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MIX CHALLENGE - MC070 October 2020 - Winners announced

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MIX CHALLENGE - MC070 October 2020 - Winners announced


Post by Mister Fox »

Hello and welcome to the Mix Challenge 70 - October 2020

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 an "Rock" production by Mix Challenge member Los_ady (Adrian "Ady" Parzentny) with his band project "Cheap Flights". The song is called "Waterfall".

Each audio engineering school will teach you different in terms of what to do. Like "focus on capturing the moment, commit to a sound, discard the rest" (which is still present to this day as remnants of 24 track tape machine recordings). Others tell you to "record as much as possible, then sort out later, HDD space is nearly unlimited". I've been there myself. Ady is offering a great challenge this month for us: learning how to handle an abundance of extra recorded material, edit/blend them as needed and then commit to that particular sound. There are plenty of things to do and take care of here to not run into phase issues. Learning experience: guaranteed!

Please read about the details and special requirements for handling this mix further down below.

Please take note of the following
  • Please consult the official "Rules and Guidelines" for the Mix Challenge regarding principles of the game, recommendations and upload/submission guidelines
  • IMPORTANT: please only 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 also with screenshots), name the files properly to distinguish your edit from all others.
  • please use the following naming convention (Contestant Name = Forum Username):
    • MC000_ArtistName_TrackName_ContestantName.wav
    • MC000_ArtistName_TrackName_ContestantName_R2.wav for those that go into Mix Round 2
    • Example: MC070__Cheap_Flight__Waterfall__ForumUsername.wav
  • please only upload to cloud storage spaces (DropBox, GoogleDrive, etc), not SoundCloud - and check that your material is downloadable
  • 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
  • Our Song Pool has dried up! Future Mix Challenges are in jeopardy. 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! (if you already did, you should have gotten a response - please write back!)

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 1 Statistics/Data Sheet: Overview of Submissions - is your entry within given parameters?
Mix Round 2: Global Feedback and Round 2 Participant Announcement
Results of the Mix Challenge: Winners announced
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC070 October 2020 - Submissions until 21-10-2020 23:59 UTC+2/CEST


Post by Mister Fox »


Time Frame: Thursday, 01st October 2020 to Wednesday, 21st October 2020 (21 days)

Challenge submission will end on 21-10-2020, 23:59 UTC+2/CEST (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: Cheap Flights
Song Name and Length: Waterfall, 4:54 min
Song Information: 140 BPM / Signature: 4/4
File Format: WAV, 48kHz, 24bit

GENRE: Alternative

Preview of the Song:
phpBB [media]

Official release (for reference):

A word from the song provider:
Adrian 'Ady' Parzentny wrote:Hello fellow Mixing Engineer, welcome to the mixing challenge !

We are very proud that you decided to mix this song so thank you for taking the time and can’t wait to hear your mixes. You will find a couple of helpful informations in this document, so please read before mixing

Story behind:

I am musician since 20 years and found my new passion in Producing during my time in Krakow / Poland in 2017. After recording my own Band and young Metal Bands for free with my mobile rig (for learning purposes) I met more and more wonderful artists to work with like Amyak & Cheap Flights

All members of Cheap Flights and I are great friends, long time before we recorded together - really great people who put a lot of thought & heart into their music

They liked my recording style and human interaction during record sessions (The guitar player Piotr Gacek joined us on other sessions) so we decided to work together on their new tracks - my first professional act !

We spent 11 days in different Studios, worked hard on the tracks and had a wonderful time together Recording & Mixing - Work hard / Party hard. In order to stand out and make this session special for the artists, I used new techniques that I learned and took my time to find the right sound at source (You will notice in the guitar parts).

I added the DI tracks so feel free to experiment around with the sounds

Kindly keep the structure as it is, so we can check your mixes objectively - thank you for understanding !

Reference Tracks used:
The Reference Album is from the Band "Holy Motors - Slow Sundown"
https://open.spotify.com/album/5IOsPJ3k ... lMZ5xHu0xg

The idea was to capture this overall feel, not the same sonic spectrum

Reference for the Bass (The Band wanted a Chorus effect on the Bass)

Here is example of a great bass tone with chorus

For Drums:

Savages 'Evil'

Not technical Recording tip from my side:
It depends on the musician but I felt like we needed more excitement and enthusiasm in the recording process so I literally used all the equipment I had and involved the Band actively in the recording process

That's why you have more tracks than in usual productions (= more work to get into the structure) but what stay's with us is the great time we had and that it was a very special production - a tip from the 60's / 70's where producers and engineers became freelancer

Enjoy the process,

Adrian "Ady" Parzentny / Hit The Road Music Studio

(more technical details in the Mix Pack bundled TXTs)

A few words by the Mix Challenge staff:
Staff (Mister Fox) wrote:This month's biggest challenge is to learn how to handle plenty of extra recorded material, blend them as needed/desired, and then commit to this sound. For novices in this field, this might feel terrifying and not easy, yet this is the best way to learn how to find the best
balance between "remaining flexible" and "committing" to streamline things. This is your chance to learn what you prefer for your own future endeavors. (personally: I prefer to record with an extra mic and/or DI track just in case. But this also introduces the vicious cycle to "always have the perfect sound" rather than the right feel - it is a learning experience!)

I'd also like to add another possible "reference" for the overall dreamy sound: Akira Yamaoka, best known from his soundtrack work for the Silent Hill video games. Most notably the tracks: "I want Love" and "You're not here" (Silent Hill 3) and "Waiting For You" (Silent Hill 4: The Room), all sung by Mary Elizabeth McGlynn

Please have an eye on possible phase issues with the drums. For the guitars, you have DI tracks available as well, if you're not happy with the microphones or their placement. The vocals in the demo mix sound like as if they're not there. They're subtle in the background.

Else, this is a creativity challenge (for educational purposes) - the Song Provider would love to hear what "direction" this track could still go. Especially as the overall sound can shift drastically depending on the balance of the instruments and used audio effects.

So please check in with the reference tracks, get inspired, then let your creativity run wild!

Have fun!

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.

Rule Summary / 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 for this production)
  • make the best out of the provided audio material (EQ, compression, transient tools, etc), no "drum sample triggering / replacement"!
  • summing bus processing is allowed, as long as the dynamic range (average signal strength to maximum signal strength) doesn't suffer - artistic use only!
  • the focus of this game is "mixing" - NO MASTERING
  • render the edited material in the same sampling rate and bitrate as originally provided (MC070/October => 48/24)
    • <no additional add-on rules specified>
Please consult the official Rules and Guidelines for a more detailed set of rules. Failing to adhere to the rules will result in instant disqualification


Source Files:

Main Mix Package - Mirror on the Mix Challenge Homepage (1297,40 MB, LZMA compressed, zip)
IMPORTANT NOTE: file unavailable after 21-OCT-2020

The provided files were packed as ZIP with LZMA compression.
File size extracted: 3110,39 MB, packed 1297,40 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

If you like what the Mix Challenge (community) has been doing in recent months:
Please consider supporting us


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

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

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/

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 a license of Ultraspace to the winner
License will turn into NFR
More info on Tone2: https://tone2.com

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!

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC070 October 2020 - Submissions until 21-10-2020 23:59 UTC+2/CEST


Post by Franz »

Hi Adi, hi everyone,

Yes, we are in the 70s .... versus 2020.

Great idea to offer direct tracks for guitars.These are the ones I used.

First I reduced the number of tracks from 82 to 24 with the subgroups. We are obviously more comfortable.

Concerning the guitars, I used the "vandal" plugin which is integrated in the DAW "Samplitude Pro x5" from Magix.
This allows almost any guitar sound to be created.
Then concerning the bass, apart from the classic treatments (EQ, Comp) I used a "pseudo flanger" effect
sparingly which made it more "lively".

The drums did not pose any special problem.

For the vocals and the choirs, the work was rather complicated. For the lead vocals, I used after processing,
a "spacialization" plugin developed by friend (but not marketed) that allows the voice to "come out" with
more presence of all his sound environment (especially the guitars) and avoids the "in front or in face" effect.

Different reverb for the choirs.

Good listening !



https://www.dropbox.com/s/zcztzng2l8g5j ... z.wav?dl=0
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC070 October 2020 - Submissions until 21-10-2020 23:59 UTC+2/CEST


Post by Los_ady »

Awesome, thank you for taking the challenge and to share with us the steps you took in the mix !

I will listen to it right away, excited to hear the custom designed plugin from your friend - I have a big respect for programmer, this is a different world for me

Have a great weekend !
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC070 October 2020 - Submissions until 21-10-2020 23:59 UTC+2/CEST


Post by RichardClarke »

Hey Everyone,

Here is my mix, hope you enjoy!

I went a bit crazy and took the be creative bit too heart and had had a lot of fun doing this mix. I tried to keep honest to the main parts of the song and enhance them but also add another layer in there as well.

I have included screenshots in the folder of the mix buss. You will see I used scheps onmi channel a lot, I do use most of it too for saturation, dessing, EQ and compression. I think otherwise most of the other effects & routing are easy too see and you can imagine what they are doing. If anyone is actually interested in any part of the mix you can message me and I can explain in more detail what I did.

One new thing for me was using midi notes to trigger a midi gate for drumss. I had never done it and love it, so much easier to control than a traditional gate (or using a sample, etc).

MP3 Version
Wav version
Folder with Mix Set Up Screenshots
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC070 October 2020 - Submissions until 21-10-2020 23:59 UTC+2/CEST


Post by Los_ady »

Amazing, thank you very much ! I'm a big fan of Scheps Omni channel, very helpful and thought-through tool !

Thank you for sharing the screenshots Richard, appreciate it - Have a great Sunday, excited to hear your mix :)

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC070 October 2020 - Submissions until 21-10-2020 23:59 UTC+2/CEST


Post by E.C.Miraldo »

Hey guys!

Have to say i've been having a lot of fun mixing your song, the "shoegaze-y" style of it is fantastic and i enjoy the genre so much but it's my first time mixing something like this. And I thank you so much for the opportunity and for sharing it with us! That being said i really want to get the best i can out of it!

I know it's not usual to ask questions but I've always one to the opinion that asking doesn't hurt.

I've been mixing with your original mix as one of the references and I have some doubts for the drum sound. See, from the refence from Savages we have this boxy, low snare with very little compression and little to no reverb, with very bright "in your face" cymbals, and a hollow, smooth kick that goes with the bass attack, instead of punching through. On the other side on your oficial release I feel the drums panned a little bit to the right on the stereo spectrum, with a very compressed snare and kick, punching through to the listener, where cymbals go to the back and provide that depth to the sound.

And with that I feel a like bit lost on what way i should follow with the mix, would you be so kind to shed some light on what you guys are looking for?
Hopefully this would also answer doubts other participants may have.

I'm not even sure if asking this is against the rules or not, but yeah.

Thank you so much for this opportunity!
Cheers from Portugal!
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC070 October 2020 - Submissions until 21-10-2020 23:59 UTC+2/CEST


Post by Mister Fox »

There is nothing against the rules going on here. In fact, this is the interaction that should ideally happen: asking question which route this should go, then go by your gut instinct.
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC070 October 2020 - Submissions until 21-10-2020 23:59 UTC+2/CEST


Post by UHLS »

Hello guys, hello Los_ady, thanks for source files.

i mainly used hardware for mixing: first I put all the instruments on the buses and re-recorded them one by one. unfortunately I don't have any screenshots of it, sorry... That was spontaneous work. For this I used Presonus EQ3B, EQP-KT and KT-76 as dual mono setup. for effects i used delays und reverbs from waves, ssl native plugins and brainworks.
Regards, UHLS

Here is my contribution in WAV, 48kHz, 24bit

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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC070 October 2020 - Submissions until 21-10-2020 23:59 UTC+2/CEST


Post by Los_ady »

@ec_miraldo Obrigado for your question my friend, this is the #1 way to become better in anything we do - asking - it's totally fine & appreciated !

At first apologies for the confusion with the references & my mix

I understood that the band was looking with the reference track for the presence of the Drums and not for the exact sound and sonic spectrum (I hope haha)

Surprise us! The Band will have the last word in this challenge and honestly, after we mixed the song and adjusted it, it became it's own thing and we never compared it to the reference tracks again

This is my style of mixing: I listen to the references, make a mind map and direction where to go and build upon this - otherwise I will take weeks for a mix when I try to achieve "exactly this sound" and on top of it I will miss the chance to find my own sound ;)

Hope this makes sense!

Have fun with the track, we are excited to hear what you will do with it !

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