Jump to content
FunkDaddy

Rules and Guidelines Discussion

Recommended Posts

My new co-moderator Bio Sample (aka Bruce) came up with the fine idea to have an open discussion on any rules or guidelines that should be setup for this new forum so feel free to discuss and brainstorm here. A few I had in mind and one that has already been mentioned by Jodi...

1. This is a forum for seeking help in developing any type of song idea, whether lyrically, melodically, or both. Songs at any stage of development that you would like help in progressing with.

2. This is not a critique forum. If you have a finished lyric or song that you want reviewed, post in the corresponding forum. (Conversely, if you have an unfinished lyric, it belongs here, not in the Lyric Critiques forum)

3. Be clear in your original message as to what you would like help on developing. If you post a lyric and only want ideas or suggestions on where to take it, say so. If you want a co-writer to pick up where you've left off, say so. If you are looking for a musician to put a melody to a verse as to jumpstart your writing further, say so. Etc etc. This is to avoid wasted time on anybody's part.

4. Don't flood the forum with topics. If you've got a few lyrics that you want help co-writing on, stick them in one message.

Now onto a few discussion points (feel free to discuss the rule ideas above too, nothing's set in stone...yet ;) )...

Regarding writing credits: My personal view is that if you post asking for an idea on where to take a lyric and get a great one from somebody, then proceed to write the rest of the lyric yourself, the lyric is still solely yours. If somebody writes the verse or bridge or whatever for you, you have a co-write on your hands and it should be labelled as such. Some people don't and won't care, but this is something we should be clear on as I think this board will likely breed a lot of co-written material. I think the assumption should be to include co-credit except if the secondary writer says very implicitly "No need to include me on the credits".

Finished lyrics looking for musical collaboration: Some people think these belong in Lyric Critiques? I think they belong here, musical collaboration = developing the song in my eyes. But I'm not sure, ideas? I really don't know if they belong in the "Looking for collaborators" forum as that seems to be mostly people looking for partnerships with no real material yet written.

The topic was brought up of deciding on a standard file-sharing service for musical collaborations. There are plenty out there, I don't know if we need to specify one except maybe in the case of collab challenges? It's really just a matter of getting your .wav files to the people you are collabing with, at that point the board really isn't the main source of communication anyways I'd imagine. Most instrumental additions can be tracked with an mp3 I'm sure.

There's plenty I'm sure I've forgotten, so let's brainstorm folks :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All sounds sensible Mark, but the best approach will probably come once a few collabs have kicked off. I might start one for the fun of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the intro Mark, I think you nicely set up the basics of what this forum should be about, I believe the success of it will greatly depend as you mentioned, on the person posting and being as clear and detailed in what they are asking for, be it with an lyricist looking for help with someone helping them come up with that last verse to help resolve the rest of the lyric, or the musician asking if someone can come up with that killer lead guitar solo, or I got everything, but I'm not sure of the mix, and so on.

I think to, that this will be a good forum to hold some contests, once every thing gets rolling, any suggestions are welcome in that area also.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not an authority on the subject... but have been in many many multi-musician/vocalist collaborations.... and I kind of know where things get bogged down at times.

MP3 is not the best format for tracking and exchanging files, some sort of clipping goes on (1/2 second or so).... WMA format is more acceptable for auditions..... Also APE compression is highly regarded (http://www.monkeysaudio.com/) for "zipping" tracks together without quality loss....

Musicians should comment on what they require.... but again, I've found that giving the BPM is a standard, a click track (some like a cow bell) with a lead in is also desirable....

Knowing upfront who is doing the final mixing is a plus, because they can give requirements (you know, all them dials and such)...

Okay, my brain hurts from all those non-lyrical details...

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To clarify, I didn't mean to say .mp3 should be used for tracking, I mean it's fine to track to ie. You send a mixdown in mp3 for whoever to listen to while they record a guitar track. What they listen to while recording is not important unless they are also mixing the tracks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To clarify, I didn't mean to say .mp3 should be used for tracking, I mean it's fine to track to ie. You send a mixdown in mp3 for whoever to listen to while they record a guitar track. What they listen to while recording is not important unless they are also mixing the tracks.

I think it comes down to timing and aligning the tracks back up, so if one tracks to an mp3 it makes it difficult to take their track and match back up to the original.... but someone with more experience can clarify more, but it's a consistant problem I hear, so I thought I'd pass it on...

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Instead of a file dumping site, we can use www.yousendit.com. A very easy website; enter the email address, upload the file (and it's designed for BIG files) and send it. The recipient gets the download link. I use it for work and it works a treat. No need for a shared download site, all done by email.

This seems like a winner to me. Your giving an email, but that shouldn't be an issue.

I think a fairly important point is to encourage transparency and have people post up a link to files they have done so people can discuss it. If most projects just start here, and then get taken private, it really doesn't serve the entire purpose of the furum. I think that WILL be a part of what happens here, but I hope that we are able to at least have some open community projects that can be followed and commented on by anyone.

C2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To clarify, I didn't mean to say .mp3 should be used for tracking, I mean it's fine to track to ie. You send a mixdown in mp3 for whoever to listen to while they record a guitar track. What they listen to while recording is not important unless they are also mixing the tracks.

I think it comes down to timing and aligning the tracks back up, so if one tracks to an mp3 it makes it difficult to take their track and match back up to the original.... but someone with more experience can clarify more, but it's a consistant problem I hear, so I thought I'd pass it on...

Mike

The timing will be the same regardless of what file format the track is recorded to. "Clipping" is used to refer to a signal that is too hot and distorts, it doesn't mean anything changes regarding the timing of the track. A .wav file converted to .mp3 will have the same amount of space before and after the music, the problem of aligning the track would remain regardless of format, it depends where the person decides to punch in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe clipping can have another meaning?

Nevermind, you're right.... I'm just a lyricist.... don't mind me...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think F.D. is right. Converting a file to *.mp3 doesn't shorten it--it just does other unpleasant things to it. It's okay (for instance) to send me an *.mp3 file to play to. I'll try to make sure to send you a *.wav file back of my part, so you've got something good to work with. (Though with my material, calling it "something good" might be stretching things a bit.)

A click track--at least lead-in clicks--is important for whoever is doing the mixing. When I send my *.wav file back to you, it will have those clicks on it that you sent me, so you can match my track up perfectly to what you already have (which also has the clicks on it).

And just for reference, I'll also send you an *.mp3 with my track *mixed in* with your track, as a sort of "here's what it sounds like" thing. A lot of people like to have that.

There. That all help any?

Joe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MP3s are smaller (and emailed easier) and can be reconverted to wav files and visa versa. I have a program to do that as, I'm sure, others here do too. I use audacity.

I edit a lot of stuff by moving data around on tracks lol.

Hey, this is going to be fun.

Maybe lead to good things.

I wonder if anyone else is doing this (music forums)?

Oh and what Joe said... some of us don't need a lead track or a click track. I could add a click track to anything that doesn't have one or needs one.

Rick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I wonder if anyone else is doing this (music forums)?

Yes, there are... some better than others....

Many of my collaborations were done in this manner.... the best results are when no egos are involved, get many auditions for parts (lyrics, guitar, bass, drums, strings, keys, vocals, etc...) and select what is best for the song....

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I've done a few, too. At one point, we had a sort of collective of writers on Soundclick who got together and acted as a band to record demos of each other's songs. Here's a couple of mine "The Collaborators" did:

Cat with the Strat: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songi...;songID=3789656

She Ain't Starvin' Herself: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songi...;songID=6521146

I've also worked with some individuals. Same way.

Joe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Simply awesome!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To give an example:

Here is one Mark and I did together a few years back... he did a great job with the original, then it got tuned up with the help of others....

Keep Holding On - Original

Keep Holding On - Remake

:D That's still the only time I've ever really nailed vocal harmonies (in the bridge), must have been luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Finished lyrics looking for musical collaboration: Some people think these belong in Lyric Critiques? I think they belong here, musical collaboration = developing the song in my eyes. But I'm not sure, ideas? I really don't know if they belong in the "Looking for collaborators" forum as that seems to be mostly people looking for partnerships with no real material yet written.

Time will tell on this one. I think the distinction is valid, but that the definition of "finished" may vary from individual to individual. If this forum becomes flooded with unusable lyrics it would be a shame, but I hope that it will be self-policing (if people post unusable stuff that never gets picked up, they will stop). Similarly, I hope that people will show restraint and NOT post every "lyric" they have written once they consider it "finished" (which can mean they have simply moved on to today's "lyric" and have lost interest).

I'd suggest that you drop the bit in parentheses in guideleine 2 ("(Conversely, if you have an unfinished lyric, it belongs here, not in the Lyric Critiques forum)"). For many people, a lyric may not be finished until it has been critiqued and any rewrites done as a result of those critiques. In fact, it could be argued that nothing should be posted here unless it has first been critiqued, couldn't it?

The topic was brought up of deciding on a standard file-sharing service for musical collaborations. There are plenty out there, I don't know if we need to specify one except maybe in the case of collab challenges? It's really just a matter of getting your .wav files to the people you are collabing with, at that point the board really isn't the main source of communication anyways I'd imagine. Most instrumental additions can be tracked with an mp3 I'm sure.

I think you are right not to specify a standard service. However, it may help people if we develop some ideas that work (yousendit, stashbox, rapidshare, etc). Similarly, it isn't necessary to specify formats for the collab process (just for the final format to be shared). Different people will use software that will be compatible with different formats. WAV will be common, of course, but there is much to be said for APE, FLAC, AIFF, OGG etc... and MP3 can be fine, too.. especially when auditioning stuff. Of course, for some it will be simply a midi file, and that can be emailed (though audio may be better even for midi-produced contributions).

Maybe a hints and tips thread for collabs, stickied? For example, it is often helpful to include a short click track section at the start of a shared piece of audio. This helps the individual receiving it to line it up correctly. Some MP3 encoders add a little at the start, and things may not otherwise line up as intended.

I wonder if anyone else is doing this (music forums)?

There are a few out there. I know some people here use http://www.musicianscollaboration.com/forum/index.php , for example.

On a more general note, there may be things that you will want to do as this forum develops. I'd see how it goes, and let it evolve. It could, for example, be worth having sub-forums (depending on the degree of take-up). For example, it might become useful to have one forum for ideas looking for input (maybe even dividing that into separate lyrcis and music sections) and one for songs in development (i.e. the collab has started). Maybe another for discussion and technical advice on file formats and sharing.

I'd suggest that a convention is developed in which people use the "Topic Description" on their post to describe what they are looking for (e.g. "need bass, lead guitar, vocals" or "rock lyric looking for music" or "song idea looking for lyric help" or "tune needing lyrics and vocal" ..).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alistair makes a lot of great points here!

I also like the idea of contests and challenges within this forum. Although I don't participate that often, I do like to check out the participants work. Several months ago, I participated in developing a song on this board. I think Kimberly started the excercise if I recall. It was a lot of fun watching the song develop and the various contributions that were made. Stuff like this could be fun as well. I envision it as a working exercise where people contribute lines, question lines, suggest and post choruses, bridges etc... NO real right or wrong here, but rather a way to exchange ideas and participate in the development and creation of a lyric. It wouldn't have to be one working lyric but different variations of the same initial lyric that go in different directions. Throughout the process, more seasoned songwriters/lyricists could add commentary, provide related songwriting articles about the process and it's development, which would further advance and enhance the process. Any converastion and/or debate would most likely be helpful here as well, as people exchanged ideas and philosophies about songwriting. I could see lyricists of all skill levels benefitting by this in one way or another, either as a participant, bystander or consultant. I often hear of musicians sitting down in a room and developing songs together. This could be our opportunity. I saw a great video of The Traveling Willbury's, which showed how they developed many of their songs by sitting down and brainstorming ideas. It was fascinating to watch Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynn, just sit down and come up with ideas as they played off of one anothers strengths. Just an idea!

Billy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Some MP3 encoders add a little at the start, and things may not otherwise line up as intended.

No they don't.... ask anyone.... B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Some MP3 encoders add a little at the start, and things may not otherwise line up as intended.

No they don't.... ask anyone.... B)

Yep...I've got to agree...cause I've seen it and it can be a friggin nightmare if the person mixing isn't up to speed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess my worry about posting lyrics to be set to music is I'd really like them to have (or have had) peer review first. Just because you (or I) think something we've written is perfect doesn't mean it is. What's important (from my perspective, anyway) is what *others* think of it. I may think I know enough about writing to know what I've done is good (I do go through such periods of hubris occasionally), but I'll still present it to the virtual wolves for rending and dismemberment. I often get really good suggestions, even for stuff I thought was perfect.

*Then*, when it's as perfect as it can be, is the time to musicate and record it. Jes' my opinion, of course, and like the car commercials used to say (back when we could afford cars), your own mileage may vary.

Joe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep I agree Joe, though it's hard to police. The lyric I posted up here was reviewed maybe 18 months back and others may post lyrics up that have been reviewed on other sites - there's no way of knowing. A lyric review is no gaurantee of quality of course...

I don't think imcomplete lyrics should be put up here - unless the writer makes it clear that they want help developing the lyric and are not angling for a song. I'd be happy to help others develop lyrical ideas here. It's difiicult to do that in the Lyrics Forum as the writer does not always appreciate rewrites.

I think lyrics, complete or not, are going to get less success here, just because lyrics are the easy bit and anyone can knock together some words. Not everyone can knock together a coherent melody (in time and competently played). I feel that this will develop into a musicians collab forum with the lyrics taking a back seat until the song is formed. I'm not judging that, it's just the way I think it will fall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I feel that this will develop into a musicians collab forum with the lyrics taking a back seat until the song is formed. I'm not judging that, it's just the way I think it will fall.

From what I've experienced.... lyrics/vocals come in early in the process... for many of the reasons Rod was saying, it's difficult (or almost a waste of time) to put guitar to just a bed track without knowing where the vocals lie and how they'll be presented...

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The timing will be the same regardless of what file format the track is recorded to. "Clipping" is used to refer to a signal that is too hot and distorts, it doesn't mean anything changes regarding the timing of the track. A .wav file converted to .mp3 will have the same amount of space before and after the music, the problem of aligning the track would remain regardless of format, it depends where the person decides to punch in.

I just want to add my voice to support Mike, Alistair and RLD's views with regard to this question. When Mike used the word "clipping", he was referring to the slight differences in the overall duration of a track that can sometimes result from MP3 encoding. If the track is only being used for audition purposes this isn't a problem. If, however, multiple musicians are collaborating, with each submitting their parts to a mix, it can be a very real problem. This why, as Mike points out, those who are involved in a lot of online collaboration and who wish to save on bandwidth through using file compression tend to favour formats such as APE. I would also note that formats such as MP3 are considered to be more "lossy" than APE, and this might be a factor if optimum audio quality is desired.

Having said that, as far as I have been able to tell, the differences in the durations of MP3 encodings seem to generally result from the addition of short periods of silence at the beginning of the track. IF this is the case, then it shouldn't be too difficult for an engineer/producer to re-align these as necessary. Also, while MP3s might be more lossy, if a reasonably bit rate (192 or higher) is used, this should be pretty much unnoticeable, and MP3s certainly have the advantage of being pretty compatible with most software out there, making the whole coding/decoding process relatively simple and transparent.

It seems to me that the main thing is to be aware of the potential advantages and disadvantages of each and to take these into account when deciding what format to run with for any given situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The timing will be the same regardless of what file format the track is recorded to. "Clipping" is used to refer to a signal that is too hot and distorts, it doesn't mean anything changes regarding the timing of the track. A .wav file converted to .mp3 will have the same amount of space before and after the music, the problem of aligning the track would remain regardless of format, it depends where the person decides to punch in.

When Mike used the word "clipping", he was referring to the slight differences in the overall duration of a track that can sometimes result from MP3 encoding. If the track is only being used for audition purposes this isn't a problem. If, however, multiple musicians are collaborating, with each submitting their parts to a mix, it can be a very real problem. This why, as Mike points out, those who are involved in a lot of online collaboration and who wish to save on bandwidth through using file compression tend to favour formats such as APE. I would also note that formats such as MP3 are considered to be more "lossy" than APE, and this might be a factor if optimum audio quality is desired.

Thanks Simon... I knew someone could explain it better that I could... :rolleyes:

My use of the word "clipping" was probably inappropriate since it is actually adding space, but a timing issue none the less...

Cheers,

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if we are going to agree on a specific way to create here, but I think we should start with the way we are most familiar. That way is posting our files on "soundclick" or wherever.

The following is my view of how it might happen:

As we work toward development and completion of a project, musical ideas could be posted up and discussed by the group. The files would of course only be the idea or "take" on a given task by the poster. The group would listen to the files, and discuss their use in the project, or what might need to change, etc. Each project would need someone to step up as the designated "mixer". The "mixer" would obtain recorded "tracks" in the proper format from the contributor once a decision is made to use them. The mixer would keep an updated "premix" of what the project has so far.

How the project starts is a good question. I think it could start with a musical idea, or even someone with a really nice lyric that sparks someone into posting a melody idea. The moderators will have a tough job, as the potential for perceived exclusion could result in some seriously opinionated posts. So what if there is a small group of folks that take the project and run with it? I think that if a project is well into development, unless specifically solicited to do so, most people will simply enjoy keeping tabs on the progress of the project.

Many other things will just have to work themselves out as things develop. I think this will be a way cool section of this forum. It probably will take some time to develop, as most good things do. It will have it's trials and tribulations, but nurtured by those that care, I think it will do just fine.

I have some ideas that might work as starters, but I will wait because of upcoming neck surgery. No big deal, but they are telling me not to play for about a month afterward. Though, I would love to take part in some other capacity until then.

Good luck, and let's get something going!

C2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it'll be made clear when a group of collaborators is setup and started their process. Anybody jumping in and participating unsolicited will be unlikely but easily dealt with.

I've really never had to wrap my head around mixing a project with different musicians in different parts of the world, I've always done my own stuff with maybe a few guitar takes here and there from the guitarist of my old band. Anybody who has more experience with this, please share your thoughts as it would be good to have a decent set of guidelines for people who want to attempt it. I'm more than willing to offer vocals on anybody's project or even produce their music for them to sing on, but for my own music, I'm liking doing my own thing right now. Even with my collab with bubblingsoul, I did all the music and just had to mix her vocals.

This forum is already off to a great start with Bio's blues tune, fine example of how we can help each other develop ideas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×