2019-06-15 Info: Happy 5th Anniversary, Mix Challenge. Join the celebration in this news post

MIX CHALLENGE - MC054 May 2019 - Mix Round 2 in evaluation

Join the Mix Challenge - recurrence: February until December
Post Reply
User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Posts: 1176
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:15 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany

MIX CHALLENGE - MC054 May 2019 - Mix Round 2 in evaluation

Post by Mister Fox » Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:25 am

Hello and welcome to the Mix Challenge 54 - May 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 Vintage Pop-Rock production by the band The Jilters (with user UprightJoe being this month's client). The song, called "Sorry Anyway" and will offer plenty of challenges we've haven't had access to in quite a while. Those being: a certain "printed" sound for all electric instruments (bass, guitar, epiano), not ideally edited takes and strong microphone bleed on drums.

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 54: Winners announced

User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Posts: 1176
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:15 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC054 May 2019 - Submissions until 21-05-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by Mister Fox » Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:26 am

CURRENT CHALLENGE - GENERAL INFORMATION

Time Frame: Wednesday, 01st May 2019 to Tuesday, 21st May 2019 (21 days)

Challenge submission will end on 21-05-2019, 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: The Jilters
Song Name and Length: Sorry Anyway 4:11min
Song Information: 117 BPM (avg) / Signature: 4/4, Key of Ab
File Format: WAV, 48kHz, 24bit

GENRE: Singer/Songwriter, Vintage Pop-Rock


Preview of the Song:




A word from the song provider:
UprightJoe wrote:This song is from a band I played bass in called "The Jilters". All but one or two of our songs were written by Christian Dubois (lead vocals and keys). Sadly, I moved across the country so I no longer perform with The Jilters but they are still playing in the San Francisco area. If you'd like to follow the band, they're probably best followed on Facebook as I am not actively maintaining their website.

This is one of my favorites of Chris' songs lyrically. Intelligibility of the vocals is particularly important on this song in my opinion. I was never a fan of the effect that the original mix engineer used on the bass. It creates a warble that I find unpleasant. Also, note the doubled hook between the solo trumpet and the guitar. The two tracks have the potential to combine into a really cool sound when blended the right way.

Style-wise, I would put this song somewhere between Steely Dan and Billy Joel (Chris hates being compared to Billy Joel so I'm sure I'll hear about it when Chris reads this. Hi Chris!). I think there are several songs on Steely Dan Aja that would make pretty good references. "Peg" would be a good place to start. Billy Joel's "The Stranger" or "Movin' Out" might also be useful as a reference but they lack horns. I would definitely look to the late 1970's for this mix but don't be afraid to add a modern twist.

I'll be judging round #1 of the competition. Once it's narrowed down, I'll be pulling Chris in to assist with the final judging and provide additional feedback.


(more technical details in the Mix Pack bundled TXTs)

A few words by the Mix Challenge staff:
Staff (Mister Fox) wrote:We haven't had a challenge like this in a while, where tracks are not recorded in the most ideal way. A lack of "backup recordings" for possible re-amping or alternative effect usage, etc. So you have to make due with what is given. Microphone bleed and all.

I can definitely recommend to take a look at the wave forms first. Especially the drums might need some special attention (like phase, clipping, etc). Bass and Guitar wise, there is not much you can do. Adding an additional amp sound would mess with the general tone. So I do not recommend that.

If you go by the reference songs, keep in mind that the productions by both Steely Dan (Aja, 1977) and Billy Joel (The Stranger, 1977) use a more dry and "damped" overall sound compared to the original mix. This is where your own spin on mix techniques comes in.

In general - "build upon" the given material (appropriate filtering, compression, Send/Aux effects). But keep the concept of the band (Vintage Fun/Rock) in mind. Don't go too overboard.

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 triggering / replacement"! Failing to adhere to this rule will result in instant disqualification
  • 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 (498,04 MB, LZMA compressed, zip)


The provided files were packed as ZIP with LZMA compression.
File size extracted: 770,84 MB, packed 498,04 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
IK Multimedia is kind enough give away one license of T-RackS ONE to the winner
License will turn into NFR
More info on IK Multimedia: https://www.ikmultimedia.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 further notice)
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!

GGermaine
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:15 pm

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC054 May 2019 - Submissions until 21-05-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by GGermaine » Thu May 02, 2019 5:38 am

What an AWESOME SONG!!! - Love it.

delicate
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:28 pm

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC054 May 2019 - Submissions until 21-05-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by delicate » Thu May 02, 2019 7:56 pm

Greetings!

Incredible song! Thank you for sharing it and giving an opportunity to mix it.

Here is my mix, re-printed at roughly 17LUFS as suggested below (I might revise and reupload it later, closer to the R1 deadline; not sure if it is allowed though?):
.WAV
.MP3

Initially uploaded (14LUFS):
.WAV
.MP3


I will cover only most proccessed parts.

Overall:
I've used some moderate pre-mix saturation with CTC-1 console and bx_console N for each channel.
Generally, I aimed for a full yet clean sounding mix.

Drums
— I have not messed with phase besides trying out the flip button in console_N
Kick got cleaned up in low mids and distorted with LoFi
Snare: several dbs of FET-style compression, removed several resonances I disliked, EQed with Neve 1073 emulation for a brighter sound.
Overheads & HH treated with Softube tape, removed mud and saturated with 458a by Kush.
Room: removed low mids and compressed
Drum bus was saturated and compressed a littel for some additional snap.

Bass
— treated with REDDI by Kush
— EQed to work with the kick better
— compressed with McDSP Opto-C

Keys
— I wanted to make keys a background. Used some micropitch shifting and reverb, prior to that some compression with dbx165 emulation with soft knee.

Sax & Trumpet
— SDRR tube-type saturation for a thicker, less edgy sound, some bus compression and reverb.
Lead trumpet also got some slap back delay, with some feedback.

Vocals
— Lead vocal was the most proccessed part.
— EQed to remove boxiness and high passed with Pro-Q3 (got it during the recent sale—what a great tool).
— some tonal shaping and saturation with Hoser XT (added lots of air @26khz)
— compressed with Novatron in FET-style and then for a db with MJUC model 2.
— slightly deessed
— 1/4 mono delay into plate reverb.
— sent to Waves doubler at subtle level.

Mixbus
— Prebox by Analog Obsession for some frequency response shaping;
— some SSL-style compression (ratio 2, 10/250 attack/release) — no more than 1.7 dbs of compression.
— a couple of surgical cuts with bx_digital 3, monomaker;
— some air added and cleaned low mids with Lindell TE-100
— tape saturation
— added gain to get to 17LUFS with a safety ISP protection (no peak limiting).

I would be glad to receive some feedback!

Have a great time mixing!
Last edited by delicate on Sat May 04, 2019 7:09 am, edited 5 times in total.

GGermaine
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:15 pm

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC054 May 2019 - Submissions until 21-05-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by GGermaine » Sat May 04, 2019 4:13 am

"... ozone 8 elements to increase level up to 14 LUFS"
Just curious why you increased level to 14 LUFS when rules state that you should submit it at 17 LUFS? 14 is what YouTube requests for mastered material. Seems uber loud for pre-mastered work. Don't mean to be a dick.... Just wondering what your thoughts are here.

User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Posts: 1176
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:15 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC054 May 2019 - Submissions until 21-05-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by Mister Fox » Sat May 04, 2019 4:29 am

Kind of wondering the same. :hmmm:


The add-on rules clearly state:
try to not(!) pre-master the track (please no overuse of mix bus treatment, no loudness adjustments / limiting) - read: NO MASTERING
The -18dB RMS "avg" (which could be -17LUFS to -16LUFS) in the Rules and Guidelines is only a recommendation, to provide a ground line for good mixing techniques. But you explicitly stated "ozone 8 elements to increase level up to 14 LUFS"...

delicate
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:28 pm

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC054 May 2019 - Submissions until 21-05-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by delicate » Sat May 04, 2019 5:56 am

GGermaine wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 4:13 am
"... ozone 8 elements to increase level up to 14 LUFS"
Just curious why you increased level to 14 LUFS when rules state that you should submit it at 17 LUFS? 14 is what YouTube requests for mastered material. Seems uber loud for pre-mastered work. Don't mean to be a dick.... Just wondering what your thoughts are here.
Mister Fox wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 4:29 am
Kind of wondering the same. :hmmm:

The add-on rules clearly state:
try to not(!) pre-master the track (please no overuse of mix bus treatment, no loudness adjustments / limiting) - read: NO MASTERING
The -18dB RMS "avg" (which could be -17LUFS to -16LUFS) in the Rules and Guidelines is only a recommendation, to provide a ground line for good mixing techniques. But you explicitly stated "ozone 8 elements to increase level up to 14 LUFS"...
Thank you for these notes!
I've actually forgotten about the recommendation in terms of exact loudness level numbers, yet what I focus on is whether there is any limiting happens with a view to increase the level.

In this case, whereas I'm mentioning Ozone 8, I am clearly stating it was used without any limiting effect, so essentially it was a workflow tool serving as a meter and a fader with ceiling protection. That's it! Accordingly, I don't think it would have any effect on the outcome.
Besides, all of our mixes will be level matched by the 'client' I believe.

Anyways, I will provide an updated version at -17LUFS in a short time.
Thanks!

GGermaine
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:15 pm

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC054 May 2019 - Submissions until 21-05-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by GGermaine » Sat May 04, 2019 6:23 am

Gotcha. Sorry to be such a buzz kill. Your mix sounds really great, and I'm sure there is no limiting like you said. I get the idea of ceiling protection. I was just curious why you opted to increase the LUFS so high. Thanks for clarifying.

francobhalla
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat May 04, 2019 11:59 am

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC054 May 2019 - Submissions until 21-05-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by francobhalla » Sat May 04, 2019 12:08 pm

Hi, This my entry to the challenge.

DAW: Nuendo 4
Monitors: Dynacoustics Custom
Interface: Prism Sound Orpheus

Wav: https://drive.google.com/open?id=18loL_ ... x136Ai_qvH
Mp3: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1KzoQN ... US4T1FvLyb

Thank You

User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Posts: 1176
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:15 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC054 May 2019 - Submissions until 21-05-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by Mister Fox » Sat May 04, 2019 1:05 pm

delicate wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 5:56 am
Anyways, I will provide an updated version at -17LUFS in a short time.
Thanks!
GGermaine wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 4:13 am
...when rules state that you should submit it at 17 LUFS? 14 is what YouTube requests for mastered material.
Technically - there is no "you should submit at -17LUFS. Neither in the Rules and Guidelines, nor in the Loudness Normalization or Gain Staging with a VU article here on the forum. I don't know where this number is coming from, but I have to make this clear once and for all it seems.



A copy from the Rules and Guidelines. Important bits marked in red.
Rules and Guidelines - Rules for participants of the Mix Challenge wrote:
  • This is a mix challenge, NOT a (pre)mastering challenge (unless declared otherwise). The main focus is to create a balanced mix, which can later be used for a possible mastering process
  • ...
  • It is recommended to work with a certain reference level. We recommend to work at -18dBFS = 0VU (EBU R68 alignment level, see Wikipedia entry on Peak Programme Meters)
  • ideally, the final mix shall be anywhere within the the following range: -21dB RMS realtime to -15dB RMS realtime on average, alternatively -16LUFS ILk, while the maximum digital signal strength shall ideally not exceed -1dBTP (True Peak)
  • ...
Note that it mentions "-21dB RMS realtime to -15dB RMS realtime on average" (average signal strength). That would translate to about -16LUFS ILk +-2LU or even 3LU.

There is no mention whatsoever to not go "higher than" or "only hit". This is a mixing challenge, not a mastering challenge. It is a recommendation to work at suitable worklevels while not overloading the master bus, and leaving enough headroom (both RMS and Digital Peak maximum) for a follow up step (aka: finalizing/mastering). And if you worked with a reference level (like -18dBFS = 0VU/EBU R68 or -20dBFS = 0VU/SMPTE RP 0155), then a highly dynamic production naturally hovers between 21dB RMS realtime to -15dB RMS realtime on average. Isn't technology fun?

LUFS (ITU-R BS.1770-x type metering, EBU R-128, ATSC A/85, etc) is really only important for mastering and streaming. Although, I admit, this type of metering is commonplace as of late, and simple to understand (as the rules for "target ranges" are different). This doesn't mean that dPPM (Digital Peak Program Meters) and VU or RMS realtime meters are useless now.




Additionally:
Rules and Guidelines - Rules for participants of the Mix Challenge wrote:
  • We do recommend to not send in your mix within the first 24 hours of the Challenge. Take a day off, give your ears time to relax, take another listen the next day. Your entry is final - no re-submissions with changes allowed unless you're selected for Mix Round 2 (see FAQ)
You've joined 4 games at this point, you should be aware of the rule set. Please re-educate yourself. :educate:

I'm giving you one final pass on this. As of MC055 - no more exceptions.

Post Reply