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  • Harmony Central - Can we be trusted?

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    With all the gear reporting that Harmony Central does, and given the current state of online and print sources for reviews, you may wonder whether our reviews remain trustworthy. It's a fair question, particularly because Harmony Central has long been referred to as the "Switzerland of the musical instrument industry" due to our neutral, impartial philosophy. But is that attitude an anachronism in today's pay-to-play world? Turns out there's more to the subject than meets the eye...


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    Keeping the Harmony at Harmony Central

  • #2
    From the article;

    "When we explained that we reviewed products based on whether we thought the community would be interested, not whether a company advertised or paid for placement, they just about fell over."

    So I'm curious, did they send any products over for you to review?

    The Mandolin Picker

    "Bless your hearts... and all your vital organs" - John Duffy

    "Got time to breath, got time for music!"- Briscoe Darling, Jr.

    Comment


    • Dendy Jarrett
      Dendy Jarrett commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes ... they did.

  • #3
    Frankly, it's sad it's come to this...when doing something for your readers is considered anomalous. It's ironic that the most editorial freedom we've ever had, aside from our early days with Musician's Friend, came after being purchased by Gibson.

    But, look at the world around us and it's perhaps not surprising. After all, it seems now that the journalists have become hacks, hackers are the new journalists.
    N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

    Subscribe, like, and share the links!

    Comment


    • #4
      Well the public wants it all ways at once, don't they? They don't like authorities and think it's wrong for anyone to state anything as uncategorically true (aka cramming things down their throats, forcing their agenda, spreading their biases), but all the same they want the authorities to all be 1000% objective and free from any influence so they can trust the reviewers as speaking the unadulterated truth. Faced with any objective reasoning that contradicts their preconceptions, they immediately run to the "it's all subjective anyway" corner, or to the ad hominem corner from whence they shout abuses and accusations.

      They seem to want only reviewers that write for free and live in a monastery with other holy reviewers who have separated themselves from all worldy attachments to seek the absolute truth about gear and software. Of course, these monks of music can be ignored as ivory-tower self-appointed experts out of touch with the real musicians on the ground. And probably paid off under the table -

      nat whilk ii


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      • #5
        When I review something, I really dig into it. I don't just quote the manufacturer's incomplete spec sheet that says "THD is less than 0.000005%," I make measurements and show how distortion behaves over the full frequency range, show what makes up that distortion (how much is actual harmonics of the input signal, how much is random noise, how much is power line hum, how much is clock leakage, etc.) and explain how the measurements were made and the significance of the measurements. I explain how controls work. I see how long it really takes to run down the batteries. I don't pass off a computer audio interface with "preamps have 58 dB of gain" when the real significant parameter is how many volts does it take going in to reach full scale digital level. I don't write "dB" or "dBm" when "dBu" is correct. I open the box and describe what's inside. People seem to appreciate this sort of analysis and it helps them to interpret the popular literature and other reviews.

        I don't review things that exist largely for their subjective sound or process because their usefulness is highly dependent on what you're using it for. I'll review measurement software, but not compressor or reverb plug-ins, and I avoid reviewing microphones because how good it sounds on my acoustic guitar isn't relevant to how it works as a room mic for drums - or that it worked well in my room with a particular drum kit on a particular song means it will work well on drums you're recording (every time).

        My rock and hard place is this: Magazines are smaller than ever and they want to publish page-and-a-half reviews, not 16-20 page review. So when I can get a manufacturer to loan me something that I'd like to review, I write it up and put the review on my web site where it can be as long as it needs to be. But not being famous and not being a good publicist, my web site gets about 10 visitors a day. Many manufacturers don't want to bother with a review that will get that few eyeballs. So here I am, complaining about not making a killing as a technical journalist.
        --
        "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
        Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

        Comment


        • #6
          I miss Len Feldman.
          Don Boomer

          Comment


          • #7
            Originally posted by MikeRivers View Post
            My rock and hard place is this: Magazines are smaller than ever and they want to publish page-and-a-half reviews, not 16-20 page review. So when I can get a manufacturer to loan me something that I'd like to review, I write it up and put the review on my web site where it can be as long as it needs to be.
            That's the beauty of the Pro Review format. Manufacturers are willing to pay for the bandwidth required for rich media, and the expertise of a reviewer who can also moderate a forum, even when they don't know what the outcome is going to be.
            N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

            Subscribe, like, and share the links!

            Comment


            • #8
              Of course, the fact that they don't know what the outcome is going to be makes it a bit of a tough sell...
              N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

              Subscribe, like, and share the links!

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by Anderton View Post

                That's the beauty of the Pro Review format. Manufacturers are willing to pay for the bandwidth required for rich media, and the expertise of a reviewer who can also moderate a forum, even when they don't know what the outcome is going to be.
                I really like the Pro Review concept. But I can't make any money from it.

                It was actually a Pro Review that brought me to Harmony Central years ago, and there must be something good about it because I'm still here.
                Last edited by MikeRivers; 11-08-2016, 08:12 PM.
                --
                "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
                Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

                Comment


                • #10
                  The proofreading is stellar!
                  Originally posted by Unconfigured Static HTML Widget...







                  Write Something, or Drag and Drop Images Here...

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Originally posted by Anderton View Post
                    Frankly, it's sad it's come to this...when doing something for your readers is considered anomalous. It's ironic that the most editorial freedom we've ever had, aside from our early days with Musician's Friend, came after being purchased by Gibson.

                    But, look at the world around us and it's perhaps not surprising. After all, it seems now that the journalists have become hacks, hackers are the new journalists.
                    In my opinion, any time a publication or website accepts $$$ from advertising, there is a conflict of interest. There is no way around this no matter what that publication or site says.

                    I have said this for a while now but I do not read reviews in magazines or sites. I much prefer to go online and watch/read a user review. Granted, there is no way to prove or disprove that that individual is in no way related to the manufacturer but forums are pretty useful places as well.

                    I always refer to this video for an honest user review...
                    Last edited by Ernest Buckley; 11-10-2016, 06:52 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      I've never read a review here that I considered biased in any way. Generally, when the reviewer appears to be particularly jazzed about a product, I've never gotten the impression that it was a contrived jazziness. Some...Well...A LOT of the reviews simply go over my head in terms of tech terminology. I still get the message.."This is a good tool, if you use things like this, you should/should not consider this product".

                      And that's what you want from a review at the end of the day isn't it?

                      Frankly...I'm a poor prospect for anyone hoping to sell anything to. I'm usually quite happy when I have enough extra money for a new set of strings. Doesn't exclude me from wanting to know about stuff I can't afford however. About what's new and out there.

                      I trust Harmony Central....'Nuff said.
                      http://thebasement.createaforum.com/

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