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constructive & friendly, y'all

 
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mjau
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:23 am    Post subject: constructive & friendly, y'all Reply with quote

Just a quick word to say that we should keep this thread constructive and friendly, above all. Anything less will be locked or deleted.
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XDigitalpostXGoldstar
audio school graduate


Joined: 13 Mar 2010
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:23 am    Post subject: Parameters of a "critique" Reply with quote

Can you kindly please state the parameters of a "critique" as you wish it applied to this thread?

I want to follow the forum rules. I have received some e-mail support from several people here who are afraid to tell their own friends that their music is boring and predictable. I DO understand the need to tap down on flaming.

If people come on here for an 100% honest critique, should I not "let them have it?" [with both barrels] If their track has something I like about it that I think has potential I can say so and also if it's just crap shouldn't I let them know that in no uncertain terms? Also I need to point out where it falls short. Constructive critique don't mean "it's a happy sunshiny day." I mean it would be nice to be help people by saying something like, nice recording work but you can't sing worth crap so find someone who can.

Really what good is "That's good work keep it up!" review? IT"S USELESS! I submitted a screenplay once to a major film company [which was a miracle that happened in the 1st place] and the reviewer hated my ending. You know what happened? I fixed it, and then entered it into the Filmmakers.com screenwriters contest and it made it through to the first round, beating out about 9000 others to make the top two hundred action films in the first round cut. It would have failed with the original ending. If I had the new ending BEFORE i submitted it to Revolution I may even have optioned the screenplay. Split milk.

So maybe a warning for this thread to only post you music links if you want an honest evaluation. If someone spent a year working on a piece of crap we are doing them a favor telling them so they don't waste another year.

How do you critique someone's musical art on the internet without starting a flame war on your website? I have no idea. Your the mod. Let me know. I can just not review anything ever if that's what you want.

Let me know, I will follow the forum rules, but I can't review if I can't be honest about it.
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PLACE THE AUDIO HOOK IN THE FIRST 5 SECONDS OF YOUR TRACK OR I MOVE TO NEXT ONE! [I have a short attention span & so does America] 1989, This was Digital Post next 2 Disney> http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.channel&ContributorID=41802256
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mjau
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:42 am    Post subject: Re: constructive & friendly, y'all Reply with quote

I'm all for honest and constructive criticism, and as long as it's in the spirit of helping the song - and the person behind the song - to a better place, I think we can agree that a forum like this is the suitable place for that kind of discussion.
I don't think blanket statements about where all "hooks" should appear in a song, or encouragement that someone have a "near-death experience" to help them better write, or describing a vocal as a "Hiemlick manuver" (sic), is even remotely helpful. You clearly have a well-defined perspective on what makes a song great, but I'm pretty sure there are a lot of other intelligent people on this board who have similarly well-defined perspectives not in accord with your five-second rule.

I think "friendly" and "constructive" can co-exist in this forum, and anything short of that isn't going to cut it.
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Corey Y
re-cappin' neve


Joined: 30 Dec 2007
Posts: 695
Location: Salinas, CA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:25 pm    Post subject: Re: constructive & friendly, y'all Reply with quote

I think you could substitute "civil" or maybe "polite" for friendly. You don't have to encourage or agree with someone here to give constructive criticism. You only have to offer advice, pertinent to the question or request, in a civil way. How you frame the delivery of that advice is personal. Some people are "friendly" and some people don't care to encourage or comfort, only to offer an opinion. Either way, it should at least be pertinent to what's solicited and not insulting. I think there is a very distinct difference between sermonizing a general point of view to someone and giving them constructive criticism.

For example: Someone posts a song they engineered, asking for feedback on the drum sound. They explain how they set up mics for drums, what signal chains they used and how they mixed it. They give a general idea of what sort of sound they were going for (Sound X), then ask for some suggestions on how they could better achieve that goal. There are lots of opinions that could be expressed addressing their request or even refuting its premise. Examples:


"You're not going to be able to achieve (Sound X) with what you have now. You should track the drums again and use (Method A) if you can."


or


"You're not going to be able to achieve (Sound X) with what you have now. You might be able to get close if you try (Method B) though."


Both suggestions refute the basic premise of the poster's question. They don't think the poster can achieve their goal with what they already have. One suggests doing it over, one suggests a possible method for getting in the ballpark. They were both pertinent and civil, constructive. Here's an example of the same suggestions in a non civil way:


"You're obviously never going to get (Sound X) with what you have now. If you were a pro you would have used (Method A), so do it over that way or just live with it sounding like crap. I suppose if you don't have the dedication to fix it you could use (Method B), but it's not going to sound as good as if you did it right the first time."


Same opinions, different delivery, much less constructive. In some cases the content of the opinion doesn't necessarily dictate it being "constructive" or not, so much as the delivery. However, if the content of the opinion is impertinent to the question, it can make it non-constructive. Example:


"It's not a very good song. I wouldn't spend time trying to get (Sound X), just chuck the song and move on."


Not necessarily uncivil, or at least not necessarily insulting (if they didn't write/perform the song and are only engineering/mixing it), but it's impertinent to the topic. If they're asking for feedback on the song AND the example question, fine, otherwise it's not constructive. Especially if you demonstrate that you didn't thoroughly read their original post and start offering them specific advice on something they have no control over or cannot change.

Going farther, it's even less constructive if you're responding with a point that doesn't address the specific topic/thread in any way and are simply giving a sermon on a general point you have a strong opinion about. Example:


"(Recording Medium X) sounds bad, it's for amateurs. Professionals use (Recording Medium Z), you should be using that."


It's not pertinent to the question, it's a general statement. If it's your opinion and you think it's right and anyone who disagrees is wrong, start your own thread and debate the premise on its own terms. It's potentially "hijacking" the thread and it does a disservice to the original poster.

In summary, to reiterate my starting point, I think constructive criticism should be at least pertinent in its content and civil in its delivery.

I apologize for the length of my post. I'm certainly not a moderator, so I'm not trying to dictate rules to anyone, just stating an opinion.
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mjau
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:50 pm    Post subject: Re: constructive & friendly, y'all Reply with quote

Corey Y wrote:
In summary, to reiterate my starting point, I think constructive criticism should be at least pertinent in its content and civil in its delivery.

Well put, and good hypotheticals. Thanks.
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