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Poll: Fixed thematic months for the Songwriting Competition

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Are you interested in fixed thematic months for the Songwriting Competition?

Poll ended at Sat Apr 24, 2021 23:59 CEST

Yes - I'd like to look forward to certain games and invite friends
4
40%
No - please leave things as is, I trust you finding the right theme/genre
6
60%
 
Total votes: 10

Clueless
Posts: 131
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:54 CET

Re: Poll: Fixed thematic months for the Songwriting Competition

#11

Post by Clueless »

I’m pretty much lost when it comes to these contests
I’m not musically trained in any way, & only attempt to enter something that involves very little monetary involvement, as my setup is mainly freeware and not, to me anyway, expensive commercial products

So, contests that are simplified, can be of greater benefit to those who cannot invest in this hobby and just want to have fun and a reason to make , plus the interaction with others :)

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Mister Fox
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Posts: 2231
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: Poll: Fixed thematic months for the Songwriting Competition

#12

Post by Mister Fox »

First and foremost, thank all of you that participated in this Mini Poll. Although the participation rate was 2,5% with an average of 400 active users (on really good days) and 0,87% considering we have over 1150 forum members now.


Let me quickly respond to some of the comments, because I have a feeling, that the Songwriting Competition is still not "open enough", which is a real shame.


Blang wrote:
Tue Apr 27, 2021 14:13 CEST
The biggest thing I notice with the SWC submissions is that they often feel unfinished. I actually like the time limitation of one month, but perhaps focusing on genres that don't need many different parts, elaborate production, track length might work out well. For example, I started in the SWC with Lo-fi Hiphop, because I had been meaning to explore that genre, but mainly because I felt I could make something decent in a few hours. So more people might feel inclined to enter and have a more satisfactory result.
Clueless wrote:
Wed Apr 28, 2021 13:56 CEST
I’m pretty much lost when it comes to these contests
I’m not musically trained in any way, & only attempt to enter something that involves very little monetary involvement, as my setup is mainly freeware and not, to me anyway, expensive commercial products

So, contests that are simplified, can be of greater benefit to those who cannot invest in this hobby and just want to have fun and a reason to make , plus the interaction with others :)

That is the thing...

You're not forced to be elaborate with anything. You're just asked to make music in the first place, with whatever tools are at your disposal. From freeware to super expensive DIY built equipment - there is no limitation.

The only two real limitations are: don't have a song that is short than 1:30min or longer than 10:00min (exceptions apply, see "ambient" game) and "try to not exceed -14 LUFS". Neither of them are factors for disqualification. The SWC is really *that* casual now, despite the extensive rules.

You're not even forced to add vocals to your production. I'd love to hear more vocalized music, true. But it's definitely no must.


Maybe I should mention more "free synths", or "budget synths" to get you started? Or tools that help you with songwriting? That might be a nice "Addendum post" actually (which would take me a bit to get sorted out, but you know how extensive these posts usually are)... :thinking:



Blang wrote:
Tue Apr 27, 2021 14:13 CEST
Going further down this path, the brief could also be something like: write for a... 4-piece rock band, string quartet, solo piano. It might also be too specialized.

Personally, I would like some more focus towards actual (classic) songwriting: words, melody, chords. With less emphasis on production. Some people might not feel confident about their lyric writing. So you could also provide the words for all contestants should use, like a poem or theater scene.
This gives me the biggest confusion from the recent posts. The reason for a "brief" was to get towards a common ground. As in: what am I supposed to to, what is the theme, and what type of genre should I delve into?". If I'm writing "4-piece rock band" -- that is too specialized? But on the other hand, if I say "write a melody based upon the "I–V–vi–IV progression" is not? Is a bit conflicting.

Regarding "create something based upon a certain scene" -- well, we definitely did that with the "Video Game Sound Track" based challenges. The first one was about creating theme songs for a possible sci-fi-esque fighting game. And the second one was "music for a sci-fi anti gravity racer".


My biggest concern currently is that the participants only focus on certain genres only. For the Mix(ing) Challenge, the biggest participation is if it's rock, and if it's "no more than 48 tracks" (which is sometimes impossible). And for the Songwriting Competition, every time I remotely try to get towards "rock", the participation is super low. Here the focus is more synthesizer based.

It is really hard to find a balance. Hence me trying to find / set up more "overarching themes". In fact, we do have those already! The "Community Scramble" in January is technically a "Sound Design Challenge", while in September it is "Mental Health Awareness Month (healing through music)" (which is a very important topic to me). We do have the occasional "limited / special tools challenge" (see "AI enhanced composing", SWC022/June 2019... or SWC034/April 2020 where you had to utilize at least two synthesizers in your production).

Maybe I just need to repackage everything a bit different :thinking:




Either way - thank you everyone for stopping by and giving feedback. While the result in itself is not saying much, it still offers me a lot to think about. I'll leave the thread open for a while. Who knows what spawns from the ongoing conversations.

:educate:

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