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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.

reutunes

Senior Member
Since I've been mentioned several times in this thread (thanks everyone) I'd like to point out how long it takes to fully explore a sample library's performance and functionality before committing to a well-researched review opinion. Several hours, at least.

After being off-air for over a year, fans of The Samplecast still email me every day to ask when it's returning. Truth is, paid projects have to take priority over a non-profit one man sample library show. If everyone who's reading this thread contributed £1 a month that would easily be enough for me to drop some other client work and restart the show instead... but would anybody do that?
 

MichaelB

New Member
I’m more in favor of user reviews and ratings like Amazon where you can read many reviews from users and form your own opinion from several hundred user reviews if a product fits your requirements or not. I believe it helps to view the ratings from other users because if 490 out of 500 reviews gives it a 5 star rating you can count on it and if the majority gives it a bad rating and provide the information why they give it a bad rating you can make an informed decision based on the opinions of a big group of consumers.

I know the idea is to get reviews on new releases but imagine if the first 10 reviews reflects a one star rating and you can read the user reviews why they gave it a bad rating, I’m sure you’ll think twice before buying this product. Power to the consumer!
 

Shiirai

Resident Crow
I'd gladly pay money for actual reviews but I'm actually rather skeptic about the likelihood of getting those.

No offense to any of the reviewers who are going out of their way to try and bring us quality content, but most of what I find is more valuable as 'entertainment' to me than as an actual review. SampleLibraryReview is a clear example of a 'review' that doesn't actually review very much. If I'm going to pay for reviews, I want to know what's wrong with the library, how it is to actually make tracks with it, what you *cannot* do. Manchester and Verta come closest to criticizing the libraries they review, but I think we need to be honest here and accept that most 'reviews' are little more than overviews of the products instead.

Which are fun and interesting to watch, but not something I expect to pay for.

I noticed someone who said that he didn't care for unbiased reviews. But fact of the matter is that biased reviews, good or bad, are not reviews, they are propaganda. And entertaining as that is, it's not a good basis to purchase anything on. If a reviewer is afraid of losing access to free libraries to review I cannot trust them to tell me what I actually need to know.

It's a problem in many industries and kind of necessitates community-funded reviewers. But then we reach the flip side, which is: Who would do this? Who is going to take the time to make expansive reviews and who, as a community, do we trust to do so? So I'm voting yes, but in the knowledge that this is a difficult problem to solve.

Note: I really like SampleLibraryReview.com as a source of entertainment and it's often on in the background while I'm doing other things.
 
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Lindon

VST/AU Developer
Ok so I am a developer so I might chime in with a perspective from that side of the fence.

Reviews, reviews, reviews.... first we've never paid(real money) to anyone who's reviewed one of our products, we give them an NFR copy sure, but no money changes hands - ever.

In truth reviews seem to count very little in terms of sales, so I'm not sure everyone is as influenced by them as you might suppose - meaning that even if you got this off the ground there might not be a big enough ground swell of "caring patrons" out there prepared to contribute even a few bucks.

I do think though there is a grain of useful stuff in the OP's suggestion. Demo Versions.
The OP is right that (most) developers dont give you a demo version and if they did then many of us might find ourselves surprisingly pleased (or disappointed) with any given product. But again it does take a little investment of time to get to know a well constructed and functionally rich lib.

I suggest if you cant get these independent reviews off the ground you might canvas for some mass-emailing of your favourite developer requesting (nay demanding!) demo versions.

Oh and I wouldn't be a developer if I didn't blow my own trumpet a bit here, so here it is:

Demo versions of our last two libraries can be found here: https://channelrobot.com/free-stuff/

See some developers DO offer demos....
 

ManchesterMusic

New Member
Since I've been mentioned several times in this thread (thanks everyone) I'd like to point out how long it takes to fully explore a sample library's performance and functionality before committing to a well-researched review opinion. Several hours, at least.

After being off-air for over a year, fans of The Samplecast still email me every day to ask when it's returning. Truth is, paid projects have to take priority over a non-profit one man sample library show. If everyone who's reading this thread contributed £1 a month that would easily be enough for me to drop some other client work and restart the show instead... but would anybody do that?
Completely agree. It’s the reason I seldom do reviews and instead do “play throughs” and offer some general thoughts about the libraries. Unfortunately, many established outlets will perform ‘reviews’ which are frankly little more than a regurgitation of the main features and specs plus a couple articulations previewed. A proper review takes time. Sound on Sound is the best example of this. They’ll publish sample library reviews weeks after they’ve launched to properly run them through their paces before offering a verdict. Unfortunately for some the reviews appear well after intro pricing has expired.
 

axb312

Senior Member
I’m more in favor of user reviews and ratings like Amazon where you can read many reviews from users and form your own opinion from several hundred user reviews if a product fits your requirements or not. I believe it helps to view the ratings from other users because if 490 out of 500 reviews gives it a 5 star rating you can count on it and if the majority gives it a bad rating and provide the information why they give it a bad rating you can make an informed decision based on the opinions of a big group of consumers.

I know the idea is to get reviews on new releases but imagine if the first 10 reviews reflects a one star rating and you can read the user reviews why they gave it a bad rating, I’m sure you’ll think twice before buying this product. Power to the consumer!
I like this idea. We could have a subforum sorted out by developer and/or instrument and aggregate review scores.
 

jaketanner

Senior Member
I had once proposed to have a monthly periodical solely for sample libraries. There is of course Samplelibraryreview...an online review, which are usually pretty good. But to fully dig deep into these libraries, you have to spend some time with them...like the magazine reviewers do before they voice their opinion...they put it to the test, and give feedback.

I think the issue with sample libraries, is going to be that not everyone works the same, or uses the library or all articulations. So is a reviewer going to go through each and every articulation of a SF library? Probably not, unless they get paid.

I think VI should adopt the same user reviews as Gearlutz has. So each person can give THEIR own personal experience with each product, and maybe out of 10 reviews of the same library, one might fit a certain person's workflow. I'd be down for this for sure.
 
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