Public polls for contest

Public polls for contest


I’ve heard 1/10 mixes. I think if you just turn up the faders to unity and submit it, that gets a 3. If you the work you do on a mix makes it sound worse than just turning up the faders, I’ll rate it less than a 3. But that scale is completely arbitrary and only applies to me voting. Others will have a completely different scale. To me, 5 should be average.

I do think however, that having a 1-10 scale is too much and leaves too much to interpretation. When I’ve done contests in the past, I’ve done 1-5 and I’ve given an explanation of each star so that everybody is on the same page.

5: This sounds like a fully commercial mix
4: Mix sounds really good, but has a few issues that could easily be fixed
3: Mix sounds pretty good, but has some pretty glaring issues that need to be taken care of.
2: Mix has a lot of issues
1: This mix just plain old sucks
0: This isn’t even the right song

Something like that at least puts everybody on somewhat of the same scale. Because when it comes to finding a winner, it’s really a matter of sorting through the 5s and 4s. Everybody else is playing for feedback.


This x 100000000000000000 ^^^^^^^^^^

I used to be the type that wanted feedback. Then I got honest with myself and realized that I never listened to any of it, so I just stopped asking. If I like my mix, then no one else’s opinion matters. I’m a big believer in considering the source. I don’t want “help” from people looking for help themselves. On the flip side, it’s not fair to others that I vomit out my opinions about their mixes when I’m not open to it myself. So I don’t ask, and I don’t give. Life is much better this way!


That’s a truth that people seem to be unable to confront.

Everyone thinks their shit doesn’t stink. We all think we’re so great, but very few can actually see their own talents , abilities and true self accurately and objectively. We all need to be more self aware and self critical.


I choose to explain why I vote the way I do, but I don’t feel obligated to. Truth be told, this is a home recording forum filled with people of varying degrees of skill, but most mixes of this song aren’t that good. I mean, I haven’t been blown away by a mix yet. Some have been very pleasant, almost pro level, but for the most part the mixes have just been mediocre because most of us aren’t pros. There’s no shame in that. If I think a mix is a “3” then it’s a 3. I leave feedback, but if someone doesn’t have time to leave a detailed explanation, but wants to vote, then let them give a low score. If someone is consistently voting “1” to be a prick, that’s a shame. But I don’t want my vote public because I don’t need people complaining or trying to sway my “3” to a “4”. Remain anonymous, it’s better for everyone. Less chance for corruption. I mean, there’s no need to be candy-ass friendly about it if people want to improve.


Since I started this whole matter and because from some comments I get the vibe that I just got mad because someone thought my mix deserved a “1”, I feel I have to make myself clear.
I have no problem getting “1” or “0” if someone believes that’s what I deserve. An explanation would be nice but if I don’t get one that’s OK too.
But clearly this is not the case.
This voter rated “1” on almost all mixes. At least the higher rated ones at that point.
So he’s either a contestant with lower rating that wants to go higher or just a loser with too much free time.
On the other hand…Ok, I won’t die. Maybe we’re taking this too seriously. This is more about the feedback and the chance to get better at mixing than winning the contest. For me at least.


I must admit, this gave me a hearty laugh.


Lots of food for thought in this thread…

To the OP topic: Let’s say the point scale is 0-5 with half-point increments for the sake of example. There could be a stipulation that if you choose to assign either a very low score (1.5 or less) or very high score (4.0 or more), you are expected to provide at least a couple sentences of explanation, but not if you are assigning a score somewhere in the middle of the pack. I get this idea from the way I have to do performance evaluations on my staff scientists. In order to award either the highest or lowest ratings, I’m required to provide justification. Just a thought-- obviously, everyone would prefer to have a detailed description of why someone scored their mix as they did. And as we all know, that’s not easy to do, especially when it’s mixes of the same song.

On the larger philosophical questions: I agree completely with those who have written here that it’s very easy to provide specific and constructive, albeit negative, input on someone’s mix without being a jerk about it. Of course, it’s most effective when the reviewer has the expertise to articulate what the perceived problems are in a way that the author can understand. Not all of us can do that consistently (certainly true for myself).

Another side of the coin is that there can be separation between largely technical concerns and largely artistic/subjective ones. For example, when someone comments on a mix of mine that there’s too much boxiness in my acoustic guitar sound and I should sweep the mids to find it and notch it down, that’s not a value judgment, that’s a technical observation. We can all think of abundant examples of this sort of thing. This sort of input that I’ve received from this group starting back at RR is far and away the single greatest influence on my improvement as a home hobby recordist.

On the flip side, comments about the arrangement or choice of instrument or whether there’s not enough variation and interest as the tune proceeds are much more subjective. If a listener simply doesn’t like the song, s/he will be much less amenable to working through whatever technical issues there may be to give less subjective impressions. In my experience, this is the area where things can go off the rails a bit, and lead to possibly hurt feelings. It’s a more difficult thing to comment on these aspects than on the purely technical ones in a way that remains constructive.

But as has also been said, at some point we as artists are going to say “well, OK, but this is still how I want the song to be structured/arranged etc.” and have to learn not to take it personally that others have different views, because there’s no pleasing everyone. Easier said than done! I readily admit that in my first year or two in this group I did get my feelings hurt a bit at some of the comments along those lines, but came to realize that they were mostly on the mark. As someone who still has so long a way to go, I’ve learned not to let that sort of thing get to me, unless someone truly is being an asshole about it, in which case I just dismiss it anyway.

In my own bashing of others’ tunes (of which I have really fallen off the wagon in recent months, owing to pressures from my so-called normal life), I try to separate the technical from the subjective as much as possible and make it very clear which is which. Seems to have worked for me, I don’t recall having pissed anyone off even when I’ve had some pretty substantial criticisms to make (but I could be wrong about that of course!).

For this reason, I personally would be fine with publicly identifying myself when scoring any song, because there’s nothing I would say to someone here anonymously that I wouldn’t say “to their face” so to speak. (An outgrowth of publishing science journal articles, I’m quite sure-- I’ve been torched by professionals!) But that may not be comfy for everyone.

And to finally close this wall of text, I do sympathize with the challenge of offering comments to support a score when it comes to a contest setting. After hearing a bunch of mixes of the same song, it’s only natural that one loses the best-intended goal of trying to help the contestant. I had the same experience when I was a beer judge in the homebrewing world. After hours of critical tasting, it’s just really hard to keep one’s senses sharp. We’re only human…


Well articulated, @Chordwainer!


I noticed that happening in the first contest on this site, Jan 2017 I believe. It was a big disappointment. Also that there hadn’t been any definition around a rating system like Boz has done.

In the sense that there are many competing, but only one winner, that makes a lot of sense. Still, if there’s a chance to win something I’d really like for there to be a more open-ended sense of fairness and transparency in the voting process. The Public Poll might be the answer to that.


I think this is a great idea. I think it might even make people more comfortable voting publicly, because they are less likely to be misinterpreted. Each number (1-10, or 1-5, or whatever) can be assigned a respectfully-worded “definition,” so that even voting one of the lower ones doesn’t come across as anything too personal or negative.


It also reminds me what Brandon said for his contests on RecordingReview (RR for short and for people that didn’t come here from there):

And you added

:+1: :smile: