Music Player Network

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 2 of 2 1 2
Re: We Need a New Kind of Reviewer!! [Re: Anderton] #3005334 08/27/19 05:52 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 5,863
T
The Real MC Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
T
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 5,863
Too many musicians today want instant gratification and don't know the machinery behind the front panel. The internet has some good fundamental primers on that stuff, it's rare to find the young 'un that is willing to put in the work. Plugins can spoil them quick. I'm an educated electronic injuneer, give me a block diagram and I'll know the box pretty quick.

I agree that SoS is the only publication that prints detailed reviews that aren't an expansion of the brochure or aren't a sales pitch.

I don't make $$$ with my reviews, but the feedback I get from emails and forums is that people find them very informative. I'm not going to hold their hand, but I'm pretty good at technical writing targeted at laymen.

What I don't like is when sellers lift my reviews to use as a sales pitch for their auctions or classifieds. So I started "seeding" the text so you can't drop it right in without editing it. Some sellers were too dumb to notice that and their stuff never sells... wonder why...

Re: We Need a New Kind of Reviewer!! [Re: The Real MC] #3005345 08/27/19 06:19 PM
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 7,985
Anderton Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 7,985
Originally Posted by The Real MC
What I don't like is when sellers lift my reviews to use as a sales pitch for their auctions or classifieds. So I started "seeding" the text so you can't drop it right in without editing it. Some sellers were too dumb to notice that and their stuff never sells... wonder why...


Can you elaborate on this? I'm not sure I understand...

Re: We Need a New Kind of Reviewer!! [Re: Anderton] #3005354 08/27/19 07:06 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 5,863
T
The Real MC Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
T
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 5,863
Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by The Real MC
What I don't like is when sellers lift my reviews to use as a sales pitch for their auctions or classifieds. So I started "seeding" the text so you can't drop it right in without editing it. Some sellers were too dumb to notice that and their stuff never sells... wonder why...


Can you elaborate on this? I'm not sure I understand...


When I browse the auction or classified websites, I see my review text copied & pasted in the item description. So by "seeding" the text, I mixed positive with negative attributes in the same paragraphs. If the seller wasn't paying attention and just copied/pasted the text to their description without editing it, the negative attributes would scare away buyers.

Re: We Need a New Kind of Reviewer!! [Re: Anderton] #3005363 08/27/19 07:22 PM
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 78
GuardiansGuitar Offline
Senior Member
Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 78
This just kills me. So many "experts" out there. I love hearing ideas from anyone, because even crazy "wrong" stuff could be transformed into a cool new method by people with actual knowledge. But it's soul crushing how much crap is out there masquerading as viable data. I'd love for someone to rate all the web info and point users to credible info and warn them against crap content. Would the community embrace such a thing? My optimistic self would hope so. My pessimistic self would say, "People are soooo used to devouring informational feces from beautiful charismatic "experts" who sometimes offer entertaining looks at tech apps that those peeps would rather enjoy the circus tricks than absorb the knowledge." Sigh. [But super awesome suggestion, Craig!]

Re: We Need a New Kind of Reviewer!! [Re: Anderton] #3006134 09/02/19 04:18 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 25,287
Caevan O'Shite Offline
20k Club
Offline
20k Club
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 25,287

A GREAT IDEA.


Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _
Re: We Need a New Kind of Reviewer!! [Re: GuardiansGuitar] #3006142 09/02/19 05:38 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,656
Dave Bryce Offline
KCFFL Champ '14,'16,'18
20k Club
Offline
KCFFL Champ '14,'16,'18
20k Club
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,656
Originally Posted by GuardiansGuitar
This just kills me. So many "experts" out there. I love hearing ideas from anyone, because even crazy "wrong" stuff could be transformed into a cool new method by people with actual knowledge. But it's soul crushing how much crap is out there masquerading as viable data.

Without a doubt.


Quote
I'd love for someone to rate all the web info and point users to credible info and warn them against crap content. Would the community embrace such a thing? My optimistic self would hope so. My pessimistic self would say, "People are soooo used to devouring informational feces from beautiful charismatic "experts" who sometimes offer entertaining looks at tech apps that those peeps would rather enjoy the circus tricks than absorb the knowledge." Sigh. [But super awesome suggestion, Craig!]

Originally Posted by Caevan O'Shite

A GREAT IDEA.
2thu yeahthat

Now that we have control over the direction of MPN, seems like there's a decent amount of opportunity to explore/pursue some of the things being discussed here. cool smile

dB

Re: We Need a New Kind of Reviewer!! [Re: Dave Bryce] #3006175 09/02/19 09:41 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 25,287
Caevan O'Shite Offline
20k Club
Offline
20k Club
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 25,287
Originally Posted by Dave Bryce
Originally Posted by Caevan O'Shite

A GREAT IDEA.
2thu yeahthat

Now that we have control over the direction of MPN, seems like there's a decent amount of opportunity to explore/pursue some of the things being discussed here. cool smile

dB


Please see Winston Psmith's "SFX 101"-thread on the GPF; I think it aughtta be a "Stickie" at the top...


Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _
Re: We Need a New Kind of Reviewer!! [Re: Anderton] #3006185 09/02/19 10:07 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,112
J
jerrythek Offline
MPN Advisory Board
Platinum Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
Platinum Member
J
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,112
I also think it's a great idea... as one of your early supporters when I was "the manufacturer" I think that living/breathing dialog within a review is a wonderful thing.

On writing reviews, I have been constantly challenged when doing assignments by the small word count afforded by print (and I totally understand why), but it meant that I would end up having to edit out almost all of the context, reaction and anecdotal experience, and even humor just to try to cover relaying some of the basic information about the product. And yet that info was easily found within the specs and body copy of the manufacturer's materials, if one were so motivated. I almost felt that it was better to create a "in use" application series rather than a traditional review...

And what manuals have always been missing were the "how to do" and "why it does" aspects of explaining features. But that's because it take enough space, and time (which equals cost) of just explaining in a basic fashion the "what it is" of a parameter. People always used to love Mackie manuals for their educational and humorous aspects. And I have certainly read some manuals that actually taught you things along the way. But those are rare...

Jerry


Re: We Need a New Kind of Reviewer!! [Re: jerrythek] #3006194 09/02/19 10:54 PM
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 7,985
Anderton Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 7,985
Originally Posted by jerrythek
I also think it's a great idea... as one of your early supporters when I was "the manufacturer" I think that living/breathing dialog within a review is a wonderful thing.

On writing reviews, I have been constantly challenged when doing assignments by the small word count afforded by print (and I totally understand why), but it meant that I would end up having to edit out almost all of the context, reaction and anecdotal experience, and even humor just to try to cover relaying some of the basic information about the product. And yet that info was easily found within the specs and body copy of the manufacturer's materials, if one were so motivated. I almost felt that it was better to create a "in use" application series rather than a traditional review...


Frankly, part of why I started Pro Reviews was as a bit of a middle finger to the magazines. I felt they were clueless about the coming electronic takeover of publishing, and not making contingency plans on what to do when that happened, or how to gain a foothold in that space that would prevent competition. But like record companies, they were slow to move and even slower to anticipate. Many of the people working in executive positions were just check-cashers; the passion came from the people like Fortner, but they weren't given the keys to drive the car...just the key to the gas cap so they could pump gas.

It reminds of when, even prior to Napster, I was telling any record company that would listen physical media was dead, music was going to be streamed into homes, people would find what they wanted from highly evolved search engines, and it would be monetized like a celestial jukebox (well I was wrong about the last part, I anticipated micro-payments instead of subscriptions). They all thought I was a total idiot. So did the magazine higher-ups. (Notable exceptions: Paul Gallo and Marty Porter.)

Obviously the Pro Reviews were a massive success by any metric, but it was not a genius idea...any more than throwing apples into a pie and putting ice cream on top is a "genius" idea ("Hmm, apples taste good, pies taste good, ice cream tastes good - I bet if you combined them, they'd taste even better!").

I believe the single biggest problem is the consumer's insistence on the lowest price possible. The irony is that instead of paying $40 extra for a deep product to get an awesome manual, they pay $40 for a third-party book (that may or may not be any good) on how to use what they just bought. smile

Musicplayer.com could provide a real service by offering in-depth reviews. I'm taking somewhat of a different tack on craiganderton.org, because I want to specialize in reviews of software products that have demo versions. Then the review can concentrate solely on, as you stated so well, "context, reaction, and anecdotal experience" because the person could investigate the software for themselves. The purpose of the review would be more about letting readers know if they even wanted to investigate the software in the first place, and if so, the important parts to check out while evaluating the demo.

Re: We Need a New Kind of Reviewer!! [Re: jerrythek] #3006202 09/02/19 11:38 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 231
Mike Rivers Offline
Senior Member
Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 231
Originally Posted by jerrythek

On writing reviews, I have been constantly challenged when doing assignments by the small word count afforded by print (and I totally understand why), but it meant that I would end up having to edit out almost all of the context, reaction and anecdotal experience, and even humor just to try to cover relaying some of the basic information about the product. And yet that info was easily found within the specs and body copy of the manufacturer's materials, if one were so motivated. I almost felt that it was better to create a "in use" application series rather than a traditional review...


Are you sure you're not me? (OK, I think I know which Jerry you are) Recording and Pro Audio Review won't let me write for them any more because I want to use up too much of their precious word budget. Pro Audio Review always had an "In Use" section of their reviews - it was part of their Guideline for Reviewers - and for many things, that took up most of the 2000 words allotted for most reviews. There's no need to repeat the manufacturers' specs in a review other than to summarize the basic characteristics - how many inputs and outputs on what kind of connectors and what it does. I like to confirm operating levels, or measure and state them when they're not given by the manufacturer, and interpret some of the goofy ways in which manufacturers present their specs. I also like to explain what it means to have 60 dB of gain on the mic preamps when you really don't know if that's true since, in a device like a computer audio interface, you never see the preamp output unless there's an analog insert link - and that's something that needs explaining because most of today's users don't know what that is. I also like to explain something about why a particular specification or measurement is important, like looking at spectrum display to see what harmonics and how much AC hum contributes to a THD measurement.

I do that for reviews that I post on my own web site because I don't have a word limit. Some people like it and thank me for teaching them something even if it turns out that the product isn't what they want. Others tell me they don't want to read all the jibber-jabber, just tell them how it sounds on drums.

But something that really bothers me about the "Write what the manufacturer wrote" kind of review is that often the reviewer either doesn't understand what he's writing, or tries to re-write the manufacturer's material and does it wrong. This is where you get things like "Output level: 16dB" or "very low distortion."

Quote
And what manuals have always been missing were the "how to do" and "why it does" aspects of explaining features. But that's because it take enough space, and time (which equals cost) of just explaining in a basic fashion the "what it is" of a parameter. People always used to love Mackie manuals for their educational and humorous aspects. And I have certainly read some manuals that actually tuaght you things along the way. But those are rare...


Sometimes parts of my reviews read like the manual, but it's not in the manual.

Re: We Need a New Kind of Reviewer!! [Re: Caevan O'Shite] #3006216 09/03/19 01:05 AM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,656
Dave Bryce Offline
KCFFL Champ '14,'16,'18
20k Club
Offline
KCFFL Champ '14,'16,'18
20k Club
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,656
Originally Posted by Caevan O'Shite
]Please see Winston Psmith's "SFX 101"-thread on the GPF; I think it aughtta be a "Stickie" at the top...

Done. thu

dB

Re: We Need a New Kind of Reviewer!! [Re: Anderton] #3006256 09/03/19 10:26 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 231
Mike Rivers Offline
Senior Member
Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 231
Originally Posted by Anderton


Frankly, part of why I started Pro Reviews was as a bit of a middle finger to the magazines. I felt they were clueless about the coming electronic takeover of publishing, and not making contingency plans on what to do when that happened, or how to gain a foothold in that space that would prevent competition. But like record companies, they were slow to move and even slower to anticipate.


One of my first "big" reviews was for Mix, the Focusrite Saffire 26 I think. At the time, the concept of an interface that had that many inputs and outputs in assorted formats, and built-in sonic processing, was quite new and I wanted to take a deep dive into it rather than write the 1500 word review they wanted. I wrote the review that I wanted to write, then condensed it to the "executive summary" and encouraged Mix to put the whole review on their web site as supplemental material. They were really reluctant to do that, and I can't remember now whether they did or not. Tape Op extends many of their articles on their web site, but those are the interviews, not reviews.

Quote
I believe the single biggest problem is the consumer's insistence on the lowest price possible. The irony is that instead of paying $40 extra for a deep product to get an awesome manual, they pay $40 for a third-party book (that may or may not be any good) on how to use what they just bought. smile


That worked for a while, but with software changing so fast, book publishers are reluctant to even publish "how to use" e-Books because individual software audio products don't stay "in print" nearly as long as a book can. I'm still getting a couple of orders a month for my Mackie HDR book because people are buying them third or fourth hand, and there's a small but steady stream of new users without support from the manufacturer with the exception, bless their hearts, of keeping software and manuals on their support web site. But how many first-time users are there for Studio One version 3?

Quote
I want to specialize in reviews of software products that have demo versions. Then the review can concentrate solely on, as you stated so well, "context, reaction, and anecdotal experience" because the person could investigate the software for themselves. The purpose of the review would be more about letting readers know if they even wanted to investigate the software in the first place, and if so, the important parts to check out while evaluating the demo.


That's an excellent concept, particularly if you walk the reader through a couple of exercises to get a handle on the program's user interface concepts, some "try this" things that produce obvious results, and "now let's tweak it" to get them started on what might get them hooked on the program - or not. Too bad we can't do that as well with hardware reviews.

Re: We Need a New Kind of Reviewer!! [Re: Mike Rivers] #3006355 09/03/19 08:53 PM
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 7,985
Anderton Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 7,985
Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
That worked for a while, but with software changing so fast, book publishers are reluctant to even publish "how to use" e-Books because individual software audio products don't stay "in print" nearly as long as a book can...


...which has opened up a great opportunity for me. I've done two self-published eBooks on topics related to Studio One. So far, there haven't been changes in the program that would require an update. But when there are, I'll swap out screenshots, add text, fix whatever is broken in the layout, re-run the table of contents, and send it off to Presonus. From there on, that will be the version people download...no returns, no obsolete books sitting in a warehouse.

The same thing happened with my self-published eBook on Sonar tips. When Cakewalk was shuttered, and Sonar became Cakewalk by BandLab, I took out the parts that weren't relevant to BandLab, added changes that happened since the purchase, and had a new book.

The problem with publishers is they truly believe they are in the business of selling print books or eBooks. They are totally wrong. They are in the business of selling information. The people who've bought my Presonus books love them. They don't care at all the books are done in LibreOffice and published as a PDF. It would take a conventional publisher weeks or even months to do an update that takes me a few hours, because their layout has to be "just so" or they have to have cute little icons that spell out tips. THE CUSTOMER DOESN'T CARE.

Quote
But how many first-time users are there for Studio One version 3?


None, which is to my point...you take your Studio One V3 book, update it with the features in Studio One 4, and voila - new eBook. smile

Last edited by Anderton; 09/03/19 10:16 PM.
Page 2 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Anderton 

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3