Some questions and discussion for stimulating audio reviews!
What are some suggestions you all have for leaving audio reviews? Do you have any goal of reviewing audio portal submissions in a certain time frame, or do you review a song that particularly strikes a chord in you? Would you prefer to leave a detailed review talking about the technical aspect of the song, or a rant or rave based on how well the song appeals to you?
There are so many daily audio submissions to the portal on a fairly frequent basis, and so few get any attention. What would make you want to review a song? It's hard for some artists to remember that people that review songs don't dedicate all of their time to scouting the audio portal, and of course a few songs are going to be skipped over. What advice do you have for these people?
I decided to look at my submissions for 2010, and noticed that songs that had 1k~2K views had two pages of reviews, while a song that had close to 500 reviews had one ~ four reviews. It was hard to get a good grasp on what people really liked out of a song that made swarms of listeners come to, but after 7 years submitting audio to the portal, I have a better grasp of do and do not's to get reviews.
I wanted to offer some help and tips , and lather up some discussion on improving the feedback of our loved portal. A lot of this is aimed at the absolute newbie who has little (or no) experience in music creation and production. (I'm looking at you, SonicJ of 2006.) This isn't sorted in any particular order, and may be non- sequitur. Still, you can skim what I feel is worth a read of checking the underlined and bold headings. A lot of the stuff starts out or ends with a tangent, but not all information will be Tl:dr for you. I feel we can express and teach in methods that don't need to be textbook standard. I tried to make this friendly and conversational like.
Don't submit every audio file you have ever made. (Songs, loops, and etc included.)
I know when I first started out uploading my loops to the Internet, I was very trigger happy. I wasn't too skilled with fl studio, and every time I improved in the smallest increment I decided that the entirety of Ng had to hear it. In 2006 a lot of people were tolerant to hearing my loops that contained fl studio's default samples and left positive reviews and constructive criticism to help me improve. From then to now, the field has changed a considerable amount.
Fl studio being a very popular DAW for veterans and new comers alike, has caused many listeners to hear and become exposed to almost every default sample, synths, patterns, loops, presets, you name it. While many are accustomed to hearing the samples, an aspiring artist sees this as a huge learning treasure trove of fun ways to mix sounds. Aspiring artist, don't be discouraged! Frolic around and enjoy everything the program has to offer! Mess around with knobs and sliders to you hearts content, and play "we have a 138 in progress" until you drop! When it comes to uploading your song for views and critique however, don't expect raving reviews.
What I'm getting at here, is to . Start learning about your tools, where your strengths and weakness are, and where you want to improve. When you feel like you're ready for some direction and critique, by all means upload your creation to the audio portal! There are plenty of highly talented artists here who love seeing aspiring talent and will tend to you in the forum of constructive criticism. Make sure you actually take their words into consideration, and don't say to yourself "Gee golly, 3 reviews and 46 views! This formula must be working, allow me to make another song and upload it asap!"
And please, for the love of.. be one of those people who say "I just uploaded this garbage just because.. it sucks and I hate it . Meh". I don't feel too many people sympathize with self-loathers. If you don't care about your own work, why should someone else take their time to? This ultimately ends up cluttering up the audio portal as neither you, nor any listener that stumbled onto the song felt it was worth diddly. If you keep this up, listeners will see a pattern emerge, and eventually start to avoid your future works.
The audio portal has many great threads for gathering talent and promoting audio, be it music loops and tracks, or vocal only submissions. Here is one such great thread, Audio Advertisements!
This thread was created in 2005 by a user named "Tancrisism". Do you see what is so cool about that? A user decided "Hey, lets make a thread where we can try to get some additional exposure to our songs. This wasn't a mod, admin, or staff of Newgrounds. Accident or not, this was a user that thought this up and ultimately made a great contribution to the NG audio portal. 814 pages and 24,398 replies later, this thread still goes on strong and is pretty much the linked to thread when someone asks "where can I display my music?"
So, history aside, when you get to this thread (or anywhere you ask for and need views) please don't be general about your request. What kind of feedback do you want? Do you want help? Do you want to know how much people enjoy your song? Making your goal clear helps to garner reviews from a specific audience of reviewers. I might float to genres that I don't listen to if you ask for help on EQing, mastering, anything like that. Just saying "what do you think?" does not make me want to stop what I'm doing to listen to, and ultimately review your song. When it comes to this thread, there is a new post every few hours, and a new page or two every day. You might get lost in the shuffle as the thread isn't monitored around the clock by people on review stand by.
On the adding of detail, I really enjoy when an artist adds some detail into their adverting post. As of today, there are 814 pages and counting of the previously mentioned Audio advertisement thread. A lot of people visit the thread, drop the URL to their recently uploaded song, and walk away. Don't do that. From time to time I take a gamble on these and give the song a listen. I feel I'm rather gratuitous, but I won't make a habit of listening to 24 songs posted in two days that fit this criteria. What really makes an advertisement stand out? Content. You want people to listen to your song, you need to convince them of why! If you fleshed out the details of this song the same way you created the song it's self, you will give the impression that you worked hard on the final product. The people that view the A.A thread are not robots, and take a few things into consideration when they peruse the days offerings. They will not see a url and click it just because. Give them something to read as to why they should be the listener of the song on the other side of the url! What did you do differently? Did you use some new VST(i's)? Are you trying out a new DAW, genre, or equipment? What's going on here that anyone should listen? While the A.A thread is not a contest, you are competing for viewership. Eventually people reviewing get tired or fatigued and will stop listening to music. What happens when that one person stopped at the song just above your post? They may not come back to the same page to continue where they left off.
They may however, make the exception when they see your really cool description! So spice things up some more. You'll realize from beginning to end, a single song is a very involved project. Don't cut corners anywhere, including advertising.
I nearly exhausted my remaining characters for this post so I'll give you my most important tip in post #2