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Mix Challenge - General Gossip Thread

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Mister Fox
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Re: Mix Challenge - General Gossip Thread

#231

Post by Mister Fox »

I've moved the upper post (#230) from MC073 to General Gossip, as this is a recurring topic.


CantusPro wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 03:39 CET
First, -0.95 +/- 0.05 is 1.00 to 0.90 dBTP, and each of my channels are above 0.90 dBTP. That is the quotation from the bottom of the disqualification sheet, and that is how arithmetic works. There may be diverging rules elsewhere, but this is what was written on the bottom of the disqualification sheet.
:arrow: The "tolerance offset" always goes from the allowed absolute maximum.

In case of LUFS, it is +0,3 LU from -16,0 LUFS -- so the allowed maximum offset is -15,7 LUFS
In case of dBTP, it is +0,05 from -1,00 dBTP -- so the allowed maximum offset is -0,95 dBTP

The official rules state - and I quote:
the final mixdown / export must not undershoot -24 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

:arrow: The actual allowed calibration tolerances with these meters are +-0,1 LU (standardized) and +-0,02 dBTP.

The offered "tolerance" on the statistic sheet is a "good will" type of situation because of possible offsets from the plethora of signal meters out there in software form. As basis for this "tolerance", I've used ORBAN Loudness Meter (Standalone), which measures both dBTP and LUFS ILk, but only up until ITU-R BS.1770-1 specs, while Wavelab uses the EBU R-128 specs (in fact, it's already EBU R-128 S2 ready, ITU BS.1770-4 is the current equivalent). Due to the missing gating mechanic in ORBAN Loudness Meter, there will be an offset. Else, if I am really in doubt, I am always reaching for Youlean Loudness Meter 2 Pro (budget solution) or Nugen Audio VisLM (high-end solution).

I've explained this in minute detail here:
viewtopic.php?p=8301#p8301 (Post #208)



CantusPro wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 03:39 CET
Second, the average of my dBTP levels is -1.15 dBTP ((-1.37+-0.93)/2). It is not specified on the disqualification sheet that one of two channels should not exceed the specified maximum true peak measurement, and the average of my channels has not exceed the specified maximum. There may be diverging rules elsewhere, but this it is not stated on the disqualification sheet.
Doesn't need to be stated, because dBTP, unlike LUFS, is not measured "summed". Each channel is analyzed individually.

There is no "average". Sadly, there are meters out there that "sum", which is wrong. A lot of them also offer just one numeric readout for simplification purposes. But in this case, it is always the highest number of one of the channels from all available channels used - no matter if Stereo or up to 11.2 Surround (example).

So in your case, your readout was -1.37 dB (L) / -0.93 dB (R). The highest value would have therefore been -0,93 dBTP. That is +0,07 dBTP higher than the allowed -1,00 dBTP

If it would have been 5.1 surround, and the readouts would have been -2,1 dB (L) / -1,1 dB (C) / -2,3dB (R) / -0,87 dB (LS) / -4,0 dB (RS) / -10 dB (LFE), then the loudest signal would have been -0,87 dBTP max due to an issue in the surround channel, and therefore the stream not being within specs.



CantusPro wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 03:39 CET
Again, I have already been disqualified from this contest, and I feel it is not unreasonable to try to argue my way back in to the contest over -0.02 dB of calculated True Peak variance in one channel.
I appreciate the effort, but again... the tolerances mentioned in the statistic sheet are a "good will" type situation. The Rule Set still has the highest priority, and that is: do not exceed -16,0 LUFS ILk max and do not exceed -1,00 dBTP max

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Re: Mix Challenge - General Gossip Thread

#232

Post by CantusPro »

Your verification sheet, that you are using to award prizes states, “ALLOWED TOLERANCES … dBTP up until -0,95 (+-0,05dBTP tolerance)”.

That's -0.95 +/- 0.05 dBTP is simply -1.00 to -0.90 dBTP.

Please understand that your disqualifation sheet simply states it in the notes. "ALLOWED TOLERANCES LUFS...up until -0,95 (+-0,05dBTP tolerance)"
Last edited by CantusPro on Fri Feb 26, 2021 05:18 CET, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mix Challenge - General Gossip Thread

#233

Post by Mister Fox »

For the future, i will write the following in the PDFs


Instead of

Code: Select all

LUFS up until -15,7 (+-0,3LU tolerance)
dBTP up until -0,95 (+-0,05dBTP tolerance)
It will be

Code: Select all

LUFS up until -15,7 (+-0,3LU tolerance from -16,0 LUFS ILk max)
dBTP up until -0,95 (+-0,05dBTP tolerance from -1,00 dBTP max)

This will prevent any further misunderstanding on this particular topic.
Thank you for bringing this up.

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Re: Mix Challenge - General Gossip Thread

#234

Post by cpsmusic »

E.C.Miraldo wrote:
Thu Feb 25, 2021 14:26 CET
Mister Fox wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 06:34 CET
The following has originally been posted by @cpsmusic in the Mix Challenge 072 / December thread, post #132 on page 14

cpsmusic wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 04:57 CET
After the previous Challenge I posted an idea but it didn't get much of a response so I thought I'd bring it up again. It was the idea of some kind of rating system for the mixes so that people could get an idea of where they stood in the overall Challenge. I always try to take criticism onboard but it's hard to know if problem areas are minor, major or disastrous!

Anyway, my idea was to have some sort of ranking system, maybe like "A, B, C, D, E" where "A" goes through to the second round, "E" is a DNQ, and "B", "C", and "D" represent different grades i.e. "B", is almost good enough to get into the second round, whereas a "C" might need to work on a few areas first, and "D" has a way to go. I realise this is an extra burden for the song provider but it would be a big help for those of us who want to improve.

Anyone else think that this would be a good idea?

I'd love to gather more feedback on this, maybe also put some things on the drawing board.
Please discuss!
I absolutely support this idea!



Although there is one thing that concerns me regarding these mix challenges:

We can all agree there is a lot of subjectivity when you're trying to "rate" a mix, right? You can break the rating into objective parts, but the ratings on those parts will still be subjective, even more when it's a musician rating it imho.

One problem I've seen plenty of times here, and I've been participating for almost a year, is that sound technicians and song providers alike have deficient monitoring. I don't have a studio, neighter acoustic treatment, but i do have a measurement microphone and a DSP to compensate a little bit on the colouring of my system, I also listen to a lot of mixes as well as using reference tracks i've been working for a lot of time and heard in very very transparent systems here so i am very comfortable with my system and its defects. I'd like to consider I am aware of these issues.
It becomes extremely hard, (to be very honest it becomes impossible), to mix and/or to rate a mix while listening on system with +-20-30dB cliffs on the response curve, which is not very uncommon for a system where a guy just bought some HS5's and put them on top of the table.

Imagine the kick you're working on has its punch around 100-130Hz, and your system has -15dB vale in that band. You will boost it in the mix, and everywhere else it will sound excruciating to listen to.

When sound technicians have these problems, you can clearly hear it on their mix(taking into account you have a decent system), but when song providers aren't even aware that this exists then the whole challenge is compromised and it's very demotivating.



I also think it should be discouraged for song providers to use the catch phrase "we want to hear your creativity". Mixing is NOT an essentially creative process, composing IS, music production IS, mixing and mastering IS NOT. Cause what it really sounds like is: "We are not very happy with the result we got in our work, so we want somebody to do it for us. Ohh and if you take a route we don't really like, then you're disqualified not by your mixing skills, but by your production and personal taste". Delays, reverbs, chorus they all have a reason to be used, sometimes the reason is creative and that is the job of the person making the music, not of the person mixing!

This is not at all directed at anyone, but it's something i hear a lot of times, even outside this forum. This needs to change. I am not a music producer and I am not hired to do music production. I am a sound technician and I am hired to mix and master a track. I can use a reference track to get your music very very close to the sound spectrum of the reference, but I do not know how to use a reference track to get the "overall vibe", because that comes mostly from the music, not the sound! I also do not have a "vibe" knob.




That being sad, a system that is separated from the challenge, separated from the song provider's rating where everyone can rate every mix would be fantastic and I think would create a much better learning place in the community.
Your point about deficient monitoring is well-taken. I think it's something we would just have to accept. After all, a paying client will listen to the mix on whatever they have available - could be great monitors or could be earbuds!

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Re: Mix Challenge - General Gossip Thread

#235

Post by CantusPro »

Mister Fox wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 05:07 CET
For the future, i will write the following in the PDFs


Instead of

Code: Select all

LUFS up until -15,7 (+-0,3LU tolerance)
dBTP up until -0,95 (+-0,05dBTP tolerance)
It will be

Code: Select all

LUFS up until -15,7 (+-0,3LU tolerance from -16,0 LUFS ILk max)
dBTP up until -0,95 (+-0,05dBTP tolerance from -1,00 dBTP max)

This will prevent any further misunderstanding on this particular topic.
Thank you for bringing this up.
No, my argument is that you have simple, calculated requirements of -1.00 to -0.90 dBTP on the current disqualification sheet that you use to award, or not award, prizes, but you have disqualified me at your own measurement of -0.93 dBTP.

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Re: Mix Challenge - General Gossip Thread

#236

Post by Mister Fox »

CantusPro wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 04:59 CET
Your verification sheet, that you are using to award prizes states, “ALLOWED TOLERANCES … dBTP up until -0,95 (+-0,05dBTP tolerance)”.

That's -0.95 +/- 0.05 dBTP is simply -1.00 to -0.90 dBTP.

Please understand that your disqualifation sheet simply states it in the notes. "ALLOWED TOLERANCES LUFS...up until -0,95 (+-0,05dBTP tolerance)"

So you are arguing still "I should have not been disqualified, because I only go by the PDF sheets, and by that I should have made it into the fold, because you wrote xyz", while completely ignoring the clearly established rules.


Let me quote again:
the final mixdown / export must not undershoot -24 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
Direct Link: Rules for participants of the Mix Challenge
Sub-Point: Upload and Submission Guidelines, bullet point number 11
This particular rule has been existing since at least 2017, has been re-written for clarity in July 2020 ("Rule Book collection" update)

Summarized:
 ! Bonus Info
Maximum Signal Strength must not exceed: -1,0 dBTP (True Peak)
Loudness must not undershoot: -24,0 LUFS ILk (Integrated)
Loudness must not overshoot: -16,0 LUFS ILk (Integrated)



You only argument is really just an interpretative issue, because the PDF wrote:

Code: Select all

ALLOWED TOLERANCE: dBTP up until -0,95 (+-0,05dBTP tolerance)
Instead of:

Code: Select all

ALLOWED TOLERANCE: dBTP up until -0,95 (+-0,05dBTP tolerance from -1,00 dBTP max)


I am sorry - but this was always clear in the PDF not only to me, but apparently also hundreds of participants prior, hence the "up until". As in "I am cutting you a break up until this particular value - because software measurement tools are sometimes not equal - please update your equipment/tools, do not go there next time".

But rest assured, I just updated the PDFs. The "info block" at the bottom will be the source for MC074 as well. There should be no further misunderstandings.



CantusPro wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 05:37 CET
No, my argument is that you have simple, calculated requirements of -1.00 to -0.90 dBTP on the current disqualification sheet that you use to award, or not award, prizes, but you have disqualified me at your own measurement of -0.93 dBTP.
NO! This simply does not work this way! And you don't seem to, or want to understand.

The maximum allowed signal strength is -1,00 dBTP, no matter which channel. Period!
One of your channels went up to -0,93dBTP. The PDF stated "you can go up until 0,95dBTP" (it is literally written right there!).

You now argue "but you also wrote +-0,05dBP, hence I should be allowed to go to -0,90dBTP... it is what you wrote! I shouldn't have been disqualified."


NO! Stop arguing with "interpretation" of clearly laid out rules and explanations. Just stop! Please read the rules again if you need to, please adhere to the established rules that have been existing for years. Please accept that your entry has been disqualified because of a technicality. It happens, it stings -- I have been there myself with clients.

You can't do this with big companies either: "...but interpretation". They would just straight up ignore you and never work with you again.

You brought your argument across, I explained in minute detail, several times now, as to why your entry has been disqualified -- despite offering a good-will type of situation. Please accept it, learn from it, move on, try again and do better in March 2021.

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Re: Mix Challenge - General Gossip Thread

#237

Post by CantusPro »

This is a “Skill” contest. The winners are not selected at random, and there are very specific criteria (that are extensively documented) that must be met. I have pointed out very specific, overriding, criteria that feel I have very specifically met for this skill contest.

You may not agree, but thank you for acknowledging my argument.

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Re: Mix Challenge - General Gossip Thread

#238

Post by Mister Fox »

You are right, this is a "skill" type of contest, and one of the skills is paying attention to detail and adhering to given parameters.


By joining the Mix(ing) Challenge, you agreed to adhere to the well established Rules and Guidelines

By joining the Mix(ing Challenge, you understood given requests, parameters and limitations, including but not limited to: you are not entitled to win the competition or advance as you seem fit; and you might get feedback to your production, but the song provider is not obligated to.

Your entry did not meet a certain criteria, you went against me (the host, CEO, admin) with an "interpretive argument" and continue to do so in order to get your entry exempted, despite me clearly explaining the situation multiple times in row.

I think I've made myself clear on my view-point with the rules. I will not argue them again.





I re-post again what I did yesterday on the forum. For one last time.
Please take special note of the last paragraph.

 ⚠ Warning Message from Mister Fox  
We have well established rules, you all agreed to them, I am enforcing them as both admin and host. This has been going on long enough, and this particular discussion is happening every single month. I am constantly repeating myself, I am sick of it.

The Mix Challenge is a free (not pay-walled!) and open place for everyone. It is to have fun, it offers a certain form education.
But in order for this to work, we need a common ground.


The next time somebody posts and tries to throw a punch below the waistline, that person will be suspended for 72 hours - doesn't matter if you're in Mix Round 2 or not. If it's happening again, permanent ban! Remember - this place is run by one person, at the highest quality that I can offer you. I am open minded, I am more than lenient and kind sometimes (see December). But my patience is super low if people go against each other. And if insults fly, I am not hesitating to kick - you - out.

If you don't like that, and you want to leave the community - drop me a PM or a mail and I will disable/delete your account.

Have a nice Friday

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Re: Mix Challenge - General Gossip Thread

#239

Post by CantusPro »

Okay, I surrender. You win. You're in charge. I bow before you. You're the best....of the best.

I forgot to say that you were also right. You were completely right. I was wrong. I can't believe I was so wrong.

"Ahhhhhh (This is me spiraling into some kind of pit where bad people go) hhhhhh!!!!"

"Ahhhhhh (I'm still falling. It sucks.) hhhhhh!!!!!!"

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Re: Mix Challenge - General Gossip Thread

#240

Post by E.C.Miraldo »

Your point about deficient monitoring is well-taken. I think it's something we would just have to accept. After all, a paying client will listen to the mix on whatever they have available - could be great monitors or could be earbuds!
In a normal work environment is different. If you're working with someone you know you can invite to come check the mix on your system. If you're working with someone that hired you over the internet there are also 3 differences. 1) you can explain to him why it may not sound the best on his system, but it's the compromise you made so it can sound the best on most systems. 2) you can use spectrum reference tracks. 3) And most importantly he will receive 1 version you are sending him, he won't receive 50 different versions to compare and rate it's not a contest. The way pschoacoustics work he will get used to spectrum of the reference and the track you are sending him, it will not have huge differences of spectrum quality when comparing versions

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