If You Were the Director of SEB: 2016 Edition

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If You Were the Director of SEB: 2016 Edition

Post by para_rigby » Feb 17th, '16, 13:31

I know this idea has been done before, but I think it's been quite awhile since the last one. Given the labels we have now, the format, etc., things have changed quite a bit since the old thread.

So...what would you do if you were the director of the SEB series?

What labels would you keep or lose? How would you format volumes? Anything else?

1. I would drop Sunfire and possibly Delta. Never been a fan of Sunfire (can only think of 2 Sunfire tracks that I really liked...) and getting tired of the same sounds from Delta. Now, I would ask Delta to try and reinvent their sounds. Don't want to be a Hitler though!

2. Revert back to 18 track format. I'm still a staunch supporter of the 18 track format. More songs and better listening time for me.

3. What to do with so many unreleased songs? We could use some space in each CD to showcase unreleased songs or have the occasional bonus CD (in vain of the bonus CDs from the 170s and 180s).

4. Make international digital releases happen. The biggest reason why this genre is stalling is that Avex chooses not to release the main series on iTunes outside of Japan. I will still never understand why you would choose not to especially if can increase revenue and an audience.

5. Anniversary/Best of Albums. I had the thought earlier that the anniversary albums and best of the year albums should be fused together. Have CD 1 a themed best hits (i.e."SEB 240 CD 1 is all Best of 150-240) while CD 2 would be a top 50 megamix of the past 9 or 10 albums.

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Post by M2-EB » Feb 17th, '16, 15:01

There's not much that can be done about overseas sales, I guess. Avex keep things simple so they won't have major issues in the future, that's my best bet, I might be wrong though.

+ Well, obviously, I'd keep all labels and probably would try to introduce independent/minor labels as well, it won't hurt to try.
+ Bi-monthly releases are okay with me, as long as we don't have a nonstop or any kind of special volume between them during a year. Leave non-stops for special occasions only.
+ The number of tracks is also fine. Bad length though.. 4 minutes for a extended sucks.
+ I really really miss the bonus tracks: remixed tunes and j-euro, mainly. If something would make a great comeback, it would be that.
+ Consistent pitched-up non-stops would be really appreciated. It should be fast, it should have cool transitions and a great tracklist. For that, I'd rely on online polls, such as they made in the past, people get to hear what they want.
+ I don't care how many cds or tracks to put on a special album as long as the tracklist and mixing are decent.
+ There's no problem with the music or labels per se, in the end of the day, they are just doing their work and it's up to the audience to tell what's good or not. Remember, it's up to everyone's personal taste and no person in this planet can please all others.
+ Producers/writers/artists should have the freedom to use their creativity at ease. This will make their works much more enjoyable, believe me.
+ Avex's (online) marketing is kind of bad and it's something I'd invest heavily.

There's more but I can't remember now, might add later.
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Post by para_rigby » Feb 17th, '16, 16:01

mila wrote: + Consistent pitched-up non-stops would be really appreciated. It should be fast, it should have cool transitions and a great tracklist. For that, I'd rely on online polls, such as they made in the past, people get to hear what they want..
^ This...non-stops that are voted or mix things up and put tracks on them that haven't gotten a spotlight before. Do we really need another anniversary non-stop that includes Yesterday, NoF, etc. You know what I mean. XD

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Post by Bore » Feb 17th, '16, 17:17

The direction eurobeat has been headed hasn't been exactly the ideal for my liking, but yeah a few things I would change.

+ Non-stop albums every 5 and 10.
+ Non-stops would always feature a fan request selection. The ones that have had in the past were always really enjoyable (I'm looking at you 160 especially)
+ Bonus Disc Greatest Remix Collection Vol 12 needs to come out (I won't understand why the remix CDs in the 170s and 180s were restarted from volume 1 and not carried on from 11).
+ 18 tracks definitely.
+ Revival of Euromach/Flash is probably one thing I would enjoy the most, but from a financial standpoint it might not be the wisest.
+ Incorporate a more global marketing strategy

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Post by para_rigby » Feb 17th, '16, 17:29

Bore wrote:The direction eurobeat has been headed hasn't been exactly the ideal for my liking, but yeah a few things I would change.

+ Non-stop albums every 5 and 10.
+ Non-stops would always feature a fan request selection. The ones that have had in the past were always really enjoyable (I'm looking at you 160 especially)
+ Bonus Disc Greatest Remix Collection Vol 12 needs to come out (I won't understand why the remix CDs in the 170s and 180s were restarted from volume 1 and not carried on from 11).
+ 18 tracks definitely.
+ Revival of Euromach/Flash is probably one thing I would enjoy the most, but from a financial standpoint it might not be the wisest.
+ Incorporate a more global marketing strategy
We think way too much alike, bro! Yes to all of these...

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Post by Lebon14 » Feb 17th, '16, 17:36

I have way too much to say. But one thing I'll say right now: ALL HAIL TO THE EXTENDED TRACKS OVERLORD.

More when I get home tonight.
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Post by Bonkers » Feb 17th, '16, 21:31

First, I would keep all current labels (no sense in losing more), but labels (such as Delta & 3B, & Hi-NRG Attk would be asked for more refreshing sounds like Last Breath of Love). Also, ALL labels/Artists/Producers involved would be required to submit 2-4 tracks.

Second: I would push for tracks with tempos 150-165 bpm. We need the hyper ness back in this genre. A track or 2 every now and then below 150 bpm isn't bad...but this is eurobeat.

Third: Definitely bring back the chipmunky vocals!

Fourth: Return to the 18 track pattern, with a non-stop PROPERLY MIXED (old skool transitions, all the tracks pitched to the same tempo) every 3rd release, OR provide a non-stop mix as a 2-disc special alongside a regular release.

Fifth: Start offering a way for labels to begin releasing music on mp3 sites such as trackitdown.net BUT ONLY AFTER the CD has been out for at least 6 months (so physical copy revenue can keep coming in).

Anniversary Albums: KEEP them, but do away with the constant repeats. Tracks selected should by present from ALL years of SEB. The purpose for an Anniversary album is about the sound, not specifically the tracks, so mixing up the tracklist shouldn't be hard.

Best Of's: As stated above: Should be mixed PROPERLY, all songs pitched to the same tempo, and have crafty transitions. The regular tempos are there for Extended Releases, it's time to start having fun on the Non-Stops again! .

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Post by Lebon14 » Feb 17th, '16, 22:51

1* The current 15 tracks is perfect. Could easily fit 15 * 5min. One release every two months is perfect.

2* I would drop Sunfire too, tbh. Not many good songs and barely fit in the definition of "Eurobeat" nowadays. I would invite All producers to move with another label. The only way Sunfire would stay is if they would radically change ther sound.

3* Encourage experiementation as long as it doesn't disorient older fans (ex.: don't include dubstep).

4* I would dedicate the 15th track of the compilation to either one of the following:
- Feature a western indie eurobeat track.
- Feature an original "doujin" eurobeat track (remember: doujin is Japan's way of saying "indie")
- Feature an unreleased eurobeat track
- Feature an unreleased extended track.
- Feature eurobeat covers of video games or other music (as long as it meets some criteria)
The five points above would rotate. Each xx9 album would feature a second CD with 3 of each tracks above.

5* Encourage fans involvement and art, welcome memes (no matter what you say, they play a huge role today), constant communication (transparancy), etc. Also encourage producers to do so too.

6* Make the compilation more public: attend conventions and interact with fans and listen to them. Sell compilations for half the price during these events.

7* That said, along with 5*, social media is at the center of eurobeat

8* Find creative incensitive to purchase the compilation such as a part of the profit goes to charity or extra goodies. These goodies also apply overseas.

9* A push for digital. Find a way to gain rights to the whole catalog and publish SEB online worldwide on all major streaming and purchase platforms such as, and not limited to: iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Junodownload, Bandcamp, CDBaby, etc.

10* Give producers digital freedom: they can sell their music for fans on any platforms they want, including Japan. That also include them being able to post snippets of future songs without issues with Avex. It's even encouraged!

11* Give Para Para fans a hand. Every xx0, a DVD (or blu-ray even) is made compiling all the parapara routines from the last decade.

12* Continuing from 11, encourage fans to post their own choreographies to Eurobeat tracks (or all other genres that para para adapted to (ie. TechPara, TraPara, etc.))

13* Standalone Best-Of are discontinued. They will be incoporated with xx0 releases as the second disc. The first disc will always be a fan-chosen mix from a set few decades (ex. 140s to 180s inclusively).

14* Mixing albums will veer toward a more traditional mixing style mainly seen the west (beat-matching). BPM will be the same as the fastest track on the list. Maybe a little bit faster.

15* Do not force producer into producing more than 2 songs. If there are songs missing for the album, there's the drawer (despite 4*)

16* Mastering of songs will have to meet requirements: A Dynamic range of 12 must be met in order to be considered onto SEB. Loudness War must come to an end and we must start somewhere. This would also make sure that vinyl sound good if fan demand is enough to produce them.

About 16*, SEB236's dynamic range is 6 using this website's tool:
http://dr.loudness-war.info/

1 is the worst while 20 is the best.
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Post by eXtaticus » Feb 18th, '16, 00:26

I personally agree with the notion that the worst labels should be retired - but that's subjective; different people are going to have different ideas on which labels are the "worst". Personally, I'd ditch SunFire, Sinclaire and Hi-NRG Attack, as it's been years since I've really found myself regularly falling in love with their tracks - and even Delta's borderline, now. But then, I like SAIFAM a lot more now than I used to, so maybe it's somewhat to do with my changing tastes.

I also agree that more independent producers (Japanese or otherwise) should be featured, though I'm not sure I'd put myself up for that if it meant that Avex stopped me from featuring the track on my own YouTube and Patreon outlets - and they'd also have to pay as much as they do per track from the regular Italian labels. Which... I don't know how likely that is to happen.

After researching the phenomenal market share and sales statistics for CDs in Japan, I'm not as sure as I used to be that digital would be best for Super Eurobeat - though CD exclusivity doesn't work outside of Japan any more, and it's impractical to print masses of CDs for international markets that you have no guarantee even exist. If Avex Trax hosted their own international-only digital storefront that offered both lossy and lossless downloads of the entire company's collective back catalogue, that would be ideal, for me - even if the price was close to what the CDs cost at retail, it'd drive piracy down while ensuring that all the money goes to Avex as opposed to some third-party storefront taking huge cuts from each sale.

But that's a bigger proposition than Avex is perhaps willing to take on, at this stage. And hey, if the entire pre-2012 Super Eurobeat catalogue made it on non-Japanese mainstream outlets like iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and Juno, then that'd make it vastly more convenient to actually find and buy the stuff, for the average user. But it's got to be lossless for me to really care.

As for song count and track length... this is an argument that's been done to death, and I believe that any strict length limit would stymie creative freedom - but if we keep the current 15-track format (which is okay), the average track length must not exceed 5:30, or else the CD will run out of space. But not only is that an /average/ maximum track length that few songs are likely to actually meet at all, but for every song that goes under it, you can have one that goes over slightly - and 5:30 is a fairly sizeable limit for most tracks, to be honest. I'd set the minimum at 3:30, just in case producers like making radio-length tracks - which actually gives us quite a wide time window to deal with per track. Not a real problem, here.

As for mastering... unless you actually know what you're talking about, don't talk about it. Sure, many of us know "bad" mastering when we hear it, but "loud" doesn't always mean "bad", and it's foolish to judge a track's sound by the shape of its waveform without giving it a really good listen first. I actually don't like totally uncompressed mastering, generally, and prefer the full-whack brickwalls of volumes like 226 than the clamped, held-back feel of 234 (and the starkness of some of 232) - despite the fact that 226 is technically "louder" and more "brickwalled", it sounds quite a lot better than 234, even when level-matched. Again, you can't just look at some arbitrary dynamic range "score" and judge the quality of a track based on that and nothing else. That's stupid.

I actually took a couple of short courses in mastering on my Music Technology course last semester, and improved every time I tried it, to the point that my lecturers were surprised that while the brickwalling on my work was obvious, it didn't feel like the tracks lost anything because of it. If nothing else, that shows that it's possible to do loudness well; the top mastering engineers in the industry certainly didn't earn their positions through laziness, I can tell you that much.

In any case, I think that the best idea that anyone's had so far in this thread has been trimming the fat on lower-quality labels and including some indies. International distribution remains a conflict of interest for Japanese record labels, track number is good, length should be left up to the producer of each individual track, and loudness should be left up to the mastering engineer.

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Post by Lebon14 » Feb 18th, '16, 01:53

eXtaticus wrote:As for mastering... unless you actually know what you're talking about, don't talk about it. Sure, many of us know "bad" mastering when we hear it, but "loud" doesn't always mean "bad", and it's foolish to judge a track's sound by the shape of its waveform without giving it a really good listen first. I actually don't like totally uncompressed mastering, generally, and prefer the full-whack brickwalls of volumes like 226 than the clamped, held-back feel of 234 (and the starkness of some of 232) - despite the fact that 226 is technically "louder" and more "brickwalled", it sounds quite a lot better than 234, even when level-matched. Again, you can't just look at some arbitrary dynamic range "score" and judge the quality of a track based on that and nothing else. That's stupid.
HOLY SHIT, you don't know what you are talking about. You lecturers don't know jack shit about mastering. You know what? SEB 231 to 236 ALL have a Dynamic Range rating of 6 or 5. And, no, that's not just using my eyes. I've used tools that analyses music.

A digital music file canNOT be loud as you wish. It will stop being loud at some point where everything will sound as the next thing. Oh hell, just read this:
https://www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep11/ ... udness.htm

Btw, I was talking about the quality of the sound not about about the song itself and it's true that one doesn't go with the other. A bad song can be heavily compressed but the fact that it's bad is the composer's fault, not the mastering and changing said mastering will not help the song being better in any shape or form.

FUN FACT: Your "Into The Nightfall" has a DR value of 4. Which is worse than SEB nowadays...
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Re: If You Were the Director of SEB: 2016 Edition

Post by M2-EB » Feb 18th, '16, 02:02

para_rigby wrote:I would drop Sunfire and possibly Delta
Lebon14 wrote:I would drop Sunfire too, tbh
eXtaticus wrote:I'd ditch SunFire, Sinclaire and Hi-NRG Attack
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Re: If You Were the Director of SEB: 2016 Edition

Post by para_rigby » Feb 18th, '16, 02:31

mila wrote:
para_rigby wrote:I would drop Sunfire and possibly Delta
Lebon14 wrote:I would drop Sunfire too, tbh
eXtaticus wrote:I'd ditch SunFire, Sinclaire and Hi-NRG Attack
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Haha. I knew that was coming. But I know there's a lot of people that have the same feeling as the three of us.

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Post by Bonkers » Feb 18th, '16, 02:53

As far as mastering....WHY IS IT DIFFERENT on EVERY SEB? Seriously? Some volumes are crystal clear, others sound like there is a cloud, and others just aren't loud. Do different people master these CDs?

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Post by M2-EB » Feb 18th, '16, 03:09

Bonkers wrote:As far as mastering....WHY IS IT DIFFERENT on EVERY SEB? Seriously? Some volumes are crystal clear, others sound like there is a cloud, and others just aren't loud. Do different people master these CDs?
From the most recent volumes, this person
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Post by drnrg » Feb 18th, '16, 03:42

Whoever plans on ditching DElta and HRG Attack(the only labels puting out 5:00 mins extended these days and/ or keeping the Italo vibe alive in their songs) , better make sure the remaining labels; or better yet ,force the remaining labels to put out extendeds 5:00 or more. I'll forgive 4:35, if it's really good. These four mins versions;are a crime, especially when your label puts out a song like "Nitrofire" ; which clearly has 100% potential to be something phenomenal; given a proper extended.

As for dropping labels. The only one that hasn't added much to my pleasure, is Saifam. Especially after finding out that Mauro is no longer singing. Either that; or get them a new male singer. The female tracks do nothing for me; unless it's once in a full moon. The last Typsy & Typsy song that I really truly enjoyed was "How Can I Feel It". Still, I wouldn't drop em. Better yet ask them to revamp their sound.

Besides If I ran the SEB series; I wouldn't just sit on my ass and count money. I'd get up and scout for new talent; introduce the different singers to the labels and according to which one best fits their style; start em off on a Eurobeat career. Backround and race doesn't matter as long as they put their heart into the vocals.

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