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*NO - UPDATED POLICY* Super Mario Galaxy "The Little Girl and the Star" *RESUB* *PRIORITY*


Liontamer
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LINK to resubmission: 
 
Notes: thanks all for your feedback! We worked on polishing up the track based on the judges' feedback. This version has an all new mix, quite a few timing polishes, and a few punched in parts (specifically my vocals at the end). 
 
Thanks for your (re)consideration!
Joe
 
---
  • Your ReMixer name: Newmajoe [arrangement, production, saxophones, toy piano, backup vocals]
Other musicians: Michelle Dreyband [vocals] Sam Schwartz [Guitar, Mandolin, mastering]. 
  • Name of game(s) arranged: Super Mario Galaxy
  • Name of arrangement: The Little Girl And The Star 
  • Name of individual song(s) arranged:
Luma, Gusty Garden Galaxy, Rosalina in the Observatory. 
  • Additional information about game including composer, system, etc. (if it has not yet been added to the site)
The lyrics are adapted from the in-game "Rosalina's Story" written by Yoshiaki Koizumi, the game's director.
  • 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.
The arrangement was created for the Dwelling of Duels February competition, which was "Mario" month. I was inspired by classic "storybook readings" with traditional film scoring, much like Disney audiobooks. My three year old daughter is obsessed with these stories, and I jumped at the chance to compose something for her in this chamber style. (You might even be able to guess her name if you listen closely for some quotes in the arrangement!) My collaborators Michelle (vocals) and Sam (strings) threw themselves 100% into this project, and were involved at every stage of production. I absolutely could not have done this without them.
 
Best,
Joe
Edited by Liontamer
closed decision
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It's massively better, I'll say that much.  Production is excellent, no complaints on that front anymore.  The performances are tighter overall.  But the timing is still pretty loose, and the singing at the end is still notably pitchy.

There's still the larger question of whether a submission in which the dominant component is spoken word can also count as one in which the "source material" is dominant ("source material" being music as defined by our standards).  I personally see that as a conflict.  So for this to get a YES from me, it would need both cleaner performances and a ruling by djp that this counts; otherwise, I see it as a standards violation.  Either way, I still have to give it a

NO

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  • MindWanderer changed the title to 2023/03/28 - (1Y/1N) Super Mario Galaxy "The Little Girl and the Star" *RESUB* *PRIORITY*

the voiceover recording quality is distractingly poor. it's very noticeable and does not sound good, especially compared to how organically the saxes and guitar are recorded. i think that removing the heavy reverb and toning that back to be much more organic was a great choice from last time, but it still sounds like you recorded it on a poor mic. i feel that the diction, emotion, and pace are all fine, however, so my issue is more with the technical aspect. i wouldn't mind if it was the slightest bit slower, particularly around the 3:15 range, but that's more a nit than anything.

the backing music is cute! the first set of backing parts are really enjoyable, well performed, and well-scored. the sax parts at 0:51 are distractingly off in terms of timing both initially and occasionally throughout the rest of the section. the lead is noticeably ahead of the beat, the the alto in the right ear is also ahead compared to the mandolin/uke and low winds. the triplet section around 2:00 is also really rough initially. it's distractingly bad when it happens.

3:44's attacks and timing are much better - this section sounds great. the bari's a bit wild and you get some air column issues on the recording (always record a bari sax off-axis so you don't get air pressure artifacts and volume changes due to the left pinky notes closing the column too far!). the resolution at 5:10 is beautiful.

the writing at 5:15 is a cute idea. it's wildly out of tune, even not counting how strange of a choice the synth behind it is. the synth's overtones are so present that the instrument sounds out of tune with itself as it arpeggiates chords (same issue that you get from church bells, as an example). i get the music box idea but it sounds bad, especially next to wide vibrato and pitchy note cores in the singers. this part desperately needs some autotuning to level out the pitch drift and maybe tone in the width of the vibrato. the initial timing in the singers is also dissimilar.

elephant in the room - this is a great remix *idea* if you take out the spoken word and just listen to the main remix. in other words, if Eyes on Me (Obsession) is a remix, so is this. that track is numbered in the three digits, though, so i get that it may be grandfathered in. as it is, though, i think there's more than enough here to count as a remix.

that said, this isn't executed well enough. the voiceover sounds like it's recorded with a headset mic. the voices at the end are significantly in need of remediation. those two together are enough for me to reject this. beyond that, the timing issues throughout are troublesome but could easily be fixed via autotune software that autodetects notes and transitions - i've used it regularly for instrumental timing fixes in the past, and it's nearly flawless in this application. the ending musicbox synth is honestly difficult to listen to. even a glock would be a better choice there. these issues may be somewhat time-consuming to fix, but i think they'd make a huge upgrade in the track overall and the enjoyability of it.

 

 

NO

Edited by prophetik music
clarified my elephant sentence.
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  • prophetik music changed the title to 2023/03/28 - (1Y/2N) Super Mario Galaxy "The Little Girl and the Star" *RESUB* *PRIORITY*
3 hours ago, prophetik music said:

if Eyes on Me (Obsession) is a remix, so is this.

I'm just going to point out that the spoken word element of that remix is just the lyrics of the original song.  There's no question that they constitute source material. Also, they only play for 1:07 of a 5:26 arrangement, and are in no way the dominant element.

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NO

We absolutely should not post this track. I don't say that as a qualitative judgement on the track itself, but look: this is, as Joe said in the previous decision, an audio book with background music. The focal point of this work is the storytelling. I've often defended vocals in remixes we get but those are tracks that feature singing or rap. This is not a lyrical performance, it's a straight narration.

The backing music is good. If feels loose and organically performed, which other Js might take issue with but I thought it sounded nice. There are some intonation issues with the singing at the end, and it feels very exposed when all of the accompaniment drops out.

But back to my main point: the narration here completely pulls me out of listening to this as a piece of music. This is not, in its entirety, a musical work. There's too much focus being pulled by the non-musical storytelling performance. I don't see myself ever putting this in a playlist of music to listen to. I don't think OCR is the place for this.

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  • DarkeSword changed the title to 2023/03/28 - (1Y/3N) Super Mario Galaxy "The Little Girl and the Star" *RESUB* *PRIORITY*

Yeah, I agree with Darkesword, this is spoken audio with an arrangement backing it. It's cool, but it's not exactly what OCR is for.

I could see this being resub'd with just the music, though, since it's a pretty cool guitar/wind arrangement on it's own. As others have mentioned the timing of some of the instruments are off (those stabs from the sax roughly 1:15 in are a stand out example of something not landing on the offbeat as intended), and some of the notes aren't as clean as they can be (that sax slip-up at 1:09, for example), but it's not quite a deal breaker in my opinion; it adds to the live effect of the arrangement.

The singing at the end should probably be re-recorded if this is resubmitted, though; the man's singing was flat, and the note the woman ends on is flat. The singing was a nice addition, but some autotuning or re-recording would help it quite a bit.

Unfortunately I don't believe we can take this as is. If you want to resend this without the narrative and fix the singing at the end I think this would have a good chance, and if some of the loose performances were tightened up even through post production this would likely have a home on here.

NO

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  • Gario changed the title to 2023/03/28 - (1Y/4N) Super Mario Galaxy "The Little Girl and the Star" *RESUB* *PRIORITY*

The production is indeed better, but the vocal still sounds somewhat separate from the backing.  The playing style is still loose.  There is nothing inherently wrong with that but it can feel disjointed and distracting together with a spoken vocal.  That said, I agree with my fellow judges that this track could work well as an instrumental.  I agree entirely with DarkeSword that the emphasis in this mix is on narrated vocals vs. music, and it doesn't really fit with the rest of the OCR catalog of music.

NO

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  • Chimpazilla changed the title to 2023/03/28 - (1Y/5N) Super Mario Galaxy "The Little Girl and the Star" *RESUB* *PRIORITY*

I like this version a lot more than the first - the elements aren't fighting as much between themselves, so it's less frantic and easier to listen to.

Ultimately though, the trouble is the vocal is so dominant, and isn't reacting to the music in a natural way. Listen to the narration on something like The Snowman audiobook (YT video is desynced slightly from the video so best just listen) to hear how the narrator reacts to the dynamics and energy in the music.

I'm not familiar with too much spoken-word stuff, however my dad introduced me to the eccentric works of Vivian Stanshall as a lad, and though it does contain music (drastically out of time/tune at parts), I would not necessarily say it would sit well with OCR's library, enjoyable as it is. Stanshall also knew that the music would distract from the story, so the majority of that record is just him narrating over silence.

A more popular example might be Fire Coming Out of the Monkey's Head by Gorillaz. Spoken-word verses with a sung chorus. I love this song, and although it contains a lot of prose, it's punctuated by choruses, and it works because there isn't much melodic content behind the narration, and execution is flawless. Also Dennis Hopper.

I might be more open to this if the vocal was re-recorded, removed, or the pacing was more like in the Gorillaz track (less vocal, couple of choruses, no melody under the vocal). It still feels like 2 separate entities playing over the top of each other.

NO

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  • DarkSim changed the title to 2023/03/28 - (1Y/6N) Super Mario Galaxy "The Little Girl and the Star" *RESUB* *PRIORITY*
  • 1 month later...

Sorry to Joe, Michelle, Sam for the holdup in this decision. Since the discussion on this piece's overall eligibility didn't get talked through the first time around, I asked to extend this voting, then double-checked that we didn't need to update our Submissions Standards to be more explicit that audio dramas or narrations would have a more difficult time passing due to this aspect of the Submission Standards and, lastly, wanted to take the proper time to cap this decision. Especially because Joe submitted this to support our Mario Month event, I'm afraid of making the artists upset as to what amounts to a belabored decision involving technicalities, and these delays were entirely on me:

Quote

4. Arrangement

3. The source material must be identifiable and dominant.

No one here would want or expect Joe and crew to compromise the vision of this piece just to have it accepted in some form for OCR; the criticisms about this being a storytelling format are strictly made with those specific standards in mind. Based on this outcome, I'm not sure audio dramas or story narration have a place here, though I'm always game for anyone else continuing to test this out.

Doing my best interpretation of a dissenting Supreme Court justice, I'm very disappointed that this didn't fare better strictly from the up-or-down voting. "Dominant" was the most relevant word quoted above. I obviously disagreed that having spoken word delivery over the top of an arrangement is a case where the source material isn't "dominant" -- similar to how prominent original vocals/lyrics on top of arranged VGM has never disqualified anything -- but I'm hugely outvoted; we as a group discussed this specific aspect of the Standards when it comes to this piece internally and in this vote, so the consensus is clear, which I think is summarized best by DarkeSword's vote.

No matter what, this was a very fun track concept, one I also would have loved to have had on our childrens' album (Esther's Dreams) way back when. Would love to hear all involved again, and hope we do get to hear more great arrangements come our way from Newmajoe.

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  • Liontamer changed the title to *NO* Super Mario Galaxy "The Little Girl and the Star" *RESUB* *PRIORITY*

I'm responding to feedback newmajoe and others gave in the DoD Discord following this decision, so any quotes are from there:

newmajoe was upset that his second panel decision took too long to be made and that he got conflicting feedback between the first and second decisions. In Joe's case, this second decision actually took only 4 days. It'll seem like I'm trying to take arrows for the judges and direct the issues to me. I'm just saying that they actually weighed in very quickly. I saw at several points that Joe was upset about not hearing back sooner, and being encouraged to resubmit the track, but I'M the one who made that process take longer, and I'm the one who encouraged him to resubmit.
That's all on me alone for delaying releasing his specific decision because I wanted to fully explore:
1) whether the track should be examined as potentially outside of our Submissions Standards [which didn't get analyzed/criticized as an issue in the first vote];
2) whether it meant we had to revise the wording in our Standards [we decided no changes in the wording needed to be made]; and
3) how to summarize letting Joe down, especially because any rejection can feel on some unavoidable level like a value judgement on the musician's skills and abilities.

Quote

WillRock: The thing is, OCR has quite specific criteria, it's not a negative critique of your work if you don't get posted
WillRock: but people assume it is
Jorito: pretty much that
Jorito: people tend to take it very personal, whereas it’s just an evaluation against their own guidelines
Jorito: sure, those guidelines/cridetia are maybe not very clear to everyone, and there’s a healthy amount of gray area in between, but basically that’s what it is
WillRock: I mean I will say that if you struggle with production, it's a great way to improve in terms of getting feedback

Couldn't have said that better. For that last part, I'll see what I can do to add a point in our Judges Panel FAQ (to do our best) to short-circuit that negative interpretation of a NO vote; not a "solution" but making clear we recognize that artists can take rejections personally when they shouldn't.

Quote

newmajoe: yeah, I could tell that they struggled a lot with it. They've issued a clarification in the rules that going forward they don't want audiobooks. Which, for the record I totally get
newmajoe: I wouldn't want to open the floodgates for stuff like this if I was running OCR 
newmajoe: but in my eyes, I just think the decision is wrong because it's actually a performance of the in-game text

We actually didn't need to clarify the wording of the Submission Standards, because the current wording we had explained why the judges didn't pass it the second time:
("The source material must be identifiable and dominant.")
Re: Joe's points above, the spoken word/narration using in-game text (vs. completely original narration) wouldn't be a factor for or against the track.

It was mainly about:
1) the spoken word feeling like the "dominant" element of the track; and
2) the VGM arrangement feeling like "subordinate" accompaniment.
It's very rare that a submission viewed as falling outside of the submissions standards by the judges panel even makes it to the panel in the first place; we'd never encountered this kind of piece. I paneled this due to me assuming the narration style wasn't a problem for OCR's standards.

Quote

Jorito: yeah, it’s poor communication on their end, imo… if they would have made clear that they’re primarily looking for music and that audio books don’t really match with their vision, then fair enough… but doing it so late in the process after a lot of work and a resubmit, it’s a faux pas
so I feel ya there, that should have been communicated earlier and better
but then again, they’re also just people and people make mistakes, so let’s not put them in tar and feathers and burn them afterwards

Yep, I'm sorry that we collectively messed up here with poor communication within the two decisions; we should have recognized and hashed out the Standards concern the first time, not the second time, and Joe was justifiably mad. Again, part of it was due to me being in favor of the track yet being out of step with the other Js, which is also pretty rare. Had I known it would have been a Standards issue on this level, other Js and I would have never encouraged Joe to tweak it or resubmit it in the first place, so he should blame me for that too. I never intended to "waste his time" or stress Joe out, and ended up doing both.

I could have let Joe know that it wouldn't be posted right after seeing how the resub's votes landed, but, as jmr correctly noted, this actually was an unprecedented situation for us, so I also wanted to:
1) have most of the panel fully consider our Submissions Standards wording vs. this type of track, since it wasn't thoroughly considered by the group the first time; and
2) exhaust every chance to make my case, again something where I'm to blame.
We did speak with djp on it, and with the vote so lopsided, he stood by the panel's consensus from their reasoning.

Several people chimed in to praise my demeanor or perspective. I do appreciate being called "rad" and being vouched for by several people. :-) Unfortunately, I'm far from perfect - the time it took to handle all of this and the process of summarizing & delivering the bad news, that was 100% my direction and my responsibility, and something I have to learn from to improve our process. (BTW, holding up the voting on PuD's "The Hot Pink of Blues", that was me too, which I stood by; I wasn't counting what I perceived as implied chord progressions as direct source tune usage. So I get plenty of bad guy points. :-D)

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RESUB Decison
Original Decision

Provided I'm not misstating anything, the consensus was that, with non-musical narration/spoken word at the forefront, this is a Standards violation for
"The source material must be identifiable and dominant."

I gave additional thoughts to Joe at the end of the RESUB decision; after he read what i said, he's essentially looking for reconsideration, so I'm sharing his thoughts from the DoD Discord with all of you.

My Qs:
1) Am I wrong in saying this is being treated as not fitting that sentence from the Arrangement section of the Standards, and thus a violation?
*** In other words, is this style/genre inapplicable to begin with, or just the specific execution of this style/genre?
2) Does anything in Newmajoe's follow-up thoughts change your perspective and merit reconsideration?
3) Does your vote remain the same?

Quote

First, thanks again Liontamer for spelling out your thoughts on the thread, and for apologizing regarding the process/communication breakdown. I totally understand the challenge involved in running an organization like OCR; I also get that this track presented a tough case and people's thinking continuously evolves. I didn't expect this to cause the stir it did, and — though I can't speak on behalf of the whole DoD community (we're a spirited bunch!) know that there's no bad blood on my end.

All that said, after thinking about it more, I still don't feel great about the panel's decision. As I understand, the standard this track allegedly violated was Section 4.3: "The source material must be identifiable and dominant." Putting my lawyer hat on for a second (sorry), the purpose of that rule seems to me designed to ensure that each arrangement contains a sufficient nexus to the video game that inspired it. To that, I'm perplexed — literally every element of the song (other than a few quotes here and there) comes from Mario Galaxy. Every word in the narration comes from the actual in-game storybook text — it's not as though I created an original prog epic and stuck the Mario jingle on the end to pass it off as a video game cover. I can't imagine any listener who played Galaxy not being able to recognize exactly what this song comes from. I do wonder/worry if in reality (as others have pointed out) that this decision was more about a bias that spoken word performance is not "musical" enough (i.e., that the spoken story dominates the music). If so, I can accept that criticism— I tried my very best to fully synergize the music and the story like you would for a film score or musical, but perhaps I failed in that regard. Even so, I take issue with that being labeled a standards violation.

To the extent I still carry some disappointment/frustration here, it's because, frankly, I don't know how a track like The Little Girl and the Star actually gets in front of people. It's not licensable for Spotify since it uses the in-game text, and putting it on my YouTube channel or bandcamp would be a wash (it's not like people come to my channel looking for children's storytime content). OCR seemed like a more natural home for the track since it has a history of showcasing more "big swing" conceptual arrangements like this. So I was disappointed (as I know you were too!) that the judges didn't feel like it "fit" in the OCR library.

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Larry, you are wrong in stressing that the "source material" line is what the track violated. Source usage was not the issue, and this track isn't a standards violation as it seems to be framed in your subsequent posts in the thread post-decision. The entire work showcases material from the game, narration included. The issue was that The Little Girl and the Star largely centers a non-musical performance of the story from the game. As I said in my vote, the vocal performance is a narration. It's not sung, it's not rapped, nor is it recited as beat poetry. The narration takes the lead and the musical backing track supports it.

Joe frames that as a bias but I will argue that it's a very valid distinction for us to make with regards to what we showcase in the OCR catalog. We would not post a track that, for example, takes a scene from a popular JRPG and recreates it as a full-cast audio drama with acted dialogue and the music from the game arranged in the background. A track like that would not be a standards violation either because everything is taken from the game; the issue would be that it's not wholly or in-majority a musical work.

Now, I don't want to get into defining quantitative standards here; I don't want to go down the road where we're saying "At least 75% of the track should primarily be musical in nature" because then we're both inviting tracks that will skirt close to 25% non-musical performance and also that's just more stopwatching, which I personally am just not a fan of.

This track is a very unique case. I understand that our standards don't specifically call out "non-musical performance" as a limiting factor. I think that this is just part of judging though; we're presented with a track that challenges our view of what fits into what we want OCR to showcase, and we make the judgement call in that evaluation.

I personally am sorry I didn't catch this on the first go-around; I didn't see the first decision and I was specifically asked when the second thread went up by Dave to weigh in, which is the first I heard the track and when I made my opinion very clear that this track is not a fit for OCR.

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12 minutes ago, DarkeSword said:

I personally am sorry I didn't catch this on the first go-around; I didn't see the first decision and I was specifically asked when the second thread went up by Dave to weigh in, which is the first I heard the track and when I made my opinion very clear that this track is not a fit for OCR.

Which is because I know you listen to audio dramas & appreciate them - if anything, a bias towards, not against :) But as you say, it's really a question of the focus of the piece not being musical, primarily...

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16 minutes ago, DarkeSword said:

Larry, you are wrong in stressing that the "source material" line is what the track violated. Source usage was not the issue, and this track isn't a standards violation as it seems to be framed in your subsequent posts in the thread post-decision. The entire work showcases material from the game, narration included. The issue was that The Little Girl and the Star largely centers a non-musical performance of the story from the game. As I said in my vote, the vocal performance is a narration. It's not sung, it's not rapped, nor is it recited as beat poetry. The narration takes the lead and the musical backing track supports it.

MindWanderer invoked this aspect in both of his votes (my underline added) - "The source material must be identifiable and dominant." So I'm going off of that. No one's saying the SMG music isn't used throughout. MW was saying the SMG arrangement was identifiable but was not the dominant component of the overall piece, i.e. met the first part of that clause but not the second. Afterward, no one challenged that line of reasoning, and, from what I can tell, it seems like other NOs are effectively hitching their POV to the same type of reasoning.

If that's not true, you need to clarify it, because I had specifically asked if we needed to update the Submissions Standards language to reflect that we wouldn't accept submissions in this vein. With whatever discussion took place for that, no one advocated for changing our Standards, including djp, and this was referencing the line I quoted.

If folks are saying they just don't want narration, but it otherwise doesn't violate our Submission Standards, then we need to address that in the actual Standards.

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I agree once again with Darksword that this isn't a violation of 4.3 in the standards, but of 4.1, which is as follows:

Quote

Arrangements in any genre of music (e.g. techno, jazz, rock, classical) are acceptable, so long as the genre itself does not conflict with any other arrangement criteria.

The issue isn't that there isn't enough source - there is plenty of source, even only accounting for the backing music. The issue is that this isn't a genre of music, it's a genre of entertainment. I think the performance was great, but this isn't music, this is a performance. It's just not in our field.

We can evaluate the music (which I even said was close to passable), but we shouldn't be posting with the rest of the audio drama. If someone posted a scene from a movie they were making because it has a video game arrangement/remix they made in the background we'd reject it on the same grounds.

It's a little strange, but perhaps there needs to be just a little bit more clarification than having it implied in the standards. I suppose it's reasonable to not expect non-music submissions being posted, but I see this as equal to posting a really well done painting of Mario being posted. Could be fantastic, but that's not what this site is about.

Edited by Gario
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I'll stand by my position. Music is not the dominant component of this submission, full stop. Joe's counterargument is "the purpose of that rule seems to me designed to ensure that each arrangement contains a sufficient nexus to the video game that inspired it." That's not correct: the purpose is that it contains sufficient use of the musical track(s) that it's derived from. To take an extreme example, if a submission were a radio play-style re-enactment of the plot of Metal Gear Solid, it would have plenty of connection to the game but none to the music. OCR is about video game music, not video game-related audio.

Edited by MindWanderer
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@Liontamer I get what MW was trying to say but I don't think other Js hooked onto 4.3 specifically in the votes that followed. I agree with MW's vote in the spirit of what he was saying and I'm glad he brought up the issue at the very start of that thread, but I don't think 4.3 specifically is where the track gets tripped up. Gario just now made a better case for 4.1 being the sticking point.

Ultimately though I think it comes down to an evaluation of the track by the panel of judges. And I see the issue was raised in the initial decision but sort of glossed over with some judges essentially saying "I'm not if sure this a violation or not, so I'll just vote normally on performance and production issues and since I'm voting NO anyway I'll sidestep the concept issue." This is a very unique track, and ultimately where we screwed up as a panel is we didn't have  a larger discussion when that first thread was live to really answer the question of "Is this conceptually a good fit for OCR?"

Genuine question: do we really need to spell out in the standards that we want people to submit work that is musical, first and foremost? If so, then fine, let's put it in the standards. But like Gario pointed out, 4.1 asks for "arrangements in any genre of music." I feel like we've already covered it.

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Quote

Joe frames that as a bias but I will argue that it's a very valid distinction for us to make with regards to what we showcase in the OCR catalog. We would not post a track that, for example, takes a scene from a popular JRPG and recreates it as a full-cast audio drama with acted dialogue and the music from the game arranged in the background. A track like that would not be a standards violation either because everything is taken from the game; the issue would be that it's not wholly or in-majority a musical work.

this is an excellent example.

Quote

The issue isn't that there isn't enough source - there is plenty of source, even only accounting for the backing music. The issue is that this isn't a genre of music, it's a genre of entertainment.

this is an excellent point.

 

my vote on it stated that i felt that it counted since there was another OCR that did quote text in a similar fashion. however, as MW pointed out, that's way less of the overall product in that remix, and it's text directly from the game. so i think my statement was incorrect. i agree with the above arguments and don't think it fits here simply because it isn't music, and the music it does contain isn't the dominant aspect of the remix.

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Quote

4. Arrangement

  • 1. Arrangements in any genre of music (e.g. techno, jazz, rock, classical) are acceptable, so long as the genre itself does not conflict with any other arrangement criteria.
  • 3. The source material must be identifiable and dominant.

After this reconsideration, we've clearly concluded that we're not accepting this submission. In the thread thus far, prophetik said he agreed with MindWanderer that this didn't meet 4.3 of the Submissions Standards. DarkeSword was saying 4.3 didn't apply here, but DarkeSword & Gario said it failed 4.1.

We then talked extensively in #judges about how to address this and came to a consensus. I'll do my best to summarize the conversation here with key excerpts (edited for clarity).


Regarding section 4.1, we concluded that the format of story narration or audio book isn't accepted as a "genre of music" due to the focus of the experience not being its music:

Quote

Gario: Personally I'm more a fan of DJP just saying certain things aren't allowed, like audio stories and the like.
Gario: Personally I think a clause clarifying that we only accept music arrangements onto the site and not things that aren't arrangements, but that's also fairly clunky.
Gario: Because the issue isn't that there are spoken words, it's that the submission isn't an arrangement, it's some other form of entertainment with some music in the background.

Quote

Gario: the words are from the game too, though, so again i don't think the source is the issue
DarkeSword: But the text of that story is from the game.
DarkeSword: That's why the source is not an issue.
DarkeSword: I guess you could make the argument that the text is not from a musical element of the game
Gario: the issue would remain if they turned the lyrics of a song into an audio book style presentation
DarkeSword: Yeah
Gario: even if the source was from a song, what they are delivering isn't a musical arrangement
Gario: i think we're overcomplicating this by bringing source into it at all, the issue is that this isn't a musical arrangement, it's something else with an arrangement accompanying it

Regarding Section 4.3, and its purpose, “dominant” refers to the expectation that the arranged VGM is the “most important, powerful, or influential” component of the presentation; this would apply whether it's contrasting 1) the amount of arranged VGM vs. non-VGM composition or, in this case, 2) the arranged VGM vs. the non-musical story narration as the primary focus of the audio. With this piece, djp felt the approach did conflict with both mentioned parts of the existing arrangement standards -- primarily 4.1, and then 4.3 to a lesser extent -- then suggested added clarification to the Standards to address this:

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djpretzel: the two supporting bullets for 4.3 don't speak to the issue, as written
djpretzel: however, 4.3 itself mentions "source must be dominant"
djpretzel: I would argue that the dominant element is the voiceover, which isn't source, in the sense that by source we mean musical source
djpretzel: so in that limited sense, I guess I disagree w/ Shariq that it's completely irrelevant
djpretzel: I believe Shariq's making the case that 4.1 supersedes 4.3, and I think I agree
djpretzel: if we decide that audiobooks & audio dramas are not music
djpretzel: or, specifically, genres of music
djpretzel: which might need to be explicitly clarified

DarkeSword emphasized that the Standards issue here had nothing to do with acceptable source material (Section 3) but rather whether this arrangement format was permitted (Section 4):

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DarkeSword: so for me, as an artist:
"3. Acceptable Source Material" is telling me "What am I allowed to draw inspiration FROM?"
"4. Arrangement" is telling me "What am I allowed to DO?"
DarkeSword: I feel like if you're trying to solve a problem of "dominant source usage" in section 3, you're talking to people about "what can i listen to and use as a basis for my creative process?" and you're saying "You can't use non-musical stuff from the game to inspire you," which FEELS OFF.
DarkeSword: but ultimately what I'm most concerned with here is addressing the issue in the "what am i allowed to do" section. at the end of the day, we get a file and we hit play. and what we hear is what we judge. the most important thing is judging the work in front of us. if what I'm hearing is a storybook narration, I'm gonna say no, because you didn't send me music.
DarkeSword: And I guess that it's a problem that we didn't tell people "What you send us has to be music, not just something with music in it somewhere."
DarkeSword: Well this is a distinction I want to stress: it wasn't music with something on top, it was an audiobook with music underneath.

DarkeSword proposed an added clarification point excluding narration/voiceover-focused content by name as part of section 4.1, which djp and I edited. As this submission conflicted with two aspects of the current arrangement standards, this added point isn't a new exclusion, but now codifies the reasoning behind not accepting this type of presentation. I also added "rap" into 4.1's examples list of acceptable genres to make very clear that it remains an accepted music style. Usage of lyrics with rhythms and/or musicality (e.g. beat poetry) that integrate with the music is (and has always been) allowed. We then had the panel weigh in on the final wording, which was accepted by the entire group:

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Liontamer: @everyone - We think we've got some clarity on how to address the rejection of "The Little Girl and the Star" re: the Submission Standards, by adding a point to section 4, part 1.

Now's the time to poke holes in it! Are you concerned the new sentence (underlined) could accidentally exclude (or appear to exclude) certain music genres? Or otherwise be misinterpreted?

4. Arrangement
1. Arrangements in any genre of music (e.g. techno, jazz, rap, rock, classical) are acceptable, so long as the genre itself does not conflict with any other arrangement criteria.
- Submissions must have a primary focus on musical elements; this excludes extensive focus on narration/voiceover (e.g. audio drama, audio books).

Gario: That's not a bad way to go.
Emunator: happy with this outcome 👍
DarkSim: Sounds like a good solution to me!
Chimpazilla: Looks good to me too
prophetik music: "Musical elements" may be abusable, but imo the spirit of the rule is clear.
Rexy: only thing I can think of for a stress test is an audio tutorial masked as an ocr submission, but even then that's still mostly voiceover
Gario: i think that'd be pretty easy to reject at the inbox
MindWanderer: It seems safe to me. Hopefully it will be another 20+ years before someone tests the boundaries
XPRTNovice: I'm ok here but admittedly detached as I'm traveling 
XPRTNovice: It was a hard call to make

The revision of section 4.1 is now live in the Submission Standards:

4. Arrangement
     1. Arrangements in any genre of music (e.g. techno, jazz, rap, rock, classical) are acceptable, so long as the genre itself does not conflict with any other arrangement criteria.

  • Submissions must have a primary focus on musical elements; this excludes extensive focus on narration/voiceover (e.g. audio drama, audio books).
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  • Liontamer changed the title to *NO - UPDATED POLICY* Super Mario Galaxy "The Little Girl and the Star" *RESUB* *PRIORITY*
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