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MIX CHALLENGE - MC056 July 2019 - Winners announced

Join the Mix Challenge - recurrence: February until December
Chriswilson83
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:52 pm

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC056 July 2019 - Mix Round 1 in evaluation

Post by Chriswilson83 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:38 am

Hi peeps,

There was a number of disqualifications (and some really really good mixes on some) but rules are rules I'm afraid. The thing the main lesson learnt here is you must read the rules in full. I think over the course of the entries I've seen every rule broke somewhere (incorrect file naming, no production notes, wrong bit rate, wrong sample rate, alteration of source material top my head).

Mastering I think I only disqualified one specifically for this but it was without a shadow of a doubt a master (and at CD volume if I remember). I think anything touching 14LUFS is a little too loud for a mix imho is digital streaming masters start at this. Mastering starts to become a need to turn down things in order to do it properly, and if you don't the platforms will do it to the master themselves (with limiting in a few cases).

I personally fown at a limiter and "pseudo-mastering" on a master mix bus as you're capping the dynamic range and options available for a master. I've clocked this on quite a few mixes and commented on it where I can but there is a likely chance I've not caught them all. That said I will be more detailed than just doing a level/headroom check and mono/M/S sweep with the top 10. And those production notes need to tell the whole story...

My advice on stereo to alot is don't be so concerned with super width! This song doesn't lend itself well to that anyway; it's all static pan decisions and only guitar, overheads, backing vocals make sense to pan. There's no toms, they would have introduced more into it if so. Most mixes with a good width have achieved this on their use of effects, I've seen some real good uses of reverb and delay on the track. I suspect mixes with collapsing fields have used a stereo widener (snake oil they are I think) or excessively used chorus as an effect.

I've tried to accommodate peoples variations to the source material, some very small changes I could accept but total sections/parts changed is a different matter. I suppose see it if you sent a mix out to someone and it came back as something totally different, you would be going "what?"

That's not to say what I heard was bad...far from it, I was gutted I couldn't accept it (bpackard and Sean Lloyd in particular). If you really wanted to change/add source material to the song but didn't because rules, hold onto your project files and hopefully in a few days that chance will be happening...

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

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC056 July 2019 - Mix Round 2 until 29-07-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by Mister Fox » Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:26 pm

Thank you for handling the evaluation, Chris.

Let us kick off Mix Round 2, which will end on Wednesday, 29-JUL-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST


There is a GLOBAL COUNTDOWN available to check for deadlines.
Just follow this link: Global Countdown (on homepage)



The following 10 participants go into Round 2 (alphabetical order)

3ee
Gloukin
HalfinHalfout
JamesMusic
LocalMusic
Marc_Rapture
Piranha
Psymfonius
ShroomFeverish
vintage


The feedback to the productions can be found here:
viewtopic.php?p=5621#p5621
viewtopic.php?p=5636#p5636

If you area unsure what to do exactly, reach out to the song provider and engage in a conversation here on the forum.



A thank you to everyone, and good luck for Round 2

HalfinHalfOut
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:44 am

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC056 July 2019 - Mix Round 1 in evaluation

Post by HalfinHalfOut » Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:43 pm

Chriswilson83 wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:38 am
Hi peeps,

There was a number of disqualifications (and some really really good mixes on some) but rules are rules I'm afraid. The thing the main lesson learnt here is you must read the rules in full. I think over the course of the entries I've seen every rule broke somewhere (incorrect file naming, no production notes, wrong bit rate, wrong sample rate, alteration of source material top my head).

Mastering I think I only disqualified one specifically for this but it was without a shadow of a doubt a master (and at CD volume if I remember). I think anything touching 14LUFS is a little too loud for a mix imho is digital streaming masters start at this. Mastering starts to become a need to turn down things in order to do it properly, and if you don't the platforms will do it to the master themselves (with limiting in a few cases).

I personally fown at a limiter and "pseudo-mastering" on a master mix bus as you're capping the dynamic range and options available for a master. I've clocked this on quite a few mixes and commented on it where I can but there is a likely chance I've not caught them all. That said I will be more detailed than just doing a level/headroom check and mono/M/S sweep with the top 10. And those production notes need to tell the whole story...

My advice on stereo to alot is don't be so concerned with super width! This song doesn't lend itself well to that anyway; it's all static pan decisions and only guitar, overheads, backing vocals make sense to pan. There's no toms, they would have introduced more into it if so. Most mixes with a good width have achieved this on their use of effects, I've seen some real good uses of reverb and delay on the track. I suspect mixes with collapsing fields have used a stereo widener (snake oil they are I think) or excessively used chorus as an effect.

I've tried to accommodate peoples variations to the source material, some very small changes I could accept but total sections/parts changed is a different matter. I suppose see it if you sent a mix out to someone and it came back as something totally different, you would be going "what?"

That's not to say what I heard was bad...far from it, I was gutted I couldn't accept it (bpackard and Sean Lloyd in particular). If you really wanted to change/add source material to the song but didn't because rules, hold onto your project files and hopefully in a few days that chance will be happening...
Good info Chris,

I can't speak for everyone, but I think the lack of perceived width may have come from the physical positioning of the crash/ride, or possibly the room and recording environment, the O/H picked it up as if it's kind of sitting just a bit panned to the left of the snare (could very well be where it sat for all I know). I think it was a ride just being laid into but not sure if it's one of those hybrid cymbals because it had a LOT of low end beef haha. The opposing cymbal was much easier to work with and sat nearly exactly where it was expected and worked perfectly. I think I may have used some good overhead EQ and still couldn't get it away from dominating the middle of the mix, so I utilized a envelope sharper to try and shrink it's perceived low end. That thing just likes to EAT space!

@Mister Fox thanks for the count down, that helps!

Best,

Dallas

Snarowitz
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue May 21, 2019 9:13 pm

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC056 July 2019 - Mix Round 1 in evaluation

Post by Snarowitz » Wed Jul 24, 2019 6:02 pm

Chriswilson83 wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:52 pm
Hi everyone:

I’ve now listened to every track and have notes for every single one and a Top 10. As there were 73 entries in total it’s going to be too long winded putting every single feedback in the thread comments so I have attached a link to my spreadsheet in Google Drive with them on.

Anyways, without further ado; The top 10 for round two is….
ShroomFeverish
Psymfonius
Piranha
JamesMusic
HalfinHalfout
3ee
Marc_Rapture
LocalMusic
Gloukin
vintage

A copy of my marksheet for every mix in order that I heard them is available here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

I have assessed work by a few things:
-Mix level in LUFS and headroom (it not did factor into my marking but excessive loudness or peaking can affect a top 10 eligible place).
-Stereo field
-Balance
-EQ
-FX
-Professionalism

All files were level aligned and played at the same low monitor level here for consistency. I have also listened to the mixes throughout the month in small batches with breaks to avoid fatigue.


During the course of the mixes I have heard some really ace work, but I have also seen quite a number of consistent issues. There have been 35 disqualifications due to incredibly simple oversights!

1, I’ve had to disqualify most of these.....23 of these entries to be exact for simply not following bit/sample rate rules, where stated “render in the sampling rate and bitrate the material was provided, or higher”. In this case 24 bit 48khz was that minimum.

I’ve received a number of entries at 16bit or 44.1khz, both are issue creating; 16bit means that you’ve dithered a mix (and the noise it generates will be amplified more in mastering) and 44.1khz was a real life issue for me as the desk I now use (Allen and Heath) doesn’t support 44.1khz! All mixes at that have had to be resampled back to 48khz in order for me to judge them, meaning the mix has had two file conversions already before a master.


2, Some entries production notes are not present, too vague and in some instances I suspect have not told me the whole truth; I have disqualified several entries where I have not been possible to know anything about the mixes history. Any top 10 entries where vague entries have occurred I have stipulated that you must provide more detailed notes on the 2nd round or your mix won’t be considered for the top 3.


3, Quite a number of mixes have summing issues! I can’t stress how much you should be checking your mixes in M/S and mono, fantastic for picking up issues around phase/EQ and fx placement. Issues ranged from mild balance changes to some outright vanishing in mono (in particular guitars), and excessive amounts of bottom end in the sides.


4, Initially at the start of the challenge there were a few individuals whose comments towards the provided work I would kindly describe as unprofessional. The band have been watching the challenge too and I can say one particular comment they saw invoked a rather let’s say “real life” response….one that shall not be uttered here….. I felt I couldn’t ignore that so I decided as a result to add a column in my marking based on professionalism. The column has also factored in some other things such as submissions that had errors or missing parts in the mixdown (there were a few).

Anyways, thank you very much to all who have participated and good luck to all involved in round 2!
Excellent feedback and fast turnaround! Great job Chriswilson83. :tu: Too bad I f’d up on the sample rate... didn’t even notice it was in 48. :bang: How embarrassing. :oops:

Chriswilson83
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:52 pm

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC056 July 2019 - Mix Round 1 in evaluation

Post by Chriswilson83 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:21 pm

Chriswilson83 wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:38 am
I can't speak for everyone, but I think the lack of perceived width may have come from the physical positioning of the crash/ride, or possibly the room and recording environment,



Most of the cancellation issues I heard came from the guitars. There were some overhead ones but nowhere near as severe. I even found some where the piano or vocal effects disappeared too. Plenty mixes summed ok (including the one I half made for the band last year) so it was certainly doable.

tiptoe3
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon May 21, 2018 6:30 pm

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC056 July 2019 - Mix Round 2 until 29-07-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by tiptoe3 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:22 pm

Hi Chris,
thanx for your honesty and the quick response with your 10 best mixes.
According to the sample rate „discussion“, it´s a rule so going against is
a violation.
In my case i do use hardware on the bus and print to a second mix rig. The
mix is 48k. In my experience 44k is more convenient for the client and their
playback systems. I did the print in 44k. For post it would be different of course.
If there is a demand for a 96k version, let me know. ;-)

About the mastering topic: I can’t spent more than three or four hours on a
mix here. It is about focusing on the main stuff and let it run through.
There is not much time left in that timeframe for masterbus adjustments. If it feels ok,
off it goes.
I wasn’t aware that the mix should be mastered for specific release format, where some technical
aspects playing a role. LUFS and peak for the comparison is great though.

I will take a break for the next sessions/ challenges. Having a talk before going to work is
mandatory for me. That can’t be part of the game. 70+ conversations as an extra for
the song provider!

btw kudos mister fox. You´re doing great work and that should be honored.

cheers, tiptoe3

iMax
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:00 pm

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC056 July 2019 - Mix Round 2 until 29-07-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by iMax » Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:28 pm

Hi Chriswilson83,

Thank you for the excellent (and professional) feedback. Sorry for apparently screwing up the alignment somehow and not noticing it. I usually do at least some validation against the other mixes, where I would have probably noticed the issue, but I did not have the time in this challenge.

Anyhow, good luck to all participants who made it to the next round!

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dandimite
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:34 pm

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC056 July 2019 - Mix Round 2 until 29-07-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by dandimite » Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:06 pm

Hi community,

congrats to the ones who made it to the second round.
And many many thanks go out to Chriswilson83 and his very detailed excel sheet with the remarks for every mix.
Without that feedback i would probably never have noticed, that i accidentally loaded nectar3 with activated pitch correction into my main vocal-strip.
Sounded wrong the whole time to me, but i not listened to the raw track or other mixes enought to realize that this was my fault.

cheers,

dandimite

Miha
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue May 28, 2019 7:13 pm

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC056 July 2019 - Mix Round 2 until 29-07-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by Miha » Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:17 pm

Dandimite : LOL Nectar can be your best friend or your worst enemy !

Chriswilson83 : Thanks for your involvement in this challenge and your valuable feebacks ! Tough for the desqualified but this is the game.
If a minimum output level was specified into the rules I would have been disqualified long ago with my -32LUFS mix... I should have spent more time checking my final mix before sending it.

See you at the next challenge !

Chriswilson83
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:52 pm

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC056 July 2019 - Mix Round 2 until 29-07-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by Chriswilson83 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:22 pm

tiptoe3 wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:22 pm
According to the sample rate „discussion“, it´s a rule so going against is
a violation.
In my case i do use hardware on the bus and print to a second mix rig. The
mix is 48k. In my experience 44k is more convenient for the client and their
playback systems. I did the print in 44k. For post it would be different of course.
I do understand, but like I said my desk doesn't support 44.1 which resulted in me having to resample back to 48. It is rather annoying my desk doesn't support it especially as it's not even a year old (and Allen and Heath have been rather stubborn about the need for it), but it's becoming more and more the norm it seems on new desks.

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