Ethics Statement

Thousands of visitors come to Sonic Atlas each month looking for honest product reviews and buying guides. I value them and want to be completely transparent with them. This page serves as a public declaration of ethics to my audience and to other brands.

Do the Right Thing

I’ve adopted the mission statement from one of my previous employers, “Always do the right thing.

Whether it’s in my personal or professional life, I try to conduct myself with kindness, integrity, honesty, and respect for others. I invite anyone else reading this to do the same.

Product Reviews & Recommendations

I try to acquire all the gear and software that’s reviewed on Sonic Atlas. That means I either purchase it myself, or in some cases, borrow it for a brief period.

When I don’t currently have access to a product, I fall back on previous experience from my professional career in music education and retail. And if there is a knowledge gap, I’ll consult with friends and colleagues that I trust.

I won’t recommend a product unless I genuinely feel it’s going to be useful to my audience.

Affiliate Relationships

I often link to products and services outside this site. If you buy something from those links, sometimes those companies will pay Sonic Atlas a commission. It does not change the price you pay. For more info, see “How We Make Money“.

Relationships With Other Brands

Occasionally, brands reach out to me for sponsorship opportunities, offer free products, or purchase ad space on the website. In some cases, they’ve asked me to provide demo tracks for their marketing materials. Before working with any of them, I show them this page.

If I choose to work with a brand, it will always be because I actually use the product or service myself and genuinely trust the brand to provide excellent customer service and support. More importantly, I will always make it abundantly clear if a piece of content is sponsored, when I’ve received a free product, or disclose any other relationship I have with the company.

Offering free products never guarantees a positive review, or even a single mention on Sonic Atlas and its affiliated channels. If I do review a product, I will be as objective as possible and give my honest thoughts and opinions on it (even if they are negative).

The Purpose of Sponsored Content

For me, a sponsor should support and enable what I do with Sonic Atlas, not constrain or control it. Ideally it’s a win-win-win situation for the reader, the brand, and myself. Sonic Atlas will never be an extension of any company’s marketing team.

Non-Negotiable Terms For Sponsors

In regards to sponsored content and freebies, I’d like to make some points for the sake of clarity to my audience and partners. Potential sponsors must agree to these terms prior to working with me:

  • My work is my own. I create and produce each article, video, or audio track based on my interests and and what I think will be relevant and helpful to my audience.
  • My reviews are always as objective as possible and my opinions are always my own.
  • I do not accept payment to influence the outcome of a review.
  • To avoid any bias or conflict of interest, I do not submit previews of articles or videos to anyone for approval or revisions. No exceptions.
  • I won’t use any prewritten scripts or materials in my content. It’s appreciated when companies offer information about their products and services, but I will only include what I think is relevant and necessary in any articles or videos.
  • I have full control over my calendar. While I’m happy to work collaboratively when possible, no outside party can pay or otherwise influence me in return for scheduling priority, including embargo releases.
  • Sending me a free product does not guarantee I will review it or feature it in an article, video, or social media post. I do not create content in exchange for free products or services.
  • I only work directly with reputable brands.
  • I will not review “preproduction” versions of products or software. I prefer to use what will actually be delivered to customers.
  • I retain full control over what is shared on my accounts across all platforms.
  • I never include additional social media promotion in any sponsorship agreements (Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, etc).
  • I do not guarantee any number of views or any amount of audience engagement on any content I produce.

Use of AI in Creating Content

Given their nature, music and audio are very subjective topics. I also believe that people come to sites like this because they want honest opinions from humans, not robots. And as a creative myself, I want to support other creatives.

With those things in mind, you’ll never see any content that’s wholly generated by AI on Sonic Atlas. All the content is written, edited, and fact-checked by me or another human being.

That said, I use AI tools like ChatGPT and Google Bard to assist in other tasks:

  • Topic ideation & keyword research
  • Outlining articles
  • Generating writing prompts & overcoming writer’s block
  • Analyzing data

Have Any Questions?

If you have any other questions or business inquiries, feel free to email me

This page was last updated August 10th, 2023.