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SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC030 February 2020 - Results announced

Thematic Songwriting Competition - recurrence: monthly
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Mister Fox
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SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC030 February 2020 - Results announced

#1

Post by Mister Fox »

Hello and welcome to the Songwriting Competition 29 - February 2020


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 (artist name should be the same as the forum username)
  • If you only post a SoundCloud link, please name the file properly before uploading and make your song 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 (usually 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 - SWC030 February 2020 - Submissions until 24-02-2020 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#2

Post by Mister Fox »

CURRENT CHALLENGE - GENERAL INFORMATION

Time Frame: Saturday, 01st February 2020 to Monday, 24th February 2020 (24 days)

Challenge submission will end on 24-02-2020, 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.



SONGWRITING THEME: Spread the Love

GENRE: (Contemporary) Pop

Image
Image Source: Pixabay, photo by Peggy_Marco, released under Creative Commons CC0


A few word about this month's theme:
Staff (Mister Fox) wrote:The month February is traditionally known as "the month of cleansing". And while May is usually considered to be the "month of love", and not February (although it does have "Valentine's Day"), that doesn't mean that we can't "spread the love" regardless. So why not clean our our palette of usually being more experimental with Rock and Electronic, and rather dabble into something we haven't tackled in the Songwriting Competition yet: Contemporary Pop Music.

By "contemporary", I don't mean R&B/Electronic heavy "pop music from the last 5 years", rather think "modern" or "wide appeal" in general (which is more classic rock/blues oriented). I'm thinking of productions between 1995 and 2015, which is a 20 year span, mind you.

And since pop music/pop ballads are usually connected to love stories or stories about relationships, why not write a song with this theme this month?



Your task for this Songwriting Competition:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This month, you can create a production in the "(Contemporary) Pop" genre.


What I'd like to see/hear this month, should not necessarily be a bog-standard typical cookie-cutter pop song with the typical I–V–vi–IV progression (although I do not have a problem with that if the song has an interesting movement). But definitely something that gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling while listening to the song, even though the lyrics might not necessarily be upbeat or they have a darker background than expected (I'm looking at you, Kelly Clarkson with "Because of You", 2004!). Virtual bonus points if it's really a love song (I mean - the theme is "Spread the Love" after all)

It would be nice to hear vocals in the production. I will try to promote the Songwriting Competition as much as I can on other music platforms and social media in hope for more participation and singer / songwriters. But if you're from the "old guard" of our small community, if you can not sing or can't find a collaboration partner that would sing for you, this will not put you at a disadvantage. You just have to do better with melody and chord progressions. If you do sing, or found a collaborating vocalist, you are not limited to the English language of course. But please do provide a lyric translation.

Your focus should be on interesting chord progressions and melody lines. Contemporary pop music has a certain distinct sound: sometimes simplistic, yet keeping you engaged. Usually having an acoustic drum kit (EQ'd and processed to fit for "modern pop", sometimes blended with electronic drum loops) and focusing on a guitar or piano. Finally, featuring a lead voice with it's own melody line on top of that. You can of course go "Pop Ballad" and add strings, and/or some synthesized percussion as additional layer. But please don't go too crazy, or too minimalistic. We have plenty of future songwriting games that can tackle these genres.


What I do not want to hear:
Electronic "anthems" / dance productions, minimalistic electronic drums or stand-alone beatboxing (think One Republic or Imagine Dragons). Choirs are a thing in (contemporary) pop productions, but they shouldn't be bombastic 120 voices. I'd love to hear more real instruments than synthesizers.



The cheat sheet is fairly smalll, and it focuses mainly on female vocalists (finding good examples is far from easy and really time consuming). Most of these productions are from mid 1990s to mid 2010s. But I hope these are good examples regardless. Also - I did add some links to possible tools to get you started.

Please have fun - I'm looking forward to your entries. :phones:




IMPORTANT BONUS INFORMATION:

Please check the SWC Rules and Guidelines. The new game mechanic for getting additional bonus points has been implemented and explained as part of the voting process.

Songwriting Add-On Rules:
  • Create a production in the "Singer / Songwriter" genre
  • you can use any tool that is at your disposal (samples, virtual instruments and/or real instruments)
  • 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.


RECURRING LICENSE SPONSORSHIP:

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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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JRR Sounds is kind enough give away any-1 sound sets or sample set of winner's choice (exception: Bundles)
More info on JRR Sounds: https://www.jrrshop.com/jrr-sounds


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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!

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Mister Fox
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Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC030 February 2020 - Submissions until 24-02-2020 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#3

Post by Mister Fox »

AUDIO EXAMPLES:
---------------------

Articles and Books on Pop Music:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pop_music
Voggenreiter Verlag - Die Pop Formeln (German book on Harmony Theory/Pop Music)


Educational Videos:
Youtube Search: Pop Chords

Recommended views:
The Four Chords That Killed POP Music! by Rick Beato
Learn 4 Chords & Instantly Be Able To Play Hundreds Of Songs! by PianoPig
6 Essential Piano Chord Progressions - Piano Lessons by Pianonote (also showing off how to make "chords fuller" by doubling notes/chords 1-2 octaves lower)

Bonus video:
147 WAYS TO WRITE A MELODY by Andrew Huang



Random hand selected videos (Youtube)
Six Chords by Benny the Jukebox (pianist from "Axis of Awesome", 2013)
Top 20 Random Pop Ballads (a fan selection of 20 Pop Ballads from the last 3-5 years, 2013)

George Michael - Faith (1987)
Lisa Loeb - Stay (I missed you) (1994)
Donna Lewis - I Love You Always Forever (1996, very synth drum heavy)
Robbie Williams - Angels (1997)
Vanessa Carlton - A Thousand Miles (2000)
Coldplay - Yellow (2000, Drums have a "comb filter" effect as explained by Michael Brauer himself, the live versions are better drum mix wise)
Kelly Clarkson - Because of you (2004, WARNING: very strong theme)
Natasha Bedingfield - Unwritten (2004, a bit synth drum heavy)
James Blunt - You're Beautiful (2005)
Michelle Branch - All You Wanted (2006, I can also recommend listening to Everywhere from 2001)
Pink - Who knew (2007)
Revolverheld feat. Marta Jandová - Halt Dich an mir fest (2010, German Pop Rock)
Christina Perri - A Thousand Years (2011)
Ed Sheeran - Give Me Love (2011)
Eve - Mil e Uma Estações (Eveline Martins, 2019 - see MC060)



Tools of the trade:
J74 Progressive SE (Standalone Edition) (a chord progression generator, I recommended to look at the chord map)
CodeFN42 - Chordz (Freeware Code Generator, Windows only, free)
Insert Piz Here - midiChords (if you can find a backup copy, it's a nice complementary tool to CodeFN42's Chordz, free)
W.A Production - Instachord (often on sale at Plugin Boutique, "old version" can be found on Computer Music Magazine)
Plugin Boutique - Scaler (Chord Progression Generator, often on sale)
Toontrack EZKeys (a Piano "Chord/Melody Player" creator, offers a lot of additional custom chord/melody MIDI packs, can get expensive really fast)
Rayzoon Jamstix (a drum sampler with a virtual drummer "brain", a free version with scaled-down "brain" is available)
Musiclab RealGuitars (a guitar sample instrument with virtual "guitar brain", there are 30-day unlimited trial versions available)
8dio Songwriting Guitar (Kontakt sample set, free)
Bedroom Producers Blog - Search: Drums (a couple of articles and links to free/affordable drums)
Bedroom Producers Blog - Free Piano VST Plugins

Clueless
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC030 February 2020 - Submissions until 24-02-2020 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#4

Post by Clueless »

Thanks once again Mister Fox for all the details :tu:


Not my style, might try and find some samples for singing :)

https://reverb.com/software/samples-and ... collection

Free drum samples for those that might be interested.
Plenty of samplers out there, I like sitala as it uncomplicated :)

Good luck to all, as i may or may not participate ;)

toadhjo
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:24 CET

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC030 February 2020 - Submissions until 24-02-2020 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#5

Post by toadhjo »

Hey everyone :smile: It's been a while~

Various issues have kept me from participating for the last few months but it's about time I throw my hat back into the ring.

Good theme this month. I'll see what I can cook up!

functionform
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2019 17:16 CEST

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC030 February 2020 - Submissions until 24-02-2020 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#6

Post by functionform »

Seems like a good time to advertise for https://www.organicdrumloops.com/. Some great rhythms available there and he only asks that you credit him.

canese
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon May 20, 2019 15:51 CEST

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC030 February 2020 - Submissions until 24-02-2020 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#7

Post by canese »

functionform wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 17:44 CET
Seems like a good time to advertise for https://www.organicdrumloops.com/. Some great rhythms available there and he only asks that you credit him.
OMG, this guy has already won a place in heaven :hail:

functionform
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Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2019 17:16 CEST

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC030 February 2020 - Submissions until 24-02-2020 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#8

Post by functionform »

canese wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 14:32 CET

OMG, this guy has already won a place in heaven :hail:
I know, the library is immense, and its so useful for all types of music. Really incredible and generous of him.

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Mister Fox
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC030 February 2020 - Submissions until 24-02-2020 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#9

Post by Mister Fox »

A friendly reminder:
Including today, 14 days left to submit your production.


If you want the Songwriting Competition to be successful, and more than 10 participants per month, please spread the word as much as you can!

A Future in Noise
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 09:26 CET

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC030 February 2020 - Submissions until 24-02-2020 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#10

Post by A Future in Noise »

Mister Fox wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 17:05 CET
A friendly reminder:
Including today, 14 days left to submit your production.


If you want the Songwriting Competition to be successful, and more than 10 participants per month, please spread the word as much as you can!
Well, I'm going to participate this month. And I have tried to spread the word. But maybe, just maybe, the first impression of SWC site is that there is too much to read. Some rules here, and other rules in another place and maybe some more rules somewhere else. I've been participating occasionally for maybe a year, but I'm still not convinced that I have taken part of everything I should. Not that it would be impossible to sit down and just read through everything, but since I'm focusing on the music making, and since my entry is usually finished five minutes before midnight the 24:th every month, the reading through the entire site never gets done.

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