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I've been flooded with e-mail from AES about watching "Product Showcase" videos. I've tried about half a dozen and they're either too long (on-and-on about famous studios or engineers using it, for example) or too short (obvious reasons). Even with ones that are a little educational, I lose interest after a few minutes.

I expect that some of these guys have spent a lot of money making these videos. Who are they really for? I imagine that the ones for the upcoming NAMM show will either be the same or similar.

I WANT MY LIVE TRADE SHOWS BACK ASAP !!!!!!!!

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You and I are probably not the target market.
No, I haven't clicked on a single one and I've gotten plenty of invitations from various venders that send me emails. I've purchased products from quite a few of them and will probably do so in the future - Eventide comes to mind, their plugins sound great, are laid out well and have excellent presets. They have a good sense of niche tools that are very useful and versatile. I keep an eye on what they are up to, Physion and Micro-Pitch are both awesome.

I've entered any contests with cool gear prizes, if they are linked to the email. That's different - gimme!!!!
Otherwise, I mostly wait regarding new products.

Others will buy them, some will either not use them, need the money for something else or dislike them for various personal reasons. If the reviews are good and it sounds like a tool I can use, then the buzzard starts circling, looking for an opportunity to purchase used as a reasonable price.

Although they've been out for some time and I am very comfortable with their products, it took until recently for me to find Tech 21 Sansamp Bass/Para Driver DI Version 2 units used at reasonable prices - probably because most buyers find them very useful and keep them. I plan on keeping mine, both of them are useful to me.

I have more than enough plugins, I've organized them and will choose my favorite reverbs, compressors, etc. over the next few months. Gotta learn to use Izotope RX7 before I update to 8, right? Plus, just before they introduce RX9 they will have a blow-out sale on 8.

I've done 2 or 3 NAMM (Anaheim) shows, long ago. If they could somehow know what I might be interested in and put it all in one corner then it would be fun. As much as I love guitars, I begin to loathe them even going into our small Guitar Center.

Will never forget the year I went to NAMM and ALL the guitars were Hot Pink - that was the current fad. That goes from hysterically funny to annoying to nauseating after about umpty bajillion of them.

All that said, in general electronic/digital goodies that music industry folks can use at home are probably doing pretty well overall these days. I did just sell a couple of microphones and used the money to buy a pair of Neat Worker Bees new since they are still $90 each.

So I do buy "new" once in a while!


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The problem with videos on the web is there are too many of them, they're an uncurated mess, and finding the few that are really good is difficult.

For example there are a bazillion Studio One videos on the web. I've found that the ones by their product specialist Gregor Beyerle are well worth checking out. He keeps them really short, shows a single easy-to-digest technique, then gets out of your face. So even if it turns out the topic isn't relevant, you've only lost a minute of your life, and haven't been exposed to crap.

But there are sooooo many videos where the person just rambles on, obviously never edited the thing, and when the payoff comes 18 minutes into the video, you find that the "pro tip" for compressors is something like "If you're new to compressors, use the auto attack control."

Not to blow my own horn...although I'm going to anyway smile I did a video for virtual GearFest called "7 Magic Tricks in Your DAW." At 15 seconds in, there's a list of what's presented so if it doesn't look interesting, you can blow it off or keep going if the topics look appealing. In newer videos, I'm now adding something distinctive for individual sections (like a watermark-type piece of text in the corner, or color-coding, or whatever) so you can "fast forward" through the video to find a specific section. In my music albums, I include a track list where each entry links to the relevant part of the album so if you want to come back and listen to one particular song, you can click on it and not have to go through anything else to find it.

It would be really great if there was a "best practices" established for videos to make them as viewer-friendly as possible. I'm doing the best I can because I don't want people spending time on a video if it's not going to do them any good, but I do want them to spend time if they think it's going to be beneficial.

FWIW the virtual GearFest video has 5,200+ views, 163 likes, and 1 dislike (because the person thought that showing examples in one DAW meant that other DAWs couldn't do the same things). I think if you treat viewers with respect, and believe they're doing you a favor by watching and not the other way around, you're better off.


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I watched your video and learned some new ideas. Gotta find them in Waveform, it's pretty full-featured so probably there somewhere.

I have one suggestion: Since you number the tips at the beginning (and thanks for leaving that on the screen long enough to read it all!!!), why not start each section with a screen-filling number correlating to the tip?
Would make it much faster to go straight to the tip you might want to reference. Cheers, Kuru


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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
You and I are probably not the target market.

You're mostly right about that, but there are some things I'd like to learn about, that I could learn from a video. For example, I learned how to adjust the rear parking brake on my car from a YouTube video. What I needed to know was where access to the adjustment "star wheel" was, and that there was a plug in it that had to be removed. But when it comes to, say, a new Eventide synth plug-in, even if it did sound useful to me, listening on my computer's speakers isn't going to blow me away. And even more so with a very subtle compressor, or hearing why the famous engineer chose this EQ over that one in the mix he was using for the demo.

Craig's been educating people in this field for 50 years, so he knows what's important and how to present it - working his way up from magazine articles to videos (after learning something about how to make a video) with live demos along the way. But with little time for a vendor to prepare for a virtual trade show, so many don't know how. So you get a video of the marketing manager talking to the head of engineering about how this famous and expensive system just bought 20 of their new product because it was just what they needed for their next expansion. That doesn't keep me around for very long.

Quote
I've entered any contests with cool gear prizes, if they are linked to the email. That's different - gimme!!!!

Me, too. Never won any, though.

Quote
I've done 2 or 3 NAMM (Anaheim) shows, long ago. If they could somehow know what I might be interested in and put it all in one corner then it would be fun.

I think we're both Hall E guys, but Hall E ain't what it used to be. That was where they put all the new exhibitors, mostly small companies, that made stuff that wasn't a copy of what's out there, and some were really creative. Some returned and grew, but the best (and worst) ones, we only got to see for one show before they folded.

With the new addition to the Anaheim Convention Center, they've devoted an entire floor to recording and live sound gear. It's been pretty similar to the exhibits at the AES show, with many exhibiting at both. While some long-time exhibitors want to keep the same space year after year, some have moved to the Annex and most are really happy there. They have a section set aside for software, too.

Quote
Will never forget the year I went to NAMM and ALL the guitars were Hot Pink - that was the current fad. That goes from hysterically funny to annoying to nauseating after about umpty bajillion of them.

I don't remember any show where all the guitars were pink, but one exhibitor, I think it's Daisy Guitars, makes pink guitars and may have had a whole booth full of them.

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Originally Posted by Anderton
The problem with videos on the web is there are too many of them, they're an uncurated mess, and finding the few that are really good is difficult.

Well, just like writing a good article, or giving a good live presentation, making a video is something that requires skills that you may not have, or not realize that you need, in order to tie all of your good information together. When I was at Mackie, they had a video department to make training videos for their classes, marketing videos for new products, and some just for fun. It was well equipped and well staffed. The vice president in charge of videos at Mackie is with PreSonus now, so that may be where they got the guidance to make a video that wasn't just good information, but a presentation that holds your interest.

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I did a video for virtual GearFest called "7 Magic Tricks in Your DAW." At 15 seconds in, there's a list of what's presented so if it doesn't look interesting, you can blow it off or keep going if the topics look appealing.

This is the way that any presentation should begin - by starting out with what you're going to tell them. In some of these on-line videos, they use Power Point or something like that to present bullet points on the screen in text form. That helps to call attention to them rather than mumbling a few features.

Quote
In newer videos, I'm now adding something distinctive for individual sections (like a watermark-type piece of text in the corner, or color-coding, or whatever) so you can "fast forward" through the video to find a specific section.

That's a great idea, like fast-forwarding my TiVo through commercials.

Quote
It would be really great if there was a "best practices" established for videos to make them as viewer-friendly as possible.

I'm sure there really is, but it comes out of film school, or maybe Hollywood, and it's something that you learn before you start planning your video. But today it's so easy to make a video that most people don't know that they're not making good videos. 30 years after MIDI was invented and a lot of people are still making bad music with their computers.

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I'm with you Mike. I'm tired of being treated like a leper.

Dan

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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
You and I are probably not the target market.

You're mostly right about that, but there are some things I'd like to learn about, that I could learn from a video. For example, I learned how to adjust the rear parking brake on my car from a YouTube video. What I needed to know was where access to the adjustment "star wheel" was, and that there was a plug in it that had to be removed. But when it comes to, say, a new Eventide synth plug-in, even if it did sound useful to me, listening on my computer's speakers isn't going to blow me away. And even more so with a very subtle compressor, or hearing why the famous engineer chose this EQ over that one in the mix he was using for the demo.

Craig's been educating people in this field for 50 years, so he knows what's important and how to present it - working his way up from magazine articles to videos (after learning something about how to make a video) with live demos along the way. But with little time for a vendor to prepare for a virtual trade show, so many don't know how. So you get a video of the marketing manager talking to the head of engineering about how this famous and expensive system just bought 20 of their new product because it was just what they needed for their next expansion. That doesn't keep me around for very long.

Quote
I've entered any contests with cool gear prizes, if they are linked to the email. That's different - gimme!!!!

Me, too. Never won any, though.

Quote
I've done 2 or 3 NAMM (Anaheim) shows, long ago. If they could somehow know what I might be interested in and put it all in one corner then it would be fun.

I think we're both Hall E guys, but Hall E ain't what it used to be. That was where they put all the new exhibitors, mostly small companies, that made stuff that wasn't a copy of what's out there, and some were really creative. Some returned and grew, but the best (and worst) ones, we only got to see for one show before they folded.

With the new addition to the Anaheim Convention Center, they've devoted an entire floor to recording and live sound gear. It's been pretty similar to the exhibits at the AES show, with many exhibiting at both. While some long-time exhibitors want to keep the same space year after year, some have moved to the Annex and most are really happy there. They have a section set aside for software, too.

Quote
Will never forget the year I went to NAMM and ALL the guitars were Hot Pink - that was the current fad. That goes from hysterically funny to annoying to nauseating after about umpty bajillion of them.

I don't remember any show where all the guitars were pink, but one exhibitor, I think it's Daisy Guitars, makes pink guitars and may have had a whole booth full of them.

I've learned things on YouTube about fixing my cars too. I thought we were talking about AES videos and the unfortunate reality that most videos are not very well produced?

The NAMM show I went to with all the pink guitars was well after Eddie Van Halen hit - even though I don't recall him ever playing any pink guitars. Most of them were "Super Strats". Hamer, Kramer, Peavey, Hondo, Aria, Ibanez, even Fender. Gibson didn't have any pink Gibson guitars but they did show an Epiphone line with some pink super strats. I don't think Daisy Rock was in business yet. Pink is part of their marketing.

It was a "Hair Band Guitar" overload.

I don't think the Chinese and Indonesian guitars were being built yet, Japan and Korea where the primary producers of Asian made guitars. They weren't at NAMM but there was a company in the Philippines that made "counterfeit" classic guitars around the same time period. That's the only other Asian guitar company that comes to mind. I had a "Gretsch White Falcon" and a friend had a "Hofner Beatle Bass" with identical hardware and pickups. They were pretty OK but not great.

In the late 2000's I had a customer bring a Hamer Steve Stevens model with a Floyd Rose (factory stock) to be set up. They were going to give it to a young family member who wanted to play guitar. Those were excellent guitars but... it was pink - or at least it was pink before the clear coat yellowed. It sort of looked like Pepto-Bismol / chicken broth or worse. Didn't age well!!!!


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Originally Posted by techristian
I'm with you Mike. I'm tired of being treated like a leper.

Dan

Among other issues, I think trade show organizations are afraid of lawsuits if they go ahead. Now, I personally think people should take responsibility for their own lives - if NAMM was open, surely people are aware that they would be taking a chance by going there. Even in a good year, think of all the people who come back from NAMM with "NAMMthrax."

But given our litigious society, what with the masses of people, the singers spraying stuff into the air, and so on, it would be a negligence suit waiting to happen. "NAMM should have known...blah blah blah...irresponsible...blah blah blah...didn't take measures to conform with health department regulations...blah blah blah." Even if NAMM prevailed, it would be an expensive distraction.

Music China is going ahead with its trade show this year, but then again, China learned their lesson the hard way early on, and since then, has had time to implement fairly effective mitigation efforts. Nonetheless, it seems that it will end up being mostly a local show, because international travelers don't want to have to deal with the potential issues along the way, and with European infections exploding, the Chinese government might not want to let those people in anyway.

I think this whole trade show situation exemplifies "damned if you do, damned if you don't." So we're going to have to live with virtual trade shows for a while longer.

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I watched a few. The API videos were fully useless. Just well known engineers saying that once they used the console it changed their life. Predictable. And useless. No talks anymore about why their architecture or engineering is good or even differentiated. It's just "shiny. good. famous people use it. buy now". A few vendors linked to long form webinars releasing a product with appropriate detail. That was nice. But it is clear that music companies don't know how to do this yet. Silicon Valley is way ahead. We do videos for each event, but we have live humans staffing the "booth" and it is easy to engage. I think the music industry missed the mark in making a way to "meet" people in Zoom rooms or some other virtual venue. I'd have talked with several companies if it was easy, but didn't fill out web forms. I can call them any time. I was looking for the casual drop by. Particularly for vendors whose gear I own and would have a reason to connect with about future plans - things that won't get answered in a web form reply.

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The MMA offered to send material to AES that discussed technical topics, not unlike the webinar for developers that we did back in May (the link is to a YouTube video, but it's just an audio podcast with a few slides because the webinar was done online, so the video quality was variable, depending on an individual's connection). We were also trying to be supportive to AES with their virtual trade show effort, but we never heard back from them as to whether they were interested or not.

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Originally Posted by Anderton
The MMA offered to send material to AES that discussed technical topics, not unlike the webinar for developers that we did back in May . . . . We were also trying to be supportive to AES with their virtual trade show effort, but we never heard back from them as to whether they were interested or not.

The MMA and NAMM have been pretty closely tied for the last dozen or two years. Will they be helping out the NAMM show folks? My gut feeling is that NAMM is better at presenting this sort of information at an event than AES is because their show exhibitors tend to be less technical but more oriented toward to applications. If someone wants to know about dB or input impedance, they either call over someone who knows what they're talking about or tell you "Jake can tell you that but he's in a meeting now. Try to come by later."

I'll take a look at that webinar. I'm interested in what kind of guidance these people get, and how much attention they pay to it by the time the show rolls around.

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FWIW NAMM has been working with us on the show, and I suspect we're not alone. They have a mammoth task ahead of them, and I really hope they pull it off. If not, it won't be for lack of trying.


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