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The Evolution of OCR


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I've become so far and removed from OCRemix since it's hay-days back when I was in college, mostly because life has intervined. I love and hate how massive this site has become, it's lost some of its intimacy, but also gained incredible popularity and influence. I have a few years worth of remixes to catch up on, but I KNOW you guys always only put up the best!

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Yeah, that basically breaks down what I was trying to say in a nutshell. It's not the J's fault that people don't resub their stuff, it's the composers fault.

Don't be hatin' the J's...

Some people who give up after getting a NO could just not be making music for OCReMix. A NO doesn't mean their song needs any criticism at all, it just means it needs adjustments to get on OCR.

Some people, odd as it may seem, aren't making music for OverClocked ReMix. Some people are just making music because they enjoy making music and want to show homage to the music of a game they once loved. They submit it to OverClocked ReMix as chance to provide OverClocked ReMix with something they created in hopes that others will hear and enjoy it. Whether OverClocked ReMixes chooses to accept their offer or politely decline it is not necessarily relevant to the quality of the track, or the adjustments it might need to make it listening, but rather what it would need to fall within OCReMixes standards.

If someone works very hard a song, and they feel the song is complete. It's everything they want it to be, and a good amount of people enjoy it as is, but it gets rejected from OverClocked ReMix. They might hear what the judges have to say about their song, and just feel that they're comfortable with their track AS IS and that they don't feel like revising it to meet OCReMixes needs over their own. It doesn't make them quitters, and it doesn't make them bad people =\

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Critique is a part of growth as an artist. A NO obviously means they think you have some growing to do. As long as it's constructive TO that growth, a NO from the Judges should be taken a chance to see mistakes, learn from them, and come back stronger!

Not to offend, but I hate to inform you that you are seemingly uneducated on the matter.

http://remix.thasauce.net/song/RTS0004/

This song was NO'd. And I assure you Shnab doesn't need much growing.

I'm sure Larry or some of the other judges can back me up in saying just because a song gets a NO does not necessarily mean someone has to GROW at all. Simply that they don't fall within OCReMix's (somewhat strict at times) standards.

I sincerely hope that clears up the misconception that "rejected songs are bad."

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True, a NO doesn't absolutely mean the artist needs more growing, but while it's not hard to find a few exceptions here and there, the majority of tracks we get are not hidden gems. They're not Shnabubula, and people shouldn't get the impression that we're getting a lot of gold that we throw out the window. As Larry will tell you, the MAJORITY case is that people that get NO'd (or form letter rejected) tend to be experienced. Not true 100% of the time, but it's not the exception to the rule. Generally speaking, in every case where a mix is really good but doesn't meet our standards, there is always a lot of controversy.

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Well, to be clear about most NOs, because that's what someone like Hoboka was complaining about, the fact is that most NOs are given the NO because they do need additional work on interpretation, composition and/or production to be above bar, and could use the work. Many are below average or bad pieces of music. And a decent amount of material is really promising and is narrowly rejected or rejected with lots of urges to resubmit. But that's a comparatively small amount of material.

People can be upset about the quality bar all they want, but the community's reputation has grown positively on account of the raising of that bar, and the overall increase in consistency is objective not subjective.

And then we get submissions of MIDIs, pure chiptunes, covers with little interpretation, traditional remixes heavily sampling original audio, mashups, mixes of game tracks not originally created for games or original songs ABOUT video games (which are all outside our scope) where rejections are independent of quality. But those are much more infrequent, probably less than 5% of all rejections. And, there is nothing inherently wrong with OCR having a focus that excludes those types of music, not because we dislike that music, but because back in 1999 OCR was created to offer something collectively different than preexisting concept websites that already offered those other types of music. Some of you are not understanding this.

I also think the comment about OCR trying to institute a "facade of professionalism" is ignorant. Obviously, we like to have a high standard, and it does blur the line between fan and professional for some of our community members. How that's apparently a negative thing for a community of musicians who enjoy video game music, I have no idea. But we don't have high standards to pretend we're professionals, we do it to pay respect to the original work and encourage people to appreciate video game music more by presenting consistently creative material. And that raises the game for everyone because while standards aren't professional, they're unapologetically at a high level for a hobbyist, and it promotes musicians becoming GOOD at what they do, not just half-decent.

[00:26] <+starla> or less than 38.92% of the "arrangement" resembles the original

[00:26] <+starla> but they ONLY do this math if you're not part of the clique

Nah, I always do the math when there's a potential I could YES it. Not trying to pull a debate trick re: burden of proof, but you've gotta gimme some proof through linking decisions, because you're just talking out of your ass with that. :lol: No offense taken. But we don't have shadow conspiracies to pass stuff from friends and overlook the guidelines for them. If people did that, I'd want them kicked off.

[00:31] <+starla> good songs get rejected straight up because they are "not ocr material"

[00:31] <+starla> there is no question about that

[00:31] <+starla> that's fine, that's how OCR is run

[00:31] <+starla> NEWS FLASH

[00:31] <+starla> OCR is not the world

Of course. And that's OK, because we're not saying it is. But people with a chip on their shoulder complain AS IF we say it is. That isn't our problem.

[00:34] <@Ramaniscenc> I'm sorry, do YOU want to be the one to tell him that a NO doesn't mean it's a bad song?

[00:34] <@Ramaniscenc> Because you don't seem to do that often

[00:34] <@Ramaniscenc> Nor do other judges

You, you're talking out of your ass too. :lol: You clearly don't read enough judges decisions. I'm not sure why you're framing it as "if they say NO, they're saying or implying it's bad music no matter the quality level", when we don't do that at all. There are enough people who have had a submission rejected who will vouch for that. Again, no offense taken, but the accusations are just silly. Maybe we can add your PC language elaborating on "it's not necessarily bad", BUT given your POV, I don't see how adding that would satisfy what you perceive as the judges being soul-crushing douches. But us offering positive feedback or saying something's good despite being outside the standards happens often when we hear promising submissions. You need to read through decisions and recognize you're wrong on that.

Judges never say anything nice. And that's just page 1.

I just linked all 36 NO threads on page 1 of Decisions without exception. WHEN you read through them, you will realize you're 100% wrong. Are we really having this discussion? Really? You bitch and moan about the judges being unsupportive and saying we're not clarifying to people that their work isn't necessarily bad, and YET you don't read a goddamn thing we say. You don't read shit. :lol:

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Why is it that there's always been controversy/misconceptions about the goals of this place, and how this site hopes to attain those goals through the artists, their music and the community? I mostly get this impression from all the write-ups I've read... and the fact that since i've been frequenting the forums there has been (quiet and usually small) debate on the subject.

You know, the mission reads very vague, kinda like the US Constitution, and was written by the founding fathers (Using quills made of pretzel/In melted milky chocolate dripping). The submission standards, though quite concise, are elusive, particularly concerning arrangement ("remix? huh?"), and all one can do in the process of submitting a remix is to compare their completed work to other fine workes and recent precedent in terms of arrangement and production, pray, and really i'm not too sure because I've never done this before.

The judges really are like Supreme Court. Obviously. So why am I still talking? It's (relatively) hard to bring a remix before the judges panel. It takes like... five months for the courts to even address your request for their attention. If you're really lucky and they grant you certiorari (though there aren't really any lower appellate courts here..?), THEN they have to evaluate your remix to make sure it matches up to the broad goals found in the site mission and to consider whether or not the remix in question meets the standards, or that somehow the remix in question ought to change the standards. And they don't even allow attorneys to argue the case for the remixers! However, there have been amicus curiae from time to time called to lend their expert opinions to the judges -- mind you, these are judges who essentially have a lifetime appointment until they decide to retire or commit a high crime or misdemeanor. Then, after "hearing" your case (which may in fact require multiple listens), you gotta wait like five years for the results to be made really public. Curious that even though the judges tend to vote unanimously, everyone must write a concurrent opinion. You'd think they'd discuss these things through in their bat-cave and appoint one person to write the opinion of the high court but nooo.

So, what I'm saying is.. I know, I shouldn't say this, the cameras are rolling and everything .. the judges essentially make federal policy and, in the absence of lower appellate courts, state policy as well.

DO YOU SEE WHAT I'M SAYING PEOPLE? OC REMIX HAS TURNED INTO A MINIATURE VERSION OF THE UNITED STATES... EXCEPT THERE IS NO LEGISLATIVE BRANCH! That was the point of it ALL ALONG, PEOPLE. We should totally throw a tea party up in here! I know some nanas who can throw a real GREAT TEA PARTY! Or, even better, secede from the union!

Uh, so my overall point was... this place is fairly complex, and from the outside you might not appreciate what kind of a system is put in place to interpret a vague mission by regulating what submitted remixes are acceptable. The judges are fairly loose-constructionists, though they've got a good feel for what's good what's no bueno for the present... like the U.S., OCR has managed to last fairly long, though not 100% the same throughout the years.

...

I'm not drunk, high, nor stoned, but I hope I have entertained you with an analogy with a goal to describe OCR that might hold some water (but not in the court of law :/) that probably applied only 5 pages ago and will be lost to the world upon the shedding of next nightfall's tender terminal tear.

[/derrierespeak]

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I've been on the recieving end of some NOes for technicalities, and honestly each time it happened the judges all said my remixes were well done irregardless. Just pointing out that they didn't tell me I was awful because I didn't meet some arbitrary arrangement percentage, but instead encouraged what I did well and I learned what not to do if I wanted more remixes up here. I was still kind of sour about it at first anyways but life goes on :)

Perhaps calling them submission standards allows for some misinterpretation. Standards sounds like the short form of "quality control standards", and while I'm sure most of the submissions aren't high enough quality anyways, the people who make the remixes that are of high quality that have gotten rejected anyways would feel like they were told "sorry, its not good enough for our standards", which... well, it's hard to explain but it doesnt sound very pleasant right? What I'm trying to say is that it's all in the semantics.

On the subject this thread was originally about, I just wanna say that I've been following (lurking) around this place for about 8 years now and I honestly find myself downloading more remixes now than I ever used to. All the "regulars" have gotten really good and the standards are at the right place that I can feel comfortable downloading a remix from a new mixer I've never even heard of before.

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Not to offend, but I hate to inform you that you are seemingly uneducated on the matter.

http://remix.thasauce.net/song/RTS0004/

This song was NO'd. And I assure you Shnab doesn't need much growing.

I'm sure Larry or some of the other judges can back me up in saying just because a song gets a NO does not necessarily mean someone has to GROW at all. Simply that they don't fall within OCReMix's (somewhat strict at times) standards.

I sincerely hope that clears up the misconception that "rejected songs are bad."

Going on top of what Rama said.

http://remix.thasauce.net/song/RTS0037/ was also given a no and and music wise it is a great listen. I recall it was given a no because it didn't use enough of the source.

Many people also don't remember that even bLinD has been no'ed (remember his fan popular F-Zero MegaMix). Given a no because it was too similar to the original source, not because of it's great sound.

http://remix.thasauce.net/song/RTS0040/ this song I did was no'ed like bLinD's mix due to being to close to the source, however since I loved the song the way it was I chose to never change it and thus never resubmitted.

So yeah... I don't think a NO has to do with a person growing at all.

I think a common misconception that people have is that proven OCR remixers get their work tossed up on the site with ease, and that's simply not the case if their song doesn't measure to the guidelines that this site has set for music ie. interpretation, source usage, quality etc. A song can sound great and that's awesome, but this site like stated earlier, has a unique mission when it comes to the music on it.

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Not to offend, but I hate to inform you that you are seemingly uneducated on the matter.

http://remix.thasauce.net/song/RTS0004/

This song was NO'd. And I assure you Shnab doesn't need much growing.

I'm sure Larry or some of the other judges can back me up in saying just because a song gets a NO does not necessarily mean someone has to GROW at all. Simply that they don't fall within OCReMix's (somewhat strict at times) standards.

I sincerely hope that clears up the misconception that "rejected songs are bad."

I'm far from uneducated in the matter, and I never said anything about a NO being "bad." I just come from the school of "life is learning." Let me rephrase what I said - growth is learning.

I'm a visual artist, not a musical one, but I still face the idea of rejection and critique the same as you musicians every day. I'm sure you can name the famous composer who's dying words were (paraprhased) "It's a shame, I've not yet mastered woodwinds."

No offense taken, I just believe the sky is the limit for growth and that there's always something new to learn, sometimes it just takes someone else to point it out! :)

*edit* Also, see Larry's post above! */edit*

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Re: quality level, I advised a friend that wants to get into DJing to go directly to WIP and read. OCR is an amazing place for a hobbyist to transform into a professional-caliber musician.

As for charm lacking in newer mixes, I heard Zelda on a beer bottle last week.

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I think a common misconception that people have is that proven OCR remixers get their work tossed up on the site with ease, and that's simply not the case if their song doesn't measure to the guidelines that this site has set for music ie. interpretation, source usage, quality etc. A song can sound great and that's awesome, but this site like stated earlier, has a unique mission when it comes to the music on it.

i agree with this, completely.

my fourth ocr submission was posted, as was my fifth. i had nine - count them, nine - rejections until my next posted mix, and that was over the course of four years during which i went from a one-trick wonder to a professional soundtrack composer. and i've still had mixes canned with frequency since becoming a composer.

i still don't consider myself anywhere near a lot of the artists on this site, those of which also have rejections. i just got lucky with a job offer or two.

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It could also be because as I've learned more as a producer, I've realized that some techniques I thought were basically magical are really quite simple.

Wow...same here. I use to think EQ was magical, although I kinda still do.

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I think a common misconception that people have is that proven OCR remixers get their work tossed up on the site with ease, and that's simply not the case if their song doesn't measure to the guidelines that this site has set for music ie. interpretation, source usage, quality etc. A song can sound great and that's awesome, but this site like stated earlier, has a unique mission when it comes to the music on it.

Completely true. And completely obvious, if you look at recent judges decisions; just looking at the first page, there are rejected mixes by such proven artists as halcyon and sixto.

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I'm sure Larry or some of the other judges can back me up in saying just because a song gets a NO does not necessarily mean someone has to GROW at all. Simply that they don't fall within OCReMix's (somewhat strict at times) standards.

rejected submission from judge (at the time): http://remix.thasauce.net/song/RTS0113/

decision: http://www.ocremix.org/forums/showthread.php?t=12719

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For people (judges and otherwise) denying favoritism and bias, I gotta say that's an extremely bold statement that I simply don't believe. I find it weird that some of the posters here finding bias to be wrong. Quite the contrary, ALL of us are biased. To rephrase a quote from one of Godzilla 2000: "there's a small bias in every one of us!" It's called opinion. We all have different tastes, things that we like and hate, etc...this is the basis of forming opinions and critiques. Without bias and favoritism, we're soulless. Of course, everything has a limit...and sometimes it gets painfully obvious when you "bash madly" or "love fanboyishly"...but again, that's what makes each of us unique. When you're a critic, on the other hand, you have to keep those in control...and when you don't, you'll either get bashed or respected for voicing off your opinion. Vicious cycle indeed. Either way, you're forming a name for yourself because of your opinion. Not everyone will unanimously agree with you, yet you'll find a lot of supporters.

That's how most of us basically pick our favorite pieces here in OCR (old or new), including me. I like certain remixers, certain game soundtracks, certain genres...it's more of these factors and less of how "OCR musicians are raising the bar in terms of production, arrangement, etc".

As an example, most of you people have been praising that Zelda Heineken track like no tomorrow...while I find it to be extremely gimmicky and repetitive, with all due respect to the remixer. It's just not my taste at all. You want a cool Zelda track? Listen to this:

http://dod.vgmix.com/past/2009-may/02-Harjalwaldar-ZLttP-Utopia-DoD.mp3

Now that's solid gold right there. So soothing. So amazing. Acoustic guitars. An ALttP track that hasn't been remixed at all. I find this to be OCR quality, while some judges may not simply because "it follows the original too closely" or "there's something a bit off with the recording". While that'll piss me off, it's not the end of the world 'cause I don't think I can push my opinion upon others. Judges already built their reputations with critiquing a lot of songs over the years. You want your name heard? Go to the reviews thread and post as much as possible. You may even be picked as a judge someday. Something about your "bias" will attract people. Simple as that.

The Evolution of OCR = The Evolution of Listeners' Opinions

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1) Obviously there's some degree of subjectivity involved in applying the standards, because judges can have differing opinions on various mixes. No one's disputing that, and our process works that way by design, not by accident. Otherwise you wouldn't need judges, you could just use a checklist.

Bias is a term used to described a tendency or preference towards a particular perspective, ideology or result, especially when the tendency interferes with the ability to be impartial, unprejudiced, or objective.

The underlined second part of the definition is what we're concerned about eliminating on the panel. We want the first part in a sense because our ideology is our standards, and our standards are independent from our personal music preferences. Also, being fair to each track isn't just about having an earnest opinion. Look at SgtRama's & starla's quotes a couple of posts ago with their nonsense; you can be earnest and be 100% wrong. It's also about having a good grasp of the standards so that you're applying them in a reasonable, consistent way.

Where you go wrong is implying we claim we don't or can't have opinions, and that having an opinion displays a "lack of control" in the context of being a critic. What I'm saying is that we aren't in the business of arbitrarily applying the standards with favoritism and bias, i.e. voting against our better judgement in spite of what we're listening to.

2) Your argument about our "bias" potentially in action is you giving negative hypotheticals on what we could say about that DoD track you linked, when a) there's no cut-and-dry arrangement call against it and B) the production is good, and no judge would say the production was messed up. It's a straw man argument, and I'd recommend not assuming that kind of stuff.

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For people (judges and otherwise) denying favoritism and bias, I gotta say that's an extremely bold statement that I simply don't believe. I find it weird that some of the posters here finding bias to be wrong. Quite the contrary, ALL of us are biased. To rephrase a quote from one of Godzilla 2000: "there's a small bias in every one of us!" It's called opinion. We all have different tastes, things that we like and hate, etc...this is the basis of forming opinions and critiques. Without bias and favoritism, we're soulless. Of course, everything has a limit...and sometimes it gets painfully obvious when you "bash madly" or "love fanboyishly"...but again, that's what makes each of us unique. When you're a critic, on the other hand, you have to keep those in control...and when you don't, you'll either get bashed or respected for voicing off your opinion. Vicious cycle indeed. Either way, you're forming a name for yourself because of your opinion. Not everyone will unanimously agree with you, yet you'll find a lot of supporters.

That's how most of us basically pick our favorite pieces here in OCR (old or new), including me. I like certain remixers, certain game soundtracks, certain genres...it's more of these factors and less of how "OCR musicians are raising the bar in terms of production, arrangement, etc".

As an example, most of you people have been praising that Zelda Heineken track like no tomorrow...while I find it to be extremely gimmicky and repetitive, with all due respect to the remixer. It's just not my taste at all. You want a cool Zelda track? Listen to this:

http://dod.vgmix.com/past/2009-may/02-Harjalwaldar-ZLttP-Utopia-DoD.mp3

Now that's solid gold right there. So soothing. So amazing. Acoustic guitars. An ALttP track that hasn't been remixed at all. I find this to be OCR quality, while some judges may not simply because "it follows the original too closely" or "there's something a bit off with the recording". While that'll piss me off, it's not the end of the world 'cause I don't think I can push my opinion upon others. Judges already built their reputations with critiquing a lot of songs over the years. You want your name heard? Go to the reviews thread and post as much as possible. You may even be picked as a judge someday. Something about your "bias" will attract people. Simple as that.

The Evolution of OCR = The Evolution of Listeners' Opinions

Different type of biased from that being discussed. When we say there's no bias or favoritism, we mean that well-known remixers don't automatically get posted just because they're well known.

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Where you go wrong is implying we claim we don't or can't have opinions, and that having an opinion displays a "lack of control" in the context of being a critic. What I'm saying is that we aren't in the business of arbitrarily applying the standards with favoritism and bias, i.e. voting against our better judgement in spite of what we're listening to.

2) Your argument about our "bias" potentially in action is you giving negative hypotheticals on what we could say about that DoD track you linked, when a) there's no cut-and-dry arrangement call against it and B) the production is good, and no judge would say the production was messed up. It's a straw man argument, and I'd recommend not assuming that kind of stuff.

I didn't mean to imply that you can't have opinions whatsoever. I wanted to convey that it's good to have a detailed opinion on something while keeping "the standards" in mind. Even going "overboard" at times can be good within reason of course. You judges have that balance. Even if people don't like that, it's how OCR has been working for the past couple of years. I'm not against this at all. Rules are rules. It's just that at times "my bias" kicks in to tracks I love/hate. I can't control that.

Also, about that example, I wanted to add the word "hypothetical" in there but decided against it for some reason. Maybe I should've done it. Either way, I didn't write that example to put OCR in a negative light. I was just trying to show how much of a gray area we're talking about here. There's no black and white when it comes to this stuff at all, but I feel that you're trying so hard to draw a line when there's no need to. OCR remixers who are frequent contributors deserve a slightly positive first-impression and/or priority over newbies or people who aren't that talented...because they mostly deliver on all fonts and listeners would like more of these particular artists. It's just sad that people think it's a "clique" thing 'cause it really isn't.

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