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Rule Books - Update Information

Collection of the official Rules and Guidelines, plus Addenda
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Mister Fox
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Rule Books - Update Information

#1

Post by Mister Fox »

This thread is is a collection of all updates to the Rules and Guidelines.

Every time a specific "Rule Book" section is updated, it will be mentioned in here with a copy of the changed paragraph. Or in case of bigger changes, a summary.



:arrow: The current update time-stamps are:

Code: Select all

Songwriting Competition		-	2020-JUL-31
Mix Challenge			-	2020-JUL-31
Remix Challenge			-	2019-AUG-01
Mastering Challenge		-	2019-AUG-01


Footnote: This thread can not be replied to. It is solely for information purposes

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Mister Fox
Site Admin
Posts: 1812
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

Rule Books - Update Information

#2

Post by Mister Fox »

The following changes have been implemented to the Mix Challenge - Rules and Guidelines.



:arrow: General information about the challenge, time limits, etc
  • slight rephrasing of the "concept and idea" textblock



:arrow: Song Providers Guidelines, information how to provide the RAW tracks

Post topic has been renamed to "Song Providers Guidelines, information how to provide multitracks"

Original phrasing:
General Information and Legalities
  • the clients presence during and after the Mix Challenge is mandatory - may it be via mail, or directly on mix-challenge.com (see "Guidelines for Evaluation" below for further detail)

Technical Aspects - How to provide a song, Integrity Check, etc
  • for the so called "Integrity Check", please provide a TXT with the following
    • ...
  • You can provide tracks as clean as possible (to offer maximum creativity possibilities for participants) or as processed as possible (if you created a specific sound, that others can not recreate easily). We recommend to keep the files clean, but you can provide "printed" versions as well
Changed to:
General Information and Legalities
  • the clients presence during and after the Mix Challenge is mandatory - ideally through both email and the mix-challenge.com forum (see "Guidelines for Evaluation" below for further detail).

Technical Aspects - How to provide a song, Integrity Check, etc
  • for the so called "Integrity Check", you will receive a TXT template to fill out, containing the following information
    • ...
  • You can provide tracks as clean as possible (to offer maximum creativity possibilities for participants) or as processed as desired (if you created a specific sound, that others can not recreate easily). We recommend to keep the files clean, but you can provide "printed" versions as well



:arrow: Rules for participants of the Mix Challenge

Removed most additions like "Clarification as of MC0xx" and "as of MC0xx"

Original phrasing:
Mixing and Editing Guidelines
  • It is recommended to work with a certain reference level. We recommend to work at -18dBFS = 0VU (EBU R68 alignment level) - please consult the Wikipedia entry on Peak Programme Meters, and/or the forum entry on "Gain Staging with a VU Meter". Working and exporting within the range of -21dBFS (RMS avg or -3VU) for mezzo-forte to -15dBFS (RMS avg or +3VU) for forte-fortissimo passages, while not exceeding -2dBFS maximum signal strength (digital peak), is considered "good practice"
  • ...
  • the provided arrangement must remain the same (take note of a given audio demo). Do not change the song key, do not add an additional beat or instruments (e.g. replay a guitar), move parts around and therefore change the arrangement. Unless otherwise stated (i.e. radio mix, loops being allowed for reordering, creative audio effects like glitching, etc)
  • it is allowed to edit and to a certain extend even mangle the source material to improve the production (e.g. pitch correction within given boundaries, timing/phase correction within given boundaries, re-amping of bass/guitars if DI track were present, vocal comping, noise gating/strip silence, etc), as long as this does not result in drastic sound design and a complete new sound (e.g. morphing one sound into another one - example: flute into trumpet) - unless otherwise stated
  • It is mandatory to document the mix/production. At bar minimum, focus on one particular "sound" you have enjoyed creating, and how you went there. You can also provide screenshots, but they should show of your mix console and your used insert. You can go as detailed as you like. This is to learn good "session recall" tactics, engage in the conversation and for all participants to learn from each other

Upload and Submission Guidelines
  • entries must be available for at least the length of the Challenge (the free accounts of WeTransfer and Hightail only allow accessibility up to 7 days)
  • edits must be easily available to download without the need of any special login, a decryption key, download tools (EXE installers) or various captcha requests.
  • ...
  • please do not provide a MP3, AAC or FLAC file (as of MC061, only relevant for the Mix Challenge)
  • ...
  • the final mix must not undershoot -23LUFS ILk, neither exceed -16LUFS ILk (ITU-R BS.1770-x), while the maximum digital signal strength must not exceed -1dBTP (True Peak) - NO (Pre)MASTERING
  • ...
  • Please try to prevent unnecessary sample rate conversion and bit truncation on both your end (participant) and the client (song provider), unless otherwise stated. Sound degradation could be knock-out criterion during the evaluation process. You never know how the client's equipment is set up.
Changed to:
Mixing and Editing Guidelines
  • It is highly recommended to work with a certain reference level. We suggest to work at/around -18 dBFS = 0 VU (EBU R68 alignment level). Please consult the Wikipedia entry on Peak Programme Meters, and/or the forum entry on "Gain Staging with a VU Meter". Working and exporting within the range of -21 dBFS (RMS avg or -3 VU) for mezzo-forte to -15 dBFS (RMS avg or +3 VU) for forte-fortissimo passages, while not exceeding -2 dBFS maximum signal strength (digital peak), is considered "good practice".
  • ...
  • the provided arrangement must remain the same. Do not change the song key, do not add an additional beat or instruments (e.g. replay a guitar), move parts around and therefore change the arrangement. Unless otherwise stated (i.e. radio mix, loops being allowed for reordering, creative audio effects like glitching, etc). The audio demo can be a guide, but be advised that it might be a different revision from the material that has been given to you.
  • it is allowed to edit and to a certain extend even mangle the source material to improve the production (e.g. pitch correction within given boundaries, timing/phase correction within given boundaries, re-amping of bass/guitars if DI track were present, vocal comping, noise gating/strip silence, etc), as long as this does not result in drastic sound design and a complete new sound (e.g. morphing one sound into another one - example: flute into trumpet) - unless otherwise stated. Please also consult the FAQ section (most notably Q9 to Q11)
  • It is mandatory to document your mix/edit by the end of the deadline (21st of the month, 23:59 UTC+1/CET or 23:59 UTC+2/CEST). At bar minimum, focus on one particular "sound" you have enjoyed creating, and how you went there. You can also provide screenshots, but they should show off your mix console and your used inserts. You can go as detailed as you like. This is to learn good "session recall" tactics, engaging in further conversations and offers all participants to learn from each other

Upload and Submission Guidelines
  • entries must be available for at least the length of the Challenge, including Mix Round 2 (the free accounts of WeTransfer and Hightail only allow accessibility up to 7 days)
  • edits must be easily available to download by the end of each deadline (e.g. 21st of the month, 23:59 UTC+1/CET or 23:59 UTC+2/CEST) without the need of any special login, a decryption key, download tools (EXE installers) or various captcha requests. Please double check prior to posting on the forum that your material can be accessed with the correct rights.
  • ...
  • please do not provide a MP3, AAC or FLAC file (only relevant for the Mix Challenge)
  • ...
  • the final mixdown / export must not undershoot -23 LUFS ILk (Integrated), neither exceed -16 LUFS ILk (Integrated), while the maximum digital signal strength must not exceed -1.0 dBTP (True Peak) - NO (Pre)MASTERING. Recommended measurement specifications are ITU-R BS.1770-2+ (ideally ITU-R BS.1770-4) or EBU R-128
  • ...
  • Please try to prevent unnecessary sample rate conversion and bit truncation on both your end (participant) and the client (song provider), unless otherwise stated. Sound degradation due to resampling and possible introduced noise due to bitrate changes could be a knock-out criterion during the evaluation process. You never know how the client's equipment is set up.



:arrow: Rules for the Evaluation Process

Removed most additions like "Clarification as of MC0xx" and "as of MC0xx"

Original phrasing:
General Evaluation Guidelines
  • Post the 21 day mixing period, the song provider can and must give feedback to all of the submitted tracks. If there is an exceedance of 20 submissions by participants, then only for the top 10-15 productions are mandatory to be evaluated (client can give feedback to all entries if he/she so desires). It is recommended that the song provider bundles the feedback in one post during the (ideally) 14 days post first submission round
  • The song provider must(!) select 10-15 tracks after this evaluation period, and ask these participants for a re-submission. This marks the start of Mix Round 2
Changed to:
General Evaluation Guidelines
  • Post the 21 day mixing period, the song provider can and must give feedback to all of the submitted tracks. If there is a strong exceedance of 20 submissions by participants, then only for the top 15-20 productions are mandatory to be evaluated (client can give feedback to all entries if he/she so desires).
  • It is recommended that the song provider already collects entries by the time they are submitted, and is writing down initial notes. It is also suggested to bundle the feedback for the participants in one post during the (ideally) 14 days post first submission round
  • The song provider must(!) select 10-15 tracks after this evaluation period (but no more than 20!), and ask these participants for a re-submission with desired changes that will improve the edit. This marks the start of Mix Round 2



:arrow: Rules and General Information for winning goods

Original phrasing:
Additional information for the license winners
  • please provide your contact information (name and email address) plus what license you picked, and then either the company in question gets in touch with you directly, or the license handler (in this case, the forum admin)
  • Should you not(!) get an answer within reasonable time (7 work days bar minimum), contact the license handler again (or the admin rather, Mister Fox), and ask for a status. DO NOT CONTACT THE COMPANY OFFERING THE LICENSE DIRECTLY!
Changed to:
Additional information for the license winners
  • please provide your contact information (full name and email address) plus what license you picked. Then either the company in question will get in touch with you directly, or the license handler (in this case, the forum admin)
  • Should you not(!) get an answer within reasonable time (7 work days bar minimum, please keep a delay in responses due to the ongoing pandemic in mind), contact the license handler again (or the admin rather, Mister Fox), and ask for a status. DO NOT CONTACT THE COMPANY OFFERING THE LICENSE DIRECTLY!


:arrow: FAQs
  • fixed some typos



Changes realized:
2020-JUL-31 -- 7:00 UTC+2/CEST until 9:46 UTC+2/CEST

User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Posts: 1812
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

Rule Books - Update Information

#3

Post by Mister Fox »

The following changes have been implemented to the Songwriting Competition - Rules and Guidelines.



:arrow: General information about the challenge, time limits, etc
  • slight rephrasing of the "concept and idea" textblock

Original phrasing:
The competition time frames
  • ...
  • 5 days of voting process, (Popular Vote System)
Changed to:
The competition time frames
  • ...
  • 5 days of voting process, or until the 1st of the next month (Popular Vote System)



:arrow: TL;DR Rules

Original phrasing:
TL;DR
  • ...
  • create an audio production based upon the desired theme/genre by the end of the given deadline (usually 24th of the month)
  • you can use whatever tool set is at your disposal, but try to be reasonable with mastering (recommended: -14LUFS ILk or -12dB RMS avg/K-12 max)
  • properly name/tag your WAV/MP3 file (SWC000_ArtistName_TrackName.wav/mp3)
  • upload your production to any place that hosts your files longer than 40 days, and make the file easily downloadable
  • ...
  • during the voting process, it is mandatory for each participant to give feedback to everyone (unless 20 participants are exceeded) and vote for his/her personal Top 20 favorite compositions. Failing to give feedback and vote, or voting for yourself, is an automatic disqualification
  • depending on the participant amount, the winners podium changes. Seven or fewer participants (<=7 participants) results in a "Sole Winner", eight or more participants (>=8 participants) results in a 3-position "Winners Podium".
  • ...
  • the winners can select one prize from the available license pool in order of the Winners Podium. However, you are not forced to pick up anything, neither can two participants select the same company
Changed to:
TL;DR
  • ...
  • create an audio production based upon the desired theme/genre by the end of the given deadline (by 24th of the month)
  • you can use whatever tool set is at your disposal, but try to be reasonable with mastering (recommended: -14LUFS ILk / Integrated max, which is about -12dB RMS avg/K-12 max)
  • properly name/tag your WAV/MP3 file (SWC000_ArtistName_TrackName.wav/mp3. while the AristName is your forum username) prior to uploading and posting on the forum
  • upload your production to any place that hosts your files longer than 45 days, and make the file easily downloadable
  • ...
  • during the voting process, it is mandatory for each participant to give some final words (feedback) to everyone (unless 20 participants are exceeded) and vote for his/her personal Top 20 favorite compositions. Giving constructive feedback and interacting is an essential part of this particular game. Failing to do so, and/or voting for yourself, results an automatic disqualification
  • depending on the participant amount, the winners podium changes. Eight or fewer participants (<=8 participants) results in a "Sole Winner", nine or more participants (>=9 participants) results in a 3-position "Winners Podium".
  • additional bonus: the winners of the Songwriting Competition can select one prize from the available license pool in order of the Winners Podium. However, you are not forced to pick up anything (as in: just join the game for the fun of it), neither can two participants select the same company



:arrow: Rules for participants of the Songwriting Challenge

Removed most additions like "Clarification as of SWC0xx" and "as of SWC0xx".

Original phrasing:
General Guidelines
  • Each Songwriting Competition will have a theme and a short premise. Please stick to the given theme and premise given in each corresponding challenge thread
  • Production shall not exceed 10 minutes. A good practice is to try to shoot between 3 and 7 minutes of run time (unless otherwise stated)
  • Your entry must be composed / finished specifically for this contest (or, if a new/revised version from an old production of yours, then arranged/recorded specifically for this contest). Your production could have started weeks ago already - as long as it's finished/presented for the Songwriting Competition in question first
  • ...
  • do not submit mixes higher than -14LUFS ILk/-1dBTP or K-12v1 (avg)/-1dBTP in terms of perceived loudness (mastering). Music doesn't have to be squashed to bits in order to be impactful
  • ...
  • Please no cover version / rearrangement / remix from somebody else (or in other words: content that you don't the hold rights to, like a capella, or "resampled" parts from other songs). If in doubt, contact the Mix Challenge staff
  • ...
  • Minor edits to your submission are allowed, but this is not a WIP forum. Your entry is final!

Upload and Submission Guidelines
  • productions and minor edits must be uploaded/finalized by the time of the deadline (24th of the month, 23:59 UTC+1/CET)
  • you can upload to wherever you like (DropBox, Google Drive, SoundCloud, etc)
  • entries must be available for at least 40 days (the free accounts of WeTransfer and Hightail only allow accessibility up to 7 days)
  • edits must be easily available to download without the need of any special login (SoundCloud especially), download tools (EXE installers) or various captcha requests
  • the entries must be properly named and tagged prior to uploading (especially for SoundCloud entries). For example: SWC000_ArtistName_TrackName.wav/mp3, while the Artist Name (ideally) equals the Forum Username
  • a distribution in WAV or MP3/320kbit is preferred. But other files formats like M4A/AAC, FLAC or OGG are also possible.
  • it is encouraged to export in a reasonable sampling rate (44kHz or 48kHz are common these days)
  • If you're using an artist name that is different from your user name on the forum, make that clear in the first paragraph of your post and in the tags of your entry!
Changed to:
General Guidelines
  • Each Songwriting Competition will have a theme and a premise. Please base your production upon these given parameters, or try to interpret them as best as you can
  • Production shall not exceed 10 minutes, neither be shorter than 1:30 minutes (like: TV Openings/Endings). A good practice is to try to shoot between 3 and 7 minutes of run time (unless otherwise stated)
  • Please no (re)upload of an old version of one of your already released productions. You can revisit an old production of yours, or a month old work-in-progress and remake/renew it. The general idea is to create something new and unique specifically for the Songwriting Competition. It wouldn't be fair to all other participants otherwise
  • ...
  • please try to not submit mixes higher than -14 LUFS ILk (Integrated)/-1.0 dBTP max in terms of perceived loudness (this is the same loudness value as Spotify, Amazon, Tidal and Youtube as of July 2020). Music does not have to be squashed to bits (mastered loud!) in order to be impactful
  • ...
  • All entries submitted must be original songs and shall not infringe any copyrights or any other rights of any third parties. Please no cover version / rearrangement / remix from somebody else. Or in other words: content that you don't the hold rights to (like "a found" a capella, or "resampled" parts from other songs without drastic mangling). If in doubt, please contact the Mix Challenge staff
  • In relation to that - and important note: participants of the Songwriting Competition retain all ownership rights to all submitted song(s). The Mix Challenge audio community will not have any ownership rights to any song(s) submitted.
  • ...
  • While the Songwriting Competition is not intended to be a WIP forum (work-in-progress), edits to and re-submissions of your songs are allowed. Feel free to always ask for feedback and help, improve on your mix and production - maybe there is "one final piece of the puzzle" missing that somebody else might point out prior to the end of the game. (please use the edit function of your post, don't submit multiple times)
  • The concept of the Songwriting Competition is all about "just create something", interaction, and learning how to receive/how to express feedback. Every participant is highly encouraged to comment even during the submission period. Please be respectful to each other
  • your production must the finished and not be further edited by the time of the deadline (24th of the month, 23:59 UTC+1/CET or 23:59 UTC+2/CEST), as all entries will be collected and posted in one global post after the submission period, to create a foundation for the final feedback and voting process

Upload and Submission Guidelines
  • productions and edits must be uploaded/finalized by the time of the deadline (24th of the month, 23:59 UTC+1/CET)
  • ...
  • please do not forget to document your edit
Bullet points have also been re-ordered for better understanding purposes.




:arrow: Rules for Voting

Important: further adjustments might happen during SWC036 / August 2020

Original phrasing:
General Evaluation Guidelines
  • The voting period will happen after the competition has ended (24 days). The voting phase is usually/roughly 5 days long (see below). The start of this process will be announced as part of a post with all collected entries. Please take note of the challenge time frames.
  • Voting ends 23:59 UTC+1/CET on each 1st day of the following month. Voting can end sooner, if all participants cast their vote before the end of the deadline. Results do not show up automatically!
  • ...
  • The ranking plus any received bonus points will ultimately be summed together and will result in a numeric score. The top three highest scores declare the winners podium
  • ...
  • if there are equal or less than seven (number: 7) participants in the current running game, there will only be a single winner (declared by highest score).
  • In the case of equal scores after voting, entries will be separated how many 10 points (or higher with more entries, i.e. how many No 1 votes) they received. Should they match up, then the next lower number will be counted. Unless one entry has higher votes.
  • Important: it is mandatory for everyone to participate in the voting process. If you do not vote, your entry will be disqualified from the final results
  • ...
  • Feedback of the productions are mandatory. This user/participant interaction has the focus to give constructive criticism, see what can be expanded/improved upon one's creation
  • Give feedback to everyone. If the competition exceeds 20 entries, then only give feedback to your top 20 productions. This is to encourage user interaction and maintains constructive criticism
  • your created Top 20 list shall ideally have the backdrop upon "technical flaws" rather than just personal issues with a certain instrument, genre or (worst case) even participating person. You can also score "Bonus Points" for this (read below)
  • In order to have objectivity with the commentary, your focus should be on the following:
    • Production Feedback (55%): Use of melodic, harmonic and/or rhythmic resources - are they "working"? Arrangement and instrumentation - do they work for the song? Do they support the proposed idea of the composer for the current theme? (please keep in mind, not everyone knows harmony theory)
    • Technical Objectivity (30%): how great was the production as a whole? Is there something that you see problematic in the mix (mix techniques, mastering, etc)? What would you do different (give examples)? If you're skilled in technical analysis, maybe back that up with values (Frequency Range, Loudness Values, Maximum Peak, etc)
    • Neutral to Subjective commentary (15%): Did it fit the monthly theme (can be subjective)? Make a personal comment, maybe mention what stood out to you, what completely didn't work for you, etc. Ask for sharing "setup tips / settings" (adds to interaction)
  • Once you placed your vote, you can not change it. Unless permission has been granted by the challenge staff (response can take up to 48 hours!)
  • Vote Results will usually be posted about 48-72 hours after the voting period has ended - this is not an automated process
Changed to:
General Evaluation Guidelines
  • The voting period will happen after the competition has ended (24 days). The voting phase is usually/roughly 5 days long, or until the 1st of the next month (see next point). The start of this process will be announced as part of a post with all collected entries. Please take note of the challenge time frames.
  • Voting ends 23:59 UTC+1/CET on each 1st day of the following month. Voting can end sooner, if all participants gave their final feedback and cast their vote before the end of the deadline. Results do not show up automatically!
  • ...
  • The ranking plus any received bonus points will effectively be summed together and result in a final numeric score. The top three highest scores declare the winners podium
  • ...
  • if there are eight or fewer (number: 8) participants in the current running game, there will only be a single winner (declared by highest score).
  • In the case of equal scores after voting, entries will be separated by how many 10 points (or higher with more entries, i.e. how many No 1 votes) they received. Should they match up, then the next lower number will be counted. Unless one entry has higher votes.
  • Important: it is mandatory for everyone to participate in the voting process. If you do not give final feedback and/or cast your vote, your entry will be disqualified from the final results
  • ...
  • Giving final thoughts/feedback on the productions are mandatory. Even if you have already been active during the submission period. While this might feel foreign and uncomfortable to you, this user/participant back-and-forth stems from the idea to encourage interaction. You can learn how to give and/or receive, not to mention maintain constructive criticism. See what can be expanded/improved upon one's creation. Feedback to own productions is always wanted, but it's often left short on plenty of audio communities. Here, it's part of the game.
  • please give feedback to everyone (for the time being). If the competition exceeds 20 entries, then you are free to only give feedback to your top 20 productions.
  • your created Top 20 list should ideally have the backdrop upon "technical flaws" rather than personal issues with a certain instrument, genre or (worst case) even the participating person.
  • please be objective and encouraging, have a focus on the overall production and technical stuff. For example: "please look out for possible issues in the following frequency ranges", or "while this is a great melody, and unless it was planned this way, some notes might clash with the chord progressions. Maybe shift some notes around a bit on time-stamp 0:00min". Maybe even "I like these vocals, but maybe consider adding a bit more reverb to let them fit better into the production".
  • It is encouraged to commit to your vote sheet. There is absolutely no shame in not liking a specific production at a certain given time, or because it's not your particular cup of tea this time around. Everyone joining the Songwriting Competition is a winner - you are not worth less by getting an overall lower score. But in order be able to address bonus content, we can only have a winners podium of three.
  • Vote Results will usually be posted about 48-72 hours after the voting period has ended - this is not an automated process
The Bonus Point Mechanic has been slightly adjusted and one additional bonus point be added.




:arrow: Rules and General Information for winning goods

Original phrasing:
General rules
  • people allowed to win are participants of the Songwriting Competition that sent in a track
  • If there have been less than four (number: 4) participants in the current running game, there will no licenses available to win. This is to prevent a "participation medal" situation
  • ...
  • Only one company per winner - if the company has already been picked, it drops out of the pool for the next winner.

Additional information for the license winners
  • please provide your contact information (name and email address) plus what license you picked, and then either the company in question gets in touch with you directly, or the license handler (in this case, the forum admin)
  • Should you not(!) get an answer within reasonable time (7 work days bar minimum), contact the license handler again (or the admin rather, Mister Fox), and ask for a status. DO NOT CONTACT THE COMPANY OFFERING THE LICENSE DIRECTLY!
  • should you ignore this repeatedly, you'll be closed out of winning licenses in the future.
  • should you not respond via PM's within 30 days after the corresponding game has ended (requesting a license), your license offer/request will turn invalid
Changed to:
General rules
  • participants of the Songwriting Competition that sent in a track/song/production, are allowed to win bonus licenses
  • If there have fewer than four (number: 4) participants in the current running game, there will no licenses available to win. This is to prevent a "participation medal" situation
  • ...
  • Only one company per winner - if the company has already been picked, it will turn unavailable from the pool for the next winner.

Additional information for the license winners
  • please provide your contact information (full name and email address) plus what license you picked. Then either the company in question will get in touch with you directly, or the license handler (in this case, the forum admin)
  • Should you not(!) get an answer within reasonable time (7 work days bar minimum, please keep a delay in responses due to the ongoing pandemic in mind), contact the license handler again (or the admin rather, Mister Fox), and ask for a status. DO NOT CONTACT THE COMPANY OFFERING THE LICENSE DIRECTLY!



:arrow: FAQs

Saw minor text updates and fixed typos.




Changes realized:
2020-JUL-31 -- 20:30 UTC+2/CEST until 23:30 UTC+2/CEST

Locked