JoelIrwin's 100 Most Recent Forum Posts

still would like to just re-up a file 3 years ago
>iCompositions just feels that swapping out a song
>on the same page would create confusion, that's
>all.

In addition to what I said above...

Just that you should know, I often modify a track but will not put it out here and archive the older one, because then I have two versions and have to manually add up all the plays to figure out a total and whether it is archived or not, I am the one left confused as to how well received the track is.

I'd rather have an older single version out there just to get the plays to sort properly when I do total plays.

Perhaps you can come up with a way to make us composers less confused - at the risk of sounding sarcastic.
still would like to just re-up a file 3 years ago
I understand the icompositions position but hey guys, we are in 2014 and programmers can do wonders. How about the best of both worlds - version the entry so it is uniquely identifiable and then allow us to replace a file.

You may ask, what major vendor does this? How about Apple for the apps. You have reviews for the current version and previous versions.

I love this site and my only concern/reservation (versus other sites like Soundclick, et al.) is my inability to update my tracks and keep everything together (so I don't need to archive, my track ranks properly in plays versus adding all the versions together, etc.).

Its not hard and its a win - win for y'all and us.
Viewable sheet music 8 years ago
thanks for thinking of the workarounds. With many sites allowing pictures, lyrics, descriptions, videos and the like, it would seem to me that offering the ability of optionally associating a PDF file with a MP3 upload here would be a no-brainer (even if used by a small fraction of people). Even if you can't read conventional sheet music, the PDF files could represent chord charts or lead sheets (could be scanned handwritten) -- something even 'non-readers' like rock bands and folk types know how to do.

I am not sure I understand the resistance to this.

Joel
Viewable sheet music 8 years ago
well I was not around when this was discussed. And as far as being used by few people - I am not sure there is a way to gauge as these forums I suspect are likely used by few people as well and it was used to take the poll.

I would ask, what is the risk of allowing us to upload and display PDF files as we can MP3 files and pictures.

Seems to me that can give this site a competitive advantage. I am on a few sites that allow us to post music and interact with peers. I would naturally be drawn to the site that has the most opportunities to do so.

In the world of jazz, classical, big band, and pop orchestra - anything with live entertainment structured - or non-structured (lead sheets, chord charts) sheet music is the main vehicle of communication. Without that - we are forced to use our ears and 'reverse engineer'.

Joel
Viewable sheet music 8 years ago
The problem with MIDI is it does not contain all the rich information that is often included in a score. That is one of the reasons, for example that I find it difficult to move data back and forth between my sequencer and sibelius. Here is a simple example - common practice (at least for me) is to use multiple tracks for a particular instrument - one for each articulation (like open and mute for a trumpet). Of course, exactly how the instrument samples are used in a sequencer is dependent on the samples (some like Dan Dean controlled by MIDI events and are one instrument), sampler, whether the samples are 'stacked', etc. Then you have sequencer specific information not necessarily exportable as MIDI such as 'volume envelopes'. And of course, there is also no guarantee a sequenced MIDI file is quantized which imports poorly into sheet music software (even if it has a utility to try to quantize -- still so much touchup).

I do agree with you that MIDI is a great way to start and is a least common denominator between sheet music software and sequencers. However, to fully understand a live performance through the sequencer idiom could be difficult.

By the way, going the other way could be challenging as well (from sheet music to a sequenced file) if you think of some of the issues described above.

Bottom line is there is a need for both sheet music PDF files and MIDI but in my opinion, they may not be addressing the same issue(s).

Joel
Viewable sheet music 8 years ago
I just generated a big band chart which included a four part vocal group. Its in a single Acrobat file - full score and each of the parts (vocal, flute, 5 sax parts, 4 trumpet parts, 3 bone parts, piano/guitar, drums, and bass). The PDF file is 53 pages. The piece is 90 bars. The file is 728 kb.

One of the cool things as composers like me orchestrate (i.e., full orchestra) a piece which starts as a piano concept, is to allow people to look at that concept as it develops into something large. The piece mentioned here - "Scar Tissue" starts with a piano concept that is 9 pages (151 bars). Its much easier for those who can read music to share this 9 page PDF file than to provide a sequencer file (which is how many of us create electronic pieces) because even though many people here can read 'piano roll' -- there are just to many different types of sequencers in use. IMHO, for those who read music, PDF sheet music / lead sheets / chord charts is the best common denominator for understanding each other here (and possibly even collaborating).

Joel
Viewable sheet music 8 years ago
Collaboration occurs in many forms and means. Some people want to collaborate live and for that charts are needed. In other cases, people here especially who congregate in forums like the one I go to - the classical and film forum, often would like to follow a score while hearing the music. Sometimes, the feedback is related to the score / charts and not the actual MP3.

To date, I have had to say in the various sites I am in, "available on request" and then we have to exchange email IDs (which I don't always want to do), or I post a global/public link to a file -- I happen to use "www.dropbox.com" to do this but there are other competitors.

For people who can't read music, this request is not for them. And you don't need the sheet music software to read the music - that is why composers and songwriters like me, share and hand out live music via Acrobat PDF.

Joel
Viewable sheet music 8 years ago
I am part of a couple of sites and no one does this 'yet'. It seems to me that the concentration is soley on sharing and collaborating on electronic productions. And yet this overlooks the still healthy (in my opinion), live performance contingent. Yes - I do sequence my stuff (attested by a nice collection here). But I also score for live performances in many genres from full scores to just lead sheets. And so when I generate 'check files' (to hear approximately what it would sound like live), it would nice to be able to share the full scores and parts.

So what I am suggesting is the ability to attach Acrobat PDF files (or for collaboration perhaps Finale or Sibelius files) that can be viewed (or downloaded if permitted).

That way, people can follow the scores associated with a piece.

Joel
Official Song Plugging Thread 8 years ago
With passing of Mary Travers, I continue to honor her with "Golden Winged Phoenix" - written in 2003 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of "Puff The Magic Dragon". This is a story about heroism and bravery and a boys travels with a magical bird.

http://www.icompositions.com/music/song.php?sid=122256
Artist link 8 years ago
All my other sites (myspace, facebook, youtube, twitter, linkedin, soundclick,... to name a few) links allow me to merely append my user name after the initial slash. How about for consistency, you extend that option.

So I can go by either,

www.icompositions.com/artists/joelirwin

or

www.icompositions.com/joelirwin

Just an idea...

Joel
Expanding the forums 8 years ago
you're welcome. still not sure how the sorting works on the backstage music page but from my perspective it is what it is.

Yes I eventually figured it out through your help topic just after I noticed it on the right side of preferences. The reason I didn't notice any sooner was because there is no mention of help on the top and I never looked at the bottom for most of the first day I was here (had no reason to).

Glad to be of assistance.

Joel
Expanding the forums 8 years ago
not going anywhere - just concentrating on my artistry and stopped all the yapping on interface and functionality suggestions. It is a good site when viewed by any browser. Will probably post some more tracks later tonight when I come home..

Enjoy and I will enjoy,
Joel
Expanding the forums 8 years ago
First of all I am currently on firefox 3.5.3. Secondly, my intent in no way was or is it to critique or fault the site. It's your site and you are certainly entitled to design the functionality and interface anyway you want. Though you designed this and the other forum (for help), with the intent of accepting input and questions for people presumably.

I understand that you can only do so much with a small staff - it is extremely hard to test for all scenarios in every environment. That is why developers and support staff both rely on users and customers for assistance and feedback.

The first line of defense should always be help and FAQs and I certain know to look at that first. If there is a knowledge base, I check that next and believe me, I do a lot of experimentation. I spent a lot more time on this site for the last day than I originally intended because I see the potential and understand your vision.

I will stop with this reply - but would suggest that you understand that on the browser front, it would behoove you to provide support for both IE and Firefox because of the large populations for both and because most people will not be willing to switch between browsers based on the site they are using.

I was emailed earlier today by someone who had seen a similar situation with the sorting and went into IE and got the sorting situation fixed. I have cleared caches in both and still see the difference in the sort for the two lists. Additionally, I noticed that in IE, the feature to changed around things in enabled and disabled sections works fine but when I do the same thing in Firefox even after I save it goes back to where it started. Since I have also managed help desks way back when, I can tell you that you may not be able to fix everything but you should at least document it (such as in a FAQ) -- save both you and the users time troubleshoot.

I'm not an IT person anymore though as you can see, sometimes my previous life gets the best of me. So I wish this site much success and will go back to writing music. I will stick around but will not 'toot' much unless you ask me to assist in some way (now that you know what I can help you do).

Have a great weekend,
Joel
Expanding the forums 8 years ago
All I see below collaborations is a sort of date uploaded and then descending and the list is clearly not ordered that way. It appears to have the rated ones on the bottom and above I can't figure out the order but it the creation days go back and forth between Fri & Sat.

How do I get the order on the artist page to be the same as the order for the music tab on my artist page section? Is "date" in the artist page sort order the same as "date uploaded" in the music tab of the artist page section?

Joel
Expanding the forums 8 years ago
when I meant music section - I did not mean the top section called music, but the music tab on the artist page section. My music is also listed there but not in the same order as my artist page -- in fact, the order there is not at all obvious.

Joel
Expanding the forums 8 years ago
1. Why does the "Display Artist Page" appear to be at the bottom of the chat section (your sections are defined by solid black lines) - I missed it initially.
2. You seem to allow me to move entries between enabled and disabled sections and within the enabled section (giving me the impression that I can reorder the items in the section). But when I click on updating the display options, they all go back to their original locations.

Joel
Expanding the forums 8 years ago
I figured out the confusion about the sorting - it works for the artist page but not for the music tab you go to after clicking on artist page (which is where I have been looking at songs).

any reason why it doesn't sort the same way in both places?

Joel
Expanding the forums 8 years ago
1. I sorted by date descending and they do not appear that way when I click on the music tab -- they days all seem to mixed up.
2. Changing the title is a bit cumbersome and 'artificial' - feels more like a workaround. Why not just allow manual reordering via drag and drop as is done on other sites.
3. I spent my first life as a technology evaluator with Exxon (23+ years) and got to work with literally thousands of software products/vendors. I also taughter user interface design (right before a changed to being a full time composer in 2003). The best philosophy from a developer perspective is keep your versatility by allowing the user to choose and customize their environment. Why, for example, decide for me how I want my counts and comments treated as I rev the version of the track I am working on - why not allow me the choice? If I want to reset everything, I can delete the song -- if I want to keep it, I can update the song.
4. I did try the search. You don't want to know how long I looked for defining a profile picture. I tried to use search for it and it did not help me at all. Eventually I stumbled over it off to the right in the preferences section where I did not expect it. Did I miss something or perhaps you have a FAQ for the most commonly used operations?

Joel
Profile picture 8 years ago
actually it is sitting off to the side in the preference section and that's why I missed it. It really belongs in the artist page in a defined section in the middle. IMHO

Joel
Profile picture 8 years ago
forget that -- I finally found it in small text off to the right in the profile section.

Perhaps it should be moved to the center and made more prominent - you don't want to know how many times I missed it.

Joel
Profile picture 8 years ago
How do you define a picture for people to see when someone looks at your profile or sees a post. All I could find is banner pictures.

Joel
Expanding the forums 8 years ago
And here is one more suggestion that I judge important to any collaboration site that soundclick has and most others do not -- especially if you are collaborating or looking for feedback for works in progress:

1. the ability to order the songs in a way you deem fit (which often means putting the ones you want most listened to on top)
2. the ability to substitute a MP3 for one which is already there (e.g., a newer version of a work in progress). Currently I have to delete the song permanently and recreate it with the newer version (while copying and pasing in things like descriptions).

Joel
Expanding the forums 8 years ago
I am impressed with the music listening and comments and getting 600 listens in the first 24 hours is unprecedented for me anywhere else.

With that said, I want to interact and possibly collaborate with others in genre specific ways -- may sometimes a pop lyricist, other times a jazz musician or a classical musician - or even different types of singers. I may be interested in doing so through the forums without first listening to music.

Additionally, I don't use Garageband - never did. I work with many tools including Sonar for my synthesizer, Sibelius for sheet music, different samplers including Gigastudio and Kontakt and many instrument sample sets. There is no real avenue here to discuss these with those of similar background. In fact, you ask about what was used to create the track and don't even consider samplers or sheet music software.

While singer-songwriters and rap/hip-hop people are certainly numerous, you should consider that the participants here can get quite diverse and try to cater to everyone's needs as best as possible. When I refer to a 'sample', for example, I am talking about something COMPLETELY different from the samples the rap/hip-hop people talk about.

Genres are very important to any collaboration site such as this. While soundclick's is more robust, I even told them that while genre definitions are constantly a moving target, the best set I have seen are the ones defined by www.allmusic.com -- its a great model.

This should provide some food for thought.

Joel
Expanding the forums 8 years ago
I have been here now only two days based on a recommendation of a composing friend on Facebook. While the plays I am getting here are enormously gratifying, I am disappointed with the forums.

Keep in mind, I first started online collaborations 5 to 10 years ago on the now defunct site called "www.tonos.com" which some of you may remember. That was a wonderful site for collaboration and one of the song I have here "Golden Winged Phoenix" is a direct result of collaboration there.

After Tonos folded, many of the participants moved to www.soundclick.com. I have been there since early 2006. One of the things I like most about soundclick are the forums (through which I developed a collaboration with a lyricist and then singer/lyricist which have resulted in two songs here - Ballerina Beautiful and Wide Awake On Christmas Eve).

If you look at the number of forums there, they are much more numerous and sophisticated than those here. They have many more define musical genres for songs there and additionally many more forums for each of the major genres so the rap, hip-hop, pop, classical, gospel, etc. I hang out a bunch in the classical/orchestration/film music forum. On those forums, people not only have general discussions, but post and promote songs and get feedback directly in the forums - one song per post. They tried a single post for all promotions in each forum, but that didn't work for many reasons.

Happy to discuss further,
Joel
children's song contest 8 years ago
Writing music for a child is a very powerful thing - makes no difference how good it is or whether it is commercial or not -- it creates a bond and connection with your child and like a picture -- holds an immense amount of memories and emotion. Every time you, or your child or those close to you hear the song -- it will provide a very powerful emotional memory.

If it becomes commercial -- all the better... lots of music has made it to the pop charts over the last 100 years where the song was written about or for a child or other loved on.

After reading this, I put out a song here I originally was reluctant to do because it was composed/written early after I started and has cheesy lyrics and production - though some day I will get back to it and collaborate on another set of lyrics.

It was written for my middle daughters wedding almost four years ago now - called "Unbreakable". It was played live by the 11 person wedding band and while I gave them charts, they never rehearsed it and tried to read it at the wedding for the first time and did not anything like I intended - lesson learnt.

http://www.icompositions.com/music/song.php?sid=122314
Advertisement