To all of our readers here at Create Digital Music, thank you for 2007. It’s been fantastic to sit at the helm of CDM and get to hear from all of you, from news tips to musical and technological projects, and get to meet you out in the world (at Macworld San Francisco, Maker Faire San Mateo, Handmade Music events here in New York with Etsy and Make, in Chicago at a demo swap, and even in Australia at a coffee shop).
I’m wrapping our own 2007 in review story, but which stories did Webizens choose as the most significant? Here’s 2007 by the numbers, according to our server. First, the most visited stories of the year:
Top Ten Stories By Visit
The top ten start out with Yamaha’s unveiling of the long-awaited TENORI-ON instrument, a tool for mobile recording, a terrific free tool for Windows, and an unusual DJ take on mobile music players. Apple’s Logic Studio manages not to sneak into the top ten, I suspect because it can’t compete with apps that run on two platforms instead of one. But Reason 4 falls just short of matching CDM reader favorite Ableton Live:
#5: For CDM readers, the biggest app release of the year was Ableton Live 7 and the new Live Suite, overshadowing even Apple’s now-budget-priced Logic Studio 8. The release wasn’t without controversy — check out that comment thread — but in the end, the core app and features from the small (time signature changes) to the large (Drum Racks) earned some serious respect. The app shipped this month, so I expect actually using Live 7 will be one of the big stories of 2008.
#4: We saw various iPod Touch / iPhone applications for music in 2007 — something I predicted (or at least hoped for) minutes after Steve Jobs’ keynote at the beginning of the year. None was as sophisticated, however, as Alex le Lievre’s Pro Tools controller. It should inspire other applications in future. (For a more app-agnostic solution, see my personal favorite app, i3L.)
#3: Mike Una made a very usable foot controller out of a QWERTY keyboard without a drop of solder, and Ableton Live users flocked to the step-by-step tutorial so they could do the same:
#2: The hunger for 8-bit sounds on computers led readers to a free plug-in from one of the legends of 8-bit music. Be forewarned, though: this plug-in has a tendency to misbehave or fail to function at all.
#1: And the #1 story of 2007: Van Halen having a guitar tech disaster onstage. Most amusingly, some CDM readers thought the out-of-tune version was more interesting, but then, we have some major microtonal fans among our readers. See also ensuing controversy about what caused the snafu.
Top Ten Stories By RSS
Feedburner has some stats of its own on readership. Here are the most popular stories for RSS readers. (And that’s a lot of folks — RSS readership peaked near 7000, over three times the readership at the beginning of the year.) Interestingly RSS readers weren’t nearly as impressed by Van Halen guitar catastrophe, being just as concerned whether Leopard would cause technical catastrophes for their own music. Their big story of the year? Ableton. But it’s not all about Live this year: note that the relatively obscure tracker Renoise is moving up the top 10.
And it wasn’t just about news: RSS readers loved practical tutorials, too, including James Grahame on maintaining vintage synths and Liz "Quantazelle" on making good demo discs (shown).
Top Ten Tags of 2007
Finally, what keywords got readers clicking? Mac beat Windows. Fruity Loops beat Ableton Live. (No, really. And, sorry, Image Line, but no one calls it the boring "FL Studio.") You’d apparently rather make beats or run Pro Tools at some expense than get things for free. And software beat hardware by a ratio of 2:1.
7. Pro Tools
6. Ableton Live
4. Fruity Loops
Number One Top Ten
Beatportal has a list of their own top 10 of 2007, curated by Francis Preve:
And we’re number 9 for catering to "exotic tweezer-head minutia," which I rank as my number one phrase of the year.
Server numbers aside, what was your big story of the year? Favorite music of the year? Favorite music making moment? Let us know.