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Remix Challenge - Rules and Guidelines

Collection of the official Rules and Guidelines, plus Addenda
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Mister Fox
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Remix Challenge - Rules and Guidelines


Post by Mister Fox »

These are the official rules for the "Remix Challenge"

All changes to the rules will be handled in here. The thread is linked from each challenge and the corresponding sub menu from the main page.

The rule set is split over the course of the following posts, for easier understanding and simplicity in terms of finding. Please consult the appropriate sub-point if you want to read up on the rules and limitation:

Post 1: Introduction Post
Post 2: General information about the challenge and time frames
Post 3: TL;DR Rules (not implemented yet)
Post 4: Rules and Guidelines in Video Form (not implemented yet)
Post 5: Song Provider Guidelines
Post 6: Rules for participants of the Remix Challenge
Post 7: Rules for the Evaluation Process
Post 8: Rules and General Information for winning goods
Post 9: FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions

If there are any questions, feel free to ask them in the Q&A and Gossip Area. Take note that the rules can be modified at any time(!) - though we will inform the contestants of the changes.

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General information about the challenge, time limits, etc


Post by Mister Fox »


What is this about (concept and idea):
The rules are fairly simple for a Remix Challenge (RMXC in short). You get a production (either a demo or finished) as "source material" and a remix package (which includes: a song key, a couple of loops/samples/recordings of used sounds and instruments, a possible vocal take, maybe even MIDI files). Participants then have a certain amount of time to create a remix from what was given - bar minimum, at least one sample/instrument and if present, the vocals. There is no limitation in terms of what tools you can use (unless otherwise stated).

The competition time frames
  • 45 days for writing/recording and submitting (1st of the month until 15th of the following month)
  • after submission period: evaluation by the client (maximum time frame: 14 days)
Currently, the RMXC is held each odd numbered month (01/January, 03/March, 05/May, etc). If there is not enough source material at present, then it will be an on-demand competition. (This competition is still in test run phase - rule sets and time frames are subject to change)

Ideally the challenge always starts on 0:01am (GMT+1/CET) of the 1st of the month and runs until 15th of the following month at 11:59pm (GMT+1/CET). There is no second Mix Round

Confused with the times, use this tool and select "Berlin (Germany)" as Location 2:

Alternatively: the global world clock at the top of the forum, the Global Countdown via the Mix Challenge homepage, or the timer on the index page

Thread for questions, giving feedback and OT talk: Q&A and Gossip Area

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Post by Mister Fox »

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

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Rules and Guidelines in Video Form [PLACEHOLDER]


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Placeholder for a video tutorial playlist

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Song Provider Guidelines


Post by Mister Fox »

If you want to provide the "Remix Challenge" a production to remix, please take note of the following notes and helpful guidelines.

If you have questions, or are unsure what to do (this post does look a bit intimidating!) - please feel free to contact the staff and you will be guided through every step of the process. You will not be left hanging.

General Information and Legalities
  • a song provider/a client can be anyone
  • any music genre is welcome
  • the provided track can be an old and/or already known release or even a work-in-progress production
  • Songs must not(!) be foreign content. Meaning, as song provider you must have(!) the rights and permission to share this song for this competition (if the track is public domain, please provide further information)
  • the clients presence during and after the Remix Challenge is mandatory - may it be via mail, or directly on mix-challenge.com (see "Guidelines for Evaluation" below for further detail)
  • Song provider must agree (consent), that the provided content is used for this particular competition only(!, temporary "exclusivity of editing of the source material") and that the participants can/will make their mixdowns public
  • The rights remain with the creator. The Mix Challenge audio community merely acts as a host for the competition.
  • The creator of the song is free to start a collaboration with the possible winner (congratulations to that). This will be beyond our boundaries.
  • Edited songs need a special permission to be released as part of a portfolio, or through any sale of some sort of the contestants! The rights remain with the creator. Any special deals outside of the game will be beyond our boundaries.
  • the song provider has no(!) influence how the song will turn out. He/she agrees to full artistic freedom by the participants of the competition - with certain limitations (see participant rules) or otherwise clearly stated rules
  • the song provider is not(!) allowed to join the competition for this particular round - he/she provided this material due to the fact that he/she is obviously interested in an alternate mix / edit. A participation like a regular participant would null that. Doing a mix/master/edit "just for fun and games" is allowed of course
  • Please also take note that due to the public nature of this challenge, the source material might find it's way to bootleg pages!
  • Furthermore, chances are that there will be backups made of both the source material and the contest entries to review that material at a later state (also see voting rules below). This can be revoked any time by the song provider if there is a regular/commercial release imminent and the song creator clearly states "do not share this anymore".

Technical Aspects - How to provide a song, Integrity Check, etc
  • If you contact the staff with one or several song proposals, please provide a finished demo mix to stream (important for the challenge) and link to download (important for the Mix Package)
  • once a production has been chosen for a possible future challenge, the next step is the so called "Integrity Check", which is a routine check up process to confirm if all files are coherent, free of errors or they might need minor adjustments prior to the actual challenge. You (the client) are not left alone with this. There will always be somebody to walk you through - up until the start of the competition
  • due to technical reasons (staff size), communication can run a bit thin - apologies in advance
  • for the so called "Integrity Check", please provide a TXT with the following
    • the full name and run time of the song
    • the speed of the track (bpm) and/or a tempo map should there be bpm changes
    • the time signature (e.g. 4/4, 6/8 or 3/4) and/or a documentation if there are signature changes
    • the song key and/or maybe even a chord progression chart
    • a couple of sentences (we call this "Words by the Song Provider") what this track is about, what you'd like to see in terms of a remix, what are absolute no-no's, possible special rules, etc.
    • lyrics and a translation (especially if the track is in a foreign language and not in English)
  • the production needs to be provided as individual WAV or AIFF tracks (aka: RAW tracks)
  • please render all mono tracks in mono, and all stereo tracks in stereo
  • the source material can be at anything between 44/24 (bar minimum!) to 96/32. Though please be reasonable with the Sampling Rate, and please do not Dither or Bit Truncate anything!
  • the individual tracks should not be lower than -24dBFS digital peak (average) and not be higher than -1dBFS digital peak (maximum) in terms of signal strength - this is to prevent high noise floors and/or clipping
  • you can decide if you want to provide a complete multi-track session (please consolidate all files first so that they have equal length), or just "looped sections" from your production (recommended to cut into proper loops like 4/8/12/16 bars, etc) and some additional hand selected samples
  • the cut up sections can be with or without any effects. Though the less effect usage, the more mangling capabilities for the participants. Sections with Reverb and/or Delay trails should always be rendered with an extra bar of silence
  • it is recommended to provide MIDI parts for melodies, arpeggios, certain chord progressions, etc
  • If possible, Guitars and Bass should be provided in DI form - but please document how you recorded/treated the guitars for sound recreation
  • vocals should be as unprocessed as possible
  • Compress all files as ZIP or RAR the files, then forward it to the staff

If you got further questions, feel free to reach out via the Contact Form or in the General Gossip Thread

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Rules for participants of the Remix Challenge


Post by Mister Fox »

These rules and guidelines are for the challenge participants and the actual competition itself. This is the most important rule set for those that want to participate with an production. Violation of the rules will result in a public warning, and in worse cases even in an instant disqualification.

Rule set for participants
  • Each Remix Challenge starts with a finished production as preview, a remix pack and a possible genre limitation. At bar minimum, you must use at least one provided sample / loop / instrument from the source production, and if present, the vocals
  • Production shall ideally not exceed 10 minutes. A good practice is to try to shoot between 3 and 6 minutes of run time (unless otherwise stated)
  • Do not create productions shorter than 1:30 minutes (think TV openings/endings), see previous point for ideal length of production (unless otherwise stated)
  • Your entry can be created with any tool at your disposal. No limit on samples, instruments and effects (unless otherwise stated). The final result must be provided in digital form (WAV and/or MP3 usually) however.
  • It is recommended to not go higher than -14LUFS SLk (avg) or K-12v1 (avg) in terms of perceived loudness (mastering)
  • Important: One person can participate with either one entry, or with one entry and/or (if the creative output is that high) multiple collaborative efforts. However, only one main entry per participant - no multiple entries of the same song/production but with a slightly different mix!
  • 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 only use tools and sample content you are legally entitled to use
  • Minor edits to your submission are allowed, but this is not a WIP forum. Your entry is final!

  • you can upload to wherever you like (DropBox, Google Drive, SoundCloud, etc)
  • entries must be available for at least 40 days (the free accounts of WeTransfer and Hightail only allow accessibility up to 7 days)
  • edits must be easily available to download without the need of any special login (SoundCloud especially), download tools (EXE installers) or various captcha requests
  • the entries must be properly named and tagged (especially for SoundCloud entries). For example: SWC000_ArtistName_TrackName.wav/mp3, while (ideally) the Artist Name equals the Forum Username
  • MP3 format shall ideally be in 320kbit. Other files formats like OGG, M4A/AAC or FLAC are also possible. But consider that not everyone can play back these files
  • it is encouraged to render in a reasonable sampling rate (44kHz or 48kHz are common these days)
  • If you're using an artist name that is different from your user name on the forum, make that clear in the first paragraph of your post and in the tags of your entry!

Giving feedback to each other:
  • giving feedback to each other is highly encouraged. This adds to the learning process, and to gather new ideas for future challenges
  • please hold back the feedback until the main competition has ended. This is to not influence others during the current running challenge
  • the thread remains open for discussion after the game has ended
Sidenote: we are currently investigating the MP4 Audio/AAC format as alternative audio format

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Rules for the Evaluation Process


Post by Mister Fox »

The winners podium is declared by the song provider (in other words, the client) after giving feedback to the tracks after the first and second submission period. We call this "Song Evaluation Period".

General Evaluation Guidelines
  • Evaluation happens after the submission period (45 days) has ended. Please take note of the challenge time frames
  • Post the 45 day remix period, the song provider can and must give feedback to all of the submitted tracks. If there is an exceedance of 10 submissions by participants (which can easily happen with this type of game), then only for the top 10 productions are mandatory to be evaluated (client can give feedback to all entries if he/she so desires).
  • It is recommended that the song provider bundles the feedback in one post
  • The "Winners Podium" (top 3 entries), along with feedback to the top 10 participants, is ideally declared within 14 days after the game has ended.
  • The clients presence during and after the Remix Challenge is mandatory. May it be via mail, or directly on this forum
  • If the song provider is not approachable within a reasonable time frame of 45 days post submission period for either Round, then the Mix Challenge staff will take helm and cast a decision

For the client - objective evaluation with Loudness Normalization techniques

If a more objective evaluation of all entries is desired, then "Loudness Normalization" might be of interest. Please follow this thread for more information about this topic and on how to do that.

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Rules and General Information for winning goods


Post by Mister Fox »

Since we have license sponsors for this competition (mentioned separately in each corresponding competition thread), people that participate with a production have the chance to win tools or audio content. But in order to do so, we need to unfortunately set up an additional set of rules.

General rules
  • people allowed to win are participants of the Remix Challenge that sent in a track
  • ADDITION (as of RMXC003) If there have been less than four (number: 4) participants in the current running game, there will no licenses available to win. This is to prevent a "participation medal" situation
  • ADDITION (as of RMXC003) if there are equal or less than seven (number: 7) participants in the current running game, there will only be a single winner
  • the sole winner/the three winners of the challenge(s) are only declared by the song provider (see evaluation process above)
  • the three winners of the competition can choose from the available content by the license sponsors.
  • Only the main songwriter (the person that submitted the production) can select licenses. If there are collaborators involved, the main songwriter has to clear the "license question" himself/herself (if one of the collaborators wants a license or not). However if a collaborator also happens to be a main songwriter with an own submission on the Winners Podium, only one(!) license will be awarded to pick
  • Since we have several license sponsors for this challenge, the first winner has the first pick, the second winner can choose from what is left available in the pool, etc.
  • Only one company per winner - if the company has already been picked, it drops out of the pool for the next winner.
  • Price distribution will be cleared/handled in public in the thread of the corresponding challenge
  • If you happen to be among the top spots but don't want to pick a license, the next winner in line can pick up what's left in the pool. You are not forced to pick up anything
  • If you happen to among the top spots, please don't let others wait unnecessarily until you made your selection -- if you do not respond within 5 days after the game has ended, it will be assumed that you do not want to pick up anything and the next person in line can select something from the available licenses

Additional information for the license winners
  • you have to pick the license in public. Picking a license is on order of the winners podium
  • the license winner then has to get in touch with the admin of the forum (that is Mister Fox)
  • please provide your contact information (name and email address) plus what license you picked, and then either the company in question gets in touch with you directly, or the license handler (in this case, the forum admin)
  • Should you not(!) get an answer within reasonable time (7 work days bar minimum), contact the license handler again (or the admin rather, Mister Fox), and ask for a status. DO NOT CONTACT THE COMPANY OFFERING THE LICENSE DIRECTLY!
  • should you ignore this repeatedly, you'll be closed out of winning licenses in the future.
  • should you not respond via PM's within 30 days after the corresponding game has ended (requesting a license), your license offer/request will turn invalid

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Post by Mister Fox »

The FAQ?!
This section is for frequently asked questions of things that are not really clear

Q1) ARG! I don't have the time to join! I won't make it! Can you extend the time limits? Or do this every other month instead?
A2) No, but you can put away some time and join the next round of course. :tu:

Q2) The rules are too much - it kills the fun of the competition
A2) We hear your opinion, but we can't agree on that. Unfortunately, we have to set up fairly strict rules for everyone to be on common ground. Pretty much every challenge or competition in the music realm has this. Even if they seem like a lot, they are still fairly simple however. Though granted, super detailed in text form.

Q3) I won the competition! How can I pick up my license?
A3) Please get in touch with user "Mister Fox" (currently) - he'll guide you through. But please don't wait too long for your "first pick", the other winners want to choose as well.

Q4) Wait - I don't get this? Does the final product have to be -18dBFS RMS avg?
A4) There are no limits in terms of sound source and effect usage for the Remix Challenge (unless otherwise stated). You can create a production however you seem fit, mix and master it even. However, while it is recommended for Mix Challenges to work with a reference level and not exceed -18dBFS RMS avg to -15dBFS RMS avg for the perceived loudness (ideally, non higher than -16LUFS SLk avg) - the Remix Challenge can have "hotter" releases. Though it is recommended to aim non higher than K-12 (-12dBFS RMS avg, K-System v1) or -14LUFS SLk avg (or ILk for the whole stream) as absolute maximum loudness

Q5) So I can Mix and Master myself?
A5) Yes! Though considering that the winning entry could be used for a "Mix(ing) Challenge" and/or "Mastering Challenge", It is recommended to all participants to practice good editing/workflow techniques in order to make preparations for possible follow up "games" easier. Also, tracks at a loudness of -14LUFS SLk avg (ITU-R specs)/-12dBFS RMS avg (K-System) usually don't need strong "mastering treatment". Please also see "Mix Challenge - Rules and Guidelines Addendum: Summing Bus Treatment", for a combined use with a proper Peak Limiter. A good base mix goes a long way.

Q6) Can I edit my entry? I've missed something / I had a render issue (IMPORTANT: Songwriting Competition only!)
A5) You can, as long as it's really only because of that. Your entry should ideally be final. If you need to do changes or update your documentation, please edit the forum post you used for your submission, and don't post a second time.

more FAQs will be added as soon as there are more similar questions popping up...