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MIX CHALLENGE - MC048 October 2018 - Winners announced

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Mister Fox
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MIX CHALLENGE - MC048 October 2018 - Winners announced


Post by Mister Fox »

Hello and welcome to the Mix Challenge 48 - October 2018

This is the introduction post, where we directly link to the challenge corresponding files (source files, submission information, sponsors), start of the evaluation process and the first post for re-submissions for Mix Round 2.

This month we see return of fese, who does offer us the chance to work on a Singer-Songwriter / Waltz / Ballad production. It's also our very first Duet on the Mix Challenge.

The song is called "Last Dance" and was a collaborative effort between fese/formfish (music production, male vocals), joel_sattlersongs (lyrics) and FidlerSongs (Female Vocals) through the KOMPOZ collaboration community. With a little bit of help from "Mister Fox" regarding some production ideas (Bass and Music Box).

Read more about the production below, and in the bundled TXTs.

:arrow: A sidenote for this challenge:

Please no drum sample triggering. And please, do a proper documentation of your production. An inspiration as to how you could do that, might be via two old posts of mine during MC014 (post 1, post 2). Furthermore - keep the summing bus treatment "tasteful" - no pre-mastering!

Please take note of the following
  • IMPORTANT: It is mandatory to provide WAV files (FLAC bar minimum on low internet bandwidth), files need to be accessible/downloadable, try to work within suitable work levels, document your edits (as simple or as detailed as you like)
    IMPORTANT: please use the following naming convention: MC000_-_ArtistName_-_TrackName_-_ContestanttName.wav/mp3 and MC000_-_ArtistName_-_TrackName_-_ContestanttName_R2.wav/mp3 for Mix Round 2. The order of the tags might change in upcoming challenges - though this is up for debate
  • It is highly encouraged to give feedback to each other, to share tips and tricks. Ideally, this should happen after Mix Round 1 has ended, to not influence each other during the main competition round

Also please take note of the following
  • We're desperately looking for new source material for future competitions (currently mainly the Mix Challenge). Please follow our official campaign. No new tracks mean no more challenges! Please reach out!
  • Social Media accounts can be found via the handles @MixChallenge (Twitter) and MixChallenge (Facebook). Please spread the word!
  • if you like what the Mix Challenge (community) has been doing in recent months, please consider supporting us.

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, Source Files, Sponsors
Mix Round 2: Global Feedback and Round 2 Participant Announcement
Results of the Mix Challenge 48: Winners announced

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Mister Fox
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC048 October 2018 - Submissions until 21-10-2018 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST


Post by Mister Fox »


Time Frame: Monday, 01st October 2018 to Sunday, 21st October 2018 (21 days)

Challenge submission will end on 21-10-2018, 11:59pm CEST/GMT+2 (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.

Song Provider: formfisch
Song Name and Length: Last Dance (A Waltz), 4:39min
Song Information: 154 BPM / Signature: 3/4 (6/8 once the drums set in), several song keys
File Format: WAV, 44kHz, 24bit

GENRE: Singer-Songwriter / Waltz / Ballad

Preview of the Song:

A word from the song provider:
fese / formfish wrote:Hi all,

Thanks for letting me be part of the mix challenge.

This is an older song of mine - well, two years - and the first one I did on kompoz.com with the help of Joel Sattler (lyrics) and Susan Filder (female vocals).

This is a tender, bittersweet ballad and that should come through in the mix.

Everything should be more on the natural side of things, no effects orgies, just enough delay and reverb to achieve a sense of natural space. My mix should give you an idea of what I had in mind, hopefully. My reference, especially for the drums and the bass, was Pink Floyd's "Us and them", with it's warm, round Kick, floating bass and overall unobtrusive but present drum sound. Alternatively, think early seventies Neil Young, "Harvest" or "After the Goldrush". Aim high... (I failed, of course ;)

So overall I'd prefer more of a "vintage sound", to use that worn out phrase...

Felix aka formfisch aka fese

(more technical details in the Mix Pack bundled TXTs)

A few words by the Mix Challenge staff:
Staff (Mister Fox) wrote:Something we don't have often - a "Waltz", with very touching lyrics.

You can try to time-align the vocals a bit. But think about messing with that particular "rhythm" first. To me the production tells a story... on one end, it's the upbeat main vocal part inviting the duet partner (and the listener) to the beauty that is a dance. On the other hand, the chorus (which also reflects getting dizzy from turning while dancing) being a sad, yet chaotic cluster of things that start to, or already have fallen apart.

The core of this production is a balance of "give and take" (not to make things "perfect").

Other than that, the production is minimalistic, yet definitely not easy to in terms of mixing. It's a blend of Spanish Guitars, with a typical European known waltz rhythm, and vocals that could have popped straight out of a musical. (I can clearly picture "Anastasia" from 1997 with music by David Newman). So I wouldn't go too crazy on a rhythmic delay. I'd rather focus on a warm "chamber" or actual warm room / hall as reverb and work fairly(!) subtle (doesn't mean that the room can't be heard though)

I do recommend to experiment with equipment from yester-year, e.g. Tube Preamps and Tape Machines that might get you "that vintage feel" that the client is after. On that behalf, the drums can be dampened a bit, while the hats could definitely use some more "sustain". (hint hint: transients)

The guitars can be reamped (for flexibility's sake). But if you do so, your focus should be on a fairly clean sound (take note of the demo mix and source files).

The Bass is a DI track (in fact, it's Modo Bass)

Automation for "impact" effect is highly encouraged.

Enjoy the challenge.

Please also consult the TXT files that are bundled in the source files package below. There you can find more information about the individual files and changes to the time signature.

Special Add-On Rules:
  • try to create a mix that complements this production (in your own style)
  • Clean / Alternative versions can be used if you need more flexibility over a certain sound (if present in this production)
  • No rearrangement or pitch shifting of the song structure, with the exception of the following add-on rules
  • PRODUCTION RELATED: no drum sample triggering, make the best out of the provided audio material (EQ, compression, transient tools, etc)
  • summing bus processing is allowed, as long as the dynamic range (average signal strength to maximum signal strength) doesn't suffer - use of this method is artistically!
  • try to not(!) pre-master the track (please no overuse of mix bus treatment, no loudness adjustments / limiting) - read: NO MASTERING


Source Files:

Main Mix Package - Mirror on the Mix Challenge Homepage (433,56 MB, LZMA compressed, zip)

The provided files were packed as ZIP with LZMA compression.
File size extracted: 1082,09 MB, packed 433,56 MB (ZIP, LZMA)
In order to extract the files, we can recommend these programs:

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

7zip - Installation / Portable


Please take note of the official rules - they can be found at the following thread:
Mix Challenge - Official Rules and Guidelines

Please address any OT question in the official Gossip thread:
Mix Challenge - Gossip and Discussion


SPONSORS (Prizes):

Prizes for Mix 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.

Acon Digital is kind enough give away a single plugin of winner's choice.
License will turn into NFR
More info on Acon Digital: http://acondigital.com

Black Rooster Audio is kind enough to give away one bundle of all currently available plugins to the winner
License will turn into NFR
More info on Black Rooster Audio: http://blackroosteraudio.com/

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

Metric Halo is kind enough to give away a single plugin of winner's choice.
License will turn into NFR
More info about Metric Halo: http://mhsecure.com/metric_halo/

MuTools is kind enough give away one license of MUX Modular 7 of winner's choice (until End of 2018)
License will turn into NFR
More info on MuTools: http://www.mutools.com/

NOS Audio is kind enough give away one license of NOS Roomer to the winner
License will turn into NFR
More info on NOS Audio: http://www.nosaudio.com/

Nyrv Systems offers AGENT incl. all currently available NyrvDevices and free update to at least v1.5 of winner's choice (until further notice)
License will turn into NFR
More info about Nyrv Systems: http://www.nyrvsystems.com/

Tone2 is kind enough to donate either a bundle consisting of AkustiX Enhancer and WarmVerb, or a license of Ultraspace to the winner (until further notice)
License will turn into NFR
More info on Tone2: https://tone2.com

Two Notes Audio Engineering is kind enough to donate one license of Torpedo Wall of Sound III to the winner, loaded with 57 cabinets (equivalent to "Torpedo WoS II") (donation until Spring of 2018)
License will not turn into NFR
More info on Two Notes: http://www.two-notes.com/en/

And also a thank you to all former contributors as well.

If you want to sponsor content (please have a focus on mix plugins, bundles and the likes), 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: MIX CHALLENGE - MC048 October 2018 - Submissions until 21-10-2018 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST


Post by GeLyM »

My god... Beautiful song ! :love:

Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 19:09 CEST
Location: Bonn

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC048 October 2018 - Submissions until 21-10-2018 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST


Post by fese »

GeLyM wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:22 CEST
My god... Beautiful song ! :love:
:) Thank you, GeLym!

Glad to be back here after a longer pause, I've learned a lot from previous mix challenges!
Excited to hear what you all come up with! :phones:

Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 17:06 CEST
Location: Suisse

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC048 October 2018 - Submissions until 21-10-2018 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST


Post by ManuC »

Hi to all

In advence, sorry for my english, i'm a french guy :sad:

I was a new member, registered today, and this is my first participation to a challenge. :phew:

That was funny, and the song was good, well recorded and well arranged. So many thanks to Fese and all the contributors of this challenge.

Here is my entry:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ebm7bx4ychhfv ... C.mp3?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/t94varocdfur6 ... C.wav?dl=0

I have mixed in Logic Pro. this is a picture of the project:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/h7m31xkqpqb9z ... 0.png?dl=0

The different steps and time of my mix are:

Tracks import and first listen 5 min
Balance volumes for a rough mix 5 min
EQ for instruments (major part in context) 25 min
Panning 5 min
Add some effects (separate piano for verse intro and musical, and reverb insert on tambourine) 5min
Compression (OH, Bass, Acc guitar solo, vox, and a little for the master bus. major part in context) 10 min
Reverb (3 of them, 1 chamber, 1 hall 1 platechoice, adjusting, eking and sends) 50 min
Automation (i have no time to finish before i go on holiday, some instruments have no automation) 1hour 20 min

Total Approx. 3 hours and 2 coffees

Good listening to all, and thanks to mix.challenge.com

Musicals greetings


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Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2018 22:44 CEST

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC048 October 2018 - Submissions until 21-10-2018 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST


Post by Franz »

Hello everyone

"fese" : I love this title, European atmosphere, accordion "French", waltz Viennese "Austria"
In the beginning, your mix is absolutely great, I like it a lot, and I will say that it is absolutely very well mastered .....
Very difficult to propose another version ...
But hey, let's go there
My idea is primarily to keep a musical atmosphere finally oriented enough as said before.
In practice, this is what interests us, it is not worth using 140 plugin as someone did in the previous mixing competition (LOL).
The "acoustic" side of many instruments in this title deserves special attention. It is necessary to keep the most natural sound
with great difficulty nevertheless: many instruments are found in the same acoustic range (for example: a guitar and an accordion)
and to differentiate them on an acoustic level is not as simple as that .
Hence the art of mixing, levels and corrections .... Here, do not bother taking the ax
So, fingering and listen (musical)
For me (us) to please, I opted for a stereo ULTRA LARGE. I checked my mix on my speakers (30%), my headphones (30%),
the speakers (size 2 cm) of the screen of my computer (20%), the monophonic radio of the kitchen (10%) %) and the worst
in the car radio (10%)..................
Finally, influenced by "fese" and "mister Fox", I "spent" my mix out of the computer in my stereo recorder OTARI MTR12 (Ampex tape, 76 cm /s,
with DBX gearbox): YES, there is a difference in the "sound" that I hear at home but not so obvious when I transfer the tape back to the
digital format of the computer.

You are ready ???

So let's listen to this here :

https://www.dropbox.com/s/rocn44d5xv8i9 ... v.wav?dl=0



Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 23:15 CEST

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC048 October 2018 - Submissions until 21-10-2018 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST


Post by GGermaine »


Below is my take on this tune. Very fun to mix. I took the liberty of applying a mono/vintage scratched record sound to the intro, with a Pink Floyd rip-off fade in. It might be perceived by the artist as a little campy, but I thought by applying this treatment it sounds almost like a wind-up "music box". I also paired down the instruments at the end. Both are easily removed if the original treatment is desired.

Heres my submission:
MP3: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1fIX6J ... uxB895EhnV
WAV: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1t0MjW ... Q1hxkpC-Sz

I am using Reaper. Below is a screen shots of my Mixer settings.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Vi3xM ... EvInR30IzE

As you can see, I renamed the tracks to have it make more sense to me. I also created separate buses for instrument groups. My Mix Bus has a Tape emulator on it to add some analogue glue, but that's all. You can see insert plugins used above each track. The send effects (Verb and delay) are shown as tracks with a separate send effects bus. (tracks 3-6).

Used an impulse verb for the room send. Almost everything has a little room verb on it.
Vocal plate on all vox.
Delay on lead vocal, acoustic guitars and the DI Electric

Lead Vox: Used Anteres Mic Mod plugin for tube saturation, along with 1176 comp, eq, and Waves CLA only for pitch widening
Female Lead: In particular, I had a hard time with the female vocal, as she sings very quietly, and there was some excess noise on the track. I did realign some parts to better match the lead vox. She also required some surgical eq cuts and deessing. Still not all that happy with it.
BG VOX: Deesser, EQ and comp, and I sent them to a bus with a doubler on it to widen and fill it out.

Electric Guitars:
For the DI, I used an impulse response of a Fender Vibrolux. Also compression and eq.

Acoustic Guitars:
I want to give extra credit to whoever tracked the acoustic guitar - It's a very nice sounding instrument without having to do much to it. It's difficult to track acoustic well, so you have my admiration. A touch of eq and comp with an SSL comp on the bus for glue.

Bass DI:
Impulse response of a SWR 15 cabinet, compression, eq and waves maxbass to tighten it up.

Just eq on all and comp on kick, snare and room.

Piano, Accordian, and bells: Mainly eq.

Pad: Used a ping pong panner to create a swirl effect.
Last edited by GGermaine on Mon Oct 08, 2018 23:08 CEST, edited 1 time in total.

stu b
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC048 October 2018 - Submissions until 21-10-2018 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST


Post by stu b »

Hey folks, submitting today in order to force myself to stop going round and round on this mix. Found it really tricky tbh. Again I've over nasalized the lead vocal but haven't got the time to go back and fix it, must move on.
The stuff I used....
All tracks have FabFilter EQ, Slate Hollywood pre-amp, Virtual Console on RC Tube setting and Virtual Tape.
Drum buss - Kramer Pie Compressor and TDR Multiband Compressor [to control upper mids.]
Kick - Decapitator and STA Level.
Snare - Eoisis De-esser, Decapitator.
Hat - Eoisis De-esser, Decapitator, Echoboy.
OH - A1 Stereo Control to narrow them, Decapitator.
Room - Decapitator.
Tamb - Filter Crusher to tame and distort it a little, MJUC Compressor.
Bass - Re-amped through the Amplitube Ampeg, RBass, C4 Multiband,Slate 1176 and Distressor, MV2, Decapitator, STA Level. Eoisis De-esser.
Ac gtr - Slate CS EQ,TDR for the lower end, Kramer Pie. Echoboy.
Ac gtr solo - Decapitator, Slate Distressor, TDR to smooth the high end out, MV2.
Accordion - Decapitator, Slate CS EQ and Neve EQ. TDR for the upper mids.
Piano - Slate FG-116 Modern Compressor and SSL EQ.
Music Box - Slate Monster Compressor.
Gtr 1 - Slate Neve EQ and FG-116 Modern Compressor. Also re-amped it through a clean Amplitube amp with tremolo and spring reverb, plus Kramer Pie and Echoboy and panned it to the opposite side.
Gtr 2 - Decapitator and Slate Neve EQ.
Pad - SDRR Saturation.
Synth - Slate CS EQ, SDRR, Tremolator and Panman.
All vocals - Eoisis De-esser, Slate Distressor and SSL EQ, Decapitator, Kramer Pie and Echoboy.
Returns - 1. H Reverb, going to most things. 2. Slate Distressor for the drums and bass. 3. Kramer Pie for the other instruments. 4. Little Plate for most things.
Master buss - Slate Neve EQ, Distressor, Air EQ, Earth EQ, FG-MU Compressor.
Did a ton of volume automation, also tweaked the pitch and timing on some of the acoustic gtr parts and bv's. I also print as I go so screenshots are not really an option for me I'm afraid, I'd end up with hundreds!

And thanks formfisch for the tracks, nice tune.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/6uwghf5ckvluw ... b.wav?dl=0
Last edited by stu b on Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:18 CEST, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC048 October 2018 - Submissions until 21-10-2018 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST


Post by delicate »


A really great song, thank you!
Here is my mix:
.WAV (44.1)https://yadi.sk/d/wX0LMMcY2NzZjg

Below is a partial overview of what I have done, with omission of largely untouched things, and in some cases with active links to screenshots.
Before starting I set in stone two things for myself: (1) largely preserve the original mix's panning; (2) use different reverb for each instrument group.

Kick. Basically, there were two mics responsible for the kick drum — the kick mic and the room mic. For the kick mic, I tried to make it rounder with basic EQ, however achieved what I wanted only with that AND additional low-end harmonics added with P&M Clarisonix. Used no compression. The EQ was classic — 60hz bump, 250hz cut, and increased 4khz
Snare. Cut a little bit of 250hz and 500hz, added some body below. Then very mild parallel compression with a Vocal Stressor emulation. I did pan the snare, which I wanted to be very present, a tiny bit to the left to let the ears focus more on the vocals (feel like it's worked).
Hi-Hat. Just EQ — much more highs, much less mid.
Overheads & Room. Very little of Clarisonix on Room mic, nothing on overheads — just blended to taste.
Drum Bus. Processed with Kush Omega 458a to bring out highs (basically instead of EQing) and to add some 'life' to the overall sound. Then slight tape distortion, followed by parallel compression with Klanghelm's DC8C adding a little weight.

Added some low-end by the combo of drive and basic EQ, and reduced the mud in low mid with SonEQ Pro, processed with Omega 458a, and 1-2 dB compession with MJUC.

Piano & Music Box
I treated both as a couple, panned similarly to the right, same reverb. The piano served as a crucial rhytmic element. It, however, had highs heavily reduced to make the sound more 'ambient', a little compressed with MJUC. Music box was just compressed to reduce the sustain.

Acoustic Guitars
Mic. This mic was used more as a background filler. Automated to seamlessly go off when the solo gutiar takes the stage.
AG Bus. Both were grouped and proccessed only there. Some EQ, compression, and lots of tape saturation (HoRNet Tape). Also sent to some reverb which helped them to sit better.

E Guitars
I have not done much to them, just some EQ and panning. I also tried HoRNet ThirtyOne auto EQ — it did not do much, but tamed some resonances, so I kept it. Interesting plugin — some guys on the web suggest trying it on the master bus.

Compressed and saturated with SDRR, and some tape saturation.

Lead Vocal. Tiny bit of deessing which I added to the beginning of the chain after other processing. Then I tamed some harsh freq's with Nova EQ. Compressed with MJUC. Was sent to a big room verb, also to a heavily saturated lo-fi ping-pong delay which was also sent to the same room.
Female Vocal. Just cleaned up and controlled dynamics. Sent to the same reverb, with more of the wet sound. I wanted to make it sound as she was just behind the main singer, right by his ear, so to say.

Master Bus
I high passed the side channels, cut out some low mid mud (1.5 db). Applied 1db compression with SSL bus comp (10ms attack, 200ms release) and also half db with MJUC. Then I used a tape saturation plugin. That's it.

Thank you.
Last edited by delicate on Tue Oct 09, 2018 08:55 CEST, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC048 October 2018 - Submissions until 21-10-2018 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST


Post by Mister Fox »

A friendly reminder:
Including today, 14 days left to submit your edit

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