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zircon

The WIP Feedback Checklist (READ BEFORE POSTING)

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We judges have identified common problems with submissions and compiled a list of these common problems in checklist format. We'd like for listeners to use this checklist when listening to a WIP and formulating their feedback so that the problems we usually see in submissions are addressed at the WIP level.

The checklist is a supplement to personal, specific feedback. Don't forget to leave personalized and specific comments (positive or negative) that elaborate on or have nothing to do with the checklist. Positive reinforcement is great, so please use it when you want. You don't need the checklist for that. The point of the checklist itself is to guide listeners towards giving feedback that improves a submission's chance of acceptance onto OCR.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions regarding this form, particularly what a listed critique means, please post here.

Ready to critique? Start by copying and pasting everything below into your new reply post!

The Feedback Checklist

ARRANGEMENT / INTERPRETATION

[ ] Too conservative - sticks too close to the source

[ ] Too liberal - not enough connections to the source (too much original writing, source connections not identifiable enough)

[ ] Too much direct sampling from original game audio

[ ] Borrows heavily from non-source material (e.g. mainstream music, classical music, movie theme)

PRODUCTION

[ ] Too loud

[ ] Too quiet

[ ] Low-quality samples

[ ] Unrealistic sequencing (particularly acoustic instrumentation, e.g. notes use the same velocities, mechanical timing)

[ ] Generic/cliche sound choices

[ ] Drums have no energy

[ ] Overcompressed (pumping/no dynamics)

[ ] Mixing is muddy (e.g. too many sounds in bass, middle or treble)

PERFORMANCE (live recorded audio/MIDI parts)

[ ] Timing not tight enough

[ ] Wrong notes, general sloppiness

[ ] Poorly recorded

[ ] Bad intonation

STRUCTURE

[ ] Lacks coherence overall (doesn't "flow" enough)

[ ] Not enough changes in sounds (e.g. static texture, not dynamic enough)

[ ] Pace too plodding

[ ] Too repetitive

[ ] Too short

[ ] Abrupt ending

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THE TRACK

[ ] Creative arrangement ideas

[ ] Good production quality

[ ] Good live performances

[ ] Instrument choices

[ ] Improvement from previous submission(s)

[ ] Source tune choice(s)

PERSONAL COMMENTS (positive feedback, specifics on checklist criticisms, any other thoughts)

[write here]

Using the Feedback Checklist

Say you like a remix but just have a couple of complaints. To make things easy to read, put an X next to the problems you believe are there and simply delete the problems on the checklist that you feel do not apply. Here's an example:

ARRANGEMENT / INTERPRETATION

PRODUCTION

[X] Too quiet

PERFORMANCE (live recorded audio/MIDI parts)

STRUCTURE

[X] Not enough changes in sounds (eg. static texture, not dynamic enough)

PERSONAL COMMENTS

Wow, really awesome mix! Just throw it through a normalizer or maybe a little bit of brickwall limiting to get the volume up higher. Also, the drum loop going throughout was sort of bland; try switching that up once in awhile. Arrangement is great though.

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RE: This post.

CONSTRUCTION

[X] Too formal.

COMMENTS

I'll stick to my own method of giving specific thoughts at specific times within the mix, though I'll take these specific points into consideration.

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The checklist is good, it covers everything I can think of, it's the tone and its implications that I'm concerned about. However, I think the formal tone is a bit detrimental. It can easily feel like a robotic reply.

If you use the form, we strongly encourage you write additional comments regardless of whether all of your criticisms were covered. Tell the artist what you DID like, any specific spots that need work (eg. :33 - the drums stop too early) and so on.

I think that the best feedback is encouraging, constructive, and personal feedback, the kind that says that someone took the time to listen to the music and not just the flaws. The form will easily become a restriction. Knowing how the posters can lazily write a wip post, the formal feedback can get very discouraging.

The near-requirement also an unnecessary complication. A similar form could be applied to the Reviews forum, which would most likely reduce both quality and number of reviews. Or the Requests, which nobody would read or care about...

For that matter, I've been reading the Judges' decisions since I joined, they're some of my favourite things to read on ocr. Shouldn't the form first and foremost apply to the official votes posts? While the judges generally comment in-depth (some more than others), the structure of many votes is haphazard and the language casual or lazy.

I think the list will be a useful resource. It's a good idea. The formal tone, imho, is neither.

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Well, personally, I don't see anything wrong with a formal tone, necessarily (assuming you're talking about the descriptions on the checkboxes). It helps keep the form concise with still getting the point across.

By going through a form like this, the person giving feedback is reminded to listen for specific points that will affect the song's chances of passing the panel. There's still plenty of room for personal comments in whatever tone you want to write them.

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Not sure that the solution to weak feedback is using a broad, impersonal and generalized template, no matter how comprehensive it might be. I can see it working as a guideline to help formulate criticisms before actually posting (i.e. with sentences and paragraphs), but I wouldn't want to see it posted in one of my threads.

I'd also add that I've never noticed a huge problem with feedback not being detailed enough, if anything the weakest feedback around here is where people try to hard to write the music for them (I've been guilty of this in the past). Providing a checklist makes this way too easy for people to just go through the list and check off things without giving it proper thought. At least by organizing their thoughts into coherent sentences and paragraphs people are forced to really think through and understand their comments as they apply to the piece their commenting on.

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The checklist is good, it covers everything I can think of, it's the tone and its implications that I'm concerned about. However, I think the formal tone is a bit detrimental. It can easily feel like a robotic reply.

I think that the best feedback is encouraging, constructive, and personal feedback, the kind that says that someone took the time to listen to the music and not just the flaws. The form will easily become a restriction. Knowing how the posters can lazily write a wip post, the formal feedback can get very discouraging.

The form doesn't prevent you from writing additional comments at all. You just write them at the bottom. This concern is without merit.

Also, the way the points on the checklist are written is very similar to how a judge would vote on a mix, which I think is ideal. Again IMO the problem with this forum is that feedback is often too wishy-washy. People need to know the problems with their song, and the form has an awesome list of problems that we (on the panel) see every day.

If I were looking for feedback, I would rather be able to briefly skim four or five posts to see "Oh wow, they all checked 'Too Liberal'" and then read closer to see WHY they checked that. Many of these criticisms would not necessarily even occur to people until they read them here.

I'd also add that I've never noticed a huge problem with feedback not being detailed enough, if anything the weakest feedback around here is where people try to hard to write the music for them (I've been guilty of this in the past).

The problem is that people give inaccurate feedback that isn't easily understood. People submit all the time where people on the WIP forum essentially say "this is great, sub it." Perhaps by asking people to view possible criticisms in a comprehensive list, they would be more inclined to speak up about issues that they did hear. I would RATHER people checked off several boxes of criticism without going into detail than post something like "this is great, sub it." We don't need any of the latter.

I emphasize that people on this forum need more criticism, and I don't really think it matters if it's "personal" or not. The idea of this form is taken from a very successful music service called "Taxi" where all submissions are screened by individuals via a form like this. It makes it really easy for any musician to see where their weak spots are instantly.

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I think having the formal tone is a really good idea....helps to keep things objective, and prevents things from being too vague or ambiguous. It should definitely be used in conjunction with more specific, detailed feedback. I think itll help a lot of individuals looking for comments on thier WIPs, as well as help those critiquing know what parameters to judge upon.

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It'll scare off the newbs and bother the regulars. That's my prediction. Time will tell if it'll work or not.

IMO the problem with this forum is that feedback is often too wishy-washy. People need to know the problems with their song, and the form has an awesome list of problems that we (on the panel) see every day.

I agree, and am probably guilty of it myself, often. I understand that the submissions contain loads of these. But how many of the submissions come via the wip board? I've recognized a handful of names in the decisions, I see many more that I don't recognize. I've replied to post wips here in the past months, I should recognize most of them.

How busy are the judges, really? Are they too busy to come here to show where the bar is at in occasional wip replies -which would help the reviewers (such as myself) as well as the aspiring remixers (such as myself). I did a quick search for your name on the wip board, as well as a few others. Here's the number of posts we've posted the past year:

chz, 4 posts

jjt, 8 posts

liontamer, 48 posts

darkesword, 7 posts

zyko, 1 post

big giant circles, 8 posts

malcos, 2 posts

zircon, 20 posts

other judges, no posts

djpretzel, 4 posts

--

davidicus, 48 posts

dafydd, 64 posts

tensei-san, 94 posts

rozovian, 182 posts

--

Judges and djp: 102 posts

Huey, Dewey and Louie, and the newbie: 388 posts

A fraction of the posts are on our own wip threads... and this includes some Judges. Btw, my number would be higher, but I haven't been here a full year yet. I think it'd cancel out our own wip threads.

I'm not saying this to show off, I'm saying this to let you know how the most frequent reviewer feels about the feedback form. I don't want to use it as anything but reference. If other wip reviewers feel the same way, we're looking at a significant decrease of wip feedback, unless the Judges are willing to spend time on the wip board being good examples for the rest of us.

Yes, it says "strongly encouraged", I know. What happened to "please" and "thank you"?

--

Note that my objections are towards its formal language and implied requirement, I appreciate the checklist and will most likely use it if I continue reviewing wips.

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Nice form, but it strikes me as far too focused on the negative side of things. If there was that much time and effort put into creating something for people to point out what's wrong with the mix in that form, perhaps some time should also be taken to make it so they can point out what's right with the mix in a similar fashion. You provide a method for people to easily point a mixer away from the bad directions they're going with sounds, notation and production, and that's cool and quite helpful. Criticism on a remix is a good thing, as it can help avoid the various pitfalls that beginners (and 'experts') fall into. But like any art, if you don't bring up what is working along with what isn't, and focus solely on what's wrong, then there's a good chance that the parts that showed promise are going to get fucked up and lost.

You've got the areas to help a listener hear and respond to what needs work. How about giving the listener similar help in hearing and responding to what's going well?

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]I agree, and am probably guilty of it myself, often. I understand that the submissions contain loads of these. But how many of the submissions come via the wip board? I've recognized a handful of names in the decisions, I see many more that I don't recognize. I've replied to post wips here in the past months, I should recognize most of them.

A lot of subs come from unknowns, and a lot don't. Glancing at the first page of the WIP forum alone, looking at thread starters only, here are people that have submitted before and have been rejected, with no posted remixes: Vidilian, Hoboka, majeliss, PrototypeRaptor, Shinnymetal, pu_freak, POCKETMAN, electric concerto, DeathBySpoon, and 1makes2. Again this is only thread starters on the first page, I'm not even counting all the people that actually participate in the forum as a whole.

Most of those people have subbed multiple times and continue to get rejected. Do they have no talent, or do they just need better advice? I think the latter.

How busy are the judges, really? Are they too busy to come here to show where the bar is at in occasional wip replies

We do that in our actual votes. If people read our votes and observe what actually gets posted to the site they will know where the bar is. Otherwise, yes, we are very busy.

Nice form, but it strikes me as far too focused on the negative side of things. If there was that much time and effort put into creating something for people to point out what's wrong with the mix in that form, perhaps some time should also be taken to make it so they can point out what's right with the mix in a similar fashion. You provide a method for people to easily point a mixer away from the bad directions they're going with sounds, notation and production, and that's cool and quite helpful. Criticism on a remix is a good thing, as it can help avoid the various pitfalls that beginners (and 'experts') fall into. But like any art, if you don't bring up what is working along with what isn't, and focus solely on what's wrong, then there's a good chance that the parts that showed promise are going to get fucked up and lost.

You've got the areas to help a listener hear and respond to what needs work. How about giving the listener similar help in hearing and responding to what's going well?

I already addressed that. It would unnecessarily bloat things to have a positive version of each of the negative points. If you have positive things to say, you can write them underneath the checklist. I also said you're free to remove points you're not using. So, say you like a remix but just had a couple complaints. Here's what you could write.

ARRANGEMENT / INTERPRETATION

PRODUCTION

[X] Too quiet

PERFORMANCE (live recorded audio/MIDI parts)

STRUCTURE

[X] Not enough changes in sounds (eg. static texture, not dynamic enough)

OTHER COMMENTS

Wow, really awesome mix! Just throw it through a normalizer or maybe a little bit of brickwall limiting to get the volume up higher. Also, the drum loop going throughout was sort of bland; try switching that up once in awhile. Arrangement is great though.

Is that so hard to do? Does it seem overly negative?

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To tell you the truth, this is an excellent idea. I generally have trouble vocalizing feedback, and this makes it simple. Just listen through a couple of times, check what applies, and add some other info at the bottom! Not hard at all!

And if you don't want to use the form, then you can simply reference it for things to listen for. It seems to be a win-win situation either way. And I'm pretty sure that people, if they're posting a WIP Thread, can handle feedback, formal or otherwise. Its not as if they will be offended or scared. I'd be thankful if someone did such an in-depth review of a song of mine!

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How busy are the judges, really? Are they too busy to come here to show where the bar is at in occasional wip replies

If you find this idea distressing, it might be time to take a deep breath, maybe unplug for a couple days.

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ARRANGEMENT / INTERPRETATION

[X] Too conservative - sticks too close to the source

PRODUCTION

[X] Too loud

[X] Unrealistic sequencing

[X] Generic/cliche sound choices

STRUCTURE

[X] Not enough changes in sounds (eg. static texture, not dynamic enough)

[X] Too repetitive

OTHER COMMENTS

While a nice attempt at raising the bar for the wip feedback, I find this annoying and restrictive. The language is correct as far as I see, but it's rigid and unappealing. At "If you genuinely have no complaints then do not check anything off - just leave comments at the bottom", you state that an empty checklist should occupy most of the reply. Seriously, lose that. On the other hand, that would be an invitation to omit the checklist alltogether. IMHO, that's for the better - if it's still used when evaluating the WiP.

This looks mostly like a nice try but keep working. While still conforming to OCR's standards, you can make it more encouraging rather than restricting and demanding. You may have to change the tone of it by using other words. The way they're arranged isn't very appealing, I think you should work on that.

While I don't find this, as a whole, the least bit enjoyable, there were parts I like, such as the checklist. If more emphasis was put on the checklist rather than the rest of the post (which should be more encouraging), this would be a very useful tool. Good luck!

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I already addressed that. It would unnecessarily bloat things to have a positive version of each of the negative points. If you have positive things to say, you can write them underneath the checklist. I also said you're free to remove points you're not using. So, say you like a remix but just had a couple complaints. Here's what you could write.

[*SNIP!*]

Is that so hard to do? Does it seem overly negative?

I hardly think this thing would be bloated, zircon. If you want to make things easier for people to point and say "That's bad, m'kay?", then why not make the effort so that's it's just as easy to say "Oooh... that's good". Why give only one side of the issue a checklist?

ARRANGEMENT / INTERPRETATION

[ ] Too liberal - not enough connections to the source (too much original writing)

[ ] A little liberal- a good amount of the source is present, but it still has more original writing than source.

[ ] Well balanced- a good amount of the source is present, with some original work to accent it

[ ] A little conservative- the source is clearly present, but there isn't enough original writing to break up or enhance it

[ ] Too conservative - sticks too close to the source (nearly a midi rip)

[ ] Borrows heavily from non-source material (eg. a theme from a movie)

[ ] Too much direct sampling from original game audio

PRODUCTION

[ ] Too loud

[ ] A little loud

[ ] Good volume

[ ] A little quiet

[ ] Too quiet

[ ] Low-quality samples

[ ] Passable samples

[ ] Good samples

[ ] Unrealistic sequencing

[ ] Borderline sequencing

[ ] Good sequencing

[ ] Generic/cliche sound choices

[ ] Some questionable sound choices

[ ] Good sound choices

[ ] Drums have no energy

[ ] Drums are decent, but could use more life

[ ] Good drums

[ ] Overcompressed (pumping/no dynamics)

[ ] Good compression

[ ] Undercompressed (bland/no dynamics

[ ] Encoding too low/lossy

[ ] Encoding sounds good

[ ] Encoding unnecessarily high

PERFORMANCE (live recorded audio/MIDI parts)

[ ] Timing not tight enough

[ ] Timing is decent in most areas

[ ] Timing is good through much of the mix

[ ] Wrong notes, general sloppiness

[ ] Poorly recorded

[ ] Iffy recording (could be improved)

[ ] Good recording

[ ] Bad intonation

[ ] Some spots of questionable intonation

[ ] Good intonation

STRUCTURE

[ ] Lacks coherence overall (no "flow")

[ ] Some areas have a better "flow" to them than others

[ ] Good "flow" through much, if not all, of the piece

[ ] Not enough changes in sounds (eg. static texture, not dynamic enough)

[ ] A good balance of textures and dynamic shifts in sounds

[ ] Too many changes in sounds (eg. over textured, dynamics being disrupted by constant shifts)

[ ] Pace too plodding

[ ] Pace is alright, but could use some shifts

[ ] Good pacing and/or pacing shifts

[ ] Too repetitive

[ ] Could use some source melodies repeated

[ ] Too short

[ ] Could use more expansion in places

[ ] Some parts are a little too drawn out

[ ] Too long

[ ] Abrupt ending

[ ] Good ending choice

[ ] Ending too drawn out

OTHER COMMENTS

See? It's not that much bigger, and I'm sure you and the other judges could come up with better ways to word the mid-range and positive sides. Perhaps I'm alone in thinking this, but "Other Comments" should be about expanding on why your rating choices were made, and not be allotted to finally getting around to saying what was liked.

Yeah yeah, I'm being a pain in the ass. But I've been through the WIP forums before, and know what its like to get little or no comments each time you post a WIP. And if I'm understanding what's being put forth correctly, all this is to make it easier for people to put into words what they might otherwise struggle with, or forget about, right? Well, I personally think checklists like the instructor evaluation sheets you get in college (i.e. choices from good -> bad) would be a better setup for something like this, as it would help people get all of their comments together, and not just half of them :-)

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That's actually a lot bigger, more daunting, and again, I really don't see the point in putting positive items there when it's a sheet for critique. It's actually MORE limiting because people might want to find their EXACT opinion on the list, which is not what we're trying to do. We're providing a list of very common criticisms that are often levied to help guide people towards giving more helpful feedback.

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How busy are the judges, really? Are they too busy to come here to show where the bar is at in occasional wip replies -which would help the reviewers (such as myself) as well as the aspiring remixers (such as myself).
If you find this idea distressing, it might be time to take a deep breath, maybe unplug for a couple days.

Not a valid answer.

I asked the question: how busy are the judges? Comparing past 6 months posts in WiPs and Decisions revealed the following:

Liontamer, 167 posts

Zircon, 102 posts

DarkeSword, 97 posts

The rough 100 might be equivalent to my 180 posts in the past 6 months, since WiP feedback seems easier, therefor faster, methinks. Cutting back a little on voting to visit the WiP board to remind both remixers and reviewers where the bar is, to let us know your vote on a WiP in its state at the time... is that unrealistic? Do you need more judges? Do you need an officially appointed group of WiP "judges"? Do you need to make more time?

I'm not saying a judge should be the the most frequent wip reviewer, but it would be nice if the judges would post more than a hundred posts a year in the WiP board.

--

I emphasize that people on this forum need more criticism

Let's do some math.

I have a lot of free time. I am also not a judge. I've also posted my own WiPs here. Let's say I've posted an average 0.5 WiP reviews per day. This would make it 3.5 in a week, roughly 15 in a month, 180 in a year.

There are twelve judges. Liontamer has, presumably, a ridiculous amount of work managing submissions and stuff like that, and like Zircon and TO, he's a moderator. The three of them, as well as DS and Vig are irc channel operators according to the Staff page. If we assume none of these have the time to do any WiP reviews, we're still left with 7 judges. Since they also judge stuff, let's say they should post a quarter post per day, that's almost two posts per week. Is that impossible?

Let's say it is, they're all busy with work, school, possibly life. One review per week per person makes it 364 reviews in a year, about 3.5 times the number of posts we're currently having. One review per person per two weeks would still make it an increase.

If each of the 12 judges would post (on average) a quarter post per day, we'd be looking at almost 1100 posts.

I'm not saying any of this should be a requirement of the judges', but some action would be nice, besides the occasional post and the checklist. Judges, why not set a good example, once a week?

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That's actually a lot bigger, more daunting, and again, I really don't see the point in putting positive items there when it's a sheet for critique. It's actually MORE limiting because people might want to find their EXACT opinion on the list, which is not what we're trying to do. We're providing a list of very common criticisms that are often levied to help guide people towards giving more helpful feedback.

I'm with Zircon on this. While I've come to see the need for a form for people unable to phrase their feedback, I still don't like the idea of the form. The smaller, the better.

But even with a form/checklist, it doesn't make people understand music. The form isn't suddenly gonna make people able to tell if something is sequenced naturally, if it's too far from source, or if the samples are good.

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I don't see why I should spend time evaluating mixes in the WIP forum when I could be spending time evaluating the 50+ mixes that have actually been submitted. There's just no reason to give unsubmitted mixes priority when there are ones on the panel that have been waiting around for months. If I have a spare 30 minutes to be writing about video game remixes I'm going to use it to help reduce the queue. The same goes for any of the judges. Again, if you just read our decisions you will get a much better idea of where the bar is. You can always ask us questions, eg. in the "Ask the judges" thread in Community, if you need clarification.

You're right that if people don't have an ear at all, the form won't be helpful. But I don't think many people are like that. When you put options in front of people it encourages them to think harder. I might play someone a song and say "What do you think?" and you might say, "It's good," because you're not really listening for anything in particular. If I then say, "I'm going to play it again, but this time pay attention to the drums. Do you notice the drums are really quiet?" there's a great chance you WILL be able to hear that, now that you know what to look for.

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Not a valid answer.

I asked the question: how busy are the judges? Comparing past 6 months posts in WiPs and Decisions revealed the following:

Liontamer, 167 posts

Zircon, 102 posts

DarkeSword, 97 posts

The rough 100 might be equivalent to my 180 posts in the past 6 months, since WiP feedback seems easier, therefor faster, methinks. Cutting back a little on voting to visit the WiP board to remind both remixers and reviewers where the bar is, to let us know your vote on a WiP in its state at the time... is that unrealistic? Do you need more judges? Do you need an officially appointed group of WiP "judges"? Do you need to make more time?

I'm not saying a judge should be the the most frequent wip reviewer, but it would be nice if the judges would post more than a hundred posts a year in the WiP board.

--

Let's do some math.

I have a lot of free time. I am also not a judge. I've also posted my own WiPs here. Let's say I've posted an average 0.5 WiP reviews per day. This would make it 3.5 in a week, roughly 15 in a month, 180 in a year.

There are twelve judges. Liontamer has, presumably, a ridiculous amount of work managing submissions and stuff like that, and like Zircon and TO, he's a moderator. The three of them, as well as DS and Vig are irc channel operators according to the Staff page. If we assume none of these have the time to do any WiP reviews, we're still left with 7 judges. Since they also judge stuff, let's say they should post a quarter post per day, that's almost two posts per week. Is that impossible?

Let's say it is, they're all busy with work, school, possibly life. One review per week per person makes it 364 reviews in a year, about 3.5 times the number of posts we're currently having. One review per person per two weeks would still make it an increase.

If each of the 12 judges would post (on average) a quarter post per day, we'd be looking at almost 1100 posts.

I'm not saying any of this should be a requirement of the judges', but some action would be nice, besides the occasional post and the checklist. Judges, why not set a good example, once a week?

Again you missed my point, which is that I don't care how you think judges should manage their time.

Anyway, I've made two posts in this forum today. Whew! I'll be back for more in a month or two.

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Again you missed my point, which is that I don't care how you think judges should manage their time.

Anyway, I've made two posts in this forum today. Whew! I'll be back for more in a month or two.

And you missed mine. Again.

How busy are the judges, really? Are they too busy to come here to show where the bar is at in occasional wip replies -which would help the reviewers (such as myself) as well as the aspiring remixers (such as myself).

As I read in the Ask a Judge thread, you don't email people about the final decision, and they don't read the feedback you state in the votes (and when they do, they resubmit after a too quick fix). A solution to this would be if the WiP feedback was on the same level as the Judges' votes - which means that

a) we WiP reviewers must either learn to hear the standards before posting anything but our own WiPs (which would reduce the amount of feedback psots significantly),

B) the standards must be changed to fit the varying understanding and ability to evaluate WiPs of each individual WiP reviewer (which is just stupid),

c) the Judges must reveal the standards more clearly in order for WiP reviewers without the necessary training and/or experience to recognize them.

I'd go with C. Since links are removed from NO-decisions, we generally can't hear them to learn what's just under the bar. If the J's would more clearly display the bar for us who haven't had the years of professional training and/or practice and/or otherwise gotten the ability to evaluate music on the appropriate level the feedback would be more effective and more accurately reflect the Judges' votes.

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Why do the judges *ever* need to post in the WIP forum? I read reviews in the judge's decision forum fairly frequently and the impression I get is that most of people hack something together and sub it, blatantly ignoring the submission standards. There seem to be a significantly higher number of subs that get all NOs then there are some that get a mix of YESes and NOs or end up with a NO RESUB.

There are already resources for potential remixers here without ever touching the WIP forum: reading past judge's decisions, reading the submission standards CAREFULLY, and listening to recently-posted remixes. I notice that the majority of rejected subs come from people who also don't post in the WIP forums. I don't see how having the judges spend a considerable amount of time in the WIP forum, while also taking away from the time they'd spend judging (or, alternately, leading to a faster judge burnout rate) would provide a huge benefit.

I also suspect there'll be a negative correlation between the number of judge posts in the WIP forum and the number of substantial posts by others (noting that "It's great, sub it." or "I really like it" are not substantial). I mean, if zircon has already told someone what to fix with their mix and I come along afterwards, I might have something to add that zircon mixed, but more than likely, I won't have anything new to say (because zircon is good at his job), and so I won't post anything. Or I might not bother with the WIP forum at all, thinking "Oh well, the judges will get around to commenting and their opinion carries more weight since they're judges."

Then again, I'm of the opinion that there are too many lazy idiots in the world who don't know how to think for themselves or make use of the resources that already exist.

EDIT: Might as well put two posts together.

How busy are the judges, really? Are they too busy to come here to show where the bar is at in occasional wip replies -which would help the reviewers (such as myself) as well as the aspiring remixers (such as myself).

See: judge's decision threads, recently posted remixes, the submission standards.

How much more do you need to be spoonfed to get an idea of what the bar is on this site?

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That's actually a lot bigger, more daunting, and again, I really don't see the point in putting positive items there when it's a sheet for critique.

Because the positives are as much a part of a critique as the negatives. And, if something is going to thoroughly cover one, it should do the same with the other... IMO mind you. Of course, there may be no positives to fill out should the WIP be that bad, but still...

Anyway, seems I'm in the minority with my opinion about the list, but I've said my piece on it now.

Edit: Typos and expansion.

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Personally, being a new remixer trying to get something onto the site (whether or not I will at any point in the near future is up for debate) I'd really like to get a critique like this. I'm really looking to improve my sound and this type of template helps keep the reply on topic while affording some ego-stroking should I have earned it. The caveat being, of course, that the comments section is used to elaborate on what is checked off; the subjects in and of themselves are a bit too broad to allow for adequate edification (I like big words, sorry).

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I understand what you're getting at, Rozo, and in a perfect, ideal world, the judges could comment on everything to give feedback to everyone. But this is not going to be happening. Everything we do as judges is voluntary and depends on interest, availability and familiarity with the source material, just like the panel. None of us have the interest and availability to regularly review WIPs and judge submissions at the same time.

We're not gonna make judges divide their time on voting on submissions and commenting on WIPs, and we're never going to appoint separate WIP judges.

The form itself pretty much lists everything negative that can ever happen with a submission. Those elaborate almost fully on the OCR standards. It's a great way to get the listeners who are interested and have the potential aptitude to give good feedback thinking more critically and training their ear as to what makes for a cohesive work of music.

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Frankly I agree with Coop's and Zircon's approach. They both have the possibility for positive input in a WIP review. Which IMO is a good thing. The difference is that in Coop's the positive feedback is built-in and in zircon's the reviewer will have to add any positive comments at the end "if they feel like it." One fact is, people are lazy and don't like filling out long forms.

Zircon's is more likely to be used since it's shorter. To get WIP reviewers to consistently format their reviews in any such way would be accomplishment IMO. The likely scenario for success would be for people to initially adopt zircon's format and then gradually move towards a larger format once the community in general has become comfortable with this approach.

I really have to agree 100% with Kanthos. Read the judge's decision thread. Find posted mixes from the past 2-3 years that had NO votes. Then listen to said mixes and see why those judges voted no.

It takes time to develop your ears to listen critically. Study professional songs, read up on mastering and production etc... All of the resources are out there to learn this stuff. One of the best things I ever did, to try and improve my critical listening skills, was to stop relying on spectrum analyzers to EQ everything. Try to EQ a song by ear ONLY. It's gonna be messy at first but after awhile your ability to pick apart frequencies will increase dramatically.

Try writing a song using SATB part writing. See how everything sounds then. This is a great way to help teach yourself some theory and also get a grasp on how different composition techniques can make mastering songs much easier.

If you are tone def try writing different chords with different kinds of dissonance. Try to listen to the differences between the chords with and without dissonance. This will help you to distinguish between dissonant and non-dissonant tones.

At the end of day the most important thing is that you have fun making music and that you enjoy the music you make.

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