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Bill Phillips

Sound on Sound Review

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What does it take to get Sound on Sound to review Cakewalk? I've always put a lot of faith in their reviews and believe that the magazine and website are well respected in the music production industry. The routinely provide detailed technical reviews of DAWs. The last Cakewalk review was for SONAR Platinum in 2015.

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Yes, agreed.  Something odd there.  I subscribed to SOS for years but gave up a while ago as I found I was finding less and less articles relevant to me.

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Sound on sound has done plenty of reviews of cake software.  But there is nothing new to review, really, since bandlab bought out the software.  That was the last big news to hang any writing on, and the last cake review I know of was in tape op talking about just that.  If rapture pro 2 was released, or boardwalk by bandlab with large additions, the magazines would run reviews.  But it it hard to write a new car review if all they’ve done is add new tires to last years model, no matter how smoothly it now rides.

And as for the old complaint about money buying reviews, any publisher will look to review new products from advertisers.  That is how the BUSINESS works.  That doesn’t mean they will say 2+2= 5 or this $5 pre is a neve etc.  If too many readers buy  crap because of lies, guess what, they don’t buy your mag and your ad rates go down.  Doubling your losses.  That is how things work, not slipping money no one has under the table so a pet writer can waste their time trying to turn lead to gold.  It is the same for any review writing, be it daws or cars or better home and gardens.  So any conspiracy theories about payola is a an idiotic trope.  Please stop.

if bandlab releases new products they’ll get reviewed.  Until there is something good to review more than stability fixes and ergonomics, any review would simply be plowing the same field.

@

Ps writing on an iPad precludes a lot of easy editing, as you can tell from the copy.  

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1 hour ago, Alan Tubbs said:

Sound on sound has done plenty of reviews of cake software.  But there is nothing new to review, really, since bandlab bought out the software.  That was the last big news to hang any writing on, and the last cake review I know of was in tape op talking about just that.  If rapture pro 2 was released, or boardwalk by bandlab with large additions, the magazines would run reviews.  But it it hard to write a new car review if all they’ve done is add new tires to last years model, no matter how smoothly it now rides.

That's true. I hadn't thought about it in that way. I was thinking that over the last year, the Cakewalk "Bakers" at Bandlab have done a good job of maintaining and incrementally improving one of the best and most comprehensive DAWs available. And it's free.

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True that.  I actually like the fact there are usually no glitches when loading in the latest updates.  Still, I want some excitement and if bandlab releases new products I will be berry happy.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Ludwig Bouwer said:

Paying customers always come first, IMO.. :) Don't think money doesn't change hands to get reviews.

With Sound on Sound, that is total B.S. They run plenty of reviews from companies that don't advertise.

You're also overlooking a very important fact about demographics. Advertisers advertise in a magazine because they believe the readers are the target demographic for their product. Similarly, magazines want to review products that are of interest to their readership. The two often coincide. 

Having edited magazines, the single, most important factor in success is to have readers. Otherwise, a magazine  is of no value to advertisers. We'd often run articles that we felt would appeal to the readers, regardless of whether a company advertised or not. It brought up the number of readers for those companies that did advertise.

1 hour ago, Twisted Fingers said:

That's true. I hadn't thought about it in that way. I was thinking that over the last year, the Cakewalk "Bakers" at Bandlab have done a good job of maintaining and incrementally improving one of the best and most comprehensive DAWs available. And it's free.

Sound on Sound supports CbB every month, by publishing my column (which has run since Sonar was introduced). These cover the incremental improvements in a way that a once-every-few-years review cannot. 

This also proves my point regarding Bouwer's comments. Not only does BandLab not advertise CbB in Sound on Sound, it costs the magazine to cover CbB because they pay me to write the articles. But, they believe covering CbB every month is important to their readers.

Edited by Craig Anderton
Italicize magazine name
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Totally agree with everything @Craig Anderton said, but ironically the August 2019 issue just arrived here and doesn't appear to include his regular Cakewalk column. This is not unusual; I think each of the seven (7!) major DAWs take turns missing a "workshop" column each month.

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Its funny how some will assert something as being fact with no facts to back it up. I don't know who started adding "in my opinion" IMO or "in my honest opinion" IMHO, what else could it be in. Someones else's opinion?  

That is imo. LOL 

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Posted (edited)

I stand corrected :) Glad to hear SOS hasn't taken the route so many others have. 

Edited by Ludwig Bouwer

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10 hours ago, Ludwig Bouwer said:

I stand corrected :) Glad to hear SOS hasn't taken the route so many others have. 

Unfortunately, you are correct about "so many others have."

One thing many magazines do that does defer to advertisers is not running reviews of so-so products. However, I can't disagree with that decision. The number of pages is so limited, a magazine is much more interested in highlighting products that are worthy of consideration. Also, it's hard to convince reviewers to spend weeks dealing with something they find meh, when they'd much rather review something more interesting.

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On 7/31/2019 at 1:31 PM, Colin Nicholls said:

Totally agree with everything @Craig Anderton said, but ironically the August 2019 issue just arrived here and doesn't appear to include his regular Cakewalk column. This is not unusual; I think each of the seven (7!) major DAWs take turns missing a "workshop" column each month.

True...at least this time it wasn't because I was late getting the column in :)  But I will say CbB takes a lot fewer breaks than some of the other DAWs, because when the column isn't in an issue, people write to SOS and say "I sure hope you're not getting rid of the Cakewalk column."

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On 7/31/2019 at 10:25 AM, Alan Tubbs said:

Sound on sound has done plenty of reviews of cake software.  But there is nothing new to review, really, since bandlab bought out the software.  That was the last big news to hang any writing on, and the last cake review I know of was in tape op talking about just that.  If rapture pro 2 was released, or boardwalk by bandlab with large additions, the magazines would run reviews.  But it it hard to write a new car review if all they’ve done is add new tires to last years model, no matter how smoothly it now rides.

And as for the old complaint about money buying reviews, any publisher will look to review new products from advertisers.  That is how the BUSINESS works.  That doesn’t mean they will say 2+2= 5 or this $5 pre is a neve etc.  If too many readers buy  crap because of lies, guess what, they don’t buy your mag and your ad rates go down.  Doubling your losses.  That is how things work, not slipping money no one has under the table so a pet writer can waste their time trying to turn lead to gold.  It is the same for any review writing, be it daws or cars or better home and gardens.  So any conspiracy theories about payola is a an idiotic trope.  Please stop.

if bandlab releases new products they’ll get reviewed.  Until there is something good to review more than stability fixes and ergonomics, any review would simply be plowing the same field.

@

Ps writing on an iPad precludes a lot of easy editing, as you can tell from the copy.  

Hi @Alan Tubbs nice to see you here and thanks for SOS's support for Cakewalk over the years! Thanks for your insights. I fully appreciate the logistics of balancing editorial content with readership metrics :)

In case you hadn't seen it here is a link to all the new features that we've done in CbB.  Due to the volume of fixes recently it might look like we've been only doing maintenance but that isn't accurate. We've added tons of new features over the year that fully justify calling it a new product release. Since SONAR Platinum we actually stopped doing "new" products as opposed to a rolling updates timeline. I understand that can make it harder to pinpoint one release as a major one but if you look at any 6 month snapshot you will see several new features added. Some of the notable highlights over this year have been:

  • ARA 2 support
  • zplane élastique audio stretching and pitch shifting
  • BandLab import and export (preview feature)
  • Multi-clip slip stretching
  • Comping and Take lane enhancements
  • Smart tool customization
  • Selection markers 
  • VST Scan Sandboxing 

 

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And the Cakewalk community has spent the last year sharing and helping each other, and LOVING that Cakewalk has not only survived, it has flourished, with constant and productive stability and feature enhancements.  I think THAT is maybe the best news of all, thus far.

Bob Bone

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Noel, impressive  list over time.  Maybe someone should try to pitch It to the mags ...

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35 minutes ago, Alan Tubbs said:

Noel, impressive  list over time.  Maybe someone should try to pitch It to the mags ...

@Alan Tubbs Might you yourself have any clout with regards to this, as you're a regular contributor to the magazine in question? :)

And great job with all your reviews in SOS, by the way - the Cakewalk ones and all the others! :D

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Personally, if you complain about SOS, what's left to other magazines that write one article about Cakewalk every 10 years (like Mix or even MusicTech). 

Sound On Sound has almost every month a place for Cakewalk, covered by Craig Anderton. I've saved the link to my cellphone's main screen, and I share it with the community: https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/software/daw/sonar-cakewalk

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Recording magazine's current issue (August) has DAW's right on the cover. I instantly wondered if they would include Cakewalk. They didn't, but the list was very sparse generally--so not very comprehensive.

I think if a magazine like Recording did a DAW review and listed the main ones, and mentioned that Cakewalk was free, now that would turn some heads.

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