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Hi Gang

 

We’ve been putting in a lot of effort behind the scenes to drive improvement in our site, community, our site on other platforms, and our sister sites.

 

All the work we are doing is to better provide you, site users and community members, with what you need to move forwards with your music, to help you to set realistic goals, and to achieve the goals that you set yourself.

 

To do all that and build a healthy community, we need:

  • Members feeding ideas into our site and community, suggesting what it could be, to help build it into what it will be for you.
  • Our community (you!) to bring others in, after all, members are the core of our community.
  • Feedback about what works and what doesn’t work.
  • Encouragement. We are staffed by volunteers.

 

To be really clear, we want Songstuff to deliver what you want and need (if we can). Help us to help you.

 

Your thoughts, ideas and opinions are very welcome.

 

Cheers

 

John

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I don't typically give feedback about the site itself because I'm aware that my suggestions might either be costly or simply not worth the trouble. I would however like to make a few suggestions in terms of community engagement and transparency moving forward.

 

I will also tag a few people of interest for good measure because what I have to say might interest them. And if not, then that's cool too 👍 Either way the silence in this thread irked me, so... 😅

 

Anyhoo. Lets get to it. Naturally, I will try to keep any and all my suggestions realistic and in-line with what little I know about what you guys are planning moving forward. I will of course also understand, and take no offense, if none of my suggestions are possible / make sense. Honestly, its just a few things that have been on my mind, is all.

 

Songstuff Roadmap:

 

I've often seen you guys say: "We’ve been putting in a lot of effort behind the scenes". You've said that on multiple occasions. And, no, I'm not suggesting that you guys are just twiddling your thumbs. That's obviously NOT the case, and I REALLY hope that nobody gets it twisted. I think you guys are doing a fantastic job with this place and I mean it.

 

However. I think it would be nice if Songstuff had a visible roadmap of some sort that shows everyone your progress. One that's easy to access and can also be viewed by people who are not registered users. Said roadmap should also include some basic information that can be verified by the viewers, themselves.

 

And, no, I'm not suggesting that this roadmap should reveals all the cards. Just enough to keep people informed, interested, and incite them to stay and become more invested. It gives you guys the opportunity to elevate possible concerns and to demonstrate greater transparency moving forward. Especially if you're looking for potential staff members.

 

Bringing More Awareness To Your Record Label: (In Songstuff itself!)

 

This is actually something that I've been wondering about for quite some time. You see, when I first came here, I had no idea that you guys ran your own independent label. And while its true that you haven't hid it, if I didn't actively search to find more information about this place, due to sheer curiosity, there's a good chance that I might have never even known about it. Maybe even till this day.

 

I'm sure that there's a reason as to why you've decided not to give your label an actual spotlight. And by that I mean, one that's unmistakably visible on the front page of Songstuff, and is understood for what it is. So that people will know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that its not "just a forum", its also a place of business.

 

However, considering you're plans moving forward, I think it would be a good idea to bring more awareness to Red Circle 7, inside Songstuff itself, as well as bringing more awareness and attention to all the benefits that this place has to offer for its members, in Songstuff itself.

 

Again. I'm not saying that you're "hiding" anything. Its not a secret. However. I am saying, that, you're label is not all up in people's faces in here. And.. I don't know why that is. But I think that it should be 👍 If nothing else, I'm sure that many members would appreciate being given more opportunities to learn more about this place and about you guys!

 

'Casual' Community Interviews: (Monthly/Weekly cycles)

 

I vaguely recall seeing that you guys did interview some members in the past. But what about now? And what if the concept of interviewing Songstuff was given more of a 'casual spin' to it. A way to make the concept of being interviewed seem more accessible, relatable, friendlier, and far let less intimidating for musicians that don't have polished EPK's and sponsors coming out the woodwork.

 

In other words: A casual form of interview meant for the average Joe. An interview process that doesn't focus strictly on an artist's promotion. But rather, one that goes more like a fun casual conversation between musician, as a way to help ease members into the idea of being interviewed. It (the interview) wouldn't be too long either. Just enough to get the juices flowing.

 

Originally, this was a concept that I've been planning to experiment with through my Blog, for entertainment purposes. But perhaps this could be more fitting somewhere else that's more public on the site. I'd love to hear your thoughts about this idea because I think it could be fun. This place does tend to become "too serious" sometimes.

 

In case you're wondering, I think that this idea ('casual' interview cycles) should only apply to members that are actually active (Staff members included, btw. @Peggy@Mahesh@john). People like: @GregB@MisterB@subvibe@TheGarageJump@Glammerocity (..etc etc..). And I also see no reason why newer members can't be included. People such as: @Auburn@VSThost @Bridget Murphy and really anybody whose active and would like to share their insights 👍

 

Well. That's all I have to say to for now. Let me know your thoughts! 🫠 Obviously, not a single person that's been tagged is obligated to respond to any of this. If nothing else, you can consider this as a mild mention or possibly write this off as a mild annoyance.

 

But if you DID find this as being interesting, then by all means, share you're thoughts! 💬👍

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On 6/6/2024 at 6:35 AM, john said:

To be really clear, we want Songstuff to deliver what you want and need


I'm interested in anything VST (plugins, hosts, ...), cool MIDI controllers, and optimizing computers for audio. 

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On 6/7/2024 at 2:31 PM, VoiceEx said:

I don't typically give feedback about the site itself because I'm aware that my suggestions might either be costly or simply not worth the trouble. I would however like to make a few suggestions in terms of community engagement and transparency moving forward.

 

I will also tag a few people of interest for good measure because what I have to say might interest them. And if not, then that's cool too 👍 Either way the silence in this thread irked me, so... 😅

 

Anyhoo. Lets get to it. Naturally, I will try to keep any and all my suggestions realistic and in-line with what little I know about what you guys are planning moving forward. I will of course also understand, and take no offense, if none of my suggestions are possible / make sense. Honestly, its just a few things that have been on my mind, is all.

 

Songstuff Roadmap:

 

I've often seen you guys say: "We’ve been putting in a lot of effort behind the scenes". You've said that on multiple occasions. And, no, I'm not suggesting that you guys are just twiddling your thumbs. That's obviously NOT the case, and I REALLY hope that nobody gets it twisted. I think you guys are doing a fantastic job with this place and I mean it.

 

However. I think it would be nice if Songstuff had a visible roadmap of some sort that shows everyone your progress. One that's easy to access and can also be viewed by people who are not registered users. Said roadmap should also include some basic information that can be verified by the viewers, themselves.

 

And, no, I'm not suggesting that this roadmap should reveals all the cards. Just enough to keep people informed, interested, and incite them to stay and become more invested. It gives you guys the opportunity to elevate possible concerns and to demonstrate greater transparency moving forward. Especially if you're looking for potential staff members.

 

Bringing More Awareness To Your Record Label: (In Songstuff itself!)

 

This is actually something that I've been wondering about for quite some time. You see, when I first came here, I had no idea that you guys ran your own independent label. And while its true that you haven't hid it, if I didn't actively search to find more information about this place, due to sheer curiosity, there's a good chance that I might have never even known about it. Maybe even till this day.

 

I'm sure that there's a reason as to why you've decided not to give your label an actual spotlight. And by that I mean, one that's unmistakably visible on the front page of Songstuff, and is understood for what it is. So that people will know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that its not "just a forum", its also a place of business.

 

However, considering you're plans moving forward, I think it would be a good idea to bring more awareness to Red Circle 7, inside Songstuff itself, as well as bringing more awareness and attention to all the benefits that this place has to offer for its members, in Songstuff itself.

 

Again. I'm not saying that you're "hiding" anything. Its not a secret. However. I am saying, that, you're label is not all up in people's faces in here. And.. I don't know why that is. But I think that it should be 👍 If nothing else, I'm sure that many members would appreciate being given more opportunities to learn more about this place and about you guys!

 

'Casual' Community Interviews: (Monthly/Weekly cycles)

 

I vaguely recall seeing that you guys did interview some members in the past. But what about now? And what if the concept of interviewing Songstuff was given more of a 'casual spin' to it. A way to make the concept of being interviewed seem more accessible, relatable, friendlier, and far let less intimidating for musicians that don't have polished EPK's and sponsors coming out the woodwork.

 

In other words: A casual form of interview meant for the average Joe. An interview process that doesn't focus strictly on an artist's promotion. But rather, one that goes more like a fun casual conversation between musician, as a way to help ease members into the idea of being interviewed. It (the interview) wouldn't be too long either. Just enough to get the juices flowing.

 

Originally, this was a concept that I've been planning to experiment with through my Blog, for entertainment purposes. But perhaps this could be more fitting somewhere else that's more public on the site. I'd love to hear your thoughts about this idea because I think it could be fun. This place does tend to become "too serious" sometimes.

 

In case you're wondering, I think that this idea ('casual' interview cycles) should only apply to members that are actually active (Staff members included, btw. @Peggy@Mahesh@john). People like: @GregB@MisterB@subvibe@TheGarageJump@Glammerocity (..etc etc..). And I also see no reason why newer members can't be included. People such as: @Auburn@VSThost @Bridget Murphy and really anybody whose active and would like to share their insights 👍

 

Well. That's all I have to say to for now. Let me know your thoughts! 🫠 Obviously, not a single person that's been tagged is obligated to respond to any of this. If nothing else, you can consider this as a mild mention or possibly write this off as a mild annoyance.

 

But if you DID find this as being interesting, then by all means, share you're thoughts! 💬👍


We had a good chat about your post. Loads of good suggestions. I’ll post a longer reply, I just wanted you to it had been read and deliberated over.

 

We currently have 3 interview formats sorted out as preliminary ideas:

 

60 second self interview. It’s meant to be fun and a soft competition to get through questions within 60 seconds. Mahesh did one but kinda forgot the fun lol seriously though we’ve already had some useful feedback on it.

 

A 3 minute self interview. A bit more focused with a similar tone to Mahesh’s 60sec interview.

 

7+ minute interview 1 to 1 with a host, focused on the artist/writer/producer, maybe with a performance where appropriate.

 

I’m now thinking of a podcast+vidcast with members as guests, talking about their music, and talking about the music industry, other members music, Songstuff etc. much more of a chat format, that we can create clips from for promotion.
 

Of course, we’ll be looking for a host or two to help…

 

As for your blog, let’s chat and explore ideas

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On 6/5/2024 at 11:35 PM, john said:

- Members feeding ideas into our site and community, suggesting what it could be, to help build it into what it will be for you.

 

I'd like to see more members "feeding ideas" into our community with new music topics and engagement that reflect opinions, skills, struggles, successes, experiences, advice, questions, ideas, inspirations, business, industry, etc. :)

 

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On 6/10/2024 at 1:09 AM, VSThost said:


I'm interested in anything VST (plugins, hosts, ...), cool MIDI controllers, and optimizing computers for audio. 

For sure... start a new topic on any of these interest.  Here's another link that you might want to check out. 

 

 

I just update my Protools (2024.3.1) and there are 37 included apps & plugins updates and redeems .. oh my!!   

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  • Editors

I have a longer reply to add here. But all good suggestions @VoiceEx, we had an entire staff meeting talking about this. Some of the things we are hoping to incorporate for the near future.
 

  • A live document that constantly updates (in acceptable periodic intervals, because we are sooo short on hands here) with the various changes, updates or features. This may also include future goals and targets being laid out as well.
  • I'd love for us to bring more attention to the RC7 efforts. Me currently being the only artist release under the label currently (I heard John is coming with some new music too ;) ), I wouldn't mind the attention on my music either lol. One of the ideas we talked about in the meeting was a weekly podcast byte. Maybe John and I can answer some questions you may have? Maybe John and I can discuss a current task or priority we are working on? Maybe we can have other members contributing to the questions and answers? Again, hands! We'd love any of you who maybe open to editing videos or contributing to some of the efforts needed to bring something like this about.
  • A regular editorial space for our members to share their thoughts which can be propagated through our newsletters, social media, etc.,
  • And the interviews that @john was talking about. 
     


 

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On 6/10/2024 at 3:39 AM, VSThost said:


I'm interested in anything VST (plugins, hosts, ...), cool MIDI controllers, and optimizing computers for audio. 

 

Same here. My entire production flow is VST based. I started a YouTube channel on it, but I have trouble creating the content, and in particular editing videos. I tried a "rough and ready" format that didn't require much editing, but I still have issues, and it gets worse every time my day job gets really busy.  I keep flitting between a script and an outline, and they both have their pluses and minuses.  Scripts require a lot more preparation, and I usually find something comes apart in the delivery that puts me back to square one.  Outlines tend to get a bit on the waffly side, and end up being too long. 

 

Anyway, if I ever get it together with this, I'd be happy to make it part of SongStuff.

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I think there are two things that should be addressed before adding anything else (if that is indeed the intention. And excuse the tone - I tend to be very direct in my ideas, and sometimes they come across as being critical. That's not the intention. Obviously you'll decide what you think is the right thing to do for the site, so even though I say some of these things as what you have to do, they are only suggestions. They are my observations, and may be right, or not. I have been wrong before. The site is great, but I think it needs a little help in a couple of very basic areas.

 

Firstly the biggest problem I see as an occasional visitor is that a lot of new members introduce themselves then you never hear another peep out of them. Single posters. I think there could be a number of reasons, but the two that really spring to mind for me is a lack of engagement at that critical point, and a general difficulty in navigating the site. I also feel that a lot of new artists coming here are into new music, and a lot of the resources seems to be geared towards singer songwriter and rock (in it's many forms). So three questions to ask - how do we improve engagement for newly registered members, how do we add resources for a broader range of musical creatives and how do we make the site easier to navigate?

 

Taking the last one first, I think that the site is too complicated (too many things, some crossover and ambiguous purpose) and inconsistent in it's UI.

 

I always start my visits at the forum, and that's what I have bookmarked, but if you start at the home page, the direct route to the forum is right at the bottom of the page. You have the community link at the top but that doesn't get you directly to the forum, and whether or not it's your goal for the forum to be the center point of the site, it's absolutely where you'll get the most engagement and interaction, so it needs to be absolutely obvious how to get there from any other page in one click. 

 

There are too many compartments and it's not really clear what they're for. You have hubs, blogs, clubs and portals. What is each of these things for? If it doesn't have regular new content and regular visitors, I would seriously consider ditching it. Think about that for each of these things. I bet you could remove two of them at least, with zero impact. Good content could be converted to one of the surviving content types. Everything that survives a review should have an obvious purpose and one which does not overlap another.

 

Features is badly named. It's not clear what the purpose is. Make it more direct and focused. Make it obvious why someone should click on a link and get to that page.

 

I think resources will come over time, if the rest of the site is better focused. I think the key initially should be to increase regular engagement and then take things further as a next stage.

 

I don't have answers on how to better engage newcomers and encourage them to return, but I think that is the primary question you need to find the solution for. Look at other sites that have a similar thinking membership (KVRAudio and VIControl are two examples that come to mind). 

 

Other things to consider. 

- Who is benefitting with partnerships with other web sites? You should be trying to keep people here, not send them to another web site.

- I notice events give the user the opportunity to add the time zone, but it doesn't appear in the listing.

- There's a regular meeting for PMA members (whatever that is). The wording of the listing implies that it's related to membership of songstuff, but I don't think it is. Maybe the wording could be clearer so that there is no ambiguity - you're going to something really unrelated to Songstuff. I understand that events are submitted by members, but according to the page, they are approved... So it seems you have the power to suggest a change. 

 

I think I'll leave it there. Might come back for more. 

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On 6/10/2024 at 3:24 PM, john said:

We had a good chat about your post. Loads of good suggestions. I’ll post a longer reply, I just wanted you to it had been read and deliberated over.

 

No worries take you're time 👍

 

On 6/10/2024 at 3:24 PM, john said:

We currently have 3 interview formats sorted out as preliminary ideas:

 

60 second self interview. It’s meant to be fun and a soft competition to get through questions within 60 seconds. Mahesh did one but kinda forgot the fun lol seriously though we’ve already had some useful feedback on it.

 

A 3 minute self interview. A bit more focused with a similar tone to Mahesh’s 60sec interview.

 

7+ minute interview 1 to 1 with a host, focused on the artist/writer/producer, maybe with a performance where appropriate.

 

Sounds great! :) Perhaps you should also consider exploring shorts, commentary content, and long-form content (for those of us who enjoy seeing long interviews!).

 

On 6/10/2024 at 3:24 PM, john said:

I’m now thinking of a podcast+vidcast with members as guests, talking about their music, and talking about the music industry, other members music, Songstuff etc. much more of a chat format, that we can create clips from for promotion.

 

I would love to see a RC7/Songstuff podcast+vidcast from you guys! 😮 In fact, I'm not sure if you remember, a while back I had suggested something similar - Shifting to a full content creator 'mode'. You know, pumping out videos on a basis, scheduling interviews on a basis, reaching out to content creators, networking, a Discord community, similar brand collaborations, building more momentum on social media, live documentations, exclusive content, crowdfunding (etc). Basically Songstuff/RC7 "flexing" on over-drive - In all the right places 💪😅

 

In other words: I think that both Songstuff and RC7 are long overdue for the deluxe treatment. I know that this place has existed for a long time and has undergone significant changes over the years. Which is fantastic and I've often said that this is the best forum of its kind.

 

However, internal changes are meaningless to onlookers and new members. Not to mention, without there being some major changes from the ground up, my guess is that an increase or decrease in the population wouldn't make THAT much of a difference. Chances are that we'd have just more of the same.

 

Which is why I've suggested RC7 stepping out of the "shadows", breaking the stigma ("just a forum"), and utilizing the wealth of content that you guys already have, but with a more modern twist to it. This place is in die need of an 'injection' of young blood. And that audience isn't a fan of 'reading' 😅👍

 

On 6/10/2024 at 3:24 PM, john said:

As for your blog, let’s chat and explore ideas

 

As for looking for hosts and exploring ideas with my blog.

 

Hey if you think that I can contribute in some way, possibly as a host or even as a content creator, my door is open. I've recently retired, so I've got more time on my hands! Let me know if you're interested :)🤙

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On 6/11/2024 at 8:02 AM, Peggy said:

I just update my Protools (2024.3.1)

 

I stayed at 2021.3 ... the last version before they DOUBLED the Plan price (with just 2 weeks notice!).  I tried switching to Studio One but, for an occasional user, the drop in familiarity was a bridge too far (and a verse, chorus, etc.. 😄 

The frozen version still works fine but if and when it not longer works with later hardware/software, I'll go for the free INTRO version which will be enough to support anything I'm likely to do (10 audio 10 MIDI and 10 instrument tracks).  The stock EQ and Compression plugins are great and I'll fork out for the VST hosting plugin for all the free stuff that AVID doesn't provide.

 

Greg

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On 6/10/2024 at 10:24 PM, john said:

I’m now thinking of a podcast ... with members as guests, talking about their music

 

Don't forget, I've just started one to which Members have been invited ...

 

 .... available on Spotify (above), as well as Apple, Amazon, YouTube and Castbox.

 

Episode #3 has just been released.

 

Greg

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2 hours ago, GregB said:

 

Don't forget, I've just started one to which Members have been invited ...

 

 .... available on Spotify (above), as well as Apple, Amazon, YouTube and Castbox.

 

Episode #3 has just been released.

 

Greg


oh we haven’t forgotten you, in my best Groucho Marx waving his cigar, for you vee haaf plans!

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Just one thing to add at this point. The misuse of the introduction forum. Why not move the obvious promotional or critique posts out of there? If those promo/critique posts are no longer seen in that forum, new members will actually see what that forum is for and those kinds of posts should drop off considerably. If links change when that happens, you could say something like "moved to ... Forum" with a link to where it has moved to. While it can throw new members into the deep end, this is actually what they need kickstart their engagement on Songstuff and everyone is pretty gentle here, especially to those who took the time to fill out their profile.

 

I realize this is work for the mods. I'd be happy to become one for that forum and help out. I can commit to visiting the forum almost every day.

Edited by MisterB
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