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Roll your own gear reviews...

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Often, when one of us gets a new gizmo/toy/tool,

we'll put it through its paces in a session,

then come to the forums here to relay our observations...


I love when that happens... :love:


But, alas, some examples of this kind of

reportage are better than others... :rolleyes:


When done well, this feedback from

actual users is a great insight...


And a good contrast to mfrs' ad copy or

the alleged "Never-a-bad-review" policies

of some sound mags, etc...


Personally, I like reading between the

lines of favorable product reviews...


There's an ongoing thread at GM's discussing such...


Click here for that thread at GM\'s site...



And with respect to our host, Craig A,

(an experienced master at writing

concise and succinct equipment reviews)...


I certainly don't mean to imply that anyone could

easily do this job with just a couple of tips, but...


Perhaps we could all share with each other

some of our time-tested methods of effectively

evaluating (and reporting on) gear...?


I don't see this as any kind of "either/or"

situation, much more like a "both/and"... ;)

Bob Phillips


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easily do this job with just a couple of tips, but...


Perhaps we could all share with each other

some of our time-tested methods of effectively

evaluating [and reporting on] gear...?>>


Yes! As a reviewer, I am ACUTELY aware that I don't get to test everything with everything. For example, with cross-platform software, I usually do the bulk of the review on one platform but at least try to install/test on the other platform as a reality check. But I simply don't have the time to try, say, a virtual instrument under all possible hosts and operating systems. So it's very useful when someone can say they tried some particular combination of gear where things worked/didn't work/etc.


I will say that the availability of demo programs has indeed made my life easier. Then my task becomes more about letting people know whether something seems worth checking out, then they can try the demo with their own particular setup.


Also, as more companies drop support for operating systems other than OS X and XP, life will get easier as well. Both systems are far more solid than their predecessors and help level the playing field.


As to reading between the lines, with my reviews I think you just have to read . For example, I just reviewed Sound Forge 7 and noted as a limitation that it doesn't do scripting or batch processing. I suppose for some people, myself included, that's a negative. But to other people, that's not a big deal. So IMHO it's very important for a reviewer to avoid too many value judgements on topics that are open to interpretation. On the other hand, if something crashes more often than trucks in the high-speed lane on I-95, THAT deserves a full-on value judgement ("this program is really unstable, enter at your own risk").


So yes, I would love to see more comments here about gear. As you may have noticed, I often solicit opinions here when I'm doing a review, especially if something is working really well and I want to find out if anyone has experienced problems.

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