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MIX CHALLENGE - MC075 April 2021 - Winners announced

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Mister Fox
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MIX CHALLENGE - MC075 April 2021 - Winners announced

#1

Post by Mister Fox »

Hello and welcome to the Mix Challenge 75 - April 2021


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, you have the chance to work on a "(1970s) Pop Rock" production. The multi-tracks are kindly provided by "Endicott Dread", and the song is called "Megalomaniac".

The biggest focus this month, is handling multiple vocal tracks. While one of the "twists" of this game is the request to replace the piano in the intro section of the song (files to replace are present).

Please take special note of the attached TXT files (Technical Details section in "Words by the Song Provider") and 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, 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: MC075__Endicott_Dread__Megalomaniac__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

Please also 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!



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
Mix Round 3: Global Feedback and Round 3 Participant Announcement
Results of the Mix Challenge: Winners announced
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Mister Fox
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC075 April 2021 - Submissions until 21-04-2021 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#2

Post by Mister Fox »

CURRENT CHALLENGE - GENERAL INFORMATION

Time Frame: Thursday, 01st April 2021 to Wednesday, 21st April 2021 (21 days)

Challenge submission will end on 21-04-2021, 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: Endicott Dread
Song Name and Length: Megalomaniac, 4:39 min
Song Information: 76 BPM / Signature: 4/4
File Format: WAV, 44kHz, 24bit

GENRE: (1970s) Pop Rock


Preview of the Song (Demo Mix):


phpBB [media]



A word from the song provider:
Endicott Dread wrote:Hello all, I’m very stoked to be participating and to hear your creativity at play, Also, thanks to Mr. Fox for constantly facilitating this entire endeavor. Thanks for that!!


I was inspired to write MEGALOMANIAC by not only that most obvious needy orange political example 🍊🤣, but also by our own collective need to be noticed - and loved. To be validated. Often now by strangers. ‘Influencers’ came to mind here too.

We’ve all spawned multiple digital personas, and as is obvious on social media, many reflect the worst elements of human nature - such as trolls.

This song is about a character lost and seeking their place, and their due. A bit surreal, wonky, and unstable. By the time we hit the chorus, your humble narrator is embracing his delusion of grandeur full on. It’s a vibe of ironic celebration.


“Megalomania, I’m my own Aphrodisiac, I’m a Megalomaniac.”


The feeling I was going for is a transformative one. I kind of viewed the different sections as cinematic scenes or short chapters, hence the different instrumentations.

I’m happy with the arrangement and lyrics, but struggled nailing a mix.

The only advice I’ll give - this probably isn’t a mix where you bury the vocal. ;)


I’ve always viewed mixing as another active musical instrument in your arsenal to express creativity, so my criteria for judging is not just a great sonic experience, but also how you interpret, reflect and spin out the story and feel. Surprise me.

Originally I envisioned the Chorus kick part as a stomp - sort of like in We Will Rock You (Queen), but evolved away from that as the wall of sound got denser. Maybe you can make it work? I couldn’t.

Otherwise, just maximize the dynamic impact of the chorus as much as possible.


If cool with you, I will happily release and feature credit the winner on any streaming service releases or YouTube videos.


Feel free to ask any questions too.

Thanks!!!!



(more technical details in the Mix Pack bundled TXTs)

A few words by the Mix Challenge staff:
Mister Fox wrote:Quite the interesting "1970s Brit Pop" production this month, which definitely took inspiration from Pink Floyd and offers a lot of room for mixing creativity.

The biggest focus will definitely be the Vocals, as there are 20 vocal tracks with bits and pieces surrounding the lead vocals, that form into one big chorus piece which is supposed to hit you like a wall. I'd definitely try to group those tracks.

The rest of the production looks and sounds straight-forward, but it still throws you the occasional curve-ball. Many intricate details from synths that all add to the overall story.


I can't really give any reference recommendations, other than maybe listening to the voice-to-instrument balances from productions like:

Chris Montez - Let's Dance (1962)
The Doors - Break on Through (the 1967 mix does feel a bit cluttered)
Shocking Blue - Venus (1969 version, or 1986 Bananarama version)
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here (1975, the whole album)
The Jesus And Mary Chain - Head On (1989)
Shakespears Sister - Stay (1992, technically a ballad, but the shift in energy!)
Inspiral Carpets - Two Worlds Collide (1992, for the maniac energy)

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. Edit/Mix in such a way, that barely any after-touches other than loudness adjustments and final limiting is needed in a possible follow-up mastering step.
  • render the edited material in the same sampling rate and bitrate as originally provided (MC075/April => 44/24)
  • ADD-ON RULES - PRODUCTION RELATED:
    • replace bar 01 to bar 15 of track 35 (Piano) with tracks 38/40 from the sub-folder "SECTION TO REPLACE"
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. There will be no additional reminders given.


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


Source Files:

Main Mix Package - Mirror on the Mix Challenge Homepage (562,66 MB, LZMA compressed, zip)
IMPORTANT NOTE: file unavailable after 21-APR-2021


The provided files were packed as ZIP with LZMA compression.
File size extracted: 3905,20 MB, packed 562,22 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

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.


Image
Acon Digital is kind enough give away a single plugin of winner's choice (exception: Verberate Immersive)
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
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
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!
GmfSongs
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC075 April 2021 - Submissions until 21-04-2021 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#3

Post by GmfSongs »

Hey All...

I’m Endicott Dread and this is my tune you’re mixing this month. I’m an artist based in Vancouver Canada. Music is my passion.
If you’re curious about my style - I’m on most streaming services.

https://linktr.ee/EndicottDread

I also did of mix of this song without any drums for the hell of it...

https://open.spotify.com/track/64iyf6sQ ... yoI8O7gRlQ

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Thanks so much for participating!!
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC075 April 2021 - Submissions until 21-04-2021 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#4

Post by Dodgingrain »

@GmfSongs Are there any particular parts/elements you really like in your rough mix and any parts/elements you don't like besides the stomps? Anyway, interesting message behind the song, I couldn't agree more!
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC075 April 2021 - Submissions until 21-04-2021 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#5

Post by GmfSongs »

@Dodgingrain Great Question!
I made them up so I have to like all the parts. Right? 🤣

But yeah. I’m mainly disappointed regarding the chorus elements. You can see I’ve stacked a bunch of synths and kicks to bolster the wall of BG’s.
But in retrospect I didn’t nail the low end impact, exploit the instrumental dynamics, or find the best holistic synth blend.

Maybe more dramatic fader automation would help the higher synths breath in volume to play off the vocals? I like the voicing blend of the harmonies, but could hear more of the high Ch harmony part.

I like the verse LV intimately up in your face. I’d probably mix everything else in a bigger space.

It’s more that I did all this myself. I’m in need of fresh perspectives & fresh mixing ears.
Thanks for asking!
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC075 April 2021 - Submissions until 21-04-2021 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#6

Post by RodA »

Sorry if this is a dumb question but is this where I post my mix submission link.
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC075 April 2021 - Submissions until 21-04-2021 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#7

Post by Square »

Hi there, ya its all listed under rules and guidlines for how to submit, its a good community to be a part of so worth a quick read through, but ya submission is on this page. Be careful of the specifics of your upload, make sure its in the same format and labelled correctly. Good luck man!
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC075 April 2021 - Submissions until 21-04-2021 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#8

Post by RodA »

Thanks, Will do.
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC075 April 2021 - Submissions until 21-04-2021 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#9

Post by Hruiz »

Quick question, the song length in the txt file for this tune is 4:39, but the files I received are sitting at 4:51. I do indeed have the correct sample rate going, so there's no weird time thing happening. There is a clear gap of silence in the beginning. I just wanted to make sure before submitting, do I need to trim the song? I assume no, but don't want to miss step here.
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC075 April 2021 - Submissions until 21-04-2021 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#10

Post by Mister Fox »

The multi-tracks are usually rendered with one extra bar of silence in front and back, to prevent possible issues with certain processing devices (smeared transients, cut-off reverb, etc). Trimming should not be necessary. I always recommend to leave at least half a bar of silence in front and back for foilow-up edits to provide better fade-in/out possibilities.
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