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SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC020 April 2019 - Winners announced

Thematic Songwriting Competition - recurrence: monthly
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Mister Fox
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SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC020 April 2019 - Winners announced

Post by Mister Fox » Sat Mar 23, 2019 5:33 am

Hello and welcome to the Songwriting Competition 20 - April 2019


This is the introduction post, where we directly link to the challenge corresponding files (theme, submission information, sponsors) and start of the voting process. There will be no Round 2



Please take note of the following
  • IMPORTANT: please use the following naming convention for your productions: SWC000_ArtistName_TrackName.wav/mp3
  • If you only post a SoundCloud link, please make your songs downloadable

Also please take note of the following
  • If you have an idea for future Songwriting Competition themes and/or genres, please post them here.
  • Social Media accounts can be found via the handles @MixChallenge (Twitter) and MixChallenge (Facebook). Please spread the word!
  • if you like what the Mix Challenge (community) has been doing in recent months, please consider supporting us.



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 and Sponsors
Cheat Sheet: A couple of examples / audio demos for this month's challenge (not available if genre is "Free to Select")
Voting: Summarized entries and start of voting process
Results of the Songwriting Competition: Results of the Songwriting Competition

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Mister Fox
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC020 April 2019 - Submissions until 24-04-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by Mister Fox » Sat Mar 23, 2019 6:52 am

CURRENT CHALLENGE - GENERAL INFORMATION

Time Frame: Monday, 01st April 2019 to Wednesday, 24th April 2019 (24 days)

Challenge submission will end on 24-04-2019, 11:59pm CEST/GMT+2 (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.



SONGWRITING THEME: Firestarter

GENRE: Big Beat / Electronica

Image
Image Source: Youtube, screenshot of The Prodigy "Firestarter" on Youtube, released under XL Recordings, video filmed and directed by Walter Stern - full credits: https://youtu.be/wmin5WkOuPw


A few word about this month's theme:
Staff (Mister Fox) wrote: In the year 1990, an electronic music band from Braintree, Essex (UK) surfaced in the dance scene of the British Islands. Lead by Liam Howlett, and supported by Keith Flint, Leeroy Thornhill, Sharky and Maxim Reality, they came to be known as "The Prodigy". "Charly" was their first single, "One Love" became a techno hymn in 1993. "Music for the Jilted Generation" (1994) sparked a bit of a revolution. Less Techno, more Electro / Big Beat. Most notable releases from that time were "No Good (Start the Dance)", which dominated the charts. Soon to be followed by "Voodo People" and "Poison", which were a stark contrast to each other, as the former was more UK rave, while the latter was a blend of Techno and Big Beat.

1997 marked the release of one of the most successful electronic / big beat albums of the late 90s: "The Fat of the Land". This introduced Keith Flint's punk-rock vocals along with Maxim's, while Howlett went to town with creative sample usage. At that time, four more musicians/groups were dominating that field: US group Crystal Method with their album "Vegas" (1997), Dutch musician Junkie XL with his album "Saturday Teenage Kick" (1997), UK Musician Fatboy Slim and his albums "Better Living Through Chemistry" (1996) and "You've Come a Long Way, Baby" (1998); and finally UK electronic music duo The Chemical Brothers with their two albums "Exit Planet Dust" (1995) and "Dig your own hole" (1997).

"The Fat of the Land" (1997) and it's first single "Firestarter" however hit so hard, that allegedly even "The Queen" asked the radio stations to "please stop this noise". The Prodigy went on to become one of the biggest known electronic acts, and released 7 studio albums to date. Constantly trying to reinvent themselves, only to get back to their "90s roots" with "Invaders Must Die" (2009).

On 4 March 2019, singer Keith Flint was found dead in his home. It was later stated that it was suicide, he was 49 years old. "The Prodigy" just released their recent album "No Tourists" in November 2018 and were about to go on tour.



Your task for this Songwriting Competition:

This SWC is dedicated to one of the most distinctive voices in the electronic music scene: Keith Flint. The (to me) original "Firestarter".

Your job this month is to create a big beat production that is heavily inspired by these genre pioneers of the late 90s, but is ported into modern days (see "The Day is my Enemy" and "No Tourists"). Dig out old-school drum loops (Zero G's Jungle Warfare and Chemical Beats come to mind), mangle them to your hearts content and create something new. Throw in a cheesy voice sample, don't skimp out on screaming instruments. This is Big Beat and the more harder side of electronica. Let your creative juices run wild.

Have fun! :phones:


EDIT 03-APR-2019:
This doesn't mean it has to be something "The Prodigy" would have produced. But something that is heavily inspired by and "more harder hitting" would fit this theme ideally.

Songwriting Add-On Rules:
  • Create a Big Beat production in the style of "The Prodigy" or similar
  • you can use any tool that is at your disposal (samples, virtual instruments and/or real instruments)
  • IMPORTANT: although "big beat" uses the same techniques like hip hop (sampling audio content and repurposing them in a creative way)m please try to mostly use licensed sample content (say 70% of your production) and/or mangle your sampled source material so much, that it's not instantly recognizable (also see this post further down below)
  • IMPORTANT: if you use non-licensed material (no material from sample CDs, etc), give full credit to the source material
  • It is recommended to not go higher than -14LUFS SLk (avg) or K-12v1 (avg) in terms of perceived loudness. Music doesn't have to be squashed to bits in order to be impactful
  • for newcomers: no cover versions or remixes

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

Please address any OT question in the official Gossip thread:
Songwriting Competition - Gossip and Discussion

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SPONSORS (Prizes):

Prizes for Songwriting 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.


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IK Multimedia is kind enough give away one license of MODO BASS to the winner
License will turn into NFR
More info on IK Multimedia: https://www.ikmultimedia.com


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Tone2 is kind enough to donate a license of Saurus2 to the winner (until further notice)
License will turn into NFR
More info on Tone2: https://tone2.com


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kv331 audio is kind enough give away a bundle of either SynthMaster 1+2 Bundle, or a freely selectable set of 3 SynthMaster Expansions
License will not turn into NFR, you need to have a kv311 audio user account in order to pick up Expansions
More info on kv331 audio: https://www.kv331audio.com


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Luftrum is kind enough give away either a license of Lunaris, or any 2 sound sets of winner's choice (exception: Bundles and Nano Electronics)
License will turn into NFR
More info on Luftrum: http://www.luftrum.com


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Rekkerd Sounds is kind enough give away 1 sound set of winners choice (exception: Krezie EDM and Neurofunk Vol. 1)
License will turn into NFR
More info on Rekkerd Sounds: http://sounds.rekkerd.org/


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Ghostwave Audio (Vincent Bastiat) is kind enough to donate any 2 sound sets to the winner
License will turn into NFR
More info on Ghostwave Audio: http://ghostwaveaudio.com


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Hollow Sun is kind to donate one license of "Music Laboratory Machines - The Suite I" to the winner
License will turn into NFR
More info on Hollow Sun: http://www.hollowsun.com


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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


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Sound / Graphic Designer, and honorary 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/





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

If you want to sponsor content (please have a focus on instruments, samples and sound sets), 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

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


J I L L I A M
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Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:25 pm

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC020 April 2019 - Submissions until 24-04-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by J I L L I A M » Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:09 am

Wow, totally great man, thanks for the existence of the game, i am having great ideas just, i need to know if i can use a chopped tiny little sample of voice of a singer i am now working on music, when the sample is only a half of a second long and, not sounding like a human voice - so, it would work purely as a special effect?

I think this is really a great theme!

Also, R.I.P. Keith Flint > You are a LEGEND, for ever

Leonard Bowman
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC020 April 2019 - Submissions until 24-04-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by Leonard Bowman » Mon Apr 01, 2019 2:02 pm

I'm also a little confused on what exactly you're talking about with respect to licenses.
As I see it: I can use things under a Public Domain, CC0, CC-BY or other CC license excluding ND (no derivative works) as I want provided I follow those license terms.

If I choose to sample a small pinch of All Rights Reserved or CC-BY-NC-ND, that's permissable for competition as long as I give credit and my undying appreciation?

Also, given that this is a competition with prizes that have actual monetary value, can I use material licensed as CC-NC (non commercial)?

For example, there's a reference here that's hard to pass up: http://split-notes.com/various-artists- ... -pitch-up/
But it's CC-BY-NC-ND, so I don't think I can use it legally here.
Guidance on this would be much appreciated.

J I L L I A M
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC020 April 2019 - Submissions until 24-04-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by J I L L I A M » Mon Apr 01, 2019 2:17 pm

No, it's not copyrighted thing i was talking about, Leonard. It is a tiny little chopped of vocal part (around 50 miliseconds long) of vocals i did received from a singer back, when we've been making a track together. No copyrights on it but, i guess it belongs to me and her.

Leonard Bowman
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC020 April 2019 - Submissions until 24-04-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by Leonard Bowman » Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:23 pm

I don't see why you couldn't use it, but you should get the singer's permission.

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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC020 April 2019 - Submissions until 24-04-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by Mister Fox » Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:58 pm

This is indeed a tough topic, as this genre (just like Hip Hop) is heavily reliant on sampling, then mangling and rearranging the material. Although if you look at the videos ("making of" and "The Samples" series), a lot of the stuff is also taken without much editing. "Sampling" or "Remixing" is a tricky topic in the music realm, and has always been a cause for debates. So we are(!) walking a fine line here.

If you create something with sampled content (from All Rights Reserved or CC-BY-NC-ND), and mangle it in the process so that it's fairly unrecognizable from the original (as in: creative editing), it should (in theory) not cause any issues as this is "transformative work" (also, nothing is directly uploaded to this forum). But it might result in you being approached and questioned by labels, music revenue tax collection services and co at a later state - especially if you ever plan to release your content commercially.

In this case, two things are most important:
1) if you sample material, mangle it as well as you can
2) no matter if you have explicit permission to use the material, proper attribution/credits given is a must with this game


So even though you might have the chance to win something of monetary value, which in turn could mean "release bound to something commercial" (which is not the case here, also there is no "prize money"), I think sampling and "mangling the samples" should still be allowed for this game. May it be a 2s snippet or a half-second long one that you then run in a granular synth (also see the "Community Scramble" in January - although here the community created content for this competition). As long as you're being creative with the material, and not just copying something while merely slapping a beat on to it, you/we should be fine (again: transformative work). We're not creating Future Funk... at least not yet. (or "Nightcore" for that matter).

Though if that sounds too risky to you, there is still plenty of material on the market (from free to commercial) that you can use to create an outstanding production (as could be seen with SWC04, which also featured the Big Beat genre). Official/licensed loops from old-school recordings, voice snippets, etc. We live in outstanding times these days compared to the 90s where most of the sample content came from 2-3 distributors an we still juggled/struggled with hardware.


The emphasis of this Songwriting Competition should be "creativity" - so let's be creative with what we've given. :phones:

Leonard Bowman
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC020 April 2019 - Submissions until 24-04-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by Leonard Bowman » Mon Apr 01, 2019 5:44 pm

Thanks for the clarity!

I'm going to force myself to focus on my personal commitments first, but time permitting I'll dive into archive.org and similar to see what's around.
Listening to these albums has ben really interesting, a new experience for me. I hope I can make something with that level of power behind it.

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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC020 April 2019 - Submissions until 24-04-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by Mister Fox » Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:17 pm

Looking forward to the various entries. Keep in mind, a lot of the musicians back in the days either used vinyl records (drum loops that have been re-recorded and re-released throughout the years on sample CDs), or actual sample CDs sold at that time.

In case of both(!) The Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers, they used samples from Zero G, most notably "Jungle Warfare" and later even "Planet of the Breaks" and "Chemical Beats" (here, linked to Best Service, since these pages offer audio demos). The sample CDs are still sold to this day, are often on sale and are actually part of the "Total REX" collection (loops in REX format). If I'm writing music - as in "demo stuff" that never sees a bigger light of day - I still catch myself going back to these loops.*

The rest is really creative editing/resampling. Check out the "Making of" videos I've linked in post 3. "Climbatize Horn In 5 Minutes" is such an example of creative editing.


In case of "The Chemical Brothers", the bass of "Block Rocking Beats" were clean cut, filtered and rearranged sound snippets as well. So the material was completely repurposed. For years I thought they played and recorded that particular bass sound themselves, oh how mistaken I was. Here are two more videos revealing what samples were used by this British duo throughout the years, on top of their crazy effect modulation and synthesizer sound design

Chemical Brothers and Samples №2 (Dig Your Own Hole)
The Samples: The Chemical Brothers Edition


*FOOTNOTE: I am not sponsored by BEST SERVICE or ZERO G, I'm just liking their content and you'd be surprised how often you heard their samples throughout the decades

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