By what metrics do you measure a track's quality?

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kivetros
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By what metrics do you measure a track's quality?

Post by kivetros » Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:31 am

Simply put, what are things that you guys look / listen for in a track? What are things that will make a production stand out from the crowd?

The very nature of minimal techno determines that a single misplaced, malformed, or absent element can have a serious impact on the overall quality of a track, so I'm wondering if some of you guys that are more experienced ever see common recurring mistakes.

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Re: By what metrics do you measure a track's quality?

Post by livecollective » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:16 am

thump^2 / breakdown = banger - x^2


misplaced hits = unique sound
unique sound = interesting
formula =/= banger


i dont have a serious response to your question tho, sorry.

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Re: By what metrics do you measure a track's quality?

Post by Phurniture » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:26 am

There's no scientific way for me to measure what makes a track stand out for me. One thing that I like to do is to go to a specific genre on a site like Beatport (unfortunately) and skip through the tracks using my keyboard controls without looking at the details of the tracks (artist name/label/remixer). I find that those details might sway my opinion of a track or influence me to listen or not listen to it.

After that my ear is basically listening for something that is somehow unique in a way I like. Production values play an insignificant part in this. If a track sound like 100 other tracks I've heard before it will be skipped after less than 30 seconds. I do use the controls to skip through the track, so it does get a bit more of a chance, but not much.

With so much material out there I'm looking for something that will immediately catch my ear and make my head nod and put a smile on my face. These tracks do exist! It just takes some time to find them. So in response to the question, I don't have a specific way to measure the quality of a track, and in fact what might make me like one track might not be something that could be emulated and repeated. There just needs to be some sort of honest soul/funk and something quirky and unique that makes me want to hear if again and again. It's also usually the simplest tracks that I end up liking the best.

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Re: By what metrics do you measure a track's quality?

Post by tone-def » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:48 am

does it make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and send a shiver down my spine?
does it make me want to screw my face up/or smile and cause some kind of physical reaction (dance)?

if i answer yes to either of those it means i think it's a track of the highest quality.

there are patterns in my music taste and you will normally find some of the following in the music i like;

groove/funk/rhythm - this can come from a lot of things, swing/shuffle, syncopation, polyrhythms. i love drums, i like funky basslines, i like funky keyboard playing, just give me that nasty funk!
quirkiness, playfulness or just plan weirdness.
bass heavy
minimalism
deepness
trippy/psychedelic
agression/energetic
raw and dirty sounding production or super clean high quality production. i don't really mind as long as it's got depth and punch, analogue equipment helps but some of my favorites have been made with fruity loops.
simple harmonic progressions

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Re: By what metrics do you measure a track's quality?

Post by Hades » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:41 am

your question is very interesting and on the other hand at the same time completely irrelevant in a way,
as I think livecollective tried to point out somehow....

the thing is, with electronical music,
the more you get into producing and sound design,
the more different reasons you'll have for liking a track.
I remember that even 10 years ago, I already loved this one track only for the bass sound that came in after the break.
I still love that bass sound.
And thinking about it, when I was 17, I used to love this one bootleg cause a certain guitar intro was played with such a perfect delay on it.
I mean, if you did this back then, (and I'm sure many of us (if not all of us) did this on a subconcious level)
think about how much more you are doing this today !!
Apart from all your production skills or not, after a certain amount of years, your ears just get better, and you notice so much more stuff.
=> you just fall in love with so many details it gets kind of absurd thinking there's a certain important "sine qua non" condition to like or dislike a track.
You can love a track for just the break part, or only the hi-hat sound, or just the groove (but man you hate that kick in this certain track !!!), or the chord progression or just how it's built up, or because...
well goddamn ! there's just too many different reasons.
The more different details you like about a track, the more chance it'll stay an "evergreen" in your electronical music arsenal,
but even if it only has just one tiny little detail that is made just exactly right,
you might still come back to it years from now and think "mmm, what a great ..... (enter detail)"

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Re: By what metrics do you measure a track's quality?

Post by steevio » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:25 pm

timelessness

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Re: By what metrics do you measure a track's quality?

Post by NoAffiliation » Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:09 am

im not sure if you mean sonic quality or qualities/traits of music styles.

as far a sound quality, well balanced and enough depth so your brain can't decode the track. the track doesn't need to have the best kick or hats, just that it's interesting enough

for music im always drawn towards tropical/euphoric types of melody contrasted with demonic basslines and tribal perc. i mean sh!t, cobblestone jazz can make simple jazz progressions sexy because of their hats and bassline. if you ever listened to "chance" off their latest album, the rhodes reminds me of any jazz bar you could go to in chicago. that simple bassline takes cheese and makes it into satan worship music

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Re: By what metrics do you measure a track's quality?

Post by hydrogen » Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:00 am

NoAffiliation wrote:for music im always drawn towards tropical/euphoric types of melody contrasted with demonic basslines and tribal perc. i mean sh!t, cobblestone jazz can make simple jazz progressions sexy because of their hats and bassline. if you ever listened to "chance" off their latest album, the rhodes reminds me of any jazz bar you could go to in chicago. that simple bassline takes cheese and makes it into satan worship music
this!
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http://soundcloud.com/kirkwoodwest

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