@Lashmush I do sorta feel like you glossed over my response and simply repeated your many misgivings about the overall process; your second post here reads very similar to your first. We do seem to have a fundamental difference of opinion - and yes, it's opinion, not fact - regarding what's off limits or counterproductive when it comes to criticism, specifically of music. When a judge points out that a piano part "doesn't sound playable" and it's intended as criticism, you can infer that not only does it not sound like someone could play the part - which I agree isn't really an issue by itself - but that it sounds unplayable in a way that is displeasing to the judge, doesn't sit well with the rest of the arrangement, etc. Your definition of criticism would eliminate some of the best, most specific feedback I've seen the panel provide, over the years, which in countless cases was implemented and resulted in a better mix - with the judges AND the artist agreeing about the improvement. It does happen, and frequently enough to reinforce to me that such efforts are not in vain, as you imply. You mention some fringe cases, where a musical work defies orthodoxy in one way or another and would presumably run afoul of our standards, but... we've passed a ton of material that is experimental, unorthodox, or otherwise "challenging" over the years. In the case of your arrangement, the piece wasn't really out of left field - it has familiar aspects of structure/genre and doesn't strike me as a particularly unusual VGM arrangement. As I've mentioned, I liked it. And I agree, with several judges, that the bass is poorly mixed. Your response is that you meant to do it that way, you love the piece as-is, and you question our ability to isolate any single element as being problematic; I profoundly disagree with this thinking, because it would mean that judges could NEVER hone in on muddy mixing, weak drums, abrasive high frequencies on a guitar part, an out-of-tune trumpet, etc. - all of that COULD simply be how the artist wanted it, and who are we to judge?
Except, that's just it. It's a judges panel. A panel of judges. That judge.
Always has been. And inherent in having any sort of evaluative mechanism of subjective/creative material - whether it's a panel of judges, or a "Quality Control" team, or whatever - is going to be an analysis of what's presented, how it works, and what is or is not preventing it from being featured on one small corner of a very large Internet.
Post your Discord in this thread or add me (texturology#8079)! I love talking to new/old friends in a chatroom environment and have a good time \o/
I'm texturology, previously known as "Txai" if you're familiar.