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MIX CHALLENGE - MC050 December 2018 - Winners announced

Join the Mix Challenge - recurrence: February until December
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Mister Fox
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MIX CHALLENGE - MC050 December 2018 - Winners announced


Post by Mister Fox »

Hello and welcome to the Mix Challenge 50 - December 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.

Can you believe it? We're already at the 50th mixing competition. We sure went a long way since 2014. A huge thank you (so much!) for providing material to mix. Without the song providers, the Mix Challenge wouldn't continue to exist anymore. So please keep the material coming.

This month we have the chance to work on an Alternative Country/Rock production by Gary Germaine. The song is called "Shades of Red". It is a fusion of present-day vocal recordings and a production from 15+ years ago, which was recorded on an old Roland VS-1680 Digital Studio Workstation. The twist this month, aside from not having a click track and the production not starting at "bar 1", is to fix the occasional audio track.

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

:arrow: A sidenote for this challenge:

Please, do a proper documentation of your production and pay attention to properly naming/tagging the files. 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! The focus of this game is "mixing".

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 (ideally with screenshots)
    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
  • please upload to cloud storage spaces from now on (DropBox, GoogleDrive, etc). Please consult the official "Rules and Gudelines" regarding Upload and Submission Guidelines
  • 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 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 50: Winners announced

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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC050 December 2018 - Submissions until 21-12-2018 11:59pm GMT+1/CET


Post by Mister Fox »


Time Frame: Saturday, 01st December 2018 to Friday, 21st December 2018 (21 days)

Challenge submission will end on 21-12-2018, 11:59pm CET/GMT+1 (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: Gary Germaine
Song Name and Length: Shades of Red, 4:30min
Song Information: roughly 72 BPM, no clicktrack / Signature: 4/4, Key of C Maj
File Format: WAV, 44kHz, 24bit

GENRE: Alternative Country / Rock

Preview of the Song:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1CLL54 ... Xceqf9FLWm

A word from the song provider:
Gary Germaine wrote:This is an old song of mine that I thought I would throw out there. It was recorded entirely by myself in my basement quite a long time ago, before I really understood how to properly track. I had an old Roland 16 track digital recorder back in those days. There is definitely some peaks that need to be tamed, and other areas that are not recorded at optimal levels.

Let me preface this by saying that I am not a drummer or a very good singer, as you'll hear on this mix.

I did my best on a real drum kit. It's not sampled. I wanted the sound of a real kit, although with my drumming ability, it sounds very sterile and stiff anyway. I must have chopped the tom tracks off along the way, because they sound really cut off. There is some phase issues as well on the drums, but unfortunately, I do not have the original tracks to fix it. If I were to remix this, I would probably tempo map and align this sucker 1st.

I am OK with sample enhancement on the drums because of the suspect quality of the tracks (and drummer) so have at it. The guitars were mic'd amps only, so I do not have DI to play with. The Bass is DI only. The acoustic was recorded with neck and body 2 mic setup.

The session was transferred from an old Roland VS1680 deck probably 10 + years ago, so what I have here is the best I can come up with. My best guess is that it's roughly BPM of 72 - I'm not even sure if I used a click when tracking it.

The "Pad" tracks were created from some crazy effects from an electric guitar signal I was messing with. I didn't have a midi keyboard back then, so I had to create my own sounds from what I had. I just printed the effects, as I kind of liked how they turned out.

I wanted to create a psychedelic atmosphere to compliment the melancholy nature of the song. Feel free to go nuts with enhancing that aspect. Also regarding possible automation. My opinion is that "mixing" is synonymous with "editing".

To look for some reference material for what I was going for, I would check out bands like Wilco, Band of Horses, or My Morning Jacket.

I am really excited to hear how other folks treat this number. I really encourage you to get crazy with it. It's wide open for interpretation and experimenting. I really appreciate your time. I hope the crappy singing doesn't damage your brain during this process.

Thanks and good luck to all!

(more technical details in the Mix Pack bundled TXTs)

A few words by the Mix Challenge staff:
Staff (Mister Fox) wrote:Finding a good middle ground between "let the production stay as-is" and "clean up as much as possible" is no easy task. You might find yourself investing a lot of hours on just the drums alone. Not necessarily for time-correcting, but for recovering the transients and manually handling some too loud played kit pieces. One hint from my side: some stuff can be "recovered" with transient designers and some well handled EQ and compression. Others might need sample treatment (notice: enhancement - not full kit replacement!) or similar editing techniques.

The mix package also features "old tracks" with a dual mono room recording, and the original "chorus" duplicates. These files need to be properly aligned, but can be used for added flavor (vocals) or as alternative to the mono drum room sound.

I can't really add much more, other than maybe an additional reference that I got heavily reminded off while doing the "integrity check": Creedence Clearwater Revival (1967–1972).

Have fun tackling this production!

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: make the best out of the provided audio material (EQ, compression, transient tools, etc) before reaching for supplementary drum sample treatment, "enhancement" is allowed
  • 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 (358,13 MB, LZMA compressed, zip)

The provided files were packed as ZIP with LZMA compression.
File size extracted: 1123,68 MB, packed 358,13 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

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/

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 - MC050 December 2018 - Submissions until 21-12-2018 11:59pm GMT+1/CET


Post by benammidr »

HI how we i upload the mix?

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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC050 December 2018 - Submissions until 21-12-2018 11:59pm GMT+1/CET


Post by Mister Fox »

To DropBox, GoogleDrive or similar cloud storages that are not time limited in terms of access (like WeTransfer).

Everything is explained in the "Rules and Guidelines"

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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC050 December 2018 - Submissions until 21-12-2018 11:59pm GMT+1/CET


Post by benammidr »

HI this is my mix
https://drive.google.com/open?id=10Pnx7 ... -jPVit8o3J :hyper:
i didnt did lot of effect one tracks little bit of saturation and compression and same reverb for all the track i control the amount with the send bus
i tried to make the vocal more present and front and keep good stereo image unfortunatly there is not 2 gtr to sustain that stereo so i kept the main gtr in center
Last edited by benammidr on Thu Dec 06, 2018 04:12 CET, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC050 December 2018 - Submissions until 21-12-2018 11:59pm GMT+1/CET


Post by davidpaulpaige »

Hey there!
I used all the original files. I took a bit longer but i felt like its just for fun and not for commercial/technical perfection.
After phase correcting and manually aligning the drum tracks to minimize any mic'ing issues at tracking.
For the vocals I went for emotion and a bit of a Country approach. Using a La2A on the drum buss seemed to give the right color for a vintage sound and matched the vocal compression "color".
For the acoustic guitar I wanted a less than compressed sound but also up front especially for the intro. I fed/automated the acoustic guitar into the API 2500, so at lower volumes there was little to no compression present but at the louder passages there was a bolted down and up front compressed sound.
The rhythm/tremolo electric guitars, are all bused together with subtle overall compression to give them, collectively a sense of timing/attack and sustain/release/color. The solo guitar used a stomp box effect of gate/compression, overdrive, delay and a vibe just for a bit of wobble, bussed together with the gain guitar.
The background vocals are pitch adjusted with have copious amounts of reverb to smear them into submission. This also helped the vintage vibe. Kept the main vocal cleanish with no apparent efx but there is a bit of plate reverb to match the rest of the production.
Overall just wanted a clean listenable track. I mixed to my own taste and kept the thought "emotional" to translate any design choices.
EFX busses are a dark Plate reverb, a tube delay and a percussion plate for the snare and toms, to help with the depth and illusion of being in the great sounding room.
I did two mixes one for overall balance, made some notes and the second with much automation. The automation was as much to exemplify as to omit any unwanted guitar noise. As I started to reveal the material some squeaks, pops really stood out and needed to be addressed.
All in all this was a good experience and managed to try a few things I hadn't attempted in any of my recent work.
As ALWAYS I certainly had fun and hope someone will enjoy my take on this track. Thanks to the author for providing these tracks and the opportunity to experiment with their composition. PS, Mr. Germain, I think you sing wonderfully and definitely have a pleasing tone.


Gary Germaine
Shades of Red

Bass DI - CL1b/subtle Kick SC-Ducking 1-3db / SSL EQ +6 @ 800Hz, +9 @ 5.60kHz HiPass @ 45Hz
Kick - La2A -1-3db GR / REQ 82Hz @ +6, -6 @ 385Hz, +2 @ 2400, LoPass @ 9000
Snare - 1176 GR @1-6 db, Slow Attack, Fast Release, VEQ4 +3 @ 2.2kHz, +6 @6.8kHz, -4 @ 560Hz, +6 @ 100Hz, SPL Transient Designer -4 Sustain
OH - Zero
Room - VEQ LoPass@ 5.6kHz, -6 @ 560Hz, -4 @ 2.2kHz, -4 @ 4.7kHz
HiTom - -6 @ 500Hz
FloorTom - -6 @ 500Hz
AcGTR Body - -2db @ 250Hz
AcGTR Neck - Zero
ElectGTR 1 - CL1b Slow Attack Slow Release
ElectGTR 2 - CL1b Slow Attack Slow Release
Trem Guitar - CL1b Slow Attack Slow Release
Pad 1 - Zero
Pad 2 - Zero
Vox Lead - Cl1b Fixed Fast attack & Fast release, just to add grit/dirt/girth
Vox Double - Zero
BGvox 1 - pitch +9
BGvox 2 - pitch -9

----- Busses
Drum - La2A -3db kick only, EQP1A 60Hz boost @3db, 10kHz boost @3db
OH Buss - CL1b Fixed Attack, Slower than Fast Release, SSL EQ -8 @ 400Hz, -6 @ 800Hz, +2db @ 55Hz, HiPass @ 74Hz< REQ HiPass @ 11kHz
Tom Buss - Kramer PIE, , Decay @ 1ms, Release @ Limiter
Acoustic GTR Buss - API 2500 vintage, soft Knee, soft Thrust, MS matrix, Shuffler
eGTR Buss - CL1b Subtle Compression
Vox Buss - Cl1b Slow Attack, Slower Release for sustain

Here is me mix:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/vetdm5pqn5szd ... e.mp3?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ghg014a54ny8d ... e.wav?dl=0

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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC050 December 2018 - Submissions until 21-12-2018 11:59pm GMT+1/CET


Post by Mister Fox »

benammidr wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 02:58 CET
HI this is my mix
Could you please update your post with some documentation? It doesn't have to be super detailed (see DavidPaulPage), it can only be screenshots of some well working channel strips and you mix console. But please... check the Rules and Guidelines again.

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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC050 December 2018 - Submissions until 21-12-2018 11:59pm GMT+1/CET


Post by creedchub »

Last edited by creedchub on Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:28 CEST, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC050 December 2018 - Submissions until 21-12-2018 11:59pm GMT+1/CET


Post by OctopusOnFire »

Here's my attempt at this mix. Very nice interpretation, especially the voices!

WAV: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1LhIlh ... DpQee6FfRG

MP3: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1kzkq7 ... fftV6WpYA1

I've tried a new setup, below are some screenshots. In the group busses you can see plenty of inserts named "Track 01 (01-02)", "Track 02 (03 - 04)", and so on. Every track within the group bus is being routed to each "track" insert, wich is a channel plugin from Airwindows Console5. They converge into a buss, then there is the usual processing (EQ, compression and so on) going out through another channel to finally get summed in the Mix bus, after going through the 2Bus and a parallel mix track (Mix1). On the Mix bus, there's the summing and a tape plugin, followed by the limiter to bring up the gain.


https://drive.google.com/open?id=1lZ1aJ ... BQmfqS2Wlx
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1EnYEN ... 2ZtqTRSrtK

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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC050 December 2018 - Submissions until 21-12-2018 11:59pm GMT+1/CET


Post by TomBKenny »

Hello Everyone!

This is my first mix on any challenge. It was kind a difficult, the drums let say was very poorly played, somewhere annoyingly off tempo :bang: , I did fixed it some places. Also the chorus vocal was very wildly spread in time, what is sometime is not a huge issue, but a little adjustment can improve listeners understand the lyrics. :tu: I did sliced it to parts and slightly corrected the timing, also just because I'm lazy writing channel automatic I just took lead vocal to 2 separate channel and slightly raise the level by 2-3 Decibel where I thought was need it. :exhausted:
Also I did cut a small part of the electric guitar and did a old-radio/telephone kind of voice and put on top of the "pad" what was awful by itself. :hihi:

I was aim to make something sound a little mellow, I think I could make it better, but unfortunately I don't have to much time.

Enjoy :baytins:


https://www.dropbox.com/s/yj17my3g7uvkj ... y.mp3?dl=0


https://www.dropbox.com/s/fxcsli1qopehh ... y.wav?dl=0

Screen shots:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/qihpprlq79vah ... 9.png?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/o4e1a69p52lz0 ... 1.png?dl=0

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