Wiki: Submission Standards and Instructions

Revision as of 05:08, 23 May 2006 by Liontamer (talk | contribs) (added category, links)

What's the minimum I need to know to submit something?

  • All ReMixes should be submitted in MP3 format, should be less than 6MB, with ID3v2 tags filled out according to guidelines.
  • Only submit one ReMix at a time. If you have several ready, choose what you believe to be the best. Wait three weeks between submissions. Only submit your best material - if you are still very unsure about a submission, chances are it will not be accepted, and this will delay our re-evaluation should you choose to work further on it and resubmit.
  • Make sure your ReMix is original and your own, does not borrow too heavily from outside sources, and is not simply a MIDI file with instrument changes. Give your ReMix an original title that is neither your own name nor the name of the original track (though it can be a variation).
  • Email your submission to including all relevant information. If you are a new ReMixer, be sure to include your ReMixer name and email address and/or website if you want them added.
  • Do not send your submission as an email attachment unless there are no other options - this may increase the time it takes for your mix to be evaluated. Instead, email a link to where the mix can be found.
  • Have patience. Check the Judges Decisions forum and the homepage to see if your ReMix was posted.

What qualifies as a 'ReMix'?

You can ReMix music from any game, on any platform, from any time period. Atari 2600, Playstation 2, Sam Coupe, Commodore 64, Gameboy Advance, Arcade, PC, whatever. Though there will always be popular favorites, we suggest that ReMixing obscure songs that people probably haven't heard yet is just as viable if not moreso than doing popular (ahem, Squaresoft) stuff. But it's TOTALLY your call. The music does have to be from a game, however - it can't be a bonus track off a commercial OST that wasn't actually in the game. In addition, popular movie themes (i.e. Star Wars, Indiana Jones, etc.) or commercial songs that happened to be used in game soundtracks are not valid ReMix material. The music has to have been composed for the game, not simply used within it. Please ensure that submissions are primarily composed of arranged game music plus your own original additions. Any incorporation of non-game music (mainstream, classical, etc.) should be very limited and should never carry significant portions of the mix. For example, a Mega Man mix that used Beethoven's 9th symphony for its chorus, where 15-25% of the mix was not from the game itself, would likely be rejected. Sound effects are not considered music, and original compositions built using in-game sound effects but no actual music from a game will not be considered. ReMiixes of games that are shareware, freeware, or personal projects will be accepted, but may be rejected at our discretion based on the nature of the release. We highly recommend ReMixing titles released commercially to avoid any issues as to a game's candidacy for arrangement.

It is strongly encouraged that you limit material being ReMixed to a single game for each submission. Your ReMix will only be titled or "assigned" a single game in our database, regardless of how many games' music it contains, though we can mention in our write-up what other titles were covered. However, it is strongly advised due to the nature of the way mixes are evaluated that you maintain focus and continuity in your arrangement, which is much easier when you are dealing with songs from a single game's soundtrack. Please keep this in mind - part of the focus of this site is to highlight and pay homage to the work of game composers, not cram as many of their songs as possible into a five-minute arrangement.

Any genre or style of music is acceptable: Techno, Salsa, Rock, Classical, Ambient, Dub, Hillbilly, House, Trance, Medley, Hybrid, Rave, Jungle, Instrumental, Ska - you name it.

In terms of arrangement - how close or distant ReMixes should be to the original - the general rule is that the ReMix should be YOURS. We don't just mean that you were involved in its creation, but that it is different enough from the original so as to readily illustrate the contributions, modifications, and enhancements you have made. In other words, don't just take the original and drop a few drum loops on top. Also, don't simply take a MIDI file and assign new instruments to the parts, or add reverb, and expect that to pass as 'yours'. When we say 'ReMix', we actually mean something closer to 're-arrangement', if that helps clarify. If you listen to most of the pieces on the site and compare them to the originals, you should get an idea of what a ReMix is. Changing a piece's genre, adding original passages, solos, harmonies, and counter-melodies, as well as altering instrumentation, dynamics, and tempo are all ways of making a ReMix your own unique creation, and are techniques best used in conjunction.

To the other extreme, the song should at least bare a recognizable resemblence to the original - don't submit a ReMix of a Britney Spears song and tell us it's Super Mario because you were playing Super Mario when you wrote it. Somewhere in there has to be some traces of videogame music that others, not just yourself, can idenfity.

How are submissions judged?

ReMixes are evaluated based essentially on characteristics that fall into two categories: arrangement and sound quality. Under arrangement, the areas where your submission deviates from the original - and whether it deviates enough or (less frequently an issue) too much - will be examined. Transitions, sequencing, effectiveness within a genre, dynamics, variety, and most importantly originality are all criteria which make up the arrangement category. Even if you submit the most sonically impressive music in the world, if the tempo, notes, rhythms, and dynamics are identical to the original, your submission will not be accepted. Under sound quality, the mixing (mastering, panning, effects), processing, and sample quality are taken into account. OCR hosts MP3 files for a reason, and if the sound quality of your submission could easily have been achieved using the General MIDI soundsets of most budget consumer soundcards, it will be rated down in this category. Even if you submit the most ingenious reworking of a game theme ever, with sequencing and programming and chord progression all highly refined, if it clearly sounds like a default FruityLoops demo or General MIDI playback, your submission will not be accepted. An OC ReMix strikes a balance between creatively reworking the original composition and paying attention to mixing and sound quality, and is thus judged accordingly in both of these two areas.

Can I submit a revision of an existing, posted ReMix?

This has come up as an issue several times, and we've finally decided on a policy to help clarify the answer. If your mix was just posted a week ago and you're submitting a revision that fixes a one second audio glitch and nothing else, that's fine. However, in terms of submitting revisions that change the arrangement or mixing, we will only entertain such submissions as additions, not replacements, relative to the existing mix, and the new version has to be different enough in terms of arrangement, sound quality, instrumentation, etc. that both the new mix and the old stand on their own as separate creations. ReMixes of this nature will be judged on normal criteria as well as how different they are from the existing mix. Again, no replacements/revisions will be accepted, but if you've got a ReMix of a song you already ReMixed, and it's different enough, additions of that nature will be considered. This is in keeping the idea that OCR represents a history of video and computer game remixes, not just a collection of them, and that rewriting or replacing pieces of this history would have negative repercussions.

Who can submit and how often?

Anyone can submit a ReMix for consideration. However, the person submitting the ReMix either has to have created it themselves or have direct permission from a party involved in its creation. Please don't email us suggesting we post someone else's ReMix - email them suggesting they submit it. Please wait three weeks between ReMix submissions. We realize you may be a very productive, prolific ReMixer who creates dozens of great pieces a week - but, only submit your very best work. What format should the submission be in?

This is not a videogame MIDI remix site. There are plenty of those around, the world doesn't need another. What sets OC ReMixes apart is sound quality - while this can be achieved via MIDI by using Sound Fonts, the output is still MP3. ReMixes are judged in part on sound quality, and the inconsistency of MIDI playback is not ideal for the level we are aiming to achieve.

All ReMixes should be submitted in MP3 format.

ReMixes should be no larger than 6MB (6,291,456 bytes). No exceptions.

Bitrate should be as low as possible to achieve the desired sound quality, within reason. We recommend and use the free MP3 encoder LAME. If it's a really short song, feel free to bump up the bitrate a bit, but do not exceed 192Kbps . . . if it's a realllly long song, and won't fit under 6MB, please consider cutting a shorter, alternate version. It's a bandwidth thang ^^

Please fill out the minimum required ID3v2 fields according to our ID3v2 specification.

What should I put in the submission email?

Along with a link to your ReMix (preferred) or the ReMix attached, include in your email (required fields in red):

Contact Info

  • Your ReMixer name
  • Your real name
  • Your email address
  • Your website
  • Your userid (number, not name) on our forums

ReMix Info

  • Name of game(s) ReMixed
  • Name of individual song(s) ReMixed
  • Additional information about game if it has not yet been added to the site, including composer, system, etc.
  • Link to the original soundtrack if it is not one of the sound archives already available on the site
  • Your own comments about the mix, for example the inspiration behind it, how it was made, etc.

If you are submitting someone else's work (with their permission) see if you can extract, however painfully, that information from them . . . you can also tell us your credit card number, but that's probably a bad idea, and we really can't recommend it...

What's in it for me?

Fame, Glory, and a lifetime supply of the ability to say "I helped djpretzel!" . . . you just can't set a monetary value on those, now can you??

How do I actually submit the ReMix?

Include the information indicated above as well as a working link to your ReMix in an email to You should receive an automated confirmation email, though this doesn't always occur due to spam-blocking mechanisms, etc. Do not send questions, suggestions, etc. to this email address, only submissions - for anything else contact djpretzel.


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