Some two cents on reviewing

Here’s some two cents on feedback for giving feedback.

I frequently made the same experience when I was active a decade ago. When I uploaded my tunes I was given positive feedback almost without exception. Nonetheless the correlation between play time on my tunes and what the reviews reflected felt off which left a weird aftertaste to it. Made me ponder a little…

I didn’t really care all too much about positive reviews when my tracks couldn’t make people re-visit, bookmark or talk about my tunes and I think that a lot of producers share this perspective to at least some extent. In hindsight I gotta say that over almost 15 years I have encountered less than 3 people who gave me their honest estimation on why a track wouldn’t stick to a given audience and their reviews were, say, less like the reviews the rest gave me. They were rather direct, sometimes harsh, but underneath they - much more than the rest - have not only recognized where I wanted to go with my productions, they also spent a considerable amount of energy to help me improve. Something I damn right wanted. They also didn’t bat an eye on how it made me feel receiving harsh critique, and by that they held me accountable to a much higher standard than I performed on.

I tend to think that there’s a considerable amount of producers out there that look for confirmation on what they create, which, when received, feels kind a nice, I guess. But it leads down a path of odd dissatisfaction if you end up in a feel-good bubble with a fairly delayed wake-up call.

Good critique should hold somebody accountable to a high standard, assuming that the one behind a given opus wants to learn and improve and not just earn some sort of flattery in a good-boy kind a fashion.

Not to devalue nice words or positivity and certainly not common sense, but many scenes and platforms appear very skewed towards being protective of somebody else’s feelings over their creations. I suppose this cannot lead past mediocrity and I would much rather see the scene of any given sub-genre grow to some respectable quality in productions.

2 Likes

My two cents…

Getting harsh critiques is good and takes a while to get used to…

I’ve posted tracks on here that in hindsight sucked…and people said they sucked…

I basically sifted through the advice I was given…because some of it would be from someone that made something like death metal yodel polka…and sometimes it wouldn’t be relevant to what the goal of my experment…

…its hard to determine what is good advice on subjective things…which is why people get defensive sometimes and it’s understandable.

But on the technical stuff, it took me a while for my mixing and compositional skills to become better…I had to learn by creating lots of garbage forgettable tracks, and by applying said advice to the next experiment…because of the whole “kill your darlings” advice…and also I mixed with shitty gear hence why my tracks sounded like shit. So I learned to mix by the numbers…

Either way in my creative endeavors some of the tracks I’ve made just no matter what I would do or could do, would give it that x factor that would make the track stand out, and if I did I would wind up totally revamping/redoing it over making something completely different.

The best feedback I was given weighed good the and bad against each other…and gave the overall subjective take…as well as the overall technical side. In addition to being given some suggestions that could make the track better.

I’ve tried to follow this philosophy…but again sometimes I was that death metal yodel polka guy giving irrelevant advice…and the other select few imes I was able to help a few people…

And I stayed silent when I had nothing to offer in terms of feedback…

Xyqph you make very good points.
Not arguing with you just sharing my perspective.

1 Like

“The frequencies clash in the mid-range and this makes it difficult to clearly hear melody A vs melody B. You may consider EQ’ing the saw differently” = good

“Sound A doesn’t work with sound B” = most probably irrelevant because based on one’s taste

“It’s difficult to understand the progression of the track because of the many parts and instruments that cohabit the space; this may be why the flow isn’t smooth” = good

“You shouldn’t have 3 different drum kits in there” = irrelevant as such, unless explained why it matters aside from the common assumption that while one can have 25 synths or 5 guitars on a track, the drum kit has to be the same from beginning to finish.

(In my song “your ghosts” I toyed with 5-6 different drum kits on purpose - the idea being that accepted limitations are lame. Some people couldn’t get past that, simply because it’s not “normal” or something.)

1 Like