Liontamer

ASK A JUDGE: While we're busy NOT voting - your questions, we want 'em

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There are a lot of mixes that get three No's and their threads are made public, but for many YES mixes they seem to need more than three, unless I'm just not stalking every judges pannel sub thread enough to see that is untrue. SO the bottom line is how many judges are needed to YES a mix: minimum, maximum, and what exactly dictates how many more judges are needed to give in a vote if the song is disputed (eg 2 yes/2 no, 4 yes/1 no, etc.)?

Thanks for your time.

As far as I can tell:

3 more No's then Yes's

4 more Yes's then No's

Keep going until that happens OR ends with a majority or djp needs to break

Oddly enough no one ever explicitly told me this, just what I picked up.

EDIT: Swedishly sniped!

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This has been said earlier by BGC that it took him an hour and a half.

But why does it take so much time to judge?

No, I don't mean how they have lives and stuff, but when they are actually listening to a remix, BGC said it took him such a long time to cast a vote.

Why?

When I ask Shariq for advice on MY music he immediately tells me if it's subworthy or not. In, like, less than a minute.

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Well, not EVERY vote takes that long, I'd even say that it's not really all that common for a vote to take that long. It's usually because of songs that are remixing a very obscure or unfamiliar source tune, especially if the submitter hasn't provided any assistance in exactly what the connections to their remix are. In those cases, one or more of us will usually just have to sit down and do the dirty work of finding out which parts of the remix are referencing which parts of the source, or if the section we're hearing is completely original material. This is also further complicated when a remix is in a different key, meter, genre, etc. We really want the music to pass, but we have to be fair first, and sometimes that just takes time. Try it sometime. Find a handful of remixes on here that are from a game or soundtrack that you are 100% unfamiliar with, and then download their soundtracks and see if you can figure out which remixes are of which themes.

You may notice that some are pretty obvious, while others don't really sound anything like the original songs, at least until you have listened to the original enough to become actively familiar with the theme and evaluated their remixes over a few listens. That's just how it is on the panel. It's just part of the deal. Even Shariq will tell you that some mixes are harder to analyze than others. If he tells you he can tell if every remix is OCR worthy on the first listen, he's lying :lol:

Lately, though, I've adopted a more "go with your gut, and err on the side of sympathy" approach. So if after a few good listens back and forth from remix to source it's just not at all obvious, I might be inclined to vote NO. But examples like this are precisely why we have a panel. There have been times where we all made mistakes and said we couldn't hear an arrangement clearly, only to have another Judge point out that we had merely overlooked it.

Moreover, if all we really needed to say was "YES" or "NO", then that would save a lot of time as well. But in some cases, there might be many things that we feel compelled to address in a remix so that the submitter can understand precisely why their remix was rejected and/or what they need to fix for the resub. And going back and relistening and timestamping just takes a little time, and it can add up.

Hope that helps you (or anyone else with the same question) understand. If I didn't want to give a mix a chance to prove it's adherence of the guidelines, I'd just NO it in 5 minutes and move on :)

It's also worth noting that voting generally moves much quicker when it's being done in real-time-chat with other judges, because you can both point out things to each other and come to conclusions much much quicker. Which is why I wish we would do it more.

Edited by big giant circles

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Well, not EVERY vote takes that long, I'd even say that it's not really all that common for a vote to take that long. It's usually because of songs that are remixing a very obscure or unfamiliar source tune, especially if the submitter hasn't provided any assistance in exactly what the connections to their remix are. In those cases, one or more of us will usually just have to sit down and do the dirty work of finding out which parts of the remix are referencing which parts of the source, or if the section we're hearing is completely original material. This is also further complicated when a remix is in a different key, meter, genre, etc. We really want the music to pass, but we have to be fair first, and sometimes that just takes time. Try it sometime. Find a handful of remixes on here that are from a game or soundtrack that you are 100% unfamiliar with, and then download their soundtracks and see if you can figure out which remixes are of which themes.

You may notice that some are pretty obvious, while others don't really sound anything like the original songs, at least until you have listened to the original enough to become actively familiar with the theme and evaluated their remixes over a few listens. That's just how it is on the panel. It's just part of the deal. Even Shariq will tell you that some mixes are harder to analyze than others. If he tells you he can tell if every remix is OCR worthy on the first listen, he's lying :lol:

Lately, though, I've adopted a more "go with your gut, and err on the side of sympathy" approach. So if after a few good listens back and forth from remix to source it's just not at all obvious, I might be inclined to vote NO. But examples like this are precisely why we have a panel. There have been times where we all made mistakes and said we couldn't hear an arrangement clearly, only to have another Judge point out that we had merely overlooked it.

Moreover, if all we really needed to say was "YES" or "NO", then that would save a lot of time as well. But in some cases, there might be many things that we feel compelled to address in a remix so that the submitter can understand precisely why their remix was rejected and/or what they need to fix for the resub. And going back and relistening and timestamping just takes a little time, and it can add up.

Hope that helps you (or anyone else with the same question) understand. If I didn't want to give a mix a chance to prove it's adherence of the guidelines, I'd just NO it in 5 minutes and move on :)

It's also worth noting that voting generally moves much quicker when it's being done in real-time-chat with other judges, because you can both point out things to each other and come to conclusions much much quicker. Which is why I wish we would do it more.

You guys should hold a voting session every weekend or something...

I mean not every one of you is out every saturday/sunday so just maybe a half hour to an hour voting session, can get voting done a lot faster.

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You guys should hold a voting session every weekend or something...

I mean not every one of you is out every saturday/sunday so just maybe a half hour to an hour voting session, can get voting done a lot faster.

Definitely not a bad idea and I've thought about it before. There's no time we'd all be able to make it, but maybe the US judges could. Also, I should mention Shariq is especially fast at voting. I seriously don't know how he does it sometimes.

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Definitely not a bad idea and I've thought about it before. There's no time we'd all be able to make it, but maybe the US judges could. Also, I should mention Shariq is especially fast at voting. I seriously don't know how he does it sometimes.

This has been brought up numerous times. I actually tried to plan stuff like this a while back, but you'd be surprised how difficult it is to make a reality unfortunately. Even for the state-side judges.

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It really depends on the source and how diluted the remix is. If its a fairly conservative mix from a game I know like any FF games or whatever, I can probably vote on that in about as long as the track is. There was a recent one where it took me almost two hours just to break down where parts of the song were used because it was so liberal.

It's different each time basically.

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Definitely not a bad idea and I've thought about it before. There's no time we'd all be able to make it, but maybe the US judges could. Also, I should mention Shariq is especially fast at voting. I seriously don't know how he does it sometimes.
It really depends on the source and how diluted the remix is. If its a fairly conservative mix from a game I know like any FF games or whatever, I can probably vote on that in about as long as the track is. There was a recent one where it took me almost two hours just to break down where parts of the song were used because it was so liberal.

It's different each time basically.

Well, I just wanted to throw the idea out there in case you've forgotten or you never thought about it before.

Thanks for the answer.

Edited by Neblix

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Well i have one and you can probably see where this is goin lol. How long, after a mix has been ok'ed by the judges, does it take to get posted to OCR? Is it a random selection or based on themes happening at the time? This may have been asked before I may have even asked but I'm an absent minded mofo and I'm too lazy to search lol.

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Generally, we try to post songs in order (or at least fairly close to it) however, we have been known to deviate depending on certain circumstances. Like if a project is released, Dave usually floods the front page with songs from that project/game for a bit. Or say it's the anniversary of a particular game we have a remix waiting in line for, Dave might post that remix so he can blurb about it in his write up.

There's still a bit of work to getting a remix prepped for OCR, and Larry usually handles that, so every so often we make mistakes and post out of order because once that's taken care of, it's usually queued up for Dave to post.

Aside from all that, I'd say the simple answer is "Whenever Dave finds the time" :)

Also, I would like it to be noted that the title of this thread should now be changed to "Ask A Judge: While we're busy actually voting - your questions, we want 'em" because in case anyone has noticed, we've actually been clearing out the queue pretty faithfully the past couple months. :nicework:

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Yeah I've noticed lol great job guys. Ok so then here's another question: So when you say there's still a bit of work to getting a remix prepped for OCR, what kind of work? Do you mean like changing the name and stuff or more technical things as well?

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Why isn't the remixer notified when a submitted track is being considered and/or accepted as a direct post?

Edited by halc

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Why isn't the remixer notified when a submitted track is being considered and/or accepted as a direct post?

It's because we hate you.

(We actually do have a form letter already written for that; perhaps we'll start using it.)

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Yeah, great job with picking up the pace in the past short period of time, and though I know the queue usually ebbs and flows like the tides and y'all kinda work in bursts, I hope you can keep it up.

1) I agree about the notification of direct post, but is there a similar process if the mix is just accepted by the judge's panel? I know a mix isn't "official" until it's actually posted, and you all seem to keep the Judging Queue thread semi-regularly updated, but what if a mixer doesn't come around that often? I feel that it would be nice to send them an email, just as one would get an email after OCR receives their submission. Not all the mixers that submit may have the luxury of constantly checking the site, and hopefully it's not too much extra effort just to send out a lil' email.

2) I can't remember if it's been specifically mentioned or if I've already asked, but is there a formula or rule to determine how many, if any, songs from a project can be picked for a mix-flood? It seems to be around 1/6-1/7 of a total project's tracks if it's medium sized (going by a Xenogears average of two discs), but in the case of JM's Castlevania album, there were three song, which constitutes almost half the album. I'm not being nitpicky, but it's just nice to know what to expect from all the upcoming projects in terms of mix-flood, and if there's any way someone can shed a little light on it, I'd appreciate it. If the answer is "however many I feel like", I'll even accept that.

3) Is there a limit to how many times a song can be resubbed?

4) When I submit a song, I feel like I have a tendency to overwrite the submission email. If y'all haven't gotten to it, be forewarned that my sub from the end of September probably counts as a small college-level essay. Is there a preferred length that you'd want to call a maximum for submission descriptions, and is there anything in-particular that YOU like to see in the description (such as a source breakdown for reference, what parts are original, etc.)?

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1) I thought we already did agree to start notifying people when their song was passed. I'm not sure if we're actually doing it now or not. But then again, a sub is never a sure-thing until it's actually on the front page. And not to sound unconcerned or anything, but if someone submits a song to OCR and then just never ever checks back, then ya know, that's just kind of weird.

2) Pretty much as many as Dave feels like :) There's no set limit how many project tracks can be submitted/posted to OCR.

3) Fortunately (and in some cases unfortunately) no. Anyone is free to submit their song 2 times or 200 times.

4) I used to do the same thing. I would write a freaking book every time I submitted. Now that I'm a judge though, I realize how impractical it is for us to read every singe submission email. So I usually just skim them. I enjoy interesting facts/trivia about remixers and remixes, but I honestly don't really care to read 2,000 words of the evolution of music and how it had an impact on a submission. I mean, it's no crime to have long emails, because other people will have the chance to read them once it gets moved to "Judges Decisions", but ya know, be as concise as possible, and be practical.

Actually, this gives me an opportunity to spell out and example of the IDEAL submission email.

*****************************

Real Name - Johnny BillyBob

Remixer name - DJ Untz

email - untzuntzuntzuntzuntz@aol.com

Hello! This is my first submission to OCR! I've wanted to make a remix of [insert obscure game here] because I feel like it has an AMAZING soundtrack! I picked the "Castle 2 theme" which you can listen to here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObscureGameOSTSong

And here's the remix:

http://www.thisisafakelinkdonotclickit.com/AwesomeRemix.mp3

I used Ableton Live to make this. Since the original sounds kind of medieval-sounding and I did an electronic remix in a different key, here's a bit of a breakdown:

0:00 - 0:31 is based on the string loop from :07-:21 in the source.

0:32 - 0:45 is just an original arpeggio I programmed in to build up the energy.

0:45 is where the bass comes in, and it follows the chords from :24 to :34 in the source

1:02 - 1:48 is based on the main melody of the source (at :41)

1:49 is the breakdown. Some cool beats thrown in for fun :)

2:20 is the melody again, with some cool synth solo added.

2:52 is actually based on the Sonic the Hedgehog theme.

3:31 - end goes back to the same progression as the source intro.

So that's the general idea. Obviously this is not a requirement, but you see in the case of receiving a submission that is either of a really obscure game that nobody is familiar with, or a remix that is drastically different than the source tune, providing a link to the source music and a reasonable breakdown of which parts of the remix are citing which parts of the source, it tends to speed up judging in a pretty huge way. We're still gonna listen and confirm, just to make sure, but still, having the general guide from the get-go is generally tremendously helpful. At the very least, people should always specifically cite what they are remixing. "Here's a remix from the Legend of Zelda" is just ridiculous. (That's happened before) That's a huge series, and it's stupid to expect us to dig through hours of music just to find the one tune that your mix is based on.

Edited by big giant circles

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2) I can't remember if it's been specifically mentioned or if I've already asked, but is there a formula or rule to determine how many, if any, songs from a project can be picked for a mix-flood? It seems to be around 1/6-1/7 of a total project's tracks if it's medium sized (going by a Xenogears average of two discs), but in the case of JM's Castlevania album, there were three song, which constitutes almost half the album. I'm not being nitpicky, but it's just nice to know what to expect from all the upcoming projects in terms of mix-flood, and if there's any way someone can shed a little light on it, I'd appreciate it. If the answer is "however many I feel like", I'll even accept that.

In the case of SoS, Larry had me nominate a bunch of tracks to be paneled (not all of which have gone through yet, unfortunately), and then had the ones that passed and were Direct Post material posted on and after the release date. There is no limit on how many tracks from a project can be posted, as far as I know. Basically it's however many the director chooses, how many pass the panel, and how many are chosen for Direct Post.

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1) I agree about the notification of direct post, but is there a similar process if the mix is just accepted by the judge's panel? I know a mix isn't "official" until it's actually posted, and you all seem to keep the Judging Queue thread semi-regularly updated, but what if a mixer doesn't come around that often? I feel that it would be nice to send them an email, just as one would get an email after OCR receives their submission. Not all the mixers that submit may have the luxury of constantly checking the site, and hopefully it's not too much extra effort just to send out a lil' email.

We're totally with you. We actually have form letters written up for regular pass too, but haven't tested it out yet. I'm gonna try the direct post ones first because there's less of them, the decision is less likely to change, and I get the most PMs asking if the mix fell through. We're also experimenting a little with when we close decisions, so if a fair number of our regular decisions get reopened, form letters when it passes might not be a good idea.

I've mentioned this before to Dave and Larry, but I wasn't aware that either of my first two mixes on this site were posted until months after the fact. I never heard back and I assumed they had been rejected. So I'm behind the idea of more contact with the remixer.

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