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MIX CHALLENGE - MC38 November 2017 - Winners announced

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Mister Fox
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MIX CHALLENGE - MC38 November 2017 - Winners announced

#1

Post by Mister Fox »

Hello and welcome to the Mix Challenge 38 - November 2017


This is the introduction post, where we directly link to the challenge corresponding files (source files, submission information, sponsors), start of the evaluation process and the first post for re-submissions for Mix Round 2.



With this month's Mix Challenge, we're getting access to a German Folk Pop / Rock production. The song is called "Jugendheld" (Youth Hero) and is a recording session (with later added overdubs) by the band "Die Graureiher". As with every challenge, there is a slight twist involved. Please read more below...



Please take note of the following
  • IMPORTANT: It is now mandatory to provide WAV files (FLAC bar minimum on low internet bandwidth), files need to be accessible/downloadable, try to work within suitable work levels, document your edits (as simple or as detailed as you like)
    IMPORTANT: please use the following naming convention from now on: MC000_-_ArtistName_-_TrackName_-_ContestanttName.wav/mp3 and MC000_-_ArtistName_-_TrackName_-_ContestanttName_R2.wav/mp3 for Mix Round 2. The order of the tags might change in upcoming challenges - though this is up for debate
  • It is highly encouraged to give feedback to each other, to share tips and tricks. Ideally, this should happen after Mix Round 1 has ended, to not influence each other during the main competition round

Also please take note of the following
  • We're desperately looking for new source material for future competitions. Please follow our official campaign. No new tracks mean no more challenges! Please reach out!
  • our Twitter account can be found via the handle @MixChallenge - throw us a Tweet and we add you to the participant lists
  • our Facebook account can also be found via the handle MixChallenge now
  • if you like what the Mix Challenge (community) has been doing in recent months, please consider supporting us. For example with a voluntary monthly donation (this will mainly cover server and social media maintenance fees). Some interesting bonus perks await you through Patreon, and donors get a special rank on the forum.



This post will be updated with the corresponding links as we progress, and of course the suitable thread headlines. So please watch this spot:


Submission Period: General Information, Source Files, Sponsors
Mix Round 2: Global Feedback and Round 2 Participant Announcement
Results of the Mix Challenge 38: Winners announced (feedback will follow)

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Mister Fox
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC38 November 2017 - Submissions until 21-11-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#2

Post by Mister Fox »

CURRENT CHALLENGE - GENERAL INFORMATION

Time Frame: Wednesday, 01st November 2017 to Tuesday, 21st November 2017 (21 days)

Challenge submission will end on 21-11-2017, 11:59pm CET/GMT+1 (Germany) - until further notice.

Want to find out if you're still within the deadline, please consult the following options:
The Global Countdown on it's dedicated page or the countdown on the home page. You can also consult the World Clock at the top of the forum or alternatively the following tool - in this case please select "Berlin (Germany)" as location 1, and your location as location 2: Time and Date - World Clock Meeting Planner. We do post reminders via our Twitter account and Facebook page.



Song Provider: Graureiher (Fabian Brümmer)
Song Name and Length: Jugendheld, 5:05min
Song Information: varying BPM (from 82 BPM to 88 BPM) / Signature: 4/4, G maj
File Format: WAV, 48kHz, 24bit

GENRE: German Folk Pop / Rock


Preview of the Song:
phpBB [media]




A word from the song provider:
Fabian Brümmer wrote:This is an older song by this band called "Graureiher". For an amateur band they have a lot of songs, and over the years "Jugendheld" disappeared in this nirvana of forgotten tracks. A year ago I rediscovered it and suggested the band to rewrite, rearrange and record it. These are the roots of this song. As you can hear, in the recording are some major problems caused by my inexperienced micing and the band's inexperienced tracking.

One of these problems are the drums. The drums and the bass are recorded in one live session with the band. Vocals and guitars have been overdubbed later and other instruments (such as the french harp) have been added. Especially on the drum room tracks are a lot of vocal bleeding from the first session. You have the free choice of using the room mics or rebuilding a virtual room with plugins.

One of the first things I notice in a mix, are the drums. That’s why my choice of the winning mix will be hardly influenced by its drum sound. The drummers soft way of hitting the drum kit will make that a challenge. Try to give the Snare and the Kick some place in the mix, where they have room to breathe. Don’t take my rough mix as a model, take it only as a track preview, so you hear the the song glued together.


The band's style, especially of the lead vocalist, reminds one of "Westernhagen" (Marius Müller-Westernhagen). This COULD be a possible direction you would want to take for a mix. But I also will reward creativity in the mix. If you find some alternative ways to mix*, from which the song does benefit, don’t hold it back. But don’t force something strange, that only sounds weird, but not good.

Some last words about rules:
Master bus processing is allowed, as long as it doesn’t change the whole picture of your mix. For example: feel free to use some compression on your master bus, but heavy EQ changes are unwanted.

Be creative!

Fabi


*alternative way to mix: what I mean with this, would be for example distorted or aggressive delays or something like that in unexpected places.

A few words by the Mix Challenge staff:
Staff (Mister Fox) wrote:Since the song is in German, I do recommend to consult the TXT with the lyric translation. Understanding the lyrics of a song always helps in my opinion to port a certain desired "feeling" with the production.

The client already talked about this, but the first time I listened to the song, I was instantly reminded of "Marius Müller-Westernhagen", one of Germany's most known "German Rock" musicians from around the 80ies. Other influential musicians being: Achim Reichel, Heinz Rudolf Kunze, Stoppok, etc. Westernhagen is known for his raspy "shouting voice" (one of the first that did this over here), mixed with upbeat rock from north Germany. You might have heard his song "Freiheit", "Sexy" or even "Schweigen ist Silber". Personally, the first citadel of this genre was between 1986 to 1995. So this could be a starting point for you to get acquainted with this part of German Rock History. Which saw a heavy revival about not even 10 years later with bands like "Silbermond" - but I digress.


There is not much I can offer you in terms of hints. The first thing you should do however, is "tap tempo" to create a custom tempo map for this production. The BPM drifts from 82 BPM to 88 BPM.

Drum wise, you can go different routes. The front mic for example can be used for "more" than just a backup microphone. Using a gate / expander might also be of interest. Maybe even modern day "drum debleeding" tools. Depending on your wanted sound (super clean vs slightly grungy)

Another thing you could try, would be using certain "room mics" for doubling. Take a look at the acoustic guitars for example. There are no guitar DI tracks for reamping "available" (not that it's needed every time) this time around. So work with what you have.

I do(!) recommend automation!


Other than that - good luck, and let your creativity run wild.

Please also consult the TXT files that are bundled in the source files package below. There you can find more information about the individual files and changes to the time signature.

Special Add-On Rules:
  • try to create a mix that complements this production (in your own style)
  • Clean / Alternative versions can be used if you need more flexibility over a certain sound (if present in this production)
  • No rearrangement or pitch shifting of the song structure, with the exception of the following add-on rules
  • PRODUCTION RELATED: no drum replacement, work with what you have (EQ and compression goes a long way)
  • summing bus processing is allowed, as long as the dynamic range (average signal strength to maximum signal strength) doesn't suffer - use of this method is artistically!
  • try to not(!) pre-master the track (please no overuse of mix bus treatment, no loudness adjustments / limiting)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Source Files:

Main Mix Package - Mirror on the Mix Challenge Homepage (700,56 MB, LZMA compressed)


The provided files were packed as ZIP with LZMA compression.
File size extracted: 1698,21 MB, packed 700,56 MB (ZIP, LZMA)
In order to extract the files, we can recommend these programs:

Macintosh:
The Unarchiver - get it here

Windows:
7zip - Installation / Portable


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Please take note of the official rules - they can be found at the following thread:
Mix Challenge - Official Rules and Guidelines

Please address any OT question in the official Gossip thread:
Mix Challenge - Gossip and Discussion

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SPONSORS (Prizes):

Prizes for mix participants:

Note: All licenses are NFR (Not-For-Resale), except where noted.
Changes to available prices on short notice may be possible and will be announced separately.


Image
Acon Digital is kind enough give away a single plugin of winner's choice.
License will turn into NFR
More info on Acon Digital: http://acondigital.com


Image
Ghostwave Audio (Vincent Bastiat) is kind enough to donate MixRight (a Reaktor Ensemble) to the winner (until December 2017)
License won't turn into NFR, you need Native Instruments Reaktor 5.8+ for this
More info on Ghostwave Audio: http://ghostwaveaudio.com/


Image
Metric Halo is kind enough to give away a single plugin of winner's choice.
License will turn into NFR
More info about Metric Halo: http://mhsecure.com/metric_halo/


Image
Nyrv Systems offers AGENT incl. all currently available NyrvDevices and free update to at least v1.5 of winner's choice (until further notice)
License will turn into NFR
More info about Nyrv Systems: http://www.nyrvsystems.com/


Image
Sound / Graphic Designer, and Mix Challenge staff satYatunes is donating one commercial product of winner's choice (until further notice)
More info on satYatune's page: http://www.satyatunes.com/


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Tone2 is kind enough to donate either a bundle consisting of AkustiX Enhancer and WarmVerb, or a license of Ultraspace to the winner (until further notice)
License will turn into NFR
More info on Tone2: https://tone2.com


Image
Two Notes Audio Engineering is kind enough to donate one license of Torpedo Wall of Sound III to the winner, loaded with 57 cabinets (equivalent to "Torpedo WoS II") (donation until End of 2017)
License will not turn into NFR
More info on Two Notes: http://www.two-notes.com/en/



THANKS FOR THE LICENSE DONATIONS!
And also a thank you to all former contributors as well.

If you want to sponsor content (please have a focus on mix plugins, bundles and the likes), please get in touch with the Mix Challenge staff.

Please spread the word of the challenge on social media.
For example with our dedicated Twitter Account or Facebook Page

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Good luck to all participants.
And most importantly, have fun!

OctopusOnFire
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC38 November 2017 - Submissions until 21-11-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#3

Post by OctopusOnFire »

Hi,
Very interesting song to mix. I enjoyed working with acoustic guitars last month, so I'm happy that we keep up with that trend once again.

I've got two questions regarding the mix:

- Could you explain what you mean by
Another thing you could try, would be using certain "room mics" for doubling.
- Some drum hits are a bit "off the mark" but this seems to be a production aiming for a natural sound. It would be helpful to hear from the song provider how far can we go with drum quatization, or if we should use it at all, because I'm afraid many of us will be tempted to do so.

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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC38 November 2017 - Submissions until 21-11-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#4

Post by Mister Fox »

I'll inform the client ASAP to get on top open questions. However, I think I can answer most of them as well.


1) Using room mics for doubling:
Look in the Additional Tracks folder. There are room mics for an acoustic guitar and the Harmonica. With the right effects, you could use them for "doubling purposes", especially since Acoustic Guitar 2 wasn't recorded twice. See it as additional possible flavor.


2) Drum Quantization:
That could prove to be really troublesome as the track wasn't (to my knowledge) recorded with a click track. The track also shifts in terms of BPM values, and there is a ton of bleeding going on (since it's a whole-band-in-one-room recording), so edits might be noticeable. I understand where this is coming from, especially in the beginning. I wouldn't do it on the long terms (a lot of work). But I will get the client on this ASAP.

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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC38 November 2017 - Submissions until 21-11-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#5

Post by Dodgingrain »

I saw we are staying away from outright drum replacement but are we allowed drum enhancement? aka can I add a reinforcing snare, kick, etc using a sample?
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC38 November 2017 - Submissions until 21-11-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#6

Post by Mister Fox »

Listen to the demo mix, which was created without drum triggering (I'm unsure on "sub kick" trickery though). So I'd say, there is no need (and I'd love to discuss the need for triggering in the Gossip Thread - since this didn't come up the first time). But I'm not the client, do I can't make a decision on this.

But I asked him to join the conversation ASAP. So please be patient

fajebru
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC38 November 2017 - Submissions until 21-11-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#7

Post by fajebru »

Hi,
if you want to create a tempo map and quantize the drums over it, feel free to do so. But since the BPM of the recording change pretty drastically, I wouldn't recommend doing that. Personally I would probably move some single hits that were off a little bit. Other than that, you are allowed to quantize the drums, if you want so.

fajebru
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC38 November 2017 - Submissions until 21-11-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#8

Post by fajebru »

Personally I got nothing against drum enhancement, BUT the thing is: It's hard to draw I line between enhancement and a sample that is getting so much attention that it is no more just an enhancement. And the drums are one of the bigger challenges of this challenge, so I'd like the participants to get the best of the original acoustic drum sound. So please don't use any drum samples.

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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC38 November 2017 - Submissions until 21-11-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#9

Post by Mister Fox »

:!: A short update on license donations:

Ghostwave Audio will be donating MixRight one final time for Mix Challenge 38. I'm happy to announce however, that the company continues their kindness with donations for the Songwriting Competition, starting with SWC03.

A huge thank you goes to Ghostwave Audio for providing the licenses. :tu:

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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC38 November 2017 - Submissions until 21-11-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#10

Post by Photonic »

Hallo Graureiher,

Thank you providing this nice song. I like the story of the lyrics, sounds like a real life experience.
The biggest amount of time in this mixing process was the time correction. I did not much to the drums. I left the timing variants as they are. I just corrected some single strockes. But I tried to align the bass an all guitars to the drums on to eachother.
I did not use the alternative tracks. I made my own rooms.
Lots of volume automation. E.q. I tried to make the chorus louder and fuller by reducing the 12-string and AGuit2 in the verse.

MP3: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1iklq39w5n0nk ... c.mp3?dl=1
WAV: https://www.dropbox.com/s/imjga7aczsutu ... c.wav?dl=1

Mixed in Reaper v5.51
Drum Bus: Satturation and compression with two analog emulating plugins. ThrillseekerVBL and Freeic TDS used.
Kick: ReaEQ (+2dB at 50Hz, -6dB at 200Hz, +5dB at 4kHz), ReaComp with slow attack and fast release r4:1, Transpire for more transients and longer sustain.
Snare: ReaEQ (Highpass at 170Hz, +2dB at 200Hz, -6dB at 450Hz to remove ringing, +6dB highshelf at 3kHz), ReaComp with slow attack and fast release r4:1, Transpire for more transients and longer body sustain, ReaGate to shorten the high ratteling sound, Reverb send
Hihat: ReaEQ (Highpass at 300Hz, +3dB at 7kHz)
Overheads: ReaEQ (Highpass at 400Hz, +3dB highshelf at 4kHz), ReaComp with slow attack and fast release r2:1
Front: I used this track as room mic smulation, ReaEQ (Highpass at 70Hz, -12dB at 500Hz to remove ringing, smoothe lowcut at 4kHz), ReaGate to isolate Snare and kick, ReaComp with slow attack and fast release r2:1, Reverb send

Bass: BassProfessorII, ReaEQ (+1dB at 600Hz, -3dB at 1.7kHz, lowpass at 5kHz), Transpire to smooth transients
12-String: ReaEQ (Highpass at 150Hz, -4dB notch at 2.2kHz to remove some resonaces, +3dB at 3.5kHz), ReaComp with auto setting r2:1
AGuit1L+R: ReaEQ (Highpass at 150Hz, -5dB lowQ at 350Hz, +3dB at 3.5kHz, -4dB notch at 2.2kHz), ReaComp with auto setting r2:1
AGuit2: ReaEQ (Highpass at 150Hz, -3dB lowQ at 1kHz, -3dB notch at 2.2kHz), ReaComp with auto setting r2:1
EGuitL+R: Voxengo Boogex for reamping. I used a clean sound for the verse and a more gritty and slightly distorted sound for the chorus, S-LAX for compression
EGuitSolo: ReaEQ (Highpass at 250Hz, +3dB at 1.5kHz, -2dB at 2.8kHz, lowpass at 8kHz), ReaComp with auto setting r4:1, ReaDelay
Harmonica: ReaEQ (Highpass at 300Hz, +2dB at 1.4kHz, -2dB at 4kHz), S-LAX for compression, ReaDelay

LeadVocal: ReaEQ (Highpass at 120Hz, +2dB at 250Hz, -3dBnotch at 500Hz, -2 dB at 1.8kHz), S-LAX, Transpire to reduce transients, TDR Nova for de-essing
BackVoc: ReaEQ (Highpass at 200Hz, +3dB at 2.3kHz), S-LAX
Choir: ReaEQ (Highpass at 200Hz, +2dB at 400Hz, +3dB at 3.6kHz), S-LAX

Reverbs: Acon Digital Verberate
Master: MQ57, TDR Kotelnikov, Satin, SPAN

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