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is it taboo

permalink   Wed, May 20, 2009 @ 12:18 PM
to comment on people’s production quality?
permalink   Wed, May 20, 2009 @ 1:12 PM
It is not taboo.

Just keep in mind some people are working with very basic equipment, to the best of their abilities. Telling someone to go buy better equipment is pretty obvious and not really insightful.

Also ask yourself how you would feel if someone commented on the quality of your work. And how would you react if you did not agree with that assessment.

Personally I would not comment on quality unless someone asks or it is a technical issue the producer might have missed.

MC Jack in the Box
permalink   Wed, May 20, 2009 @ 2:56 PM
yeah, production quality is kind of a sticky issue for most people. I think for a number of people, the “bar” they measure themselves by is self imposed, and for alot of people, if they felt it didn’t sound good they wouldn’t have submitted it.

i wouldn’t say it’s taboo, if it’s constructive, well intentioned, and not personal. but like teru said, if it’s a real production issue, there’s probably not much they can do about it. now if something is clipping, or really out of key or synch, that’s usually worth mentioning (but those last 2 are still pretty subjective).

there’s some serious producers hanging out here now, and the bar has been significantly raised over time. for me anyways, i’d rather focus on the things i like about a remix, the things that make it original, and if i don’t really have something constructive to offer in the way of a comment, i’ll just thumb it if i like it and move on if i don’t.

permalink   Wed, May 20, 2009 @ 3:14 PM
aye of course, there are somethings that cant be helped, but there’s a lot that could be (this sounds like im being arrogant, but its always easier to hear problems in others mixes than your own, as its being heard with fresh ears), i mean in general (not aimed at anyone) but things like layering etc.,loose seperation of tracks, muddyness, lack of punch in certain aspects
yeah it could always be argued whether it’s subjective of not, and a few people seem to not be sure of where that line is

i was just wondering, cos it helped me along (and god knows i hated it sometimes) but i feel i am still in the process of trying to better my mixes,

complacency breeds lazines and all that jazz

i just dont want to come across as an asshole or as if im awesome or something (im wholly aware of my level of production skills and could name quite a few problems in past tracks which i havent seen until ive put them on the shelf)

anyways, i was just wondering on etiquette

oh, and fuckin awesome @ links to self made playlists
this site shocks me more and more lOL
permalink   Wed, May 20, 2009 @ 3:16 PM
to each… I guess - if something really sticks out I always try to mention it because I expect people to point out my mistakes and because it makes the site better to have better productions.

In general people’s reactions to pointing out production flubs have been good, often with fantastic results - but keep in mind that I’ve had people take my critiques extremely poorly and ended up with ‘net stalkers.

To answer your question the only taboo is when you go beyond eq and threshold settings and make comments about skills or other personal observations.
permalink   Thu, May 21, 2009 @ 2:15 PM
You know what in a way I think it is Taboo. Trying to evaluate someone’s level of expertise thru a mix is impossible. There are those with supposed `industry’ experience on remix sites who fall far short of the basics and those` keep trying amateurs’ who nail it every time and vice versa.

I have had a fair share of people try to tell me what I should be doing creatively and sonically and truth is, I know if I can or want to do it better. So when I hear someone who has achieved a sound I admire I go ask them for advice. I have been pleased to say I have been asked the same a few times and have been glad to help.

When a mix is pretty much there and then a small part just seems out of place in it seems a good point to reflect that initial listening impression .

If there is one thing that many mixers ignore its working a vocal. Most people can play an instrument and make a good sound but the last frontier and mystery for most is positioning a vocal. But if I used that as a level of production failure for me personally I would be typing it over and over.

So show us how it should be done and make the best mix you can. If you mix it well they will come. ( and ask you )
permalink   Thu, May 21, 2009 @ 4:04 PM
I’ve pretty much stopped commenting even with constructive suggestions quite a while ago, unless asked to in public or in private.
permalink   Thu, May 21, 2009 @ 5:26 PM
You can never stop learning in life so a little helpful advice can be useful. I sometimes comment on the technical side of a mix if I feel the mixer has created some good work but has in my opinion fallen down on some aspect of the engineering. It is however only my opinion and the mix may be what the mixter wants. But it’s just trying to be helpful.

Constructive criticism is no bad thing and the comments made by those trying to help I believe are in the main given for the right reasons.

I’ve been at this music nonsense for some time but it took Loveshadow on another site to point out to me that I always used far more reverb on vocals than I needed too. On some of my work I disagreed with him but it made me take a look at what I was doing and you know what? In the main he was right!! Now I take a different approach and it works better!

In the process of telling me he also told the whole world but hey I’m thick skinned!!

However I wish someone had pointed this out before but he did and he did it for free!
permalink   Thu, May 21, 2009 @ 6:03 PM
Well, my thought is this. Remixing is many things. It is a technical endeavor but it is also a means of making a personal statement. That statement is being made in part via the technology and production choices that are made.

The bottom line is a “good” mix is one that you hear and it sounds a way you think is good. A “bad” one is the reverse. A huge part of that judgment is personal, very, very personal.

As one example, I like vocals that sound like they are effortless or at a minimum natural and coming from a person. I want them like the breath of that person, rising and falling with emotion. I want to feel the human presence when I am listening. Pile too much production nonsense on top and I’m tuned out generally. I don’t even like when people show off vocal tricks and sing all over a melody. There is a universe of humanity which believes the total opposite. No one opinion is right. That’s why sites like this are great.

On a few occasions I have offered criticisms of stuff I have heard. I do it privately and I tend to confine myself to people who I have some relationship with so they know where I am coming from.

For newer remixers I would say it is helpful to tell the listener what you were trying to do. It’s like scoring partial credit on a school exam. If you don’t write down what you know, even if it isn’t everything, then how can the teacher know what’s in your head?

And a pet peeve of mine, if you are reading this..please don’t write anything to the effect of “this sucks, it’s the best I can do.” If you think it sucks, don’t make anyone else listen to it. Make something that doesn’t or keep working at it :-).
permalink   essesq Thu, May 21, 2009 @ 6:06 PM
And yes I realize that part of my post is not directed at the question at hand, but it is the other side of the coin. Enough from me…
permalink   gurdonark Sat, May 23, 2009 @ 9:19 PM
I wonder if there is anything in your professional training that allows you to see “both sides” of the coin :)
permalink   Sat, May 23, 2009 @ 9:13 PM
I tend to the notion that so often it’s not what you say, but how you say it. I find myself willing to comment on production quality from time to time, although I am much more inclined, after a suggestion of Loveshadow’s, to write of the mental image the song gives me.

The wide difference in not only skills but also in remixing software and hardware can make production quality tricky. Also, although any remixer prefers dry, well-recorded ‘pells, for example,
there is also some truth in the notion that a good remixer can work with imperfect source material—and in this limited respect, a remixer can to a slight extent overcome the truism about garbage in, garbage out.

The two things that most often bug me about uploads are not about production quality per se. One is when someone feels that the best way to show their skills is to just upload 20 seconds to 3 minutes of a fully-mixed song in the guise of a “sample”. Rudimentary research into what gets remixed shows that the people who basically get few or no samples remixed are people who don’t split their samples into constituent parts uploads. I will use a sample of lesser production quality, but I will avoid a sample that has three instruments blended in, when I want only one of the 3.

My second concern is personal to me. I want to do more Attribution songs and fewer Attribution Non-Commercial songs. I will always choose an Attribution sample over an Attribution non-commercial sample.

But to your question: “is it taboo to comment on people’s production quality?”, I have 4 different answers, representing solely my own view:

1. if the purpose is to put down the person who made the upload, then “yes” it is taboo;

2. if the purpose is to show that your uploads are of better production quality than those of others on the board, then “yes” it is taboo.

3. if the purpose is to very, very gently let a ‘pella artist or remixer know of simple ways to improve the usefulness of the sample or the fun of the remix, then “no” it is not taboo
but actually,really do it very gently, and remember that some people have the most advanced Pro Tools, melodyne software, Ableton, Reason, and a sample library worth thousands of dollars, and other people dump cassette sound samples onto the audio of Windows Movie Maker because they don’t even have Audacity set up. Whatever is the “point” of ccmixter, it is not that only rich people should play.

4. If your purpose is to take someone down a peg, then “yes” it is taboo, because we all are down enough pegs from the sheer frustration of never being able to do anything as cool as we imagine, and trollishness is best saved for other venues.

Constructive criticism can be fun, and I’ve gotten some and given some over the years. But the key word is “constructive”.
permalink   Sun, Nov 1, 2009 @ 10:55 AM
Because its is very good advice for everyone to listen to.