HoboKa

Not cool bro panel.

108 posts in this topic

11 minutes ago, Gario said:

On the one hand it sucks to be told "You can't make it without forkin' the money!", but on the flip side people don't like being told "You can't do something with the tools you've got, but perhaps this different idea you didn't envision would work", either; most people don't like being told how to compose something. There does come a point where you do either need to pay or have some solid musician connections to achieve your artistic vision, unfortunately, so I'd be doing people no favors to pretend otherwise.

More or less just thinking aloud on here, but telling people what they should be composing is definitely overstepping my bounds, too, though in a different way than telling them they need to spend money does. Curious what a good compromise is for something like this - perhaps acknowledging you understand what they want to achieve, explain what would be necessary and give an alternative if the necessary method proves out of reach?

Exactly

Which is why I still say that the initial talking point is the most practical compromise that would result in a mixpost. Lo-fi tracks, regardless of intent, are either acceptable or not — full stop.

The part I bolded of your quote is also good, IMO, but really is just a more constructive and polite way of saying "make it like this instead". All depends on how badly the person wants to be OCR-approved, I suppose.

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8 minutes ago, AngelCityOutlaw said:

All depends on how badly the person wants to be OCR-approved, I suppose.

Oh shoot, forgot to give some disclosure here: As far as this convo is concerned, I'm speaking strictly on when I do mod reviews and judgments, here, who's sole purpose is to direct people on how to get posted on OCR. I give other feedback on tracks that I listen to, as well, since often getting posted isn't the goal. Kind of a dick move to tell someone that they need better samples to get posted when they just wanted to show their stuff to people, or publish it elsewhere where such requirements don't exist. I don't want to give the wrong idea on here; if I'm not careful people will be scared to show me their stuff because they'll think I'm gonna look at it forever in the eyes of OCR standards, lol.

Nope, I just critique like that when it's my job to do so. Might explain Hoboka's concern about me earlier, too. :P

 

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23 minutes ago, Gario said:

Oh shoot, forgot to give some disclosure here: As far as this convo is concerned, I'm speaking strictly on when I do mod reviews and judgments, here, who's sole purpose is to direct people on how to get posted on OCR. I give other feedback on tracks that I listen to, as well, since often getting posted isn't the goal. Kind of a dick move to tell someone that they need better samples to get posted when they just wanted to show their stuff to people, or publish it elsewhere where such requirements don't exist. I don't want to give the wrong idea on here; if I'm not careful people will be scared to show me their stuff because they'll think I'm gonna look at it forever in the eyes of OCR standards, lol.

Nope, I just critique like that when it's my job to do so. Might explain Hoboka's concern about me earlier, too. :P

 

I've already laid my concerns, but no one's taking them seriously except you (and possibly Timaeus222???) (staff-wise).  Far as DJP and Darkesword are concerned, I'm that bathroom mold that refuses to go away.  x_x

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57 minutes ago, Gario said:

Yes, I do my best to avoid telling people to "get better samples" in their music, but one does need to be careful not to step on the intention of the artist, either. On the one hand it sucks to be told "You can't make it without forkin' the money!", but on the flip side people don't like being told "You can't do something with the tools you've got, but perhaps this different idea you didn't envision would work", either; most people don't like being told how to compose something. There does come a point where you do either need to pay or have some solid musician connections to achieve your artistic vision, unfortunately, so I'd be doing people no favors to pretend otherwise.

More or less just thinking aloud on here, but telling people what they should be composing is definitely overstepping my bounds, too, though in a different way than telling them they need to spend money does. Curious what a good compromise is for something like this - perhaps acknowledging you understand what they want to achieve, explain what would be necessary and give an alternative if the necessary method proves out of reach?

Frankly, it is kind of a crapshoot. It isn't like in mixing where you can make a very good mix just using the bundled with the DAW. However, with synths or samples you've unfortunately gotta spend $$$. It kind of sucks to say it, but it is the truth. I mean I don't do orchestral music because I find the libraries 1 - Too Big 2 - Too Expensive and 3 - Too complicated. And this is coming from a guy who loves modular synths with more knobs than you can throw a stick at. But that doesn't mean everyone should be all synths all the time. I enjoy listening to well crafted orchestral takes on songs, and I like using real strings from time to time myself, but then again I kind of obfuscate them in my tracks because I just want the hint of realism and their additional qualities rather than having them as my main focus. But I do have some quite nice soundfont pianos because there a couple of good ones that are free. The best probably being the Salamander Grand Piano. But I digress.

If you recognize their intent then I do feel it is probably best to let them know that with their current tools they're unlikely to achieve what they want or are going for. This isn't really a disservice, but frankly a truth. Sure it is a bit cold, but what are you to do? I mean you don't have to come out and be a total downer when you say it. A lot about how you'd approach the situation is really just how you say it. At least that is what I've found. 

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2 hours ago, HoboKa said:

I've already laid my concerns, but no one's taking them seriously except you (and possibly Timaeus222???) (staff-wise).  Far as DJP and Darkesword are concerned, I'm that bathroom mold that refuses to go away.  x_x

You really need to stop making assumptions like this.

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7 hours ago, Gario said:

I've already quoted this once, but I've got more thoughts on it after sitting on it for a day.

Yes, I do my best to avoid telling people to "get better samples" in their music, but one does need to be careful not to step on the intention of the artist, either. On the one hand it sucks to be told "You can't make it without forkin' the money!", but on the flip side people don't like being told "You can't do something with the tools you've got, but perhaps this different idea you didn't envision would work", either; most people don't like being told how to compose something. There does come a point where you do either need to pay or have some solid musician connections to achieve your artistic vision, unfortunately, so I'd be doing people no favors to pretend otherwise.

More or less just thinking aloud on here, but telling people what they should be composing is definitely overstepping my bounds, too, though in a different way than telling them they need to spend money does. Curious what a good compromise is for something like this - perhaps acknowledging you understand what they want to achieve, explain what would be necessary and give an alternative if the necessary method proves out of reach?

Food for thought.

Ditto.  Also, usually an artist has his/her own stylistic vision for a song, and that's totally ok.  It's just not what OCR is looking for.  It's been said several times throughout the thread but OCR is not the end-all of videogame remixes.  In fact nowadays there are several ways to get your remixes out there regardless of stylistic vision or quality.  Not that I want to send anybody away at all, but OCR has had a quality and stylistic definition for what is an OCRemix for years and if you want your remix to be an OCRemix it just has to abide by that.

Regarding the bar, it hasn't changed in years and it's in a good place where it is, this is my opinion now and it was my opinion long before joining staff.  As an example to why I believe so, I didn't know about the "big bad koopa dubstep" remix posted in the first page until today.  That people reacted negatively to something they perceived was not up to OCR's quality is actually a great thing.  That means that people expect quality from us, and having the "bar" where it is has created a standard that people expect when opening a link featuring an OCR song.

Regarding judging speed/amount of judges, it's now a fact that more judges don't result on faster queue, on the contrary, when there has been a small team of people who have a good idea of where the bar sits, the queue moves faster.  The queue has been faster than it's ever been in years now.  Sadly, getting it faster is not as easy as saying it.  This is voluntary work, that people do it out of love for what the site represents, but voluntary still, which means that we all have other responsibilities besides judging, and as such we can't possibly have all songs evaluated as soon as they hit our inbox.  This will likely never happen on a system that has actual people reviewing the submitted work, nor here, nor anywhere else.  The current pace of "1 week to 2 months" to get a mix evaluated is, in my opinion, as good as it can realistically get.

Some remixes take longer because of split votes, because the judges are human and thus can't always agree on everything.  This is also very unlikely to change.

Scrutinizing YES votes even more than what we do now (we require 4 YES votes for a pass, only 3 for a NO) would make evaluation take even longer.  Complete counter to what we want.

I don't personally dismiss criticism on the process, and from what I see neither does the staff.  Otherwise we wouldn't be here, reading this.

On the whole PS1 era samples for a song etc, I think Gario summed up my views regarding this pretty well.  Plus, we don't require anyone to go out of their way and get the most expensive libraries out there.  Jorito already gave an example of his own, but I also can think of Rebecca Tripp, who I'm pretty sure doesn't have the most expensive libraries but manages to get on the front page quite consistently, with orchestral, folk and ambient remixes.  Outside of the symphonic realm, you can make ocremixes with free stuff, this is a fact, as I have at least a couple remixes on the site made 100% with completely free tools.  We really don't require perfect production at all.  

Regarding mixer's comments, like Gario I try to avoid them whenever possible because they get in the way of an unbiased evaluation.  Same with the other judges' votes, I try to just scroll all the way down and read them after I've written at least my initial thoughts (but before hitting submit).  Sometimes there's a good story behind the mix and I really appreciate that (this comes to mind) or the mixer's write up brings up some interesting points about how the track came to be or production techniques used, or the other judges have pointed out things that need more of my attention, etc.  All good stuff, but whether the mixer spent a year manually crafting the congas out of cow leather or if his intention was to make the song sound like an authentic Adlib Soundcard track without actually using an Adlib Soundcard has no bearing on whether it meets the expectations of being an OCRemix or not.  Not being an OCRemix doesn't automatically means it's bad or it's good, it's just not what OCR is looking for.

On the transparency side I'd be fine with that once (if ever) the process gets more automated on the submission side.  If at some point the process itself becomes something integrated properly with the website instead of being a manual process at all points (submission by email, separate upload, manual inboxing, manual creation of threads, etc.)  At this point it's a bit too messy to open it up and have it make much sense, IMO. It'll honestly be a lot of clutter plus probably more work for a staff that's already pretty busy.

Finally, I should really be working on the queue instead of writing a wall of text.

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I'll provide my thoughts on this. I've been following the thread since it started, but as it concerns judging, I don't think my position as an evaluator (on vacation) is all that relevant. But I have some insight into what goes on in staff, and tend to get posted when I sub something. So here goes.

*Make the panel faster - my current perception, without access to the judges' forum, is that things have slowed down significantly. The number of completed decisions threads dropped quite low during October, and the Currently in the Judging Process thread hasn't been updated since summer. For the record, I subbed something this summer, so the apparent state of things bugs me a bit for that reason too. I think the panel needs more judges. The biggest objection seems to concern breaking ties, but that can be resolved by just deciding that after 6 votes and still no majority, it'd get a formal "resub" response. When a resub isn't possible (live recording with live recording issues, lost project files etc), then it could be decided by a tiebreaker vote from djp. But the small active team vs. large team of less active people objection is valid too. I think that's a question of work ethic and perceived need for one's own effort, but that's a different conversation.

*Scrutinize Yes votes - Not sure what can be done here. It would be nice to get some numbers on submissions vs. form rejections vs. NO vs. YES vs. direct posts, but that's numbers someone's gonna have to put together then. But that's not quite what's being asked for in this thread.

*Valid criticisms - Yes there are. And you don't know what's being discussed (or what members of staff are trying to discuss) in staff forums and staff discord. And OCR has taught us all that criticism is useful.

*Nice writeups - This has been addressed. For me, when I do an eval, I first want to listen to the remix (and source), and if I don't understand what's going on, why it sounds a particular way and have an issue with it, then I might look for an answer in the first post or elsewhere in the thread. I'm of the opinion that things have to _sound_ intentional. A bad speaker/lofi radio sound intro has to be obvious. A chiptune section can't just be a section with super-simple synthwork. Intent doesn't matter there, writeups don't matter - sound does.

Although it would be nice to see more people say what DAW and instruments they used. Were the really cool strings in a mix from a big, expensive strings library, or some free soundfont? Is that guitar live or shreddage or a piano soundfont with distortion on it?

*Lower the bar slightly - Nah. But I would like to see some a remix compo where people only use the instruments and effects that came with the DAW. That would show what the basic tools are actually capable of in the hands of experienced and skilled remixers, which would give the clueless newbs and strugglings forum veterans something to learn from. Better yet if these compo mixes are submitted and pass the bar, because then it's official - what's in the box is good enough. For that set of genres and sounds, at least.

*Reconsider links in rejections - Not likely. Remixer privacy is an issue. There was recently a case of a remixer who was upset that his name was included in the rejection. I can understand where he's coming from. So when it comes to rejected mixes floating around, I'd rather mine didn't. But there's always the option of telling the panel to leave the link in. This could be added to the submission information on the Submit page.

Alex, dude, chill. You've got a good conversation going here. Don't derail your own thread by rushing unfiltered thoughts into it.

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6 hours ago, Rozovian said:

*Lower the bar slightly - Nah. But I would like to see some a remix compo where people only use the instruments and effects that came with the DAW. That would show what the basic tools are actually capable of in the hands of experienced and skilled remixers, which would give the clueless newbs and strugglings forum veterans something to learn from. Better yet if these compo mixes are submitted and pass the bar, because then it's official - what's in the box is good enough. For that set of genres and sounds, at least.

Quoted because I am rather intruigued by this idea. I would definitely be game for this, and I am pretty confident I could do it at a postable level. Of course, the sounds and tools in the DAW would really determine the style and the approach *), but at the end of the day it's all about being creative and come up with something that sounds good - to my ears, to listeners, and to the judges panel. That 'sounds good' part is a skill that needs to develop and grow over time, I've learned, and it takes work and effort. 

*) I have 2 DAWS I could use. The first one is my main workhorse, Logic Pro. Logic comes with a very extensive set of sounds, from (good quality) synths (Alchemy, to name one) to okay-ish instrument samples and good drums. The other one is Bitwig, which is more lean on supplied instruments and effects and has maybe 1-2 synths I'd call useable and a pretty limited set of sounds. While I might do a pop or rock track in Logic, the samples aren't good enough (IMO) for something orchestral, at least not as the main attraction. In Bitwig it's a whole different story. Because of the sounds and functionality available, I would probably opt for an electronic track, something EDM or synthwave, because that's the kind of music I think I can make with what's on offer and still get it to sound decent. Anything else with just stock would be a big big big challenge.

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1 hour ago, Jorito said:

Quoted because I am rather intruigued by this idea. I would definitely be game for this, and I am pretty confident I could do it at a postable level. Of course, the sounds and tools in the DAW would really determine the style and the approach *), but at the end of the day it's all about being creative and come up with something that sounds good - to my ears, to listeners, and to the judges panel. That 'sounds good' part is a skill that needs to develop and grow over time, I've learned, and it takes work and effort. 

*) I have 2 DAWS I could use. The first one is my main workhorse, Logic Pro. Logic comes with a very extensive set of sounds, from (good quality) synths (Alchemy, to name one) to okay-ish instrument samples and good drums. The other one is Bitwig, which is more lean on supplied instruments and effects and has maybe 1-2 synths I'd call useable and a pretty limited set of sounds. While I might do a pop or rock track in Logic, the samples aren't good enough (IMO) for something orchestral, at least not as the main attraction. In Bitwig it's a whole different story. Because of the sounds and functionality available, I would probably opt for an electronic track, something EDM or synthwave, because that's the kind of music I think I can make with what's on offer and still get it to sound decent. Anything else with just stock would be a big big big challenge.

Way back, there was an FL-based compo with that specific format, i.e. only using what was out of the box. It resulted in one of my personal favorites here, Rellik's Zelda II mix, "Mirror and Transparent".

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2 hours ago, Liontamer said:

Way back, there was an FL-based compo with that specific format, i.e. only using what was out of the box. It resulted in one of my personal favorites here, Rellik's Zelda II mix, "Mirror and Transparent".

I was going to say the exact same thing, only referencing a different compo and Welcome to my Kastle.

@Rozovian: Yeah, the last month or two have been slow.  But most of this year has been vastly faster than it used to be.  Pacing is always going to be irregular because we all have lives, but the days when the queue had multiple submissions in it that had been sent in a year or more ago are long gone.

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11 hours ago, Rozovian said:

*Make the panel faster - my current perception, without access to the judges' forum, is that things have slowed down significantly. The number of completed decisions threads dropped quite low during October, and the Currently in the Judging Process thread hasn't been updated since summer.

As much as I hate to admit it, if people are percieving that it's slowed down then there's something that we need to fix or address.

I can personally say it's considerably faster nowadays than it was a year ago (save for last month since as mentioned earlier an influx of projects slowed us down a bit - you can personally verify this, Rozovian :P), but if people can't tell this is the case then we need to do something about that. Updating the judging process thread is definitely one step toward that, which we've talked about here and will fix soon (if not someone else, I'll update it within the week). Of course, the problem with that is it's a manual process prone to staff just... not updating the thread. It's a lower priority item on the list of things to do, so it happens.

Anyone have any ideas of how to make people more aware of the pace of the judge's panel? I might share a few ideas behind the scenes on how to address this (that starts getting into the mechanics of the site, though, which I don't think I should share on here atm), but if people want to share some ideas I would be very much appreciative.

Quote

*Scrutinize Yes votes - Not sure what can be done here. It would be nice to get some numbers on submissions vs. form rejections vs. NO vs. YES vs. direct posts, but that's numbers someone's gonna have to put together then. But that's not quite what's being asked for in this thread.

Interesting question, and while it's not the EXACT topic of the thread it's related. There's no official number on the rates of passes and rejections as of late (the numbers shown on the FAQ section of the site is not up-to-date), but I can give a pretty solid estimation based on what I've inboxed over the last year since I archive the tracks on my own hard drive. There will be some direct rejections that I didn't archive since those tracks were either soundcloud tracks without a D/L link, or the tracks were 404'd, so there's probably 20% more direct rejections than I'm giving credit for on here. Be aware.

Out of ~370 tracks I've inboxed over the last eleven months that I have on record:

22% are direct rejections (rejected via e-mail, the track doesn't make it to the panel).
8% are direct posts (passes on the spot, the track doesn't make it to the panel unless the judges object).
The rest (70%) are sent to the panel.

Of those panel'd, I can use my basic memory of what passed and what didn't pass and give a solid estimate of the panel's current pass rate. I could check everything on the site and get a 100% accurate number, but that would be incredibly time consuming - I hope y'all understand. Crunching the numbers, about 50% of what gets to the panel gets rejected.

...

Yeah, that number sounds unbelievable to me too, but that's what number crunching every track that I've panel'd comes up to. Since it's based on my memory of the tracks passing or being rejected it's a good idea to say that this is +/- 10%, so the worst case I can conceive of is that the panel's pass/rejection rate is 60/40 in one direction or another (probably 40% YES, 60% NO, which makes sense when you look in the Judges Decisions forum). That's surprisingly uplifting - I didn't expect that when I started crunching numbers. Based on that, of all the tracks submit in the inbox that I've handled over the last year about 40% ultimately passed on to the front page, with the most conservative estimates being closer to 30% (a far cry from the 10-15% mentioned in the FAQ).

Damn, we're a bunch of softies on the panel, what the hell. Do take these numbers with more than a grain of salt, though: this was a quick numbers-crunch from what I have access to, just to give the public an idea of how things are in the panel nowadays.

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10 hours ago, Gario said:

I can personally say it's considerably faster nowadays than it was a year ago (save for last month since as mentioned earlier an influx of projects slowed us down a bit - you can personally verify this, Rozovian :P), 

When I joined the panel, the wait time for a sub to appear on the queue was about a year and a half.  Yes, If you submitted your song today, the ETA for it to arrive at the queue would be around spring 2019.  This year around july / august, if you submitted your song there was a good chance it would get on the queue (and possibly out of it) that very same week.  So yeah, it's a bit faster now.

10 hours ago, Gario said:

Of course, the problem with that is it's a manual process prone to staff just... not updating the thread. It's a lower priority item on the list of things to do, so it happens.

I took this process over from Larry because the thread has been a personal grudge for me for years, since it usually went without updates for months when the queue was ridiculously long.  I used to update it weekly or more often but since we had reached parity with the inbox (and I have too many responsibilities this year) I stopped updating it, since things are a bit slower now (the most recent mix on the queue is from around mid october) I'll try to update it again.  This thread is a pain in the ass to update though, takes a considerable amount of time, so yeah.

10 hours ago, Gario said:

Anyone have any ideas of how to make people more aware of the pace of the judge's panel? I might share a few ideas behind the scenes on how to address this (that starts getting into the mechanics of the site, though, which I don't think I should share on here atm), but if people want to share some ideas I would be very much appreciative.

This has been a topic of discussion internally and is brought up a lot.  To make this process visible it requires a better submission process and integration with the site.  This is a major project which requires, you guessed it, a lot of time to implement, free time from the staff.  I know you're perfectly aware of all of this but a lot of people, perhaps understandably don't see the amount of time that is put on the site behind the scenes to keep it running, release projects, work on evaluations, implement forum features, organize panels, etc.  I personally would love to see this whole process to be updated, but it's not happening overnight with the current resources we have.

10 hours ago, Gario said:

eah, that number sounds unbelievable to me too, but that's what number crunching every track that I've panel'd comes up to. Since it's based on my memory of the tracks passing or being rejected it's a good idea to say that this is +/- 10%, so the worst case I can conceive of is that the panel's pass/rejection rate is 60/40 in one direction or another (probably 40% YES, 60% NO, which makes sense when you look in the Judges Decisions forum). That's surprisingly uplifting - I didn't expect that when I started crunching numbers. Based on that, of all the tracks submit in the inbox that I've handled over the last year about 40% ultimately passed on to the front page, with the most conservative estimates being closer to 30% (a far cry from the 10-15% mentioned in the FAQ).

I was very surprised by this as well, I thought we were rejecting far more than we were passing.  But after thinking about it, it makes perfect sense.  The bar has been around the same place for about a decade now, and it has become increasingly easier to make good music.  I remember the FL compo mentioned by Larry, and at the time this compo was made, FL and most DAWs used to come with very poor quality samples and the tools they came with were pretty vanilla and basic (3xosc, i.e.).  Compare that to the current FL studio which comes with many more powerful tools out of the box, plus a more comprehensive sample library of better quality.  Same with other DAWs like Reason, Ableton etc.  You can get Reaper nowadays for free/cheap, grab a bunch of high quality free synths/effects/samples and get going without spending a dollar.  

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I'm a little late to the party here, but here's my two bits. (Gee, Hoboka, you must be ready to start a small business with all the change you have off this thread :))

IMO, there is nothing currently wrong with OCR's panel. The OCR submission guidelines are fairly good at laying out what OCR expects from submissions for posting; of course, like any organization, they have certain subjective expectations (genre, precedent, etc.) for the material they choose to endorse and it is up to them to determine whether it fits their standard or it doesn't. If you want something posted here, you have to play by their rules, period - and if their standard doesn't fit yours, there are lots of other places you can go to advertise or show off your music. Likewise, as ACO implied, just because you're rejected by OCR doesn't immediately mean to the world "YOU SUCK" or "FO" or "we don't like your kind here" - it just means it doesn't currently fit OCR's standard.

Some folks might be aware that I had a project I'm working on rejected by OCR in the not-too-distant past; sure, some of the things said stung and perhaps I didn't agree with all the feedback, but these are simply folks telling me where the tracks are and what is needed to bring them closer to the standard - so I could have chosen to pack my ball up and go home, but I've chosen to continue the project (despite some absences due to life stuff) and use the feedback to improve the album. I've also had folks reach out to me to offer help and advice if necessary in light of the rejection, which is one of the things I love most about this site. 'No skill in mixing? No problem, let's ask ___ for some help. No good string samples? No problem, let's see if ___ has an opening in their schedule. No good distortion pedals for your guitar? No problem, let's see if ____ has the sound you're looking for.'  This community is full of folks who want to help and they are NOT hard to find. :)

Personally, I'm fine with the standard and I don't care how long it takes for the panel to review - I respect the time it takes for judging, I respect the opinion of the panel, accept that it is an opinion, and use it as an indicator of where my tracks are and where they need to go to fit that standard. Given Gario's comment on repetition that started this whole thing, has anyone thought to just add a bit of variation in harmony, bass, percussion, or maybe all three? Or, if you're attached to the repetition, asked Gario how you could keep the copy pasta but add enough variation to be accepted by judges? I just think it's pretty clear what wait time was expected and what the reasons for rejection were, so maybe the solution is to address the concerns and resubmit instead of jumping on the judges for how they do what they do. Plus, if you don't want to wait for the panel, I'm sure either Gario or Rozovian would be willing to take a look at things in shorter order to give you an idea of how it would go on the panel. Heck, I'm sure there's lots of other folks reading this willing to give you a hand too, if that's what you think you need. I don't know how much easier they could make it for us.

Just my opinion. Another wall of text for the, er, wall.

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I have read all the comments, they're fair and well articulated and I find your guys' position growing on me a tad; also OCR has gotten more mature and gentler when it's under scrutiny.  If I, say, went on this crusade 6-7 years ago (which I have and came back with many a scar) I would've been pilloried on the spot.  Food for thought.  I don't know if I will be submitting much after my SoulBlazer collabo remix, but who knows.  So thank you all for being nice and humoring me.  Alas, I have to beat my drum a bit more.  Time for some more edgy complaints...

A huge factor I neglected to mention in my list is that by having the bar...let's not focus on how low or high it is for brevity's sake...is akin to having a locked door.  Or more specifically, the sign of a gated community that is a bit too top-heavy.  With so many other choices like Materia Collective, Chiptunes = win, remix.kwed and so on... The bar may not be the wisest position to stand on - Heaven forbid that it be OCR's last colloquial position to stand upon.  As a caveat, I don't want to sound like an SJW "safe-spaces" / "inclusiveness Marxist crybaby" - but there is an undeniable issue regarding the whole system with inclusiveness that COULD and maybe should be subject to further analysis.  Hence why I think the bar should be put under the inquisitor's eye and examined at all possible angles; maybe even conduct a vivisection on it, just to ascertain exactly just how it (the bar) ticks and where the cancerous growths of over-subjectivity and bias (both variations of the same meaning) have taken root.  Will I be the one to lead that charge??  We'll see. 

And now at a poor attempt at humor, DJP might want to consider the direction that his boat is going, as it's veering a little too off course, towards that gigantic glacier that looks like Brandon Straders fat ass (which to my understanding isn't as fat these days, as he's actually lost a lot of weight.  So maybe that's a poor analogy x_X.  Congrats are in order anyhow)

Seriously though, I and many others (including a former judge) who wish to remain anonymous, strongly feel that OCR is slowly dying and becoming irrelevant.  True or no, I don't know why I feel so invested in keeping OCR alive (maybe my competition that ranges betwixt 500-2400 views ??); but that parasite that lives in my spinal chord just won't shut up and tells me that OCR is still the best venue.  Maybe I should have that gnawing critter surgically removed?  Nevermind - that's something only I can decide lol. 

Hope that was coherent enough and the jokes didn't make you facepalm too much.  And that I actually stimulated some constructive argument :D

PS brynolf, your "Shadow of the Beast" remix is still my favorite of 2017 thus far - sorry to use it as a foil in my rants against your knowledge and consent x_X

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11 hours ago, HoboKa said:

A huge factor I neglected to mention in my list is that by having the bar...let's not focus on how low or high it is for brevity's sake...is akin to having a locked door.  Or more specifically, the sign of a gated community that is a bit too top-heavy.  With so many other choices like Materia Collective, Chiptunes = win, remix.kwed and so on... The bar may not be the wisest position to stand on - Heaven forbid that it be OCR's last colloquial position to stand upon.

All of these people have bars.  Also Gamechops, tinywaves, etc.  They all have bars, they don't publish anything and everything that they get sent.  They just aren't as transparent about them, which is their prerogative.  

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On the thought of communities who don't have bars, they do have coffee shops.

I'm part of a small community that is growing and attempting to establish itself.  It will remain unnamed.  I'm doing some arranging for them, but mostly just being a brass player recording for people (I guess that describes my involvement in many communities at the moment).  They have a bar, kind of, but it's really low.  

I was used to OCR and the way they did things, came to this new one, and recorded for a guy.  I knew I wasn't the only one recording, but what ended up happening in that track was just playing all the recordings as they were sent on top of each other.  It sounded very weird because one of them was recorded in a tiny room, and one in a much bigger room.  And those differences were really pronounced.  

There were a few tracks that were this level, and while it wasn't bad, it was very unrefined and unpolished.  On the other end, it still is kind of weird that there will be check ins on progress and for the most part, people won't start their tracks until a week or less before deadline, and the end result sounds like they threw it together last minute.  However, it will still be sent out.  The majority of this community is producing good, well polished content, but there is that lower end that just seems to be winging it constantly and still passing the bar.

OCR I don't see as a gated community tho.  I see it more as a community that wants to present well polished works of a certain variety.  It's not that you have to pass the bar to be considered good, it's more like there's a certain type of production that is wanted.

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12 hours ago, HoboKa said:

A huge factor I neglected to mention in my list is that by having the bar...let's not focus on how low or high it is for brevity's sake...is akin to having a locked door.  Or more specifically, the sign of a gated community that is a bit too top-heavy.  With so many other choices like Materia Collective, Chiptunes = win, remix.kwed and so on... The bar may not be the wisest position to stand on - Heaven forbid that it be OCR's last colloquial position to stand upon.  As a caveat, I don't want to sound like an SJW "safe-spaces" / "inclusiveness Marxist crybaby" - but there is an undeniable issue regarding the whole system with inclusiveness that COULD and maybe should be subject to further analysis.  Hence why I think the bar should be put under the inquisitor's eye and examined at all possible angles; maybe even conduct a vivisection on it, just to ascertain exactly just how it (the bar) ticks and where the cancerous growths of over-subjectivity and bias (both variations of the same meaning) have taken root.  Will I be the one to lead that charge??  We'll see. 

And now at a poor attempt at humor, DJP might want to consider the direction that his boat is going, as it's veering a little too off course, towards that gigantic glacier that looks like Brandon Straders fat ass (which to my understanding isn't as fat these days, as he's actually lost a lot of weight.  So maybe that's a poor analogy x_X.  Congrats are in order anyhow)

Seriously though, I and many others (including a former judge) who wish to remain anonymous, strongly feel that OCR is slowly dying and becoming irrelevant.  True or no, I don't know why I feel so invested in keeping OCR alive (maybe my competition that ranges betwixt 500-2400 views ??); but that parasite that lives in my spinal chord just won't shut up and tells me that OCR is still the best venue.  Maybe I should have that gnawing critter surgically removed?  Nevermind - that's something only I can decide lol. 

Hope that was coherent enough and the jokes didn't make you facepalm too much.  And that I actually stimulated some constructive argument :D

PS brynolf, your "Shadow of the Beast" remix is still my favorite of 2017 thus far - sorry to use it as a foil in my rants against your knowledge and consent x_X

7

OC ReMix is neither dying nor becoming irrelevant. We get plenty of submissions, lots of listeners, and tons of engagement on social media. Also, don't try to back up your point by speaking for other people who "wish to remain anonymous." There's absolutely zero value in saying something like that. Make your own points and back them up.

We're not going to dump curation. It's just not going to happen. OC ReMix has been very clear about being a curated catalog of arrangements that meet a standard of both artistic interpretation and technical execution. We have never—and I can't believe that this has to be said again—claimed to be the end-all-be-all source of VGM arrangements, and we're not trying to be. We've consistently supported other communities and initiatives like DoD and Materia Collective.

OC ReMix can afford to be selective; we've built up a catalog of quality arrangements over the course of nearly 18 years by setting some standards and pushing artists to hone their skills. Our philosophy at OCR has always been "share your music, get feedback, and make your music better." You'll be hard-pressed to find any other art community that does that. Getting a track posted to the front-page is a soft goal that fosters that growth. There are obviously instances where an artist will disagree with those standards and make an exit, or honestly just outgrow the process altogether because they've found their artistic voice and don't need to take part in the loop anymore. That's fine. We have no problem with people who decide OCR isn't for them anymore.

There are plans in place to integrate the workshop deeper into the site's game database so that people can find WIPs and non-posted releases by browsing game pages. But OC ReMix will continue to examine and curate submissions from the community against our established standards because having that goal in place improves artists. We're comfortable with where those standards are and comfortable about the direction the site is taking.

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14 hours ago, HoboKa said:

I have read all the comments, they're fair and well articulated and I find your guys' position growing on me a tad; also OCR has gotten more mature and gentler when it's under scrutiny.  If I, say, went on this crusade 6-7 years ago (which I have and came back with many a scar) I would've been pilloried on the spot.  Food for thought.  I don't know if I will be submitting much after my SoulBlazer collabo remix, but who knows.  So thank you all for being nice and humoring me.  Alas, I have to beat my drum a bit more.  Time for some more edgy complaints...

A huge factor I neglected to mention in my list is that by having the bar...let's not focus on how low or high it is for brevity's sake...is akin to having a locked door.  Or more specifically, the sign of a gated community that is a bit too top-heavy.  With so many other choices like Materia Collective, Chiptunes = win, remix.kwed and so on... The bar may not be the wisest position to stand on - Heaven forbid that it be OCR's last colloquial position to stand upon.  As a caveat, I don't want to sound like an SJW "safe-spaces" / "inclusiveness Marxist crybaby" - but there is an undeniable issue regarding the whole system with inclusiveness that COULD and maybe should be subject to further analysis.  Hence why I think the bar should be put under the inquisitor's eye and examined at all possible angles; maybe even conduct a vivisection on it, just to ascertain exactly just how it (the bar) ticks and where the cancerous growths of over-subjectivity and bias (both variations of the same meaning) have taken root.  Will I be the one to lead that charge??  We'll see. 

And now at a poor attempt at humor, DJP might want to consider the direction that his boat is going, as it's veering a little too off course, towards that gigantic glacier that looks like Brandon Straders fat ass (which to my understanding isn't as fat these days, as he's actually lost a lot of weight.  So maybe that's a poor analogy x_X.  Congrats are in order anyhow)

Seriously though, I and many others (including a former judge) who wish to remain anonymous, strongly feel that OCR is slowly dying and becoming irrelevant.  True or no, I don't know why I feel so invested in keeping OCR alive (maybe my competition that ranges betwixt 500-2400 views ??); but that parasite that lives in my spinal chord just won't shut up and tells me that OCR is still the best venue.  Maybe I should have that gnawing critter surgically removed?  Nevermind - that's something only I can decide lol. 

Hope that was coherent enough and the jokes didn't make you facepalm too much.  And that I actually stimulated some constructive argument :D

PS brynolf, your "Shadow of the Beast" remix is still my favorite of 2017 thus far - sorry to use it as a foil in my rants against your knowledge and consent x_X

I did some casual polling of some (a very small set of) non-musician people that do like their video games, and the key take aways were 'they always have awesome remixes', 'that is where I learned remixing videogame music was a thing' and in general that it's cool and people tend be followers for a long time already. So I wouldn't say it's dying or becoming irrelevant. Sure, VGM remixes and covers are a big thing these days, and with all these other parties doing VGM stuff nowadays, it makes sense that OCR stands out less than it used to do way back when OCR was one of the few communities doing such things.

I think there's enough space in the VGM world for all these initiatives, all with their different angles and interpretations. I never dabbled in DoD because I am too lazy to learn to actually play an instrument, but I am doing a remix for a non-OCR album this month and I am also looking into Materia Collective. For the latter, there might not be an explicit bar, but I do know there's a proposal + approval process there too, and judging by the albums released they also have a QA process for stuff that makes it on the albums.

Anyway, maybe it's time to accept that OCR is doing its own thing and is what it wants to be, not what you think it should be. Sure, constructive criticism is good and should be welcomed. Eagerly awaiting, almost pleading for DJP for a veto and a course correction of this perceived Titanic seems pretty fatalistic to me though. Chill, dude. It's good that you care so much, but you might wanna reconsider your tone and approach if you really want to have a solid constructive discussion.

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21 hours ago, HoboKa said:

A huge factor I neglected to mention in my list is that by having the bar...let's not focus on how low or high it is for brevity's sake...is akin to having a locked door.  Or more specifically, the sign of a gated community that is a bit too top-heavy.  With so many other choices like Materia Collective, Chiptunes = win, remix.kwed and so on... The bar may not be the wisest position to stand on

The thing is, those other choices aren't as attractive options.

While it's true that like I said, OCR isn't the end-all-be-all of VGM remixing and that a lowered bar wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing for a hobbyist website, it is by far and away the VGM community — a very niche thing btw — that cares the most about what it does and I think this is mostly thanks to being somewhat of a "gated community" as you describe it.

An anecdote that I think demonstrates this, I very recently managed to get offered a deal with a new production music company. That's a great example of a "gated community" in music as many don't generally accept unsolicited submissions at all. Sure, I COULD have gone to AudioJungle or something like that (which I think only recently added some sort of quality control) where library-music composers go to die and have my tracks buried among a sea of others, BUT this way I'm among people who are pros at what they do, can and will give me real advice because they and their clients demand a certain standard from them, they have connections that can get placements in stuff that people will actually enjoy, you have people representing you across the world, etc. and your odds at success are a lot better than if it was just you out there in the wilds — alone.

Now you might say, "Yeah, but that's about music for money and OCR isn't about that!" To which I say, ignore the $ aspect and you'll see it's the same thing — a somewhat exclusive community creates opportunity and is a more enjoyable experience.

OCR is the only VGM community I am aware of who: Hosts panels at things like MAGfest, puts out multi-disc albums of remixes for free, has had numerous of its users go on to become professional composers; has what easily amounts to thousands of hours of music from nearly 20 years back available on YouTube, with millions of plays total, each one DJP has written a mini essay on, and all for $0.00; launched its own record label, collaborated with Capcom to produce the first official fan-made community Megaman album; it supported the development of the definitive VGM virtual instrument, developed by community members; and about *ten years ago, they made the first entirely fanmade soundtrack to a video game.

This is only made possible by having a power structure of some kind. While it's true that OCR is a gated community, they are always willing to let people in. Everywhere else? It's either an open floodgate or the gate is electrified.

*OMFG I was 16 when this came out and was before I actually discovered the community. Holy shit, I'm getting old fast.

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Okay, so all things on my list have been answered.  Though I didn't get the responses that I necessarily hoped for or like, I did get to see OCR from a different standpoint.  And I guess I still foster an outsider's perspective, because I've never attended OCR's face-to-face / live events to truly make an informed opinion.  I still think that the bar could be itself, evaluated, but convincing anyone here of that is akin to staring down a landslide.  Armed only with a cellphone, a plunger and an over-sized dragon-dildo :D

It's an odd position for me, because on one end I've got stalwart defenders of the site, and on the other hand, others who're anything but.  It's good to get both perspectives and stay in the middle.  Too bad American politics don't work so much that way; more's the pity.

So yeah, thanks for the constructive feedbacks and for keeping my dignity intact :) - I *should* probably at least participate in Discord or something.  Though I will likely always feel like an outsider - not your guys' problem, though. 

(after 500 edits, should be good :P)

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9 hours ago, HoboKa said:

So yeah, thanks for the constructive feedbacks and for keeping my dignity intact :) - I *should* probably at least participate in Discord or something.  Though I will likely always feel like an outsider - not your guys' problem, though. 

(after 500 edits, should be good :P)

Definitely join discord.  The community is pretty active, and we have a workshop channel as well where we post resources and offer advice.

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10 hours ago, HoboKa said:

Though I didn't get the responses that I necessarily hoped for or like, I did get to see OCR from a different standpoint.  And I guess I still foster an outsider's perspective, because I've never attended OCR's face-to-face / live events to truly make an informed opinion. 

Interesting that you should say that. I've never met any OCR people face-to-face nor did I visit any live events. All my involvement has been remote, mostly through Discord (go join!) and the forums. Didn't really make me feel like an outsider with an outsider perspective. Just being active in the community made me feel involved and informed. $0.02 (yay, more cash!)

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Same here. Some more cash for you, but @HoboKa, come join the Discord channel. It's a great way to chat in more of a 'live' setting, and hopefully it'll help you feel like less of an 'outsider', as you call it. I've yet to find a more friendly community than OCR.

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57 minutes ago, timaeus222 said:

Same here. Some more cash for you, but @HoboKa, come join the Discord channel. It's a great way to chat in more of a 'live' setting, and hopefully it'll help you feel like less of an 'outsider', as you call it. I've yet to find a more friendly community than OCR.

Okay.  Soon.  I promise. 

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