You can't please all of the people all of the time...
Old 27th January 2013
  #1
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Thread Starter
You can't please all of the people all of the time...

So anyway, I have this fan, who shall remain anonymous, and she absolutely loved one of my songs, specifically an old crappy demo recording i had done of it, can you see where this is going?

I've grown alot musically over the last 5 years, i can do stuff now that I couldn't begin to fathom then, and I have always believed artists should be allowed to grow in this way, you can't stand still.

Anyhow, I re-recorded the song, kept the spirit and many of the sounds of the original but updated a few of the sounds to keep it cutting edge, added a new and better ending than the old fade, and most importantly, the rough mix I gave her to preview, whilst far from perfect, was a massive improvement on the muddy messes I used to record. (I'll be tweaking the song this week and getting it all sitting nice)

So she here's it, hates it, and starts laying into me with a barrage of harsh criticism, saying I butchered it, It's too slow, Why did i change the lyrics slightly, (Because I've grown up and the original lyrics made me sound like a horny teenage moron and I've got to sing this f*****r onstage!) What's with the ending, and on and on and on.

I disagree with her, and the song is now closer to my original intention, I just didn't have the skills at the time, but anyway, it still shook me up, I have a hard time dealing with criticism, and I guess that's largely because i only ever get praise for my work, but I'm trying to remember that I can't please everyone all of the time. I've decided to stop contacting her because I really don't need that negative force in my life.

Anyhow, if anyone has had a similar experience, or if you have any ideas on how I can chill the f*** out, please let me know, I'm a bit tense.
Old 27th January 2013
  #2
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jackdamery's Avatar
Funnel that energy into getting better at producing.
Old 27th January 2013
  #3
Quote:
You can't please all of the people all of the time...
Old 27th January 2013
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

This has happened me loads of times.

I love the fans.But I don't listen to their music.They listen to mine.
Or don't.Either way its the music I make.Like it or **** off.
Old 27th January 2013
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
I disagree with her, and the song is now closer to my original intention, I just didn't have the skills at the time, but anyway, it still shook me up, I have a hard time dealing with criticism, and I guess that's largely because i only ever get praise for my work, but I'm trying to remember that I can't please everyone all of the time. I've decided to stop contacting her because I really don't need that negative force in my life.
I hate that biased BS

I believe that first you have to please yourself, shouldn't matter what others thing as long as you like it

constructive criticism is always welcome however, something you think might have sounded right to you at the time might be brought up to your attention by someone else

for the example, a friend of mine showed me this remix he's working on yesterday and the first thing I noticed when it got to the main part what that is changed key

I told him I wasn't a big fan of the key change but that the production and mixing was top notch as always.. well, ends up that he didn't realize he was working on the wrong key! it just sounded right to him at the time, but after I mentioned it to him, he went back and started working on a different version on the right key

I've had problems like these myself, sometimes you don't notice certain things after working on something for long periods of time, or maybe I just forgot to pay close attention to that certain thing

either way, my point is that people that are not musically inclined aren't exactly the ones you should be showing unfinished worked too for their opinion or advice, keep it to yourself and close friends that can give you constructive criticism and work on your stuff until YOU are happy with it

you're the one putting it under your name after all!
Old 27th January 2013
  #6
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EvilDragon's Avatar
 

How do you NOT NOTICE A CHANGE OF KEY?! O.o;


That's a pretty serious ear-to-brain issue right there.
Old 27th January 2013
  #7
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Thread Starter
Aphex Twin don't give a f*** about musical key apparently.

Anyhow, I'm sure by the time i do the final mix in a fortnight's time i will be happy with it
Old 27th January 2013
  #8
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Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
I have a hard time dealing with criticism, and I guess that's largely because i only ever get praise for my work
Good, constructive criticism that helps you grow as an artist is vital - and giving good, constructive criticism is not an easy job.

But a car should not fall in pieces when it gets its tires kicked. If you want to grow, you should push yourself, not stay in your comfort zone - and nothing but praise from people who are not your peers keeps you in that comfort zone.

Any chance for listening to the versions side by side?
Old 27th January 2013
  #9
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What Yoozer said about not staying in comfort zone is very true. You have to know how to receive criticism (even if it's badly put, like what that girl did) and channel it correctly. You may disagree, but try to think why was the criticism dealt that way and is there even a shred of good advice that you could get out of it.

Of course, mindless barrage of hate is not exactly criticism, that's just a typical example of one falling in love with a particular song from whatever reason, then not wanting it to ever change. Quite an often thing.


I think, as a therapy, you should write a song about that girl from your OP post and how zombies attack her... and do things to her. Terrible things. heh That would be nice venting!
Old 27th January 2013
  #10
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stixman's Avatar
 

+1 Yoozer
Old 27th January 2013
  #11
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Thread Starter
AHAHAHAHA Zombies killed my critique girl.

Anyhow, here was the old version, with the dodgy line about girls feeling me up:

Myspace (click on the biggest play icon)

And here is the new version:

http://soundcloud.com/elmosexwhistle...tle-gender****

It's about 80%, the intro bit needs EQuing, randomly it came out REALLY bright, also, i think i actually prefer the spectrum loading sound from the original version so may swap it in, might boost the vocals, and re-eq the drums as they sound a bit abrasive in not a nice way :(

But yeah, as far as I'm concerned, I just improved the song a bit, wasn't expecting the crazy response!

EDIT, Damnit, it's censored my links! You might have to type in the F word in space of the stars XD
Old 27th January 2013
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
Anyhow, if anyone has had a similar experience, or if you have any ideas on how I can chill the f*** out, please let me know, I'm a bit tense.
Basically.. she's prolly right..

Sometimes nothing captures the magic of a "good demo"

yes... maybe it wasn't the greatest song in the world... but when someone in the audience "loves" a song... there's nothing that can change that.. unless you change that.

sorry if this is not what you want to hear.. but you should stay in contact with this person... and try to impress them (more so than yourself sometimes).

Talent means NOTHING!! you have to have soul..

BTW - posted this based on principal... just saw the links you posted.
Old 27th January 2013
  #14
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Thread Starter
It's not that she didn't like it, it's that she subjected me to a barrage of abuse, I'm not well enough to be around people like that.

It isn't really a beautifully captured demo, it's a silly pop song, always has been, always will be, a bit of sleaze, and i think the new version captures it just aswell.

I agree though, on some more intimate tracks I do prefer a demo version, look at redemption song by Bob Marley, the acoustic demo is far better than the later full-band reggae version!
Old 27th January 2013
  #15
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huh,.. ok.. so she was very non-constructive... yeah.. that's a bit worthless..

My biggest critic is my older brother.. I feel very grateful that I have that.

This thread really makes me want to release some of my favorite personal demos in my vault..
Old 27th January 2013
  #16
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Thread Starter
Set up a soundcloud and do it
Old 27th January 2013
  #17
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Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
Set up a soundcloud and do it
will do... I'll send you a link when I'm done.

Get ready to hear some DDD-1 and Arp Quartet..
Old 27th January 2013
  #18
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Thread Starter
sounds cool
Old 27th January 2013
  #19
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The Beatsmith's Avatar
 

Theres no right or wrong on what's 'better' in art, obviously. But, she most definitely has demo-itis
Old 27th January 2013
  #20
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raffor's Avatar
 

I have to admit that she is right. Maybe she did not put it the right way or was too direct, but I would prefer the first version as well. Don't see this as criticism rather as applause for the song in the rough.

Having said that, I think a lot of songs lost their "charm" when being produced right. I like the earlier versions of my songs better. I never reached that level of simplicity these days. Maybe I just have too much gear and I emphasis too much on the heights. Too much effect processing?? I don't know.

So, while the second version for sure is a better production per se, I still like the muffle sound and simplicity of the earlier version. Do not care too much about the change in wording though, but different people think different.

Oh, BTW, great song!!
Old 27th January 2013
  #21
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Happens all the time. Nowadays I'd rather let old stuff be and spend time on writing new material. Once a musical sketch is done it's only going to improve marginally (if not made "worse") by endlessly tweaking and applying all of the tips and tricks I learned on gearslutz

There's a really good Manuel Gottsching interview on Red Bull Academy radio where he talks about a track idea his friend brought to him on cassette. He decided it needs to be perfect, so he re-recorded all the synths, produced it in the studio until a whole year went by. When he compared the final result to the original demo cassette he realised there was almost no difference, except his new version sounded less interesting. Ironically his most famous piece was a pure accident that occurred in a couple of hours of patching in machines and letting them roll.

I think it's good to listen to other's instinctive opinions on our music. We're often far too "zoomed in" for our own good. Those first couple of hours of creating something from silence is pretty special and more akin to how your friend probably hears your music now.
Old 27th January 2013
  #22
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Read the quote in my signature. /thread
Old 27th January 2013
  #23
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Headz51230's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brassica View Post
Happens all the time. Nowadays I'd rather let old stuff be and spend time on writing new material. Once a musical sketch is done it's only going to improve marginally (if not made "worse") by endlessly tweaking and applying all of the tips and tricks I learned on gearslutz

There's a really good Manuel Gottsching interview on Red Bull Academy radio where he talks about a track idea his friend brought to him on cassette. He decided it needs to be perfect, so he re-recorded all the synths, produced it in the studio until a whole year went by. When he compared the final result to the original demo cassette he realised there was almost no difference, except his new version sounded less interesting. Ironically his most famous piece was a pure accident that occurred in a couple of hours of patching in machines and letting them roll.

I think it's good to listen to other's instinctive opinions on our music. We're often far too "zoomed in" for our own good. Those first couple of hours of creating something from silence is pretty special and more akin to how your friend probably hears your music now.
Yes sir. Totally behind this.
Old 27th January 2013
  #24
thread moved
Old 27th January 2013
  #25
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I think maybe emotionally, you need the input from fans too much. Youre trying to use that to counter balance your lacking self esteem.

No matter what, just nod your head and be polite or if you cant manage that, dont respond to them. It sounds like you let this person in too far and personal. If this person isnt a close friend and someone you value, you need to create a boundary around yourself.

Creative control belongs to you bit as a compromise, call the new version reprise or something and leave the old one out there and be honest about your feelings. Backpedaling and moving content around all the time looks sloppy.
Old 27th January 2013
  #26
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I mean that with good intents. On my phone, so i cant get verbose.
Old 27th January 2013
  #27
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Just accept that she liked the other version better. Despite it's technical flaws, maybe it had a heart and soul to it that went away in the remake?
I have several old gems like that. Every time I try to re-record them they lose something vital.
Respect her opinion, let her enjoy the old mix/recording and move on.
A fan is a fan.
Old 27th January 2013
  #28
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Thread Starter
I'd like to take the time to look at a few angles of this.

Firstly I'm happy to see so many level-headed responses on a topic that is so subjective, music stirs up passions and anger sometimes.

I'm accepting she preferred the old version, I'm accepting that she doesn't like the way I've developed as an artist: On the album I've finally almost finished, the old version would have stuck out like a lemon, in terms of production standard, maturity level (we all grow up don't we?) and general feel.

I knew there was a great song lurking in there so I, as an artist who has the freedom and space to grow and move and explore, changed it up a bit, put some of the new tricks I'd learned in there, moved it out of my comfort zone and pushed things forward, like i'm constantly doing, pushing myself to write in all styles etc, from dub reggae to IDM to orchestral stuff to prog rock, and maybe a jazz detour here and there.

Again, I understand, she didn't like it, fine, it doesn't really matter, plenty of other people and also myself, love my new stuff, even if we look at my crippling lack of self esteem, it's ok, plenty of praise for me about, so it's all under control as i work through my issues.

What I do not accept is the manner in which she gave me all this criticism. I'm a very sensitive soul and people's words are like daggers to me, it's literally like someone is pounding on my chest right now with a hammer.

Because I have no inner resources or so to speak, such negative words make me question everything i do, everything i know, and negative words seem so much more powerful than positive ones, I mean, I've got at least 20 great bits of encouraging feedback today, but my mind is still centered on this one.

So, I didn't really need encouragement to move out of my comfort zone, discussions on the "soul" of a song (because I've managed to comfortably capture the soul of this one) or anything else really, what I'm after is nice, friendly advice on how I can stop this girl's negative review spiralling around in my head, how I can build myself up to believe in myself enough that when this happens it doesn't affect me.

I've already got my external behaviour right, ie, I quietly removed myself from the situation and didn't antagonize her even further, I'd clearly offended her enough with my new mix, but I'd like to work on the internal struggle instead, how can I take any sort of positive from this?

Any advice would be appreciated
Old 27th January 2013
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
Aphex Twin don't give a f*** about musical key apparently.

Anyhow, I'm sure by the time i do the final mix in a fortnight's time i will be happy with it
he though it was Ab instead of Fm, which are the same notes cept he was on the wrong base note
Old 27th January 2013
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
What I do not accept is the manner in which she gave me all this criticism. I'm a very sensitive soul and people's words are like daggers to me, it's literally like someone is pounding on my chest right now with a hammer.

Because I have no inner resources or so to speak, such negative words make me question everything i do, everything i know, and negative words seem so much more powerful than positive ones, I mean, I've got at least 20 great bits of encouraging feedback today, but my mind is still centered on this one.
You NEED to get past such comments in a different way. The more viral your music/fanbase gets, the more ****ty comments will flow your way.
Take a look at the feedbacks on Justin Bieber Youtube Videos. A good deal of people hate it and use their time to write about how they hate the music, the industry and - in particular - Justin Bieber. If he had your way of dealing with this he would have to cancel tours.
Somehow you have to crack the code to get your turtle shell and develop it. Even if it takes a professionals help to do it. Get a good shrink if necessary. You obviously have mechanisms to cope with this that aren't especially healthy. Maybe you know why. I don´t know.
I have several friends with such a way of reacting to the lack of only positive feedback; magnifying the negative ones and need so many positive feedbacks to make up for one negative that it is straight up unhealthy.

Do what you think is best; but get your turtle shield up and enjoy it growing.

On a final note; you said it yourself. You can´t please everyone. Stop trying. lets say 50% of the people you meet will disagree with you, your political views and your music/art. Are you gonna let their opinions decide how great your day is gonna be? Don´t let them bring you down! If people cannot discuss something in a polite manner they REALLY ARE NOT WORTH you getting upset/sad about them.
Not at all. Now work that into your system/way of thinking. Somehow.
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