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#1December 18th, 2005 · 08:13 PM
74 threads / 5 songs
441 posts
United States of America
Quality Control (please help)
It seems recently we've been having members joining, and writing three reviews with one line in them each... such as "I like this song." I think one of the problems may be that they don't know what to think about when critiquing the song... we need a Guide to Writing Critiques. Examples of a good review + things to consider such as rhythm, melody, texture, ect.

Would anyone help write this? There are a few of you who write really great reviews, and it would probably help them to know what's going through in your head when you're writing your reviews.
#2December 19th, 2005 · 01:40 AM
118 threads / 55 songs
3,077 posts
Netherlands
I know what u mean.
#3December 19th, 2005 · 01:42 AM
118 threads / 55 songs
3,077 posts
Netherlands
PuppetXeno wrote…
I know what u mean.

(that was a lame sort of joke.. sorry )

Yea, I'll try to put atleast some things together. I may have a bit of time for that this week (today even), though it would probably only be part of the document, perhaps not a completely rounded whole. Nevertheless, I'm giving it a try.
#4December 19th, 2005 · 07:09 AM
118 threads / 55 songs
3,077 posts
Netherlands
try at a guide
(ok here goes)

Need help writing critiques?
Don't know how to rate a song?

It's not that hard really... Anyone can do it! But for your convience, here are a few things that may help you get on your way.

CRITIQUES

Before writing any critique to a song, always listen the whole thing through. Don't *ever* judge a song by it's first few seconds, or it's first minute even; there may be unexpected changes up ahead that you just don't see coming, there may be instrumental outbursts that you won't catch when you're skipping through it. A groove often requires patience to settle in, particulary when you're dealing with a type of music you haven't heard before, which is not uncommon on this site! It's encouraged to always listen the whole thing through before judging it. If you don't get the feel of the song right away, listen a second time. Or even a third. In fact, have it play in a loop - press the big blue star beneath the song name and let The Amp at the top of the screen dee-jay away.

It doesn't so much count as a critique to simply say: "this is good", or "I like it" - that would be too generic, and though simple appreciation may be somewhat helpful for an artist, it would mean a lot more to know where the appreciation comes from. For instance - say "I like this song, that bass lick totally does it for me!" or "It's good, but the vocals aren't all that". That's ten times more interesting already... However still short, and a tad incomplete... It would be much nicer if you could share your personal expertise to help an artist improve - even if you haven't created any music yourself, you surely know what you like to hear, right?

- Listen to the production value of a song. Do you have any suggestions of how to improve the audio quality of the seperate instruments, the mix, or the mastering? Please share them!

- Listen closely to the structure of a song. What can you say about the composition? How does it build up, how do the different parts work together? What does the soundscape do to you, what images and feelings are invoked, how does the groove make you feel? Keep in mind though that not all songs are aimed at a large pop audience, and most artists probably have a good reason for doing the song the way they're doing it, so always keep an open mind. But do not hesitate to share it if you come across any alarmingly disturbing elements in your listening experience; or ofcourse, when the opposite occurs.

- Listen closely to the instrumental and vocal performance - there has GOT to be something you can say about that. Even if it's mere praise - but even then, if you are interested in an artist's technique, feel free to ask about it. Song threads are a hub for discussion, for all parties to pick up interesting ideas from.
Also - it probably won't be very helpful to say things like: "you missed a note at 2:32", but if you find that an artist is structurally screwing up, it would be of great help to offer a suggestion for improvement: "I can hear you like speedy soloing, but you may want to practice your timing first."

Anything else you can think of may be most welcome. Feel free to take a personal interest in an artist. Ask about their gear, recording methods, ambitions and music projects. Everybody loves to get critiques to their songs, and it figures - so do you. Write a good critique and chances are likely you will be returned the favor. But DO STAY honest in your opinions and observations, don't merely sing praise in the hope of receiving any - it just doesn't work that way!

And remember to keep it clean! There are many ways of expressing your dislike, but no name calling, venom spewing or other insultive behaviour - always try to put something constructive in there too.

RATING

And last, but definately not least: don't forget to RATE the song. The 5-star system in the upper right corner of the song page are a linear 1-100% rating system. Just drag your mouse over there and select the appropriate percentage:

1% : really atrociously horribly bad ("I can only hear mains hum, and someone farting in the background!")
anything up to 40% : way subpar, production not cutting it, not original, severely flawed... ,
50% : "mediocre"; nothing special, can and should be improved,
60% : "not bad", nice effort, interesting concept... getting there,
70% : "good", enjoyable, well done, up to par,
80% : "very good!", great production, (very) original, great skilled musicianship,
90% : "excellent!", superb quality, construction, mix, performance etc, and
100% : "professional", broadcast quality, pro construction, ace performance... I LOVE IT!!!

If you've made up your mind... click to get your vote registered. It's that simple! So if you don't find anything useful to say, atleast have the decency to leave your rating to the song. They are important for an artist, especially when the song is entered in a battle.

So, that should just about get you triggered to provide your fellow members in some useful feedback. Remember, BandAMP's strength is it's community; the interaction between music lovers from all over the world, and we love to have you here!

We hope you'll enjoy your stay!

Happy Amping!

kind regards,
BandAMP
#5December 21st, 2005 · 08:07 PM
74 threads / 5 songs
441 posts
United States of America
Wow! Thanks a ton, I'll try to get that up soon (give me a few days, things are really hectic here).

If anyone else has additions / edits / please lemme know...
#6January 6th, 2006 · 02:22 PM
31 threads / 5 songs
178 posts
Spain
Do you think that people should be able to vote without leaving a comment?
Should people be able to comment without placing a vote?

I can't make up my mind on that one. I think that if you force people to make a comment, then less people will vote, so I suppose it shouldn't work that way, but curiosity does get the better of you sometimes when you see the average value change and no new comments! The same goes for when there are new comments and no vote!

Discuss.....
#7January 6th, 2006 · 03:24 PM
118 threads / 55 songs
3,077 posts
Netherlands
It mainly bugs me that people leave comments but don't vote. I think it should be mandatory to vote when you post a comment. Like you when you press the post button, you should be prompted "how would you rate this song?" (if you haven't already ofcourse) and all will be well.

I do think it should be ok to rate a song without commenting though, and I'm just saying this because I think I'll get even less votes if people will be required to write a comment aswell. That thresh is higher.
#8January 6th, 2006 · 11:54 PM
13 threads / 12 songs
149 posts
United States of America
ratings and voting
consider the fact that not all members are prodigies(musically or typing skills)but simply enjoy listening to music (of all genres),also are not into the engineering aspect of how well the mix is made.some votes are made simply because the song stirs up emotions,and that is what it should do,positive or negative.example:a great metal song to a bluesman is simply a good song.and vice versa.sure,emphasize voting,critique should be left at their discretion,1 word or otherwise.(a terrible song is a terrible song,im not going to sit there and  listen to it for however long it is,neither is the a and r man)
#9January 7th, 2006 · 12:33 PM
31 threads / 5 songs
178 posts
Spain
I'm inclined to agree though that a comment should be accompanied with a vote - I can't imagine why someone would take the time to write a comment and then not vote - it would be good to put voting into the workflow of writing a comment (if the person hasnt already voted of course!).
#10January 18th, 2006 · 08:15 AM
31 threads / 5 songs
178 posts
Spain
Another list?
How about an automatic list of songs that you have commented on but not voted for in 'My Home'? Maybe that would get people thinking. But I still think that the best idea is to put voting into the workflow of making a comment.
#11January 20th, 2006 · 02:07 PM
21 threads
235 posts
United Kingdom
I really don't think it matters. Whats the problem with people who leave one line comments. I'd be happy some one who said "nice song" just as much as some one lecturing me with musical info. I don't always want to give heep loads of advice, just let the composer know that I enjoyed there song, or didn't. Sometimes it's frustrating because they haven't voted and posted but it shouldn't be mandatory. It's a bit forceful isn't it.
I seem to remember that you stopped giving prizes because you said Bandamp was mainly about the music, not the competition. So surely your contradicting yourself here.
Just a few thoughts
#12January 20th, 2006 · 06:05 PM
118 threads / 55 songs
3,077 posts
Netherlands
well, as for one thing I half agree with you, Moses, I really don't think the one liners "I like it" or "I don't like it" suffice. They are of very very little use for me, personally. I do agree however with short comments such as "I like it, the vocals were great!" atleast then you know what it was that did the better part of the trick! For me, that's important to know.

Like someone said "it's a great tune, but the vocal effects weren't all that", that's way more useful than "great tune..." or "nice..." see the difference? and that's just the beginning. I agree that a musical info lecture isn't necessary, but it just... helps.

that's just my point.

and I think that people should leave ratings to songs, I really think that matters too.
#13January 21st, 2006 · 09:50 AM
21 threads
235 posts
United Kingdom
I'm here to listen to music not try and win prizes and recognition. On the other hand, other people are here to get recognition and want to really know what people think and feel that the best way is voting. I'm a bit unsure on this one.
I'm just saying we should leave it and just try to encourage people to at least let the artist know what parts of the song you they liked and put up with the few who don't leave comments that are detailed enough. I feel it's just one of life's little evils.......like car insurance companies
#14January 21st, 2006 · 05:08 PM
42 threads / 1 songs
556 posts
United States of America
I think you've got it wrong; the point isn't necessarily to know what other people think, but  often is to get advice on how to improve the song from people who know more about it then you do.
#15January 22nd, 2006 · 11:44 AM
54 threads / 29 songs
1,552 posts
United Kingdom
So where do I stand on this one?

It's great when people like your music, and really nice when they leave a comment to say so.  So I think if you like it, it's ok to say just that and if it's in a competition vote on it.

As far as a critical review is concerned, well they are really important but not everyone has the time, inclination, or ability to give one.  I think Moses is right; sometimes I log in to Bandamp to listen - and sometimes I feel I want to review.  When I do review, I try to be helpful and do what Oldies says - give my advice on what could be done to improve sound, flow, quality, etc.

Often, when just listening, I feel I want to vote so I do that too.  I may not leave a comment at all, because others have said everything that I would have said. 

So, as above, any comments about what's liked are welcome, On the other hand, if the song is not liked, I think it's almost more important to leave advice.  A simple "no, I don't like this one"  does nothing at all for the song's creator.  Whereas adding something like "...because it's just not a style I enjoy" or "....because the vocals/guitar/arrangement was badly sung/played/constructed" can make a big difference to how the next song is written, played, or recorded.

OK, I've prattled on enough now! 
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