Youtube Collaboration Policy (Cao 010616)


If you’re interested to collaborate (henceforth known as collabs) musically on a song or two, reading this is pretty important.

Key steps are bolded with a summary at the end, link to applying via Google Forms is here!

What I’m looking for: A sample of your work

It’s fairly simple: Other individuals that are of a similar (or better) skill level in their respective craft. You could be a guitarist (acoustic/classical/electric), keyboardist/pianist, bassist or vocalist, I’m not very particular about the type of instrument as much as I’m concerned about your relative proficiency in it.

I’m not a technical freak, but I would have to respectfully decline a collab request if it does not seem like you know what you’re doing.

For musical instruments, playing the correct chords/notes/rhythm is a good start: It doesn’t have to precisely be the correct notes (since advanced musicians often improvise beautifully), but it should sound something like the original, otherwise it might as well be another song altogether.

For vocalists, not going off pitch or singing too fast or slow is great. There is some room for…how shall we put it, artistic license, but the same logic applies as above: If it doesn’t resemble the original in any way other than lyrics, you should seek out other musicians to collaborate with. A necessary disclaimer: I really do prefer sung Japanese lyrics as opposed to English lyrics and would be quite reluctant to collaborate on a Japanese song if it is being given an English dub. Nothing wrong with it objectively, just not my cup of tea.

The above requirements shouldn’t be too difficult for anyone that has achieved a certain level of proficiency in their instrument (or in singing), but it is necessary for me to add it in order to show what I am looking for in a collab.

Hence, please send a sample of your work when contacting me for a collab request. Put simply, this will allow me to ascertain whether I’d like to collab with you.

The following samples are accepted and listed in order of favourability:

  1. Your Youtube (or Vimeo) channel with past covers which you have done. Bonus Komachi points if you have done a past cover of the song that you want to collaborate with me on.
  2. An unlisted cover (if you’re too shy to make it public).
  3. A SoundCloud upload.

Naturally, as much as you would not like to collab with a drummer that doesn’t keep time or plays out of rhythm, I would like to collab with someone that can sing (or play their instrument) at an acceptable level. For that reason, collab requests that have samples with them will be prioritized first compared to those that lack samples.

Collab Tiers Explained

Q: I’ve contacted Roe with my collab request and sample, he’s replied positively! Yay, now what?

A: Decide on which Collab Tier you’re aiming for (in the near future) and let him know accordingly.

These Collab Tiers are made to clearly differentiate the types of collaborations that can exist.

Tier 3: One-shot/One off Collabs

Excellent for Youtubers that lack the time to record multiple covers, this Tier is quite suited for those that stumble across my channel and think ‘hey, it would be nice to do a collab with this guy. Maybe on a common song or two.’

Collabs of this Tier are usually of one or a few songs that both (or all) parties want to record. Simplest to get in on and you’ll also be mentioned in the Collab Hall of Shoutouts! page at the appropriate section 😀

Tier 2: Semi-Regular Collab Partners

If you’d like to collab on more than just a few songs (not all at once, of course) and the initial collabs we have done are quite pleasing, you could indicate your preference for this Tier. This is more of the ‘I’ve worked with this person once or twice in the past, they’re not bad and want to collab on this common song, why not?’

Collabs of this Tier are usually around a few months in length (up to 9 months), and involve collaboration on at least three separate instances (the initial T3 collab and two more). Thus, it requires a bit more time recording multiple tracks, but stretched out over a longer basis, it should be pretty workable.

Tier 1: Regular Collab Partners

This Tier exists for those which are still interested in collabs after I’ve worked with them to some degree, and would like to continue this arrangement for the near future (up to a year). There’s no requirement for this aside from having been at T2 for a few months and saying ‘Hey, I’d like to collab on a more regular basis than once every two/three months’.

Of course, this is subject to the schedule of both/all parties, but I wouldn’t hesitate to welcome you as a regular collab partner if we’ve worked together and found each other to be quite agreeable.

Summary of Advancement in Collab Tiers

Everyone whose samples have been accepted will be listed under the ‘Vetted and Cleared’ section along with their genre and Youtube channel/contact details. They’ll remain there until a single collaboration is completed with them, in which case they’ll be promoted to a Tier 3.

[Vetted and Cleared]: Potential T3, awaiting collaboration to T3.

[T3]: Completed a one-shot/one off collab.

[T2]: Existing T3, indicated preference for T2 and completed two additional collabs within a specified timeframe (usually 9 months).

[T1]: Existing T2, indicated preference for T1.

Q&A for Collab Tiers

Q1: What’s the difference between these tiers?

A1: It helps me prioritize who I should ask. Generally speaking, I’ll go down the list from T1 to T3, asking first the T1 if they want to collab on this song, followed by a T2 if the T1 declines, and a T3 if the T2 declines.

I don’t expect a T1 or T2 to automatically agree as they may have competing demands for their attention and/or time (based on study/work schedules), but at the same time, it would be unfair to them if I approached someone that I’ve worked less with (say a T3) first for a collab if  I am more familiar with them (for a T1/T2).

The [Vetted and Cleared] group may also be approached depending on how eager I am to collaborate with members there and schedule constraints on my end.

Additionally, the different Tiers have different benefits when it comes to visibility of songs.

[T3]: Checks the Planned Covers page on WordPress.

[T2]: Gets ‘View’ access on Google Docs.

[T1]: Gets ‘View & Comment’ access on Google Docs, also can be notified of any changes which I make.

Finally, collaborators of all Tiers will be recognized accordingly in the Collab Hall of Shoutouts! page.

Q2: Do these Tiers degrade over time/is there automatic demotion if I don’t collab with you for a long period of time?

A2: No, unless you request* for it. There is absolutely no reason for a T3 to drop down to a [Vetted and Cleared] because these Tiers represent a history of, rather than a current list of, individuals which I have collaborated with. The same goes for a T1 automatically dropping to a T2 or T3: That wouldn’t happen, as the T1 status is meant to reflect ‘I’ve done quite a few covers with this person in the past’ even if the last collab was several years ago, rather than a ‘these are the individuals which I am currently collaborating with now.’ You’ll know who I currently work with when the collab video is released, so once you’re a particular Tier, you won’t be taken down a notch just because we’ve not worked together for some time.

*The exception is if you want to be given a lower priority in my collab requests. Say you’re starting college, work, have a new kid, am getting married, have got a partner that doesn’t want you to collab with online strangers or generally have got less free time/interest in general on collaborating. If you’re a T1 but would like to receive less notifications, you can either edit that accordingly (and remain a T1) or let me know and I’ll move you down to a Tier you’re suitable with. This will only be done with your consent. Same goes for T2s that want to be considered on the same level as T3’s.

Q3: The question I want to ask isn’t listed here!

A3: Contact me about it and I’ll give an answer asap. If it’s a relevant question, I’ll add it to this list for future reference.

Recording Workflow

Q: Alright, I’ve contacted Roe and told him of what Tier I’m aiming for. What now?

A: Decide on a common song for collab, run it by him and record your part. Upload it to Mediafire and sent it to him.

On Common Songs

In bolding common, I want to emphasize that I won’t be doing a cover of a song that I don’t care much for, and I don’t expect others to record covers for a song that I like but they don’t. It has to be a song that both of us are interested to collaborate on.

The workflow alluded to above is as follows:

  1. (Once you’re in the [Vetted and Cleared] group and we have decided upon a common song to record): You record your portion*, upload them to Mediafire and send me the link.
  2. I’ll download them, use your recording as the backing track and record my own portion.
  3. After both (or all) tracks have been recorded, I’ll splice our tracks together and begin the video editing.
  4. Depending on discussions, one or two versions of the video will be made.
    1. If you’re just happy to have your recording represented in the collab and don’t intend to upload anything on your personal channel, I will make a video with the drums as the focus and your video recording (if any) in a smaller screen.
    2. If you do intend to upload a personal video of the collaboration, two versions of the video will be made. The first will be for your channel with the drums in a smaller screen and your video recording (if any) as the main screen, while the second will be for my channel and will be the opposite of the first version (pretty much just like #1 above).
  5. A video preview will be sent to you during this period of editing for you to check and ensure that you’re okay with how it looks like.
  6. Once both parties are satisfied with how it looks, I will send you your copy of the video (via Mediafire) for you to upload on your channel.
  7. The collaboration video will be listed, alongside your upgraded status (if applicable) on the ‘Collab Hall of Shoutouts’ page.

*As to what you should record, I would like the following:

Instruments: Video and Audio mandatory.

Vocals: Video optional (but recommended), Audio mandatory.

I understand that sometimes vocalists (especially aspiring utaites) are embarrassed to show their faces, hence why video’s optional for them. But if you’re fairly attractive, it could work out quite well. Alternatively, a stuffed toy or a nice, well drawn avatar/profile picture would suffice as a visual image of your vocals.

Finally, with regards to the audio track, I require the original track of your playing/singing, not one that has been mixed together with the backing track which is referenced. Both the backing track and your solo recording will be used when I’m recording my part to reduce time spent in editing/mixing, hence I’ll need your part first before beginning to record mine.

Conclusion and Contact Procedure

Ultimately, I’m not going to do up a whole new organization complete with art as some others have tried, since time is a constraint that most adults (and older teenagers) face. However, I have to enforce some standards in collaborations (which have been mentioned above) to ensure that the videos released are of an acceptable quality.

If you’re a relatively new (a few years of experience in covers, perhaps?) Youtuber/utaite/musician and would like to collab together, do follow the steps below to get in touch with me~

  1. Check if I’m open for Collabs currently under the Planned Covers page. This changes based on how busy I am currently in life.
  2. If I’m open, you can click do it the fast way or the slow way!

The Fast way!

This handy Google Form (also linked at the start of this page) contains all the steps necessary for me to get to know you. Fill it up (including the part where a sample of your past work is required) and I’ll be notified pretty quickly of your response!

The Slow way…

  1. Contact me via any method you prefer (listed on the right hand column of this site) under ‘The (shameless) Advertiser’. I respond quickest to Youtube PMs, but if your message doesn’t get through for whatever reason, a Twitter DM or Facebook PM is the way to go. I hardly check G+ and Instagram, so those aren’t recommended points of contact.
    1. How does one know if their Youtube message didn’t get through? If I receive it, I’ll send an acknowledgement to let you know I’ve received it. If I don’t get back to you within a week, then it probably got lost somewhere in Youtube’s servers.
  2. Send me a sample (if you’re new to collabing with me) and I’ll assess it. If it’s what I’m looking for, you’ll be added to the ‘Vetted and Cleared’ group under the Collab Hall of Shoutouts page and I’ll notify you accordingly. Otherwise, I’ll send a message of declination so that you won’t be left waiting.
  3. If/once you’re in the ‘Vetted and Cleared’ group, I’ll get in touch with you for further details (Skype would be recommended, but email can suffice as well) and contact you regarding potential songs for collaboration. You can also propose songs to me for collab and I will reply according to the following options:
    1. Free and interested: I’ll then arrange a timeframe for the recording to begin in.
    2. Free but not interested: See ‘common songs’ in ‘Recording Workflow’ above.
    3. Not free but interested: I’ll let you know when I may next be free.
    4. Not free and not interested: Self-explanatory.
  4. From #4, we’ll continue from there according to the steps in ‘Recording Workflow.’

Or, y’know, you could just click on this form~