Album types and artist participation
Vocaloid artists are special in this sense. They collaborate a lot more than average "normal" artists. Thus there is need to display the artists' "main" albums separate from these collaboration albums (of which there is a lot).
- Artist string: the list of artists for a specific album or song, for example "Tripshots feat. Hatsune Miku". Currently, if the number of producers exceeds 3, the artist string will be "Various artists", indicating that there are too many artists to list, with none of them being the "main" one.
- Split album: album with 2 or 3 main producers, each with a roughly equal number of songs.
- Compilation: generally has two primary meanings: 1) "best of" collections, meaning a collection of previously released songs, usually by a single artist, and 2) collaboration albums with multiple artists, each with one or two tracks. On VocaDB we mainly use the first meaning.
Currently album type has NO effect on how the album is displayed on artist's entry page. There has been suggestions of adding a new type for collaboration compilations. The "Split Album" type has limited use currently, so it could also be redefined for this purpose. In fact, Musicbrainz seems to use the term "Split release" for all albums where there is no clear main artist.
Support status has a number of effects:
- Artists with the support status never appear in the "artist string" of the album. This has been "abused" to make the circles not appear in the artist string, which isn't completely wrong, but there might be more correct ways to work around that.
- On the album entry page, support artists are shown in parenthesis, and after all the other artists.
- Albums or songs where the artist has support status never appear on the first tab of artist's entry page, under recent or popular albums.
- These albums also never appear on the artist's "main albums" tab.
Thus, support status can be used to determine artists who are NOT one of the main artists of an album. However, for collaboration albums, none of the artists can be marked as support, because otherwise all of them would be marked a such.
If a music producer is in some other role besides one of the roles considered to be involved with producing music (composing, arranging, vocal tuning), they obviously cannot be one of the main producers on that album. Therefore, for music producers, the role must be either "Default" (meaning no customization), or one of these music producing custom roles in order for that artist to be one of the main producers for an album.
Currently, if this number exceeds 3, the artist string will be "Various artists" and the album is considered to be a collaboration compilation.
Here are some examples of problematic albums:http://vocadb.net/Album/Details/3
Technically Tripshots' album, but the album has exactly one original song by him, others being covers of his songs. Therefore it could also be considered a compilation album. The other artists could be marked as support role, but that also feels wrong considering they all produced roughly the same number of songs. Generally, crediting albums consisting mostly of remixes or covers is problematic. Should the remix artists be credited, or just the original composer?http://vocadb.net/Album/Details/2174
This is a special case of collaboration - collaboration within a circle. Circles are considered to be involved with music production (they are groups of people producing music). In this case, the most natural way would be to have Vanguard Sound as a circle as the main producer. The individual members of the circle could also be considered main artists, or be collaborating together. The term "main artist/album" isn't clear enough for this. Either way, there would need to be a way to indicate that at the album is a main album at least for the circle. One way to solve this would be changing the definition of "Original album" to exclude collaborations, in which case all artists on Original Albums such as this would be considered main artists.