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SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC037 September 2020 - Winners announced

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Mister Fox
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SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC037 September 2020 - Winners announced

#1

Post by Mister Fox »

Hello and welcome to the Songwriting Competition 37 - September 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.

Read more about this month's competition further down below.




Please take note of the following
  • Please consult the official "Rules and Guidelines" for the Songwriting Competition regarding principles of the game and upload/submission guidelines. As of August 2020, we have some more engaging game mechanics that allow you to submit your entry, gather feedback and then re-upload with enhancements until the deadline has been reached
  • IMPORTANT: please use the following naming convention for your productions (artist name = forum username):
    • SWC000_ArtistName_TrackName.wav and/or .mp3
  • IMPORTANT: if you only submit your production through Soundcloud, name your files properly prior to uploading and make the production downloadable. The forum can also convert your links into a Soundcloud player through the [soundcloud] BBcode from the text editor (orange square with a white cloud in it)



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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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC037 September 2020 - Submissions until 24-09-2020 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#2

Post by Mister Fox »

CURRENT CHALLENGE - GENERAL INFORMATION

Time Frame: Tuesday, 01st September 2020 to Thursday, 24th September 2020 (24 days)

Challenge submission will end on 24-09-2020, 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.



SONGWRITING THEME: How are you?
GENRE: Lo-Fi Hip Hop


Image
Image Source: Pexels, photo by Cottonbro, released under Creative Commons CC0


A few word about this month's theme:
Staff (Mister Fox) wrote:September somewhat established as a "Mental Health Awareness Month" on our audio community. And just like the "Community Scramble", I would like to keep certain fixed "themes" throughout the year. I find that it is important to talk about these health related issues, not brush them away, not stigmatize them. September is also world wide "Suicide Prevention Month", so I'd love to keep up the conversation.


The year 2020 has been a very strange ordeal for all of us. On top of our ever growing world problems (global warming, nature disasters, etc), we also got a global pandemic, saw plenty of restrictions especially towards beloved ones, lockdowns of areas lasting for several weeks, continued "social distancing". While certain media groups pushed the narrative of "we can do this!" (especially the music industry), that doesn't mean one is getting out of this without any lasting effects. Especially towards one's mental health.


There has been a certain trend for the Songwriting Competition this year, which manifested in form of a request for more relaxed music, or chill-out rather. Something where you can just sit back, relax, and let your mind wander. The world is currently chaotic enough, and music does help with escapism and healing.

A thing that is currently huge on streaming services like Youtube and Spotify righ, is the so called "Lofi Hip Hop" genre, some might even call it "Chillhop". To the majority of the audience, it is advertised as "relaxation music" and "music for learning". And strangely enough - it works (at least for me - if I have to write long texts like this one), especially if you look at the comments of these streams that are about personal struggles in various shapes and forms. There are plenty of names for this particular genre, plenty of people that will probably dissect it. Music is highly subjective and the lines are thin. But at it's essence, it is basically "Downbeat" music. Just less ambient heavy pads and with a more relaxed hip hop beat. I've posted plenty of examples (like usual) down below in Post #3.

You might be asking "what? Hip Hop music again? Didn't we have this in July already?!", and you're definitely right. But the main criticism here was, that people were forced to rap, while our community shows an affinity towards instrumentals still. The Chill-Out Songwriting Competition in May 2020 was really well taken. So why not fuse these two genres and try something new?




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

This month, you can create a production in the so called "Lo-fi Hip Hop" genre

Lo-fi Hip Hop has it's roots in "Downtempo" music (umbrella term, which also covers "Chill-out music"), but is fused with a more mellow beat (in this case hip hop beats). The overall concept is to relax, chill out, put your mind off of things. If you listen to various examples from all over the internet, you will hear fairly simplistic chord progressions, a lot of piano and/or acoustic guitars, sometimes even clean electric guitars and barely any vocals or voice samples. I've heard a lot of bpm variations, but most of them are between 60 to 90bpm (half-time).

"Lo-fi Hip Hop" can sound "wobbly" and "worn out" in places (as if run from old tapes and/or a VHS), but the overall package is still quite modern and "hi-fi" sounding. It is not(!) "Vaporwave" though, where there is more focus on synths and pads, glitching and worn out VHS tapes. These genres are a so called "micro-genre". People will interpret them as they seem fit. So you have to go by your gut instinct - perfect for this month IMO.




This month is about spreading awareness of mental health

Feel free to share the word via social media with the hashtags:
#MentalHealth and #PositiveMentalAttitude



Important Footnote:

If you know of somebody that is suffering from depression, showing signs of self harm or having suicidal thoughts - don't look away, do not lock this person out. Reach out, re-connect, offer help - and may it only be an ear that listens to a story. If you know of somebody that is suffering anxiety or is showing signs of severe introversion, don't pressure this person, be mindful and understanding, give him/her enough space if needed.

Never ever treat this person with disrespect or shrug away a subliminal cry for help. It is hard to judge how a person's mind works, sometimes the person you try to help is locking you out or will brush you away. Sometimes you could be bombarded with walls of texts or unexpected outbursts. The walls could be thick, they could be paper thin. Every single word can be measured in gold without you knowing. Be patient, be kind, just... be there.

If in doubt, contact local aid agencies that are specialized in this field.

Songwriting Rule Summary / Add-On Rules:
  • create a production fitting to the given theme, genre and general premise
  • 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 royalty free material from sample CDs, etc), give full credit to the source material
  • do not go higher than -14LUFS ILk/-1dBTP in terms of perceived loudness (mastering). Music doesn't have to be squashed to bits in order to be impactful
  • for newcomers: no cover versions or remixes, no ripped acapella's
  • ADD-ON RULES:
    • <no add-on rules specified>

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

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

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

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


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, a license of Bioscape, or any two 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

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

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

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Mister Fox
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC037 September 2020 - Submissions until 24-09-2020 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#3

Post by Mister Fox »

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

Articles and Info Pages:

A great starting point is the (new) "Addendum"/Supplementary thread for the Songwriting Competition
Songwriting Competition - Addendum: Music Maps and BPM Charts

But also:
Wikipedia - Lo-Fi Music
Wikipedia - Chill-out music - subsection: Lo-fi hip hop




Music examples (selection - these are all 1-2 hour long "listening packages"):

Lazy Sunday (by Youtube Channel ChilledCow)
I think I’ll stay at home today (by Youtube Channel Syros)
Loosen Up Your Mind... (by Youtube Channel Homework Radio)
Lo-fi for Ghosts (Only) (by Youtube Channel Homework Radio)
Lo-fi for Ghosts (Only) 2 (by Youtube Channel Homework Radio)
lose sleep (by Youtube Channel Dreamy, repeats halfway through)
Emotionally Faded (by Youtube Channel Yūgen)
Concentrate Your Mind - Asian Lofi HipHop Mix (by Youtube Channel Dreamy, repeats halfway through)
Not well. (by Youtube Channel Yügen, more stabbing towards "Indie Pop" due to more vocals in the productions -- BONUS VIDEO)

A lot of these songs in the "mix packs" are (sadly) quite short, which is a pity. As I think that this pulls you out of the mood. If you're joining this month, maybe try to not undershoot 2:45min.




Please also check in with the following thread in the the Gear Talk sub-forum, if you're on the look-out for new tools:
Free Tools, Samples and deals (collection thread)


Did you know that there have been two drum machines given away for free recently?

AKAI MPC Beats - yes, that's the MPC2 Software as "8 MIDI Tracks, 2 Audio Tracks" limited version, else no further restrictions. You can not buy/link this with your AKAI Pro Account yet though (as of the timestamp of this post)
Apisonic Speedrum Lite - in "alpha", but if you're looking for another lightweight 4x4 drum pad sampler...
Bedroom Producers Blog - Article: Free Beat Making Software - BPB offering a great starting point for beat creation (status: 24th July 2020)



UPDATED: 31-AUG-2020 23:00 UTC+2 (sourcing content: over a couple of weeks)

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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC037 September 2020 - Submissions until 24-09-2020 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#4

Post by Square »

Hey nice idea for songwriting, i think a chill vibe is needed, and i wanted to say that it is a great idea to include the part about mental health, its been a LONG year for all of us and many of us have found a lot of inspiration and outlet in our music production/mixing/listening and to say thanks to this blog as finding it has given me a nice boost of things to work on and be a part of. Even if i didnt post my results last month (due to technical, time restraints and not liking my final sound),I did listen to quite a few entries and i had a blast working on the things nonetheless, i hope ill have the time to properly dig into this month!

Again, im still new but I just wanted to say thanks for taking time to create a community that is nothing but a positive thing for peoples mental health and to give us all a well needed distraction and interesting things to discuss with our friends (as there is a distict lack of that right now too) ^^

I look forward to hearing what comes from this month!

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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC037 September 2020 - Submissions until 24-09-2020 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#5

Post by Mister Fox »

Thank you for the positive words. Maybe you can finish your production after all and post it later in the corresponding SWC thread as bonus. I'm sure you will still get feedback.

Other than that, I am also looking forward to the entries this month. :phones:

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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC037 September 2020 - Submissions until 24-09-2020 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#6

Post by functionform »

It's funny I do hear myself veering into vaporwave territory a bit already. This is a fun genre to produce. No crazy synth tricks, insane beat juggling, hard passages to play or sing.

functionform
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC037 September 2020 - Submissions until 24-09-2020 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#7

Post by functionform »

micro genre is right... it's really easy to veer into territory not intended by this selection - boom bap, slow jam, 90s hip hop etc.

canese
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC037 September 2020 - Submissions until 24-09-2020 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#8

Post by canese »

Now, this is more suitable for me. Last month competition was tough and I didn't manage to get a song that I liked. But it seems my vibe is more towards chill sounds. I created this starting from drums and I had this melody in my head and just stacked more instruments around it. This it's what I got so far: https://www.dropbox.com/s/b7fb5u4w9p0d8 ... l.mp3?dl=0

Bass is a Massive preset with just distortion.
Guitar and piano are from Nexus 2
Electric guitar it's from Fl Studio plugin.
Drum kit are from stacked samples.
Bells and pads are from massive and Sakura from FL Studio.

Ty for listening

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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC037 September 2020 - Submissions until 24-09-2020 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#9

Post by Olli H »

canese wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 00:10 CEST
This it's what I got so far: https://www.dropbox.com/s/b7fb5u4w9p0d8 ... l.mp3?dl=0
I like the song/melody. Very good start.

From the point of view of this month lo-fi theme (of which I know nothing)
Snare very lo-fi
Mood perfect
Maybe the kick-and-bass interaction is something that distracts me a bit from the lo-fi.
Kick drums quick beats create a bit restless feeling.
Less bass notes with not so filling sustain/sound might suit lo-fi theme better.

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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC037 September 2020 - Submissions until 24-09-2020 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#10

Post by The Exponent »

canese wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 00:10 CEST
Now, this is more suitable for me. Last month competition was tough and I didn't manage to get a song that I liked. But it seems my vibe is more towards chill sounds. I created this starting from drums and I had this melody in my head and just stacked more instruments around it. This it's what I got so far: https://www.dropbox.com/s/b7fb5u4w9p0d8 ... l.mp3?dl=0

Bass is a Massive preset with just distortion.
Guitar and piano are from Nexus 2
Electric guitar it's from Fl Studio plugin.
Drum kit are from stacked samples.
Bells and pads are from massive and Sakura from FL Studio.

Ty for listening
This genre definitely suits your aesthetics I must say. I quite enjoyed it. Your MIDI programming sounds very organic. Overall I like the vibes, the melodic lines and the groove. I think you're on to something really nice. keep it up!

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