursuits January 2007 Get On the Bus, Gus!
February 2002 No Explanation Necessary February 2007 The Rest of the Story
March 2002 Still Alive and Well March 2007 Podcasting Bread on the Waters
April 2002 A Time for Us April 2007 Why Bad Things Happen to Good Plug-Ins
May 2002 Contemplating a Rat's Rear May 2007 Get the Picture
June 2002 The Tortoise and the Hare June 2007 Of Death, Taxes, and Roundups
July 2002 Wrongs or Rights? July 2007 Be Prepared
August 2002 Says Who? August 2007 Happy Trails
September 2002 Big Mac Attack!
Steve O with Tyler the GSD
October 2002 Take Me Out to the Ballgame
November 2002

If At First You Don't Succeed

December 2002 Do You Hear What I Hear?
These articles are reprinted from the pages of Electronic Musician magazine, a property of Penton Media, and are used with the permission of its publisher. Many of them are only available in digital form on this site. For more EM content and information about the magazine, please visit

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