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Fuddled



Joined: 24/08/10
Posts: 14
A Review of the Moderators
      #882653 - 18/12/10 09:14 PM
Hello

I appreciate that this may be a contentious thread but I feel it is long overdue.

I am a casual user of this forum, as you can see from my post count. Music is my first love and it will be my last. I enjoy playing and recording and have found the advice offered through various threads on the forum to be, in general, excellent.

However, there are cracks appearing. Cracks that are steadily expanding and which are surprisingly not caused by the usual subjects. And these cracks are beginning to make the place and magazine much less appealing.

I don't think I'm alone in thinking this but I feel a number of the moderators are creating a very bad atmosphere with their postings. Their contributions to many threads are simply to put people down, patronise and lock or delete threads in which they have a differing opinion. I feel that many of them are not remaining impartial in their role. They are clearly letting their personal opinions cloud their judgements and actions. Their interaction with forum members is often of a superior, aggressive, bullying an worst of all, ignorant, nature. More often that not, threads can quickly decay due to the mods input. I often get the feeling that, in order to get some successful advice here, one has to first become accepted by the mods into their small gang; and if this fails to happen, the poster is quickly turned upon.

So what I'd like to know is; am I alone in thinking this? Does anyone else feel that something is wrong? Who are the mods? How were they chosen? Are theyreally the best people for the job or is it time for a reshuffle?

If I am out of order posting this, then I'm certain I will quickly be told and this thread locked, as this appears to be a recent trend around here. However, if I am talking sense, please let me know.


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thefruitfarmer



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 1707
Loc: Kent UK
Re: A Review of the Moderators new [Re: Fuddled]
      #882655 - 18/12/10 09:27 PM
I've just chanced across this....

...it's not as free and easy here as it was in say 2003, no.


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Anonymous
Unregistered




Re: A Review of the Moderators new [Re: Fuddled]
      #882663 - 18/12/10 09:45 PM
Quote Fuddled:

...Who are the mods? How were they chosen?...




Originally there were no mods, and then some staff and clued up users became mods. I think that for quite some time they were only four or so in number.

Then, a few years ago some people looked like they were pretty handy as users, i guess the 'management' decided they wanted some more mods. And although there wasn't a vote as such, there were a number of threads in an old 'off topic' forum where thre was a very strong 'community' atmosphere where certain people were sort of 'put foreward' so to speak.

The one i remember was Steve Hill. A lot of us said he would make a damned good mod and there were a couple of threads about it and a lot of people said 'aye'.

There were others too, good guys, knowledgable guys, and people said 'aye' and so it came to pass that in a loosely democratic way they became mods.

It's a bit like government. We vote them in and then... Well, you know the rest.


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Mike Stranks
active member


Joined: 03/01/03
Posts: 3612
Loc: Oxford, UK
Re: A Review of the Moderators new [Re: Fuddled]
      #882665 - 18/12/10 09:58 PM
Thanks for your post Fuddled. It comes across to me as a genuine query, but raising some concerns about the style and appropriateness of moderation here.

Perhaps I can give my take as I, too, have had growing concerns over the past few weeks.

I have no connection with any of The Mods and don't know any of them. I met Steve Hill at a concert once and we spoke for about 2 minutes.

My experience of these forums has been that if you have a genuine question then you are usually treated with courtesy by the Mods and most other members. However, there have been occasions when I and other posters have asked a question and have received a sarcastic or dismissive response. From my perspective these type of responses usually come from other members, not Mods. However, Mods can also be guilty of this approach on rarer occasions. I have disagreed with and challenged moderators on several occasions, either about their opinion or their dismissive response to other posters. This has never descended to a flame war.

Also from my experience there are some posters who seem to go looking for trouble - either deliberately or through lack of awareness of themselves or others. As has been said before, tone of voice, twinkles in eyes etc etc can't be transmitted in text and thus posts can appear harsh or sarcastic when maybe that wasn't the intention.

There seems to be a bit of a view that "I" can say what I like, refuse to accept a similar answer from several people and sometimes be plain childish and awkward, but that Mods must be saintlike and always 'whiter than white'. With some of the Mods it's easy to punch buttons that get them wound up, but, hey, the same is true of me on some topics! To me that isn't an excuse for a rant, but rather an indicator to choose words with care and to try and calm the situation.

There is another poster on these forums who I have challenged a couple of times about the way he responds to what he may think are 'dumb' questions. I sought to do this calmly and choosing my words with care. He responded in a similar vein and I've noticed of late that his responses, whilst still challenging, are couched in more moderate language. Everyone's a winner! However, there are others who seem to feel they can say what they like, how they like and everyone just has to put up with it "'cos that's the way I am...". In the recent threads that have caused concern I've felt that Mods have done their best to give early warnings, but these have either been ignored or ridiculed. OK, maybe the warnings were a bit OTT, but some seem to have regarded them as a call to arms, rather than a "OK, I don't agree, but I'd better back-off."

The bottom line is that this isn't "our" forum, it's SoS's. They choose the Mods and make the rules about posting. If we don't like the rules or the Mods then we can up and off.

I for one find these forums immensely helpful. They're not perfect, but they're much better than many other forums we could name. I shall be staying.


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
Posts: 20848
Loc: Worcestershire
Re: A Review of the Moderators new [Re: Fuddled]
      #882666 - 18/12/10 10:01 PM
Quote Fuddled:

So what I'd like to know is; am I alone in thinking this?




Probably not. There is a very small but very vocal minority of forum users who like to complain about moderation... usually when they have been the recipients or when they spot an opportunity to jump once again upon the bandwagon.

Quote:

Does anyone else feel that something is wrong?




Yes... that a very small minority seem to think it appropriate to abuse the hospitality SOS affords them.

Quote:

Who are the mods? How were they chosen?




A small team of very long-standing forum members who work on a voluntary basis after being chosen personally by the owner of SOS Publications. They work under the supervision of myself and are supported by Jenny who is another member of SOS staff. They have the full support of the owner and are empowered to act on his behalf in moderating this site to uphold the requirements and standards he has established and requires.

I should also emphasise that they work as a team on a concensus basis when it comes to making major decisions such as removing threads from the public site or banning users. Such actions are never at the whim of a single moderator.

Quote:

Are they really the best people for the job or is it time for a reshuffle?




The site owner certainly thinks so, and no he doesn't think a reshuffle is required... in that order. In fact he and I recently discussed the option of introducing some new moderators and decided against it.

Quote:

If I am out of order posting this, then I'm certain I will quickly be told




I think it's a perfectly reasonable set of questions to ask, and I hope my answers satisfy your enquiries.

I would caution against forming strong opinions on the basis of a minor and insignificant spat being blown out of proportion by a vocal minority working to their own agenda.

At the end of the day, this is a technical forum hosted for free by a commercial magazine. Perhaps some people lose sight of where it sits in the grander scheme of things...

Sadly, there are a few forum users who try to treat the music biz forum as a free and easy place for off-topic discussions, which is not what it is for. We reserve the right to moderate such discussions. End of story.

Hugh


--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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Random Guitarist



Joined: 01/04/08
Posts: 523
Loc: West Sussex UK
Re: A Review of the Moderators new [Re: ]
      #882667 - 18/12/10 10:20 PM
Quote:

It's a bit like government. We vote them in and then... Well, you know the rest.




You mean we can't get rid of them?

That's a joke BTW, in the vast majority of cases the mods are great.

I have run a couple of forums in the past, and it's amazing how much c**p you can get for absolutely nothing. And that's a problem in itself because when you do get a reasonable comment or complaint it can be hard to recognise it as such.

I pm'd Hugh Robjohns about a year ago regarding what I felt was heavy handed moderation in some forum areas. I received a considered and useful reply. I'd suggest that if you're concerned about a particular moderator or moderation of a topic you should pm in first.

There's a delicate balance involved in moderating and some people may well think that a particular mod is not balanced in their approach but I think pm is the first thing to do.

(just checked the thread before posting the above)
Of course, Hugh's latest post saying:

"There is a very small but very vocal minority of forum users who like to complain about moderation... usually when they have been the recipients or when they spot an opportunity to jump once again upon the bandwagon"

Doesn't sound terribly encouraging. If I pm again then is it because I spot an opportunity for a bandwagon or is it because I'm hoping that SOS is willing to evaluate peoples opinions of the mod's actions as opposed to what the mods thought they were achieving.

Maybe we should all just keep our opinions to ourselves and vote with our feet?

--------------------
I've never liked a solo violin, you need at least five for a proper fire.


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Anonymous
Unregistered




Re: A Review of the Moderators new [Re: Fuddled]
      #882669 - 18/12/10 10:33 PM
Quote:

The bottom line is that this isn't "our" forum, it's SoS's.




That is true, but surely all publishing is a symbiotic relationship between the publisher and the reader. And in the case of this new(ish) web forum phenomenon, that relationship is breath smellingly close.

If you look at the more succesful forums and the way they've been used by their 'owners' we can see that it's not all about owner/user. Look at say the Cockos forum (Reaper) which has created what is arguably the best DAW available at the price. The program was created by a team of developers, but it was virtually designed by the forum. And it's so successful because it didn't do the old "it's our program, bugger you because you're just the customer, you'll get an update when we say so and we'll respond to your bugfix request when we see fit!" The 'owners' realised that to produce a product that the customer wanted, they had to listen to the customer... It makes a lot of sense.

People like Google have built one of the biggest companies in the world by giving the customer what they want; in the form of searches and now targeted advertising. It's all user driven, that's the dynamic for the new frontier. The newspapers are realising, the news agencies are using their user information, Radio 4 are discussing issues raised and gone hot on Twitter.

The users/customers are one side of the deal, and the publisher is the other.

Now that may revert back to the nineties, i don't know. But for now, yes, it's their forum, but it wouldn't be here without you.


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Anonymous
Unregistered




Re: A Review of the Moderators new [Re: Fuddled]
      #882671 - 18/12/10 10:54 PM
Quote:

Own agenda




Well yes, there is an agenda, but it's not evil, or written down or hidden...

... it's the same bloody agenda people had when they were here, and that was to help to build it up into the hottest resource on the web for all aspects of music. There's no desire to destroy it, the opposite is true.


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* User requested
...




Joined: 31/08/05
Posts: 1693
Re: A Review of the Moderators new [Re: Fuddled]
      #882694 - 19/12/10 07:28 AM
Quote Fuddled:


So what I'd like to know is; am I alone in thinking this?




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C73NjVQoRww


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Tui
active member


Joined: 02/09/02
Posts: 3276
Loc: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Re: A Review of the Moderators new [Re: Fuddled]
      #882794 - 19/12/10 09:07 PM
Quote Fuddled:


So what I'd like to know is; am I alone in thinking this?




No. It's sort of an old horse, though... Has been flogged to death.

Mind you, the situation has got a lot better since the closure of the Off Topic section. I gather there are now less opportunities for self-righteous indignation.



Are there any particular threads or posts that seem out of line to you?


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Fuddled



Joined: 24/08/10
Posts: 14
Re: A Review of the Moderators new [Re: Fuddled]
      #882928 - 20/12/10 02:42 PM
Hello Tui,

I do miss you.

Yes there are certain threads that have irked me and in particular there is one 'Moderator' who I genuinely believe should be politely asked to step down from his hill. However, as per Hugh's response to this thread and a similar on from Jennifer Jones in another thread; It just strikes me that ignorance is bliss. If the site owner is happy with the way this place is run, then there's absolutely nothing us simple commoners can do about it. It is not our forum, as we a repeatedly reminded and if we do not like the way it run run, then there is only one option.

Goodbye.


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* User requested
...




Joined: 31/08/05
Posts: 1693
Re: A Review of the Moderators new [Re: Fuddled]
      #883025 - 20/12/10 08:39 PM
Quote Fuddled:


Yes there are certain threads that have irked me and in particular there is one 'Moderator' who I genuinely believe should be politely asked to step down from his hill.




Could you perhaps give us a small clue as to whom you are referring?

Thanks.


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geefunk



Joined: 05/08/05
Posts: 1716
Loc: Bristol, UK
Re: A Review of the Moderators new [Re: Fuddled]
      #883035 - 20/12/10 09:30 PM
I went to visit a friend in Washington a few years ago. On my way to Heathrow I got a coach. Now anyone who has ever gotten a coach/bus/taxi in this country will know the driver is rarely the happiest of chaps - ranging from surly to downright abusive!
When I got to the US, I got a coach, bus and a taxi and was greeted to such a different experience. When I recounted this story to my American friend, and offered some apology at how awful an experience it must be to be treated so rudely by the British counterpart, he simply shrugged, smiled and said:

'well, to be honest - we expect it! In fact, you don't feel like you've had a proper visit to the UK until you've been told-off by a grumpy bus driver!'

that's how I feel about visiting SOS - I know it will happen, and it doesn't feel right until it does. In a strange way, it's part of the charm!

--------------------
I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill and think things over
Twitter


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Paul Wild



Joined: 11/01/11
Posts: 4
Loc: London
Re: A Review of the Moderators new [Re: geefunk]
      #886665 - 12/01/11 12:16 AM


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Kwaidan
member


Joined: 26/06/03
Posts: 431
Loc: UK
Re: A Review of the Moderators new [Re: * User requested deletion *]
      #895391 - 17/02/11 07:35 PM
Quote Wes Bridgford:

Quote Fuddled:


Yes there are certain threads that have irked me and in particular there is one 'Moderator' who I genuinely believe should be politely asked to step down from his hill.




Could you perhaps give us a small clue as to whom you are referring?

Thanks.




The clue is at the end of his sentence!


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turbodave



Joined: 25/04/08
Posts: 2321
Loc: derbyshire uk
Re: A Review of the Moderators new [Re: Kwaidan]
      #898327 - 02/03/11 02:21 PM
Quote Kwaidan:

Quote Wes Bridgford:

Quote Fuddled:


Yes there are certain threads that have irked me and in particular there is one 'Moderator' who I genuinely believe should be politely asked to step down from his hill.




Could you perhaps give us a small clue as to whom you are referring?

Thanks.




The clue is at the end of his sentence!




I think he knew that!

--------------------
My head hurts!


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Rodmps



Joined: 22/12/05
Posts: 26
Re: A Review of the Moderators new [Re: Fuddled]
      #900517 - 12/03/11 05:20 PM
See?

Hugh's comments above come off to me as being snarky and condescending. The very point the original post made.

As for Mike, well, maybe if you keep up the good work you can grow up to become and SOS mod someday. You have the right attitude and I'm certain it is only a matter of time.

The heavy handed moderation chaps me and Hugh and Steve's bland ignorance of why it would be a problem for some was the main reason I decided to NOT renew my print subscription. I went with and e-sub and I will probably not renew that if they can't get some different people who aren't so full of themselves to run this forum.


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Mike Stranks
active member


Joined: 03/01/03
Posts: 3612
Loc: Oxford, UK
Re: A Review of the Moderators new [Re: Rodmps]
      #900570 - 12/03/11 11:57 PM
Quote Rodmps:

See?

Hugh's comments above come off to me as being snarky and condescending. The very point the original post made.

As for Mike, well, maybe if you keep up the good work you can grow up to become and SOS mod someday. You have the right attitude and I'm certain it is only a matter of time.

The heavy handed moderation chaps me and Hugh and Steve's bland ignorance of why it would be a problem for some was the main reason I decided to NOT renew my print subscription. I went with and e-sub and I will probably not renew that if they can't get some different people who aren't so full of themselves to run this forum.




Thanks!

I fear I have little growing-up left to do - I'm pushing 61 now.

Could I suggest you read my post again... slowly. I was critical of the way that Mods over-react at times - and still retain those concerns. But how does getting all sarcastic with people - as you have done - engender any sort of progress? Is there likely to be any moderation of moderating in that approach?

Best wishes. Mike


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Joined: 31/08/05
Posts: 1693
Re: A Review of the Moderators new [Re: Mike Stranks]
      #900908 - 14/03/11 03:42 PM
Quote Mike Stranks:

Quote Rodmps:

See?

Hugh's comments above come off to me as being snarky and condescending. The very point the original post made.

As for Mike, well, maybe if you keep up the good work you can grow up to become and SOS mod someday. You have the right attitude and I'm certain it is only a matter of time.

The heavy handed moderation chaps me and Hugh and Steve's bland ignorance of why it would be a problem for some was the main reason I decided to NOT renew my print subscription. I went with and e-sub and I will probably not renew that if they can't get some different people who aren't so full of themselves to run this forum.




Thanks!

I fear I have little growing-up left to do - I'm pushing 61 now.

Could I suggest you read my post again... slowly. I was critical of the way that Mods over-react at times - and still retain those concerns. But how does getting all sarcastic with people - as you have done - engender any sort of progress? Is there likely to be any moderation of moderating in that approach?

Best wishes. Mike




Like Rod says Mike. You really would make an excellent moderator of this forum.


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Mike Stranks
active member


Joined: 03/01/03
Posts: 3612
Loc: Oxford, UK
Re: A Review of the Moderators new [Re: * User requested deletion *]
      #900992 - 14/03/11 09:30 PM
Quote Wes Bridgford:

Quote Mike Stranks:

Quote Rodmps:

See?

Hugh's comments above come off to me as being snarky and condescending. The very point the original post made.

As for Mike, well, maybe if you keep up the good work you can grow up to become and SOS mod someday. You have the right attitude and I'm certain it is only a matter of time.

The heavy handed moderation chaps me and Hugh and Steve's bland ignorance of why it would be a problem for some was the main reason I decided to NOT renew my print subscription. I went with and e-sub and I will probably not renew that if they can't get some different people who aren't so full of themselves to run this forum.




Thanks!

I fear I have little growing-up left to do - I'm pushing 61 now.

Could I suggest you read my post again... slowly. I was critical of the way that Mods over-react at times - and still retain those concerns. But how does getting all sarcastic with people - as you have done - engender any sort of progress? Is there likely to be any moderation of moderating in that approach?

Best wishes. Mike




Like Rod says Mike. You really would make an excellent moderator of this forum.




Well you probably didn't mean it as a compliment, but I shall take it as one!

... but in the most unlikely event that I was asked to be a Moderator then I wouldn't agree to it until we'd established a few things about how some moderators have somewhat itchy trigger-fingers at times. (And that statement in itself probably seals my "moderation" fate! )

Can we move on now... we're talking about stuff over which we have no ultimate control anyway?

Love and kisses to Nottingham!


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. . . Delete This
Here be Dragons


Joined: 23/06/08
Posts: 3888
Re: A Review of the Moderators new [Re: Mike Stranks]
      #901254 - 15/03/11 10:18 PM
i for one would be open to the concept of that discussion Mike.


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shufflebeat



Joined: 09/12/07
Posts: 2968
Loc: Manchester, UK
Re: A Review of the Moderators new [Re: Mike Stranks]
      #918648 - 07/06/11 12:24 AM
Quote Mike Stranks:


Best wishes. Mike




Quote Mike Stranks:


Love and kisses to Nottingham!




You see! That's just the kind of considerate, measured and polite response that has no place in a forum like this.

I despair!!!

--------------------
Anagrams can be fnu.


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Dynamic Mike



Joined: 31/12/06
Posts: 1841
Re: A Review of the Moderators new [Re: Fuddled]
      #918928 - 07/06/11 11:41 PM
Personally I've never had an issue with any of the moderators, even when we had the OT forum. In fact if anything I think the OT forum gave the mods an opportunity to express themselves & vent their spleens, and yet it rarely seemed to spill over into the regular forum. However, I think it would be better if mods didn't moderate the parts of the forum for which they take responsibility.

I suspect a reshuffle might be healthy in certain areas of the forum simply because the same questions tend to come around so regularly that it must get tiresome for some mods & sometimes it shows in their response. I'm thinking more of the generic areas than the highly specialised ones. Also occasionally threads are raised by mods clearly inviting what Mrs. Merton would call 'a heated debate' & then locked as soon as they do.

However a serious question generally elicits a serious answer, and surely that's the primary function of the forum. I think the acid test of a post should be is it offensive/inflammatory, or is it spam/procurement, in which case it should be addressed. Otherwise even if it's boring, tiresome, irritating, repetitive or just plain wrong, it's obviously the poster's opinion & should be respected as such.

Now if you really want to see immoderate moderation in action, take a look at the steinberg forum, and you'll realise how easy going SOS is in comparison!

--------------------
Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of the poster by the time you read this.


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geefunk



Joined: 05/08/05
Posts: 1716
Loc: Bristol, UK
Re: A Review of the Moderators new [Re: Fuddled]
      #919480 - 10/06/11 07:58 AM
I for one would heartily recommend Desmond as a Mac Music Mod if the job were to come up....he consistently gives great advice, seems to know Logic inside out, and has that right balance of sternness and grace the job would require!

--------------------
I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill and think things over
Twitter


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turbodave



Joined: 25/04/08
Posts: 2321
Loc: derbyshire uk
Re: A Review of the Moderators new [Re: geefunk]
      #919814 - 11/06/11 03:30 PM
Quote geefunk:

I for one would heartily recommend Desmond as a Mac Music Mod if the job were to come up....he consistently gives great advice, seems to know Logic inside out, and has that right balance of sternness and grace the job would require!



If he wore a rubber suit and a gimp mask I , for one, would also vote for him. I like stern moderators!!! Dave

--------------------
My head hurts!


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