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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      • 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  ·  even have a chance (to win or to even get heard) 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 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.

      • Anonymous commented  · 

        You're taking this way to seriously, taste is taste, everybody has different taste. Music is 99% free today and people are spoiled and have many many entertainment to consume. So, get yourself together. If you feel that this is the place for democracy, utopia etc, no, it's business like any other, and just because we all like to produce and listen to music, doesn't mean that any of use will make it in this industry ..., if your mix is that great, don't worry, we'll hear about it, until' then remember that this is just a hobby (even if you don't want to admit) for 99.11% of us who don't get paid for any work. And it doesn't matter if you made track for 15 minutes or 15 days, if it's good, it's good, if not, that's how it is.

      • Anonymous commented  · 

        What a great idea!!! If that happen I will make more remixes for sure!

      • Peter commented  · 

        I think this a completely reasonable request.

        BTW Please, there's no need to mention what the rules & regulations are - we are here to make suggestions because the rules may be inadequate. Comments below (eg James Reyna) that do nothing but remind us what the rules are, are frankly a waste of time.

        I don't think the judges need to listen to the entire piece. I wouldn't mind if they used discretion to listen to as much as they needed.

        But I do think it should be mandatory to listen to enough to "give it sone kind of score". There are 4 criteria to judge a song. I don't think they cover enough to allow the judges to quickly dismiss some mixes (as they need to do) Because, to be honest, more than 80% of the mixes I listen to are not anywhere near winning-material and I know it within 30 seconds.

        Nevertheless, they should be providing some kind of score.

        Perhaps there could be a "fail" score, where the mix is so obviously not up to par, it's not worth spending time on. Otherwise this suggestion is too hard for the judges.

        Hate to say it, but many mixes are basket-case bad. Even spending time thinking of a score for "originality/concept" etc would just be a waste of time. You have to be realistic and allow the judges to dismiss your mix as "bad". As long as they listen to it.

      • publicmuse commented  · 

        YES ! Some do ! Dynasty Electric does !
        I WOULD DO THE FOLLOWING : Indaba should oblidge the artist to enroll in Indaba and then make them listen to all Indaba remixes. That can been seen on the "listen" section. ONE IMPORTANT thing !!!!! The listen should could ONLY if 40 seconds of listening will occur !! Not just a hit play and a stop !! This way if an artist will listen for 40 seconds I am sure he will love my remix ! "Joke"

      • Peter commented  · 

        It would be good to get some kind of an indicator next to your submission that shows your track has been listened to by the judges in its entirety, after all the hard work we put in the least they can do is listen...

      • Fader Creep commented  · 

        It probably changes competition to competition.

        Jessie from Jessie & The Toy Boys commented on my submission that I uploaded to my YouTube saying she loved it. I seem to remember her commenting on actual submissions on Indaba too, of the ones she liked

        Personally I stay away from anything that is popular vote only, because those systems always get it twisted.

      • Seb G. (alias 110 Hz Maniac) commented  · 

        This is a realy interesting topic. I apologize for my poor English...
        I'm a music professionnal and I just did my first submission because I think the basic concept of Indaba is just fantastic: Allow new artists to prove what they can do by remixing artist which are already in the industry. I am wrong ? I think that the internet is a fantastic tool to get heard by many people quickly but how can we find the real diamond when there is 400 submissions? We are happy to get positive feedback from users when we are asking for but I know that if we don't connect to Indaba every day and promote our work in the discussion section we don't have any chance to get heard... I don't have the time to connect every day and my hard work will probably not be heard by the judges. I am really disapointed about that... I don't think the judge can give feedback to everybody but maybe a compromise can be found? I'm really happy that a lot of people can enjoy remixing great artist in Indaba but is it ok if a casual remixer who spend 4 hours making a remix and who post every day in Indaba have greatly more chance to win than someone who spend 5 days to make a quality work?
        If the judges have the chance to listen to the 4 hours "casual remix" and the 5 days "serious remix" I am hundred percent sure that they will notice the difference and choose the second one !
        Being a great remixer IS NOT about being good at digital self promotion. Being a great remixer is about spending years in your home studio to master the music theory, choose and know your gear by heart to define your own style. I sincerly think that these pasionnate people have the right to be heard by Indaba's judges.

      • Robert M commented  · 

        There are so many talented writers, musicians, mix engineers / mastering engineers here. It beggers belief to listen to the quality of some of the 'winning' submissions. We know it's not the actual 'craft' of creating good music which determines a winner here - but it is a system which can be manipulated if savvy enough in IT. How people get the rediculous amounts of votes that they do only indicates a systemic falure which doesn't promote real talent. What a shame.

      • noor.g.smms commented  · 

        I think the whole idea of getting feedback from judges is really helpful in improving future work!

      • p.dahl-collins commented  · 

        By the way, we've had some success here but we've pretty much lost interest, largely owing to the Facebook crap.

      • p.dahl-collins commented  · 

        Well, that's just how it is, sadly. I don't really bother entering anything here any more. I'm never happy to see Facebook voting either - that's not being judged on your work - it's being judged on how many friends you have on Facebook. I think it all sort of stinks now.


      • Bipolar21 commented  · 

        I think I depends on the artist and or the label and how much they care about the remix. The last one that I saw win was ok, but the mix and master was not professional grade, which made me wonder.... Also that track was the #1 voted for which blew my mind. It seemed for that contest he just listened to maybe the top 5 and picked one of them. There were far Better remixes out there by many others who spend many hours. When working within a remix competition u have to do what you want to do and what you will be happy listening to for you or you will be disappointed. Don't worry about winning just make something you think is awesome and you'll always win!!! LOL

      • James Reyna commented  · 

        i'll take a stab at answering this accusation. no where in the agreement between you and indaba or between you and the provider of the masters does it state that a judge is required to listen to your remix from beginning to end and provide you with a critique or the scoring method to which they employed to come to their final decision. every individual has their own criteria as to what their preferences are and that includes judges. if i can listen to your remix and within the first ten seconds, i know whether or not your production is tight, what sounds you used from the original stems, whether or not you took a chance and whether or not you were playing it safe. as an artist, i can imagine that i would not want a remix that is out of key and or out of sync with the vocals released upon the world... unless of course this was done in some incredibly creative way... but that is my opinion. and i think this is completely reasonable. music industry a&r won't listen to a demo all the way through if it doesn't catch their attention initially. by entering the contest you agree that you are 100% okay with the judge and their musical tastes. my expectations are certainly not that the judges will listen to my remix all the way through and provide me with its score. some artists will provide indaba with additional information concerning who was in the top ten in their decision to choose the winner. but this is not part of the contract you agreed to and is not required.

      • Marcus commented  · 

        Both of the comments sounds like sore losers. I'm sorry, but it's true. I don't think there's a conspiracy out there. I don't think some people are getting advanced copies of the stems before others. I think some people's work schedule or lack-thereof may give them the opportunity to spend 6 hours remixing as soon as the event opens.

        This is just a complaint for not winning. Who cares what Jose James' musical preferences are. You didn't win. Get over it.

      • villainsanonymous commented  · 

        What was the Jose James catastrophe? I haven't really kept up with the competition since I submitted my mix.

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