• How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
  • Started by Mar T.
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Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #30 on: December 19, 2016, 18:44:49

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..

No @Zedd - It is my apology that is in order. I did not take your post that way at all, and I did not mean to passively/aggressively post a defense/offense in response to it.  I simply wanted to share my views on the subject.


Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #31 on: December 19, 2016, 18:52:23
No need to apologise at all Mark I didn't take your post as passive/agressive and I guess I was really just clarifying... I guess neither of us should be apologising to the other then :)

It's an interesting topic - TBH I struggle with giving very detailed feedback and my DAW / production skills are very limited so I'm reading your postings with interest... 



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Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #32 on: December 20, 2016, 01:12:17
@Jurgen

@M57

@Zedd

This is a very valuable discussion for a community like this where there are so many members with different needs, different goals and different skill sets. I think that it all works itself out as people get to know each other and tailor their critiques and comments to that knowledge.

I'll always be coming from a perspective that values production technique in song writing because a listener will always stay with a song longer if it is more listenable. That production quality can be different things to different folks but I think that anybody who is posting a song on a site like this wants it to sound as good as possible. I will always try to share what I have learned in a manner that is respectful of each persons level of interest in that part of this endeavor.

"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 #33 on: December 20, 2016, 01:32:43
@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

Hey @M57 although you're talking to @Leonard Scaper here I'd like to thank you for sharing your approach in this thread!
I have two different roles on this forum and I like to share a quick response from those 2 different perspectives..
As a staff member I love to read everybody's motivation/approach and I encourage discussion about these (and other songwriting related) subjects as well as how to take care and make sure we have a happy community. The difficult part is that everybody will feel happy under different circumstances. The one kitchener/-ette is happy when one of his/her new songs are praised, the other is here to continuously improve (so they're really thankful for constructive critique).
I've seen a lot of your critique and even the 'harder' critiques you write should be a gift to everyone who's here to learn and they provide great value to our community.
I think you can easily recognize who's in which category. I completely understand you're focussing on songs that have value (in your ears).

As a songwriter I'm nowhere near what I want to be, so I'm expirimenting, learning and trying/studying really hard to improve. I really respect what you're doing (I hope it's okay to say that, I'm not trying to boost any ego nor attempting to make anybody feel shy). Imo you're a very skilled and talented songwriter (in a lot of different aspects) AND a very good listener. And (speaking for myself) just like @Zedd most of the time I'm looking for pointers to help me improve and I hope a song I write will fall in your 'value bucket' so I'm one of the lucky members  ;) ;) . I work the same way as you: I try to open a WIP asap and keep it alive (and ask for continuous feedback until the track is finished) and in the meantime I'm trying to help others as much as I can (and as time permits). I was wondering if in case you skipped a song (to apply to your own rule), are we colleague-songwriters allowed to ask you for a brutally honest and down to earth review? Or would that cause you to feel unhappy because you don't like to listen to songs that have less value (referenced to your personal/professional context)?
Just asking  ::) ::) ::)
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 #34 on: December 20, 2016, 03:06:50
@Mar T.  - I misspoke.  The word 'value' has a judgmental connotation.  All music has value.  It is precisely our tastes that allow us all to write differently in the first place, and I wish to respect that.  I'm pretty sure I have listened to at least a few of your songs - there's no question that you are a fine musician and have a solid skill set with your recordings. I don't have much in the way of excuse for not commenting other than to say that I have a RL too, and there are only so many hours in the day. ;D I would be happy to revisit your music, or any song in particular if you have one in mind. -Mark


Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #35 on: December 20, 2016, 03:40:46
Hello @Mar T. , I thought this was a new thread posted but later find this forum goes waaaaaaayy back. Lol 
I'll add some of my opinions on this topic since everyone else chimed in.

A way to improve on feedback could be just letting it happen by itself.
What makes an artist's work mean something is the people or believers who back it.
Feedback is something that cannot just be forced from another to do. If they are forcing it then, I would question their morals. 
Criticisms come from when you care about something.
The harder they are, the more care that person possibly may have for you and your music but also do keep in mind that we all have a different level of showing care to one another.
Even if the comments are short, they may have been meant 100% by those who said it.

Look at it like this...
Someone out there in the world, took the time of their day just to comment on a song by a person they may not meet ever in person or know.
To me, just the thought of someone out there listening to my music is a blessing.
Even if its one or two people who do at the time.
They mean the world to me. :)   

Hope you see what I mean, cheers! :D

-Boy Wonda
No Price, Just Happiness.


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Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #36 on: December 20, 2016, 11:39:58
All music has value.

I listen to more homegrown music than most folks. I look for the hidden real emotion in a song that has been boldly put forth by someone who just needed to get that music out. I have listened to at least some of every new song that has come out in the short time that I have been here. I don't comment on everything I listen to, though. I need to hear something that makes me feel like I have something to really add......and I'll be honest now and say that it helps if I can listen all the way through to a song.

One of my primary goals since beginning to record my material has been to make my songs listenable so that folks would hear what I have to say. Folks who are serious about being self recording songwriters need to consider that....and think about their production techniques a bit as they progress.

I just listened to the contest offering from @BayBlues and @vincent_stewart . I listened all the way through and that song struck a resonant chord in me so I said so.  :) I don't tend to give much corrective crit about somebody's offering unless I am sure that they want that. Most aspiring songwriters need a healthy dose of positive reinforcement to keep at it.....it takes a great deal of courage to put your music out to be heard like this.


Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #37 on: December 20, 2016, 16:13:54
Thank you @Leonard Scaper  - to me it's the best complement


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Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #38 on: December 20, 2016, 22:09:56
There's some great discussion here...

@Zedd - I really will try and use the WIP concept more and changing the subject to show what the next stage is should hopefully help.

@M57 @Leonard Scaper @Waffle_Da_Boy_Wonda you all make good points re: critique, as does @Mar T.

I think I'm with most of you in that I try and listen to most of what gets posted. For me though, if the song appears finished, there doesn't seem much point in offering a critique. I tend to listen and if I like the song I add a reply, more of congratulations or encouragement. If I don't like the song or more commonly, it's a genre I don't listen to, then I don't think I can offer much as a listener.

So I'd add 4th reason behind being a bit too soft and praising etc. it's probably more about not wanting to upset someone when you know how much time and effort it takes to create a song and post it.

If a song is at an early stage, I'll spend a lot more time on it. I'll listen a few more times and try and find something constructive. But unless I "know" the poster (as much as we can know someone on a forum like this) I will tend to go easier. But in doing this I know that I'm not being true to myself.

In my case, as a complete amateur, who just does this for fun, I'm ok with someone telling me that they think what I have done is terrible - especially if they say why. I'm also quite old now and I think it's easier at my age to take these types of criticism in my stride.

cheers


Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #39 on: December 20, 2016, 23:24:19
@Jurgen I agree with your statement.

One of the great reasons why I like this forum is because it has a bit of diversity.
I was hesitant at first to share my music onto this forum because it wasn't really a hip hop centered page.
I was concerned that maybe people would not like the sound I have made but I still gave it a try.
Later to find that people liked my music and this forum has also broaden my range of genres to be interested in now.
This Songwriting forum is probably the best for place on the webs I have seen to give actual feedback and spotlight artists old and new.
Not to mention the amount of dedicated members that visit here everyday. They really make the page feel alive.


(I think this response had a point in it somewhere. I just got done working out and very tired. ) Lol :P


Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #40 on: December 21, 2016, 03:22:41
First Of All Thank You @Leonard Scaper For The Compliments.
 
Now If I Might Jump In Here On This Ongoing Conversation........I Worked Most Of My Life With My Hands.....And The Most Technical Thing I Worked On Was A Loaf Of Bread Or My Car..... I Went Back To School In My Mid 50s...My First Computer Classes I Took..Windows 97... I Made A Big Fat F...Then I Started To Understand And My Grades Started Improving And I Got On The Dean's List... Music Tech Was The Name Of The Degreed Course....Recording, Composition, Song Writing, Use Of Different Software Such As Reason--Abelton Live--Pro-Tools--Sibelius Notation Named After Jean Sibelius (Finnish composer and violinist ).

I Played Guitar Most Of My Life, Without Proper Instruction It Was A Long Process.... My Point Is This,  A Home Musician
In This Day And Age, Has Access To So Much Wonderful Technology That Has Taken A Lot Of Labor Out Of The Process.

A AD-DA Converter (Analog To Digital.....Digital To Analog) Is Very Affordable....Two Channels Of Input..(At The Same Time)..And Recording Software....If I Was Going To Buy Some Software To Begin With I Would Buy Reason Propellerhead...(Sweetwater has It For $399.00 US) ...It has A Lot Of Sounds You Can Use With Your Midi Keyboard Controller....(Cheapest Ones With One Or Two Physical Octaves, In Software You Can Assign The Ones You Want To Work In)  Of Course You Need A Computer Try To Get One That Has A Good Processor Intel 7 Is One Of The Best ....AMD IS It's Closest Competitor ......Here's A Link If You Are Interested ......https://www.tomshardware.com/forum/283613-28-processor-comparable-processor.

The Computer Is Your Biggest Expense For Your DAW (Digital Audio WorkStation)..... Some Things Are Worth Going Into Debt For.....That is My Opinion.....When You Have Good Equipment It Takes A Lot Of Stress Out Of The Creativeness That Goes Into Making Music.........Working On Your Musical Chops Is Paramount To Making Great Sounds..... Practice Builds Confidence....Muscle Memory Is REAL.....And Find Someone To Jam With It Makes One A Much Better Musician On Many Different Levels... Practicing By YourSelf Is Good But It Is Too Easy To Overlook The Discipline Of Keeping Time In A Group....And It's More Fun Than A Jam Track Or A Click Track--Metronome.

A Set Of Monitor Speakers Are Eventually Needed ....To Listen To Your Work And Know Your Getting A Realistic Picture Of Your Sound......You Can Always Take Your Recording And Listen On Your Car Stereo ...Your Phone...Earphones Can Sound Great...On The Earphones...But Not On Other Devices.......I Had A Critical Listening Class And We Were Instructed To Find Some Recording That We Really Liked And The Sound Was Something We Could Use For A Comparison. 

A Excellent Mic. For Vocals Sure Beta 58A.....$150.00 US......Inst.Mic...Sure SM57...$75.00--100.00.. I Recommend These
Because They Take A Beating And Keep On Going. Shielded Cables 20' Cost $15.00-20 Apiece.

When You Record Try To Do The Best You Can .....Good Going In .....Good Coming Out.....Don't Expect To Be Able To Fix
Sounds After You've Recorded......Your Practice Pays Off When You Record.... If You Can Take A Class That Has To Do With
Music....Just One.. If You Try To Do To Much A One Time You May Just Get Discouraged And Not Finish Any Of Them....
Don't Listen To The Bad Mouth....Listen To Constructive Criticism..... No One Learns All There Is To Know About Music In One Day.  Living Is A Learning Experience..Take One Day At A Time.....Believe In Your Self.....There Are A Few Sites That Are
Very Good For Self Paced Learning....Lynda.com....

.https://www.lynda.com/Music-Production-training-tutorials/23-0.html

https://www.groove3.com

I've Use Both Of these Sites And Prices Are Reasonable

Sometimes You Have To Trust Your Gut As To What Sounds Good,  When I Write I Have To Feel What I'm Writing About
Sometimes I Search For What Sounds Good With The Song I'm Building....Other Times It's Just The Guitar....The Vocal is All That Is Needed At Times....Look At The Group Pentatonics
They Are The Instruments And They Are One Of My Favorite Groups.......You See
That is My Opinion...Someone Else Might Not Like Their Music.....

When Someone Critiques Another's Work There is Ways Of Giving Advice Without Offending....Also If They Are Listening Critically And Offering Advice...Maybe They Should Also Include What They Were Listening With....A Cell Phone ...Home Stereo...Etc......You Can't Give An Accurate Accounting If Your Listening On A Cheap Set-Up.......Have A Wonderful Holidays To All My Musical Friends At SongWritersKitchen........~~~~~*BB

 
Life Is A Journey Of Different Trips, This Is What Makes The Fabric Of Our Songs, Look Upon It As A Resource..............~~~~~*BB


Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #41 on: December 22, 2016, 10:45:20
"Not to beat a dead horse " - American expression- but I've been thinking on this subject a lot, because I know I'm not a critical listener, but I like to support the members of this forum and follow what they're doing and listen to their work.
 I was wondering if there was a way just to have a category for "New Releases" - just a place to post what other members have finished and to show what they're up to?
Maybe put a limit on the amount per month so it doesn't become overwhelming.


Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #42 on: December 28, 2016, 14:15:13
I'm with @Waffle Da Boy Wonda and @Jurgen on this. More people listen/ view than comment so feedback does happen in an organic way.

Quote
A way to improve on feedback could be just letting it happen by itself.
What makes an artist's work mean something is the people or believers who back it.
Feedback is something that cannot just be forced from another to do. If they are forcing it then, I would question their morals. 
Criticisms come from when you care about something.
- Waffle Da Boy Wonda

As Jurgen Says
Quote
For me though, if the song appears finished, there doesn't seem much point in offering a critique. I tend to listen and if I like the song I add a reply, more of congratulations or encouragement. If I don't like the song or more commonly, it's a genre I don't listen to, then I don't think I can offer much as a listener.
So I'd add 4th reason behind being a bit too soft and praising etc. it's probably more about not wanting to upset someone when you know how much time and effort it takes to create a song and post it.

I'm in favor of differentiating between finished songs and non-finished songs.

So, at the minimum, we need a clear labeling of the tracks: "Mixing advice wanted", "Help with Lyrics", "Finished Song", etc.  Those offering criticism and advice should then try to stick to the label.

Look, I asked for mixing help and got a comment that I need a real drummer and maybe should consider hiring a new singer. For real? Anybody that knows about November Love, has seen our videos, has gone to our soundcloud, etc, knows that my son is a real drummer and the singer is my wife - so that advice isn't helpful when I'm asking about balance and panning of the strings.

Like @Jurgen I like to offer congratulations to people that have finished the songs. Finishing a song helps one to improve! I also feel like a total jerk if I offer someone EQ advice and then I find out that the song was completed two years ago and they weren't planning to work on it anymore.



Bill
Songwriter, Keyboards, Arranger, Producer & Engineer for November Sound

November Sound is based on the Mother, Father & Son musical trio of Melissa, Bill & Will. I'm the father so anything I post will have my wife singing and/or my son playing percussion.


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Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #43 on: December 28, 2016, 15:05:29
Like @Jurgen I like to offer congratulations to people that have finished the songs. Finishing a song helps one to improve! I also feel like a total jerk if I offer someone EQ advice and then I find out that the song was completed two years ago and they weren't planning to work on it anymore.

I have always figured that if someone is posting an old song for review they are hoping that someone will pick up something about that song that will be useful in a new project.

One thing I like to do, even if I am just congratulating a fellow songwriter on a finished piece, is to let them know that I really listened. I may pick up on a particular passage that I really liked and note the time, or I may note a minor thing at a particular time that caught my attention. I know some folks are just looking for listens, but I am one who is always looking for perspectives from the community that are different from mine. I invite real critique so I will always try to give it on anything I listen to.


Re: How do we provide helpful feedback to each other?
Reply #44 on: December 28, 2016, 19:45:05
@Leonard Scaper @M57 @Zedd @Jurgen @Mar T.  and all who have provided their thoughts on this subject. This is an excellent topic and I find it intriguing to know the thought process of the critic.

I am usually terrible at providing suggestions for structure / lyrics / arrangement as I find myself just listening and providing mix suggestions if any are warranted or requested in the original post.

As a poster looking for critique I respect the time taken by those that offer any and all praise and criticism. There is value in even the most harsh criticism. One thing I've learned from forums such as this is you get out of it what you put in. As a hobbyist musician with a busy life I lose track here and there on the forum then find myself trying to catch up when I time for music!

Without access to this forum and others I would be the only one listening to the music I make....so I am thankful.
Write-Record-Mix-Repeat



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