While this isn’t for a BTR file “bash”, it’s a commentary on why we do this and what it means. Why do you post a song for Bashing? To learn? To grow? To be masochistically abused by the thrashing of others? To garner praise for your accomplishments and gather accolades? To see what the possibilities are? Will you end up blindly following the advice you are given? Will you argue and refute the advice you are given? Will you throw up your hands in absolution of this not being the answer? I am guessing that all of the above have been experienced, and more, but we keep coming back because the community is the lifeblood of what it means to be a communicator and connector to that which we call human consciousness. Feel free to discourse and debate.
I doubt we FULLY know why we do the things we do and what are our EXACT motivations. We all want to learn and get better but we also want that positive feedback. It’s sort of a catch-22
There are 2 extremes. There are people and communities that are sort of “hard crowds” and they will tear down whatever you do just like they will tear down Prince or Paul McCartney. Then on the other extreme there are those “feel good” communities where they tell everyone that everything they post is great or “perfect”.
It is sort of a mine field to navigate through everything and figure out what is pertinent. I figure if 10 people make a similar comment then there must be something to it lol
I dont know about others, but I tend to vacillate between thinking I am great and thinking I suck and should be way better than what I currently show. Therefore the feedback hits me differently at different times. If you are flying high and you get bad feedback from numerous people then it can hit you hard sometimes…for instance if u havent posted anything for a while lol. But if you end up learning something then for the most part its worth it.
Unfortunately, the way I receive feedback seems to blend the worst of both worlds. If someone really goes after my stuff negatively then I tend to take it really personal and it can get discouraging but then if they really praise it im like “ehh, they are just being nice” lol
I put my songs up for bashing invariably because I’m after feedback. I’ve had a few harsh comments over the years that made me wince, but overwhelmingly the feedback has been invaluable and really supportive. I’ve bashed a lot of other songs too - that is an integral part of the process… the listening to others and learning… watching how people take note of the comments and make changes. I still find it utterly fascinating, that process of continuous improvement. And some forum members - in particular Andrew @ColdRoomStudio are just amazing with their unflagging support and encouragement.
By the time I put a song up to bash, I am usually exhausted by it and have lost perspective. The opportunity to get feedback from others in a supportive and enabling way is invaluable. I have developed a filter system for interpreting comments… not everyone ‘gets’ my sound and I know my weaknesses best of anyone [wry grin]… so my response to bashing depends largely on who says what… There can be a heap of contradictory advice so the filter system works well
This is common. If multiple people say the same thing it tends to lend credibility and weight to that opinion. Of course, you don’t know who read the previous comments and decided to agree with them rather than go against the status quo, or didn’t even really listen and just agreed in order to post a comment. If it seems each poster on that opinion actually listened, it can add some credibility.
My own experience from day 1 is that I’m a fucking genius and how many people can write and record their own song? It’s exhilarating and ego-boosting to the f*ing max. But then, you decide to get feedback, and your world is sometimes shattered by that.
This is the whole point of the thread. Can you embrace your own creativity, accept that some people may like what you do (whether authentic appreciation or catering to ego stroking), and accept that some people think you should do otherwise or head in a different direction? The Artist at some point has to say “this is me”, “Welcome to my world”, “Welcome to me”, and be unapologetic as to what it is you do and why.
That’s how he earned “Certified Golden Ear”.
That is the sole essence of BTR I think, getting that feedback when you are spent and all else is not working for you in the usual fashion. “Let me know what you think.” It encourages and provokes both a gentleness and a directness of what is happening. Don’t be “nice”, be “direct”. But also appreciate that this artist and/or this mixer (or masterer) has labored untold hours to get this message and this sound to this point and this production.
If I post in BTR, the track is finished and I’m not really looking to change it. But an exra pair of ears is always handy, especially if they are ears that I respect. So I ignore most comments and take note of a few, depending on a) the writer and b) whether I agree. I continue to post because invariably no matter how good I think my mix is, someone will spot something I have missed, and that’s a very good service to have available, especially when I’m paying nothing for it.
I try to reciprocate. I give feedback in the way I prefer to receive it, i.e., I point out the issue that I am hearing, but I don’t attempt to provide a solution, I would need the track in front of me in DAW to do that, because often you have to try many different ways before you find something that actually solves the problem. Some people view that as unhelpful but I think it’s even more unhelpful to offer a specific soution when you don’t know exactly what effect it will have.
If I posted something here, it would probably because I was frustrated to no end with a very specific problem in a particular song.
And the last mix I posted (the one of a Ted Cruz broadcast on the presidential campaign trail) was purely for comic relief. haha…it got bashed alright.
Yes, that part is invaluable. Sometimes when it veers off into suggesting changes to things you don’t think need changing, it can become challenging in terms of questioning yourself and/or explaining yourself to the poster IMO. On occasion, those comments can be quite helpful, but on other occasions it seems hard to ask for advice and then not take it.
Very true. This is how I have approached it for the most part. I don’t know many things about the situation, the session, the plugins used, the mixing philosophy. About all you can do is offer your thoughts and it might help the person move toward the solution. There is one case where specific advice seems to help some, and that is in the EQ moves that help clean something up or make it sound better. When a person who can’t hear what the advice is telling them can then listen to a file the poster downloaded, tweaked, and reposted, it has many times been very helpful to them. They still have to figure it out in their own setup, but knowing which frequencies and Q to adjust can really move things forward.
I’m always happy to do that, if requested, but when it’s unsolicited I always feel that it’s crossing the line, and is a little bit disrespectful to the bashee.
Yep, what Emma said. I can’t get anyone else to listen to my stuff including the dog. This is a treat for me and yes I usually make corrections as instructed because everyone here knows more than me…and I’m good with that. good topic
I know my songs are OK, but my recordings still sound amateur. For me the ears of much more experienced mixers/ producers / studio technicians than I am is really worthwhile. I’m grateful for any comments, even if I don’t agree.
Till now I’ve not posted a bash until I have a complete mix on which I’ve worked for many hours. The comments are usually something along the lines of “nice song” perhaps with what it reminds the commenter of, followed by two or three helpful ideas on making a better mix. Great, but maybe I need some-one to tell me to record the song with only a guitar, or no guitar at all but a traditional brass band with African percussion
A discussion about Emma’s self made hand drum got me thinking today: maybe it’s at least as rewarding to get comments in the arrangement phase. I’m a typical singer songwriter in the sense that I write everything with my acoustic guitar. I don’t have an arrangement in mind when I write it. That starts in the studio. I tend to go for pretty standard instrumentation: the acoustic remains in the heart of the song made complete with drums and bass, one or two electric guitars, a piano and/ or organ/ mouth organ (check my latest bash “Look at you”). But why? Why not try a more imaginative, if not weird and wonderful instrumentation like Emma uses?
Anyway, if this idea catches on we could start a new category “Rearrange this”. Maybe a separate thread with this title to start out?
There was some discussion a few weeks ago about making a demo of a song, prior to doing the full blown recording for it. That would be a good way to flush out the arrangement before you have invested a great deal of time in the recording process. Just a guitar and vocal, for example, with the arrangement you came up with, then ask for suggestions on moving things around.
I usually get all excited when I’ve “finished” a song and throw it up on SoundCloud and BTR, then I find out how unfinished it is lol. When that happens it kind of sucks but at the same time I’ve learned a lot from it. Like back on recording review, I learned to actually listen to the kick drum and make sure it’s audible lol. It was dumb, but for the longest time I never paid any attention to the kick drum because I didn’t give a shit about it. I’d just bounce all the drums from ezdrummer or session drummer or whatever I was using down to a stereo track and not mess with the individual drums at all. Now I’m learning other stuff, like not to over compress everything.
haha, this is kind of funny because it sort of reverse mirrors my experiences.
I didnt record anything at all for like a decade and then got going again like late 2014. So i was like “uhmm, whats a DAW?”. I had to start from scratch. So I was getting drum tracks from wikiloops.com which did get me going etc but they are just stereo mp3s and of course you are relying on the other persons recording and mixing skills for that MP3. Then you are sitting there with a stereo drum drack so you cant do THAT much with it.
So I was like “whats the next step to make my recordings better?” and I was pointed in the direction of EZ Drummer 2. But I went in the opposite direction from you. I dove in right away into separating them all out into about 12 tracks and eq’ing/compressing each and every track etc. Funny thing is, I still ended up with sucky drums and missing kick drums and muddy this and that because I didnt know what I was doing lol
I know how that goes, I make sure my kick is audible now but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t sound like shit lol. Mixing is such a pain in the ass, I spend more time polishing these turds than making new turds. Seriously it’s easy to get sucked into spending hours tweaking stuff only to realize later that it still sounds bad. BTR helps a lot to at least give me an idea what needs fixing.
I haven’t noticed anyone getting offended/disrespected at someone taking the time to do that. It can be very helpful, and at the worst it might be disregarded if they can’t see the value. A visual or an audio file is almost always helpful in illustrating a point, as text does not always do so.
What I have seen is people being offended/disrespected by unnecessarily harsh or insensitive criticism toward something they have invested time, energy, and emotion in. In fact, that’s what inspired the theme of this thread. Not everyone is going to be sensitive and thoughtful about what they say, and it can be rough sometimes to deal with that. Or at least a de-motivator.
Releasing attachment means trying to take or leave the advice on its merits, rather than emotional investment. Not always easy, but perhaps beneficial.
I agree. That would probably be helpful for many people. My problem is that I’m hesitant to give anyone my WAV files if I thought my song had any interesting, commercial or unique features. If I had a song that I didn’t value I would have no problem with it though. I’m too cautious and untrusting. Sometimes that’s a good thing and other times it’s an impediment.
The main reason I would post a song is to get an idea of how others see it / hear it. If people state things that I already feel and think about the music, then I have confirmation. If I get a different perspective it might encourage me to modify something…Although that’s very unlikely if that something is in regards to songwriting. It’s much more likely that I would change something in the production rather than the songwriting and arrangement if people were giving me advice. But who knows…I haven’t really asked for any advice except for those songs I posted back in April. Those 3 songs were only to be compared to one another to see which one had the most potential to enter in a contest. I’m sure I’ll be posting something to bash in the future.
I can’t see why that would be a problem if you own the copyright.
You can always “watermark” your audio, or only post a section of a song you are struggling with, or clips of each section. That may make it a bit harder to bash, but not in all cases, especially if you are asking a specific question or for specific advice on a certain issue. By watermarking, I mean overlay some kind of sound or 1-second beeps over the music track at certain intervals, or you can just clip a slice of audio out so there’s these little gaps of silence. That would be better for the EQ checking I think. That way nobody can steal your whole file and just use it.
As to the intellectual property aspect, it’s possible someone could steal your ideas, but I can’t say I have seen/heard of any case of that in 7 years on both this and the previous forum (RR). Is the fear or impediment of that really worth not moving forward in getting your stuff done or out there? (talking about the “psychological payoff” thing)
You can always ask for the specific advice you are looking for. I have frequently advocated for that, as just posting something and leaving it wide open can bring a bit of chaos to the thread (being all over the place), including your own frustration and also perhaps wasting the time of people commenting on things you probably won’t consider anyway. Of course people may comment on those things regardless, but if you have specified your challenge you have at least attempted to take the thread in the direction of solving your problem with the least amount of effort.