Libre Music Challenge Meta

Practical tips for recording, editing, and mastering.

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y6nH
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Libre Music Challenge Meta

Post by y6nH »

It'd be nice to present the LMC tunes a bit better, wouldn't it? Just having consistent format, tags and filenames would be a start; a cover image would bring it together; a quick mastering pass to get them all around the same level and tone wouldn't be unreasonable.

I volunteer to do this, before we upload to Archive.org / Funkwhale, if everyone sends me flac files of their tracks.

Mastering would need to be a light touch, just bringing everything to the same level so we can listen to them more fairly. It might be enough to set replay gain on each file, as LAM suggested, though I don't know much about this approach - how to go about it or how well it's supported in players.
Sahaathyva
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Re: Libre Music Challenge Meta

Post by Sahaathyva »

Hi, nice to talk about this ,

I think a gain normalisation is indeed very important as louder sounds better like you said.
But i think too that we should not touch dynamics or eq, tracks are left as it by "artists" and it is imho
a part of my votes.
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bsg75
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Re: Libre Music Challenge Meta

Post by bsg75 »

Good idea, 100% ack!

Here is my flac file for LMC#8: https://sonnengesicht.de/sg75%20-%20Adv ... fects.flac.
I am fine with any normalization.

Thanks and cheers,
sg75
y6nH
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Re: Libre Music Challenge Meta

Post by y6nH »

Thanks, though I think it's too late to apply this approach to challenge #8 now. I hope we can start with #9.

I know this is just a fun little challenge, but it should also produce a collection of music which people want to hear, and which represents libre music making in a positive light. I have ideas, but I hope others do too. For example:
  • Is the competition format useful? Does it encourage people to join, or put them off? It's not as if there's a prize, so what do we gain from having a winner?
  • Assuming the competition stays, is public voting the best way to go about it? Should we encourage non-participants to vote too? Can we make it easier?
  • Should we promote it in other places? Is anyone a regular Facebook user, for example?
  • Making "one synth" or "one sample" tracks is a fun technical challenge, but it doesn't necessarily produce the most listenable music. We spend a lot of effort repurposing other stuff to make drum sounds or whatever, and most often the results would be better if we'd just used a drum synth. Should we continue with that approach?
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LAM
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Re: Libre Music Challenge Meta

Post by LAM »

y6nH wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:36 pm Thanks, though I think it's too late to apply this approach to challenge #8 now. I hope we can start with #9.

I know this is just a fun little challenge, but it should also produce a collection of music which people want to hear, and which represents libre music making in a positive light. I have ideas, but I hope others do too. For example:
  • Is the competition format useful? Does it encourage people to join, or put them off? It's not as if there's a prize, so what do we gain from having a winner?
  • Assuming the competition stays, is public voting the best way to go about it? Should we encourage non-participants to vote too? Can we make it easier?
  • Should we promote it in other places? Is anyone a regular Facebook user, for example?
  • Making "one synth" or "one sample" tracks is a fun technical challenge, but it doesn't necessarily produce the most listenable music. We spend a lot of effort repurposing other stuff to make drum sounds or whatever, and most often the results would be better if we'd just used a drum synth. Should we continue with that approach?
@y6nH, thanks for coming up with this, that's an interesting discussion. :D

Regarding your points this is what i think:
  • I like the competition format, I take it as an healthy and funny challenge. The fact there is no physical prize is not important to me, the prize is learning things and show to myself, and maybe others, what we are capable to make with FOSS. As every challenge should there be a winner, just a symbolic recognition and an incentive in doing better.
  • I'm for public voting, for me it's really difficult to vote because i think about how much effort goes in making these works, but I see the challenge as another way to improving our skills, so while I'm not good at giving severe judgments, i like when there is an honest opinion on what is good or what is bad in my works, I try to do the same with the others.
  • While I agree that more visibility would be great, going on Facebook or other "evil" platforms will not do any good (for me), and could make me rethink my participation on these challenges.
  • I think the best approach would be create different challenges, alternating more "freewheeling" ones to more "focused" ones. I like the "focused" ones because, while they could be the less interesting in music quality, are very interesting as learning experience and richer of tricks we can share with each other.
This is just my opinion on these points, I'll look forward to other opinions as well.
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MyLoFy
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Re: Libre Music Challenge Meta

Post by MyLoFy »

thanks @y6nH for this thread, very interesting suggestions here! I'd like to add my thoughts:
y6nH wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:36 pm
  • Is the competition format useful? Does it encourage people to join, or put them off? It's not as if there's a prize, so what do we gain from having a winner?
I specifically enjoy the unpredictable randomness here as opposed to the restricted concepts in other challenges. So we had the topics of musical genres (muzak/acid/lullaby), synths, samples, specific plugins/effects, a sequencer (patroneo).... that leaves plenty of room to explore many options but also is limiting enough to boost creativity. I think the main prize is the benefit of becoming better in music production and also find motivation and courage to release stuff.
  • Assuming the competition stays, is public voting the best way to go about it? Should we encourage non-participants to vote too? Can we make it easier?
atm I think the more voters with comments the better. Especially the feedback is really helpful to help us learn from other's perception. Would be great to have voting automated somehow, like a poll or similar
  • Should we promote it in other places? Is anyone a regular Facebook user, for example?
I'm not all against mainstream platforms, though FB might be a bit controversial for the average FOSSler. However, there are also libre places to let people know about LMC. Surely we could find common ground on this.
  • Making "one synth" or "one sample" tracks is a fun technical challenge, but it doesn't necessarily produce the most listenable music. We spend a lot of effort repurposing other stuff to make drum sounds or whatever, and most often the results would be better if we'd just used a drum synth. Should we continue with that approach?
imo that could be a great project outside of LMC, perhaps with a loose general theme/topic/genre and free choice of libre weapons. The five (or ten) highest rated songs could be released on a snazzy bandcamp album, mastered by someone skillful to bring it all together. And of course we'd need a catchy title (something like "Open Tracks", "Listen to the GNUsic", "Fossy Tunes"). Could be a (quarter/half)-yearly thing. Could also/additionally be a livestream presented by some successful libre youtuber (wink wink) :lol:
I'm sure there is a lot of creativity and skill in this community waiting to be unleashed, and it seems to be growing.
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Re: Libre Music Challenge Meta

Post by Largos »

Is the competition format useful? Does it encourage people to join, or put them off? It's not as if there's a prize, so what do we gain from having a winner?
It can still be competitive without a prize. It's just light competitive and that's nice, especially for people that me that used to all the software.
Assuming the competition stays, is public voting the best way to go about it? Should we encourage non-participants to vote too? Can we make it easier?
The ascii form isn't the most user friendly thing.
Should we promote it in other places? Is anyone a regular Facebook user, for example?
Maybe other musician forums. I'm not sure it's of that much interest to music listeners with no interest in production methods.
Making "one synth" or "one sample" tracks is a fun technical challenge, but it doesn't necessarily produce the most listenable music. We spend a lot of effort repurposing other stuff to make drum sounds or whatever, and most often the results would be better if we'd just used a drum synth. Should we continue with that approach?
I like being pointed towards specific pieces of software and given the exercise. It's helpful for learning and often limits in some areas are helpful because they allow you to focus more on other parts of the creative process. That said, I guess it could also focus on more music based challenges like style or some piece of music theory like use a particular mode or rhythm for the purpose of variety.
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Re: Libre Music Challenge Meta

Post by bsg75 »

MyLoFy wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:13 pm "Fossy Tunes"
HAHA, +1 :D

To me it is the mutual feedback what makes this challenge attractive and the voting is a part (the smaller portion) of that.
Together with the constraints (one synth, one sample or one genre) it improves and sometimes literally boosts our skill sets and "musical craftsmanship".

So what is the target group for the challenge? I see it more on the producers side and on the listeners side.
At the moment it seems to be the emergent DAW user with at least some experience up the FOSS music production pro.
I like this range, but acknowledge that high barrier to entry for newbies.

The questions regarding promotion, voting technique is closely related to the target group.
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