Report Russian Chip Tune Compo 2003
I would like to thank jury and all the members of our "CTC-2003" competition for the patience and good job. You've done all you can. Special thanks goes to Eugeny Davydov (Euggie) who found a time for the voting from his busy time-table. Most of questions about competition works and ratings will have their answers in a 32nd issue of "musicMocker". This text represents a short story about it.
Thus, the second music contest from the "Russian Chip Tune Compo 2003" series was planned and organized by Igor Chistik, the leader of t.r.a.c.k.e.r.s project. This action was initialized by one of the musician at the end of January in this year. A long period of thinking and drinking finished with idea: "Why couldn't we have a party?" On 31st of January this site posted first information about coming enterprise.
Competition rules are based on the CTC-99 and on advices of some jury members, especially Michael Cherdancev (Eternal Engine) and Alexander Machugowski (Manwe). The last named offered idea to combine this competition with the project of Denis Davydov (Dedanis) but this idea didn't have the continuation. I hope that Denis will try to avoid mistakes made in this CTC-2003. At first our jury included the following persons: Sergey Kashinsky (DJ Psych), Stanislaw Kuzin (MadMinder), Boris Tarasov, Yuri Oshepkov, Victor Shimyakov (Dblstar Lab), Pavel Morozov and Ian Luck. At the last moment DJ Psych and Ian Luck refused to be a member of jury and the others didn't even have a time to say something about their membership.
Generally our competition could be much more boring and tiring without savers: Konstantin Yakimenko (Enger), Boris Tarasov, Manwe, Eternal Engine, Gene J.B. and EstEps. Special thanks goes to Alexandr Radzishevsky for the help in promotion of the contest on his site websound.ru in MP3 format.
Music works has been coming to the CTC from the middle of February. Because the official deadline has been appointed to the 1st day of April I decided to give possibility to the judges to vote in pre-time and some of them used it. That's why contest works and contest reports came together at the end of March (the first estimation came on 24th of March, the last one — on 12th of May). Practically this circumstance didn't have any influence to the overall results.
The most unpleasant mistake of the contest was my inadvertance with the choice of the Buzz tracker distributive program. It was needed to play the files in formats .bmw and .bmx. The default packet Manwe offer has been inoperative (it's quite satisfy "not-buzz" composers as the rival but it's nearly useless)... As the result over a half of works used buzz-machines that are absent in two permissed sets (that has been offered by Manwe and Gene J.B.). It's my mistake, not autor's.
Visitors of the contest had also made a big headaches. The worst of it is that I've no time to make detail answers... On the whole there was a claims about hiding of jury composition, formats, general rules of the work acceptance, quality of English materials of the contest and others. Some of the claims are not flimsy — one man doesn't have thousands of hands and legs (on the other hand more people at work — less efficiency of it). One would not be counting on other people because of their businesses and not many people who would be helpful at a time... The general idea of the competition was in combining various bases and formats in one nomination. Jury has been invited to value the music, not the modules. In connection with this situation there had been taken the rule: the size of archive with composition must be less than 100 Kb. As the result some of works are more than 100 Kb in several times. This is apply particularly to the modules of 3rd generation and ones archived with MO3. Some of the visitors demanded separate nomination "for those who failed" for the pure MO3 users and even to forbid this ugliness: "what's the hell is a fashion of packing the samples??" If all of this claims could have accepted, there must be pitiful parody on the BCC and there could be only a few good music. Russia is the homeland of elefants, that's why a one original musical baby-elefant has been borned.
One could ask me where's my private interest in this work and will be surprised. I'm not feeling myself a big boss on scene and not having specific feeling (which can make the man to do a great work but people often have an entertainment results, not reasonable). I'm clearly understanding them. I had been an organizer of such a contest (there was plenty of a time to composers and to jury). On the other hand it's always pleasantly to listen to a new music. You should decide what came of it. In spite of drawbacks of the contest, it have a big advantage — the new musical experiments and researches autors made.
There had been a lot of time to compose a music because of the style of competition — two months for preparing (February and March) and April for the closing of contest. So in principle it had been gone in such a manner. The first week of the April had been missed because of unruly competitors. A big mass of competition works had been received at the last moment as it had been expecting. But I should not have suggested what will come after deadline. There was 40 tracks overall. But in order to make a proper selection from the mass of competition music there must be 25-30 works at all. I did not make a serious pre-select so long as I hadn't been certain that the contest will be successful. There was a danger in predomination of PT3- and MO3-modules with poor quality but this didn't happens. The semi-serious limit was introduced for the members of jury which had been a competitor at the same time: their works can participate in a contest but they can't be an official winners. This fact is good reflected in the result table. For the future I should say that in the future competitions our rules will be more serious, strict and fair.
"They seems to voting and voting all the time... I have a constant contact with four judges and only a half of them was give an account. One of them is always absent. Some of them has ICQ or telephone. Some has an e-mail but replies very seldom. I planned to finish this competition in the twentieth of April... they'll not be in time. Damn!!! Jury consists of 12 people and two guests — Ian Luck and Holly. I knew that there must be a problems of such sort because many judges are very busy. But I hadn't thought that it'll be such a swinishness :-) I'll try to refresh contest's homepage — a packet with competition works, the list of jury members. It's impossible to calculate a preliminary results because only a one-fifth of evaluations is known."
In the end, because of a big quantity of works and composition of a jury, the closing of the contest was moved to the end of May. Results have a meaning when music is listened several times. Evaluation of the works is based on the 100-mark system. The main task of jury was attentive listening of the music, evaluation of all the contest works and giving some report to several of them. In the case of skipping a work, the reason should have been writed. Evaluation of each work was composed of five criterion: professionalism, music value, originality, quality of sound and optimization. Each criterion has a cost from 1 to 20 marks. Final mark is a sum of all the gathered marks divided by overall number of judges voted. The term "music value" is mean "opening of theme", ideological contens of music (how much this work is pretend to be a music, not a one sample). "Optimization" is mean correlation of volume of file of the music and richness of its contents. You can see a results of the CTC-2003. You can read 32nd issue of "musicMocker" also. Inside it you will see reports about all the contest works which written by the members of jury and my explanation either. Also you can go to the forum of the competition @ ad: http://gb.realbook.ru/gb.php?bid=7129. And for the last some words from the judges... ah, I forgot to specially thank the very "Russian" competitors: X-Ray from Poland who sent one of the best work to us and Hally from Japan who translated rules of the contest to japanese language, get them to his site, make an advertisment of the contest and accept the invitation to join the jury. Thus we could say that our competition is a bit international :-) Unfortunately organizators meant trick upon us and competitors from Bulgary and Netherlands was not more than mirage. And now our jury has a couple of words to us...
CTC'03 is over... The past competition shows that organization of the similar action is very important. For example, the rules about Buzz modules was ambiguous and written strange. In the end it turned out, that some musicians used one set of machines and others used another one. Thus jury forced to download all the sets or choose MP3. Many of the modules was accepted to contest with violation of size, duration and the target date. I'm interesting in the phrase: "The work have a formal time penalty — 30 minutes after the deadline. The packet includes other version of the work which was sended in 10 hours after the deadline"? It means that the work was late in a 30 minutes but organizators listened to music and decided to give a piece of time to the autor to make his music even better a bit?
Because deadline must be on the 1st of April I decided to make some little pretty jokes. I gave to the competition well-known song of "Alina Snezhnaja" aka Alina Snow under the nickname "Wons Anila"... I hope you understand that I'm saying about "bulgarian" from Sophia... :) This was mentioned by Igor Chistik in the news on the site but of course nobody understand it... In the first composition I decided to show that the computer program in the fact can make the music itself. "Cor Snoit Airav" was made during the couple of hours in "Band-in-a-Box" that downloaded with a big abuse from the Alexander Radzishevsky's site. The second composition (buzz) I've done without any inspiration. I was very busy and had not a time to normally finish it.
This CTC'03 in fact became the opening of the new trackers for the chiptunes. I suppose that we should learn the mistakes this contest had. For example we should break all the competitions to the divisions how it's made on all demo-party. I.e. nobody will compare megademo and 4k intro. This principle must be in compare of the MIDI and Renoise modules. I laughed when I saw "the quality of the sound" in application to MIDI-music. I have been invited to evaluate quality of my sound card... :) The same thing with AY — one cannot change the sound in it. The same with .mo3 and with all traditional formats.
I was glad to see that there's no so much really awful works on the CTC'03. There's plenty of new names, new music but the old ones at a good level either. It's sad that there's not too much time to track the music. "Bytovuha" rulez :(
In the end I'd like to note that track music lived, lives and will be live forever!!!
Gene J.B., 17.4.2003
Pavel Zolin (Jazztiz)
I would like to say some words about the works of other people and mine too.
What can I say is that contest is very good! The majority of the works has got a final marks more than 60 that makes me so happy. Glad to see that most of people made their works with big responsible and apply all knowledges they know. Overall professionalism of the competitors growed up comparing with old RCTC-99 and moo-ziq. It's so strange that in my "top100" practically there's no works made on the trackers of new generation — buzz, psycle etc. I think it's because of people who are in chase of beautiful sounds and quantities of plug-ins, that is not a priority of the competition unfortunately.
One of the widespread mistakes in the creation of the works is the idea to hide the lame behind the originality. I tried to understand this idea. I think that the better way is to make the music on the base of the heart, on the soul instead of doing music with such idea. A good example how one should not make the music is the creation of Mr Machugowski (Manwe) in the song about pac-man. I'd like to wish to all competitors creative success. You've done a great work as a little joke!
In the end I'd like to mention works that I like more that the others — "a-d-d-a_L", "Flowers of the stars" which are very melodious and original. Also I mention beautiful and uneasy "The Lost Planet" and chippy madness "Krack me tonight!!!"
Dmitry Kirillov (EstEps)
I have been disappointed in the works. The maximum mark of 16 I give for the originality. In the other cases nobody had more than 14.
I voted for all the formats except Buzz (that tried to make me to download new and new machines each time for all the music without exception).
In some cases I refused to void because of full hack of some tracks.
I offer to disqualify one of the works because of its plagiarism.
I had not rank one of the works because it was arranged by machine, not by human.
The "optimization" field was very strange to me. I don't see any difference in the size of file and its content.
The "quality of the sound" give me a lot of questions in application to midi music. That's why I gave 10 to midi works.
My opinion is independent. I think there will be insults in my address.
Sergei Kashinsky (DJ Psych)
I didn't give any marks to the works even I have been declared as a judge. I suppose that it's very unnaturally to mix the works in many formats. Please, explain to me, how will be playing the midi file on the expensive sound card and pt3 module from the ZX-Spectrum? You're right, the difference will be very huge. Even a big specialist in the music will do nothing and fail in the contest. The "sound" and "optimizing" categories underscore this difference.
Buzz and Psycle trackers I couldn't take to scene-trackers. May be because the competition was only tracking (as has written to me Igor Chistik on some my remarks — "the idea of competition was initially in mixture of formats..." It is "experiment"), I tears from a judicial tribune. I'm pure scener and remain him for a while :-). The big minus of this competition is the end result. It was not necessary for organizers to rank music, in any case they are counted not truly (even if we will not count zero).
And so, in a general plan, guys are a good fellows! As always has not failed ZX part, works were up to standard though competition was on PC. They have sent their (beforehand doomed) tracks. There was some old names and a lot of unfamiliar. May be they are young, may be I don't know them because of my businesses. My thanks goes to all. To organizers — you have lead the big and necessary work. You have shown all power of Russian tracker scene. To the judge — for the impartiality and to the participants — you have used the best efforts in order to competition was held :)
I'd like to write more to discuss some worthy works, to judge ugly one (there was a little of them), but I'm not a judge any more and I shall leave this honour to them.
Unfortunately e-mail got to me a bad service: I have not received all works for voting and late (by the first results of competition) have noticed, that there are still any things... In a result I was in time to listen only three additional works; I didn't have even a bit of time for it at all. In general, it's pleased me that even now there are serious musicians.
Good luck to all! Euggie
I was very wicked establishing hastily booze programs only to hear the music! After installation of BUZZ 1.2 XMPlay has ceased to work (gets to me: "... Now it will be closed "), thank to God, after removing this ugliness a normal work was restored! I suspect, that if I were in Windows NT/XP, I could not install BUZZ at all... In the half of BUZZ modules there were no necessary machines... The system of estimations leaves to wish the best. Perfectly suitable to classical track modules, it's inapplicable to MID and AY as "Quality of a sound " and "Optimality" that you will not estimate objectively.
The resume on the future is to accept rules of demoscene. Those works which is possible to listen in the programs they didn't created inside, for example with WinAmp, XMPlay, ModPlug Player and so on. The works in BUZZ, Renoise, Psycle (as well as Fruty Loops with Rebirth) must be in competition of MP3-music. For MID and AY modules separate nominations are desirable too...
I'm sorry, I just couldn't do it... I listened to all the tunes, but it was too hard for me to score them all, especially with the different scoring categories :-)
I'm satisfied with many good tunes!
That's all, folks! ;)
Igor Chistik, 29.5.2003
Translated by Evel
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