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MIX CHALLENGE - MC053 April 2019 - Winners announced

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Mister Fox
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MIX CHALLENGE - MC053 April 2019 - Winners announced

#1

Post by Mister Fox »

Hello and welcome to the Mix Challenge 53 - April 2019


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 have the chance to work on a Alternative Rock production by returning song provider morelia. The song, called "We Fly", offers plenty of DI tracks and two drum kits to blend (Drum Sample Replacement is not a thing as of MC050 anymore), and it has originally been recorded on an Allen & Heath ZED-10 (the ADC is 16bit).

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




Please take note of the following
  • IMPORTANT: It is mandatory to provide WAV files, files need to be accessible/downloadable, try to work within suitable work levels (the focus of this game is "mixing", not mixing and finalizing), document your edits (ideally with screenshots), name the files properly to distinguish your edit from all others.
    IMPORTANT: please use the following naming convention:
    • MC000_ArtistName_TrackName_ContestanttName.wav
    • MC000_ArtistName_TrackName_ContestanttName_R2.wav for those that go into Mix Round 2
  • please only upload to cloud storage spaces (DropBox, GoogleDrive, etc), not SoundCloud. 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. Please follow our official campaign. Your only investment is time in turn for a free mix by our very talented participants. 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 53: Winners announced

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Mister Fox
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC053 April 2019 - Submissions until 21-04-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

#2

Post by Mister Fox »

CURRENT CHALLENGE - GENERAL INFORMATION

Time Frame: Monday, 01st April 2019 to Sunday, 21st April 2019 (21 days)

Challenge submission will end on 21-04-2019, 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: morelia (Paul Sanderson)
Song Name and Length: We Fly, 3:57min
Song Information: 90 BPM / Signature: 4/4, Key of Emin
File Format: WAV, 44kHz, 16bit

GENRE: Alternative Rock


Preview of the Song:

https://www.reverbnation.com/morelia/so ... 619-we-fly



A word from the song provider:
morelia wrote:I recorded this through an Allen and Heath ZED10. Apologies if the quality is below expectations. I do my best with what little time I have.

I've tried to provide everything at a reasonable level to start mixing. Drums and Guitars are the focus of the song for me but the vocals sound so bad I think they take away from the overall quality of the song. I'm pretty happy for an anything goes with the mix.

I've used Superior Drummer 3 and layered it with some Steven Slate Drums 5. Feel free to use any or all drums. My hearing is not the best so if there are any issues with layering any of these files feel free to avoid using them.

My preference is to go with the style that influenced the song (thinking Audioslave, Foo Fighters) but if you are feeling something else, then go for it. But do check out some Audioslave (Cochise, Gasoline, Show Me How To Live) as I'm a big fan and probably tried to get in that ballpark.


(more technical details in the Mix Pack bundled TXTs)

A few words by the Mix Challenge staff:
Staff (Mister Fox) wrote:This month's challenge is an Alternative Rock production, that can go several routes. For example: 90s Grunge/Alternative Rock, where mix consoles were over-driven on purpose to create a more dirty sound, then sometimes even printed on to tape running at 15ips. Or fairly modern mid 2000s alternative rock, which is still slightly dirty, but the overall sound was more "crisp" and high fidelity, not to mention certain parts being "over-corrected" rather than taken "as is".

I can recommend to watch the "Classic Albums: Nirvana - Nevermind" documentary with Butch Vig (who gives an insight on mixing such vocals), but also the "Sound City" 2013 documentary movie by Dave Grohl. Plenty of extra knowledge to gather here.

We're working with 16bit files this time around. Apologies, but this is the limitation of the Mix Console being used (the ZED-10 only has a 16bit DAC). So please keep possible noise floors in mind while gain staging.

Please also take note, the Mix Challenge doesn't allow Drum Sample Replacement anymore. However, there are two drum kits for you to blend this month. It is recommended to pay extra attention to detail though, as just straight up layering doesn't always work (hint: kick). The triggered hi-hat is also of different pitch, but with careful blending, it can work as complementary element. There are barely any room mic recordings present - so some tricks need to be used to "remodel" that. It's a challenge after all to work with what you're given, and to enhance with all the tricks you know.

And finally, don't forget to pay attention to the intro of the song (see demo mix). The small guitar bits should not be underestimated to generate a powerful transition to the rest of the mix.

As usual, be creative, have fun while mixing and good luck!

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), no "drum sample replacement"!
  • 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 (149,05 MB, LZMA compressed, zip)


The provided files were packed as ZIP with LZMA compression.
File size extracted: 1082,02 MB, packed 149,05 MB (ZIP, LZMA)
In order to extract the files, we can recommend these programs:

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

Windows:
7zip - Installation / Portable


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

Please take note of the official rules - they can be found at the following thread:
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.


Image
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


Image
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


Image
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/


Image
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/


Image
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/


Image
Tone2 is kind enough to donate a license of Ultraspace to the winner (until further notice)
License will turn into NFR
More info on Tone2: https://tone2.com



THANKS FOR THE LICENSE DONATIONS!
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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Dodgingrain
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC053 April 2019 - Submissions until 21-04-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

#3

Post by Dodgingrain »

Just have to say I like the song and think there is some good stuff in there. The cymbals and hats are a struggle though, I spent a while on them and I think I need more time to try and figure them out.
Mixing, Mastering, Remixing Services
Two Cat Audio Labs, llc
https://www.twocataudiolabs.com

Studio Saturn
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC053 April 2019 - Submissions until 21-04-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

#4

Post by Studio Saturn »

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wJ2Glu ... p=sharing4
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oeFhwn ... sp=sharing

Enjoy my crappy mix. I will post the detail when I get time. till then, Happy mixing everyone.

Clueless
Posts: 86
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:54 CET

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC053 April 2019 - Submissions until 21-04-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

#5

Post by Clueless »

So, not only mixing but time travel aswell :D

Time Frame: Monday, 01st April 2019 to Sunday, 21st March 2019 (21 days)

The Exponent
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Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2019 14:46 CET

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC053 April 2019 - Submissions until 21-04-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

#6

Post by The Exponent »

I think I'll give this a go this time, since I clearly need to work on my mixing skills. This might be the best opportunity to learn the craft. Looking forward to learning from everyone else here :tu:

cerveser
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Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2019 17:50 CEST

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC053 April 2019 - Submissions until 21-04-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

#7

Post by cerveser »

Hi!! My first time here, so trying to make something decent.
Just started to work on.

I'll post my mixes in few days.

Best regards,
Cerveser

RichardClarke
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC053 April 2019 - Submissions until 21-04-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

#8

Post by RichardClarke »

Sorry to be a dumb ass and ask this question, but I've looked at it a couple of times now and am still confused. :confused:

What is the logic for all the vocal takes? I know there are takes we can can use a double tracks, but it seems there is a lot. So I am not sure which ones I should be using where. Some say Vox Verse low verse 3 for example, but there are only two verses?

Would someone be able to explain it too me?

My humble apologies for being a little stupid and not seeing what everyone else probably is seeing! :oops:

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Mister Fox
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC053 April 2019 - Submissions until 21-04-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

#9

Post by Mister Fox »

Tricky question really.

The way I understood it while doing the Integrity Check, is that these are "pop-type" double takes for populating the stereo field and "fleshing out" the performance, or better yet - natural chorus (what you'd otherwise do with hardware or software). Keep in mind that some are sung in a different pitch to round out the sound spectrum (which is already quite busy due to the guitars).

90s Grunge/Alternative Rock releases were fill of that technique. I mentioned this in the "Words by the staff" above.


This one is taken from Youtube after searching for "Nirvana in bloom making of", which is actually a snippet from the documentary "Classic Records: Nirvana - Nevermind". Producer/Mix Engineer Butch Vig shows off some of the techniques he used:
Nirvana - Nevermind - Classic Albums (snippet: In Bloom)


Another good example is actually "Alice in Chains", who used similar doubling/harmony techniques. Here is a good breakdown by Rick Beato, once more on Youtube.
What Makes This Song Great? Ep.13 ALICE IN CHAINS


Then there is Chris Cornell himself, former lead singer from Soundgarden and Audioslave. Even though you can not hear it as clearly, he did(!) use voice doubling techniques in certain parts. Listen closely to these two songs:
Soundgarden - Live to Rise (yes, some of that is a delay, but there is definitely "something")
Audioslave - Original Fire


Dave Grohl also doubles/triples his voice. This can be seen/heard especially on the album "Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace" (2007), also seen in the "Sound City" documentary (2013) and "Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways" (2014). Here is an example with the way too often played songs "The Pretender" and "My Hero", you can clearly hear the doubles for pretty much the whole track
Foo Fighters - The Pretender
Foo Fighters - My hero


I could even offer the "making of" documentary "Mix it like a Record" by Charles Dye as example. Here the track he mixes (with an insane amount of plugins if I might add) also used voice doubles for both the lead and the chorus. And if we want to go completely off the rails with metal, the lead vocalist of the German Metal band "Rammstein" uses vocals doubles in different octaves to get a more sinister tone.


Bottom line - there are a lot of double tracks in this month's challenge (maybe even a bit excessive indeed), and you have to(!) be careful with layering. Maybe even be creative in terms of editing here and there. If you listen closely to the examples I posted, notice that not all vocal tracks are super "clean"... and this is all I can give you on the way

RichardClarke
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC053 April 2019 - Submissions until 21-04-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

#10

Post by RichardClarke »

Thanks Mr Fox! I wondered if that was the case but there were sooo many double tracks that I thought I might be really missing something here and doing it all really wrong :oops:

Thanks for the Video links too, I always love watching stuff like this and i'll check them out before mixing in the vocals to make sure I don't miss any tricks!
Mister Fox wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 14:08 CEST
Tricky question really.

The way I understood it while doing the Integrity Check, is that these are "pop-type" double takes for populating the stereo field and "fleshing out" the performance, or better yet - natural chorus (what you'd otherwise do with hardware or software). Keep in mind that some are sung in a different pitch to round out the sound spectrum (which is already quite busy due to the guitars).

Bottom line - there are a lot of double tracks in this month's challenge (maybe even a bit excessive indeed), and you have to(!) be careful with layering. Maybe even be creative in terms of editing here and there. If you listen closely to the examples I posted, notice that not all vocal tracks are super "clean"... and this is all I can give you on the way

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