Forum ideas / brainstorm

Forum ideas / brainstorm
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#1

I am going to throw out a few ideas/thoughts/suggestions in sort of a free thought/brainstorm kind of way. These are things I have thought about on other forums etc but maybe some of them can apply here or at least be partially adapted over time.

  1. Form a database of reference materials. For instance, there are probably many “formulas” or “recipes” for production that the experienced mixers know but the newbs dont know. Even something as simple as “kick, snare, bass, vox in the middle, cymbals and toms split out 30%, guitars out wide” is a type of formula that some newbs wouldnt know.

We could begin to build a database of such formulas. for instance the broad category might be “one guitar rock mixing” and under that would be basic formulas for bands such as VanHalen, Zeppelin etc, showing the main possibilities and linking to youtube vids of example songs. Other examples might be “2 guitar bands” “one guitar with keyboards” etc.

General guidlines could be given for “wet” (Dokken) vs “dry” (Nazareth?) mixing

there could be a category for “layered vocal bands” giving general guidelines for mixing vocal heavy songs along the lines of Queen, Yes, Beach Boys, Beatles, Abba, BeeGees etc.

Thats just an idea to keep us from each having to reinvent the wheel all alone every time we try something new.

  1. At least SOME type of recognition or signifier of people who actually post real music of their own (or actual mixes of other peoples stuff etc). Give them a star or red badge or SOMETHING so we can tell who is who and so that frankly we can go listen to their stuff to tell if they know what they are talking about or not.

I could go on for days about experiences I have had on more than one forum where id be a “newby” ON THAT FORUM and id get talked down to by someone with 2000 posts. Once on a guitar forum I asked a simple question about practice routines for guitar licks etc. Well I had less than 50 posts so I was a “newby” and I started getting all of these non-answers like “why would you want to practice a lick, why not just play music?” and stuff like that.

I was getting told how stupid the question was etc. So I checked into one of these guys with the thousands of posts who was coming at me. I finally managed to find some of his actual playing online and frankly he sucked. At that point I had been playing for like 27 years and I was getting talked down to by someone that MAYBE had 2 years under his belt? So who was the real newby??

Same thing on the singing forum I hung out on. These guys would argue all of these hair splitting technical points and talk about these intricate vocal coordinations and give all of these authoritative sounding answers. Then you start to check into THEIR singing and you cant find any. When you finally do find an audio clip you find out that they cant sing a lick! So why are they posting all of these authoritative sounding answers???

if I am on a martial arts forum I want to know if its a black belt or a white belt talking to me. Same for a music forum. If people can be quickly linked to their own latest posted examples of music, it will cut WAY down on some of the “keyboard warrior” type drama. IMO thats just keeping it real. Those who want to talk the talk should also walk the walk.

for example if ColdRoomStudios tells me my mix sux, I am not going to fuss much about it because I have heard his material and he is WAY better than me at this point. But if some 18 y.o. kid tells me my song sucks, yet he has never written a song nor posted any examples of his own playing or singing or mixing…I am simply going to call him out as should the whole forum IMO.

Anyway, maybe something like a gold star or badge or something to show that this person has posted some current material (montly or whatever to keep the badge showing)

if a guy tells me to do this or that with my mix, I want to know if he knows what he is talking about…I dont care how many posts he has.

/wall of text

Peace, JJ


#2

Maybe you should invite Pensado, Algae etc to the forum. They know more about what their talking about than anyone here, red stars or not.


#3

there are plenty of knowledgeable people here im sure. The idea of the star or badge is just to give us an idea of who we are talking to. like if a guy tells me that my snare sounds weird. I go listen to his tracks and find he is a hiphop guy. well no wonder my snare sounds weird to him lol.

Id just personally like at least SOMETHING to try to sort out who is who. How strong will the forum be if its a lot of well meaning people giving advice but they have never actually made any music?? lol

I can go on google and come back in 5 minutes and post instructions on how to do a lobotomy…does that make me an expert on it?


#4

You nailed it as far as what we are about here. We WANT questions asked of us. Even if we’ve seen the same question a hundred times. We are about helping each other out. We’ll let the other forums host the trolls. We’ll be here helping each other make good music. :wink:

As far as a database, we’re planning to have quite a few articles posted here and some of those could include some general guidelines or tips.
The tough part is that this is as much an art as painting. The “rules” are broken frequently by some of the best, but I agree it’s helpful to get some basics laid out so you even know what the “rules” are.


#5

@Jon-Jon, sounds like you have the title to your first article !

http://wp.indierecordingdepot.com/articles/


#6

I’m going to disagree with you Jon about the badge/signifier thing. All in a highly cordial manner of course. :nerd:

I accept the potential positives of such a move that you mention. Yes, it would be simpler for viewers to know at a glance that someone had reached some recognized level of experience. It would save folks a few minutes or hours of actually reading people’s comments and following up on their own to get to know whether the person is legit or not.

However, I believe it would do much more harm than good for a number of reasons. Who decides when someone is “qualified”? By what criteria? How are posted mixes certified “good”, and by whom and on what timescale? Give the inherent subjectivity of music, I see this as an impossible task. You mentioned martial arts; there are quantitative, accepted, agreed-upon capabilities one must demonstrate in a formal evaluation process in order to earn a particular belt, right? That’s straightforward. I do not believe the analogy between a martial arts forum and a musical one is valid, frankly.

Another slippery slope is that it would build in an inherent “us and them” vibe to the group that I would adamantly oppose. People being what they are, there is a high chance that “having the badge” would be the seed of clique-ishness and all the kinds of things that all of us disdain in so many other online communities. The major power and strength of this community is that we have overtly NOT done something like that. I myself am the direct beneficiary of exactly that approach. Nobody drew any distinctions or talked down to me because I was new (also speaking to your first point), nor to anyone else that I ever saw.

I would argue that the healthier approach, that is for the long-term health of the community and the forum, is for people to simply take the time over a couple weeks of posting and reading to come to know members, engage with them, and eventually one will have that sense of who’s who and it will be organic and specifically relevant to each member. Why? Because each of us is going to have different ideas of what constitutes “being qualified” on the part of the members we are reading and posting with. That’s what we do in the flesh and blood world, right? People in bands or studios or what have you don’t have nice little badges bestowed for their work, they have earned their reps in the usual way.

So: I sympathize with and understand the motivation for the suggestion, but I just really disagree with it. :slight_smile:


#7

I accept that I have limitations in my ability to communicate due to me being wordy.

the only “qualification” I mentioned was that the person ACTUALLY POSTED MUSIC!!! I never said how “good” or “bad” the music was. A newb who posted his bad singing and bad mix would get that nice star or badge just like Bob Rock would.

So I envision a badge or star or something for those who have actually posted music or mixes in the current month (or rolling 4 week period)

People who want to judge the work of others should also put their own chops on public display occasionally. They have a word for that I think: “peers”

Its like a job work site. You get about 3 guys working the shovels, then you end up with 20 guys giving advice from the sidelines yet they wont touch a shovel and when you look at their hands you dont see callouses lol. Im like “Hey, dont TELL me how to work the shovel, get in with me and SHOW me” lol


#8

OK, I get that on your clarification-- more of a measure of activity and engagement than quality? That’s a much better way to do it because it avoids that subjectivity. Thanks for the additional description! :slight_smile: And let me assure you that I am as wordy as anyone around, so I’m right there with ya!

And yeah, that could be pretty simple to do I’m guessing… like have a counter that increments each time a member uploads an mp3? On the assumption that we’d rarely upload song files that didn’t have to do with us. For example, most of the time when we want to post a commercial song as part of a discussion, it’s via a Youtube clip and not a sound file. So that could be reasonably simple to do. It’s also consistent with how the forum software keeps track of activity-- if you go to the Users page, you’ll see that the default view is the previous seven days’ activity, for example.

Cheers! :beers:


#9

yeah, its just simply to cut down slightly on the whole “elite armchair QB” thing.

Besides that, some people need to be gently goaded into action for their own good lol. But yeah, hafta post an MP3 in the bash forum or whatever

I do have some mild bitterness remaining from the singing forum I hung on for all of 2016…which, sadly, I dont post on anymore. You literally had maybe 5 -10 people posting actual music. I was posting originals which generally were done in 2 days max…written, recorded, the whole enchilada. Sometimes done in one day from scratch. Of course people would have subjective opinions this way or that about the originals and the musicianship. I dont have a problem with that.

But then we’d get into technique discussions and it just got so argumentative and I got told SOOOOO many times that I was wrong or clueless. Nevermind that I was WALKING THE WALK lol. I was getting lectured by these guys who knew all of the lingo, yet they either could barely sing, or they only linked to stuff they did 20 years ago.

IMO thats a fantasy existence and its simply not healthy.

The proof was in the pudding. I finally suggested (trying to bring positivity and creativity to the forum) that we all record a song together. I told them that id do alllll of the legwork. Id write the song and record a demo with me singing all of the parts. I told them id write it so that EVERYONE could sing at least part of the song. (easy to sing verses, mildy challenging prechorus, more challenging chorus etc). I told them to just sing whatever part they could sing and that id take that part and fit it into the song and id make them sound good lol.

So of course the armchair QBs started in with allllllll of this advice. You should do it this way, do it that way. Hell, the owner of the forum changed my thread title without saying a word to me lol. Nevermind that the day before that, no one had any good ideas and the forum was pretty dead. As soon as I started an idea everyone was ready to jump in with all of this advice.

So long story short, I did my part, I wrote the song and started an account on box.com and posted links so that it would be easy for anyone to participate. I posted up the bare vox as well so people could hear exactly what was going on etc. I burned the midnight oil and got it done in like 3 days from dead scratch.

in the end, ONE GUY sent me some singing. He was a moderator who also posted lots of metal covers etc. So in the end my gut was right. All talk and no action makes a WEAK FORUM. Something clicked in my head after that experience. Now im gone from the forum and so is that moderator lol. A thing is either alive and growing or it is dying.

btw, here is the song in question. https://clyp.it/03sq5usl I would never post this as is into BTR because its just a scratch demo. That being said, I aint ashamed of it lol. Its an ok song

There is something about being publicly critiqued that makes one way stronger. On the other hand, always critiquing others while never BEING critiqued makes one weaker and too much of it makes a weak community

Peace, JJ


#10

If someone gives their honest opinion about your or any of the members mix/song, I do not know why their credentials would be of importance, the person is stating an opinion . (or trying to help the best they can)

Now if their communication is lacking ,with all of the vague descriptive words that audio nerds may use, yes a reply of “Your mix/song sucks !” Is not going to be helpful on either end of the conversation. Of course, a better alternative we be…" There are some things about your mix that sound off to me like,…" And regardless of that persons stature we, on the taking end of a critique ,should be able to find some value in any comment we would receive. Period.

I think setting up a system like this is going to discourage more people then it will benefit.

My musical credentials…zero (saving you the time HA!)


#11

THIS, A million times this. JJ, I predict the highly justified bitterness you feel from that vocal forum will rapidly fade and be replaced with a great feeling about this community. When I joined it in 2013, it was literally a life-changing experience because this bunch embodies all of the positives we want out of this effort and very, very few negatives. We all totally subscribe to your point that critical listening AND presenting one’s own work are vital to this kind of growth. We are in violent agreement! :grin:


#12

it is important IMO, as far as it allows everyone (lurkers too) to keep perspective on what is what. Imagine a recording newb comes through. He asks about compression on kick drums. He gets all kinds of conflicting advice. Coldroomstudios, who has plenty of great mixes to be heard, says the newb could try this or try that.

Another member “joe” is adamant that it should be done another way. So the newb doesnt have a clue who to listen to. “Joe” has lots of posts and sounds authoritative…so the newb goes and spends 12 hours trying to put Joes advice to work. He gets nowhere. Then he finds out that Joe has never actually produced or mixed any real music as far as can be heard and that he only parrots info he reads online lol

So personally I do think the idea has some merit. There are those who only like to discuss ideas. They like to study terminology and live in the abstract world. I dont have a problem with that AT ALL…but I want to know who they are lol. Their opinion has its value but it shouldnt be taken equally alongside someone who is knee deep into the blood and guts of writing and producing. Thats all


#13

I think this is a great idea but should be limited to fundamentals. The rules are broken by pros yes, but they are broken for a reason or for effect. Stuff like compression(how to use, what to listen for, reasons to use etc.), Proper high and low passing, frequency distribution, reverb, delay, mix depth, etc… are things that would fit in this category.


#14

What cptfiasco says is valid. My best mix critic has been my wife or kids. They don’t know shit when it comes to what’s going on in a mix, but when I ask them do they like the sound of the mix and what is bothering them about it they usually pin point something I overlooked or didn’t think about. An untrained ear can be a huge advantage as they give you the best indication of how everyone else is going to react to it. You can tell if someone is spouting bullshit usually fairly easily. Every opinion is valid IMO, even this one. :smirk:

Bob


#15

this…is what our community should support. We have to make this place inviting for all (yea big shoes to fill), as soon as you make people feel they are not good enough to comment, we do not grow as a community.


#16

where did anyone say ANYTHING about people being not good enough to comment?? can someone show me that quote?

I just think some sort of indicator for those ACTUALLY POSTING MUSIC would be a good thing. isnt that what a mixing site is for? Then people can draw whatever conclusions they want for themselves. For me, if I see that someone has never posted any music, I take what they say with a grain of salt…thats MY perception and value system. But the indicator idea would still be good no matter how its interpreted. it may be a good reminder for people themselves when the indicator drops off and they go ‘wow, i didnt realize I hadnt posted anything for a month’

yeah, if it was ME, id have whole sections of the forum where you HAD to post music periodically or u lose access lol.

like I said, I spent all last year on a singing forum where EVERYONE criticized and EVERYONE played the expert…but where only about 5 people ever actually posted singing. So to me thats not really a singing site…its a recipe for bitchiness and arguments. Armchair experts argue about dumb stuff, whereas PEERS help each other and compare notes


#17

haha. word


#18

…check your badges, this is in testing mode.I need to make it work , it is only manually granted now.

My only concern, not implying you said this or that it will happen, is that people starting out do not get discourage from participating because they did not post music or they feel they do not qualify to comment.

If someone critiques our work, our first reaction should not be to discredit what they say by what they have, or have not, posted to the community. I just envision this going into the

Abraham2: " Your snare sounds weird an boxy, it does not suite the song"

SmittyStudio: " HA! …my Snare sounds weird? Your whole fucking album sounds weird. Do you even mix bro?"

Abraham2: “Well , I have mixed enough to know shit when I hear it! Fuck off!”

SmittyStudio: “I could not get anymore fucked then your mixes! Haha”

…that escalated quickly.HA!..yes I do not want that! Ha!


#19

Well this IS the internet…you are going to get any possible range of replies. But to me personally, the real “elitist” turds arent the experienced and skillfull musicians, but the ones who criticize but never put their own chops out on the chopping block

In any case I think people should be encouraged to step out and share music. lurking for a year doesnt help anyone lol


#20

Is the badge sufficient ?