Scoring Central

Full Version: The (unofficial) Scoring Central Contest
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We were talking about possibly doing a contest over in the off topic area, and I thought since we have such a wide range of talents in here, we should do a two part contest (it's more for fun, but yeah). Let me know what you think, if enough folks are interested, I'll put down some dates and we'll start!

  1. Sampling/Instrument Building
  2. Composition & Virtual Orchestration
1. Sample/Instrument Building
In the first portion, everyone will create their own instrument. You can only create one (though a logical set such as a drum set, group of pitched bowls/cups, group of several articulations, or a section of a type of instrument playing in unison will count as one). We'll be working in SFZ for cross-platform compatibility (you'll see why in a minute)- I will be providing some empty templates and putting together a rough video walkthrough that will go over the process of making a sample library. You are encouraged to make your own samples, even if you don't have a great mic or a "real" instrument handy, but you can use existing samples online (e.g. on freesound or from existing sample sets, provided permission is available). You may also make samples of synthesized sounds for this portion. 

For a 90's era twist, no instrument may be greater than 16 MB in total sample size (either through compression, reduced channels, sample rate, or bit depth- don't forget, SFZ supports .ogg Vorbis).

Entries will be judged based on detail, playability, consistency, and quality, but the emphasis is on creativity and working with creative/technical limits.

Bonus Points:
+10% for fitting it in just 4 MB, a fairly standard size for instruments in the mid-90's.
+5% for using .wav not .ogg.

This will create our "Scoring Central Orchestra", which will be part of...

2. Composition & Virtual Orchestration
In this portion, everyone will create a piece of music in any style, between 1-5 minutes in length. You must use only the "Scoring Central Orchestra" in your composition (effects of any kind are acceptable, but no other samples, synthesizers, or instruments allowed). You may edit or manipulate the instruments to taste (I will create an additional video walking you through several common edits in the sfz format as well).

Entries will be judged based on quality of composition, "realism" of orchestration, and general creativity, in this round by blind evaluation by all entrants (see 'judging process' below for details).

Bonus Points:
+10% for using at least 80% of the instruments in the "orchestra" at least once.
+5% for editing at least two sfz's to fit needs (list edits when submitting).

Judging Process
For the first part, all instruments should be posted directly in the contest thread, optionally along with a short demo. I'll put together an impromptu panel which will rate each out of 1-10, as well as take a "popular favorite" vote, the top one will receive the full 10 points automatically.

For the second part, entries should be sent to me via e-mail or PM. I will upload all entries to Instaud.io as numbers and set up a form for folks to rate their choices- the winner takes the cake.

The scores from the two will be summed- whoever has the highest score wins.

Prizes
$100 for first prize, $50 for second, and $25 for third.

Everyone gets the SCO of course- I'll host it on VS!!  Rolleyes

Rules
Contest requires registration at Scoring Central to enter, but no previous posts/membership necessary. Entries which break any of the requirements in the sections above will be disqualified.
Wow, awesome initiative Sam! Big Grin
Can anyone convert wave stereo to ogg mono for me?

Who wants mere money I want credits to get cool stuff from Versillian!
I have no interest in creating samples or virtual instruments and only a vague idea on how to do it, and I have no stake in the entire 90s nostalgia business, so this doesn't look like anything I'd participate in.

The people who do virtual instruments AND composition are going to leave the pure composers in the dust because of the way you set up the rules.
(10-24-2017, 12:07 PM)kneedeep Wrote: [ -> ]I have no interest in creating samples or virtual instruments and only a vague idea on how to do it, and I have no stake in the entire 90s nostalgia business, so this doesn't look like anything I'd participate in.

The people who do virtual instruments AND composition are going to leave the pure composers in the dust because of the way you set up the rules.

Well, there isn't much challenge to making a sample library normally, it's just a matter of recording absolutely as much as possible with as good mics/pres as possible, which just turns into a willy-waving contest and that isn't fun for anyone except the... financially endowed. The size limit is only intended as an artificial creative constraint (just like the limit of only using the "SCO" for the composition part), not really about 'nostalgia' (it's simply inspired by 90's technological limits, like a black and white film today isn't necessarily nostalgic, but could rather be an exploration of the limits and challenges of shooting in black and white). I've run similar contests where users could use at maximum 15 samples in their entire piece or could only use submit General MIDI compatible .MID files; I figured a size limit would be a fun alternative to that.

EDIT: In my opinion, if a contest doesn't make you explore or offer a true challenge, then it's not much of a contest and just turns into more of that willy-waving. I bet I could predict the top five bracket for a bog standard composition contest if we held one here with at least 60% accuracy, provided I knew who entered. This way underdogs and unknown hats have a chance to win, especially with these creative limits- I couldn't for the life of me guess who would have the best sample library with these limits. I wouldn't even assume I personally would even place if I were to enter in that portion, even though I've been sampling professionally for nearly half a decade now.

While you may not have interest or any ideas regarding creating sample libraries, I will be making a detailed video on the process before the contest starts and I have to mention- every time I run one of these on Newgrounds with similar challenges, folks write back to me and say things like, "Wow, I've never had to use that part of my DAW before, and thank you for making this happen," or "I didn't think I would ever want to or be able to do x, but this contest drove me to do it." Even if you think it isn't for you, there could be something you learn here that reflects on your workflow in the future or as a whole.

I'm not really willing to make the contest average between the two parts (as that would make it so people who do half the work can beat those who participate fully, which isn't really fair in my opinion), but I'm open to alternate suggestions with regards to the system- maybe some sort of "tag team" where one person can do the sample part and the other the composition part then split the prize as opposed to an individual entrant doing the whole thing and being eligible for the whole prize?

Keep in mind as well, I like to mix these up. One quarter I might run a "worst song competition", the next I might run a triathlon. If this one doesn't suit your fancy, rest assured there will probably be one in the future that will. I just figured since we have such a diverse mix of people here, it'd be best to highlight both aspects of our community and encourage more overlap.

Of course, there's nothing saying you need to participate. As I said, future contests may cater to one side or the other but not necessarily both like this. Smile

(10-24-2017, 12:03 PM)bigcat1969 Wrote: [ -> ]Can anyone convert wave stereo to ogg mono for me?

Who wants mere money I want credits to get cool stuff from Versillian!

Audacity should be able to do it last I knew!

And don't take the challenge as a necessity to do one thing or another. If you find the "right" samples for it, you can get away with full 44.1 kHz .wav in stereo. Smile
I'm in. Smile
Yeah, I'm in too Smile
Just to be clear, the instrument building is not an anonymous submission, whereas the composition is? Just wondering if it's possible to post one's potential ideas for the instrument to make sure there's enough variety in the final collection. For example, a contest with six different music boxes might turn out to be a bit on the dull side. Smile
Ok, I'll take the bait! I might even give both a try.

Will the SCO consist of *only* virtual instruments that were submitted as part 1 of this contest?
Sounds pretty cool, got a couple of questions. Who is the jury made of and would you add for the second part like a standard free orchestra like vsco2? Just in case we're missing something pretty esential, which would of course also cause a unique challange.
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