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Topic: About the Listening Room

  1. #1

    About the Listening Room

    I've listened to many of the recent contributions in the Listening Room, but often don't post any comments because I don't know what the composer is looking for.

    Things I would like to know:

    How finished is it?
    • Are you done working on it and posting it as a "finished" work?
    • Are you looking for suggestions for polishing?
    • Is it a work in progress and you'd accept major changes?
    Who is the intended audience?
    • Is this piece a study for your own learning or satisfaction?
    • Is it for a movie?
    • Is it for a course you're taking?
    • Is it intended to be marketed commercially?
    • Is it for eventual live performance?
    What kind of feedback are you looking for?
    • Subjective responses from a wide audience?
    • Technical responses on recording and mixing?
    • Musicianly responses on form, counterpoint, melody, harmony, orchestration esthetics?
    Vista / Sonar Home Studio 6 / GPO 2d edition / Melodyne Uno 1.8

  2. #2

    Re: About the Listening Room

    Well spoken!
    I agree with you.

  3. #3

    Re: About the Listening Room

    Hi, Diligamus

    This looks to be a good, comprehensive list of questions that come up concerning the musical posts in The Listening Room.

    Now and then this issue gets touched on--whether there could be some standardized form composers fill out or respond to when posting music, so that those listening know what kind of comments are expected.

    There probably isn't a way to make sure everyone makes the purpose of their posts clear. But perhaps a Sticky post with Suggestions for composing the text that accompanies an MP3 post could be helpful.

    It's certainly true that one can easily see that the reasons people post music can vary to a huge degree. Using myself as an example, most often I'm just enjoying having this great Garritan crowd take a listen to what I'm up to. But sometimes people are specifically wanting some technical assistance about recording music, and they tend to make that clear. Others might be seeking input about orchestration, structure--and I've noticed those requests tend to be less clearly stated.

    What Does become a bit awkward is when someone is basically in "sharing mode" but he/she gets responses about what the listener feels are the recording's technical deficiencies, or even negative comments about the style of music being offered. That kind of situation can be unnecessarily less than edifying.

    One basic thing I find helpful as a listener on that Forum is to not be in a rush when listening and writing a reply. It's neither supportive or helpful to dash off something based on too-casual a listening.

    And I feel that the basic guiding light for writing a response needs to come from a positive stance--appreciative that the music was posted in the first place, regardless of our personal feelings about the post.

    It seems that most people do tend to follow the basic civilized concept in mind that "if you can't say something positive..."--and that's a good thing. I find that the vast majority of times there Is something positive to say about my reaction. If nothing comes to mind, then I skip responding at all--but that's extremely rare.

    Good post, Diligamus--thanks for it!

    Randy B.

  4. #4

    Re: About the Listening Room

    Fine list.

    It might be helpful if people were encouraged to state their intentions, along with their post.

  5. #5

    Re: About the Listening Room

    Being new to the forum myself and relatively new to really examining this style of music I can see where you might wonder these things. Personally I think any response is valid when someone takes the initative to present their work; in most cases I believe a specific reason for posting should be given if there is one.. ie "are the horns too loud?" (David already succintly said all this while I was rambling on)
    Like Randy mentions:
    Others might be seeking input about orchestration, structure--and I've noticed those requests tend to be less clearly stated.
    ...in my own case this situation would come about because I may not know how to ask; what, to me, might seem like a pleasing conglomeration of notes would , to someone else, be a wonderful contrapuntal counter-melody with Mahleresque undertones and just a smattering of Berlioz in his more light-hearted moods. Ummmm...OK, so am I ripping these guys off or channelling their strengths? A response like that would be appreciated but largely be lost on me, so in my opinion it also falls partly to those listening to try and tailor the response to the poster (understanding of course they may not know the person's level of expertise). Of course the other side to this is that a very knowledgeable theorist might not appreciate his 4th Symphony Op 3 being called "groovy".
    I've belonged to creative forums for years (mostly in 3d graphics) and this type of situation is a constant in a group of varied individuals. One forum was subdivided into :Works in Progress, Finished Art, Technical Questions, Etcetc
    I would personally prefer not to see a set of guidelines or the need for numerous sub-forums just to get feedback on something.
    Mostly I agree with Randy that feedback should be a positive experience even if the information is perhaps negative.
    "The horns could be a little quieter, as they tend to drown out the woodwinds" is infinitely better than "Please learn to compose before posting again" (which translated means "I am a pompous ~~~ and would like to quash your ambitions", which often can be further translated to "damn, that is good for a first timer, I can't believe my years of study still leave me an inferior composer to this bugger" )
    Anyway, lunch hour rambling is over...

  6. #6

    Re: About the Listening Room

    Hi, Chester

    I really enjoyed your "lunch hour rambling" on the topic.

    I think it's great that you're a newcomer who wasn't too shy to jump right in with posts on the Garritan Forums right after you signed up. You've already shown what a good listener you are in The Listening Room--and it's the active participation of members that keeps a Forum like that going.

    Last time this topic came up, we bandied about the possibility of having separate Forum pages for "Finished Works" "Works in Progress" "Works Needing Technical Assistance" and so forth--the idea was wisely judged to be too cumbersome--It really could've killed The Listening Room, which is the most popular feature of these Northern Lights Garritan Forums.

    I got a good chuckle from the last part of your post--yes, the "go learn to write music!" reply is certainly the most un-called for kind. If someone gets That frustrated or angry with what they hear, it's better to just silently move on.

    Everyone replies as they want to, I would just reiterate that unsolicited commentary is the trickiest thing to write. It would be helpful if posters made it clear if they're looking for tips and ideas so responders could know there's been a green light on that kind of feedback.

    It's just great the Listening Room runs as smoothly as it does. I would encourage more people who listen to music there to write replies. Something like 5% of the people playing the MP3s stop to type a response--It would be great if people got more involved with writing replies.

    I think good basic advice is that if someone isn't sure what kind of feedback a poster is looking for, to at least type something about enjoying the music (if that's the truth) would be preferable to writing nothing at all.

    Randy B.

  7. #7
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    California Redwoods

    Re: About the Listening Room

    Well, Devil's Advocate (me) expresses firm disagreement.

    Anyone is already quite free to state intentions or desires about their postings or types of comments desired. Any person who comments is quite free to speak their mind as long as it is civil. Any rules, real, or de facto, would have a chilling effect. If rules are established I will probably cease posting on the page.


  8. #8

    Re: About the Listening Room

    "...If rules are established I will probably cease posting on the page..."

    Oh my--Well that would be a tragic loss to the group, Richard.

    But I don't think we're in danger of having more rules instigated. It wasn't long ago when this topic was gone over, and the consensus was to leave things nice and uncomplicated as they now are.

    This thread has mostly been about newcomers trying to feel more comfortable about posting replies, and it's great some thoughtful questions came up.

    I'm sure we'll carry on as we have--And like I said earlier, it's just super how well The Listening Room functions, with a good, stimulating give-and-take between all.

    Randy B.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Re: About the Listening Room

    While it is good to have an objective when posting - trying to get feedback about rendering, does the piece work as a composition, how can it be made to sound better - sometimes the best comments where one least expects it. You might think that all you need/want are comments about the mix, and lo and behold, someone makes a great comment about the use of the flute, or how it reminds them of x; that serendipity would be a shame to lose. It's too bad if people are too shy to say something - hey, everybody likes to hear "I liked that" !

    There is nothing wrong with asking for specific types of feedback, but I'd hate to see those out-of-left-field-yet-on-the-mark comments limited by too close a definition of a proper answer.

    And yes, of course, let's continue to be civil. That's part of what makes this such a nice corner of the cyber world.
    Ron Pearl





  10. #10

    Re: About the Listening Room

    My own view lines up with Ron's and Richard's general direction.

    Too many rules and requirements... that would seem counter-

    The person posting is free to ask the membership specifically
    about certain aspects of interest if he or she so desires...
    and many do. He or she may also provide brief or expansive
    background on a piece if they think it's warranted -- for
    instance, Randy sometimes provides well done narratives
    that "set the stage" for the (excellent!) musical he's developing.

    And if a listening member should wish to know more than
    the poster provides, it's a simple matter to just... ask.

    Or you can say nothing of the piece at all, as I often do. In
    my case, I like to let the music speak, and allow the context
    and the comments to develop naturally in whatever direction
    the forum chooses.

    Our "unwritten" golden rules, I do, of course, fully endorse.
    Be civil. Be helpful. Be considerate. No throwing of fruits
    or vegetables.

    My best,


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