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MIX CHALLENGE - MC32 May 2017 - Winners announced

Join the Mix Challenge - recurrence: February until December
Mork
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC32 May 2017 - Submissions until 21-05-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CEST

#21

Post by Mork »

Hi,

great track, I had a lot of fun, especially referencing and listening to some really good music! Thanks for that :)

I tried what was written in the description and imagined a session in a smoke and whiskey filled club or studio. It is a relatively wet mix to achieve that "same room" vibe. The intention was to make it as natural sounding as possible, with just a teeeny bit of supernaturalism (is that a word? :) ). There is no stereo widening or spreading out stuff excessively. The brass section functions as one section and the leslie is playing "over there" and not left and right with some more widening. Also I "de-death matelized" the bass. Realism is why I went for a more compact kick that supports the groove rather than an earthquake. And the snare... now thats the funk in Funk That!

MP3: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9f_r ... TNFc0pmdjQ
WAV: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9f_r ... jRKcmZrQ2M

Cheers
Mork

VasDim
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 07:57 CEST

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC32 May 2017 - Submissions until 21-05-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CEST

#22

Post by VasDim »

Hi all,
this is my attempt to mix:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/c8gh1xl1sv9er ... m.mp3?dl=0

DAW
SONAR
Plugins on tracks:
- Waves Q10;
- dB ProComp.
Plugins on Aux Buses
- Waves TrueVerb;
- Waves SuperTap;
- Waves MondoMod.
Side Chain on Bass and Kick.

Good luck to all.
VasDim

onerob
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 17:16 CEST

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC32 May 2017 - Submissions until 21-05-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CEST

#23

Post by onerob »

Mister Fox wrote:
Fri May 19, 2017 03:42 CEST
onerob wrote:
Wed May 17, 2017 17:50 CEST
The master bus has compression and eq, plus harmonic enhancement using Melda Production's multiband saturator. A little bit if console-style effect is added using Klanghelm's IVGI and Hornet's Analog Stage. I'm also passing everything through a small amount of reverb.
Just out of curiosity, could you please upload a screenshot of your master bus, because your commentary sounds to me like you did some pre-mastering rather than focusing on the mix. Thanks in advance.
No problem. I understand that my master bus might count as pre-mastering, in which case I've no complaints about being ruled out of the competition.

The full master bus effects chain is as follows:
  • Klanghelm IVGI (console saturation)
  • CM-COMP87 compressor (A Computer Music Magazine plugin. I put this inside DDMF Metaplugin to allow me to avoid feeding all the bass frequencies into it)
  • Hornet AnalogStage (console emulation)
  • Air (AirWindows eq for high end frequencies)
  • TDR Nova (for clean high-pass and low-pass)
  • MSaturatorMB (Harmonic tickling. Beta of v11 of a Melda Production plugin. It's the new name for MMultiBandSaturator).
  • Waves GEQ
  • TDR Kotelnikov (Compressor)
  • TDR Slick EQ
  • MTurboReverb (Beta version of a new reverb from Melda Production. I own a licence for this as I created a couple of presets for it)
  • Sidepass (AirWindows plugin for mono-izing bass frequencies)
  • Purest Gain (AirWindows gain plugin to boost levels a little to make sure I'm hitting the signal range specified in the rules)
Here's a link to a screenshot (it can't really all fit onto my screen at once).

http://i.imgur.com/hnTzgbu.jpg

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Mister Fox
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC32 May 2017 - Submissions until 21-05-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CEST

#24

Post by Mister Fox »

That is(!) a bit much on the master bus. Several states of saturation, additional EQ for some "wide" small added boost, compression, added gain plugins (even though it's for pulling down the loudness again)...

May I ask what output levels do you have VU and Digital max peak wise? And what was it before?




I'm not speaking out a disqualification (yet!) as the Mix Challenge is supposed to be a learning experience as well, and I don't want to scare off new participants. But for the sake of fairness to all other participants, and with this amount of plugins on the sum, I (sadly) have to issue a warning bar minimum due to rule violations.

Ultimately it's down to this month's client what he decides after Round 1 has ended and he has evaluated all tracks. So please, keep your track uploaded. But for the next Challenge - please consider a change of your workflow. Maybe the so called "Brauerize Mixing Technique/Method" might be right up your alley as well (take a dive over on GearSlutz, Michael Brauer explained in detail how to do this).




With that said - 40 hours left to submit your mix for Mix Round 1.
And it's nice to see new faces on mix-challenge.com - welcome! :tu:

onerob
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 17:16 CEST

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC32 May 2017 - Submissions until 21-05-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CEST

#25

Post by onerob »

Yeah, I do like to have fun on the master :phones:

Looping over the loudest segment of the song, with the brass and organ, I get the following values with my master chain engaged. (The final gain plugin is actually boosting by 2.5dB).

Image

Without the chain, just the mix, I get:

Image

Small Ocean
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue May 09, 2017 16:52 CEST

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC32 May 2017 - Submissions until 21-05-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CEST

#26

Post by Small Ocean »

Mister Fox wrote:
Sat May 20, 2017 03:50 CEST
That is(!) a bit much on the master bus. Several states of saturation, additional EQ for some "wide" small added boost, compression, added gain plugins (even though it's for pulling down the loudness again)...

May I ask what output levels do you have VU and Digital max peak wise? And what was it before?

I'm not speaking out a disqualification (yet!) as the Mix Challenge is supposed to be a learning experience as well, and I don't want to scare off new participants. But for the sake of fairness to all other participants, and with this amount of plugins on the sum, I (sadly) have to issue a warning bar minimum due to rule violations.
I'm assuming these requirements are because you want to prevent people from "cheating" by increasing the apparent loudness of a track by crushing the dynamics etc... May I suggest it would be better, rather than discouraging people from using the mix bus (which I believe is fairly common for mixing engineers these days, thanks to increased CPU power), to simply require certain maximum RMS, or minimum Dynamic Range (as measured by something like TT-DR-Meter), and disqualify mixes that go beyond these levels? You could of course adjust the requirements depending on the submission, to account for tracks which are going to be naturally louder/quieter and less/more dynamic.

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Mister Fox
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC32 May 2017 - Submissions until 21-05-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CEST

#27

Post by Mister Fox »

onerob wrote:
Sat May 20, 2017 14:49 CEST
Yeah, I do like to have fun on the master :phones:

Looping over the loudest segment of the song, with the brass and organ, I get the following values with my master chain engaged. (The final gain plugin is actually boosting by 2.5dB).
Hm... values look fine to me (although remember that something wasn't quite right with TBProAudio's dpMeter 2 - I think it had something to do with the AES-17 compensation / the RMS mode). So it remains as warning to maybe look out for that in the future.

Small Ocean wrote:
Sat May 20, 2017 16:33 CEST
I'm assuming these requirements are because you want to prevent people from "cheating" by increasing the apparent loudness of a track by crushing the dynamics etc... May I suggest it would be better, rather than discouraging people from using the mix bus (which I believe is fairly common for mixing engineers these days, thanks to increased CPU power), to simply require certain maximum RMS, or minimum Dynamic Range (as measured by something like TT-DR-Meter), and disqualify mixes that go beyond these levels? You could of course adjust the requirements depending on the submission, to account for tracks which are going to be naturally louder/quieter and less/more dynamic.
Actually, that is already covered in the "Rule Book" (incl. recommendations for loudness and maximum dBFS values)

The idea behind all of that, is that you should focus on properly mixing individual channels and use as less as possible modules/plugins on the summing bus, not "premaster" the track. There is of course the occasional (allowed! I've posted about this here:) Mix Console simulation, a "gel compressor" (see SSL compressor "mixed through" techniques), an additional tape machine, a character EQ that fixes one frequency "globally". I've talked about this in this post

But not an additional reverb, M/S tools, 3-4 different EQ's that do drastic sound shaping, loudness adjustments, etc.


This is a mixing challenge for a reason, not a "mix and mastering" one. You're challenged to work different, think outside the box, move away from your usual (maybe wrong learned) workflow, get access to genres you wouldn't normally touch, learn something in the process.

And learning how to break out of that habit, isn't easy. Trust me, I've been there - and these days, I'm only having a VU (safety check), a "Console Simulation" and maybe a tape machine or EQ (that fixes one band!) on the sum. Metering tools not counting. Everything else, I handle with individual channels and sub-groups.




As mentioned - ultimately the client decides who goes into the next round. I can only point out possible issues, what to look out for, etc.

onerob
Posts: 4
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC32 May 2017 - Submissions until 21-05-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CEST

#28

Post by onerob »

Mister Fox wrote:
Sat May 20, 2017 20:25 CEST
Hm... values look fine to me (although remember that something wasn't quite right with TBProAudio's dpMeter 2 - I think it had something to do with the AES-17 compensation / the RMS mode). So it remains as warning to maybe look out for that in the future.
When it comes to measuring RMS, I've now found that dpMeter, SPAN and Logic's stock meter plugin are disagreeing with each other. On the other hand, Logic, MLoudnessAnalyzer, and Youlean Loudness Meter do agree about LUFS-integrated. Perhaps the rules could specify a LUFS target instead of RMS?

Small Ocean
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Joined: Tue May 09, 2017 16:52 CEST

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC32 May 2017 - Submissions until 21-05-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CEST

#29

Post by Small Ocean »

Mister Fox wrote:
Sat May 20, 2017 20:25 CEST
Actually, that is already covered in the "Rule Book" (incl. recommendations for loudness and maximum dBFS values)

The idea behind all of that, is that you should focus on properly mixing individual channels and use as less as possible modules/plugins on the summing bus, not "premaster" the track. There is of course the occasional (allowed! I've posted about this here:) Mix Console simulation, a "gel compressor" (see SSL compressor "mixed through" techniques), an additional tape machine, a character EQ that fixes one frequency "globally". I've talked about this in this post

But not an additional reverb, M/S tools, 3-4 different EQ's that do drastic sound shaping, loudness adjustments, etc.


This is a mixing challenge for a reason, not a "mix and mastering" one. You're challenged to work different, think outside the box, move away from your usual (maybe wrong learned) workflow, get access to genres you wouldn't normally touch, learn something in the process.

And learning how to break out of that habit, isn't easy. Trust me, I've been there - and these days, I'm only having a VU (safety check), a "Console Simulation" and maybe a tape machine or EQ (that fixes one band!) on the sum. Metering tools not counting. Everything else, I handle with individual channels and sub-groups.


As mentioned - ultimately the client decides who goes into the next round. I can only point out possible issues, what to look out for, etc.
I appreciate you want people to focus on the mix and not excessive sculpting the master bus, and I just rechecked your rule, it says:

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) or metering tools, but not for mastering purposes (see "Recommendations for a balanced mix" below)

I think first my issue is that it's unclear the threshold at which "general sound shaping" becomes excessive sculpting/pre-mastering. Further, in your guidelines below, they are only presented as recommendations that you're not forced to follow. Since it's not a strict rule, and since these mix challenges are competitive, I believe people will continue to push the envelope further and further to try and gain an advantage over other entrants, increasingly ignoring the guidelines. Another mixing competition site I used to compete on (before it closed down), Crowd Audio, also initially intended to have people only mix, and not pre-master their submissions - but this was practically impossible to enforce, and eventually they just conceded to allowing entrants to master if they wished.

I'm not saying you should do the same, but I think perhaps if there were a more simple/straightforward rule, such as a maximum allowed LUFS, as onerob suggested, decided separately for each mix challenge, you would avoid this gradual competitive loudness wars problem.

davemcisaac
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC32 May 2017 - Submissions until 21-05-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CEST

#30

Post by davemcisaac »

Small Ocean wrote:
Sat May 20, 2017 23:04 CEST
Mister Fox wrote:
Sat May 20, 2017 20:25 CEST

I'm not saying you should do the same, but I think perhaps if there were a more simple/straightforward rule, such as a maximum allowed LUFS, as onerob suggested, decided separately for each mix challenge, you would avoid this gradual competitive loudness wars problem.
It might be better to move this conversation to the forum so that el-bo doesn't feel he is in the middle of a conflict :hihi:

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