2024-JUL-01 Info: We're still celebrating our 10 Years Anniversary! Check out our current running game: Songwriting Competition 083.

Rule Books - Update Information

Collection of the official Rules and Guidelines, plus Addenda
User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 3188
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

Rule Books - Update Information

#11

Post by Mister Fox »

The following changes have been implemented to the Mix Challenge - Rules and Guidelines.



:arrow: Rules for participants of the Mix Challenge

Added new "General Information and Legalities" section, slight changes to some paragraphs.


Original phrasing:
Mixing and Editing Guidelines
  • This is a mix challenge, NOT a mixing and (pre)mastering challenge. The main focus of the game is is to create a balanced mix, which can later be used for a possible mastering process
  • ...
  • Drum Sample Triggering is not allowed
  • ...
  • It is allowed to use plugins on the summing bus, as long as they are for broad/general sound shaping (e.g. console emulation, "print to tape" sound, "mix through a compressor" trick, etc) and/or metering tools, but not for mastering purposes (see thread Rules and Guidelines Addendum: Summing Bus Treatment)
  • It is highly recommended to work with a certain reference level. We suggest to work at/around -18 dBFS = 0 VU (EBU R68 alignment level). Please consult the Wikipedia entry on Peak Programme Meters, and/or the forum entry on "Gain Staging with a VU Meter". Working and exporting within the range of -21 dBFS (RMS avg or -3 VU) for mezzo-forte to -15 dBFS (RMS avg or +3 VU) for forte-fortissimo passages, while not exceeding -2 dBFS maximum signal strength (digital peak), is considered "good practice".
  • ...

Upload and Submission Guidelines
  • ...
  • the final mixdown / export must not undershoot -24 LUFS ILk (Integrated), neither exceed -16 LUFS ILk (Integrated), while the maximum digital signal strength must not exceed -1.0 dBTP (True Peak). Recommended measurement specifications are ITU-R BS.1770-2+ (ideally ITU-R BS.1770-4) or EBU R-128. Tolerances are taken into consideration (see Addendum: Statistics Sheet and Wild Card Mechanic)
  • ...
Changed to:
General Information and Legalities
  • The Mix(ing) Challenge is open to all amateur and professional mix(ing) engineers, and anyone regardless of nationality or origin.
  • The community is international and challenges / competitions can be accessed worldwide. However, it is important to note that some countries and regions don’t permit these types of games (with a bonus offering to acquire software licenses). It is therefore important to check at your own leisure to see if your region or country allows you to join any such competition prior to entering.
  • There are no entry fees (status: August 2022)
  • By entering the competition, you warrant that you are aged 18 or over, or have permission from a parent or guardian if you are a minor in your jurisdiction of residence (no younger than 16). Proof of permission should be provided upon request from the Mix Challenge staff.
  • By submitting an entry to the Mix Challenge audio community, you agree to adhere to the given Rules and Guidelines for each corresponding game. In this case, the Mix(ing) Challenge.

Mixing and Editing Guidelines
  • This is a mix challenge, NOT a mixing and (pre)mastering challenge. The main focus of the game is is to create a balanced mix that barely needs any after-touches other than loudness adjustments and final limiting during a possible follow-up mastering step.
  • ...
  • Drum Sample Triggering (aka: "Sample Replace Drum Shells") is not allowed
  • ...
  • It is allowed to use plugins on the summing bus, as long as they are for broad/general sound shaping (e.g. console emulation, "print to tape" sound, "mix through a compressor" trick, "summing glue", etc) and/or metering tools, but not for mastering purposes (see thread Rules and Guidelines Addendum: Summing Bus Treatment)
  • It is highly recommended to work with reference levels (workflow related). We suggest to work at/around -18 dBFS = 0 VU (EBU R68 alignment level). Please consult the Wikipedia entry on Peak Programme Meters, and/or the forum entry on "Gain Staging with a VU Meter". Rules for maximum loudness (-16,0 LUFS ILk max) and maximum signal strength (-1,00 dBTP max) for the final export still apply.
  • ...

Upload and Submission Guidelines
  • ...
  • The final mixdown / export must not undershoot -24,0 LUFS ILk (Integrated), neither exceed -16,0 LUFS ILk max (Integrated), while the maximum digital signal strength must not exceed -1,00 dBTP max (True Peak). Recommended measurement specifications are ITU-R BS.1770-4+ or EBU R-128. Tolerances are taken into consideration (see Addendum: Statistics Sheet and Wild Card Mechanic)
  • ...



Changes realized:
2022-AUG-04 -- 08:00 UTC+2/CEST until 09:45 UTC+2/CEST
User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 3188
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

Rule Books - Update Information

#12

Post by Mister Fox »

The following changes have been implemented to the Songwriting Competition - Rules and Guidelines.



:arrow: Rules for participants of the Songwriting Competition

Added new "General Information and Legalities" section, slight rewrites and rearranging of some paragraphs.

Original phrasing:
General Guidelines
  • ---
  • Productions shall ideally not exceed 10 minutes, neither may they be shorter than 1:30 minutes (like: TV Openings/Endings) - unless otherwise stated. A general good practice is to try to aim for anything between 3 minutes to 8 minutes of run time
  • Please no (re)upload of one of your finished and already released productions. You can revisit an old production of yours, or remake/renew a several week-old work-in-progress. Including something you started during another songwriting game, but you were limited on time and/or allowed equipment. However, the general idea is to create something new and unique within the framework of this Songwriting Competition. It wouldn't be fair to all other participants.
  • ...
  • All entries submitted must be original songs and shall not infringe any copyrights or any other rights of any third parties. Please no cover version / rearrangement / remix from somebody else. Or in other words: content that you don't the hold rights to (like "a found" a capella, or "resampled" parts from other songs without drastic mangling). If in doubt, please contact the Mix Challenge staff
  • In relation to that - and important note: participants of the Songwriting Competition retain all ownership rights to all submitted song(s). The Mix Challenge audio community will not have any ownership rights to any song(s) submitted.
  • Every submission has to be properly tagged/documented with: used instruments/sample sets, players' and singers' (especially collaborations!), name of the composer (please also add that info to the ID tag of the audio file!), etc
  • ...
  • please try to not submit mixes higher than -14 LUFS ILk (Integrated)/-1.0 dBTP max in terms of perceived loudness (this is the same loudness value as Spotify, Amazon, Tidal and Youtube as of July 2020). Music does not have to be squashed to bits (mastered loud!) in order to be impactful
  • ...


Upload and Submission Guidelines
  • ...
  • you can upload to wherever you like (DropBox, Google Drive, SoundCloud, etc)
  • ---
  • the entries must be properly named and tagged prior to uploading (especially for SoundCloud entries). For example: SWC000_ArtistName_TrackName.wav/mp3, while the Artist Name (ideally) equals the Forum Username
  • ---
Changed to:
General Information and Legalities
  • The Songwriting Competition is open to all amateur and professional songwriters, and anyone regardless of nationality or origin.
  • The community is international and challenges / competitions can be accessed worldwide. However, it is important to note that some countries and regions don’t permit these types of games (with a bonus offering to acquire software licenses). It is therefore important to check at your own leisure to see if your region or country allows you to join any such competition prior to entering.
  • There are no entry fees (status: August 2022)
  • By entering the competition, you warrant that you are aged 18 or over, or have permission from a parent or guardian if you are a minor in your jurisdiction of residence (no younger than 16). Proof of permission should be provided upon request from the Mix Challenge staff.
  • By submitting an entry to the Mix Challenge audio community, you agree to adhere to the given Rules and Guidelines for each corresponding game. In this case, the Songwriting Competition.

General Guidelines
  • ...
  • The final mix / production must not be shorter than 1:30min (like: TV Openings/Endings), neither exceed 10min of runtime, unless otherwise stated. A general good practice is to try to aim for anything between 3 minutes to 8 minutes of runtime
  • All entries submitted must be original songs and must not infringe any copyrights or any other rights of any third parties. Please no cover versions, rearrangements or remixes of material you don't own any rights, or a license to (e.g. "a found" a capella, or "resampled" parts from other songs without drastic mangling). If in doubt, please contact the Mix Challenge staff
  • In relation to that (important note): participants of the Songwriting Competition retain all ownership rights to all submitted song(s). The Mix Challenge audio community will not have any ownership rights to any song(s) submitted.
  • Please do not (re)upload one of your finished and already released productions. You can revisit an old production of yours, or remake/renew a several week-old work-in-progress. Including something you started during another songwriting game, but you were limited on time and/or allowed equipment. The general idea is to create something new and unique within the framework of this Songwriting Competition. It wouldn't be fair to all other participants.
  • ...
  • Every submission must be properly tagged/documented with: used instruments/sample sets, players' and singers' (especially collaborations!), name of the composer (please also add that info to the ID tag of the audio file!), etc
  • ---
  • Submitted songs / mixes must not exceed -14,0 LUFS ILk (Integrated), neither -1,00 dBTP max (True Peak) in terms of loudness. This is the same loudness specifications as for Spotify, Amazon, Tidal and/or Youtube (status: July 2020). Music does not have to be squashed to bits (mastered loud!) in order to be impactful
  • ...


Upload and Submission Guidelines
  • You enter the Songwriting Competition by posting in the corresponding game thread, and linking to your songs - submitting though other means (email, private message, messages though Facebook/Twitter) is not allowed and will be ignored without further commentary
  • ...
  • You can upload your production to any server / service you like (DropBox, Google Drive, SoundCloud, your own server, etc)
  • ...
  • All entries must be properly named and tagged prior to uploading (especially for SoundCloud entries). For example: SWC000_ArtistName_TrackName.wav/mp3, while the Artist Name equals the Forum Username
  • ...



Changes realized:
2022-AUG-05 -- 07:00 UTC+2/CEST until 08:15 UTC+2/CEST
User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 3188
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

Rule Books - Update Information

#13

Post by Mister Fox »

The following changes have been implemented to the Mix Challenge - Addendum: Statistic Sheet and Wild Card Mechanic.



:information_source: This change is in accordance with the announcement of a stricter Rule Book enforcement from October 2022. Unfortunately, it took me really long to finally address this edit. Also see Newsletter from CW05 / February 2023.



:arrow: What does the Statistic Sheet tell you?

Original phrasing:
Filename / Forum Username:

The sheet lists your forum username in this column. If you didn't use the provided filename template (second post of each game thread), or even worse, your submitted file could not be associated with your forum user account, your entry will be marked as such. Two more ways to get the same color, is if your entry could not be downloaded by the end of the game's deadline, or if you've re-uploaded your entry (your submission is final, re-submissions are not allowed).
  • In all three cases, this is the only criteria where your entry is fully considered "OUT" (as in: out of the game), with no further chance to advance in the next mixing rounds. The used background color will be red.
Changed to:
Filename / Forum Username:

The sheet lists your forum username in this column. If you didn't use the provided filename template (always provided in first and second post of each game thread), or even worse, your submitted file could not be associated with your forum user account, your entry will be marked as such. Two more ways to get the same color, is if your entry could not be downloaded by the end of the game's deadline, or if you've re-uploaded your entry (your submission is final, re-submissions are not allowed).
  • in case of the filename template not being used,your entry will be "tagged disqualified" (this might change in August 2023 to tagged "OUT")
  • in case of no associated username, or file not being downloadable, this is the criteria where your entry is fully considered "OUT" (as in: out of the game), with no further chance to advance in the next mixing rounds. The used background color will be red.



Changes realized:
2023-FEB-15 -- 17:20 UTC+1/CET until 17:45 UTC+1/CET
User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 3188
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

Rule Books - Update Information

#14

Post by Mister Fox »

The following changes have been implemented to the Mix Challenge - Rules and Guidelines.



:information_source: This change is in accordance with the announcement of a stricter Rule Book enforcement from October 2022. Unfortunately, it took me really long to finally address this edit. Also see Newsletter from CW05 / February 2023.



:arrow: Rules for participants of the Mix Challenge

Original phrasing:
Upload and Submission Guidelines
  • ...
  • The entries must be properly named and tagged. Please use the naming convention: MC000_ArtistName_TrackName_ContestantName.wav and MC000_ArtistName_TrackName_ContestantName_R2.wav for Mix Round 2 (and/or R3 for Mix Round 3), while the Contestant Name equals the Forum Username. Not adhering to the template puts your entry at risk for not being able to be associated with your forum user account.
  • ...
Changed to:
Upload and Submission Guidelines
  • ...
  • All entries must be properly named and tagged prior to uploading. Please use the following naming convention: MC000__ArtistName__TrackName__ContestantName.wav and MC000__ArtistName__TrackName__ContestantName_R2.wav for Mix Round 2 (and/or R3 for Mix Round 3). The three-digit number after the abbreviation "MC" is the current game number, while the Contestant Name equals the Forum Username.
  • Each thread lists the filename template for the current running challenge in the first and (ideally also) the second post. Simply copy, paste, then adjust as needed. Please pay attention to detail, as not adhering to using the template puts your entry at risk to be disqualified.
  • ...



Changes realized:
2023-FEB-19 -- 05:00 UTC+1/CET until 05:20 UTC+1/CET
User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 3188
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

Rule Books - Update Information

#15

Post by Mister Fox »

The following changes have been implemented to the Mix Challenge - Rules and Guidelines.



:information_source: This change is part of a long overdue update to all Rule Books, and will also back up the Mix Pack bundled "TL;DR Rules.txt".



:arrow_right: TL;DR Rules

Original phrasing:
TL;DR - the rules it's shortest form:
This post will be updated with a simplified "Too Long, Didn't Read" version of the Rules and Guidelines
Changed to:
The rule set it's shortest form:
You don't want to read the whole Rules and Guidelines and/or find it too detailed? Here is a "Too Long, Didn't Read" (TL;DR in short) version.


TL;DR - PARTICIPATION RULES:
  • Each game begins on the 1st of the month! Check the corresponding Mix(ing) Challenge Thread (see here) and read up on the required tasks of the current game.
  • Try to create a mix in your own style that complements this production which can stand on it's own, no matter the playback medium. Do not merely try to copy the original mix.
  • The focus of this game is "mixing". Edit/Mix in such a way, that barely any after-touches other than proper fade in/out and finalizing for distribution (incl. loudness adjustments e.g. for release on Streaming, Vinyl, Tape, CD) is needed for a possible follow-up mastering step. Leave enough space in front and back.
  • Make the best out of the provided audio material (EQ, compression, transient tools, etc), no "drum sample triggering / replacement", neither any changes to the arrangement (copy/add/move/remove parts)! (unless otherwise stated). Micro-adjustments are allowed within reason.
  • Clean / Alternative versions of multi-tracks can be used if you need more flexibility over a certain sound (if present for this production).
  • please only provide WAV files. Files need to be accessible/downloadable from your preferred cloud storage space (no SoundCloud, WeTransfer or similar!). Double check for accessibility after the upload.
  • Render the edited material in the same sampling rate and bitrate as originally provided (will be specifically pointed out for each game, among others in the Mix Pack bundled "TL;DR Rules.txt")
  • The final WAV file shall not exceed -16,0 LUFS ILk and -1,00 dBTP
  • Pay attention to detail regarding the file naming. Use the provided template (see corresponding thread and Mix Pack bundled "TL;DR Rules.txt") - simply copy / paste and then adjust the ForumUsername.
  • Your submission is final. No edits / re-uploads allowed, unless you have been selected for Mix Round 2. Please check that everything is in proper order prior to uploading and posting on the forum
  • Post your entry on the Mix Challenge community forum, and provide documentation of your edit (to add to the learning aspect of our community, at bar minimum one instrument/sound you enjoyed sculpting)



Changes realized:
2024-MAY-10 -- 08:00 UTC+2/CEST until 08:20 UTC+2/CEST
User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 3188
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

Rule Books - Update Information

#16

Post by Mister Fox »

The following changes have been implemented to the Songwriting Competition - Rules and Guidelines.



:information_source: Small adjustments to the "TL;DR Rules" -- a bigger update to the whole Rule Book is in the making



:arrow_right: TL;DR Rules

Original phrasing:
TL;DR - PARTICIPATION:
  • ...
  • You can use whatever tool set you have at your disposal to create a finished production. The final mix must not be shorter than 1:30min, neither exceed 10min of runtime, unless otherwise stated.
  • ...
  • Properly name/tag your WAV or MP3 file (SWC000_ArtistName_TrackName.wav/mp3 - while the ArtistName is your forum username) prior to uploading and posting on the forum.
  • Upload your production to any place that hosts your files longer than 45 days (e.g. SoundCloud, Dropbox), and make the file easily downloadable. Then post your song in the corresponding competition thread, and also provide documentation.
  • ...

TL;DR - VOTING PROCESS:
  • ...
  • During the voting process, it is mandatory for each participant to give some final words of encouragement (feedback) to everyone and vote for ones personal Top 20 favorite compositions. Giving constructive feedback and interacting is an essential part of this particular game. Failing to do so, and/or voting for yourself, results in an automatic disqualification.
  • ...
Changed to:
TL;DR - PARTICIPATION:
  • ...
  • You can use any tool that is at your disposal (samples, virtual instruments and/or real instruments), exceptions apply regarding vocal sample usage).
  • ...
  • The final mix must not be shorter than 1:30min, neither exceed 10min of runtime, unless otherwise stated.
  • ...
  • Properly name/tag your WAV or MP3 file (SWC000__ArtistName__TrackName.wav/.mp3 - while the ArtistName is your forum username) prior to uploading and posting on the forum.
  • Upload your production to any place that hosts your files longer than 45 days, and make the file easily downloadable without the need of a login. Then post your song in the corresponding competition thread, and also provide documentation.
  • ...

TL;DR - VOTING PROCESS:

  • ...
  • During the voting process, it is mandatory for each participant to reflect on the personal experience with the current game, provide some final words of encouragement (feedback) and vote for ones personal favorite entries. Giving constructive feedback and interacting is an essential part of the Songwriting Competition. Failing to do so, and/or voting for yourself, results in an automatic disqualification.
  • ...


Changes realized:
2024-JUL-01 -- 00:50 UTC+2/CEST until 01:05 UTC+2/CEST
User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 3188
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

Rule Books - Update Information

#17

Post by Mister Fox »

The following changes have been implemented to the Rule Book.



:arrow_right: New Addendum

A new addendum for the Songwriting Competition called "Songwriting Competition - Addendum: Tools to help with songwriting" has been added.

The thread title might be changed in the future. Future updates to this topic will not be listed in the "Update Information" thread, as this topic is bonus information and not a critical set of rules.



Thread implemented:
2024-JUL-01 -- 07:20 UTC+2/CEST
Locked