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SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC040 December 2020 - Winners announced

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SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC040 December 2020 - Winners announced

#1

Post by Mister Fox »

Hello and welcome to the Songwriting Competition 40 - December 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 - SWC040 December 2020 - Submissions until 24-12-2020 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#2

Post by Mister Fox »

CURRENT CHALLENGE - GENERAL INFORMATION

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

Challenge submission will end on 24-12-2020, 23:59 UTC+1/CET (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: Beginning of a New Age
GENRE: New Age (Ambient, Electronica, World Music)


Image
Image Source: Pixabay, photo by Free-Photos, released under Creative Commons CC0


A few word about this month's theme:
Staff (Mister Fox) wrote:We're slowly but surely reaching the end of 2020. A lot has happened throughout this year, plenty of unexpected twists and turns, changes that will follow us for months if not years to come. Basically, we're at the "Beginning of a New Age".

So much for a segue to this month's theme and genre, which is "New Age" music. But maybe not what you initially expect. You see, "New Age" is an umbrella-term for a lot of things musical. These days, people consider this genre to be for meditation and getting into a state of trance. The modern form of "New Age" music all over the internet is weighted to be ambient noises, with a low frequency hum or pads playing alongside - and that is repeated for plenty of hours. Think a sleep cycle of 8 hours, or a study cycle of 1 to 3 hours.

The New Age "genre" I am thinking of however, is essentially a blend of Ambient, Electronica and World Music. Basically celebrating the modern with sounds rooted in specific cultures. To me, the mid 1990s were the citadel of this form of blending of genres. Most notably music acts like Enigma and Era (which also added athmospheric vocals). If we go a bit further back in time, we also have Mike Oldfield, Kitaro, to a certain extend even Jean Michel Jarre and Vangelis.




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

This month, you can create a production in the "New Age" genre, more specifically a blend of Ambient, Electronica, Chill-Out and World Music. "New Age" in this case acts as an umbrella-term. There is no clear and distinct guideline this month.


What I'd like to see/hear this month:
Personally I'm a huge fan of the sound from the late 1980s to mid 1990s with upper mentioned acts and musicians (also see the audio examples from the next post). Basically, if you manage to blend an old-school loop with a vintage synth and then some exotic instruments or limited classic/acoustic instruments, you're golden. Vocals are optional - as usual.


What I do not want to hear:
As with basically every "ambient" genre these days, drifting into the "epic" genre with huge choirs (which was also part of this genre) and big orchestras blasting away, can happen quite fast as the lines are super thin. I am aware that some of you have this equipment at hand, and you're really good at songwriting with these tools. But maybe... try to hold back just a little this month.


I'm curious where this experiment will take us. :phones:

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 (as in: non 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 productions that have already been released outside of the time frame of the current Songwriting Competition (Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp, etc), no cover versions or remixes, no ripped acapella's
  • ADD-ON RULES:
    • <no add-on rules specified>

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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

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


Image
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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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC040 December 2020 - Submissions until 24-12-2020 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#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

Additional Articles on Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New-age_music
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_music (some also call it "Global Fusion")
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folktronica (linked from World Music)





Music examples (selection, Youtube):

Jean-Michel Jarre - Oxygene, Pt. 4 (1976)
Vangelis - Alpha (1979)
Kitaro - Silk Road (1980)
Art of Noise - Moments In Love (1985, some might consider this synth pop)
Paul Speer, David Lanz - Behind the Waterfall (1985)
Enya - Storms in Africa (1988)
Enigma - Sadness - Part 1 (1990)
Deep Forest - Sweet Lullaby (1992)
Enigma - Return to Innocence (1993)
Beautiful World - In the Beginning (1993)
Adiemus (Karl Jenkins) - Adiemus (1994 - originally written for a commercial, but climbed the charts in 1994)
Mike Oldfield - Women of Ireland (1996)
Loreena McKennitt - The Mummers' Dance (1997, which goes more towards "Celtic" / World Music)
Will Ackerman - Sound Of Wind Driven Rain (1998, basically just an acoustic guitar and some vocals towards the end)
Frei Fado D'el Rei - Mediantal (1998)
ERA - Misere Mani (1998)
Sarah Brightman - Eden (1998)
Yuki Kajiura - The World (2002, more "Pop"/Soundtrack, since it's also the title theme for the highly popular anime .hack//Sign - also highly recommended, the live version)
Brian Tyler - Inama Nushif (2002, Children of Dune Soundtrack)
Delerium - Angelicus (2006)
Michael Brook - RockPaperScissors (2006)
Martin O'Donnell, Michael Salvatori - Dream Again (2007, from the "Halo 3" soundtrack, which is a reworked version of "Under Cover of Night" from the 2002 "Halo: Combat Evolved" soundtrack, but also lacks the vibrant drums)
ERA - Prayers (2008, goes more towards Pop)
forsenses - Monochrome "Deep In Blue" (2009, this is a "binaural audio" or "headphone surround" mix - headphones highly recommended)
Imogen Heap - Me The Machine (first performed in 2012, official release in 2014 -- Imogen Heap goes more towards Synth-Pop and Electronic)
satyatunes - Memoirs of a World Traveler (around 2013, especially: "The Summer Rain" which was also the source for MC06/November 2014, "Silk Route", "Lost Civilization", "The Old Cabaret in Sofia" and "India")




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)



UPDATED: 30-NOV-2020 08:30 UTC+1 (sourcing content: a couple of hours), updated 06-DEC-2020 10:45 UTC+1
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC040 December 2020 - Submissions until 24-12-2020 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#4

Post by functionform »

Fun fact, Oxygene pt 4 was a "remix" of sorts of Popcorn.
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC040 December 2020 - Submissions until 24-12-2020 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#5

Post by becsei_gyorgy »

i made a quick sketch today (not a whole song), then I have read the monthly genre description again and I was completely insecure by now.
The given audio examples cover a completely wide spectrum and there is no clear and distinct guideline this month.
I don’t know if I’m on the right track and worth continuing, or if I need to take a completely different direction.
(I also use a choir :), but was also in the examples.)
This "new age" is something pretty plastic for me right now, I don’t really know which side to approach.
In the examples, Vangelis ’synthesizer music is featured in the same way as a medieval-sounding song or a pop song etc.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vzBcoE ... hJZzsvC4V/
Last edited by becsei_gyorgy on Sun Dec 06, 2020 07:45 CET, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC040 December 2020 - Submissions until 24-12-2020 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#6

Post by Mister Fox »

Check your download link again, please... the link ask for a log-in. Then we can talk about your ideas so far.


Else, yes... "New Age" music is a bit difficult to interpret (just like "Electonic" music). Also please check in with the Music Map (from the Songwriting Competition - Addendum thread). The "genre" is listed in the "Downtempo / Ambient" column (second from right), with plenty of cross-references to other genres (incl Folk, Ambient, Chill-Out and Minimalism).

You need to do a lot of reading and going by gut instincts. Hence the plethora of demos (which are tagged as "New Age").
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC040 December 2020 - Submissions until 24-12-2020 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#7

Post by becsei_gyorgy »

Mister Fox wrote:
Sun Dec 06, 2020 06:51 CET
Check your download link again, please...

You need to do a lot of reading and going by gut instincts. Hence the plethora of demos (which are tagged as "New Age").
Thank you, I checked the link, it should work already, it was my fault.

I read the link provided and also reviewed the examples of the ishkur map, I think I still don't feel the common ground.

Compared to my 'song', maybe in my example there is no real acoustic instrument in focus and the overall tempo is too fast.

The key phrase of the musicmap might be:
„Not long after, New Age became so popular that anything remotely related got tagged as New Age.”? :smile:

I don't think this was really made for me :smile:
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC040 December 2020 - Submissions until 24-12-2020 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#8

Post by Mister Fox »

I wouldn't use "Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Music" this time around, but the "Music Map" by Kwinten Crauwels (first link in the addendum). The former is written in a slightly sarcastic tone (on purpose!), while the latter is more neutral and informative. I'm so happy that I found this one out of pure chance, which is a great supplement to our monthly songwriting games.



A snipped from the "New Age" info text (you need to zoom in to the Ambient / Downtempo column to find this bullet point)
MusicMap wrote:New Age is often a careful balance of both acoustic and electronic instruments, which is quite unique among genres. Therefore it can please Rock/Pop and Electronic oriented fans at the same time. Though most New Age is instrumental, soothing voices are not uncommon. ... New Age caresses the mind with trembling timbres and stimulates the body with an inner rhythm.The whole purpose of the music is to relax, which is why some have mockingly called it “Hot Tub music”. ...
At the bottom of the text is a playlist button, that lists some more examples (I'll add two or three of them above). Funny enough, the description text also brought up what "New Age" has turned into throughout the years.



You definitely went the "Era" route with your production, including the Gregorian-type choir. So I'd say you're already on a great track. But if you're not feeling the vocal parts, maybe go a different route.
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC040 December 2020 - Submissions until 24-12-2020 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#9

Post by becsei_gyorgy »

Thanks for the additions, I think I’m thinking and researching a little more and hope that something interesting comes out of it.
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC040 December 2020 - Submissions until 24-12-2020 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#10

Post by Mister Fox »

Great to read.

Keep in mind everyone - adding vocals is not mandatory (never has been for the Songwriting Competition)... do whatever feels right to you. I've posted plenty of examples that are also instrumental (e.g. Kitaro, Paul Speer & David Lanz, but also the "Forsenses" music project). Get inspired, then find your own personal groove.


Also please don't forget - part of the updated game mechanic is that you can post a demo production, ask for feedback, then continue working on it until you're done by the time of the deadline. :phones:
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