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MIX CHALLENGE - MC061 December 2019 - Winners announced

Join the Mix Challenge - recurrence: February until December
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC061 December 2019 - Mix Round 1 in evaluation


Post by Franz »

First of all, happy new year to everyone!

Then I hope to be quite understandable in my comments, English is not my native language.

Mixing the title of Jazz-Muk was something many of you didn't understand the spirit of this kind of music.
I was quite specific in my introductory comment. It was above all a question of "harmonizing" the music stands
of the wind instruments. If you put all the saxes at the same level, it will result in a very annoying harmonic imbalance.
Then, it is a question of regrouping the various instruments by category (sax, trombone, etc ...) and not to disperse
them in the stereophonic field because it totally alters the harmonization of the title.

Finally, many of the mixes presented instruments that were far too equalized and compressed,
rhythms that were downright rock.

One of the other difficulties was to keep a natural timbre to the instruments.

In details:

pitta: the music stands are exploded in the sound space; the trumpets are in the center;
otherwise good balance; the drums a little too pop-rock; the idea of mixing is good but poorly developed.

dima510: Too much bass drum; the bass is too loud; the music stands are scattered in
the sound space and the end of the title is cut (?).

Olly H: the sound is really too powerful; even aggressive; annoying: we hear the brutal end of the
reverberation (?); the distribution of the "winds" is bad, the trumpets are everywhere.

Spinum: there is "hum" at the beginning and at the end; the bass drum is much too heavy; poor
distribution of the music stands and imbalance between them; the snare is quite aggressive;
the trombone is too far to the left; the guitar is interesting.

Clueless: very big imbalance in the music stands and too broken in the stereo field; not enough
reverb in the trombone solo and the bass is too strong and no documentation.

Lewshwa Music: there is hum at the beginning and at the end; bad balance in the music stands;
the drums not really in the center; the trombone solo is too present and generally lacks reverb.

Mork: there are too many bass drums; bursting of different music stands; the stereo is pleasant
to listen to but it sounds musically false; the drums to a general pop-rock sound; the trombone solo
could have been louder; minimum documentation.

Matik: the bass drum has an unpleasant sound; the trumpets are scattered in the stereo field;
the guitar has a good sound; all the winds are not strong enough; the whole has a rather medium sound
with a pop-rock tendency.

maxordrive: the sound of the drums does not correspond to this style of music; the winds are
scattered (trumpets); the piano is too loud; the bass is too powerful; no explanation in the use of plugins.

Mbarathi: the drums are much too equalized; the brass instruments are scattered; general tendency
a little too pop-rock; display of the tempo in the file display (??).

Philk: file in 44.1!! the bass drum does not sound good; the snare is too present; the brass
are scattered: in your explanations you say "panned to taste": NO! ; too much effect on the trombone solo;
the whole seems almost mastered; small documentation.

rxchad: the brass instruments are scattered; the bass is too loud and too present; the clarinet is not
a solo instrument, it must be integrated into a stand! I hear an excess of compression and the reverb is cut
each time at the end of the brass phrases; the trombone solo is a little dry; the drums lack details and the
whole lack of ambiance.

splinterhood: the overall sound is quite dull; the brass instruments are scattered; the bass is too loud;
the reverb is excessive on the trombone solo and in addition it is mono. You say "matching octaves on
different channels": NO

zell: the drums don't sound good; the kick drum is too loud; we hear a noise-gate effect on the trombone;
the brass are too scattered; a weird sound on the trombone solo; too much effect on the guitar solo;
the whole seems almost mastered.

huellafonica: bad balance in the winds and the whole is too scattered; the clarinet is on the left
with the trumpets! it's not good; at the end there is too much trombones.

alanwaldez: file in 44.1!! there, it is downright excessive: it's rock trend. You are not at all in the subject.

kevin gobin: there is hum at the start! the general sound is almost aggressive with a pop-rock drums
and an overly present bass; you can hear the brutal reverb stop at the end of brass phrases; the whole sounds mastered.

beyondthemind: the overall sound is a bit bland; the bass and bass drum are too strong and therefore
the winds are not present enough; the winds are scattered; the guitar solo is interesting; very good documentation.

brydonjoshuahil: the winds are too scattered and this gives a too stereo effect, there is a total imbalance
between the winds and the rhythm; I hear a noise-gate effect on certain instruments; the trombone solo is too
far away and with too many effects; we hear a breathing effect at the end of the brass riffs; documentation a little short.

canese: file in 44.1!! all the winds are fairly mono; some sax interventions are too strong; it lacks of reverb
and lacks bass drum but interesting guitar solo; there is too much compression in general.

CeZar: the drums seems really compressed with too much bass drum; the winds are scattered,
the trombone solo is too far and the bass is too present.

ChrisKamery: there is hum at the start ! too much compression; the winds are scattered; lacks a
little kick drum; the bass is interesting; usually lacks a bit of reverb.

Chriswilson83: the winds are too mono; in fact everything is practically in mono; but the balance
of the winds is interesting; the trombone solo seems weak; the bass is a bit loud; very good documentation.

cpsmusic: everything is pretty mono; the bass is too present; the general atmosphere is quite good
but the drums which is rather pop-rock is too strong compared to the winds.

DennisBastioni: file in 44.1!! big hum at the start; the drums is too strong; the winds are
badly distributed; too much compression; seems really mastered; excellent documentation.

giole-cortese: there, we are really in mono; the drums is too far back; the balance of the winds is doubtful;
on the trombone solo there is too much mono reverb; the effect on the guitar is excessive; in fact there is not
really a relationship between the different instruments; the documentation is good but beware of the "standard big-band layout".

JulienMeirone: the winds are too scattered; trumpets both left and right; drum sound too pop-rock;
there is not enough reverb on the trombone solo; not enough space in general (probably due to lack of reverb).

Photonic: file in 44.1!! the winds are scattered; the sound of the bass drum seems harsh;
good trombone solo; good documentation.

B-Loaded: fairly small stereo; too much presence of brass and bad balance; the compression is too great
on the trombone solo; the bass is too front; general lack of reverb; good documentation.

fgfgfgfgt: the general sound is very unbalanced and quite in the medium; the winds are scattered;
the drums is a little aggressive; feeling of excessive general compression; too much reverb on the trombone solo;
documentation well.

alphoc: excessively low level ! poor distribution of music stands; the brass are totaly unbalanced;
pop-rock drums; documentation OK.

Arthur Labus: not at all in the subject ! a hyper aggressive general sound with very unpleasant resonances;
we're in pop-hard rock; bad distribution of music stands; usually not enough wind and not enough space in
the trombone solo; sound of the guitar very interesting in the solo; the piano disappears in mono listening
(mistrust for the plugin used); good documentation.

alelachowsky: there is too much drums with a pop-rock sound; the bass sounds good; the winds are
fairly scattered; there is not enough reverb in general; the trombone solo is a bit far; the guitar has a good
sound but is a little too loud.

will therefore enter R2:

marc clement: good general atmosphere; the winds are a little tight but well balanced; the general reverb
is very good; very good trombone solo; very good bass sound; good documentation; what needs to be changed is
simply to reposition the winds more openly.

Kirurg: there is a good general coherence with a good instrumental balance but it is necessary to review
the distribution of the music stands (the trumpets are scattered); do not use MS Widening which disturbs
the correct positioning of the instruments in space.

MixAndry: the winds are relatively well balanced, can be improved; separate the music stands a little more;
the drums should be weaker and it seems a little bit aggressive (snare); the right side of the sound space seems
a bit empty, the guitar is well placed but the piano is too central; calm down the interventions of some sax.

bluestation: good overall balance but watch out for the reverb tails because they are cut and it doesn't sound natural;
put the trumpets back together; maybe a little more general reverb; the trombone seems really compressed
and review the end: finish together.

Vasdim: the general sound is a little bit aggressive; it would be necessary to "soften" the whole, it is necessary
to balance the trombone stands; guitar is a little strong and bass a little too present.

Wizzo: good in general but it is necessary: to suppress the obvious hum at the beginning, very good distribution
of the music stands; change the reverb which goes to mono at the end of the brass riffs; raise the level of the
trombone solo; keep the effect on the guitar solo.

JonasLasse: starting from the principle that you know this type of music well, I go straight to the point:
the general disposition of the winds does not please me; apart from the sound of the snare drum which sounds a bit rock,
the whole is quite convincing. But let me remind you that the Jazz-Muck musicians are only amateurs,
so thank you for your indulgence ....

paperthin: the whole is fairly well balanced and pleasant to listen to. I don't really like that the winds are
so tight together, so we should frankly separate the music stands more; the bass drum is a little heavy;
the bass might be a little weaker; watch out for the hum you hear at the start.

Snarowitz: good overall sound; the winds are fairly mono and we should separate them more
in the sound space and balance them well; the piano could have more presence and it is too in the center as well as the guitar.

Christian Gillmann: good sound in general but the winds are too scattered; the piano might be weaker;
the guitar is good; the trombone solo doesn't sound natural (compression?).

So, good luck !



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Mister Fox
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC061 December 2019 - Mix Round 2 until 11-JAN-2020 11:59pm GMT+1/CET


Post by Mister Fox »

Thank you for handling the evaluation, Francis.

Ladies and gentlemen, let us kick off Mix Round 2, which will end on Saturday, 11-JAN-2020 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

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)

Christian Gillmann
marc clement

The feedback to the productions can be found here:

If you are unsure what to do exactly with your mix, 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

White Punk OD
Posts: 163
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 23:58 CEST

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC061 December 2019 - Mix Round 2 until 11-JAN-2020 11:59pm GMT+1/CET


Post by White Punk OD »

as I have time, I 'd like to support you with some more comments.
I'm not a jazz person with much knowledge on details, but I love to listen some older stuff and those classics.

did anyone listen to my youtube link with the hischool band? the sound production seems very professional. in relation to what Franz has told, I think it is quite interesting. (no audible compression; no dispersion - see below.)

original demo
hihat has an ugly resonance ~2.5k, this has also influence on the snare.

the reverb says that the room is practically too small to house an orchestra. persian carpets on the wall have dampened everything fast. ;)
you may loosen the HF dampening of the reverb algo. perhaps change from room to hall, or invoke a longer plate.

reverb situation is very similar. actually I like the overall sound, and don't mind that much about some details.
still, the bass is very much a rock sound, and loud.

marc clement
There is a "wet" sound all over, like there is an SPL Vitalizer on the bus. Whatever it is, there is a little bit of "dispersion".
(Vitalizer, actually they tell that it works with phase shifting.)
I learned about it when I digitized a very old vinyl with one of the early RnB bands. I applied some FFT EQ because the needle sounded sharp.
But the linear phase process changed the sound completely. It was not dry and brilliant any more. Especially in the hihat. It sounds "plastic".
This did never happen when I messed with a digital production, where FFT algorithms were all over the place anyway, and the concept was built on that.
My conclusion is, that for a Jazz orchestra we must avoid certain techniques because the same will happen, and FFT dispersion will creep in. The culprit might be an exciter, or a linear phase band split or EQ, that uses a too big FFT buffer.
Otherwise, I totally agree with Franz. I love the piano sound.

at first it it seems to sound fuller than the mixes mentioned above, but I'm afraid there is a little loss in the midrange.
when there is dynamics, the midrange (brass..) should stick out.
pleasant to listen, but perhaps a tad too "nice".
guitar solo is just great.
one of the best.

stereo width could be improved, as told. agree that the drums sound not very jazzy, and too close, but somehow joyful.
in some parts the drums are too loud, especially when the snare starts to rock off.
very important: there is no dispersion. kudos to that!! makes me forgive the "pop" sound.

was it meant as a movie theater sound? in radio for me it does not work. sounds very dark.

I must say I like it a lot. presence range should be more accentuated. the panning is all over the place though.

lots of midrange, the full snare hits are very loud.
nice reverb on the guitar solo.

nice full sound, good room feeling.
stereo width and placement great, but when no solo is played, can you still fill up the center position a bit?
perhaps an additional mono reverb and "haas" for the drums might improve the center.
for me, one of the top mixes.

something is missing, a bit thin, to me the wind and brass have little power.
put more musical focus on those, who play the lead in each different part respective. if it is a half dB.
the piano in the presence range clashes with some brass, disappears when brass becomes louder.

there is a build-up in the midrange, or some resonance. perhaps you monitoring has a weak point there?
drums seem to have no LF power.

drums sound a bit inflated. some LF build-up between kick and bass.
as a listener, I am standing too close to the stage. everything very very big. (but many jazz listeners definitely want this position)
that said, overall sound is quite natural, dense and credible.
(like a concert in a bigger hall, where the drums got amplified with a big PA. so, another great one.)

somewhat boxy in the midrange. makes it a bit muffled. snare sound contributes to this a lot.
spectrally, the opposite of kirurg. all the soli sound good.

somewhat bright, or weak low end. the piano hangs out in some parts, and has no room integration.
bass sound is weak, and not round. snare is a bit boxy.

remember that Sir Franz will reward the winners. my opinion may go a different direction.

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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC061 December 2019 - Mix Round 1 in evaluation


Post by beyondthemind »

Franz wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 18:29 CET
beyondthemind: the overall sound is a bit bland; the bass and bass drum are too strong and therefore
the winds are not present enough; the winds are scattered; the guitar solo is interesting; very good documentation.
Thank you for your feedback! I will keep this in mind until next time i'm mixing this kind of music. I agree that the bass and bass drum are to strong, but my problem was that in my Yamaha studio monitors they were a bit to strong, but in my hifi speakers a bit to week. I guess i should trust my monitors :-)

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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC061 December 2019 - Mix Round 2 until 11-JAN-2020 11:59pm GMT+1/CET


Post by kirurg »

Hello everyone,

Thank you Franz for judge and comments and picking into Round 2

Here is my Round 2 version:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ecarqgjp7tamt ... 2.wav?dl=0

The change I've made was narrowing the panning , especially trumpets.

also thanks @White Punk OD for careful listening and relevant comments.

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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC061 December 2019 - Mix Round 2 until 11-JAN-2020 11:59pm GMT+1/CET


Post by VasDim »

Hi all,
this is my second round mix:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/hzt263nfz0fn0 ... m.mp3?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/1eb1gfbbipigt ... m.wav?dl=0

For all track are used:
- Waves Q10;
- Waves C4;
- Db ProComp.

AUX Effect;
- Waves TrueVerb;
- Waves SuperTap;

Good luck to all.

Posts: 37
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Location: Hamburg

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC061 December 2019 - Mix Round 2 until 11-JAN-2020 11:59pm GMT+1/CET


Post by JonasLasse »

Hey Franz!

Your work and the playing of MUK is very enjoyable.

I tried to balance the saxes as you said and pushed it a bit towards the other mixes, less room and more compression. The solo trombone is quieter. I just have a certain Sound that i searched for, all the other mixes are great or even better, just following other Idioms.

Thank you for your work,
i whish you the best.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=16XQ-k ... 2TxrO-Q7so
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1050Ec ... pluIz1LHQw
Public broadcasting engineer - here for the private Stuff.

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Mister Fox
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC061 December 2019 - Mix Round 2 until 11-JAN-2020 11:59pm GMT+1/CET


Post by Mister Fox »

A friendly reminder:
We're in the final 24 hours of submitting your updated edit for Mix Round 2.

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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC061 December 2019 - Mix Round 2 until 11-JAN-2020 11:59pm GMT+1/CET


Post by paperthin »

Hi, here's my entry for R2:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/y0itv34ljbvak ... 2.wav?dl=0

I've tried to follow the instructions that Franz provided and I listened more closely to the original mix. I also moved the kick and the bass in the middle, gave the whole mix more air and spread. Thanks for this unique challenge and for the feedback! (and that includes you, White Punk OD! :wink:)

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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC061 December 2019 - Mix Round 2 until 11-JAN-2020 11:59pm GMT+1/CET


Post by bluesation »


I am in round 2, very nice.

I reworked the wholes reverbs. First I switched from an convolution reverb to an algo reverb. But I still use 3 of them, a room, a hall, and a sustained one with a longer tail. The last one I use for some instruments to certain times.
The Trombones had a new limiter plugin, which didnt work like expected. It should just cut 3 or 4 peaks, so no compression was really engaged. But the sound was changed dramatically. Unfortunately it was not recognised by me earlier. The limiter was taken out for this mix.The peaks were taken out by a very quick VCA compressor. Sounds a lot better now.

Here is the Result Mix-Version for round 2

Hope you enjoy!

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