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Résumé: Jim Aikin

P.O. Box 7, Livermore, CA 94551
email (spam robot blocker): editor at musicwords dot net

Currently available for freelance writing and editing assignments. Will consider offers for a full-time salaried position as a senior staff editor. Willingness to relocate outside Northern California depends on how impressed I am by your company's stability and commitment to meeting readers' needs.

Portrait Summary:

Music technology expert, 25 years' experience, international reputation. Proven track record explaining complex technology to non-technical readers.

Technical Skills:

Proficient with numerous software tools and operating systems, including Windows, MacOS, QuarkXPress, Word, Excel, and Photoshop. Conversant with HTML, Linux, C++.

Expert knowledge of music hardware and software, including sequencer/recorders (Pro Tools, Cubase, Live, FL Studio), virtual studios (Reason, Project5), software synthesizers (NI Reaktor and FM7, AAS UltraAnalog, Camel Audio Cameleon5000, Spectrasonics Stylus and Atmosphere, many others), experimental music programming systems (Max/MSP, Csound), audio editors (WaveLab, Sound Forge, Peak, Metasynth), hardware synthesizers (Korg Triton, Yamaha Motif, Kurzweil K2500/2600 series, Roland JV series, E-mu Proteus 2000 series, patchable analog systems, etc.), desktop recorders, etc.


June 2002 to present: Freelance writer and editor specializing in music software and hardware. Most recent books are Power Tools for Synthesizer Programming and Chords & Harmony (both from Backbeat Books). Clients include Keyboard, Mix, Electronic Musician, Virtual Instruments, EQ, Sound On Sound, Strings, and Drum! magazines, Backbeat Books, Wizoo Books, Peachpit Press, and software developers. Have participated in beta-test programs for music software (Native Instruments, Cycling '74). Contracted as series editor for Backbeat's Power Tools series of music technology books.

1975-2002: Editorial staff of Keyboard magazine. Various job titles, culminating with senior editor (1997-2002). During tenure at Keyboard, wrote innumerable in-depth product reviews and tutorial features on music technology. Supervised other editors to maintain the magazine's standards for factual accuracy and easy readability. Specialized in learning new technology and writing about it for a non-expert audience.

Recent bylines in Keyboard, Electronic Musician, and Mix are too numerous to list. Details available on request.

Experience & Qualifications:

  • Worked as key member of a small, dedicated team of multi-talented editors. Highly varied duties: generating ideas, assigning and guiding freelancers, writing features and product reviews, writing headlines, editing, proofreading, musical analysis, correcting page proofs, etc.
  • Supervised other staff writers. Oversight duties included suggesting sharper leads, spotting and explaining logical lapses and grammatical errors, designing research and testing methodologies, and so on.
  • Copyedited entire magazine each month.
  • Deadline-oriented. Usually finished my monthly assignments ahead of schedule, leaving me free to help others. Worked directly with art department to resolve last-minute layout issues.
  • Learned new software applications and hardware operating systems while writing product reviews.
  • Stayed current with technological changes in the music industry through 25 eventful years.
  • During several periods in Keyboard's history, wrote ongoing instructional columns on music technology. (Currently writing their monthly basics column, "What's This For?")
  • When manufacturers were upset with unfavorable reviews, responded to their legitimate concerns when appropriate without sacrificing the readers' need for honest, unbiased information.
  • Supported independent and aspiring recording artists with dozens of LP and (more recently) CD reviews each year.

Other Qualifications & Credits:

  • Edited Real World Digital Audio, published by Peachpit Press.
  • Edited the third edition of The Guide to MIDI Orchestration (published summer 2004).
  • Author of two science fiction novels (Walk the Moons Road, Del Rey, 1985, and The Wall at the Edge of the World, Ace, 1992). Short fiction has appeared in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. A novella ("Dancing Among Ghosts") was anthologized in The Year's Best Fantasy 1988.
  • Edited the first edition of Confessions of a Record Producer (1998) and The PrintMusic! Primer (2003) for Backbeat Books.
  • Wrote the digital audio chapter of The PC Bible, 3rd Edition (Robert Lauriston, editor).
  • Consulting editor for Music & Computers magazine during its entire existence (1996-98). Wrote M&C's "Mysteries of MIDI" column.
  • Own and operate a PC-based home music studio. Objectives: Personal creativity and research for writing assignments.
  • A CD of my original synthesizer music, Light's Broken Speech Revived, was released on the Linden Music label in 1992.

Extensive references and clippings available on request.

Except where noted, all contents of are (c) 2006 Jim Aikin.
Photo by Paul Haggard, digital treatment by Jim Aikin.
All rights reserved, including reprint and electronic distribution rights.