A Disturbing Trend in the Tape OP Reviews...

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AlSmith
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Re: A Disturbing Trend in the Tape OP Reviews...

Post by AlSmith » Sun Feb 13, 2005 3:24 pm

I think I'd rather be an asshole -- no offense.
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AlSmith wrote:You're a little butt-smoocher.
I suppose thats better than "asshole".

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Re: A Disturbing Trend in the Tape OP Reviews...

Post by AlSmith » Sun Feb 13, 2005 3:32 pm

I'm not trying to attack anyone -- I personally don't give a shit. I'm just a reader of a magazine. If you start writing more shit about Eric Valentine and review more three thousand dollar mics -- good for you, I just won't read your magazine. The only reason I read this magazine is it spoke to me, unlike Mix, Eq, and others.

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Re: A Disturbing Trend in the Tape OP Reviews...

Post by percussion boy » Sun Feb 13, 2005 4:43 pm

cgarges wrote: I was actually recently sent my first piece of new gear specifically FOR REVIEW and guess what... I didn't dig it. As such, the review unit is being sent off to another reviewer with the hopes that he'll dig it.
Um . . . don't you think it's valuable information if you don't dig it?

The whole point of reviews is that if readers can get a sense of what a certain reviewer likes AND DOESN'T LIKE, it can help them make a better guess at what to buy. Same idea as asking another engineer whose taste you're familiar with.

I'm sure we can find one reviewer somewhere on earth who likes any piece of gear. What exactly is the point of that?
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Re: A Disturbing Trend in the Tape OP Reviews...

Post by Huntlabs » Sun Feb 13, 2005 5:42 pm

Larry,

I know you don't like negative reviews and I understand that you want things to be positive. But sometimes it is good to hear something negative. The reason is because that information can make you look elsewhere to fill that need. With only positive reviews you have to second guess the review.

Maybe having a few people review a given piece of gear and then use their responses. That would give a balance review.

Sometimes gear is just shitty and sometimes cheap gear is good... I just like to hear the unfiltered truth, even if it is negative.

I know I'll go start my own Fucking magazine!

Love you LARRY! LOVE TAPE OP! Just my $.02

Now get that next issue of Tape op done!!! I cant wait.
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Re: A Disturbing Trend in the Tape OP Reviews...

Post by cgarges » Sun Feb 13, 2005 5:49 pm

percussion boy wrote:Um . . . don't you think it's valuable information if you don't dig it?
I do, but in terms of space in the mag, I think it's probably more valuable for Larry and the guys to publish positively-angled reviews than negative ones. Every review (and God knows this is true of TapeOp) is full of personal opinion. I think it's more valuable and less controversial or whatever if you publish a positive review than a negative one. Everyone is going to have their own opinions about what they like and don't like about a piece of gear. Personally, I'd rather hear more accounts of what certain people think is cool about something than what certain people think sucks about something. It's easier for me to make my own judgements about something that sucks.

The positive/negative review thing has been discussed a bunch. I don't think you're likely to change Larry or Andy's mind about this any time soon, but you're welcome to keep trying.

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Last edited by cgarges on Sun Feb 13, 2005 5:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A Disturbing Trend in the Tape OP Reviews...

Post by MT » Sun Feb 13, 2005 5:52 pm

Knights Who Say Neve wrote:...I was reading the new issue and pretty much everything reviewed is high-end stuff. I checked some earlier issues and noticed a definate trend in the review sections...they used to be more balanced, with low and high end equipment. Now it's pretty much all high end. I'm not accusing anyone of selling out, but I do wonder what this means for Tape OP? It's a drag to receive my beloved magazine and have all the reviews be of things I just can't afford. Are the impovrished home recorders of the world being left behind?
Have you checked out the n-Track board? You'll be up to your ass in "You wouldn't believe how incredible my accordian sounds through this DIY condenser/preamp I built...".

I was always under the impression that TapeOp was about discussing engineering, not about delineating corporate percentage out of a bunch of gear?

MT

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Re: A Disturbing Trend in the Tape OP Reviews...

Post by cgarges » Sun Feb 13, 2005 5:57 pm

Knights Who Say Neve wrote:I don't doubt that it was unplanned, that the makeup of the magazine is detrimined by forces outside his control, and so forth. But if Tape OP is getting more completed submissions for high-end gear than low-end, this is intersting and worth discussing, yes?
Don't take this the wrong way--I haven't been trying to attack you or anything (I think it's a good question, actually), but I think it pretty much is as Larry said. They get reviews submitted by random people. We all know the economy's been bad. I haven't bought tons of gear in the last nine months or so and I don't have much new to review. I would assume this has something to do with the trend. I REALLY doubt there's any sort of plan at hand.
Knights Who Say Neve wrote:If I had to guess, it's because higher end manufacturers are sending out gear to review, to people who can use it- and if you get something free to try in the mail and you like it, you feel obligated to at least review it.
Well, I do know that this is happening. I got a $3000 piece of gear. I didn't like it. I decided to pass on the review because I didn't like it. I didn't want to take MY time (and again, I don't get paid for these reviews) to write a negative review. I decided to pass it on to somebody who might get more out of it. Does that make me a conspirator?
Knights Who Say Neve wrote:Prehaps we can start, on this board, a signup sheet for reviews of low-end gear. I'm not sure how to coordinate such a thing, but off the top of my head- start a thread called "reviews for low end gear- signup". Post what you're reviewing, and post again when you send it in. If Larry needs more low end gear reviews, reviews of stuff you can get on eBay, and so on (an excellent idea), let's do it.
Man, it's so much simpler than that. Just write a review. If you want to post it here, go right ahead. People do it all the time. If you want to see more of that sort of thing in the mag, then submit your review to Andy. It really is THAT easy.

Chris Garges
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Re: A Disturbing Trend in the Tape OP Reviews...

Post by Zeppelin4Life » Sun Feb 13, 2005 6:14 pm

What I love about TapeOp is the range of the stuff. Range meaning seriousness of the gear. It talks about $59 tape decks and Walter's million dollar studio. Thats what its really all about, isnt it, living in harmony? Its good they do many types of reviews becuase it appeals to many people. Variety is a huge key to success..especially in a magazine like TapeOp. I havent seen the trend you're talking about. :wink:
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Re: A Disturbing Trend in the Tape OP Reviews...

Post by maz » Sun Feb 13, 2005 7:08 pm

Zeppelin4Life wrote:It talks about $59 tape decks and Walter's million dollar studio. Thats what its really all about, isnt it, living in harmony?
I guarantee that Walter Sear does not live in harmony with a $59 anything!!!

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Re: A Disturbing Trend in the Tape OP Reviews...

Post by psychicoctopus » Sun Feb 13, 2005 7:20 pm

In a dark parallel universe, there would be a magazine that printed negative gear reviews sponsored by manufacturers of competing products.
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Re: A Disturbing Trend in the Tape OP Reviews...

Post by trianglelines » Sun Feb 13, 2005 7:35 pm

The most recent issue has been one of my favorites. I say that Eric Valentine represents someone who is a career producer/studio owner, and that he has learned and has as much to offer as anyone. He might not be "Mr. Indie" but he put in his time starving, too. To me, all those articles that finally got green lighted this issue were all gold, hung up by missing photographs or an overdue editing job.

I know this thread is about gear reviews and the average value of those reviews. I would say that the level of expertise and professional development of the principal reviewer(s) actually has pushed that base line up a notch.

The people who do the reviews whose names I recognize here all have working studios, and how many Alesis reverb flavors do you need? Does it make sense to review an SM-57 every few months? or an e609? I do like to know about good inexpensive mics, and "classic cheap" gear but my needs as a growing home recordist start to lean toward geting a Klark Teknik DN780 or something older but great. My average price of interest is climbing.

Also, as we have all discovered, there is a disincentive to get too hyped about cheapo gear (esp if out of production) as we all start fighting over it on EBay (the price of Ashly SC-50s and BitrMans springs to mind).

Anyway, an interesting data point (avg value of gear for review) and maybe even an inadvertent trend. Now it has been pointed out, we can put more pressure on Larry :-) (sorry Larry).

This whole community and the magazine are so great, Larry. We all know you are doing your best and I don't think anyone here is really out to criticize. We're all going to write articles about Tracktion and Alesis Wedges now, and they might only need a couple hours of copy editing ;-).

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Re: A Disturbing Trend in the Tape OP Reviews...

Post by mrufino1 » Sun Feb 13, 2005 7:56 pm

This is a very silly argument. Good gear is good gear, cheap or expensive. If you feel that you need to make an album on cheap gear to prove that good gear sucks or that major studios suck, etc., go for it. The bottom line really is that a good song is a good song. No one cares that "Jailhouse Rock" is light int he 20K region or what it was recorded on. Would it be loved any less or more if it was originally done on protools, acetate disc, wax cylinder, or whatever? I had the pleasure to record at Skyline Studios this summer, and although they had every piece of equipment that I could ever drool over, the biggest difference was the experience of Ron Allaire, Jonathan Mover, and Mauricio (whose last name I don't know). Ron heard that my Bb on my E string was 1 cent sharp, through an entire mix, turned out it was because my fourth finger was bending the string a little. So, even though they had expensive gear there, it was the people that made the difference- I have a good ear and didn't hear that, he heard it through a mix. I can only hope my ears are trained like that at some point. At our studio, we just got the 002 rack, and have a basic set of mics, etc. I am working really hard on learning where to place those mics, because a correctly placed $10 mic will sound better than a neumann that is in the wrong spot (well, maybe not entirely, but you know what I mean). I enjoy reading reviews of gear that I can't afford, because at least I know what's out there and maybe someday I will be in a position to afford it. Until that time, I'll use what I have (heck, I have barely anything- the guy who owns the studio has it!). That way, when I can afford the better gear, I will already know the basic stuff, and if I can get my ADK $100 condenser to sound good, then if I can get a great mic on the same source in the same position it can only sound better. I learned that when I went to someone's protools studio, threw the LA-2A plug in on everything, feelign that it would make everything sound awesome, at least more so than the freeware VST compressor that I had, but the fact that my track was peaking all over the place and the original sounds were not that great anyway (my first attempt at hip hop, and I'm now "retired" in that particular genre), so getting those right made a lot more difference than any plug in I put on there.This might be getting a little bit off the track, but to bring it back, I love tapeop and can't wait until it reaches me every couple of months. I credit Larry for starting something new, that's not easy, and why should he put in all that work and not be paid for it? Heck, he offers us the magaizine free of charge., And as for getting gear free, he always mentions that he purchases it if he wants to keep it. There are always ways to try out gear without purchasing (rental, borrowing, booking studio time, Guitar Center return policy, etc.), and all it takes to get something from a manufacturer is to ask. You might get a "No" more often than not, but if you were legit in saying you want to review it for tapeop, or your own website, whatever, they might go for it. I used to go to Barnes and Noble and read every music magazine there was. I noticed that they all run the same articles (how many magazines reviewed Live 4, Logic 6, etc.- all the same thing). Then, if you read for a while, they all rerun the same articles (how to mic drums, programming better loops, the secrets of a great mix, etc.) In fact, I got the tapeop book for Christmas, and by the end, I was honestly sick of reading "I don't really know what I'm doing. I just use my four track and make it work." There's nothing wrong with that, especially if you write great songs, but if given a chance to work on a Neve or a Tascam Porta One, which would you choose? The whole point of tapeop, that makes me love it, is that nothing is wrong with great gear and you should use it if you are able, but don't wait to record until you get that gear, use what you can. I would never go back to my casette four track from what I have now by choice, but if for some reason my protools went away, I'd use whatever I could (I only have an M-Box, not some fancy thing, but I love what I can do with it. If the opportunity came along to get an HD system, I'd do it in a second). Anyway, I'm glad tape op exists, I'd be happy to pay for it if that helped it become monthly (I'd prefer daily, but that's probably unlikely...), and I do have to say the new issue is my favorite yet. Sorry for rambling, just wanted to add my couple of cents (it's all I've got after ordering a tapeop ribbon mic last week!)

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Re: A Disturbing Trend in the Tape OP Reviews...

Post by christiannokes » Sun Feb 13, 2005 8:22 pm

I read somewhere that Larry intended for the magazine to be like a forum. CGarges is right. The magazine is kind of what we make of it. I love this magazine and I met Larry at the AES Convention and he was a delight. Harmony Central has some gear reviews on a bunch of cheap and expensive stuff. There are other resources.

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Re: A Disturbing Trend in the Tape OP Reviews...

Post by lonesome_tone » Sun Feb 13, 2005 8:45 pm

TapeOpLarry wrote:Can you tell people they can start their own magazines, especially if they're naive enough to think they can do one without selling ads and not lose money!
now, i like tape op very much, but i'm not sure i like what this quote is implying.

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Re: A Disturbing Trend in the Tape OP Reviews...

Post by Knights Who Say Neve » Sun Feb 13, 2005 9:14 pm

The original point I was bringing up has been lost in a sea of flames, valentines to Larry, and "if ya think ya can do bettr, do it yrself!" posts.

Welcome to the internet.
"What you're saying is, unlike all the other writers, if it was really new, you'd know it was new when you heard it, and you'd love it. <b>That's a hell of an assumption</b>". -B. Marsalis

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