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Songwriting Competition - General Gossip Thread

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Jorgeelalto
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Re: Songwriting Competition - General Gossip Thread

Post by Jorgeelalto » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:22 am

Mister Fox wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:02 am
What eludes me however, is the fact that there are a lot(!) of threads (think 30+ daily) in the Music Cafe over there, with new productions, albums and what have you. So I'm wondering - if the creative output is that high, why not join a fun game for giggles?
Maybe all that people just want to make music without any kind of external constraint, then post it on Music Cafe (which takes 5 min) and get feedback and exposure without doing anything more. On here you have to adhere to some rules, at least. And then, give feedback to the participants (if I recall correctly).
Mister Fox wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:02 am
I'm wondering if it's really down to the following:
  • Time limits / constraints
  • themes
  • the need to "give feedback"
  • incentive (aka: prices)
This is where I'm kind of lost right now. We have outstanding sponsors. People also ask for feedback over at the old place if they present their own stuff. The themes are not boring - in fact we had three months in row with "producer whatever you feel like". It is now that I'm trying to push the creative output towards a certain direction again with the first theme in a while: "Spring". And time limits? I've seen communities with 1-hour composition challenges, 1-week time frames, etc. In comparison, 24 days is a lot.


So are the FL Studio forum people more after electronic music creation?
Is the focus in the audio ream really just "Mixing Music is just more interesting" (hence the higher participation for the Mix Challenge)?
It's probably that, FL Studio people mostly make EDM stuff and similar, so maybe MC, MastC are a bit "too big" (read: too serious, too specific?) for them. I don't really know, but I suppose it's one of the reasons that people don't enter here.

Mister Fox wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:02 am
In fact, I'm currently working behind the scenes on a "SWC Year Plan" - something that could be shown at a dedicated place and people can prepare their content way in advance. But I don't know if that would actually improve things, or just backfire because some themes will obviously only be known 1-2 month in advance, while others are known for 5+ months in advance.
I enjoy not knowing what the next SWC will be about until the month is there and you open the post, actually. It's one of the special things about it, I suppose, you get to experiment with a new genre each month.
Mister Fox wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:02 am
I want this community to be fun for everyone: songwriters, mix engineers, remixers, etc.
That's a hard thing to do, I think. You won't easily get into the same group the FL Studio beat makers and the Pro Tools recording engineers, some people will complain about things that the other are OK about, and the music making style for both is pretty different, the interests too. The RMXC supposedly would attract more the EDM crowd, but I think without stems of big artists and popular songs, you lose a lot of people. The MastC is also pretty specific and I understand that it's more enjoyable for people who already have good equipment at home and can really work on premastering, me for example I can't really do much in that challenge because I lack some nicer speakers to distinguish between the nuances of all the submitted masters for any challenge.

But that's just my 2C, I'm lately very busy and I haven't really participated much, so...

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Beeble
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no participants in SWC 10

Post by Beeble » Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:52 am

No participants this month is hard. I've already thought something like that.
It´s maybe not only because of the tricky theme, I think there a just to few musicans in here and 4 weeks are real short if you need to find
musicans with time and lust to support you.
4 weeks for a mixing competition is time enough. You can do it on your own without external suport.
Producing a new song as a one man job may also work within 4 weeks. But not when you, like me also, need to rely on other musicans.
I have no Idea how to solve that problem with such few particpants. Not sure if a longer period would help.
all the gear, no idea.

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Mister Fox
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Re: Songwriting Competition - General Gossip Thread

Post by Mister Fox » Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:16 pm

The thing is, the theme was as simple as it could get:
SWC10 thread wrote:SONGWRITING THEME: Fête de la Musique (Festival of Music)

GENRE: free for all
The explanation (or "stinger") was also fairly simple. At least in my opinion. I could maybe change some things like writing "genre: free to select" instead of "free for all" in the future. Maybe that is better to understand.

A couple of other things to point out since the existence of the Songwriting Competition:
  • I tried to announce the genres up to 3 months in advance - but the interest remained low
  • the majority of the songwriting games had a "free to select genre"


I could extend the SWC in terms of submission deadline, but I saw the results with the RMXC. I can try some different approaches with SWC11. Like - announce the theme and genre on Social Media again, write the "explanation" better, provide demo material (which is not really possible for Themes with "free genre selection"). I didn't want to limit anything this month (June) - just encourage to "make music" (because "Make Music Day", etc). But I think we should try to be a bit more limiting and force participants to step out of their comfort zone.

We're still in a learning process here - but I don't want to cancel the SWC.



The RMXC on the other hand... :scared:

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Mister Fox
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Re: Songwriting Competition - General Gossip Thread

Post by Mister Fox » Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:14 am

Let's give this thread a revival!


Today's main question:
 ⚠ Moderation Message from Mister Fox  
If we're exceeding 10 participants per month (which I really hope), which type of voting would you like to see, or which would you think is the most fair?
  • Do you want to keep the Top 10 entries?
  • Do you want a "ranking by all participants", even if there might be more than 25 entries at some point down the road?
Giving feedback to all entries is still mandatory. Although that could change if we exceed a certain amount of entries (let's go with a set 25 again)


Thank you so, so much for your participation and making the game so much more interesting this way.
I'd love to hear your opinion on this.

The Exponent
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Re: Songwriting Competition - General Gossip Thread

Post by The Exponent » Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:27 pm

Mister Fox wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:14 am
Let's give this thread a revival!


Today's main question:
If we're exceeding 10 participants per month (which I really hope), which type of voting would you like to see, or which would you think is the most fair?
  • Do you want to keep the Top 10 entries?
  • Do you want a "ranking by all participants", even if there might be more than 25 entries at some point down the road?
Giving feedback to all entries is still mandatory. Although that could change if we exceed a certain amount of entries (let's go with a set 25 again)

Thank you so, so much for your participation and making the game so much more interesting this way.
I'd love to hear your opinion on this.
My suggestion would be that if possible, the votes and feedback should be hidden from the rest of the participants during the voting stage to hopefully avoid any sort of external influence from the votes and feedback already posted for the contestants. This can also avoid any manipulative voting. I feel that displaying the feedback and votes during the voting process adds no extra value to the participants and can always be displayed once the voting process is complete for everyone's benefit and transparency.

I'm personally okay with giving feedback to every participant as long as that number is reasonable. if it exceeds say 25/30 entries, we might have to reconsider the feedback process/rule.

As for the voting system for entries:
  • How about we rate the participants between 1-6(to allow for enough separation between tracks while also not allowing too much skew-ness in the voting) for each participant, eliminating the need for Top XX entries.
  • In case of ties, whoever got the max 6s, 5s and so on, would be ranked higher.
  • Thereafter you can rank them based on the points and declare the podium winners.

Just my thoughts :smile: Let me know what you all think of it.

Cheers! :tu:
The Exponent
Last edited by The Exponent on Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

UprightJoe
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Re: Songwriting Competition - General Gossip Thread

Post by UprightJoe » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:46 am

I came here to say the exact same thing as The Exponent. I agree that ideally the feedback and scoring should be hidden until voting is complete. There are a ton of issues with having it open. Examples:

1) People who are well liked and respected on the board may accidentally bias the votes of people who vote after them.
2) If somebody doesn't like a piece of feedback they receive, they may retaliate against the author (intentionally or unintentionally).
3) People may be more likely to "pull their punches" and give less than honest feedback if they feel they will be retaliated against.
4) People may change their votes to intentionally manipulate the rankings based on the running tally (i.e. if there is a clear leader, they may not want to waste points by voting on the leader so that they can have a bigger impact by spending them on another entry)

It's easy to come up with further examples...

The Exponent
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Re: Songwriting Competition - General Gossip Thread

Post by The Exponent » Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:39 am

UprightJoe wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:46 am
I came here to say the exact same thing as The Exponent. I agree that ideally the feedback and scoring should be hidden until voting is complete. There are a ton of issues with having it open. Examples:

1) People who are well liked and respected on the board may accidentally bias the votes of people who vote after them.
2) If somebody doesn't like a piece of feedback they receive, they may retaliate against the author (intentionally or unintentionally).
3) People may be more likely to "pull their punches" and give less than honest feedback if they feel they will be retaliated against.
4) People may change their votes to intentionally manipulate the rankings based on the running tally (i.e. if there is a clear leader, they may not want to waste points by voting on the leader so that they can have a bigger impact by spending them on another entry)

It's easy to come up with further examples...
I think since you didn't pull your punches, you're afraid of retaliation(intentional or unintentional)? :hihi: Just kidding of course. It's a friendly competition where we all learn and grow together. But I'm in agreement with you over the human bias and potential manipulation aspect, which public votes and feedback during the voting stage allows for.

I'm not sure how technically feasible it is to implement such a system, but we currently have it in place for KVR OSC. There's no mandatory feedback there, but folks mostly always give feedback on SoundCloud.

Cheers!

RichardClarke
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Re: Songwriting Competition - General Gossip Thread

Post by RichardClarke » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:23 pm

Here's my 2 cents :smile:

I agree with The Exponent and UprightJoe, i think maybe feedback should be hidden until the voting has ended. Also may be it should be anonymous so as not to have any influence on the process. Just a thought though and I see set backs with this (less stimulating conversation and debate in the thread, etc).

However while the numbers are manageable to review I think feedback should stay mandatory for participation. I'm a novice and I know I am unlikely to ever score well in these competitions, however I really like to participate and feel I am developing what I do and learning something. For me the feedback and perspective of others is the prize and a reason too keep participating even if I'm not scoring well.

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Mister Fox
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Re: Songwriting Competition - General Gossip Thread

Post by Mister Fox » Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:44 am

As you can probably tell from my radio silence, I'm busy BTS. But to answer your concerns.

The Exponent wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:27 pm
My suggestion would be that if possible, the votes and feedback should be hidden from the rest of the participants during the voting stage to hopefully avoid any sort of external influence from the votes and feedback already posted for the contestants. This can also avoid any manipulative voting. I feel that displaying the feedback and votes during the voting process adds no extra value to the participants and can always be displayed once the voting process is complete for everyone's benefit and transparency.
To those that come from the KVR Audio One Synth Challenge, that have an own dedicated system for that (and in theory, even offer outside votes), I understand you.


:!: However...

This is not possible for me to technically implement. At least not without extra work, and/or extra maintenance (settings thing up/keep the engine updated and running), adding another disclaimer for "collecting data" (both cookies and GDPR), and in best case only make it available for those joining the Songwriting Competition (which would mean - signing up to another engine again, checking with databases - which I do not do, etc).

Due to this extra workload - which I can/will not handle - the voting will always be public.


I will also refuse to take votes via PM form, as this would also mean extra work for me to sort things through. Especially if people don't use unified PM titles, or use a different songwriter name than their username on the forum, etc. The list goes on just as much as all arguments as to why there should be a hidden vote. Please understand my viewpoint on this.

I answered this a couple of times via PM, so I will address this in public once more:
 ! Bonus Info
If voting is skewed towards a certain direction (because of friends joining the game, and therefore doing favor votes / or retaliation votes), then this is ultimately hurting themselves.

I speak out against a public accessible voting engine like the KVR Audio One Synth Challenge, or an "outside vote influence" engine (like pretty much every other competition out there). The reason being, is vote manipulation. The very thing that you folks just pointed out that you fear about. I'm seeing this constantly - outside votes from "friends" because you wrote on social media "I've joined this game - can you please vote for me?". And ultimately those that have the biggest and most active following, wins. I do not find this fair. Because this way, not your skill is being tested, but who has more fans to begin with.

The Songwriting Competition is still small. I hear your concerns for the future. But the idea here is to communicate. To be honest with yourself, and the people you're up against in this (hopefully still) interesting and friendly game. If you fear of retaliation for skewed votes because of a friends circle joining, or an issue with a specific user, and I have to find a way to implement a "hidden vote" system (which I neither have time, nor the technical capabilities to do so)... then the friendliness and "welcome with open arms" attitude of this forum section is pretty much reduced to any "songwriting competition XYZ" out there.

I do not want that.



Regarding the vote system itself:

A rate-per-participant system is interesting, but I don't see a real need (yet). The top 10 system already works great and the math is super simple (it is posted in every thread once the challenge has ended). In fact, even the "tied votes" are addressed (check the Rules and Guidelines again), and the more participants, the wilder the span of votes.



:idea: I do have a compromise for "hidden votes", and that feature is already implemented with the forum: the spoiler tag.

Code: Select all

[spoil]
Position 1: participant C
Position 2: participant H
Position 3: participant B
Position 4: participant T
...[/spoil]
This would result in the following block of text:
► Show Spoiler

There are two problems with that though:
  1. if you've turned off "scripts" in your browser, that thing is bugged out.
  2. considering that a lot(!) of people do not read the Rule Set (not even the TL;DR version), chances are this might be overlooked as to "how" you should cast your vote



Which brings me back to my two initial questions
 ⚠ Moderation Message from Mister Fox  
If we're exceeding 10 participants per month (which I really hope), which type of voting would you like to see, or which would you think is the most fair?
  • Do you want to keep the Top 10 entries?
  • Do you want a "ranking by all participants", even if there might be more than 25 entries at some point down the road?
Giving feedback to all entries is still mandatory. Although that could change if we exceed a certain amount of entries (let's go with a set 25 again)
By "ranking all participants", I didn't mean the proposed 6-point ranking per participant. But more like: if we have 20 participants, then a top 20. Keep things simple! The upper limit I'd currently set for a ranking: is 25 participants. We're still far from that, but you'll never know.

Everyone deserves feedback though. And I'll stand my ground on "not giving feedback results in disqualification" (and some of that feedback could really be more than just bullet points!). So that is a tricky question in terms of "how to handle this" as well. Especially if we exceed 25 participants.





:arrow: So let us please focus on the essentials:
 ⚠ Moderation Message from Mister Fox  
  • To compromise for getting a "semi hidden vote" system Instead of the current way of handling, I propose to use the spoiler tag (orange triangle button with ! in it) to hide them from initial view
  • Should we change the currently existing top 10 to a "Top <nr of participants joined>" ranking so that everyone gets points?
  • if we exceed 25 participants, shall both the feedback and voting be limited to the top 25 entries?

The Exponent
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:46 pm

Re: Songwriting Competition - General Gossip Thread

Post by The Exponent » Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:32 am

Mister Fox wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:44 am
  • To compromise for getting a "semi hidden vote" system Instead of the current way of handling, I propose to use the spoiler tag (orange triangle button with ! in it) to hide them from initial view
  • Should we change the currently existing top 10 to a "Top <nr of participants joined>" ranking so that everyone gets points?
  • if we exceed 25 participants, shall both the feedback and voting be limited to the top 25 entries?
Thanks for the detailed response Mr. Fox. I do understand that it might be difficult to implement an outside and hidden voting system and that's why I used the word feasible. Even I'm not in favor of allowing external votes so we're in agreement there.

The spoiler block seems quite interesting. As for voting Top XX participants, I feel we should rank ALL the participants, and give feedback to all if you and others are okay with one liner feedback.

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