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 →

    55 comments

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      • 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).

      • Anologue sounds better commented  · 

        I imagine the reason wins aren't counted strictly by votes is for this reason. With social media and the capability to reach hundreds, if not thousands, of people, one could receive votes purely on popularity and not musical talent. The label and or artist would be taking a huge risk qualifying a win that way. The remix in question may not fit the taste for that particular labels demographic, not to mention it could quite possibly be a train wreck. I can't say positively that the judges named actually listen to every entry, but I'm confident all entries are heard by a representative of the sponsoring site. When it comes down to brass tax, we all still have the same chance of winning no matter who gets their mix up first. Keep at it, stay positive, and if you truly believe your remixes are of top quality you will eventually get your #1 spot. Sound cloud and face book are amazing tools at promoting yourself. Work hard and constantly learn, and if the music is truly great the masses will acknowledge. Good luck, Namaste

      • Stevie! commented  · 

        Hey everybody!

        I haven't submitted many mixes to Indaba, yet .. just the one until a little while ago .. and two more in the last few days .. but I've submitted plenty in Beatport's Play contests .. and the grand prize winners there, I'm very heartened to find, are certainly sometimes remixes with very few votes, and not that many plays .. recently remixes with as few as two and three votes have won .. YES !!! And one of them has since gone onto have upwards of 200k listens on SoundCloud .. in a month !!! And there's a logic to it .. in most cases the winning remix is going to be released on the artist's label .. now if it were your label, and it was your song being remixed, would you not want the release to be something you believed in? There was a tweet recently from Armin Van Buuren with a picture of the great man himself with Andrew Rayel on his shoulders, on stage, celebrating on the release of Andrew's debut album on the label Armin co-fo unded .. ARMADA (the 'AR' represents the first two letters of Armin's name) .. enter these contests and it could be you on the shoulders of the artist your remixing .. but not all of us .. there isn't room for 800,000 up there .. lol !!! But there's plenty of room for us down here on the ground .. in the last hour or so I've voted for more than 10 Indaba remixes .. I genuinely liked aspects of all of them .. especially their originality and professionalism, as well as the fine and tasteful musicianship in evidence .. there are some mighty c.v.'s among the Indaba community .. though it's hard for me to be up to speed with so many players .. though I do know the co-founder's played bass with my all-time favourite musician, SRV .. pretty cool, eh !!!

        Anyway, what happens over at Beatport makes me think that we probably all get a listen .. and here's the thing and it applies the world over .. always has, and it always will .. how often have you found more than one person telling you how good a band is .. a band you've never heard of before .. pretty soon you're going to be wanting to check 'em out .. same goes here .. if someone really, really likes your remix they're going to start telling people about it .. and next thing the artist is going to hear about it too .. just as sure as the sun comes up in the morning (when it's not cloudy, lol !!!)

        Peace everybody!

        Stevie's In Da House!

      • drop steady commented  · 

        yep...to even have a chance (to win or to even get heard) ...you have to submit within first few days of competition...there is no way these comercial artisits listen to even more than a handful of submissions. I can understand that...but they need to have judges that can...they could maybe cherry-pick the best and give to the artists or something......i never get more then 50-100 listens! and never more than a handful of votes.....i submited my capital cities remix just a few days ago...and even though i think its really good...no ones gonna hear it! thats the worst part.

      • Legatro commented  · 

        I see too many submissions with no views - its a shame to think that one of those submissions could be absolutely amazing and win the competition yet never getting any recognition

      • Twizm commented  · 

        I feel the same. If an artist post a song to be remixed on Indaba, it should be his/her focus for the duration of the contest. They need to take it just as seriously as we do. Yes, this is just a hobby for some of us...but for others, it's our passion. So yeah, some kind of indicator would be cool.

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