Does this new "About the Studio" page make my butt look big?

March 21, 2009 1:51 PM

I know, not a very clever title. It's all part of a general spring cleaning on the Steam Powered Studio website.

The About page in question

I run the recording studio on fan sponsorships. Well, they're sort of a bonus, because I'd be doing this anyway, but sponsors do get access to the catalogue of songs, which I am teasing here-

fake catalogue page

I don't charge anyone to record here, and that allows me to be choosy. There's more about sponsorship here-

Wanna Be a Sponsor?

There are songs on the homepage (and in the archives) for downloading. That is


I've been at this since sometime last century. Not wildly successful, but I've seen some increased traffic just lately. Your comments invited...
posted by Liv Pooleside (10 comments total)

It looks pretty good. I would only suggest that the font sizes seem a tad small in places, and there's a general lack of cohesion in look/colors on the pages. But, some of this is personal preference, so take it with a grain of salt. :-) Otherwise, it looks like a nice operation!
posted by wastelands at 2:33 PM on March 22, 2009

On your "about 2" page: In general, there's no reason to have text in an image unless absolutely necessary. You can take the text and put it into the HTML and people can resize as needed.

Aside from that, looks like a pretty standard informative website. So long as it has everything you need in it, there are no major design problems that would prevent people from getting to the info.
posted by chimaera at 10:11 PM on March 22, 2009

Someone suggested that I add 15 second samples to the catalogue page.

Do you like having short samples, or do they tend to piss you off?
posted by Liv Pooleside at 3:47 AM on March 23, 2009

If you don't want to upload full songs (I recommend at least a few full songs), then I prefer 1 minute samples. Hard to get the sense of a song from 15 seconds.
posted by chimaera at 9:40 AM on March 23, 2009

Over the course of a month I'll run two or three "featured" older songs for downloading, plus some works in progress and/or new releases in the "blog" section.

I don't like short samples much, but I understand the utility of them.

Part of this is about basic surfing habits. When I discover a new site that looks interesting, I want lots of things right away. I think most people are like this. But from the producer side, it's about trying to sustain interest, and sort of leak things out (because really, there's only so much you can generate in a month!)
posted by Liv Pooleside at 4:16 AM on March 24, 2009

One thing that I had a little trouble with was the links. You're using pics to take you to different parts of the site and it can get kinda confusing. example: if I'm a sponsor how am I supposed to know I need to click on the fishing pole picture? You do write underneath the pic about being a sponsor but the text is so small and easily looked over. You also have a lot of information on that page and the "wanna be a sponsor" message blends in.

I think it would help to have some kinda dividing scheme for each part (differing fonts, more separation between each section, borders, IDK) you kinda just throw everything on that "About" page and it all just blends together. Pretty much all areas of the page link somewhere and I think it would help to make it more clear what exactly I'm getting linked to. The whole bottom half of the page links to the main page, which is fine I guess but kinda a weird way to make a website. Maybe add a menu like you have on the main page? It would add consistency to the site for sure. Also, on the main page your "About" link is super small and easily looked over.

Overall the site has all the information there but it's not that easy to navigate. As far as samples I think they're definetlely a must have, if I'm a potential sponsor I wanna know what kind of sound you're cranking out of your studio. Different kinds of samples from a variety of genres would give me a good idea of what kind of sound your studio can provide.

On a side note it's a super cool idea, having a sponsor funded studio is awesome and I can see by all the people you've recorded that it's doing fairly well. The about page was pretty funny too. One last thing, I tried to look up where you're studio was and I couldn't find it anywhere. I eventually found where to send you an email but like the rest of the site that link was accidentally stumbled upon. I think a "contact us" with an address or even city/state would be helpful.
posted by BrnP84 at 9:31 PM on March 24, 2009


Thanks for the critique!

My coding skills are poor, but I think I can fix some of these things. Making "button" areas more obvious is a good point.

For the about page I generated one big graphic, adjusting the photos and text until I liked the look of it, then sliced it up to make it load quicker (and create link sections). All very old school, I guess, but I'm a visual person.

Code for me still means a text editor.
posted by Liv Pooleside at 3:53 AM on March 25, 2009

Oh, god, I wanted one of those Fostex 8-track reel-to-reels so bad I could taste it when they came out. I think it's a great page, considering what it is you do there.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:29 PM on March 30, 2009

I wanted one of those Fostex 8-track reel-to-reels so bad I could taste it when they came out

Me too, me too. By the mid 1980's I had experienced recording with one of those Teac 4- track machines. 4 tracks, sound with sound, (or was it "sound on sound"?)- it was amazing!

In fact, the project I used that on is still one of my favorites. The bass was so fat on those machines! Not so much on the (Tascam?) 8-track 1/2", which I was able to borrow sometime later.

The little Fostex, on narrower tape (with noise reduction) sounds much more musical somehow.
posted by Liv Pooleside at 6:53 AM on April 10, 2009

At last, there are some samples posted on the public catalogue page.

Some freebie full tracks, too. Just the first couple of artists so far.
posted by Liv Pooleside at 3:56 AM on April 28, 2009

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