Category Archives: bands

Reverbnation partners with SoundOut

A few weeks ago, I came across SoundOut. It’s a website where independent musicians can upload their songs and get feedback on their music from anonymous users. It’s similar to what we are doing. But SoundOut is a paid service and charges outrageous amount of money for song reviews. It charges $45/song for 125 reviews and $195/song for 250 reviews. Holy crap. These guys are big time crooks. The reviews are blind and they come from users who are paid about $0.05 per review. So basically SoundOut is paying the reviewers 125 x $0.05 = $6.25/song and taking $125 per song from the musicians. I will let you do the math. And I don’t thing making approximately $0.05 per review should be the incentive to provide great feedback on songs. This is crowd sourcing gone awfully wrong. And on top of that, Reverbnation is partnering with SoundOut to provide paid reviews to its users in a new service called “Crowd Review“.

I don’t know what to say. This is a big ripoff and struggling artists who are already broke are paying large amount of cash to get feedback on their music.

NEW features being added

We are growing very slowly :-0) but we are excited. We wanted to let you know of some of the features we have added to the site to make song reviewing and critiquing more fun.

First and foremost, users are now able to upvote/downvote ratings. If the song review is descriptive and provides value, users can upvote those ratings. The person who did the rating will gain points and build up their ‘reputation’. And if the review is of low quality, users can downvote those ratings. And the rater will lose ‘reputation’. This concept is very similar to stackoverflow and we think it would be fun to implement the same idea for song reviewing.

A user can build reputation either by uploading songs that are highly rated by others or by writing really good reviews and accumulating points. With high reputation, a user will be able to gain privileges in the site. For example, each vote of a user with high reputation will have a ‘heavier’ vote when they rate others. Thus, they will be able to influence the ratings of a song much more compared to an ordinary user. We are still figuring out other privileges we could provide to those users. Any feedback is appreciated 🙂

There are a few rules we have put in place for upvoting/downvoting.

1. A user cannot downvote a rating of their own song.

If someone writes a review of my song that points out the flaws in the song, I might not like it and downvote that rating. That is not what we want. Therefore, we are not allowing the song owner to downvote any of the ratings however unpleasant they are. Only other users are able to downvote such ratings. The song owner can however upvote the rating to motivate the rater to write good reviews.

2. A user cannot upvote/downvote a rating that has no comment in it.

SInce a rating can only have score and does not need to have a comment, users can only upvote/downvote a rating that has a comment in it.

3. You cannot upvote/downvote your own rating.

This one is pretty common sense. If you are the one who did the rating, you cannot upvote/downvote your own rating.

 

Some other features we have implemented:

  • Song play history. Even anonymous plays are tracked based on IP address location.
  • Points accumulated are display on the user’s profile page.
  • FAQ page has been updated.
  • Users can comment on each rating. Prior to that, you could only write comments on the song page or the profile page.

Coming Soon:

  • Song rating preference. You can select multiple genres and countries to choose the songs from while rating.
  • Email alert preference. You will be able to control what kind of email alerts you would like to receive so that we don’t fill up your inbox.
  • Privileges on the site based on your reputation.

 

Please keep checking out the site regularly. We hope to make this site a fun place for musicians who are looking to get feedback on their music and we hope you will make friends along the way.

Today’s music is crap

I am appalled by today’s music scene. “I don’t care, I love it!”. I have heard this song so many times lately and I even looked up the lyrics. It makes no sense. The tune is kind of catchy but at its core, it’s empty and shallow. Just like that song “I know it’s crazy but here’s my number. Call me maybe”. And the same tune is repeated over and over. I think this song is going to last a few months and in these few months, the artists will have become millionaires, sold a few million records and the song will eventually fade into oblivion. As a listener, I got entertained for a few days but it did not really “touch my soul” with its music or lyrics. And these are the artists that are getting insanely rewarded today. On the other hand, there are many artists out there who have been playing gigs for the last five or six years and still struggling to make ends meet. Many of these struggling artists are creating good music but no one is paying any attention. It looks like either the market for good music is diminishing or it’s getting extremely hard for these struggling artists to be successful because all the crappy music is dominating radio and television.

I have also been noticing lately that many of today’s songs are targeting young people and talking about partying and just having fun. All of them are molded into dance music to make it more salable. I guess dance music is selling right now. It’s ok to make this kind of music but it should not be the dominating genre. Good music should make an impression on the listener that lasts a lifetime. It should evoke deep emotions and really “talk” to you. There are many good songs from the 70’s and 80’s that are still relevant today. They never get old because they talk about human suffering and emotions. They talk about the real stuff. They focused on their emotions instead of trying to make music that sells. Can you imagine Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon selling like hot cakes today? Not likely. It’s a great album because Pink Floyd did not care if it’s going to be liked by the masses or if it actually makes tons of money. Maybe they did care about the money part a little bit, but they still stayed true to their inner feelings and emotions. It’s a depressing album, but still a masterpiece, and I can’t imagine today’s generation falling in love with it if they heard it on the radio, if it even made it to the radio in the first place.

So, what does it all mean? I feel sorry for today’s young generation. They are being fed high fructose corn syrup by the media companies. Please turn off your radio and TV. Don’t let them mold your mind. It’s more profitable to them that way. It’s like watching PBS documentaries versus some reality show on television. The reality show will provide you short term entertainment but watching PBS will broaden your horizon and give you new perspective.

Great free tutorials to improve your recording and mixing

When I first started creating my own music back in 2005, I was pretty much clueless on how to properly record and mix my songs. I did not know about panning or equalization techniques and my songs sounded horrible. I used to post them on garageband.com for others to rate them and got some pretty nasty reviews. But I used the criticism to improve the quality of my recordings. Although, I have to admit I really got offended by some of those comments in the beginning.

Around that time, I found some great tutorials online that were invaluable to a home recording enthusiast like myself. http://tweakheadz.com/ was one of them. I think it was started back in late 90’s by a guy named Rich. It has all the techniques you need to create great sounding records. From tracking to mixing and mastering, you will learn a lot regarding what it takes to create professional sound. So, I encourage you all to check out that site.

Another website that has some comprehensive recording techniques is http://therecordingrevolution.com/ created by Graham Cochrane. It’s a newer site but has a lot of video clips showing how to fine tune your home recordings.

Although I have come a long way from those early days, I still have a long way to go and I am still learning new techniques. I hope you will find these tutorials very helpful.

 

The need for song reviews

I am an amateur musician myself. I compose and record songs on my computer from time to time and I like to get feedback on my songs from other musicians. These are mostly home recordings. You can checkout some of my songs in my profile page. There used to be a site called garageband.com which does not exist anymore. It was a great site to get valuable feedback from other musicians to improve my songwriting and song mixing skills. There are still many forums out there where musicians can upload their songs for others to review but forums are not scalable to thousands of users. What we need is a dedicated platform to get song critiques from musicians from all over the world.

I am hoping that other musicians like myself will be able to use http://www.tonearena.com to get valuable feedback and reviews from other musicians and I hope you will have fun while doing so. If you have suggestions on improving this site, please email me at tonearena@gmail.com.

What do you all think? How should music reviews be done?