How can we improve Indaba Music?

Judges are obviously not listening to all remixes

We need some assurance that the judges have actually listened to and critiqued our remixes. In the contest terms, each remix is supposed to be graded on a 0-100 scale. Users need to have some sort of notification that their entry has been listened to by the judges, along with their score and comments from the judges. With the recent Jose James catastrophe, there needs to be a system to make sure all the remixes have been properly critiqued. I know that Jose James was on tour - so why was he given the responsibility to listen to 12+ hours worth of remixes? He obviously didn't listen to all of the entries, and picked a popular one that fit a preconceived notion of what he wanted. And if he did indeed listen to all the remixes, then he must have horrible taste in music. I won't continue supporting Indaba until every user's music is taken seriously and considered fairly.

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    Hunter T shared this idea  ·   ·  Admin →

    60 comments

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      • Kephera commented  · 

        It is disappointing but.... I expected this would be the case. It states clearly that you need to drum up your own interest. I knew I wouldn't be able to do that effectively but...
        But....
        I get to use the stems and practice my art and be part of a community.
        I figure if we can just support one another and give one another feedback and support and help promote the work of other community members that we enjoy... so who gives a sh*t about the competition? We don't need 'em.
        Let's just build a swell at grass roots level using Indaba's infra structure.

      • Borganism commented  · 

        I frequently here the remixes/original tracks from winners and think........wtf?
        I hear so much good songs/remixes from other people.....wich are way better....
        I don't get it anymore,I also often see the same people win....especially within the popular vote winners.....wich I think is BS.
        So crappy songs can also win here.....just because people have more votes from friends.
        I think Indaba needs to change that....skip the popular vote thing.....let the better remixes win because of their quality etc.....not because people have a lot of facebook friends!!!

      • illuzhunizt commented  · 

        I think there are no judges so I'm just using this to work on my producing ,mixing and mastering skills. Because I agree with others when I did a remix for one artist I'll admit my mix was a little dated (old) but the winner was off key, too dark (no changes even at hooks) just a bunch fo effects and noise. Sounded like a track for a horror movie, I thought we were doing EDM or Chillout orNu RnB or something like that! What experienced artist (the judge) can listen to a song without a catchy instrumental or vocal hook and think it's hit-bound.

      • Rapid Sequence commented  · 

        Don't see these remix contests as as golden ticket for being the next big producer/DJ. Instead use the great vocal stems and instrument parts to freely experiment and refine your song writing and remixing skills and listen to other entries and listen and learn and if you like their entry......Tell them. Like a lot of comments on here in reference to Facebook voting, there might be a brilliant track that doesn't even make it in to the top 200. If you like it, let the producer of the track know. Now that's better than voting for yourself and not listening to other tracks for the fear of them getting more listens then you. Discontinue the fear of failure and not winning and learn of each and every track uploaded. Peace out and respect your fellow producers.

      • Dave McIsaac commented  · 

        I just entered the "Mix 'Face Your Fear Or Die' by Vifolly" contest and see in the terms of the competition it states: "From the top ten (10) Submission entries, as determined by popular vote..." I imagine it's the same in the remix contests. So that would mean that the person with the least mixing/remixing skills could potentially beat out hundreds (if not thousands) of other participants with better skills and better submissions just because they can hustle up more votes on social media. Apparently, this has very little to do with actual mixing/remixing skill and more to do with who can generate the most visitors to the site. That's disappointing! I thought this would be a legitimate mixing competition. I've got far more important things to do than to hustle on social media to generate visits to the Indiba site. This is my first contest entry and my last!

      • Nikola commented  · 

        I'm really disappointed, when I see who listened my submission there is no judges, come on at least listen all submissions it's very disrespectful. :(

      • Killrbite commented  · 

        I know it's an old thread, but I wanted to chime in. As one person said below, if it's too stressful to deal with, then don't play. I understand that. But, it is very disheartening to spend a week on a remix, only to have 3-4 listens and maybe a vote or 2. Then, you listen to some of the worst, odd, messed up remixes and they have 1,000 plays and 150 votes. And you see comments like "AWESOME!" and such. Something just does not seem to make sense in the remix world.

      • Anonymous commented  · 

        This really puts me off even bothering to enter at all.

      • MK 2 commented  · 

        Wow this is still being questioned? The Judges (or sometimes in the remix comps a representative ) will listen to all of the tracks or mixes THAT QUALIFY for that competition as they are posted up not in a bulk session at the end. It would make sense to select certain tracks before the deadline date as long as they are selected up to the deadline. Dont post a Jazz fusion number in a Drum and Bass comp thats just wasting judges time and must pi$$ them off royally. If the brief says your track needs to be studio/radio ready make sure it is or once again your wasting the Judges time. If a competition has 1000 entries I would estimate 250 dont meet the criteria stated in that comps brief. So 25% of the judges time is wasted BEFORE thinking about finding a suitable winner from the remaining tracks. Out of those 750 maybe 350/400 are radio ready and only 100-200 are actually any good and stand a chance of winning or placing then pre selecting tracks makes sense doesnt it? Who does the pre selecting is another issue.

        And yes most artists/labels have some remixers lined up before the comp starts but have you seen how many remixes of songs/tracks there are these days? Theres always room for one more, OK you may not get a full release or make $$££ but its all exposure, a chance to showcase your skills and who knows you could be one of the pre-lined up re-mixers on that labels future releases.

      • The METRO SUBWAY commented  · 

        I agree with Nitre Blue. Also I think in most cases the artist has already lined up their remixer & track prior to the comp starting and they just use the comp to raise awareness of them and the track. Quite clever their side, better than a straight advert, but disappointing our side as budding remixers.

        At the same time if Indaba did setup a process to listen and award marks with genuine comments, this would take days to listen & comment on all tracks and commercially this would cost a lot! Guessing this is why they are not doing it that way.. as their service is a business (not charity?) and about making profit.. Really we need someone at the top like Bonno (U2) to setup a non profit making remix website, hosted by someone like Pete Tong and for their network of DJ's/Producers/Artists to join as a 'Producer/DJ/Artist guests community' where they get paid per their genuine comment. More importantly they are raising their profile as Producers or DJ's anyway.. and could have a page on Indaba about them, and the remixers that they commented on too..

        ** Indaba need to speculate to accumulate by charging the artist a larger fee, so that Indaba can afford to setup a genuine judging system..Indaba would retain more members who interact with more remixes and the Indaba members database would grow like wild fire! Ironically this would lead to more remixes per month to be judged.. an evolving system.. Good luck Indaba, something needs to be looked into here..

      • Nitre Blue commented  · 

        This is complete BS!! I know that my Lexa T mix was listened to because her damn avatar shows up in my who played the track. Not to mention she had a listening party and gave me feed back on my track. Machinedrum's avatar shows up nowhere in my played list. WTFO!!!

        Whats the point in working my a$$ off in a competition if the judge is going to ignore my submission!?! Seriously, Indaba needs to institute a way to ensure that every single submission is given a fair review by the judge/s.

      • Dan Darklighter commented  · 

        that would be awesome if the judges rated our tracks

      • The METRO SUBWAY commented  · 

        A NEW INDABA MUSIC JUDGING SYSTEM?...
        ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
        One option is for Indaba Music to introduce a new judging panel (where there will be 5-6 judges per remix, scaled accordingly depending upon number of entries) and these judges will consist of the original tracks Artist, world-wide known Producers / A&R Managers / Recognised Musicians/Artists/Bands, and Other ‘current’ land mark people from the music industry who will be signed to Indaba for 12 months and reviewed annually. Firstly this would be innovative for Indaba and also attract more Indaba attention & members, globally! It will help Indaba to stand out from the rest! Plus it would dramatically raise awareness of Indaba, their Artists and the Judging Panel, let alone the remix producers that enter these comps. It would also attract other A&R managers to visit the Indaba website regularly to watch more closely (particularly the short lists) to find up and coming remix producers, that they find hard to find in the abyss of the rapidly growing number of (free for all) internet music industry upload-websites.

        **THE JUDGING PROCESS:** More importantly, the judging panel could be allotted an equal proportion of the entries, so that they can ‘score’, ‘comment’ or at least ‘short-list’ their favourite Top 5 entries, of which this short-list would be a fair and public viewable section of the Indaba website 14 days prior to the winner announcement, raising further awareness of their favourite short-listed tracks and ‘creating more attention and suspense’, prior to the artist choosing his/her/their favourite remix from the judges short listed remix tracks. Naturally the judges would communicate amongst themselves, however, this would be a step in the right direction to satisfy all! Furthermore this will inspire contestants due to a fair voting system being implemented and it will also spur them on to maintain or upgrade their annual Indaba membership and be motivated to enter more and more remixes in the future.
        Indaba Music will then stand out from the rest!
        Every one is then happy!
        Hope this helps..
        Regards,
        The METRO SUBWAY

      • Magdalena commented  · 

        If you don't participate in a lot of Social Media and you therefore, don't have many followers in those areas, it is difficult to get many votes if any, It's a daunting task to listen to all the media, I agree, but I don't know what the fair solution would be.

        I do know this. that if you put a zillion hours of work into a piece and submit it, it deserves to be listened to by more than a handful of people.

        I'm not one to beg my fellow Indaba musicians to listen and vote. If it works for them fine. I'm asked often enough, and sometimes I vote and sometimes I don't. It's my prerogative, but I don't have a lot of time to sit and listen to everyone who asks me to listen to their songs as much as I would like to.

        I leave all this in the hands of Indaba, but I still reiterate, if people put the work into it, it should be listened to.

      • Joseph M commented  · 

        If you're feeling confused and mad about that, wait until you deal with the music industry and the general public. It will be a lot of things, but fair won't be one of them. This is the kiddy pool. If this stresses you, maybe get out of the water.

      • Carol commented  · 

        My support is given from Norfolk in England to the Altered future mixes. These deserve to be played and should be more accessible so that the judges can hear them. Altered future has considerable mixing experience and the results on these two tracks are outstanding.

      • Jezekiah commented  · 

        I Feel you guys,just some puzzle. Especially for those who spend 30 minutes of every second of everyday perfecting their Art.Ears don't lie and guys don't make your Art a lottery...Just the Puzzle Doing some great Art or Doing what is wanted!!! So you just do the Great stuff coz you never know what is Wanted or ???. Who even knows what?, judges got taste?, ok am lost here.LOL

      • Anonymous commented  · 

        This is so true! I totally agree with you.
        The judges pick a winner within a couple of days out of 100's or 1000's of entries. No way they're listening them all fairly from the beginning til the end

      • Joseph M commented  · 

        You should never call out a specific contest results though in my opinion. I read the rules: Originality (0-25 points), Creativity (0-25 points), Concept (0-25 points), and Musicality (0-25 points). You may not think an entry sounds the best but the scoring implies you can sound "not as good" in many respects but still win, the idea being you can be a bit rough around the edges but have great talent and ideas. Also, think about it as mix from the perspective of a producer or artist that listens to a lot of mixes pre-mastered. As Chris Lord Alge said at the Pensado Awards, a mixers job is to get the two pounds of $**** in the one pound bag and the master's job is to make the bag a pot of gold (or something like that). I bet folks are listening to all the mixes but there are so many its hard for them to stick out. Having votes can get attention before the deadline and that creates a mental link that can get your submission to jump out at them when it's time to listen to the final mixes. It doesn't mean they didn't listen, although hearing and listening is another discussion.

      • Rich Goyette commented  · 

        I think implementing this idea is no easy task. Nor do I think artists will open up their stem tracks to us if we make it such a burden on them. This is not paying work and I believe the experience the less experienced mixers get from this website is invaluable. I agree that the voting process could (and maybe should) be stringent. However, I'm reluctant to vote on this idea, mainly because Hunter is boycotting Indaba. That's Hunter's choice of course.

        Here is my idea... Perhaps Indaba can create an "easy" set of requirements for artists/judges that will include all mixes being heard and scored. My first thought is to have each artist include their circle of friends and colleges and split up the mixes. All the mixes will be heard and scored From there the top mixes can be presented to the main artists/judges for listening and scoring (re-scoring).

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