One-Synth-Challenge: General discussion thread

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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KVRian
503 posts since 19 Jan, 2011 from Texas

Post Mon Oct 11, 2021 7:36 am

Guenon wrote:
Sat Oct 09, 2021 6:03 pm
Yeah... The only "hmmmmm" about something like this (that is, a separate new challenge for the OSC community) is, if it ended up cutting too big a slice out of the time people have available for challenges like this... and divided the effort/entries between challenges each month, then. Like, if this was to become a monthly thing, and people were interested enough in it, month after month, annnd someone just had time to finish one challenge tune per month, it's a "choose between challenges" situation, then. And... that's a tough one, the OSC is special and I wouldn't like to see the variety of entries suffer.
Honestly getting more than fourty entries a month in the OSC, we could afford some division. I think we could try it one month in the OSC and see what the response is. I'm open to it.

KVRist
194 posts since 22 Jun, 2019

Post Mon Oct 11, 2021 11:09 am

One month of One Sample Challenge sounds good to me too... :ud:

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KVRAF
2546 posts since 31 Jan, 2020

Post Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:51 am

I think Ticky Tock submitting a song 5 minutes after the synth is announced is not in "the spirit of the competition". I thought i understood that the competition is making the song in the month when the synth is announced?

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KVRAF
2038 posts since 29 Sep, 2011

Post Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:58 am

Spring Goose wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:51 am
I think Ticky Tock submitting a song 5 minutes after the synth is announced is not in "the spirit of the competition". I thought i understood that the competition is making the song in the month when the synth is announced?
What's wrong with this? Nothing wrong with having a song "ready to go" if a synth is chosen, IMO.

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KVRAF
2546 posts since 31 Jan, 2020

Post Tue Oct 12, 2021 12:09 pm

z.prime wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:58 am
Spring Goose wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:51 am
I think Ticky Tock submitting a song 5 minutes after the synth is announced is not in "the spirit of the competition". I thought i understood that the competition is making the song in the month when the synth is announced?
What's wrong with this? Nothing wrong with having a song "ready to go" if a synth is chosen, IMO.
Ok just a difference in opinion then!

Maybe i'm upset because i have no powers of clairvoyancy.

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KVRAF
2038 posts since 29 Sep, 2011

Post Tue Oct 12, 2021 12:40 pm

It's not clairvoyancy, it's just MAKING TRACKS with all the possible synthesizers you would expect. Or taking 5 minutes to make a track. I'm gonna say a very controversial thing here, but TickyTock's tracks are not going to win. They just aren't up to the standard, so submitting immediately is sorta counter-productive/pointless.

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KVRist
215 posts since 4 Nov, 2019

Post Tue Oct 12, 2021 12:57 pm

z.prime wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:58 am
Spring Goose wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:51 am
I think Ticky Tock submitting a song 5 minutes after the synth is announced is not in "the spirit of the competition". I thought i understood that the competition is making the song in the month when the synth is announced?
What's wrong with this? Nothing wrong with having a song "ready to go" if a synth is chosen, IMO.
The point Richard made (in the OSC152 thread) that the time constraint is part of the competition is a good one. Preparing a piece in advance doesn't necessarily break that, but it does mean the piece _could_ have been prepared over the span of more than a month. It's not something we can really police, but I do think it's a reasonable thing to spell out as part of the spirit of the rules even if it has to be on the honor system.

IV!
KVRist
341 posts since 31 Oct, 2019

Post Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:16 pm

On the one hand, I agree with those who say that this is not in the spirit of OSC, although it does not violate the rules. On the other hand, I agree with 'z that the TickyTock track is not a sure bid to win. Rather, it looks like a harmless joke) Whether it was midi packs, a pre-written track or an incredible speed, we will not know... only if the author doesn't tell us himself) You can start worrying right now, but in fact the problems will begin when someone starts posting really masterfully written and finished tracks five minutes later. And even in this case, the alignment is as follows: the synthesizer of the next (or in 1-2) the month is often obvious, and no one can prevent someone from working on a track for several months, and then posting it closer to the end of the desired month. Just as it will be difficult to catch a sound-crook if someone wants to do it. In this relationship, everything depends on the honesty and loyalty to the spirit of each OSCer!

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KVRian
503 posts since 19 Jan, 2011 from Texas

Post Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:35 am

I don't start any track until the first of the month (although I have explored expected synths before an announcement, WhispAir included), mostly because the OSC is a learning experience for me. I never expect a win, or even to turn up in the top half, I'm just here to learn new techniques and find great synths.
I think if it's clear someone is seeking some sort of advantage, working around the rules so to speak, I tend to give lower scores to those folks, not even necessarily consciously, I think the memory of the controversy somehow taints the piece.
I will say at least Ticky (and others who have run afoul of the spirit of the game) is up front about what he's doing, not being sneaky (it's super obvious it's pre-prepared when you post it five minutes after the announcement, plus he confirmed what he was doing when asked). I think if you're not happy with the way an entry has been presented, voice your opinion, then vote!

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KVRAF
12449 posts since 7 Dec, 2004

Post Sat Oct 16, 2021 2:04 am

It's an issue, but you have to question: is this a competition for compositions, or utilization of synthesizer software?

It's both! The problem with separating the two is the subjectivity of such. A competition that aimed to be solely about skill with a particular software synthesizer could never isolate that. Subjective voting on an overall resulting "track" including a composition, effects and mixing would obviously be biased by the composition and other elements. Regardless of the rules applied it is impossible to isolate one single factor and allow subjective judging/voting.

The whole reason OSC has the rules it does is out of an attempt to find the best possible (also subjective) trade-off in this situation. The set of rules that were chosen impose a number of potentially frustrating limitations on the competitor (just as drug testing may upon an athlete) in order to attempt to strike an optimal balance.
Free plug-ins for Windows, MacOS and Linux. Xhip Synthesizer v8.0 and Xhip Effects Bundle v6.7.
The coder's credo: We believe our work is neither clever nor difficult; it is done because we thought it would be easy.
Work less; get more done.

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KVRAF
12449 posts since 7 Dec, 2004

Post Sat Oct 16, 2021 2:22 am

In terms of a competition that is about skill with a single synthesizer; I think that would be another competition and should be focused on sounds or phrases outside the context of a complete track.

A good set of rules might include:
  • The sequence is generated by a specified sequence generator and supplied as a .mid file (or similar) at the opening of the competition.
  • The sequence would contain a specific blend of sub-sequences of varied sorts (solo instrument, monophonic, percussive, harmonies, ...)
  • The sequence would be a specific length with a specific allowance in rendered outputs for decay tails such as 32 seconds content + 2 seconds tail.
  • No external effects or equalization whatsoever would be allowed.
  • Most likely some of the same or similar rules as OSC uses would be required.
Think in terms of what might be the ideal demo for a solo instrument. Assuming that instrument was all you had (like an acoustic guitar) you might want a recording of the instrument in a sound booth to judge only the pure quality of that instrument in isolation. It would be up to each individual voter/judge to apply effects processing, EQ or other techniques to determine the subjective quality of the rendered output.

What are the drawbacks of such a ruleset?:
  • The competition would only demonstrate in-the-box application of the tool in complete isolation. It would not allow a listener unfamiliar with new or uniquely applicable production techniques to hear the "bigger picture" results possible.
  • The application of the tool to render a single clip might be completely impractical at any other scale. Attempting to utilize the same methods in a musical composition might prove to be impossible.
  • Such a competition would be extremely esoteric and limited to very few persons with pure interest in the technical capabilities of their tools themselves rather than practical applications of those tools.
I believe there are many reasons that OSC is not this hypothetical competition.
Free plug-ins for Windows, MacOS and Linux. Xhip Synthesizer v8.0 and Xhip Effects Bundle v6.7.
The coder's credo: We believe our work is neither clever nor difficult; it is done because we thought it would be easy.
Work less; get more done.

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KVRAF
12449 posts since 7 Dec, 2004

Post Sat Oct 16, 2021 2:37 am

On IRC we had "one hour compo" in #trax channels where a specific set of samples were provided. Entries would provide complete modules (project files, not renders) and there were not often any limitations on anything at all. The risk was 100% up to the entry. If effects or features were used that were unreliable or unavailable to others, their tracks simply would not play back correctly and this would ruin their scores.

Such types of activities on hourly or daily, weekly and other basis are much more applicable to IRC and Discord real-time chat with "active regulars" than they are to web forums. OSC was created with these old competitions in mind.

That said, I wonder if not, why there isn't a 💋-VR discord server yet? (There must be, right?)
Free plug-ins for Windows, MacOS and Linux. Xhip Synthesizer v8.0 and Xhip Effects Bundle v6.7.
The coder's credo: We believe our work is neither clever nor difficult; it is done because we thought it would be easy.
Work less; get more done.

IV!
KVRist
341 posts since 31 Oct, 2019

Post Sat Oct 16, 2021 3:44 am

Well, we were talking about the ahead of schedule start of work on tracks, since not all participants like it, but the rules are not prohibited.
aciddose wrote:
Sat Oct 16, 2021 2:04 am
It's an issue, but you have to question: is this a competition for compositions, or utilization of synthesizer software?
Judging by the tracks I hear here every month, despite the tons of work invested in patches and post-processing of music, most of the OSC participants are composers at heart and will not give up the opportunity to create music with their hearts! :violin:

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KVRian
1430 posts since 22 Sep, 2016

Post Sun Oct 17, 2021 9:25 am

My "AmplitudeKungFu" Volume Shaper is taking big steps towards better performance, stability and a beta state. I have the first version of state saving ready now, which was one of the most pressing missing essential features. It's still on a feature-branch ... I will add it to the main code branch soon.
The funny thing:
It will export the control points as human readable format to the protoplug consol. Heres what I took a minute ago from my protoplug consol:
AmplitudeKungFu: { "fileVersion": V1, "sync": 0.64257025718689, "power": 1, "points": [{"x"=0.17261904761905, "y"=0.8},{"x"=0.4202380952381, "y"=0.41666666666667},{"x"=0.61309523809524, "y"=0.875},{"x"=0.77261904761905, "y"=0.68055555555556}] }

Why is this nice? With a little scripting you can take these an put them into Tal NoiseMakers MSEG or even in Vitals MSEG ... both have text presets. I think I will work on a "export" format which not only exports the control points, but the processing shape as a whole. It will be usable in TAL but I have to figure out how I can cope with the limit of 99 points in Vital...

Apart from that, I have added quite a few performance improvements.
AmplitudeKungFu_003.gif
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KVRist
77 posts since 28 Feb, 2021

Post Sun Oct 17, 2021 9:59 am

Now that this latest vote is over, I thought I’d weigh in on the little controversy over my quick entries. I broke no rules—I just had fun guessing what the next synths would be and composing pieces ahead of time. I don’t see why Spring Goose squawked about it. What is the “spirit” of a competition? From him, I don’t get the sense that it’s a friendly one. If new rules call for starting the composition after the new synth is officially announced, fine. State that in the rules. Meanwhile, I’ve noticed that some submissions and votes seem to slip in past deadlines. What about that?

For anyone accusing me of taking advantage of guessing the synth ahead of time to spend extra time on my pieces, it’s not true. I’ve never spent more than 4-6 hours on any submission; have you? We all have other things to do. Some months are busier than others—another reason I have composed in advance. I was a big procrastinator as a kid; now I like to do my homework early.

As for zprime getting nasty about the quality of my compositions, I weigh that against an open-minded man from Sweden who called my last piece “pure genius”. I think the reason certain people win this competition is because most participant-voters are into composing a certain style of music—and rewarding others who do the same. Which suggests an unwritten rule of OSCs. It’s not as open to a variety of compositional styles as it appears to be at first. And that’s why I’ll probably not try again.

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