Frontpage Standards... thoughts

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Frontpage Standards... thoughts

Post Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:51 am

DJ Schmolli wrote:
onelove wrote:it seems to me that the overall quality on the FP has been down a good deal recently

fact. unfortunately :1huh:


Hi Guys, I need to address this, and then I need to open it up to you guys for some opinions.
So, has the standard of Frontpaged tracks dropped..? Well in my opinion, yes... but for good reason, we as a site can only operate if we have traffic visiting our frontpage, you will notice that we have no advertising inside our forums at all, so the only revenue the site gets is from the guys and girls who are good enough to click on the ads on the frontpage.
We try to get the ballance right, we need to frontpage only the best but at the same time we need to be updating our frontpage daily or we lose traffic.

So what are the thoughts from the community, how do we maintain our usually very high standards because I'd welcome a return to the days when only the best of the best were frontpaged, is there another way of bringing traffic to our frontpage..?? Thoughts people.
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Re: Frontpage Standards... thoughts

Post Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:48 am

Schmolli's quote from the other thread:

having said that i still bin 80% of the tunes from the FP because they are OOK (sometimes even OOT!), not properly produced or simply not right up my alley (for which of course is my problem then, not the producers haha)


Agree 100% with that... I downloaded the entire front page about a month ago and only kept about 3 or 4 tracks. Some of it was down to my musical tastes, but with the rest it wasn't so much that it was howlingly OOK/OOT, more a case of the structure/harmonics being off, which is one of my biggest bugbears. Come on people, there's enough source material out there that you don't need to mix D minor with A minor and pretend it's in key any more!

And equally, there's stuff that won't be popular amongst the masses (mainly due to odd source material) and maybe isn't FP-worthy as a shining example of a mashup, but is every bit as good. I'm thinking of Colatron's μ-ziq boot from last month here.

So by FP-ing every track that's vaguely in key and time you're almost condemning everything that hasn't been FP'ed, which is just wrong.
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Re: Frontpage Standards... thoughts

Post Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:05 am

Well I'm not sure if I am in the position to comment on this, since I've only been here for a few months, but I'm thinking that any feedback can be useful so I'll give it a go :1smiley:

I don't think there is a lack of quality on the forum, I just feel that too many tracks get overlooked. I know this has been discussed before, and this was mainly brought up by people who simply felt that THEY THEMSELVES didn't get FP'ed enough. Well, with 7 frontpaged tracks in two months I am certainly not one of them, however, I still feel that way so I guess that says something.

I also think, despite of what you say in other topics/discussions, that the 'big names' really do have an advantage and get frontpaged faster. In the few months I've been here I've seen quite some topics from certain popular mixers that recieved much criticism, yet were still frontpaged. Whereas there are also enough tracks from lesser known mixers that only get positive comments (even from you and/or other mods) and never see the frontpage. I'm not saying this is intentional, I'm just pointing out it comes across that way to me.

One thing that immediatly comes to my mind is the topic that S.I.R. posted here earlier this month: a mashup of Carly Rae Jespen vs. Ottawan that was well executed and a very fun listen. It didn't get frontpaged because you "didn't see the point". Well, I don't think it's up to the mods to 'see the point', and also I don't think it's up to the mods to judge about the choice of tracks. If the mashup is good enough, it should be frontpaged, end of story. I think that should become the main focus instead of the sometimes 'commercial thinking' I see now. I think people here would rather have a smashing mix with 2 tracks they never heard before, than a mediocre mix containing the biggest hits of the moment.

So just one more thing that I also see a lot: sometimes a mod posts a topic reply saying: "I think this is worth FP'ing, any other thoughts?" and then there will be no more replies and so the track never gets FP'ed. For example this is now going on with my latest track YMCA On The Floor but I also see it a lot in other topics. Now I think there is a reason why a mod asks that question: because for some reason he has doubts over it and wants input from the colleagues. Now with 11 of you here, it should'nt be that hard to reply to a question like that, should it? It's a simple yes or no answer, and then all can move on :1wink:

Just my 2 cents, I hope there's something you can work with here and remember: this is not about frustration or anything, it's just an obvervation

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Re: Frontpage Standards... thoughts

Post Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:25 am

Hi Stefan, I'm not going to comment on individual points raised by anyone in this thread just yet because I want to get a more complete picture first... but I just wanted to reply to the issue of me not "getting" the SIR track... and it's true, I didn't get it... but more importantly, i didn't actually like it... and that's a hard barrier to break down when it comes to choosing tracks for the frontpage, because we can't just listen to a track and gauge it's merits technically, not if we personally don't like the track itself... this is why we have a team.

Anyway, keep your thoughts coming guys :1grin:
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Re: Frontpage Standards... thoughts

Post Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:31 am

Fair enough Lloyd :1smiley:
Like I said I'm just writing down what I observe. I can't read anyones mind so the factual situations may be far from my experiences

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Re: Frontpage Standards... thoughts

Post Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:40 am

Why don't you have a "like" system or a "thumbs up/down" on the submit mashup here, when it gets to a certain amount of likes, 3 mods vote to get it fp'd or not. i agree that currently the standards have been lower than what they've been before, but then again, if everything was amazing, it wouldn't be as the amazing would be normal, its the not so great mashups that are FP worthy that make the epic ones like Rock of Ages for example stand tall above the rest.


p.s. FP one of my tracks PWEEESE! :-)

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Re: Frontpage Standards... thoughts

Post Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:04 am

As far as mixing relative keys goes- I don't see a problem with that so long as the chord progressions are harmonic (perfect 4ths/5ths etc).

As for quality- do you really think that FP'ing badly produced/poor sounding tracks is the way to go? It seems to me that you will slowly kill off site traffic by not maintaining standards. Not only that but as a mod I could not, in good conscious, give people advice on how to improve their production skills with such things hitting the frontpage. That was one of many reasons I wanted to decrease my involvement here. Another user (animal I believe) brought this up in his introductory post- how can you possibly tell people they aren't good enough to be FP'd when badly produced/horrible sounding tracks are already on it?

Some people here have brought up mod involvement and tracks getting ignored- I think I can give 2 cents on that seeing as how I was a mod. Lloyd- you honestly send mixed signals about what should and should not be FP'd (especially as of late) and it made me personally wary of FP'ing tracks. I think this sentiment is probably shared among other mods as well (I know Oli brought that up in scholli's thread)... seeing as how the only tracks that get FP'd by someone other than you are "obvious slam dunks" so to speak.

You mentioned that songs can be FP'd despite flaws so long as they are "enjoyable" but to what extent (again Oli also brought that up as well)? Mixed signals aside you also come off as a bit overbearing and hostile at times mate- which certainly doesn't help the situation.

I don't know what Stix was like before I came here (a little over a year ago) but something tells me that both the forum community and the frontpage audience were smaller. It was obviously easier back then to keep up with the high level of quality control on the FP.

Now you seem to be desperately spamming the FP with mediocre at best mashes (both from around the scene and internally). This takes away from the site in a lot of ways- as a producer it makes getting the FP much less meaningful- not only due to a lower quality surrounding the track but also because you get bumped off much more quickly.

As a listener you are also making things much less meaningful- this is no longer a reliable source for good mashups. My time would seemingly be better spent idly browsing soundcloud, facebook groups, and blogs at this point.

When I was applying to college there was an interesting phrase used to describe top tier schools and I think it is very similar to stix's current situation-

"You can tell which schools are of higher quality not by the number of applications they receive/accept, the numbers of graduates they have, or the cost of their tuition. The true indicator of a top tier program is the number of applicants they turn down versus how many they accept."

Another thing to consider is that all of this has been happening over the summer- which is (as I'm sure you know) one of the slowest times for internet forums, video games and the like.

As far as ideas to keep costs down... honestly I don't know. If you ever have a contest again maybe charge an entry fee, ask for donations from the community, place more ads, start selling gear, pick a cheaper hosting service, change the way you present mashups (maybe try a more blog-ish style etc), or try to expand your visits in some way other than spamming low quality tracks.

I have to wonder... has spamming these tracks even given results? It seems to me that this site is at an apex in many ways and that you really need to decide what is important quickly.

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Re: Frontpage Standards... thoughts

Post Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:18 am

Maybe an issue is with having 11 moderators who each have their own opinion on what is a front page worthy Mashup.
People have their own individual threshold on allowing their ears to take in and accept 1 or 3 duff notes in an otherwise pretty good mix - whilst others would tear it up and piss on it in an instant.

It needs balance.

One way would be get all 11 moderators to listen in on tracks - or more than 1 or 2 at least - and to then mark it out of 10 (or whatever) to get an average and THEN to see if its FP worthy.

When I was a moderator in ye olde days I really enjoyed the reviewing system that Paul had in place and would lap up writing out my constructive feedback in the 'Pros' and 'cons' section. Maybe not have things policed quite so dramatically - but extra ears listening in on a tune before it gets picked would benefit muchly.

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Re: Frontpage Standards... thoughts

Post Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:32 am

I feel like I shouldn't comment on this because I'm a newbie... but I can give an opinion as a listener

If the mashup is good enough, it should be frontpaged, end of story.


So I think Mods should pay attention to the following points (and others I don't mention):
- Right Key
- Right Tempo / In the right Beat
- Structure
- Quality of the audio
- Levels and EQ

If you like the mashup but there's a mistake, do what you always do: give advice, and if the producer fix it right and make the track works, it should be FP'd... it may take a bit of extra time but it's worthy, if you don't respect quality some of the other producers will reduce their effort and standards or maybe just their enthusiasm to post here.

When you FP something ask to yourself: Would this track be enough good to an official Label to release it as a single in the music industry?? (At least a good track to include in an official album??) If there's something fixable, ask for it before FP
I know this is not like the mainstream music industry, but the quality should be. I understand sometimes we ain't got official acapellas and instrumentals, so when somebody use one, just consider it with the right opinion
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Re: Frontpage Standards... thoughts

Post Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:45 am

I had a listen through of the FP last night and yeah, I think some tracks should not be there. There was one where not only was it OOT, the vocals were too low as well - to have that on the FP with the others implies we think it's the same standard and it frankly isn't and I'm embarrassed to have it on there. I agree with onelove on this - not only does it mean the surrounding tracks are affected by the whole 'if this is what they think is brilliant, I don't think I want to hear the others' aura, but also, getting stuff FP'd is now not as exclusive and therefore is meaningless when it's right after an OOT/OOK one. You think 'well, that one has issues.. does that mean mine does as well? Why aren't people telling me how to fix them?'.

I mean, I say 'exclusive' and if that sounds elitist, it should be - the frontpage is for the best of the best. There was a time when I could visit it, click any mashup at random and KNOW it'll be excellent, even if I don't particularly enjoy/know the sources. But when I was going through it, I was hesitant to click the next one - 'would it be OOT like the one a few mashes back? Will there be clashing? Are the sources good enough quality?'. I shouldn't have to think that on the Frontpage, I should be safe in the knowledge that it's brilliant.

And yeah, I get that it has to have new content on it frequently, but that doesn't mean mediocre tracks should be there to fill an arbitrary quota - there's literally the whole internet to get stuff from. I'm fine with the frontpage not getting updated for a few days; it doesn't mean people won't visit. It just means they'll play the stuff there from a few days ago AND THEY WILL because it'll be good stuff! Just because there's not been any new mashups on there for a few days, doesn't mean people are going to write off the site forever - there's some sites I don't check for days but that's ok, because I know that when I eventually go there, I'll have some goodies to see/hear.

With regards CjRs idea of getting all/most mods to listen to a track before frontpaging, I think it's an excellent idea. We could just send the link in a PM to all of the mods, asking their opinion and stuff the decide based on that. Might take a few more days but it'd weed out mediocre mashes.

So there's my thoughts.

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