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djpretzel

FEEDBACK NEEDED: Submission Standards Revision

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If "at all times" you mean a ReMix has to be arranging from the source material at any point in the track no matter what, that's completely wrong. That would leave no leeway for original writing/sections.

Club Showdow: That was our mistake in the first place. Once BGC gave a breakdown along with a comparison MP3, the connections were apparent, plus his revisions did more in the first part to connect the arrangement to the original.

Rhodes to the Past: More of a case of being too close than being unconnected.

Strolling the Mines: The original additions would have been fine if the melody itself hadn't been near-verbatim and the instrumentation hadn't been practically the same as the original.

I meant more along the lines that if there's a minute of original material, the melody plays, another minute of original material, the melody plays again with a lot of interpretation, and a final minute of original material, the song would probably be rejected. Maybe my simplification is too facile, but that is recognizable and probably considered dominant if the original is acting as a refrain, but it isn't connected to the rest of the new material. I cited Rhodes to the Past because if memory serves correct there was concern that it was a sweet intro that had little to do with 600 A.D. acting as virtually the entirety of the arrangement.

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I don't think that's a legitimate criterion for determining the validity of a ReMix. A lot of people can't identify the source for my Chrono Trigger arrangement on first listen. Actually for that matter, some people can't identify the source period, even after being told what it is. :P And yet if you pay attention, you'll realize there's a direct 1-to-1 correspondence between the arrangement and the source.

I still don't recognize the source in anything by Children of the Monkey Machine. Whether a source is recognizable or not isn't my call, however - it's the judges'. If they recognize the source, well, I guess that's good enough.

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Really good feedback, everyone... I haven't had time to implement or respond in detail, but there are some excellent points.

Regarding the document's length, which estêvão pointed out and is apparently revising, I don't know... many of the suggestions made are valid, but will only make the document larger. I want to keep the size down, but any time we try to produce a shorter, "basic" version, we're always leaving something out that is rather critical.

I sorta feel like anyone taking the time to do a remix should have 15 minutes to read the standards, especially since the judges spend a lot more time than that debating things when a mix doesn't clearly follow them... BUT I also understand that OC ReMix isn't the center of the universe, people besides myself (and the judges) are busy too, and a huge document could dissuade legitimate and talented mixers from submitting.

I suppose I'll wait to see what estêvão comes up with - perhaps he could do what we cannot, without losing critical aspects. Anyone have thoughts on this specific topic? I'll address other comments as well as soon as possible.

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I agree that there should be a SHORT mention that many submissions do not follow the submission guidelines and are DJP rejected or No Overrided.

The revised rules are still 1,200 words. That's almost five term paper pages, without paragraphing (~250 words/page). It'd be nice to try and limit that a LOT so that people can both understand the quality necessary, but also not be daunted by the guidelines size.

That's what I'm about to do right now (gimme some time).

Any developments on this, Steve?

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Small suggestion. From the Format Section, the 3rd bullet reads "Give your submission an original, creative title that is neither your own name nor the name of the original song." This is a little awkward: when I first scanned through this, I misinterpreted what you were saying about "your own name" and thought it referred to the submission title. I would suggest that you consider revising this, possibly even breaking up into two sentences. Rough example: "Give your submission an original, creative title. Do not simply keep the source track title or name it after yourself."

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Small suggestion. From the Format Section, the 3rd bullet reads "Give your submission an original, creative title that is neither your own name nor the name of the original song." This is a little awkward: when I first scanned through this, I misinterpreted what you were saying about "your own name" and thought it referred to the submission title. I would suggest that you consider revising this, possibly even breaking up into two sentences. Rough example: "Give your submission an original, creative title. Do not simply keep the source track title or name it after yourself."

Good catch; making that exact edit now...

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While a couple of 'em still leave a kind of weird taste in my mouth, that's only because none of the policies were changed. This update causes it to be much better organized, easier to read and to understand. So for that, nice work!

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If attachments don't work why won't submitters be contacted? Sometimes they don't open for reasons completely unrelated to anything on the part of the submitter. It seems to me that some kind of confirmation of receipt email would be satisfactory and not particularly cumbersome to compose.

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If attachments don't work why won't submitters be contacted? Sometimes they don't open for reasons completely unrelated to anything on the part of the submitter. It seems to me that some kind of confirmation of receipt email would be satisfactory and not particularly cumbersome to compose.

That's to cover our ass when someone messes up, as we don't need to be blamed when people forget to link. I manage things day-to-day and contact people nowadays.

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Would a remix of the title music from Klik & Play, which isn't really a game but a tool/program to make computer games, be against the rules and rejected? I mean, should a tool like it count as a game or not, and if it does, where is the line drawn? If it does not, I can understand it. I just wanted to make sure (not that this needs mention in the guidelines when I think about it).

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I've always wondered: why does OCR maintain the 6MB limit? I would assume bandwidth concerns aren't as much of a problem as they were in the past (I forget the exact figures given at last MAGFest, but whatever.) I like my bitrates high, and I also like long songs.

If nothing else, it'd be nice to include links to higher quality versions of a mix hosted elsewhere if the remixer (or whoever) is willing to provide the webspace.

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Considering how much the site has grown in the past few years, I'd expect bandwidth problems are as much of a problem now as they've ever been. Personally, I think it's silly to have a bitrate higher than 160kbps (I can't hear the difference anyway), or to have a remix that's over 6 minutes long, but, again, that's my personal opinion. OCR probably sticks to it mostly due to habit, I suppose.

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Considering how much the site has grown in the past few years, I'd expect bandwidth problems are as much of a problem now as they've ever been. Personally, I think it's silly to have a bitrate higher than 160kbps (I can't hear the difference anyway), or to have a remix that's over 6 minutes long, but, again, that's my personal opinion. OCR probably sticks to it mostly due to habit, I suppose.

A remix over 6 minutes can many times be very interesting and for orchestral pieces and electro madness it's not a bad idea. I understand the file-size limit but I feel it's sad that longer pieces has to be 128kbps or lower.

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Unless the bandwith issue really is that bad (which I can't say if it is or not) I think the 6mg limit is kind of ghey. Maybe if there was a 192kbps cap instead. I'm sure that if a really long remix was submitted, it would have to be interesting enough throughout to justify the length to the judges.

Imo its a a bit balls that Triforce Majeure and others had to have such low encoding but I say again: if it really is a bandwith thang then fair enough.

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Unless the bandwith issue really is that bad (which I can't say if it is or not) I think the 6mg limit is kind of ghey. Maybe if there was a 192kbps cap instead. I'm sure that if a really long remix was submitted, it would have to be interesting enough throughout to justify the length to the judges.

Imo its a a bit balls that Triforce Majeure and others had to have such low encoding but I say again: if it really is a bandwith thang then fair enough.

192kbps ftw. really.

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Unless the bandwith issue really is that bad (which I can't say if it is or not) I think the 6mg limit is kind of ghey. Maybe if there was a 192kbps cap instead. I'm sure that if a really long remix was submitted, it would have to be interesting enough throughout to justify the length to the judges.

Imo its a a bit balls that Triforce Majeure and others had to have such low encoding but I say again: if it really is a bandwith thang then fair enough.

Alright, I like you, so I'm going to be nice, but:

  1. "ghey" conveys no information to me other than your inability to choose better, more descriptive adjectives.
  2. The judges are already strapped for time; making them listen to 10-minute mixes which may or may not justify their length seems counterproductive.
  3. We receive many submissions via email, and many email systems (we use gmail) have caps that impose their own limit.
  4. Having a bitrate cap and no length cap could theoretically allow hour long mixes... we really don't want that, however "balls" it is that the limit could affect shorter pieces.

There will always be a max file size limit; whether we choose to increase it slightly to reflect bandwidth circumstances and other factors like judges time and email compatibility remains to be seen.

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Alright, I like you, so I'm going to be nice, but:

  1. "ghey" conveys no information to me other than your inability to choose better, more descriptive adjectives.
  2. The judges are already strapped for time; making them listen to 10-minute mixes which may or may not justify their length seems counterproductive.
  3. We receive many submissions via email, and many email systems (we use gmail) have caps that impose their own limit.
  4. Having a bitrate cap and no length cap could theoretically allow hour long mixes... we really don't want that, however "balls" it is that the limit could affect shorter pieces.

There will always be a max file size limit; whether we choose to increase it slightly to reflect bandwidth circumstances and other factors like judges time and email compatibility remains to be seen.

1. Fair enough, wasn't feeling formal.

2. Being a humoungous Dream Theater fan I'm a fan of longer songs, as it leaves room for more development etc. Also Schna has that cool 17 minutes long medley over at ThaSauce, just made me wonder about the length of the tracks here. I greatly respect the work the judges do and I understand that they have lots of work to do, but I'm not sure they would get all that many 10+ minute remixes, except maybe the odd dance megamix or something. I can see why you might not want to end up hosting these massive remixes though.

3. Also fair enough. Not everyone has a proper hosting solution. If it weren't for Escariot I don't know how I'd submit my remixes without just attaching them.

4. Again, I personally like well done huge songs, but if you don't then thats that I guess.

Obviously I didn't know all the reasons why you have the limit when I posted my badly constructed comments, so sorry about that and thanks for being nice about it.

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I'm concerned about a couple things I've seen mentioned in several decisions, but never formally outlined in the submission guidelines; namely, minimum length and encoding rate. I feel that ReMixers should be aware that arrangements under a certain length (around 1:30 from what I've seen) are very unlikely to be accepted. Likewise for submissions encoded at 64kbps or lower. Or maybe it's already been addressed and I missed it.

I dunno if djp saw this, so I'm bumping it just in case it got lost at the bottom of the page.

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I'm concerned about a couple things I've seen mentioned in several decisions, but never formally outlined in the submission guidelines; namely, minimum length and encoding rate. I feel that ReMixers should be aware that arrangements under a certain length (around 1:30 from what I've seen) are very unlikely to be accepted. Likewise for submissions encoded at 64kbps or lower. Or maybe it's already been addressed and I missed it.

I dunno if djp saw this, so I'm bumping it just in case it got lost at the bottom of the page.

I see what you're saying, but also don't think we need to add anything like that. Nowadays, anyone submitting anything shorter than 1:30 or under 128kbps is rare. Pretty foolish in general for anyone to go below those types of thresholds.

I just don't see the need to formally say anything about that, when it's clear that n00bs who send crappy subs like that aren't reading the information closely in the first place. If you're reading the guidelines and actually paying attention, you're not gonna submit stuff like that.

There's only so much that needs to be explicitly stated, plus the revised guidelines do a better job of making the standards clearer. Don't think we need to establish any official minimum song length or bitrate.

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I suppose it could be assumed that a song under 1:30 isn't going to have the necessary amount of expansion needed to get on the site in the first place, but the thing is the guidelines say nothing about expansion of the source material either. It only mentions "contributions, modifications, and enhancements," none of which would necessarily affect length. Short submissions are rare, yes, but there are enough, and I feel it is a disservice to tell remixers that their mix is sweet but too short when no mention of length is mentioned in the standards. (I have a similar beef about decisions mentioning that a piece doesn't "build up" or "go anywhere" when the standards make no mention of these requirements).

The same kinda applies to bitrate. It's lame to tell someone his song is awesome but encoded too low. Of course on those occasions you'll ask for a re-encode, but chances are by that time he's deleted the project file and WAV already. Why not just tell them to encode at 128kbps in the first place? You've already got a max bitrate...how is it different to set a minimum bitrate? With exceptions made for long songs, of course.

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I'm strongly considering Dhsu's point; if we can do it succinctly, I think it makes sense. It CAN be inferred from existing points, as Larry says, but spelling it out has value.

Dhsu, as one of 58 users using the default vB skin on these forums, you may wanna chime in on the google ads thread; I'm sure you'll have something to say :-o

UPDATED WITH FOLLOW ADDITIONS:

  • Bitrate should be high enough to convey detail; a 96Kbps average is suggested as a minimum.
  • Audio should be 44.1khz Stereo.
  • Submissions should be long enough to convey arrangement; generally, this requires at least two minutes of material.

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Are my earlier comments being ignored for a reason or were they just not noticed among the rest? I had some questions before that, while I can understand they might not be important enough to answer in the actual guidelines document, I'd still like to know what the staff has to say about.

http://www.ocremix.org/forums/showpost.php?p=311874&postcount=24

http://www.ocremix.org/forums/showpost.php?p=329810&postcount=35

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Would a remix of the title music from Klik & Play, which isn't really a game but a tool/program to make computer games, be against the rules and rejected? I mean, should a tool like it count as a game or not, and if it does, where is the line drawn? If it does not, I can understand it. I just wanted to make sure (not that this needs mention in the guidelines when I think about it).

It's not determined yet. We had a similar discussion a couple of months ago on the Mii Channel music. My personal opinion is that those examples aren't actual games despite being programs.

If they should be mentioned instead in the submission writeup, please indicate that.
I'd like this to be changed for "If they should be mentioned in the submission writeup instead, please indicate that in the submission e-mail."

That sounds fine.

The music must have actually been used in the game; a bonus track off a commercial game soundtrack does not qualify.
There's a really good song in the Mega Man: Wily's Revenge gbs that doesn't play anywhere in the game - but it's in the game data, on the actual game cartridge - like the notorious hot coffee mod. What's the verdict on material such as this?

IMO, just being in the game data is the qualifier, as that is still being used in the game, even if not during the course of gameplay. When it's not in the game data, but added to a physical OST release, that's not ok.

The Tetris soundtrack, containing Russian folk music, is the only exception.
What if we, later on, realize that a well-known song from a well-known game, covered in an OCremix, is actually not an original song for the game, but rather, a folk song? Will the rules be updated or will the remix be removed?

We amended that a few days ago to "is currently the only exception." Your scenario is a case-by-case basis. Not really any way to be more specific than that without being faced with a specific scenario.

Arrangement must not completely modify the source material beyond recognition.
Sentence does not feel professional. Removing "completely" would help, but then it would sound like original material isn't welcome. I think these two bullets should be replaced by a sentence or two that explains that original material is welcome, but that anyone who knows the source material should be able to tell that the remix is a remix of that source song without being told beforehand that the remix is in fact a remix of that song.

djp would have the best idea on how to approach that suggestion, but I don't like anything that sacrifices conciseness. IMO, the only thing that's important is that the judges can tell what's being arranged, as we are the ones doing the most work analyzing the submission. "Anyone" being able to tell is not a good standard.

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