2021-MAY-18 Info: Please have a look at Songwriting Competition 057 / May 2022. Theme: "Synth Racks, Presets and Cables", genre: any Electronic sub-genre.

SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC053 January 2022 - Winners announced

Thematic Songwriting Competition - recurrence: monthly
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SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC053 January 2022 - Winners announced

#1

Post by Mister Fox »

Hello and welcome to the Songwriting Competition 53 - January 2022


This is the introduction post, where we directly link to the challenge corresponding basics (theme and premise, submission information, sponsors) and start of the voting process.

Before you get started, please consult the official and very simple "Rules and Guidelines" (Rule Book - post #6) for the Songwriting Competition regarding principles of the game, it's engaging game mechanics (allowed editing/re-submission of your entry until the deadline has been reached) and upload/submission guidelines.

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




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 (limited 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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SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC053 January 2022 - Submissions until 24-01-2022 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#2

Post by Mister Fox »

CURRENT CHALLENGE - GENERAL INFORMATION

Time Frame: Saturday, 01st January 2022 to Monday, 24th January 2022 (24 days)

Challenge submission will end on 24-01-2022, 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. There will also be short reminders on Social Media.

Does the game time frame feel too long? Why not set a personal shorter one of 5-7 days absolute max to push yourself to focus on the essentials, then use the rest of the time to ask for feedback and possible refinements. :idea:



SONGWRITING THEME: "Community Scramble" (Special Sound Design Challenge / limited sound set challenge)
GENRE: free to select


Image
Image Source: ArtsyBee (background, via Pixabay), released under Creative Commons CC0



A few word about this month's theme:
Staff (Mister Fox) wrote: Hello and welcome to or fourth special challenge on the Mix Challenge audio community - called "Community Scramble".



The twist of the current Songwriting Competition:
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Create a music production in any genre that you feel like. However, you are only allowed to use the sounds and samples that have been sourced and provided by the Mix Challenge audio community. You can read more about the "Community Scramble" concept in the news post from September 2018.


This year, you get access to 30 new "community sourced" samples, with additional content off of the web for more variety, and once more some "recycled" material from previous years. :clap:

You can find the source material for "SWC053 / January 2022 - Community Scramble" here:
SWC053 Source Sound Package - on the Mix Challenge server (174,05 MB, LZMA compressed, zip)



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

This month, you can create a production in any music genre you feel like. Due to the community sourced content, this might be more electronic based. However, since this game's focus is creative sound design, there is zero limitation of which route this could go.


Some Ground Rules:
  • you are only allowed to use the sounds and samples that have been provided for this particular challenge (exceptions apply)
  • you are not allowed to add any additional sounds or instruments that have not been created from the available source material (e.g. drums from a synthesizer, acoustic drum kits, pianos, choirs and/or strings from Kontakt samples, etc). Same goes for sounds created from scratch with just synthesizer built-in oscillators / wave shapes. You must use the provided sample material in some shape or form as main sound source
  • you are free to mangle the content as much as you like, in fact, this is highly encouraged
  • you are allowed to use re-sampling, wavetable / sample-based synthesis, granular synthesis, modulation, or whatever else is at your disposal in terms of tools, to this counts:
    • time stretching, pitch shifting, layering, slicing into chunks, reversing, re-sampling, etc - then further treating the material with whatever is at your your disposal, and maybe redo everything again (e.g.: common technique for very stylized Reese Basses)
    • you can use your synths and samplers to their full potential (layering of more samples and/or build in signal generators, spectral editing, granulation, built-in modulation like LFOs and/or ring-modulation, etc), as long as one/the main oscillator/"wavetable" is from the the provided content (please also see "Audio Examples" follow up post, especially Andrew Huang's videos on "make a wavetable out of everything")
  • if you feel the need that your production really can't do without, you are allowed to record an electric guitar or electric bass. As long as you twist, bend, glitch, warp and/or morph (blend with other sound sources) it in some form or another (the focus is sound design! not just guitar > DI > amp suite preset, see "Audio Examples" follow up post, especially Mick Gordon, Geoffrey Day and David Levy's videos)
  • you can add vocals and ad-libs (your own voice or a collaborating singer) or sound effects created from your voice (think: breathing, shouts, grunts, robot voice, etc). This material can be as clean or as processed as you want, be creative!

Your creativity will be pushed to the limits this month. This is your chance to try something completely new out of your comfort zone, experiment with synthesis and sound shaping, to get a different perspective on sound design.

I am more than curious about the results. :phones:



And please remember: The more people join, the more interaction and feedback. So please spread the word! And if you think the 24 days time frame is too long, you can always set yourself a personal limit of 5-7 days absolute max, then post your entry, ask for feedback and use the rest of the time for possible refinements. Just by joining the game in the first place, you are already a winner in my book.

Songwriting Rule Summary / Add-On Rules:
  • create a production fitting to the given theme, genre and general premise
  • You are only allowed to use the sounds provided in the package above (exceptions do apply)
  • you can use any tools that are at your disposal to mangle the provided audio content (samplers, wavetable synths, modulation tools, etc)
  • for newcomers: no finished 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 -- please only showcase your own content
  • do not go higher than -14,0 LUFS ILk/-1,00 dBTP in terms of perceived loudness (mastering). Music doesn't have to be squashed to bits in order to be impactful
  • name your files properly prior to uploading and make the production downloadable. If you opt to present your entry through SoundCloud, 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)
  • ADD-ON RULES:
    • Filename Template: SWC000_ArtistName_TrackName.wav and/or .mp3 (please use it!)
    • see "Ground Rules" above

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


Source Files:

SWC053 Source Sound Package - on the Mix Challenge server (174,05 MB, LZMA compressed, zip)


The provided files were packed as ZIP with LZMA compression.
File size extracted: 253,26 MB, packed 174,05 MB (ZIP, LZMA)
In order to extract the files, we can recommend these programs:

Macintosh:
The Unarchiver - get it here
Keka (open source) - get it here

Windows:
7zip - Installation / Portable


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

Please take note of the official rules - they can be found at the following thread:
Songwriting Competition - Official Rules and Guidelines (most notably Rule Book - post #6)

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 the project

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


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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Cherry Audio is kind enough give away one license of Voltage Modular Ignite, plus either a license of "Year One Collection" or "Year Two Collection"
License will turn into NFR
More info on Cherry Audio: https://cherryaudio.com


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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 Saurus3 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


Image
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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SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC053 January 2022 - Submissions until 24-01-2022 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#3

Post by Mister Fox »

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

Articles and Info Pages:

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

Since the genre this month is "free to select", there are no clear pointers


Difference: Wavetable Synthesis to Sample-based Synthesis (articles on Wikipedia):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wavetable_synthesis
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sample-based_synthesis

"Wavetable Synthesis" has been turned into a common term, albeit technically wrong. Wavetables can be "single cycle" samples, while one "cycle" that declares a sound can be more than just the length a basic waveform like a sine/saw/square, as in "a couple of milliseconds or longer". The majority of tutorials, comments and posts all over the internet talk about "wavetables", but it can mean either forms of of this specific synthesis. To my understanding, the difference that declares the correct form, is the sample length and whether or not it can be morphed into another "wavetable" (then it would probably be declared "Wavetable Synthesis") or just long samples, "layered" without any morphing (then it would probably be declared "Sample-based Synthesis")

Disclaimer: the CEO of the Mix Challenge audio community is not an expert of synthesis. Things could be interpreted wrong. It is highly recommended to cross-reference with additional articles/books/sources.




Creative Sound design examples (selection, Youtube):

Depeche Mode - People Are People (1984)
Mick Gordon - Voices of Devs (2012)
Andrew Huang - Guitar Power (ft. Rob Scallon) (2015)
dilliot2k - How To Make Michael Jackson's Scream (2016, layering samples to create a rich and interesting drum beat)
Andrew Huang - I spent a year recording radiators to make music (2017, a song made out of radiator clicks and hums)
Levi Niha - Making Music With Windows XP Sounds (2018, the beat was not created from the source sounds)
Andrew Huang - Making music with actual sounds from Mars (2018, sounds from Mars winds vibrating NASA equipment, added custom beats)
Andrew Huang - Made my greatest beat ever with this weird device! (2020, creating a track from a recording with a "Baby Doppler"/Fetal Doppler, also explaining his "make a wavetable out of everything" tricks)
harvo - made a beat with cat noises (2020, the beat was not created from the source sounds)
Meredith Bull - Sick of this Empty Cup (2021)

4 PRODUCERS 1 SAMPLE - Series by Andrew Huang (2018 to 2021 -- plenty inspiration for sound design)



Sound Design Basics and Tricks:

Making Of (various series, hours of content!)
► Show Spoiler

Synthesis Basics (7 videos)
Tool Showcases (and some more synthesis basics, 9 videos)
► Show Spoiler

A shout out to Andew Huang, Mick Gordon, David Levy, Geoffrey Day (GeoffPlaysGuitar), Cameron Gorham (Venus Theory), Michael Wynne (In The Mix), Gregory White (White Noises), Mattias Holmgren, Dillio (DillioT2K), Levi Niha, Seamless (Stephen O’Leary), Savant (Aleksander Vinter), Tom from SYNTH ANATOMY, and the Sound Designer team from Spectrasonics
.



Please also check in with the following threads in the the Gear Talk sub-forum, if you're on the look-out for new tools:
Places to fuel your GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) (the starting point if you're in need of audio tools -- from free to affordable)


Tools worth a look for this task:

MuTools - MUX Modular
Matt Tytel - Vital - Matt Tytel also created the highly praised "Helm" synthesizer
GlitchMachines - Quadrant, Cataract, Fracture XT, etc
FKFX - Influx
Unfiltered Audio - various distortion and modulation tools (through Plugin Alliance)
Bedroom Producers Blog - BPB Plugins like BPB Dirty Filter and Saturator
Sound Guru - The Mangle (page takes a bit to load, but affordable Granular Synthesizer)
Sonic Charge - Typhoon (Yamaha TX16W sampler)
CWItec - TX16Wx Sampler (more than just an affordable sampler, as it can read WAV, SF2, Logix EXS, Typhoon, etc)

Anything that can load WAV files as "wavetables" (e.g.: kv311 Audio SynthMaster, Waves Codex, iZotope Iris 2, Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2, etc) or one-shots (Decomposer Sitala, AKAI MPC Beats, etc). Not to mention a nigh endless pool of available sound design tools (like tek'it Audio, Minimal Audio, illformed/dblue, AudioThing, ValhallaDSP, just to name a few).



UPDATED: 31-DEC-2021 21:45 UTC+1 (sourcing content: several hours), updated 00-DEC-2022 00:00 UTC+1
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC053 January 2022 - Submissions until 24-01-2022 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#4

Post by Arelem »

Hello Everyone,

I had a lot of fun making this one. I am only a little familiar with in-depth sound design so I definitely had my work cut out for me there. I hope you like it, and good luck to everyone!



DAW: FL Studio 20.9

For the kick, I used the Stomp kitchen sponge layered with a sin tone for some low end. I played with the transients and ADSR to get a more punchy sound.
The clap is a couple of layers of the Chancta that have been saturated, and EQ'd, with some reverb added.
The shaker is some white noise. I cut part of the waveform EQ'd it and added reverb.
The bell is from the glockenspiel. I added some tape effect, saturation, EQ, delay, and reverb.
For the pads, I used part of the waveform from the C-flute sample and added reverb, delay, phaser, flanger, and some unison effect.
The synth is two instances of the 55hz Sin with distortion, unison, chorus, compression, delay, and reverb with a high cut filter on it.
For the bass, I used a Sin again with low band compression, soft clipper, and high cut.
The lead is the Guitar A-string sample with some phaser, delay, chorus, and compression. Later a second layer is added that has distortion as well.
During the breakdown, the violin A-string is used to make the pad. Part of the waveform was cut and unison, flanger, delay, and reverb were added.
A pluck was made using the Synth 1 Rave stab. The ADSR was set to create a very short, pluck sound, and some bit crush, EQ, delay, and reverb were added.
Also during the breakdown, some pink noise is layered in with some EQing, flanger, and reverb.
The risers consisted of pink noise and the swoosh sample. They were recorded with a long reverb tail and reversed.
The crashes are the wine bottle smash, smash printer, and some volume automated pink noise.

(EDIT) Updated link to lastest version
Last edited by Arelem on Mon Jan 17, 2022 05:09 CET, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC053 January 2022 - Submissions until 24-01-2022 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#5

Post by Mister Fox »

Just for completeness sake, you talk about the "Generated WAV tones" for Sine, White Noise and Pink Noise, right?

Really liking the production so far, nice work.
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC053 January 2022 - Submissions until 24-01-2022 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#6

Post by Arelem »

Mister Fox wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 20:49 CET
Just for completeness sake, you talk about the "Generated WAV tones" for Sine, White Noise and Pink Noise, right?

Really liking the production so far, nice work.
Yes, I used the samples from the generated WAV tones folder. I made sure that everything was made using only the samples provided.
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC053 January 2022 - Submissions until 24-01-2022 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#7

Post by Mister Fox »

Great work then, really like the production and creativity. Even though it feels a bit upper midrange heavy (which could due to the reverb, which is adding a lot to the overall sound). But that is just my personal opinion.

I'm curious what others say - but I'm just as curious about more entries. :phones:
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC053 January 2022 - Submissions until 24-01-2022 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#8

Post by A Future in Noise »

Finally I learned how to create wavetables. But no matter how I try, a brassy pad seems impossible to create from the WTs I have created so far. I wonder: would it be consistent with the rules to try to create a sawtooth wave from the sinus wave in the Generated WAV tones folder? If one changes the playback rate of the sinus wave, the frequency also gets changed, if you want to. And if you do this for an infinite number of times following a certain formula, and then add the cycles together, you will get a sawtooth, according to Ph.D. Ron Davies (screenshot). And maybe it's enough to do it ten times to get an acceptable sawtooth? I haven't tried yet.

EDIT: I have created that sawtooth WT, now, but since it's a little bit hard to explain what I mean by “add the cycles together” and so on, I uploaded these screen shots. (Ron Davies has got nothing to do with the fourth screen shot.)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/14CWagZ ... sp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1J5NOvT ... sp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tobJUo ... sp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nSrPHN ... sp=sharing
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC053 January 2022 - Submissions until 24-01-2022 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#9

Post by Mister Fox »

Please also check in with post #3, @A Future in Noise. Especially the section "Synthesis Basics".

Your question can be answered with a "yes" (that would be within parameters). And what you already experimented with is basically "additive synthesis" (you are on the right track, albeit things are a bit complicated). You can make your life easier though by using just one sine wave, and adding both even and off harmonics with a roll-off of 6dB per octave. You can try a freeware tool like Hornet Plugins Harmonics or old Christian Budde's Christortion (which was basically the same deal) to get there. And if you change the start/end point of the sine (aka shift the phase), you can even shape the Sawtooth as wanted.


More on that:
Hornet Plugins - Harmonics overview (Youtube, 2017)
Saw Tooth wave explained (by Srinath Srinivasan, Youtube, 2020)
Wikipedia - Sawtooth wave

Hope this helps.


And yes, of course you can re-import your just created new wavetable and continue to work with that in any tool you like. :tu:
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC053 January 2022 - Submissions until 24-01-2022 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#10

Post by Arelem »

Mister Fox wrote:
Sun Jan 09, 2022 16:10 CET
Great work then, really like the production and creativity. Even though it feels a bit upper midrange heavy (which could due to the reverb, which is adding a lot to the overall sound). But that is just my personal opinion.

I'm curious what others say - but I'm just as curious about more entries. :phones:
It does lack a bit on the low end if you're listening from a flat monitor, but with something like standard consumer headphones (low end boosted) it sounds good. I had a hard time getting the mix below the LUFS target. LUFS really seem sensitive to bass which seems counter intuitive to me. I'm definitely more sensitive to high frequency sounds. If I have time, I'll try and work on the balance there but that was as good as I could get it for now.
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