Idea: Music critique club

Hey guys!

I got an idea. It might be good, might be bad. What do you think?

My idea – let’s set up a music critique club to our mutual benefit.

I’m at a stage with my music where it’s extremely difficult to see ‘where I’m at’, musically. I understand that the whole art form is very subjective, but sometimes it would be great to get constructive criticism from others. On Soundcloud, you get the occasional like, and short comments, but I’m thinking more along the lines of 3–4 paragraphs of text. Kind of what people do in the battle threads, but even a bit more involved and concrete.

I think it could work like this:

You have to give to get. Meaning, you have to give honest, considered critique to others (1-3 tracks?) for every track of your own that you post for critique. Of course, in the very beginning it can’t work like this, because nobody would ‘get in’, but you know what I mean :slight_smile: (It’d also be nice to be able to guarantee at least some number of opinions for every track posted)

The actual shape of things could be something like:

1) A thread on the forum
2) A separate site, with a simple registration and simple critique/submit features.

Of course, it all works with a honor system, of sorts. Especially if it’s just a thread on this site, where there are no features for tracking anybody’s feedback/posted tracks ratio.


Well, because there are loads of places online to post your tracks, but I haven’t run into communities that actually put thought into giving each other actionable, concrete criticism. I think that if there’s one forum this could work on, it would be this one. Of course, getting a separate site running would be really cool and could actually give birth to something larger, but I think a thread would work really well, for starters.

What do you think? Is it bound to fail? Or maybe something we could get going? Is it something you’d be up for?

Hey @josker, I think this is a great idea. I’ve often thought something along these lines when reading the battle comments. It’s tough to assess what kinds of comments people want. I’m sure that many people just appreciate a positive comment, while somebody else would like a thorough critique of their entry. So I suppose it would make sense to create a separate thread, where honest but constructive criticism would be expected for all the music that gets posted there.

One thing to consider is that there are many aspects of a song to be criticized. For example, production qualities or song structure. So perhaps, when critiquing somebody’s song for the first time, some disclaimers should be made, to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings. What I mean, to take me as an example – I’m not very good at judging the production values of a song, how the sounds or the mix could be improved, but since I come from a DJing background, I think I have some insight into what makes a good tune structure-wise: the dramatic arc of a song, so to speak.

I think we should definitely try this! And I like the idea that anybody who posts a track here should critique 1–3 tracks in return.

A separate Soundcloud group might work too. I wonder what’s the maximum length of a Soundcloud comment? =)

There’s exactly this kind of idea on (for photographs obviously :wink: ), where you post your photo’s if you want real critique, not just a ‘nice track’ positive comment. And like suggested by the poster, you can only get critiques if you contribute critiques yourself. You build up a sort of ‘quota’, based on the number of your critiques, but also on their quality: people get to vote on other critiques too (reasoning is that there’s no point in multiple people giving the same critique: you just vote on the critique somebody else already gave instead).

Photosig is also quite a good community, where they do special topics (like the battles here) and other events… The site does seem to have a little trouble lately though.

Downside is that this does require some programming, this would be no simple forum.

Sounds good.I’m in.Could it be a basic new thread with sound cloud links?

On a basic level could we set up a Google Sheets document where you post critiques and these are tallied up?

I remember on the old op1 forum, the TRACKS thread worked this way. Where there was an (unwritten?) rule that you post feedback before you post one of your own tracks. Its was great.

The TRACKS thread now is basically a dumping ground/wasteland, and many people post a new thread when they want feedback on a track which clutters the forum.

I would def suggest that the TRACKS thread be a place where giving feedback on other peoples tracks is required to be in the same post that you put your own track in. Spamming tracks and never commenting on others is just rude! IMHO, even just a sentence or two would be enough to make a huge difference.

Not sure if there is anyway to moderate like that tho… just my 2 cents! :slight_smile:

I forgot about that @Polyoptics

Seeing how we sometimes have members that write a song sans OP-1 I think it might be useful to have a dedicated category for this that people can post threads to for each song. Would be easier to keep track of who is participating that way I think. Back in the day on Studio Central we did two songs reviewed per review sought.


It sounds like a book club, but for music!!! I think its a fantastic idea!!!

Great, seems like there are people who would be eager!

Okay, sorry for rambling, but I’m trying to sum up and get the next iteration:

A “music critique” thread on this forum. Not exclusive to OP-1 tracks.

-Before you can post your own track, you need to review two tracks (Two could work as a good balance between a thorough critique and multiple people getting a critique?)

I’d like to try to keep it working on an honor system: Just do the two well thought out critiques before posting your own track. If you’re half-assed or forget to do it, chances are somebody’ll remind you in a friendly manner to do your part. Also, I’d like to include something like: “Make sure everyone gets two critiques. Do your first critique about the OLDEST track you see that doesn’t have two pieces of critique yet”.

When posting a track: Post the track name first, remember to clarify if you want opinions on some aspect in particular.
When submitting a critique: Start the post with something like “username - songname Crit #X”, with the X signifying if your critique for that track is #1, #2 or more"… (This could do with some thinking out, but I’d like some system that highlights users if somebody is lacking critique for their track? Again, honor system too!)

SO, a TL;DR version would be: “critique two tracks with thoughtful text before posting your own for critique. Make sure everyone gets two pieces of critique. Have fun, honor the system!”. Or something of that nature :smiley:

A couple of thoughts to diff. suggestions:

-Why a separate thread, not the Tracks thread? I think it would be very difficult to turn the Tracks thread around in an instant, to something this involved. Plus we’d rob people of the place to just put their tracks in, without worrying about writing some long-ass posts :slight_smile: That way, you can just post in the Tracks thread, or seek more insights in the Critique thread.

-Concerning a separate category for the critiques and tracks: I’m not sure, but couldn’t it easily clutter the front page?

I think getting a thread per track would be better, no ?

This way, people could improve the track and submit a new version, depending on what is kept from the criticism.

But I personally find more constructive to collaborate and edit the track to get a better version :slight_smile:

Hmm. I’m not too experienced with this forum software – what do you guys think, what would be the easiest way to do this?

1) One thread with all the submissions, revisions and crits
2) Separate threads for submissions, a MCC tag
3) Separate category

Halp? :smiley:

If we have a separate thread per submission on the front page, that’s kinda against the forum practice of not putting tracks in separate threads…

Then again, it would help looking at which tracks need critiques.

Ideally, we’d have a separate MCC category, and the threads would be hidden from the front page (or perhaps just one front page thread where you can link to your new submission thread). Is that possible? If not, I vote for a one-thread MCC.

@vehka I had no idea there was such practice !


I like your suggestion about a private Soundcloud group.
The good thing is you can link your comment to a precise point of the track. This makes it the finest tool imo.

In totally down for this! I am looking forward to whatever stems from this! :slight_smile:

Yeah, nice to see people who would be keen! I’ll get it rolling v/ soon, been a bit busy but I’m excited :slight_smile:

I’m leaning towards a single thread that is announced in the tracks section, though there will inevitably be a flux of “cool track bro, what do you think of mine?” type posts. Which makes me like the private SoundCloud group, too. ie if you want to post your tracks in the critique thread, you need to at least take the small effort to join the group. That should help cut down on random track spam I think.

Great Idea Josker!

From my view (total noob in music production) it’s a great chance to get some advice from more experienced usere and make progress.

In return, us amateurs can offer an honest opinion from a non-professional standpoint. I sometimes tweak a sound for ages until I think it fits into a track. Then, for examle, a friend tells me that a cettain sample/ synth sounds like a dying animal or something. It may be frustrating,especially when dumpung multiple take recordings, but one must appreciate honest criticism.

One more thought:
The soundclod comments could be used as markers/footnotes for your post in the forum. It would make it easier listen to a track with a lot of comments and read the corresponding critics in another window.

I find the unique thread and the private sc group are good ideas

I’m in. Please update me when things start rolling.