2022-AUG-08 Info: Please get acquainted with updates to the Rule Book(s).

Songwriting Competition - General Gossip Thread

Ask us a question, give feedback, join surveys, make suggestions
Post Reply
User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2536
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

Songwriting Competition - General Gossip Thread

#1

Post by Mister Fox »

Welcome to the General Gossip thread for the Songwriting Competition.


Want to talk about things that came up during the game that are a bit off-topic, neither are they really fitting for Production Techniques?
Got a question beforehand that is not covered in the Rules or FAQ?

Then this thread is for you. Please type away. :educate:


 ⚠ Moderation Message from Mister Fox  
By joining the Mix(ing) Challenge, you agree to adhere to the given Rules and Guidelines (see post #6).

This thread is only for general feedback and constructive criticism, talk "overall game" topics (slight off-topic), ask questions if anything is unclear / not explained in each game thread already, and/or not covered in the FAQ, etc.

Any form of (ongoing) complaints / destructive criticism / harassment (e.g. "staff lecturing") will result in an instant delete of your post without any further warning. If you continue to push the matter, then only one formal warning will be addressed, after that your account will be banned. Please keep things civil.

This thread will be reset on a regular basis. (currently: every August)


Status: 2021-JAN-03 - thread reset
VCA-089
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 15:46 CET

Re: Songwriting Competition - General Gossip Thread

#2

Post by VCA-089 »

I did some calculations based on the sheet above. Just for your consideration:
► Show Spoiler
As you can see, the chart looks drasticly different without interference. Based on that, I don't quite understand the need of public voting in this case. I guess that MisterFox could just select entries based on his personal preferences and understanding of his own premise (as he kinda did already). It is also quite clear to me that all contestants has failed the premise in one way or another, based on Mr.Fox's conclusion. I highly encourage to end this practice for futher contests. Or it needs to be clearly stated in the voting rules that some arbitrator can cast his vote in a certain case (there is only exception for "less than 4 participants" in the current state).

At least I can congrat @Denisioo and @EsteveCorbera for their top 3 spot (may be even first time).
User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2536
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

Songwriting Competition - General Gossip Thread

#3

Post by Mister Fox »

I understand your (possible) frustration, but let me please clear up some stuff.
VCA-089 wrote:
Mon Aug 08, 2022 17:44 CEST
As you can see, the chart looks drasticly different without interference. Based on that, I don't quite understand the need of public voting in this case. I guess that MisterFox could just select entries based on his personal preferences and understanding of his own premise (as he kinda did already).
Actually, if it were only "the client's vote", then the Winners Podium would have looked like the following...
► Show Spoiler
...and not what was announced. The results / score are a combination of all participants, plus this month's "clients" (played by me). Which also got a modifier like last year, to introduce a somewhat "we have the final word" mechanic, without fully enforcing that.


There is also a slight misunderstanding in your calculation:

For the "Tied Points" mechanic / breakdown, I am actually not taking the Bonus Point mechanic into consideration. Never did. My votes are also not part of the process/analysis anymore, as last time I did this, resulted in quite the uproar as well. Understanding this, the calculation is actually:
► Show Spoiler
I have been handling it this way, even before I introduced the Bonus Points as incentive to pay attention to detail (introduced August 2020, overhauled June 2021). See for example SWC055 / March 2022 or SWC057 / May 2022.



VCA-089 wrote:
Mon Aug 08, 2022 17:44 CEST
I highly encourage to end this practice for futher contests. Or it needs to be clearly stated in the voting rules that some arbitrator can cast his vote in a certain case (there is only exception for "less than 4 participants" in the current state).
I agree that my posts for SWC059 didn't make clear, that "the client will also cast a vote" and what modifiers they will get. This should have been handled better. Changing it after the fact is of no use now. I can only apologize for that.


:arrow: In summary - the point of contention is:
  • me (host / acting as "virtual client") not being clear at any given point, that I will cast an additional vote.
  • the Rule Book lacking additional explanation on the "tied points" mechanic.


You definitely brought up valid points of criticism - thank you for that.

Where I do not agree is on "ending this practice". However, there need to be slight adjustments for clarity, more upfront and clear communication. I am currently working on Rule Book updates, and I can definitely address these slight issues. Maybe even create an Addendum thread, if there is a need for it.


Thank you.
alavault
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2020 15:00 CEST
Location: Dijon, France

Re: Songwriting Competition - General Gossip Thread

#4

Post by alavault »

@Mister Fox ,

Somewhat unrelated topic, but I still want to ask : why not suggest the Songwriting Competition winners to have their songs directly part of the song pool of the Mix Competition ? If they are totally okay with it, of course.

This could provide interesting songs to mix and will avoid drying the pool completely while providing new creative visions for the songwriter.
If the mix is liked by the songwriter as is, it would go to the Mastering Competition. Bringing back the dead here though.

Seems like a win-win situation for everybody. Or am I missing something ?
Olli H
Backer
Backer
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2017 16:08 CET
Location: Finland

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC060 August 2022 - Winners announced

#5

Post by Olli H »

Mister Fox wrote:
Thu Sep 08, 2022 10:18 CEST
Let me please assure you that it was not easy casting a vote this month. Even after listening to all entries over and over, I almost found it unfair to place certain entries on certain position on the lower half of the score sheet. Please do not take this as a dismissal - you all did amazing this month - I had to cast a vote somehow.
I guess this a big basic problem for most of us every month, or at least to me. I wonder how it would work, if the points were given only to the best half of the submissions, for example top 5/10 or top 3/6? And then the rest would be just in the category "no points this month" without any artificially made order of the last ones. Of would that cause too often a hard-to-solve "same points" situation?
alavault
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2020 15:00 CEST
Location: Dijon, France

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC060 August 2022 - Winners announced

#6

Post by alavault »

Olli H wrote:
Fri Sep 09, 2022 09:26 CEST
Mister Fox wrote:
Thu Sep 08, 2022 10:18 CEST
Let me please assure you that it was not easy casting a vote this month. Even after listening to all entries over and over, I almost found it unfair to place certain entries on certain position on the lower half of the score sheet. Please do not take this as a dismissal - you all did amazing this month - I had to cast a vote somehow.
I guess this a big basic problem for most of us every month, or at least to me. I wonder how it would work, if the points were given only to the best half of the submissions, for example top 5/10 or top 3/6? And then the rest would be just in the category "no points this month" without any artificially made order of the last ones. Of would that cause too often a hard-to-solve "same points" situation?
Fairness is always a touchy topic when dealing with feedback and votes for the lowest positions.
***
Some contributions might be deemed as non musical (heavy wink at potential comtemporary "music" composers) but would be compared to average songs. But the songs would still be awarded a number of points that does not fit with the perceived quality.
***
To mitigate this problem, and by seeing the same names and the same number of participants, let's introduce a non-linear grading.
Songs that are worth 0 will be worth 0 and not 4 and 10 remain 10.
Or use a similar rating system as ITU.P800 (i.e Mean Opinion Score measurements).
***
However, there is another thing to take into account :: the theme of the month. Using a "theme correlation" coefficient would be a sufficient addition to the MOS, resulting in two ranking : one with only the MOS (best perceived song) and weighted MOS (using the theme correlation).
This would create objective feedback on the song but keep fairness for those who tried to be "in theme" while having some issues with the constraints implied.
***
Also, an automated process should have been at least in development given the time this forum has been up and running. Automating scrapping and forcing a certain syntax. You know the drill
***
Still, congrats to the winner @Olli H !
User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2536
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

Songwriting Competition - General Gossip Thread

#7

Post by Mister Fox »

Apologies for the waiting time on these questions

alavault wrote:
Tue Aug 30, 2022 21:03 CEST
Somewhat unrelated topic, but I still want to ask : why not suggest the Songwriting Competition winners to have their songs directly part of the song pool of the Mix Competition ? If they are totally okay with it, of course.
Already happened several times.

alavault wrote:
Tue Aug 30, 2022 21:03 CEST
Seems like a win-win situation for everybody. Or am I missing something ?
Yes, you're missing the time investment, and the fact that the Song Provider being also the client. So not only would there be work to prepare multi-tracks, after a production is finished. It's also listening to n-th entries, giving feedback to top 15 entries, and then go from there.

Regarding a Mastering Challenge/Competition, maybe this will happen again sometime down the road, but definitely not in the form we once knew.
User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2536
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

Songwriting Competition - General Gossip Thread

#8

Post by Mister Fox »

I've moved the following quotes posts from the SWC060 August 2022 thread, since they focus on the Rule Set.


Olli H wrote:
Fri Sep 09, 2022 09:26 CEST
I guess this a big basic problem for most of us every month, or at least to me. I wonder how it would work, if the points were given only to the best half of the submissions, for example top 5/10 or top 3/6? And then the rest would be just in the category "no points this month" without any artificially made order of the last ones. Of would that cause too often a hard-to-solve "same points" situation?
A "top 5" voting mechanic maybe only work if we had more than 15 participants, which would then also introduce a bigger shift in positioning. But even then, it might come down to the two folling things:

1) due to the lack of points, some users will definitely be left out, no matter what they do (they won't even show up on "a rank")
2) the infamous "Eurovision Song Contest Favor Votes"

And then we might also have debates of "we had 7 participants, but 2 were always left out". This is not a good situation in my opinion.




alavault wrote:
Sun Sep 11, 2022 22:08 CEST
Fairness is always a touchy topic when dealing with feedback and votes for the lowest positions.
***
Some contributions might be deemed as non musical (heavy wink at potential comtemporary "music" composers) but would be compared to average songs. But the songs would still be awarded a number of points that does not fit with the perceived quality.
***
To mitigate this problem, and by seeing the same names and the same number of participants, let's introduce a non-linear grading.
Songs that are worth 0 will be worth 0 and not 4 and 10 remain 10.
Or use a similar rating system as ITU.P800 (i.e Mean Opinion Score measurements).
I am not introducing a new score system.

Making / enjoying music is always a subjective topic. What we have works, and it works well. The problem arises if we have the same participants over and over, and their quality drastically improves with each consecutive game.


alavault wrote:
Sun Sep 11, 2022 22:08 CEST
However, there is another thing to take into account :: the theme of the month. Using a "theme correlation" coefficient would be a sufficient addition to the MOS, resulting in two ranking : one with only the MOS (best perceived song) and weighted MOS (using the theme correlation).
This would create objective feedback on the song but keep fairness for those who tried to be "in theme" while having some issues with the constraints implied.
For two months now, this already started "subjectively" in the comments, and I'm honestly not a fan of that. The focus of the SWC is to "make music", introducing bonus points or a "yes/no" for "adhering to the given theme/genre" is a can of worms.

I'll repeat my example that I posted earlier:
The theme was indeed "Water (Picture Theme)", but this doesn't mean that you have to create something exactly for this picture. The general idea with every game where the theme and genre is simplified, is to "get inspired by it, and then create something that comes to mind".

Example: if there would have been a photo of a campfire, and the theme title would have been "burning logs", you could have written something based upon "fire", you could have written something about a get-together, you could have written something about a feeling that gives you (like: late night sitting near it, enjoying the weather, the warmth of the campfire, listening to rustling of the wind, etc).

How literal you take something, is up to you. But I find it sad that we're now starting to point fingers towards other participants, and set personal custom points for "not sticking to a given premise". The Songwriting Competition is about making music in the first place. As long as there are no highly detailed pointers given, or a disqualification criteria, we shouldn't argue about that as this takes away the fun from the game as a whole.
The SWC is made to be "lenient" on purpose. Introducing a "coefficient" would complicate things even more, and destroy the last bit of fun we're having with the game.


alavault wrote:
Sun Sep 11, 2022 22:08 CEST
Also, an automated process should have been at least in development given the time this forum has been up and running. Automating scrapping and forcing a certain syntax. You know the drill
Yes, I know the drill. But do you?

How often do I need to bring up, that this whole place is a "one man project", and there are technical limitations? Creating a fully automated process is nigh impossible for me. Not to mention that this would mean using an engine that is not possible to create/use for this forum.

If I had the financial and technical resources, I might have implemented something at this point. And no, please not another debate on "just use a PM account - it's so easy" or "use the built-in custom vote engine" (which can't be added to a thread after the fact, and is limited to 10 votes max, for readability purposes). And using a third-party engine would mean: more rules (cookies, GDPR, new login to prevent voter fraud, etc).

And speaking of "syntax" - I am enforcing that (more lenient for the SWC, absolutely strict for the MC). And that is: use the filename template, only provide one(!) file (high quality), don't exceed certain loudness values.







Why do I have a feeling, that I should have not written anything? As in: giving final thoughts, or add my own votes, etc? Every time I do that, it seems to result in the same re-heated debates on the "rules" and "how to improve things" since apparently everything is so bad.

The Mix Challenge audio community is not like competition place ABC. The concept is different, there are no "stakes" involved, there aren't even fees to participate. I can not and will never be able fulfill all wishes, neither are certain technical things possible. I can only do so much after all.

The only change I'd see making the most sense would be: more participants. That in turn would mean more interaction, more feedback, more varied results... and as bonus: a bigger winners podium.
User avatar
A Future in Noise
Posts: 201
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 09:26 CET
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Songwriting Competition - General Gossip Thread

#9

Post by A Future in Noise »

Many of the participants in the Songwriting competition, myself included, use Soundcloud. Now, however, I'm getting tired of all the crap messages (reposts, hearts - buy followers) that appear like a swarm of flies as soon as you upload a song. What if we all united and boycotted Soundcloud?
User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2536
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

Songwriting Competition - General Gossip Thread

#10

Post by Mister Fox »

Bots are nothing new on SoundCloud (this has been going on for years now), we unfortunately have no control over that.

I am looking at possible solutions for our community. But implementation will take some time still.
Post Reply