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Old 06-06-2011, 02:32 PM
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Stevo's Newbie Guide to OverClocked ReMix

Here is a Stevo-approved guided tour of what a general noob's first steps on the site of OCR should be. This is assuming the person in question is coming here either because they like video games, video game music, OC ReMixes, or want to share/make music themselves. These are the recommendations from someone who is seasoned in the goings-on of our fair community, so take it as you will.

1) Register for the forums (duh)
2) Go to the Newbie Introduction Thread and say hello. Read that thread a bit to see all of what people are coming here for, and make your intentions known. Don't worry, you won't get bitten for telling us about yourself.
3) Go to the OverClocked ReMix wiki pages and read up on site policies, including forum conduct, FAQs, Submission Standards, and many other very useful things. The best way to get off to a good start is to get an idea of what is expected of you in the area that you're wanting to participate and contribute. Official site policies are in place to do just that.
4) Familiarize yourself with the site and forum layout. Navigate a bit, see what the different areas are and get used to how to get around. Learning to use the search feature is highly recommended, because what you're looking for may likely already exist somewhere.

Now comes the CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE part of this guide! Magically, your computer screen turns dark and some DOS text types on the screen. You see five selections:

* I WANT TO LEARN HOW TO REMIX LIKE YOU FOLKS AND GET POSTED!

* I WANT TO SHARE MY MUSIC, REMIX OR ORIGINAL, AND IMPROVE MY MUSICAL SKILL!

* I WANT TO TALK ABOUT VIDEO GAMES AND MUSIC AND OTHER STUFF!

* I WANT TO GET A SONG REMIXED BUT DONT WANT TO DO IT MYSELF!

* I'M NOT SURE WHAT I WANT TO DO. HALP!

Type your answer NOW!

-----------------------------

* I WANT TO LEARN HOW TO REMIX LIKE YOU FOLKS AND GET POSTED!

Whoa there, fella. Slow down a sec, because chances are this is going to take a lot of time, effort, persistence, motivation, and above all else, patience. There are a few things that everyone needs to know before they endeavour to become an official posted OverClocked ReMixer:

- A ReMix is not simply taking a source MIDI and adding drums to it while changing instruments and tempo. A ReMix is more akin to a song arrangement. To get all the details on what qualifies as a ReMix, read up on the Submissions Standards and Instructions. If you're still having trouble comprehending, many people have asked specific questions in the Judge's Q&A thread which can potentially help shed some more light on the matter.
- All the site staff are here to help you, not put you down. If you get rejected or receive negative feedback in the workshop forums, don't cop an attitude. Be receptive to all criticism (though you may need to sift through some less-than-helpful material) and always strive to improve. Ask questions, expand your knowledge and skill, and in time you will reach the goal. Turning a review thread into a catfight or accosting the judges doesn't accomplish anything.

With that out of the way, here comes the meat of the section: how to get a song posted. First, it depends on if you already have musical skill and experience or not. In either case, the Workshop area is the first place you want to go after reading all the official policies and whatnot. The majority of the musicians here use computer programs such as trackers, sequencers, and DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) to create music. This is in contrast to using a traditional studio, which very few hobbyist musicians have ready access to. So if you've never made music on a computer before, head to the Workshop. If you have made music before, awesome!

The next step is to pick a song or songs you want to work on. One is recommended to start with, and it really doesn't matter what it is as long as it falls in our allowed source material guidelines. Just a quick list of what isn't considered allowable as a source tune for posted OC ReMixes: licensed music (example: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater music), folk or classical music not written for the game (the only exception is "Korobeiniki" from Tetris), and music from non-video-game materials (the Pokémon TV Show theme song isn't allowed; usable source has to be written specifically for that video game). There is more, but that is also addressed in the OCR wiki.

So now you've picked a song, and it is time to get to work. What happens next will vary depending on the situation, but when you feel you've gotten a good body going and are ready for some feedback, make a thread in the ReMixes section of the Workshop area. Please read up on the Workshop area rules before posting: there are a few sticky threads that provide guidelines for how to post and what to expect.

Go through the workshop process, from getting regular forum-goer feedback, improving your song and updating it for more feedback, wash rinse repeat until you're ready to call it finished. Once it is finished, you can mark it for Mod Review, which is where site-appointed staff will review your material before you sub it to the Judge's Panel. They are by no means real judges but are in the process of getting to that level, and have demonstrated the knowledge, skill, and verbal abilities to give critical feedback that is distinctive of OCR's quality bar.

After that and any subsequent revisions, you'll be submitting the song to the panel. Make sure to include ALL material mentioned in the submission guidelines, and cross your fingers for good luck. Remember to be patient now because the process of receiving the song, giving it a preliminary evaluation (whether or not it is directly rejected, passed on to the Judge's Panel, or directly posted), Judge's evaluation, and eventual posting varies. The average time depends on how busy the staff are, but it is not uncommon for a song that goes through the motions to take anywhere from six months to over a year to get posted. The staff are always working hard to keep the line moving.

If you get rejected, don't get mad. Just keep working at it and improving and one day you'll surely get there.

-----------------------------------

* I WANT TO SHARE MY MUSIC, REMIX OR ORIGINAL, AND IMPROVE MY MUSICAL SKILL!

Easy peasy, person! The Workshop area is where you want to be. Just browse around there and contribute to discussions. You are encouraged to post your own material as well as commenting on other people's, since listening to songs and figuring what works and what doesn't will expand your knowledge of how to construct a cohesive arrangement and quality production. Be respectful of everyone since we're all here to learn and grow.

Also definitely check out some of the running compos (short for competitions) that are run by OCR community members. Compos are a great way to boost skill and work with others. They're friendly competitions, the most of which have no real "prize" other than the work you do. All of this is located on the Competitions area.

Another thing you could do is to check out the Recruit and Collaborate area. Here is where people running projects, such as remix albums, post requests for people to hop on board. It is also where people who want to collaborate on songs go to look for people to work with.

Additionally, you can seek out people who make music in a similar vein as you, and ask them to give your material a listen. Finding peers on the forums and on IRC will facilitate a feedback system that will help all people involved grow and learn. The best thing about this community is the people, as you're likely to make friends who end up being a critical part of your musical growth.

-----------------------------------

* I WANT TO TALK ABOUT VIDEO GAMES AND MUSIC AND OTHER STUFF!

Video Game, VGM-related, and Music talk mostly takes place in Community. Make sure you go over those forum guidelines before posting or making a new thread.

For other things, there is Off-Topic. This includes the subsection about Politics, Philosophy, and Religion. You need a forum account to read these threads, and the conversation here is a bit more unrestrained.

------------------------------------

* I WANT TO GET A SONG REMIXED BUT DONT WANT TO DO IT MYSELF!

There's a place for that: ReMix Requests. Flooding this area with song requests won't increase the likelihood of them getting fulfilled, as this section is just for people pitching songs that they would like to hear be ReMixed by the musicians on OCR. Some suggestions get done, and many more do not. If you want to hear a song ReMixed, the best thing to do is to do it yourself. But if you have no want to learn or to do that, posting here is the best chance you have. Plus you can find some really great obscure video game source tunes here which you wouldn't have ever heard of otherwise!

------------------------------------

* I'M NOT SURE WHAT I WANT TO DO. HALP!

Shhhhh, I promise it will all be okay. Dry those tears and be not afraid. There's always a few things that we are welcoming more of:

* Participants in the Workshop area, specifically giving feedback on ReMixes and Originals posted there. Always in need of more people to comment on the work other people have done so they can hone their skills and improve their stuff.

* Writing reviews for OC ReMixes. If you liked a song, didn't like a song, or just wanted to tell the creator you are looking forward to more of their work, go over to the ReMix Comments/Reviews area and speak your mind.

* Chat it up in our IRC room. You can connect using your favorite flavor of IRC client, or you can use the java IRC applet hosted on the site. Information on the room can be found in the Chat section.

* Check out the non-music Competitions and consider contributing. There's numerous competitions that don't involve making music! There's video competitions, like the OCRMVC series. There's word competitions, like the Writing Competition thread. There's art competitions, such as the Fan Art Competition. Just browse around and strut whatever skills you have.

-------------------------------------

This guide will be changed as is necessary.
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Last edited by Liontamer; 12-26-2013 at 05:25 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-07-2011, 12:01 AM
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  #3  
Old 06-07-2011, 03:39 AM
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It's worth noting that you can't just download Fruity Loops and be a posted mixer within a few months anymore The kind of progress you have to make musically to get posted, will probably take, you, about, 5, years
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Old 06-07-2011, 03:42 AM
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That's definitely implied where it indicates to have patience. It took me five years to get posted, and took some other people even longer. But once you get it, there's nothing more satisfying than knowing you broke out of the mold and really accomplished something. One of the most rewarding things is achieving and exceeding personal goals.


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Old 04-03-2012, 12:02 AM
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....Really?

Five years? Even longer? Some people don't even need to freakin' try and they're there.

I'm saying this because I, like other newcomers onto the scene, can be very easily discouraged. Seriously, it's come to the point where even listening to good remixes makes me feel so small, like I can't do a thing. You have that awful feeling where you know exactly what you're capable of, and practically everything is limiting you — finances, listenership, experience. I can consider myself lucky to have a full copy of FL Studio 10, because a friend gave it to me as a gift. Some people don't even get halfway where I do by eight months, possibly even longer.

That having been said, you're gonna ask me (and possibly all other newcomers in my situation) — how are you going to overcome whatever it is you're facing? Before the onus is even put on us, we need to know where to even begin finding listeners. Personally, I don't even think that my remix of Abyss (from Tales of the Abyss) got more than ten (or even five) listens from OCR to begin with.

Then you've got the fact that some people prefer games which are less known to the public than others. Things like Herdy Gerdy, for example. What do you do about them? The more established you are, the easier it is for you to post remixes from these games, and it's proven fact.

Don't get me wrong — I love what you guys are doing, and I believe you should continue. But as a relative newcomer to this whole remixing thing (having only done so for slightly more than a year), I feel the need to tell how our immense frustration is more real than some think, and I'm sure I won't be alone in asking how we're going to get help for this.
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Old 04-03-2012, 03:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TroisNyxEtienne View Post
Five years? Even longer? Some people don't even need to freakin' try and they're there.

I'm saying this because I, like other newcomers onto the scene, can be very easily discouraged. Seriously, it's come to the point where even listening to good remixes makes me feel so small, like I can't do a thing. You have that awful feeling where you know exactly what you're capable of, and practically everything is limiting you — finances, listenership, experience. I can consider myself lucky to have a full copy of FL Studio 10, because a friend gave it to me as a gift. Some people don't even get halfway where I do by eight months, possibly even longer.

That having been said, you're gonna ask me (and possibly all other newcomers in my situation) — how are you going to overcome whatever it is you're facing? Before the onus is even put on us, we need to know where to even begin finding listeners. Personally, I don't even think that my remix of Abyss (from Tales of the Abyss) got more than ten (or even five) listens from OCR to begin with.

Then you've got the fact that some people prefer games which are less known to the public than others. Things like Herdy Gerdy, for example. What do you do about them? The more established you are, the easier it is for you to post remixes from these games, and it's proven fact.

Don't get me wrong — I love what you guys are doing, and I believe you should continue. But as a relative newcomer to this whole remixing thing (having only done so for slightly more than a year), I feel the need to tell how our immense frustration is more real than some think, and I'm sure I won't be alone in asking how we're going to get help for this.
Those people that don't have to try very hard to get there already either have been doing things to get to that point, or are just naturally very gifted folks.

You want my honest answer to what you're asking? First, let me just make sure I'm understanding what you're saying. You think that the system we have in place for getting the skills and advertising your work isn't at the point where it can be the only thing to do in order to increase presence/musical ability/etc., so you want to know what else needs to be done for people to start getting that leg up that other folks around here who are more "established" (i really hate that word, i would just call them familiar faces) seem to have. Just tell me if that's the gist of what you're asking.

Because if that is, then I can say from my experience the best thing to do is to start conversations with folks who do give you feedback, or chat around in the ocremix IRC and start making some friends and contacts there. Most of the folks I consider to be friends from this site started either as collaborators on mixes or as people who I sought to give feedback on my stuff. You may have noticed that there's a somewhat disproportionate ratio of creators/listeners in both the workshop area and the ReMix area. generally you will find more people creating the work and seeking feedback than giving feedback on created works. Its unfortunate that due to more people exercising their creativity and talent that as a result, it seems less people take the time to listen to others and to comment. If you're posting things and people are glossing them over, go out and seek the feedback from folks. There's usually a few people around the IRC who are willing to listen to whatever, or even just make general chit-chat. Start talking to people and make social ties, you'll find the people who are willing to give you feedback on the side will increase.

It's impossible to rely entirely on the workshop area. It has a purpose and it does serve as a good tool but it definitely shouldn't and, in all likelihood, can't serve as the only source of critiquing. Post on youtube, newgrounds, irc like i said, wherever you can find people who will listen, go there. And I said five years because sometimes people take a long time to learn or make those ties to start building a system of feedback in order to improve.

The way you worded your post, I can tell there's a lot of frustration there. If I may give some advice that contradicts your position, I would say look at the limitations not as a source of frustration but as a challenge to overcome. Look at what the limitations of the sound chip for the NES has resulted in: creativity flourishes where hardware and software restrain. There's a huge amount of free things available and while there is definitely a distinct advantage to having expensive samples and synths, its not the be-all end-all of making music. Its sort-of the difference between using a regular screwdriver and a power tool: they both can be used to the same ends, one just takes longer with more effort to put into it to get there.

Also it is most definitely not proven that more "established" mixers get preferred posting for obscurer tunes. OCR celebrates all VGM, from the most well-known to the most obscure regardless of who's making it. If its a good VGM arrangement, its a good VGM arrangement.

Finally, I do get your frustration. I completely understand where you're coming from. I was there, as I mentioned previously, for five years. That's a long time to be potentially frustrated. The way you're phrasing things is that you're voicing what others have experience and are possibly saying. You asked where you're going to get help for this, and I can only say that beyond what's already available and what I've already said, turn to your peers. People come to OC ReMix in waves, so finding other people who are at your skill level or more and starting a dialog or connection for critiquing is probably one of the best ways that you AND others can grow musically.

I hope I have not further frustrated you with my response, and I hope what you're feeling now passes quickly and you can get back to making arrangements of obscure vgm
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TroisNyxEtienne View Post
I'm saying this because I, like other newcomers onto the scene, can be very easily discouraged. Seriously, it's come to the point where even listening to good remixes makes me feel so small, like I can't do a thing. You have that awful feeling where you know exactly what you're capable of, and practically everything is limiting you — finances, listenership, experience. I can consider myself lucky to have a full copy of FL Studio 10, because a friend gave it to me as a gift. Some people don't even get halfway where I do by eight months, possibly even longer.
People have done good things with less, there are some things on this site that were made with freeware like modplug even. Don't focus too much on tools, it's nice if you can buy a lot of toys but it's definitely not a necessity.

Anyway, it's easy to get frustrated if you set your immediate goals too high, or for that matter if you're only really trying to appease others(the judges panel, listeners, whoever). It's easier to stay motivated if you can find enjoyment simply in composing and making incremental improvements.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:43 AM
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Me, two years ago: " I WANT TO LEARN HOW TO REMIX LIKE YOU FOLKS AND GET POSTED!"

Me, a month ago: "Dear god, I've never submitted anything.."

Me, now: "I want to lay down a drum pattern that doesn't sound like an autistic monkey is playing it."
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:59 AM
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TroisNyxEtienne TroisNyxEtienne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Level 99 View Post
Those people that don't have to try very hard to get there already either have been doing things to get to that point, or are just naturally very gifted folks.

You want my honest answer to what you're asking? First, let me just make sure I'm understanding what you're saying. You think that the system we have in place for getting the skills and advertising your work isn't at the point where it can be the only thing to do in order to increase presence/musical ability/etc., so you want to know what else needs to be done for people to start getting that leg up that other folks around here who are more "established" (i really hate that word, i would just call them familiar faces) seem to have. Just tell me if that's the gist of what you're asking.

Because if that is, then I can say from my experience the best thing to do is to start conversations with folks who do give you feedback, or chat around in the ocremix IRC and start making some friends and contacts there. Most of the folks I consider to be friends from this site started either as collaborators on mixes or as people who I sought to give feedback on my stuff. You may have noticed that there's a somewhat disproportionate ratio of creators/listeners in both the workshop area and the ReMix area. generally you will find more people creating the work and seeking feedback than giving feedback on created works. Its unfortunate that due to more people exercising their creativity and talent that as a result, it seems less people take the time to listen to others and to comment. If you're posting things and people are glossing them over, go out and seek the feedback from folks. There's usually a few people around the IRC who are willing to listen to whatever, or even just make general chit-chat. Start talking to people and make social ties, you'll find the people who are willing to give you feedback on the side will increase.

It's impossible to rely entirely on the workshop area. It has a purpose and it does serve as a good tool but it definitely shouldn't and, in all likelihood, can't serve as the only source of critiquing. Post on youtube, newgrounds, irc like i said, wherever you can find people who will listen, go there. And I said five years because sometimes people take a long time to learn or make those ties to start building a system of feedback in order to improve.

The way you worded your post, I can tell there's a lot of frustration there. If I may give some advice that contradicts your position, I would say look at the limitations not as a source of frustration but as a challenge to overcome. Look at what the limitations of the sound chip for the NES has resulted in: creativity flourishes where hardware and software restrain. There's a huge amount of free things available and while there is definitely a distinct advantage to having expensive samples and synths, its not the be-all end-all of making music. Its sort-of the difference between using a regular screwdriver and a power tool: they both can be used to the same ends, one just takes longer with more effort to put into it to get there.

Also it is most definitely not proven that more "established" mixers get preferred posting for obscurer tunes. OCR celebrates all VGM, from the most well-known to the most obscure regardless of who's making it. If its a good VGM arrangement, its a good VGM arrangement.

Finally, I do get your frustration. I completely understand where you're coming from. I was there, as I mentioned previously, for five years. That's a long time to be potentially frustrated. The way you're phrasing things is that you're voicing what others have experience and are possibly saying. You asked where you're going to get help for this, and I can only say that beyond what's already available and what I've already said, turn to your peers. People come to OC ReMix in waves, so finding other people who are at your skill level or more and starting a dialog or connection for critiquing is probably one of the best ways that you AND others can grow musically.

I hope I have not further frustrated you with my response, and I hope what you're feeling now passes quickly and you can get back to making arrangements of obscure vgm
I'll try, Stevo. I'll try. I'll definitely have, among others, you to thank. I know I haven't been particularly confident in myself anymore, especially after having tried for two years. Well, you haven't further frustrated me. Thanks.
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  #10  
Old 04-03-2012, 05:49 PM
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Stevo got submissions rejected from here plenty of times before he became as strong as he is now. Same with OA, Rozovian, WillRock, The Orichalcon, Nutritious. Way back when, the previous generation of guys like Danny Baranowsky, zircon, Fishy, halc, DCT, Mattias Häggström Gerdt, analoq, Navi, Big Giant Circles -- who all make diverse, amazing arrangements that seem effortless -- all got rejected a few times or a lot of times when they were less experienced. Aptitude is one component and diligence is the other. :-)

Been on staff approaching 8 years, a fan for over 10, and I've heard so many regularly posted mixers start off scrubby and grow into great musicians. Some hated the rejections and sometimes those people hated us. But they all weren't discouraged. Like Stevo was getting at, carve out time to work on your craft, don't just solicit feedback from here, and stay hungry.
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