Audio Adjudication - opinions?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Tom-King, Dec 1, 2014.


Audio Adjudication - Yes or No?

  1. Yes! (Would be happy paying more to get it)

  2. Yes

  3. No

  4. Not fussed either way.

  1. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    What do people think of it?
    I know there are often discussions and arguments where new ideas and changes in banding are concerned, so I'm curious where opinion lies with this...

    Having been at a contest with Audio Adjudication (ie: recording of the performance and the adjudicator speaking over it as it goes along) for the first time this past weekend I have to say I was really impressed with it.
    I found the comments much more relatable, not only do you get to hear the performance again (hard to relate to it if you can't hear it again) after the fact but it's clearer where the comments apply and they're easier to interpret.

    The Adjudicator, by his own admission, hadn't done that sort of adjudication before but did an absolutely superb job - good, constructive (but fair) criticism, and anticipated what would come next (openly) telling you what he wanted to hear next before even getting to it...

    Does anyone have any less-than-positive experiences with it?
    Does it just depend on the adjudicator?
    Would you be happy with higher entry fee's to get that kind of adjudication?

  2. hobgoblin

    hobgoblin Member

    Anyone who votes no / not fussed should try listening intently and writing intelligently at the same time! Not easy, and something has to give.
  3. owain_s

    owain_s Member

    Anyone voting yes should try talking over a live performance, giving constructive feedback, without any mistakes or swear words or anything else.......and then declare which is 'easier'?!
  4. hobgoblin

    hobgoblin Member

    Deffo talking - give your head a wobble ffs. Unless you are chubby brown it's easy enough to say the basses 'were out of tune', rather than the basses 'were wa*k' at letter C.
    Thought enters head - comes out of mouth is so much easier (and quicker)than thought enters head -comes out of arm, the hand via pen. Simples. If you don't believe me stick any cd you have on and try talking about it while it's playing, then try writing the same thoughts in grammatically correct sentences.Your ears will close and all of a sudden it's the next track.
  5. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    I do not contest (too rubbish a player and too much focus for me) but occasionally I do go and listen to contests and form a view as to what’s a good performance and what’s not. If I were in a contesting band then I’d want Audio Adjudication (ie: recording of the performance and the adjudicator speaking over it as it goes along) so that our actual performance could be reviewed by the MD later. Getting the Adjudicator’s instantaneous thoughts on the ‘tape’ would be valuable and must be a step forward from written notes but surely there are hazards.

    My concern, and I do think Audio Adjudication should be a step forward, is that live commentary (where you have to think closely about what you say because your words will be played back and themselves critically examined) might have some unintended consequences on judgement. If I were an Adjudicator I’d want time to replay the ‘iffy’ bits and add more thought out and fuller comment.

    Overall I think Audio Adjudication is likely to be better than the ‘normal’ system and without any particularly major issues, but to my uneducated mind there will almost certainly be some smaller concerns to be sorted (hobgoblin and owain_s highlight contrasting concerns). There will be unintended consequences too, one might be a stream of questioning and appeals against the Adjudicators’ decisions backed up by live recordings – bands might just have to accept that judgement is still final if sometimes flawed. Progress is often not perfect.

    It would be interesting to hear what some Adjudicators think of Audio Adjudication and why the event organisers decided to introduce it.
  6. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    keep it as it is
  7. fartycat

    fartycat Member

  8. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    Not heard the piece before - enjoyable to listen to.
    And nice to hear (the same) adjudicator's remarks on another performance.

    Thanks for posting.
  9. DS2014

    DS2014 Active Member

    Thanks for posting the adjudication: very interesting to hear, and I am now of the opinion that audio adjudication can work. It is indeed so much better to hear the adjudication at the appropriate moment in the music, and I suspect that the adjudicator found it easier too. I'm trying to think of drawbacks, but I honestly can't think of any.
  10. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    Having heard this, I am more convinced that things should definitely stay the same.
  11. Pauli Walnuts

    Pauli Walnuts Moderator Staff Member

    and you reasons for saying that?
  12. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    The tape recorder will run out of battery, mid way through the performance
  13. Simon_Horn

    Simon_Horn Member

    My only concerns are a) adjudicators talking over a performance ruin it for players and audience. If this is to work then the adjudicators needs to be in a separate room completely (and there is no reason why this can't be done). b) without the ability to look back at notes how does the adjudicator put them into an order? Its much easier to scan your handwriting and remember what was being said than listening back to audio recordings - it proven that when you write something down it is remembered better later. In order for this to work I think the primary focus shuld be via a standardised scoring framework (tickbox based on 5-10 categories) that is completed AFTER the performance and the audio recording is used to focus adjudicators comments throughout performance and as an aid to the bands later to improve.
  14. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    To respond to your concerns (from the one experience only):
    A) not an issue on stage, you don't hear it. As you'll hear in fartycat's adjudication, the adjudicator does speak quietly when in quieter passages and breaks - as for having then in another room, can you imagine the accusations? The adjudicator still listens live, and is seen to be in his box.
    B) not sure, but a scribe taking notes from the spoken adjudication solves that if its done well?

    The point about standardised scoring on top could apply to any kind of contest. No objections here.
  15. fartycat

    fartycat Member

    A) the adjudicator listened to bands live without headphones - he heard what everyone else heard. He had a head mic (similar to those used in musicals) and talked quietly. You couldn't hear much outside the box even when a band wasn't playing
    B) is also a concern for me, I have asked that next year they have a volunteer inside the tent typing what the adjudicator says and then prints them out at the end. These can also be handed out to the bands so that they have a written record
    C) the other drawback is the lack of written remarks - I like to keep a copy in the score. And written remarks can be read immediately by the bands whereas on Saturday each band got a CD with the audio burned onto it.
  16. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Well, this is one of the things I'm not sure about. I have only experienced this "Live/Spoken" comments adjudication process once, and the end results were slightly worrying. In fact, we were given two recordings - one made from mics positioned in the auditorium, the other from the adjudicator's enclosure with the spoken comments on top. The balance of instruments within the band was plainly different on each recording, ie the balance the adjudicator was hearing wasn't at all the same as that heard in the open. Given that the majority of the critical remarks concerned balance, I found this disturbing. Granted, this issue doesn't directly impact the discussion as to the relative merits of the two adjudication systems; it's more a general comment re. the wisdom of having an adjudicator in a tent/box/any form of enclosure which substantially distorts his/her perception of the actual sound being produced.
  17. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    A fair point...

    I wonder about the relative quality of the recordings?
    Is the one "in the tent" of the same quality to begin with (made using equally good recording equipment)?

    As you've aluded to, though - the tent distortion would be the same whether the adjudicator was writing or dictating his comments. The difference, I suppose, is that with the spoken one (if the recording is of good quality) you can atleast hear where he's getting that from?
  18. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    I've heard more than one professional recording of our band made at contests and they've clearly added extra synthetic reverb.
    The multi-miked recording of the band performance does not reflect what the people in the room hear. The balance has been enhanced and the reverb all makes it sound nicer when played back on a stereo, but it's less faithful to the actual performance as heard by the adjudicator and members of the audience.
    For that reason the recording done from the adjudicator's tent is a better representation of how the band actually sounds in the room.
  19. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    You've obviously been to more up-market contests than I have then; all the recordings I've heard of our band have been simple stereo pair, dry-as-bones, warts an' all ...
  20. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    Truthful Recording

    Split notes last much longer when they have a big reverb tail. :)

Share This Page