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MIX CHALLENGE - MC063 March 2020 - Winners announced

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Mister Fox
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MIX CHALLENGE - MC063 March 2020 - Winners announced

#1

Post by Mister Fox »

Hello and welcome to the Mix Challenge 63 - March 2020


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.



This month we have the chance to work on a Pop-Rock production by fellow forum user "CeZar". The song is called "Scars", and is from his debut album "2005".

An important note:
 ! Bonus Info
The song was written, produced, mixed and mastered by Cezar Stefan Habeanu. All rights reserved.

The multitracks are provided solely for the Mix Challenge competition (namely MC063) for educational purposes. The multitracks and edited mixes may not be used outside of the challenge without prior agreement. The mix package will be made unavailable once Mix Round 1 has ended.
Read more about the production below, and in the bundled TXTs.




Please take note of the following
  • Please consult the official "Rules and Gudelines" for the Mix Challenge regarding principles of the game, recommendations and upload/submission guidelines,
  • IMPORTANT: as of MC061, please only provide WAV files, files need to be accessible/downloadable, try to work within suitable work levels (the focus of this game is "mixing", not mixing and finalizing), document your edits (ideally also with screenshots), name the files properly to distinguish your edit from all others.
  • please use the following naming convention (Contestant Name = Forum Username):
    • MC000_ArtistName_TrackName_ContestantName.wav
    • MC000_ArtistName_TrackName_ContestantName_R2.wav for those that go into Mix Round 2
    • Example: MC063__CeZar__Scars__forum_username.wav
  • please only upload to cloud storage spaces (DropBox, GoogleDrive, etc), not SoundCloud.
  • 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
  • Our Song Pool has dried up! We're looking for new source material for future competitions. Please follow our official campaign. Your only investment is time in turn for a free mix by our very talented participants. No new tracks mean no more challenges! Please reach out!



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: Winners announced

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Mister Fox
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC063 March 2020 - Submissions until 21-03-2019 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#2

Post by Mister Fox »

CURRENT CHALLENGE - GENERAL INFORMATION

Time Frame: Sunday, 01st March 2020 to Saturday, 21st March 2020 (21 days)

Challenge submission will end on 21-03-2020, 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: CeZar
Song Name and Length: Scars, 3:45 min
Song Information: 126 BPM / Signature: 4/4, Key of C# min
File Format: WAV, 44kHz, 24bit

GENRE: Pop-Rock


Preview of the Song:
phpBB [media]


Link to Reverbnation: https://reverbnation.com/CeZarPage


A word from the song provider:
CeZar wrote:The song was written and recorded in autumn 2017 and was featured on my debut album “2005” which was launched in April 2018 and signed by Universal Music.

The recording was done in our home studios, I did the voices, synths and the acoustic guitars at my place, the drums, bass and electric guitars were at each of my band mates places.

This lyrics are about a past relationship I had that turned very toxic and i decided to move on.


Opinions;
This is was the last song that I’ve included on an 8 track LP called “2005”, my debut album.

I’ve done the mix twice throughout a period of 2 years as I was learning more stuff about mixing, I did this for the whole album. While the other tracks seemed to work out better, I felt that this song has never reached its’ full potential. something about the way I’ve done the production just didn’t work out the way it should have.


Do feel free to add your own mojo to the tracks!



(more technical details in the Mix Pack bundled TXTs)

A few words by the Mix Challenge staff:
Staff (Mister Fox) wrote:This is one of the rare chances, where we get access to a production that has already been released. So this challenge is purely for educational purposes. For both the participants, and the songwriter himself.

The source material offers a nice balance of "printed" sounds (guitar amps, edited vocals), and clean recordings - so you can easily mix / match to your needs (as in: either the blended mics, or go with the "clean" mics/DI tracks and then go from there).

Please keep in mind, no drum sample triggering (see rule set). The source material has been recorded so well however, you can easily build upon that with regular FX usage.

There is really not much more to add this month, other than get acquainted with the Pop/Rock genre (Wikipedia is a good start), and have fun editing.

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.

Rule Summary / 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 for this production)
  • make the best out of the provided audio material (EQ, compression, transient tools, etc), no "drum sample triggering / replacement"!
  • 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 - the focus of this game is "mixing" - NO MASTERING
  • provide the material in the same sampling rate and bitrate as originally provided. Do not convert/dither down
  • ADD-ON RULES - PRODUCTION RELATED: <no special rules declared>
Please consult the official Rules and Guidelines for a more detailed set of rules. Failing to adhere to the rules will result in instant disqualification


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


Source Files:

Main Mix Package - Mirror on the Mix Challenge Homepage (650,24 MB, LZMA compressed, zip)
IMPORTANT NOTE: file unavailable after 21-MAR-2020


The provided files were packed as ZIP with LZMA compression.
File size extracted: 1531,76 MB, packed 650,24 MB (ZIP, LZMA)
In order to extract the files, we can recommend these programs:

Macintosh:
The Unarchiver - get it here
Keka (open source) - get it here

Windows:
7zip - Installation / Portable


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

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

If you like what the Mix Challenge (community) has been doing in recent months:
Please consider supporting us

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


SPONSORS (Prizes):

Prizes for Mix Challenge 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
Hornet Plugins is kind enough give away one license from the depicted tools (see image) to the winner
License will turn into NFR
More info on Hornet Plugins: http://www.hornetplugins.com


Image
IK Multimedia is kind enough give away one license of T-RackS ONE to the winner
License will turn into NFR
More info on IK Multimedia: https://www.ikmultimedia.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
NOS Audio is kind enough give away one license of NOS Roomer to the winner
License will turn into NFR
More info on NOS Audio: http://www.nosaudio.com/


Image
Tone2 is kind enough to donate a license of Ultraspace to the winner
License will turn into NFR
More info on Tone2: https://tone2.com



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!

ManuC
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 17:06 CEST
Location: Suisse

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC063 March 2020 - Submissions until 21-03-2019 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#3

Post by ManuC »

Hi All,

This day was a rainy day, so i take 2,5 hours for practice mixing.

After download the multitrack, i make a quick balanced rough mix for reference. (this let me see that the tracks are well recorded!)

Then, i place some eq on tracks, first drums and track by track if needed (Fabfilter pro q2)

Some compression on OH and voices (CLA 76 black for OH and Backing voices, Blue one for Lead Voices)

After a brief listening of the Drums rooms, I decide not to use them and to apply a simple reverb on the snare drum and the toms

Gating the toms with Fabfilter pro G.

Some deessing for voices.

then i place a little amont of native instruments varicomp for a little glue on the master bus.

I construct the mix to have an aerate verse, and a massive chorus.

Add some reverbs on ac guitars, Snare, toms, voices. Automation for some specific moments (into, first part of first verse and outro)

Add some delays on lead voice on chorus.

I take a look at the end to the initial mix, and i see that i'm not close to it at all, so there is my vision of the song :shrug:

Print screen
https://www.dropbox.com/s/oyimrlqdreww4 ... 6.png?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/hvqp1gzpvdf64 ... 6.png?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/fi9d1gyft6tui ... 3.png?dl=0


Audio
https://www.dropbox.com/s/bbkoabj4fd0nl ... C.mp3?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/q0er87yl6mc1s ... C.wav?dl=0

Thanks To mix challenge ans CeZar for this beautiful song, well arranged, recorded and edited.

I hope all participants will enjoy!

Musical greetings

ThaSome
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 21:32 CEST

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC063 March 2020 - Submissions until 21-03-2019 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#4

Post by ThaSome »

Hello, this is my entry:

Wav:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/4t62yoak326gx ... e.wav?dl=0

Mp3:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/3yal8obnko0h4 ... e.mp3?dl=0

Screenshot:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ws256jl0ij2i6 ... s.png?dl=0


I've tried to have some reverb-feeling sounding on my mix, and I have been working a lot for the rythm to get catchy with a soft snare style.

This was so cool because you must see how is the best way to share the emotions the music already has...
I got inspired by Spanish rock musicians, (specially in some rock-Baladas pieces), the trick is that the second voices sound well defined and the first voice has a deep reverb.

The another thing I wanted is to pan everything exactly in touch for an acoustical feeling.

Thank you for this contest, and good luck for everyone, enjoy my mix.

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Mister Fox
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Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC063 March 2020 - Submissions until 21-03-2019 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#5

Post by Mister Fox »

It is nice to already see "ice breakers" (first posts) in this game, however...

I'd like to remind all of you of the Rules and Guideline for participants (I really hoped to not do this in March). Important parts marked in bold red.

Rules for participants of the Mix Challenge wrote:RULES FOR PARTICIPANTS OF THE MIX CHALLENGE:
Rule set for mix participants
  • ...
  • We do recommend to not send in your mix within the first 24 hours of the Challenge. Take a day off, give your ears time to relax, take another listen the next day. Your entry is final - no re-submissions with changes allowed unless you're selected for Mix Round 2 (see FAQ)
  • ...

Upload and Submission Guidelines
  • ...
  • it is mandatory to provide an uncompressed WAV file
  • please do not provide a MP3, AAC or FLAC file (as of MC061, only relevant for the Mix Challenge)
  • ...
  • export in the sampling rate and bitrate the material was provided. Bar minimum in 24bit however. e.g. Source Material provided in 16bit, please provide a 24bit mix. If source material was provided in 24bit, please submit a 24bit mix, etc
  • please be reasonable with your release - 44kHz or 48kHz source material does not need to be released in 96kHz or even 192kHz, unless otherwise stated


I am just pointing out that we still have 01-MAR-2020, the Mix(ing) Challenge will run for another 20 days (and 5 hours)... your entry is final.

sam.pierpont
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2020 14:54 CET

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC063 March 2020 - sam.pierpoint Submission

#6

Post by sam.pierpont »

Hey guys,

This is my first mix challenge but I thought it was a super cool idea so I've given it a go! Firstly loved the track it's got that super big "wall of sound" character to it, after opening up the stems it was imminently obvious how well recorded the tracks were especially the drums (such a solid player) and I thought it was super useful to have the DI's of all the parts too however I actually ended up muting all the DI signals and mixing the cab signals, apart from obviously the bass.

I decided not to focus on using EQ's to sculpt out too much because in the past when I've done this it's led to creating a dull and hollow sounding mix and to be honest I think a lot of the tracks just needed a splash of excitement, so I found myself using the Softube Saturation Knob (free) a lot to just add some high mid information! My compressor of choice for 90% of the mix was the Waves CLA-76, and the Fab Filter Pro Q3 as my EQ. There's the odd bits off SSL EQ and Focusrite Red compressor but it was all super simple moves across the whole mix with the use of some stock Plate and Room reverb / delays!

Also a little side note I loved the split verse and chorus lead vocal, I've never really thought of doing that (as simple as it is) but it made processing the vocal for each section super easy! Anyway enough talking...here's my submission.

If anyone wants to know any of the finer details of the mix just let me know! Mixed in Presonus Studio One 3 Pro

https://www.dropbox.com/s/tifizveegwfp1 ... t.wav?dl=0
Last edited by sam.pierpont on Mon Mar 02, 2020 15:32 CET, edited 2 times in total.

hjchjc
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2019 07:19 CEST

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC063 March 2020 - Submissions until 21-03-2019 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#7

Post by hjchjc »

My mix is currently -1.1 dbTP but -14.9 LUFS without compression on the mix bus... back to the drawing board!

martman22
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2017 16:20 CEST

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC063 March 2020 - Submissions until 21-03-2019 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#8

Post by martman22 »

Nice Song to listen to and mix. I thought if I would keep trying out at this mix challenge I may some day make it into the finals....

Added a gated delay on the chorus for the main vocal. Saturation on acoustic guitars and increased the attack on picked parts. Doubled up acoustic lead part adding an octave to crate more of a 12 string effect. Used the direct guitar stems to create a new rhythm guitar chorus part with amp and cabinet sims. Some tape emulations on the drums, electric buss and master buss. Thickened main vocal using doublers. Slight 2db compression on master buss.

Song file here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=12S2Z7 ... LnRl0_oQyV

hjchjc
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2019 07:19 CEST

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC063 March 2020 - Submissions until 21-03-2019 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#9

Post by hjchjc »

question: can you use triggered samples if they're not in the actual mix?

for example, if I created a snare track and side-chained a gate on the real snare so I can get a cleaner sound. the sample track will be muted, it would just make for something tighter than a conventional use of a gate if I can reduce the decay of the snare through a shorter sample.

this is a weird question to word so bear with me lol

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Mister Fox
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC063 March 2020 - Submissions until 21-03-2019 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#10

Post by Mister Fox »

hjchjc wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 22:56 CET
question: can you use triggered samples if they're not in the actual mix?
I will stand my ground on "no sample triggering", even if you only want to use it to control a gate "differently". There are other solutions to pull off what you want to do (which I find very convoluted).

And IMO, the easiest fix is just using a Transient Designer > Gate combination. If you really want to go that extreme route.

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