• How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
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Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #15 on: March 03, 2016, 01:08:06
« Last Edit: March 03, 2016, 01:33:23 by MartiMedia »
Hi Vincent, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts/feelings! Yes man, that's how the kitchen should feel to all of us fellows and I love to read it works for you!
This is a safe place, so fear about 'is this been already done?' or 'is this polished enough' is the last thing we want. For me the spirit is: Let's help each other to improve!!
So plz don't ever be shy and keep joining the interaction! Great to have you here man!
MM
I'm proud of this track, check it out! https://soundcloud.com/martimedia/dreams


Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #16 on: March 03, 2016, 01:35:12
One thing that comes to mind: Be specific!

If there is something you like or dislike about a song / the lyrics / the production etc, try to explain exactly what it is that makes you feel this way.
The most helpful reviews I have seen were the ones saying that "at 1:24 the vocal track is clipping" or that "it feels like there are too many words in the 2nd line of the chorus".
This way the OP knows exactly, which aspects of the song might still need more work.

Sometimes I hear songs on here that sound just perfect to me and I can't criticize anything about them. But it doesn't matter if the comment is a positive or a negative/criticising one:
If I'm told that "the reverb on the background vocals sounds great", that too helps a lot, because now I know that my choice of reverb was a good one, and I might use that setting again in a future song.

"Love the bass line during the solo" is very helpful, "great song m8" isn't (although it can be nice to hear  :D )



Another point (and maybe related to my first one) is: Take your time!

We're all songwriters, and we all put our hearts and souls into our work. And because of that, I think that our songs deserve being listened to properly and with our full attention.
Sit back, listen to the song (maybe a few times) and think about what you like or dislike about it, how it makes you feel, etc.  Don't have 1 quick listen, type your comment while doing so, click 'post' and move on.
If I don't have the time to do a proper review of a song, I don't review it right now.

I'm not saying everyone should write pages and pages about each song they review. This point isn't about how much we actually write, but about how much thought we put into what we do write.
We all want our songs to be properly appreciated (especially by our peers!), so it should be common courtesy to return the favour.

Which is why I don't like the idea of having rules about the minimum number of reviews. It could lead to a flood of pointless comments, just for the sake of leaving comments.
I've seen reviews about 5 different songs posted within 20 minutes by the same persons...
(Thankfully that wasn't in our little Kitchen, though  :) )



Just noticed this looks like a rant - it isn't, just my ? 0.02 about what we can do keep this Kitchen our all #1 resource for all things songwriting  :) 8)


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Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #17 on: March 03, 2016, 02:05:55
« Last Edit: March 03, 2016, 02:07:51 by MartiMedia »
Hey Michael! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings about this subject! Personally I love the way your preference of quality feedback over quantity and I've experienced myself how heartfelt and respectful your reviews feel. You're a great example to me of how to feed back to songwriters and I'm really thankful for that. I hope everyone around sees the value of respecting passion and try to help.

On the other hand (whilst I really value the quality over quantity aspect) I believe it can be just as helpful to quickly respond even when you 'don't have time', 'it's not your preferred style', 'just want to say wow' or when 'you don't know how to be helpful'. In an ideal world (imo) every fellow responds to every contribution. Either just quick or more in-depth, depending on what the contribution makes you want to tell the songwriter. And you provided excellent examples.

Something like: 'Let us all be leading by being the best in-depth followers'.

Unfortunately everybody is living in a spectrum of restrictions based on personal 'reality', and that forces every fellow to make choices. Where one fellow choses 'quantity' over 'quality' he/she will just say 'wow, love it!'. And another fellow that just loves the style of the song and repeated it 200x maybe will tell you the same.

I really value your choice of prioritizing 'quality' over 'quantity' as well, it's so great to receive reviews from your camp! 

Hope this doesn't sound like a rant as well ;-)

Cheerz Michael!
MM


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Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #18 on: November 24, 2016, 01:06:54
« Last Edit: November 24, 2016, 01:09:17 by Mar T. »
Last year we were discussing this subject, I'm curious if we're all still happy with the way we're feeding back to each other to improve our songwriter skills.
I believe this is a subject that continuously needs attentention, so please let us know your thoughts/feelings about feedback/critique!
:mart:


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Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #19 on: November 24, 2016, 22:40:42
Noooo... nobody? Really? Let's debate a year after this subject was posted! Are we still providing helpful feedback to each other? How can we improve?
Let us know!!
:mart:


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Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #20 on: November 24, 2016, 23:14:40
Hi @Mar T. - I personally have gained a lot from the feedback this community provides.

From listening to songs I know that it's hard sometimes to be critical of someones efforts especially as we know how much effort writing and recording takes. To then offer it up for critique takes a little courage for a lot of people.

However, for me, I'm OK with the positive as well as the negative - maybe "negative" is the wrong word - constructive criticism or suggestions is a better way of looking at it.

But to get the most benefit out of the comments, suggestions etc. then we're all better off putting up our songs while they are works in progress. Once the song is finished, I'm not that keen on adding or changing it as I've usually moved on to something else.

We used to have a WIP area but that wasn't visited much compared to the "songs for review" section and I think it was a good to remove the WIP area and use songs for review for songs in all their stages.

cheers


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Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #21 on: November 26, 2016, 03:49:04
« Last Edit: November 26, 2016, 03:51:32 by Mar T. »
Hey @Jurgen thanx for thinking along!
I certainly agree constructive suggestions/critique really helps, I'm sure I improved by carefully reading all remarks. They often provide a lot of pointers. As a songwriter you're free to make changes at those pointers, as well as leave it as is at those pointers. Imo the value of those pointers is that they give you control over your creation, it's like you suddenly have a lot of ears!
Of course I completely agree with posting your work in an early stage; in that case you can use the provided feedback immediately. When one's only posting finished works, feedback is often to late and will only be of use for the next track the songwriter is creating. But chances are that the next track is a completely different track...
So if possible I'd like to encourage every kitchener/kitchenette to post their WIP as early as possible, so we can provide 'a thousand more ears' just in time  ;) ;)
For everybody: no need to be shy, we're here to help each other.

Any more thoughts about how to provide useful feedback to each other? Let us know!
:mart:


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Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #22 on: December 01, 2016, 00:35:37
Let's give this discussion a next round again.. Let us know if you agree with what you're reading in this thread and of course please feel welcome to share your vision/insight/experience so we come to a point of common-kitchen-sense!


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Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #23 on: December 16, 2016, 19:57:36
Being new to the kitchen, I have been spending time reading a lot of posts and listening to a lot of good music. I have noticed that a lot of folks are posting one take songs with a leaning toward lo-fi production. That, by the way, is what attracted me. I am looking at ways to simplify my own productions a bit.....but I still want to have the best quality possible to make sure my listeners are not distracted.

I have already found myself making production and mixing suggestions. I wonder if I should avoid those kinds of critiques and stick to commenting of lyric and song structure observations.
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

 "In a world of robotic conformity, the only originality left in music is the imperfections" Eric Craptone

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Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #24 on: December 17, 2016, 00:32:06
I think posting production and mixing suggestions when it's an early version, really helps @Leonard Scaper

I have posted early version of songs asking for production suggestions but I've noticed that after the initial suggestions, if I re-post (with new mix etc) then they don't get any more replies (and hardly any views). The problem I think (other than the song may not appeal that much to start with!) is that people have seen the post and don't know that it now has a new version.

But I don't want to create loads of new threads each time I do a new mix - so it's an interesting challenge - how do you post early versions, get feedback and remix and repost so that members here know there's a new version?

I also don't always go back to a thread that has a "new" next to it when I know I've read it and replied - even though I could be missing a new mix or version.

So I say keep posting suggestions especially if someone has an early version.



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Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #25 on: December 17, 2016, 01:23:37
Being new to the kitchen, I have been spending time reading a lot of posts and listening to a lot of good music. I have noticed that a lot of folks are posting one take songs with a leaning toward lo-fi production. That, by the way, is what attracted me. I am looking at ways to simplify my own productions a bit.....but I still want to have the best quality possible to make sure my listeners are not distracted.

I have already found myself making production and mixing suggestions. I wonder if I should avoid those kinds of critiques and stick to commenting of lyric and song structure observations.
Hey @Leonard Scaper , the wonderful thing is that everybody is allowed to post songs in any stage in the 'Songs for Review' section. For some the lo-fi recordings are the final product. For others a 1+1 is a start to build a complete production. Some stress the bare roots of a song (the lyrics and the chords/melody), others create recordings (with multiple takes) to create a whole band sound and sing with backvocals all executed by one person. In my vision (and the vision for the kitchen) all aspects are part of songwriting. Every contribution in any stage and in every state is welcome. So goes for the feedback. If you feel the bare 'song' (chords/melody/words) are in your comfort zone, let the writer know what you think/feel. If production is in your comfort zone: again let the writer know what you think/feel.
If you're a listener with no skills, I think you can guess what I want to say.. again let the writer know what you think/feel!!
Someone with production skills would probably say: 'I'd lower the compression on the vocals'. Someone with only listening experience would probably say: 'I think the vocals could use some more dynamics, they all feel like they're sung at the same level, but I feel like the the expression doesn't have enough presence'.
So please always comment as a listener, and if you're more skilled (in any aspect) try to provide more detailed pointers so the writer can spot your pointer better.
It's up to the writer WHAT to do with the comments (but he/she'll always be thankful for you taking time to listen and comment).
I hope that helps a bit.

@Jurgen great point about your experience with 'iterations' of new versions building up to a final stage. We've got to discuss that with the staff, the kitchen platform should provide the tools to support this imo!

All: I believe in early posting a song in progress, and use the collective 'creative' brain of this community as a guide. As a guide. Because you yourself are free to make the choices you want considering your own creations. All those comments can be a really, really useful guide because they spot pointers in other aspects of your song than the aspects you're comfortable in/with yourself. And a 'song' is really a kind of plasma that consists of a lot of those aspects!

Great to see the discussion is going on!! Feel free to add!
:mart:


Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #26 on: December 19, 2016, 13:13:56
Being new to the kitchen, I have been spending time reading a lot of posts and listening to a lot of good music. I have noticed that a lot of folks are posting one take songs with a leaning toward lo-fi production. That, by the way, is what attracted me. I am looking at ways to simplify my own productions a bit.....but I still want to have the best quality possible to make sure my listeners are not distracted.

I have already found myself making production and mixing suggestions. I wonder if I should avoid those kinds of critiques and stick to commenting of lyric and song structure observations.

@Leonard Scaper

My sense is that folks here are polite, which is great, but they tend to be a bit on the conservative side where their critiques are concerned.  I think that's not such a bad thing, but it's a two-edged sword; there's very little value in crushing someone's work so badly that they throw in the towel. For whatever reason, people seem to be more comfortable critiquing lyrics, and I feel that on the music end of things folks here are a bit too soft, praising most everything they encounter.  I'm not sure if that's because they want karma, want favorable critiques of their own work, or simply don't have the analytical/technical chops to offer constructive criticism.  I guess that's to be expected in an open community such as this.

So.. given the above dynamics, I try to make it a personal rule to only comment on works that I find have value.  That way, I can honestly offer offer praise in most every post. This in turn make me feel more comfortable, letting me be direct, offer my nits and crits, and tell it like it is.  We're talking about personal expression here, so just about everything we say has a degree of subjectivity.

As for my own songs, I like to post works in progress and I am always looking for critical analysis of any aspect of the work, from lyrics to post production. My MO is to keep the thread alive while I work out the kinks.  I'm new to these forums so I haven't posted a work in its early stages yet, but your post-production oriented comments on the one song that I've posted here have been extremely helpful, and I very much look forward to hearing more from you. -Mark


Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #27 on: December 19, 2016, 15:20:16
« Last Edit: December 19, 2016, 15:22:48 by Zedd »
I think posting production and mixing suggestions when it's an early version, really helps @Leonard Scaper

I have posted early version of songs asking for production suggestions but I've noticed that after the initial suggestions, if I re-post (with new mix etc) then they don't get any more replies (and hardly any views). The problem I think (other than the song may not appeal that much to start with!) is that people have seen the post and don't know that it now has a new version.

But I don't want to create loads of new threads each time I do a new mix - so it's an interesting challenge - how do you post early versions, get feedback and remix and repost so that members here know there's a new version?

I also don't always go back to a thread that has a "new" next to it when I know I've read it and replied - even though I could be missing a new mix or version.

So I say keep posting suggestions especially if someone has an early version.



Hey @Jurgen - I have had a few threads a while ago where I was updating mixes and what I have done is I've edited the thread title to indicate there's a new mix (For example - the thread below where I added (Mar T mix) to the title.. :

https://www.songwriter-forum-kitchen.com/forum/finished-songs/if-you-don't-know-(i-hear-you)-wip/

@M57 and @Leonard Scaper - it's funny I was reading the "Back to Monterey" thread and thinking to myself that your back-and-forth is almost like a different language to me. It's great to observe and I can only dream of having such a knowledge of production, novice that I am...

You are right, there is a friendly "ethos" here and we are generally very nice to each other!!  I, personally, have not got the skills to critique as you guys do and will tag specific people here  on my own threads here if I'm looking for specific mix advice (as I did with a studio mix where I needed to give feedback to a studio engineer).


I guess I'm quite aware that my own critiques are quite lightweight but I will endeavour to offer suggestions where I think a change can be implemented which will improve a track but those suggestions will be far more basic than the critique you are providing / receiving from each other. You will see some of the more production-savvy members debate similarly - @Mar T. @Jambrains @cosignsessions for example.

I think your observations as new members are very valuable and I think we should all take heed - yes it's important to be respectful when critiquing but honest feedback is invaluable as is benefiting from each others' experience. When you're knee-deep in a song, your objectivity goes out the window which is why the feedback from other songwriters / producers is of such value...  I think the balance you describe is probably spot on. When I post I am genuinely looking for observations and suggestions for improvements and I very often get just that. Anything I don't agree with, I can consider and discard and anything that rings true, I will try out (if I can !!) .. That's the whole point of a community like this isn't it?? I will say that unfortunately if I received the advice you guys are giving each other, I wouldn't be able to implement it so I think considering the poster's skills and equipment probably comes into play so that your advice can be used but having said that I would value the detailed and expertise of the critiques you give should my next song fall it your value pot :)!




 


Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #28 on: December 19, 2016, 17:53:07
« Last Edit: December 19, 2016, 17:57:53 by M57 »
I will say that unfortunately if I received the advice you guys are giving each other, I wouldn't be able to implement it so I think considering the poster's skills and equipment probably comes into play so that your advice can be used but having said that I would value the detailed and expertise of the critiques you give should my next song fall it your value pot :)!

@Zedd - Assuming I don't know the poster, the level/degree of any critique or suggestions I offer is informed by two things, the pre-amble and the work itself.  In many cases the song-writer asks for broad-based or specific feedback, and that makes it easier. Where the recording is concerned, the quality and subtlety of the song, lyrics, recording, performance, mix, production, etc. all give clues as to where the song-writer is in their musical/lyrical/technical development, and common sense pretty much dictates what types and levels of comments might be most helpful.  If someone is clearly recording with their cell phone in their bedroom and then pushing the recording straight to the web, then encouraging to find a better space or a more appropriate microphone and consider using a DAW is more likely to help them than suggesting how to better equalize the recording, or add compression, etc..  If the tempo of the their playing shifts around in unmusical fashion, suggesting they practice with metronome or record with a click will likely be much more helpful than a discussion about using the flex feature in their DAW to find the transients and move them to the beat. These are pretty obvious examples, but it's really not that hard for most of us to intuitively get a sense of the abilities and skill sets of others and then respond appropriately to their work.

Bottom line: good music is good music. Technology is a tool; an important one because it is the canvas on which we present our work, but just a tool nonetheless. As long as we accept that maxim and offer our support and critiques in that light - we'll be in good shape.


Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #29 on: December 19, 2016, 18:35:52
I will say that unfortunately if I received the advice you guys are giving each other, I wouldn't be able to implement it so I think considering the poster's skills and equipment probably comes into play so that your advice can be used but having said that I would value the detailed and expertise of the critiques you give should my next song fall it your value pot :) !

@Zedd - Assuming I don't know the poster, the level/degree of any critique or suggestions I offer is informed by two things, the pre-amble and the work itself.  In many cases the song-writer asks for broad-based or specific feedback, and that makes it easier. Where the recording is concerned, the quality and subtlety of the song, lyrics, recording, performance, mix, production, etc. all give clues as to where the song-writer is in their musical/lyrical/technical development, and common sense pretty much dictates what types and levels of comments might be most helpful.  If someone is clearly recording with their cell phone in their bedroom and then pushing the recording straight to the web, then encouraging to find a better space or a more appropriate microphone and consider using a DAW is more likely to help them than suggesting how to better equalize the recording, or add compression, etc..  If the tempo of the their playing shifts around in unmusical fashion, suggesting they practice with metronome or record with a click will likely be much more helpful than a discussion about using the flex feature in their DAW to find the transients and move them to the beat. These are pretty obvious examples, but it's really not that hard for most of us to intuitively get a sense of the abilities and skill sets of others and then respond appropriately to their work.

Bottom line: good music is good music. Technology is a tool; an important one because it is the canvas on which we present our work, but just a tool nonetheless. As long as we accept that maxim and offer our support and critiques in that light - we'll be in good shape.

Sorry @M57   :o  - I see that my post sounds like I'm assuming you don't take such things into account.. Badly worded by me..  +1 to the above...



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