Positive Feedback Loop

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I know that 50/90 is about the song and not about the demo or the tech, but I have learned so much about recording because of this community. I'm wondering if it's okay to have a thread specifically for demo recording feedback? I imagine that participants could give a little info about what they used to record and what, if anything, they want feedback on. For example "Here's a song I recorded on audacity. How can I make the vocals pop a little more?" Or "here's something I did using Garage Band. Should I add more software instruments or leave it as is?" I would ask that people limit themselves to one or two songs and that if you post something to this thread you do the best you can to listen to and comment on songs posted here throughout the challenge. That way the person who posts in September isn't commenting on everyone else's stuff but getting no love back.

Does this sound like something people would be interested in? And if this has been an established thing that I've missed, then I apologize. I'm not trying to step on anyone else's thing.

Yeah, that's a great idea!
A central thread for specific advice.
As @ustaknow said, though, this kind of thread seems to inevitably and unfortunately go off the rails at some point.

I don't remember if there is routinely a "recording tech and methods" thread, but I absolutely agree that production can change the entire feel of a song and is well worth discussion for those who are interested in that side of things. I strongly question whether I have any useful advise to impart myself -- I'm very much muddling through each time -- but would certainly participate to the extent I might actually have something useful to say.

I'd be interested. Again, not sure how much I can offer, but it sounds fun. Smile

I would be interested, but I might be tempted to go full on recording geek on people. So if we do it, I'll try to rein myself in.

I'd like to be able to give simple, helpful, advice.

But I hang out on messageboard.tapeop.com and gearspace.com quite a bit. And those are not good examples of simple/helpful.

Yes. I will comment/compliment in normal song comments if a production is superb (as happens occasionally) but normally I wouldn't utter a word. But a specific thread specifically asking for response on production? Yes, that would be good and usefuland it probably will go off the rails because sh!t happens and ears differ and opinions opinionate.. But at least it will go off the rails in its own canyon and not be a WMD through other forum threads!

I would love this. I generally lack the patience to do proper production, but every once in a while I hear a really great recording that hammers home that there are little things I could be doing that would make a huge difference.

I tend to steer clear of threads about recording and gear. But I do care about both - I just think of what I do and have as very unique to me and my quirks.
I can get a pretty decent recording of a guitar/vocal track - I know how far to sit from my mic, and away I go. Record, upload, post, on to the next song.
I do OK with ukulele/vocal as well, but on ukulele instrumentals you can sometimes hear my breathing. I could fix that pretty easily on my own, I suppose, if I wanted to.
I spend a fair amount of trial/error time recording my assortment of other instruments - banjo, mandolin, cookie-tin slide guitar, tongue drum, harmonium.
My point here? Yes, I'd like to learn (and share what I know) about how to record such instruments into the condenser mic I use.

@ustaknow I think I get what you and others are saying about things going off the rails now. I hadn't thought about that. We're all operating at very different points in the path, just like with song writing in general and that can make it difficult to communicate in an effective way. For instance, if someone has been doing this for years, has read books and articles on recording, and really knows their equipment asks a question, a beginner won't be able to offer much. Conversely, I think the opposite can be true too, to a lesser degree. Someone who is brand new to recording can be hit with information overload... all excellent information... but too much to process at once. That can cause people to get frustrated and think that this isn't for them. I can see where this becomes a problem.

The trouble is that this is a problem we have with any constructive criticism here at 50/90. Everyone is at a different point in the path. Ultimately that leads to people giving praise and encouragement, but very little constructive criticism. That's not a complaint. That's the culture at 50/90 and there are reasons for it and I'm not looking to change it (though I will still welcome constructive criticism on my music). Maybe I'll just continue to learn by lurking in the shadows of the demo threads and allow others to do the same.

dzd's picture

@katpiercemusic It's a good idea for a thread, but you're bound to get 5 diffrerent answers that would all achieve the same result. Which inevitably lead to bickering over who is more "right" at least in most places...............and none of those may be the solution you were looking for or even achieve the sound you were trying to get Biggrin

like @ustaknow said as well these discussions almost always head towards mixing as well. Which is understandable considering how few instruments/amps actually get mic'd in the wider world of music anymore and not just done with a VST/software amps/etc, but there is a wealth of knowledge on this site. I think more people here do actual live recording than in most working studios anymore, and a lot of mic type/placement and setting volume levels for different situations knowledge is going away.

I'll stick to only giving constructive criticism to people in this thread. Seems prudent.

Guilty as charged, @ustaknow. Sad

@ustaknow I didn't take your comment, or anyone else's for that matter, negatively in this thread. We do tend to get lost in the weeds on 50/90, so having a thread like this might not be as helpful as I imagined in my head. And it's good to know that ahead of time. I might choose not to start a thread like this (anyone else is welcome to, of course), or I might consider a way to limit the scope so that the thread doesn't become overwhelming. Or I might just say F it and go right ahead.

As to your comments about how we send and receive constructive criticism, I'd love to have a further discussion on that (maybe not on the demo recording forum). As a teacher and someone who is fascinated with the learning process, I'm always happy to discuss that topic. I don't think we will ever come to a consensus on it, but that's half the fun!

As a more general observer on this topic, who doesn't have a strong opinion it is interesting to see how this thread jumped around and its easy to see how this suggestion could go off the rails. I understand where Kat is coming from its always good to get constructive views on demos, personally i prefer to get it from a chosen few colleagues who understand what i am aiming for rather than a whole community, when usually it is more just opinion. But i see why it would appeal to some. In reality the thread could work well and it would for Kat (i have talked to her and know how well she receives review). My concern is that people that are not as robust will ask - looking for praise- and will get offended by the reviews! I have seen this happen in so many places! Theres the quandary. In the spirit of meeting all needs i wouldn't be against a thread but would hope it would have very clear introduction stating exactly what to expect from it and don't post there if you are just seeking a pat on the back.