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New Submission Standards Published; Site Improvements


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Submission Standards Revision

After discussion and implementation of feedback from the community, OverClocked ReMix today released revised submission standards, available at:


This revision doesn't significantly change the content of the previous standards, but instead revises them for clarity and conciseness. We intend to translate these standards into other languages, so this was an important step to complete first, but even without the translation, it is important that this document - which is at the heart of what OCR is all about - is as clear and direct as possible.

Updated & Improved Drop-Down Menus

OCR's drop-down DHTML navigation was updated to a more recent version, and icons were added to assist in differentiating the numerous options available. In addition, menu items were reorganized to more logically present the variety of data available on the site, while allowing for future expansion.

Quick Search Functionality Improved

The "quick search" functionality residing on the left sidebar throughout www.ocremix.org has been modified. Previously, searches for composer, game, remix, and remixer brought back a list of remixes that met each criteria. Now, if you perform a quick search on composers, you'll get a list of composers that match your criteria, for games a list of games, remixes will provide the traditional list of mixes, etc. - the results are specific to the type of search issued. Also, searching for composer searches both the composer name field and the known aliases field, and searching for remixer searches a remixer's pseudonym and their real name as well, when it is available.

All three of these improvements took a good deal of time and energy; more will follow.

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As someone who likes organization, I appreciate the work put into the Standards and Instructions revision. Outside of clarification done through community input, myself and the judges panel, djp handled 95% of the rewriting.

From my experience both on the panel and maintaing the inbox, the old document wasn't bad, but these revisions provide an easier breakdown and a lot more focus. It's a lot clearer what we're looking for.

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1. Submissions that do not meet format, ownership, and source material requirements will not be evaluated.

Shouldn't that "and" be an "or"? Just guessing. I'm assuming all three of those criteria don't have to be met for a mix to be barred from evaluation.

EDIT: Oh, and the new submission standards are clear, concise, and overall impressive. Good job djp and co.

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Submissions should be cleanly and clearly produced.

* Recordings should be reasonably free of distortion, hum, clicks, pops, or other unintentional audio artifacts.

What if my sounds are based around using distortions, hum, clicks and pops? Like somehting out of Björk albums. You know how in some of her old albums (and some new ones) she uses pops and clicks in her song (like this one

). Can you maybe possibly supply us with an example of what you are talking about?
* Volume levels should be normal compared to the average recording.

What if it's an orchestral recording? Orchestral recordings need to be low in volume so that you can capture it's dynamic. (here is an article about it http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article1878724.ece ) And what having the volume low was something a musician was trying to use as an effect? Once again, is there an example of what your referring to?

* Synthesized and sampled elements must be reasonably sophisticated.

* General MIDI sounds from low-budget soundcards are not sufficient when superior samples are available online for free.

* Overusing common presets, relying heavily on prerecorded loops, or employing nothing but basic tones or "chiptunes" is discouraged.

Isn't that an artist's choice? What if an artists wants to use a prerecorded loop or a common preset to get the sound he/she was looking for? I mean, there is a fine line between using loops and using loops to make the whole song (trust me, I would know...) but isn't that almost alienating some of the artists? What if the sound I was going for was a midi sound? So many people go with sampled sound and I want to be a little different and use MIDI samples instead, to give it a little edge, thats cool though right? I mean the way you make it sound, I'm guessing you guys sometimes get the most cheesiest songs all based off of midi. That totally understandable but I dont think generic MIDI sample should be discouraged.

* Instrumental and vocal performances should be recorded clearly. Performances should be well-executed with regard to tone, pitch and rhythm.

What if I'm creating a halloween mix that has to be off tone, pitch and rhythm to give it a chilly vibe? I can't do that? Isn't that my choice as an artist? It just feels really weird. it feels like you guys are going into the artists room and telling them how to create the song, well then it's not their song, its your song is it not? And what if I was looking to compress the vocals or instrument like crazy? (Like Justice- D.A.N.C.E http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo_QVq2lGMs the vocals are over over compressed but it's being used as an effect!).

Ok, I can totally see some kid going and recording a song thats off key and off tone and rhythm and then submitting it to you... To which, I can totally understand why it wont be accepted... But, is it ok if I am using these things as a effect? Should I tell you guys that I am over compressing the song as an effect so you guys don't automatically assume anything? How would you guys know? Isn't this almost a little bit too nit picky?

I didn't have a problem with anything else you guys had to say because I totally agree with you.

I guess this conversation is mostly about effects and where to draw the line.

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loads of good talkin'

You should've been here when there was a thread about how you'd like to change the submission standards ;)

but I agree with you, there are some style choices that get left behind with this policy. Sadly it's the same as the chiptune issue.

The answer is probably the same: If the arrangement and creativity weighs up the other part, it can still pass.

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Well, the problem is that then pretty much anyone could say "I *intentionally* wanted this to sound like a SPC rip with a boring drumloop and FruityLoops presets! It's my style!" And who is OCR to argue with that person's "art"?

As a wise man once said, "good music" and "ocremix" are not necessarily synonymous. OCR isn't going to tell you what's "good" or "bad," but it can and will tell you what a song needs to make it onto the site.

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Well, the problem is that then pretty much anyone could say "I *intentionally* wanted this to sound like a SPC rip with a boring drumloop and FruityLoops presets! It's my style!" And who is OCR to argue with that person's "art"?

As a wise man once said, "good music" and "ocremix" are not necessarily synonymous. OCR isn't going to tell you what's "good" or "bad," but it can and will tell you what a song needs to make it onto the site.

Yea, thats true.

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Regarding Haroon's comments:

The example of Björk's "It's in Our Hands" is fine. The audio artifacts are clearly intentional and are even integrated into the song structure. Examples of ReMixes here that use intentional artifacts are ktriton's Parasite Eve "PMS" and the intro of Big Giant Circles' Final Fantasy Adventure "Wish Upon a Wendellian Star". At the risk of sounding presumptuous, one can generally tell when clicks/pops/etc. are intentional or not.

"Overusing" covers everything that needs to be said about loop usage. If we're discouraging heavy loop usage, that's exactly what we want to do. :lol: Quinn Fox uses loops, Israfel uses loops, Another Soundscape uses loops. But they don't use loops as a crutch for an arrangement.

We discourage pure General MIDI and chiptune tracks because there were already dedicated sites for those mediums before OCR started, and djpretzel also wanted to move beyond the sound limitations of those formats. That's simply djp's choice as to what content he wanted to focus this site on, so it's his call. If you want to use those sounds to supplement an arrangement primarily made with higher-quality sounds, that's fine.

Orchestral recordings being relatively quiet on account of dynamics is fine. That's still a normal recording relative to other recordings. Many orchestral arrangements on OCR are already like this.

Performances that are purposefully off-key/off-rhythm/whatever are fine given your hypothetical. As Dhsu said though, intention can only take an artist so far. We have the discretion to decide whether those techniques are pulled off capably and artistically or whether its simply just not done well. Gotta trust us on it.

These rules encourage arrangement creativity, but with prerequisites of higher quality sounds than 8-bit, 16-bit or early PC games, as well as capable-enough production. Not that we're aruguing, but I think those prerequisites are reasonable.

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Apparently I have 58 unread messages ... Man I haven't been here in the longest time :)

cool beans.

Then let me be the first to say: Welcome Back, the world missed you! :)

Although with that said, I bet if Bjork submitted a remix it would be direct posted, as I'm sure there are big Bjork fans on the panel. ;)

We should contact Björk. Really. BJÖRK!!!

Another Soundscape uses loops.


also, finally, as long as the panel are open minded to non-conventional music and audio art I'm fine with it. If it's an arrangement, good and interesting enough to pass I see no point to follow the guidelines like a fanatic.

I look forward to hearing the first Electro-Acoustic remix on OCR ;)

and some serious glitchtronica too

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But 'or' isn't accurate. 'And' is.

Okay I see now. It's two sides to the same coin.

I'm saying, "if submissions do not meet one or more of these, they will not be evaluated" in which case 'or' would make sense.

You're saying, "submissions must meet all of these, or they will not be evaluated" in which case 'and' would make sense.

Anywho, they both mean the same thing so I don't suppose it matters.

EDIT: I was acting a bit headstrong earlier, too. Apologies

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At first I thought Robert was right, but now I see Shariq's point. Boolean negation does get a little tricky, BUT I don't think too many will misunderstand, especially if/when they get a form rejection letter. Honestly, these three issues are things that almost anyone should be able to process and understand, so if there are problems doing so, they'd probably extend outside the realm of us being able to address them with wordsmithing ;-)

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