2020-OCT-21 Info: Thread updated, your feedback is still needed! Please join the conversion on overhauling the Bonus Point Mechanic for the Songwriting Competition

MIX CHALLENGE - MC066 June 2020 - Winners announced

Join the Mix Challenge - recurrence: February until December
Post Reply
User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Posts: 1859
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

MIX CHALLENGE - MC066 June 2020 - Winners announced

#1

Post by Mister Fox »

Hello and welcome to the Mix Challenge 66 - June 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 1980s/1990s rock production by John Kutkowski under the project name "Mystic Io". The song is called "The Reason".

The biggest challenge this June will be working with already "printed" sounds (most notably, vocals and the guitar), However, you also have the rare chance to experiment with vocal double takes (VOX3 and VOX4), and put your own spin on them.

Please read about the details and special requirements for handling this mix further down below.




Please take note of the following
  • Please consult the official "Rules and Guidelines" for the Mix Challenge regarding principles of the game, recommendations and upload/submission guidelines (Updated with clarifications - 26-MAY-2020)
  • IMPORTANT: 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: MC066__Mystic_Io__The_Reason__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

User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Posts: 1859
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC066 June 2020 - Submissions until 21-06-2020 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#2

Post by Mister Fox »

CURRENT CHALLENGE - GENERAL INFORMATION

Time Frame: Monday, 01st June 2020 to Sunday, 21st June 2020 (21 days)

Challenge submission will end on 21-06-2020, 23:59 UTC+2/CEST (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: John Kutkowski (project: Mystic Io)
Song Name and Length: The Reason, 3:30 min
Song Information: 128 BPM / Signature: 4/4
File Format: WAV, 48kHz, 24bit

GENRE: (1980s/1990s) Rock


Preview of the Song:
phpBB [media]



A word from the song provider:
John Kutkowski wrote:"The Reason" is a song from the "Mystic io" CD realeased in 2016. It was recorded in my living room of my old house on a old version of Cubase. so there was no room treatment. Quite frankly the equipment and mics used were quite inferior, but most everything was done in the box.Included are 22 glorious tracks that need work.

Please set your DAW to 128 bpm and set at 48k/24bit before importing the files. Some tracks are stereo like keys, but most are mono. Import all on separate tracks your DAW will know what to do and everything will line right up.

The original production used VOX3 and VOX4 as "double takes". If you want to be creative, you can treat them as "adlibs" and only put emphasis on certain sections of sentences like "she's the reason you're still here", "she does to make you see", "her light will set you free", "she let's you back, When will you stay?!", etc.

Have the whole picture of the song in mind, then go by what your heart tell you. Maybe "tighten" up the vocals.

Please create a proper ending (fade out or similar) to the song. Don't just let it end.


If you got any further questions, feel free to ask.



(more technical details in the Mix Pack bundled TXTs)

A few words by the Mix Challenge staff:
Staff (Mister Fox) wrote:Even though the album where this production originated from, is listed as "vintage-modern pop rock", I would maybe draw a lot of mix inspiration from Hard Rock productions from the late 1980s to early 1990s. Most notably "Glam-Rock/Metal" (infamously also known as "Hair Metal"). As usual, Wikipedia is a good starting point regarding bands, then maybe go from there.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glam_metal

Of course, you can ignore possible references and just go by your gut instincts. Then you should have a focus on the overall meaning and feeling of the song. Vocals are definitely the most important part.

If you are skilled with sound design and want to try to recreate a "more clean" version of VOX3, you could try 1990s "vocal doubling" tricks. Those were basically micro-pitch-shifted vocals (just offset by a couple of cents up and down) to create fake "double-takes" (Chorus). For a "harmony line" (which is present in these takes), I can definitely recommend a pitch-shifter with formant controls (hint: 3 semi-tones - listen close to the source material, there is a bit more hidden). Then find the right blend compared to the original - which is down to proper filtering and volume.

The guitars might need suitable EQ treatment (you can't change much here, no re-amping this month).

The rest of the instruments are pretty much a blank slate. Make the best out of what has been given to you.

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 - artistic use only!
  • the focus of this game is "mixing" - NO MASTERING
  • provide the edited material in the same sampling rate and bitrate as originally provided
  • ADD-ON RULES - PRODUCTION RELATED:
    • create a suitable track fade-out
    • you are allowed to experiment with VOX3 and VOX4
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 (433,16 MB, LZMA compressed, zip)
IMPORTANT NOTE: file unavailable after 21-JUN-2020


The provided files were packed as ZIP with LZMA compression.
File size extracted: 1085,76 MB, packed 433,16 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!

cpsmusic
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2019 23:41 CET

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC066 June 2020 - Submissions until 21-06-2020 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#3

Post by cpsmusic »

Hi,

I'm curious where the idea of this song being "Hair Metal" is coming from? Where are the "Metal" guitars?

To me this is much more in the realms of "New Romantic"?

Cheers!

User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Posts: 1859
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC066 June 2020 - Submissions until 21-06-2020 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#4

Post by Mister Fox »

Please read again what I wrote (Words by the Staff):
Even though the album where this production originated from, is listed as "vintage-modern pop rock", I would maybe draw a lot of mix inspiration from Hard Rock productions from the late 1980s to early 1990s. Most notably "Glam-Rock/Metal" (infamously also known as "Hair Metal"). ...


I never declared this song to be "Hair Metal" - I said I would get inspired by the sound from both "Glam Rock" and "Glam-Metal" from the late 1980s (as in: this is what I would go for mix wise, while looking more closely at US bands). The umbrella term is still "(Hard) Rock", and this is what the song provider declared. I've never declared anything else.

There is really nothing to argue about in my opinion. If you think that the sound from late 1970s/early 1980s "New Romantic" (which pretty much vanished after that that time period) suits this production better, and you would rather take productions form that time era as reference, then go for that mixing style. See where this leads you.


We (the Song Provider and I, the host) merely provide the multi-tracks and set some certain corner stones.
It is up to you what you make out of it.

:phones:

cpsmusic
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2019 23:41 CET

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC066 June 2020 - Submissions until 21-06-2020 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#5

Post by cpsmusic »

I don't want to argue, just curious where the idea of using inspiration from Glam Rock/Glam Metal as a mix style was coming from. Wikipedia points to bands such as "Mötley Crüe, Ratt, Quiet Riot, Twisted Sister, Stryper, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, and Dokken" and later "Poison, Skid Row, Cinderella and Warrant" as examples - I'm not really hearing that in the raw tracks but maybe I need to get my ears checked :lol:

pursgo
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2020 09:18 CEST

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC066 June 2020 - Submissions until 21-06-2020 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#6

Post by pursgo »

mister fox, I have been an engineer but new to this. where/how do I upload? googledrive. is that a specific account? sorry for the ignorance but my career has been all live events.
I am excited and look forward to this opportunity.
Thanks glenn

User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Posts: 1859
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC066 June 2020 - Submissions until 21-06-2020 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#7

Post by Mister Fox »

Hello and welcome to the forum
pursgo wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 17:42 CEST
where/how do I upload? googledrive. is that a specific account?

I highly advise you to check in with the Rules and Guidelines, especially the "Uploading and Submission Guidelines.

We don't provide a global server to upload to. You upload the content to your own place and then link to it on the forum.

chriskamery
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2019 01:26 CET

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC066 June 2020 - Submissions until 21-06-2020 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#8

Post by chriskamery »

Hi Everyone!

Thanks first of all to John for the song. This was another fun one for sure.

Here is what i did:

DAW: ProTools

Drums: EQ on kick and snare. Tried to make the snare a little snappier / brighter. Reverb on kick, snare, high hat and toms to bring things together and also pushed the snare reverb as I that was bigger in the 80s. A little EQ on the cymbols and OH for cleanup and pull some lows out. Snare also sent to a delay aux

Bass: Sidechaned to the guitar to act as a ducking filter. A little reverb

Guitar: Added ApliTube4 to just put a little grit / distortion on the tone. EQ to clean up and pull the highs mids out a little.

Piano: the verse keys sent to reverb just to add a little body to them. everything else left alone

Vocals: EQ for clarity, Abbey Road Saturator to build the sound a little and I just liked it when I added it. Doublers added to 2,3,4 to give more body as well. Sends to Reverb. ld vox and vox 4 sent to a parallel compression aux and blended for some transient shaping.

Reverb: TrueVerb with the Direct sound removed

Delay: J37 from Abbey Road with a little post EQ

I put in a mixbus aux to just hold an S1 imager and Puigtec EQ for some light final shaping

Everything else was levels, panning and automation. VCA masters were used to add an additional layer of level setting where needed.

Since I have been mixing in headphones lately I have been also running the Waves NX plugin which has an EQ curve for my SONY headphones.

I also am running a Presonus Faderport (not that it changes the cound) to just assist in automation and setting levels.

Mix:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mJjKZQ ... sp=sharing

Screenshots:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1B8EJ74 ... sp=sharing

Let me know if any of the links have an issue and I welcome any feedback.

Thanks again,

Chris

User avatar
filipandrei
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed May 06, 2020 19:40 CEST

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC066 June 2020 - Submissions until 21-06-2020 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#9

Post by filipandrei »

Hello Everyone,

Let me thanks John for the tracks and the opportunity to mix the song
I really felt this song has an 80's vibe, so that was exactly my direction, or at least tried to

Drums:
I really liked the room tracks, so wanted to bring those a bit forward to give the song a bit of movement and live feeling
For the snare track, my personal taste was to have a big snare with lots of gated reverb, but I didn't want to use any other resampled track, and tried to match that with the given snare track. In the chorus sections I've added a bit of parallel compression on the snare track.

Bass:
The bass was fine, just added a mild distorsion from Denise Punisher

Guitars:
Bussed them all, and done just a bit of EQ correction then added a few Verb and chorus like slapped back effect to fill in the parts

Keys:
On the keys buss I've tried to have some sort of stereo imaging plugin to fill in the verse sections and leave more room for drums and vocals, using Soundspot MSW2 that can also split the frequencies into lows and highs and process them separately, so the lows are more in the middle

Vocals:
I thought these should be the main focus of the song, along with the verse electric piano, so I've added some verb, slap back delays and a bit of small distorsion to bring this forward
On the BGs I've just picked up some lines and also tried to create a 3rd major backing on "She's the reason" part

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ar4pqnhdx6w29 ... i.wav?dl=0

Of course any feedback and comments are welcomed

Cheers
Andrei

User avatar
Nonlinear
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun May 21, 2017 17:08 CEST
Location: Los Angeles, CA USA
Contact:

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC066 June 2020 - Submissions until 21-06-2020 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#10

Post by Nonlinear »

Hi All,

For those of you working on tuning the vocal tracks, it appears this song is NOT in "C Major" per the notes. The lead vocals and piano chords in the verses seem to be centered around "E" and contain numerous D#/Eb notes which seems to indicate a key of E Major (E to Emaj7). However, the verses end on an "F", which is not in E Major, so either the song is changing modes/keys or there are a significant number of "accidentals" throughout.

I am tuning using a chromatic scale which seems to be the best approach for this song.

Just some input in case it helps.
Last edited by Nonlinear on Mon Jun 08, 2020 23:58 CEST, edited 6 times in total.

Post Reply