Old 10-15-2021, 11:22 PM   #1
Naji
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Default The influence of reviews and comments

Comments and reviews of a product are a good thing, aren't they?! You get some other opinions and experiences. Frankly speaking I sometimes think they are faked, maybe they are even made by devs to make you think a product must be very good and you do need it.
Although plugins can be demoed I am convinced that reviews influenced my buying decisions.
It's legit that devs get support from Youtubers/influencers promoting or hyping their products, I have noticed that there are about four marketing strategies.

1. New devs with one new product only with a lot of hype

Kitplugins BB N105
A Neve channel strip. Well, there are so many Neve emus that another plugin is not really exciting any more. Thus price 99 is too high imo It's an unknown dev and plugin has a lot of bugs, maybe one of the worst releases ever with lots of too good comments immediately after release.

Pulsar Modular P42
Price is 249!!! They say hardware is worth 1700 to justify the high price.
Plugin price is about 15% of hardware price. How much would a price for a console emu have to be then? 15000?!
Pretty strange to read about 4 or 5 pretty long too positive comments on gearspace!

Imo an unknown dev with price of a new released plugin about 100 or more should release a revolutionary plugin with awesome quality and new features. Also it would be more clever to release two or more good plugins to show that they know to create new plugins on a high level with special quality and features.

2. Make a very high list price and then give it away almost for free on sales
Plugin Alliance, Waves, Acustica Audio

Imo Waves at least has created some "legends" like RBass, RVox, J37, MV2 etc

3. High price / decent quality

Softube. Imo no VST plugin is worth more than 100 in 2021, because we have a surplus of choices. Sometimes you can get some Softube plugin for less than 100, but a lot of plugins are still pricey even on sales

4. Fair pricing / good quality / no sales

Valhalla, Klanghelm

Of course these 4 categories do not cover it all, there is a pretty new dev Baby Audio with decent pricing and lots of hype and IK Multimedia could be added to category 2, but imo IKM quality is from very good to very bad, well, they have a lot of very different plugins, way more than most other devs.

What I want to say is that reviews did influence me, but today after more than 10 years plugin experience, I reduced my 3rd party plugins. I have 43 VST plugins (still a very lot) and could re-sell a very lot of plugins in the last 12 months.
I checked my plugin folders and noticed that I did not like or use a lot of plugins any more. Many purchases I did too fast and was surely influenced by reviews on Youtube, KVR etc comments.
I do not want to blame anybody, every purchase was my decision, no one forced me. Nevertheless I wonder how many comments as to plugin reviews are faked!?

What's your experience and opinion?

Last edited by Naji; 10-15-2021 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 10-16-2021, 01:42 AM   #2
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Demo and decide.
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Old 10-16-2021, 02:27 AM   #3
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Demo and decide.
For instrument plugins - no demo version available avoid the plugins like the plague - do not be sucked in by the price, concept of the technology (say unique physical modelling or whatever) demonstrations or money back guarantees - the companies doing this evidently cannot be trusted, they don't have enough faith in their product, so nor should you.

Thankfully such companies are somewhat rare.
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Old 10-16-2021, 02:35 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by beingmf View Post
Demo and decide.
Demo and decide is right. It seems most comments/reviews are from people trying to justify their purchase, or trashing a plugin for something other than its quality (installation managers, for example).
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Old 10-16-2021, 03:06 PM   #5
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Well as far a Klanghelm goes, I took the bait and downloaded their free two knob compressor and am so impressed I will be getting the full version...only 30 bucks US or so. Yeah, try before you buy. Thats how I got into convolution reverb, using ReaVerb and some free IR reverb files (Echo Thief, Bricasti, Lexicon 480, etc). I have since purchased Seventh Heaven $69 and its a game changer.

Wow! wonderful things exist for free.
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Old 10-16-2021, 11:36 PM   #6
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this is business and marketing !
vids on youtube about ableton live : you can see on most of them cute sexy girls or famous DJs, who I'm sure don't even produce music, but are only a brand (david guetta is famous for this, no skill but a strong marketing team). is this by hasard or done to catch retarded "musician" ?
Have you ever seen a cute girl vids about Reaper ?

Manufacturers pay for reviewing there products so reviews are biased.
Infleuncers make there living (some receive lot of money) so this is also biased.
I used to subcribed to future magazine and products, even crap, rarelly got a note below 7/10.

Best is to try befrore you buy.
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Old 10-17-2021, 08:46 AM   #7
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this is business and marketing !
vids on youtube about ableton live : you can see on most of them cute sexy girls or famous DJs, who I'm sure don't even produce music, but are only a brand
So "cute sexy girls" (whatever the hell it means in this context) can't be producers? And since Reaper hasn't been "marketed" (or at least you haven't seen any vids) by "cute sexy girls", it's "purer"? Well, that's one way of looking at the world...

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Old 10-17-2021, 09:08 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Pink Wool View Post
So "cute sexy girls" (whatever the hell it means in this context) can't be producers? And since Reaper hasn't been "marketed" (or at least you haven't seen any vids) by "cute sexy girls", it's "purer"? Well, that's one way of looking at the world...
I don't think that's exactly what was meant. But REAPER is most definitely marketed. There are the "serious sources" like REAPER Mania and the REAPER Blog (not sure if RB is directly supported by Cockos). And then there's the circle-jerk of "20 reasons why REAPER rocks and xxxxx DAW sawks" guys. It's more stealthy (sort of) than placing an ad in SoS,and less polished than "those other name brands, but we pass the savings along to our customers!"
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Old 10-17-2021, 10:05 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Pink Wool View Post
So "cute sexy girls" (whatever the hell it means in this context) can't be producers? And since Reaper hasn't been "marketed" (or at least you haven't seen any vids) by "cute sexy girls", it's "purer"? Well, that's one way of looking at the world...
Obviously he missed the excellent "Delving deeper into the pleasures of Reascript" by Miss O'Gyny.

Jokes apart you surely know what he means, outside of the apparent clumsy accidental sexism. I don't think he was actually saying that an attractive woman can't possibly make music, or understand a DAW!

When a company is choosing between the option of the most capable person, or presenting one that is quite capable but very photogenic (or sounds great) the latter will win on YouTube, as with most marketing.

https://youtu.be/YPkKEttKIQU
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Old 10-17-2021, 10:17 AM   #10
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Well as far a Klanghelm goes, I took the bait and downloaded their free two knob compressor and am so impressed I will be getting the full version...only 30 bucks US or so. Yeah, try before you buy.
To me even using DC1A actively is certainly not the same as being able to try out DC8C would. Same goes for the MJUC jr. vs. MJUC. You are not trying out the same product with those freebies. It seems that has not been a big problem for most of Klanghelm customers, they are usually happy with what they got. That's good.

But personally I will not trust those kind of deals anymore, not without a definite money-back guarantee at least. I once tested a demo version of one specific software, but found some to me crucial features not working in the limited demo version. I mailed the company about those issues and they assured me the full version would have those features working. So like an idiot I paid 150$ for the software which didn't have those features working. No refund, no resell option. I also spent couple of months troubleshooting the darn thing and posting reports, with promises of fixes which never happened, before giving up. To this day I have not actually used that piece of software for even once and most probably never will. Nor will I ever again buy something without being able to test it beforehands, unless being rich enough to afford a possible loss. I guess that's what burning a two year "hobby" budget for nothing can do to you.

Doesn't matter if everybody else finds something good for them, I need to verify it for my own use.

That said, I love good product reviews. And it doesn't matter if they are done by an independent reviewer, as paid promotion or even straight from the company. What matters is the contents and how it is presented. Most often I will go though several different reviews about the same product, before possibly deciding to test them myself. And when you do that long enough, you'll also get to know the reviewers better, because you know from your own experience how close to your personal view their reviews are/were.
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Old 10-17-2021, 10:59 AM   #11
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To me even using DC1A actively is certainly not the same as being able to try out DC8C would. Same goes for the MJUC jr. vs. MJUC. You are not trying out the same product with those freebies. It seems that has not been a big problem for most of Klanghelm customers, they are usually happy with what they got. That's good.
While this is much better than the rare instrument plugins (that I mentioned earlier) that actually offer no demo version at all I agree that this policy hasn't won me over either.
Had I been able to try their plugins I might have bought a few, rather than just using the freebies occasionally.
Time limited and/or occasional random white noise is a better way to sell your plugins.

Saving grace is that these aren't expensive anyway. Their reputations are good.
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Old 10-17-2021, 12:57 PM   #12
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Demo and decide is right. It seems most comments/reviews are from people trying to justify their purchase, or trashing a plugin for something other than its quality (installation managers, for example).
Yes, I also think this way.
Also a famous brand, studio or engineer might influence a buying decision, I suppose.
Will your mixes have CLA's quality when you use his plugins?
Will you be as successful as Prince when you use IKM Sunset Sound Studio plugin?
Of course I am just kidding, but there is also some truth in the questions.
I also do not care whether a software emu is close to the hardware or not, because I do not know the hardware in most cases.
For me it's important whether a plugin works for me or not.
I do not want to start a hardware vs software discussion, but if a plugin was equal to hardware, then hardware production would have to stop or prices would have to drop drastically.
You can read a lot of comments stating this or that plugin is very close or even better than hardware.
So as I already mentioned, it's not important for me whether it's close or not, when it works for me, fine!
To use a big name like SSL and to make you think you have almost the same thing for way less money, that's very clever marketing!

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Old 10-17-2021, 01:12 PM   #13
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I do not want to start a hardware vs software discussion, but if a plugin was equal to hardware, then hardware production would have to stop or prices would have to drop drastically.
So as I already mentioned, it's not important for me whether it's close or not, when it works for me, fine!
To use a big name like SSL and to make you think you have almost the same thing for way less money, that's very clever marketing!
There is so much more to it than mere sound quality.
The continued existence of hardware is literally nothing whatsoever with sound quality. It is naive to assume a given plugin sounds exactly the same. It is also naive to assume superior quality has anything to do with hardware sales, or that the existence of genuine completely indistinguishable perfect replications in software would render equivalent hardware obsolete in practice.

I am not saying that every piece of hardware has a perfect equivalent in software, but that no matter how good the software there will always be a place for the hardware, even when or if it becomes technically obsolete, human nature being what it is people will always assume and perceive the originals to be superior. A certain amount of people will always want the hands on tactile experience of real gear. Physical gear demonstrates the investment that brings the stamp of authority. The shock and awe factor. Big studios and YouTube Influencers know this only too well.

Consider multiple competing contradictory organised religions have existed (and have been doing great business) for centuries.

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Old 10-19-2021, 10:57 PM   #14
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Frankly, I pay very little attention to any marketing or reviews. It's extremely seldom I encounter anything that is a meaningful improvement to my sound or my process.

I do follow Kenny, Bob Katz, Dan Worrel, Fabian, and a few others I consider experts, and read Tape Op from time to time, but even that is time lost that could have been better used making music. None of these (except Tape Op) tries to sell you anything or convince you their new widget is a miracle cure-all.

You don't get good by reading or watching videos or buying stuff. You get good by making music.
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Old 10-19-2021, 11:21 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Philbo King View Post
You don't get good by reading or watching videos or buying stuff. You get good by making music.
Well yes, but why did you have to go and bring some common sense into this!

Consume, consume, consume..
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Old 10-20-2021, 12:16 AM   #16
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Personally I only read negative reviews and take it from there.
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Old 10-20-2021, 12:17 AM   #17
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So far I have bought, chronologically;

Fortin Nameless....150 USD after free trial

Scuffham S-Gear.....150 USD after free trial

Then I got a free version of Arturia Analog Lab Lite.

I loved Analog Lite so much that the train hasn't stopped. But it has been reasonable.

I upgraded to Analog Lab IV for 35 USD.

Then when Arturia Pigments 3 came out for 69 USD Full Version I jumped on it.

I loved that so much that I upgraded Analog Lab IV to Analog Lab V for 35 USD.

I think once you find a vendor you can trust with amazing tech support like Arturia that just that aspect alone is worth the money. They have the best tech support ever.

I would never buy from a vendor just because of word of mouth. Arturia has proven its worth to me.

Demo or no go. I agree with what was stated above also. I really can't say any of the products available are worth more than 100 USD. You can find many options as good, maybe, for free or at the least cheaper.

Reviews and comments to me mean not much.

Give me a free demo that is a full version for two weeks and I'll know. If they don't do that they don't have confidence in their product.
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Old 10-20-2021, 12:31 AM   #18
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who I'm sure don't even produce music
If you aren't familiar with the people in the Ableton videos, I suggest you google them the next time you feel this way, and see for yourself how professional they actually are. I think Ableton is one of those companies that make a point of featuring people who are extremely competent at what they do.
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