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Topic: Re: The Listening Room

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Question Re: The Listening Room

    Friends, Romans, Forum members... Lend me your ears!!

    I just noticed that the Listening Room has close to 34,000 posts! Bravo!

    This section is the most important part of our forum. It showcases the hard work and the talent and the creativity of so many of you - and so many find help, support, and encouragement toward making better music.

    I thought it might be a good time to think about where you want the Listening Room to go… what improvements we can make.

    For instance, recently, we added the capability to host your MP3's on our MP3 Upload Page. (Many thanks to Tony for setting it up!) I believe this is going to make this place even busier.

    With more traffic and more MP3's posted, I am hoping to create incentives that will result in much more listening and comment, as well.

    At present, there seem to be a handful of our members that do the lion's share of listening and comment. And I've received quite a few messages about people who continually post to get comment on their own work - but rarely listen to and comment on the work of others… a situation I would like to see improved. This is a community, and if you wish to receive feedback on your work, then, too, you owe it to your colleagues to do likewise for them. It's not fair to seek people's time and goodwill but not return in kind.

    Tell me: What would motivate you to listen and comment even more?

    With so many new voices, we also need to be considerate in our postings. I've received notes lately about members who post several pieces a day; and cases where the same piece was reposted two, three or four times - or bumping their own posts to get back on page one. We need to give all our members a more equal chance to be heard.

    Do you think we should limit people to posting one new Listening Room thread per day? Should we prohibit reposting of the old material? Should we require people to agree to comment on other members' music for every song they post?

    In the past some have said they wanted subcategories for JABB, Strad and other demos. As we release more libraries it may be a good time to revisit this idea, too.

    What ideas do you have to make the Listening Room a better place? I'm all ears!

    Thanks for your consideration


  2. #2

    Re: The Listening Room

    I appreciate your desire to make the Listening Room more effective and productive for everyone.

    Here are a few of my own personal thoughts.

    I notice alot of the music posted has a message something like....

    "work in progress"
    "not finished"
    "what do you think"

    A good number of people already know that I use Digital Performer which is a sequencing audio mixing piece of software. It, like many Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) is ideal for editing the midi data in order that the end result is decent music.

    The following opinions are just that, opinions of mine, and are not intended for the purpose of offending "notation only" users,.... so please beware.

    Many people use notation software to create their musical ideas. In the past, these notation users only had access to general midi sounds, and they are,, sorry... horrible, even for the simple (bare bones) purpose of converting the notation midi "scetchpad" into a medium that can be heard by all, hence, an MP3 file.

    I usually go by the practice of, "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

    While I certainly understand that some people post their "work in progress" with a request for comments about "what could be better?",,,, there is a large number of pieces, songs, compositions, that are simply dumped out of the Notation Assembly Line Software and posted as finished products.

    For me, it would be nice to have a separate section where people could post their "works in progress" and make a request for positive ideas to make it better. It would be important for the poster to make it clear that they are asking for musical critiquing, or sound/mixing critiquing.

    It is sad, but when I click on a new piece of posted music in the Listening Room, sadly, but honestly I sit there and expect to hear,

    dot dot dot dot .................................
    .....................dah dah dah dah
    dot dot dot dot......................
    .....................dah dah dah dah

    uhh I don't want to hear that.

    Now, if it is in the notation only phase, that's fine, but post it in the new critiquing area, not in the "Listening Room".

    I do understand that there are folks who do not own a sequencer (DAW), and don't want one because of the common assumption that they are complex, and over many people's heads. I understand that, but making music that is considered to be "finished" and pleasing to listen to, is, in my opinion, not possible without the time spent on the actual "recording" of the piece. Regardless of the library sounds you use you need to respect the fact that you are making a recording. I don't care to waste time listening to something that is rigid and quantized, or an old midi file from your old vintage keyboard. Please, hear me out, although notation software has come a long way, and it is nice to have GPO and other libraries inter-woven so nicely, more often than not, the user does absolutely nothing to create any ruboto, feeling, crescendos, decrescendos, expression, emotion,..... nothing. Much of this is very easy to do in a sequencer, and IS possible in notation, but to a very limited degree.

    The sad thing to me is,,,,, people in general seem to not care about the actual recording quality of sound that they create. Many seem to be overly pleased with the MP3 that is ejected from the software. While I do realize I am being critical of some people's posts, I know that by the sound of their pieces that they devoted no time to trying to make it a pleasing piece of music, regardless of style. One example of "notation only" produced music is by Etlux. He makes no fuss about the fact that it was created in notation, but he takes the time to polish the details of the instruments, to make it sound nice, and keep people from leaving early.

    Finally, I guess it would be nice to have a dedicated Listening Room for midi mockup pieces that are finished, and polished, and a separate room for works in progress.

    I trust and hope that none of my words in this post offend anyone, and if they do, then perhaps it could serve as a wake up call to always do your very best.

    Good, better, best, never let it rest until your good is better, and your better is best


  3. #3

    Re: The Listening Room

    A rough draft or a work in progress section is a great idea, Dan!

    There are some members who are just more prolific than others, and I'd really hate to see them restrained or discouraged from posting their work.

    If there was another section for the "polished" demos, you could perhaps set a limit there on how many threads can be started, encouraging the more prolific composers to select perhaps only their "greatest hits" to put there.

    EDIT: Although, if you had a "polished" section, would you discourage critiques at that point, and keep the comments to "praise only"?

    As for the actual sound quality, that can be a tough issue... it's true there may be some who care less about the sound and therefore commit little time to improving it, but there are most likely others who just don't know how.
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  4. #4

    Re: The Listening Room

    Dan: Thank you for your candor.

    Gary: Some of Dan's suggestions resonate for me in terms of the "community" you reference. Specifically, the idea of "rooms" for different stages of development or state of a piece of work.

    If a member feels comfortable composing a piece, but "lost at sea" with mixing/mastering, they might be more open to requesting or accepting offers of collaboration if they were in a room dedicated to that "unfinished" state. It seems to me that with all of the listening pieces going to the same place, everyone is "on" when they put something out there. I think this makes it harder to offer and to accept constructive criticism.

    Similarly, the "Tips, Techniques, Tutorials" might be more readily referenced from such a separate room, lending them more value.

    A room might also be set up just for "requests for help with . . . " [That would give me a place to ask someone how to tern my confuser on!] Those who have a notion to help could check in there as often as they wanted to, and people could check back to see if questions have been responded to and/or answered. This would also create a de facto realtime FAQ available in one place.

    Let's see what others suggest.

    Thank you for asking.


  5. #5
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    California Redwoods

    Re: The Listening Room

    "What ideas do you have to make the Listening Room a better place? I'm all ears! "

    Well, there are two reasons that I don't comment often and I suffer some occasional guilt attacks.

    Firstly, my connection is very slow and is not likely to improve. It can take me an hour or more to upload a 4 minute mp3. It will take quite a long time to download an mp3, so I am limited by circumstances beyond my control. At the Sibelius site, using GPO Studio with the Scorch player, sometimes possible, I can listen to a good rendition, without downloading an mp3, and am thus a bit more inclined to comment there.

    Secondly, when it comes to commenting on other persons work, my confidence vanishes. I feel totally incompetent. With about 65 years of musical activity, I am obviously not inexperienced. I give face to face comments on performance when a rehearsal of a recital takes place in my home, and have given plenty of comments to performers in the past, but always face to face. I am much more comfortable with live commentary.

    There are definitlely some things that I would like to listen to and possibly comment on. First to come to mind would be David Sosnowski, Josh, Louis D, Joaz. There are others, that is just what popped up at this moment.


  6. #6

    Re: The Listening Room

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanHannifin
    EDIT: Although, if you had a "polished" section, would you discourage critiques at that point, and keep the comments to "praise only"?
    Good point Sean, I personally would enjoy a dedicated room where the pieces that are posted are polished and finished as well as the poster can polish. Of course there will be compliments and advice given by others about the piece, but at least newcomers to the forum, and people wanting to hear the "latest" works of Garritan libraries, could indeed find more pleasurable MP3's and have the unfinished "works in progress" pieces in a separate operating room

  7. #7

    Re: The Listening Room

    I really like Dan's idea about the different rooms for different stages. Although, I'm a little worried that some of us may feel that a work is done and put it in the "polished" room, and get grief for it not being as "polished" as one might like etc.

    I have a huge guilty conscience about the listening room, as I listen to a ton of the works, but just don't know what to say. I either like a piece tremendously and will say so, or can once in a blue moon offer some sort of advice, but it seems that every once and a while when I post a reply to a piece, it feels like my reply is way off base or I've (unintentionally) offended them or in the worst case, it's not even acknowledged that I said anything. I could be over reacting. (it's been known to happen ) Since I have no formal education (I'm trying to help that) I am limited in my ability to respond. I'm sorry for that.

    the other thing is that I have so little time. I used to have time to listen while at work, but we are no longer allowed to do that, so I have just a little bit of time while I'm at home.

    Over the past week, I've spent most of my time in bed, so I've not even been able to visit the forum much lately. I really would love to contribute more. It makes me feel bad...

    I certainly hope that complaints have not been pouring in because of me. I am what most would call a slacker in terms of putting pieces in the listening room. Averaging less than 5 a year. I did bump my thread to reply to posts that I didn't see. Sorry.

    I guess, what I'm getting at is that I appreciate everyone here, and everyone's opinion and I appreciate their willingness to share their music. I wish that I could comment on all of the pieces, but due mostly to a lack of time, and lack of education, I can't. Sorry again.

  8. #8
    Senior Member rayzalaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Re: The Listening Room

    Dear forum members,

    I'm with Dan on this, I have been programming midi files for many years. I know the limitations of what I've produced over the years. For me, libraries like GPO, JABB, Strad etc are fantastic. I have revisited some of the work I've done and enjoyed every minute of trying to make them sound more realistic with these samples. It just seems silly, not to try and create the most realistic end product otherwise why bother, use the sound card on the motherboard or a GM sound module. May I add, I do understand the benefits of producing notated versions of scores for teaching purposes.

    Separating notation and/or DAW won't be an issue in the future as new versions seem to be offering more control, so it's down to vitual rehearsal time to tweak the note lengths etc. and achieve a better end product.

    A rehearsal room and a seperate performance room?
    An arrangers room and a seperate conductors room?
    A piano roll room and a shift the notes a little room?

    I'm glad it's not my decision to make!

    Yours Sincerely


  9. #9

    Re: The Listening Room

    Some good points Gary. Like all things this is to do with fair and reasonable use of the facilities you provide.

    Personally, I fel the listening room should be for completed works. Pieces that are finished and polished to the best of our individual abilities. I mean to say that works started and in progress and are seeking input on 'how am I doing' or 'where do I go next' or 'suggestions for ..' should, perhaps, have a separate forum as mentioned in your post.

    Regarding posting several works in one day, perhaps your mention on 'one-a-day' might work; I'm not sure. Personally, I haven't plucked up the courage to post my own although I do frequently listen and have commented a few times.

    Concerning older works that have previously been posted, well, they have had their airing and it is a point that they shouldn't be reposted .. unless they have been significantly reworked and radically altered. On this note (is there a pun there) it might be an idea to have a page or some kind of database where members are able to have an entry under their name and a 'catalogue' of their works. This could contain links to the posted work in the Listening Room. I know this involves more work for the administrators, it's just a thought.

    Just my opinions
    Patience is a virtue, sensitivity is a gift

  10. #10
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Re: The Listening Room


    I wouldn't want to see a limit on people's ability to post more than once a day. Some poeple have more time, some less. As others have commented, more people listen than comment. If you pass the cursor over the date/time of a thread, you can see how many people have at least looekd at the message/thread. It's not unusual to see 300 views and 10 comments; does this mean only 10 out of 300 liked the piece enough to comment? Hard to say. Sometimes one can listen, but not know what to say...I do try, but there are a lot of threads I just can't get to.

    The issue of threads being bumped off the first page, though is an important one - out of sight, out of mind. Can the first page be larger? One other idea: if you hear something you like, it is difficult to find other posts by the same person. Comments, yes, but if I hear something by DPDan, I'm going to have a heck of time finding his other works. Is there a way (and I ask this with no knowledge of how complicated this can be) that after post of Demo X, there could be a set of links to his/her other demo posts?

    Anyway, Gary, thank you for being so concerned about the board, about your customers, and for taking to the time to express this.
    Ron Pearl





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