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POLL: An idea for VI-Control sponsored sample library reviews

Do you think VI-C sponsored independent library reviews would be something you would like?

  • Yes, I like the idea, and would consider contributing on a per-library basis

  • Yes, but I would need to see a specific rule in place (please suggest)

  • No thanks; I like the intention of Musicians helping Musicians - nice idea, but not for me

  • No thanks - I don't trust online stuff like this - even a <$5 contribution.


Results are only viewable after voting.

ManchesterMusic

New Member
Lurking because I was mentioned. I’m a little yin and yang about the whole idea, but super interested in this conversation. I’d love to know what people want to see on the channel, but I would have some difficulty committing the labour of pre-post production on a video about a library that I’m not intrinsically psyched to dig into (yes of course, we could choose to pass, etc). That being said, most of the libraries people discuss here I’m using and reviewing anyway.

To me, the more interesting aspect of this conversation is the current landscape of sample library marketing and criticism which is fairly accurately described in the opening post. I'd be interested in adding a few details, but something something, keeping it drama free, something something.. :)

On my personal channel I've incurred the ire of a few companies, mentioned often on this forum, for speaking very candidly about their products, marketing and management. I could see a situation where a system like the one being proposed is needed because influencer 'X' is blacklisted from ever getting another NFR, but people want, or *need* to hear influencer 'X's voice on the subject. Right now though, I'm not hurting and if I want to talk about a library, I can usually get my hands on it...for now, lol. At the end of the day, the relationship between influencers and companies is codependent. Adblockers, folks unsubscribing from emails, mistrust of glossy marketing in favour of forum reviews. Influencers cut through all that and have the power to convert onlookers into brand advocates. Companies who ignore influencer marketing ignore sales, and opportunities to improve the product. Not all influencers are angels though, and nothing frustrates a developer more than an influencer who doesn't do their homework and passes judgement on a feature not because they don't like it, but because they don't understand it.

Makes me wonder: Do some in the community see the 'influencer' as an essential service they might want to pay for..Curious to see where this conversation goes.
 

AllanH

Senior Member
I think this is a very creative approach to address any perceived conflicts. That being said, many reviewers have existing relationships with the vendors and have received free product to provide reviews and demos in the past. I'm not sure how to factor that out.

I would be concerned that some of the unavoidable conflicts following an unfavorable review reflects back on VI-C as a whole, as it's essentially a sponsored review. IIR, the Spitfire founders essentially left after an excellent review devolved into something completely different and highly personal (at a huge loss to the VIC community). As such, my preference is that we keep reviews separate.
 

Mason

Active Member
And if some developers get paid through this forum for their libraries to be reviewed, it might lead to other developers also starting to require payment and stop giving it for free to reviewers.

I think it would be better to give a donation, if only small, to any reviewer you like yourself if you want to support their business.
 

Manuel Stumpf

Active Member
I do not want a developer be involved in any way. They can do their advertising and teaser videos showing the strengths of the libraries.

The best reviews come into being when the reviewer invested his/her own money.
Then they start really thinking about: was it worth it or not.

I want reviewers to review the libraries they have decided to get for themselves. Libraries which they actually use. This results in the most valuable end result, even if the amount of libs every reviewer can review like this is very limited.
I do not want them to make reviews just because free libraries are thrown at them.
 

James H

01001000 01101001
I came to vote yes, but after reading the comments ended up voting no.

Great concept though, I like the thought. Thumbs up!
But adding money has to add some pressure (to member) into reviewing something in more positive light? As the people donating obviously want to buy said product.
I think once a reviewer ripped a product a new a hole, the concept would quickly collapse.
 

babylonwaves

Senior Member
Companies who ignore influencer marketing ignore sales, and opportunities to improve the product.
I wonder if classic influencer marketing works for sample libraries. For lipsticks (in lack of a better example) it does but for something you need to operate and manage and understand it's not that simple. Take guitars as an example: I know many guitar players who're after the perfect tone and they buy and buy equipment. They don't get that a good player can make a shitty guitar sound. And they don't because frankly, they should make time to practise their instrument. And in a way that's the same for sample libs. I don't know your videos, so don't take this personal in any way. So, instead of paying somebody to review things, i'd rather would like to see a group effort to pay somebody to educate (us).
 

ChrisSiuMusic

Senior Member
This is definitely an interesting concept, and I do think it would be intriguing to see how it plays out if we did move forward with it.

I personally wouldn’t say yes just because I think there’s no real need, and reviewers currently review libraries they’re more or less interested in already. Even though they may receive some monetary payment, it very well might put some pressure on the reviewer to speak in a certain way to please certain parties, and that could get ugly in some situations.

This is indeed a very nice gesture Garry. Thank you!
 

ProfoundSilence

Senior Member
I wonder if classic influencer marketing works for sample libraries.
Absolutely. There are plenty of higher profile members here -that use things to great effect, causing others to chase the sounds down simply because someone they admire uses them. Samy Cheboub's samplemodeling star wars demos a few years back no doubt caused people to buy sample modeling brass. I'm sure Mike Verta's use of Hollywood strings and adventure brass has spurred a few sales as well.

Daniel James and Blakus are another two that I'm sure influence the sale of libraries.


I came to vote yes, but after reading the comments ended up voting no.

As the people donating obviously want to buy said product.
I think once a reviewer ripped a product a new a hole, the concept would quickly collapse.
This is exactly what would happen. People would simply donate to the re-affirmate their desire to buy the latest and greatest library, and when it completely flops - or if the reviewer simply doesnt like it, they would feel like it was wasted money. Likewise if it gets a good review anyways - they buy it - and realize they can't use it as well, they'll feel like they were deceived.
 

lux

Senior Member
My work is happily full of libraries which reviewers couldnt 100% understand and use properly, thus a bad review. That's just human and perfectly understandable. The idea that a review can be "definitely" good only when the reviewer isn't biased is somewhat misguiding to me. I can take my own info and impressions of a library from actual reviewers easily, no matter how many coffees they get with the developers.

So I would respectfully add a fifth option to the poll, which covers the chance that this isn't a good idea per se. :)
 

MartinH.

Senior Member
This is exactly what would happen. People would simply donate to the re-affirmate their desire to buy the latest and greatest library, and when it completely flops - or if the reviewer simply doesnt like it, they would feel like it was wasted money.
You're probably right. I voted "no" for the overall premise, but thinking a bit about it, I think the "opposite approach" would actually be a more sensible concept. People who are "about to pull the trigger on X" could pay a reviewer to dig in deep and lay bare all the flaws they can find in X. And then the potential buyers can judge on their own whether those are dealbreakers or not. Pretty much every library I own has aspects of "I wish I had known that before buying", that weren't covered in either reviews or official demos. If that way you can save yourself from buying one expensive non-refundable and non-resellable library, it would be a sensible investment to pay for such reviews. Of course all the issues still apply - what if you pay for it, the reviewer misses something that really would bother you, and you buy the library only to discover that flaw yourself... If this stuff slips through the dev's QA, it's easy enough to miss for sure.
 

markleake

Recovering sale addict
My work is happily full of libraries which reviewers couldnt 100% understand and use properly, thus a bad review.
+1 to this. There are some bad reviewers out there. I'm often suprised that they don't get called out here more.

Even with some of the reviewers who know what they are doing, they make vague conclusions so as to not to commit themselves, and not offend the vendor. They know very well where that leads. Or they'll do that until there is some product where lots of people have issues with it, then they'll be more free/open with their opinion. Some reviewers say outright they don't review products they don't like - ie. they never give a negative review, only positive.

I too find myself using libraries that are not the "trend" libraries, are less talked about, and ones that reviewed mediocre or even bad. Often the good parts are overlooked or the thing the library is useful for is missed, due to concentrating too much on the flaws.

That said, I still do appreciate a good reviewer. Just wouldn't pay money for a review service. Especially given I already know who and who not to listen to.
 

babylonwaves

Senior Member
Absolutely. There are plenty of higher profile members here -that use things to great effect, causing others to chase the sounds down simply because someone they admire uses them. Samy Cheboub's samplemodeling star wars demos a few years back no doubt caused people to buy sample modeling brass. I'm sure Mike Verta's use of Hollywood strings and adventure brass has spurred a few sales as well.
see, to me mike is not an influencer but an educator. and that supports the rest of my post.
 

shawnsingh

Active Member
Someone can be both an influence and educator at the same time. I see influencer more as a result of a person's reach/visibility/reputation/etc. Whether or not that person intentionally chooses to be an influencer or not, they can become one. Education is a type of influence too.

But I don't mean to sound like I disagree with you about the education thing. I think it's actually a great point.
 
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gpax

Senior Member
Patreon has the very infrastructure that the OP is proposing, already in place: PayPal, subscription tiers, and notifications as soon as a product is being posted for review.

Moreover, as the OP took the time to carefully word choice #3 in the poll, and as those numbers bear out, this is essentially the forum as it already functions, with a wealth of user feedback, including the restructuring a few years back to categorize commercially sponsored and non-commercial review threads.

I’m not saying the ideas aren’t good, though I think the premise is more aligned with time-sensitive reviews, on demand, as it were, as products which have been out for a while are already reviewed and commented on in greater supply.
 

lux

Senior Member
+1 to this. There are some bad reviewers out there. I'm often suprised that they don't get called out here more.

Even with some of the reviewers who know what they are doing, they make vague conclusions so as to not to commit themselves, and not offend the vendor. They know very well where that leads. Or they'll do that until there is some product where lots of people have issues with it, then they'll be more free/open with their opinion. Some reviewers say outright they don't review products they don't like - ie. they never give a negative review, only positive.

I too find myself using libraries that are not the "trend" libraries, are less talked about, and ones that reviewed mediocre or even bad. Often the good parts are overlooked or the thing the library is useful for is missed, due to concentrating too much on the flaws.

That said, I still do appreciate a good reviewer. Just wouldn't pay money for a review service. Especially given I already know who and who not to listen to.
I think it's just being human, not a matter of bad reviewers. I find most reviews out there informative and I made more than a few decision based on what I saw/heard. People like Cory Pelizzari, Don Bodin, Dirk Ehlert, Daniel James, Reuben Cornell, Ashton Gleckman, Meena Shamaly, Thorsten Meyer (and I'm forgetting so many out of this list) did a great work in offering me a different view on sample libraries.

I simply don't consider "being unbiased" as an added value. I'm more after informations than opinions.
 

Saxer

Senior Member
I don't have a problem to give 5$ to reviewers as they do a lot of work. But as soon as this reviews are a kind of commissional works I'd probably loose interest. I like the idea that someone who is interested in sample libraries like to show how and why he/she uses them. Including the personal opinions on this product. If it is paid work it will go conform to the purchaser sooner or later. Instead of "I don't need 10 mic positions that fills my SSDs, I just want far and close!" it goes "For those who need 10 mic positions it will be interesting". Good way to get those boring reviews like written in keyboard and computer magazines.
 

lux

Senior Member
I understand although we often end up disagreeing with my own friends which are amazing composers and producers on such topics. So, while I'm a "give me light patches and two mics" type of guy, I have friends which find having plenty of mics really a plus. Just different views on a same subject, different workflows and such.
 

stfciu

Active Member
I believe beside patreon, youtube now allows to support channel financially.

I am more willing to support someones work if I find it useful or entertaining than creating some binding direction. Especially I don't want to ruin the freedom and space which imo is very important if you want an honest opinion.

Maybe some option might be "musicians helping musicians" prize/donation that we could bring up once a year to honour the people (reviewers among them) that give this forum additional spice.
 

Diablo3

Active Member
What I would like to see:

* God damn developer make one or two proper video about "all" you could do with their library. Still until this day, it's a fracking leap of faith.
* Reviewers then can be more like a Devil's advocate, focusing more on the cons of the instrument, but hightlighting the very good stuff too: This library is sht because of this, but is GREAT if you aim to do this and this only.

So far Embertone to my knowledge has extensively showed or explained in a very elaborate way (through answering questions) their Joshua Bell violin, and their Piano-
has a very long video showcasing it too.

I mean, it's their own fracking libraries they want to sell and they don't properly showcase it? (Won't name any company but oh lord). Why a reviewer has to do the work? And if a reviewer has to do the work, then companies don't have the right to complain if they get sht on the face. Sigh...
 
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