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MIX CHALLENGE - MC082 November 2021 - Winners announced

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Mister Fox
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MIX CHALLENGE - MC082 November 2021 - Winners announced


Post by Mister Fox »

Hello and welcome to the Mix Challenge 82 - November 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 posts for re-submissions for Mix Round 2 and (possible) Mix Round 3.

 ! Bonus Info
This month, you have the rare chance to work on a "Folk / Medieval" production by Norwegian band "Canardus Horribilis", collaborating with/featuring Swedish singer "Saga Björling". The multi-tracks are kindly provided by "Pål Isdahl Solberg" (@Naturecord, who was the producer), and the song is called "Längtan".

There are plenty of twists this month. Most notably, working with medieval instruments. Something you might not have done before. But also having to find workarounds for certain made compromises while recording due to time constraints, etc. Unlike the original version I've initially seen, the version for the Mix Challenge is already more "tight" regarding the overall rhythm (especially the intro section). It is still highly recommended to keep the big picture in mind rather than start surgical processes.

Piqued your curiosity? Then 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.

IMPORTANT: Before you get started, please consult the official "Rules and Guidelines" for the Mix Challenge regarding principles of the game, upload/submission guidelines, the concept of documenting your edits, and maximum allowed loudness values (see Rule Book - post #6). Interaction is highly encouraged, including asking questions for the song provider. Giving and receiving constructive feedback to your entry, and sharing tips and tricks should ideally happen after Mix Round 1 has ended, to not influence each other during the main competition round.

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: <not this month>
Results of the Mix Challenge: Winners announced
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Mister Fox
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MIX CHALLENGE - MC082 November 2021 - Submissions until 21-11-2021 23:59 UTC+1/CET


Post by Mister Fox »


Time Frame: Monday, 01st November 2021 to Sunday, 21st November 2021 (21 days)

Challenge submission will end on 21-11-2021, 23:59 UTC+1/CET (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. There will also be short reminders on Social Media.

Song Provider: Canardus Horribilis (presented by Pål Isdahl Solberg / @Naturecord)
Song Name and Length: Längtan (feat. Saga Björling), 3:55 min
Song Information: varying BPM / Signature: varying (see TXTs)
File Format: WAV, 44kHz, 24bit

GENRE: Folk / Medieval

Preview of the Song (Demo Mix):
phpBB [media]

A word from the song provider:
Pål Isdahl Solberg wrote:This song was commissioned by Medeltidsveckan, a medieval festival in Visby, Gotland in Sweden, after the pandemic hit us all. It is a collaboration between the medieval/folk band Canardus Horribilis from Norway and the Swedish singer Saga Björling that have played the festival several times. The festival wanted to put some music to the feelings of missing the place and the festival.

Since it needed to be done fast, this song was written, recorded and mixed on a very tight schedule (less then a week). Some compromises had to be made to make it happen quickly, both in recording techniques and precision.

We have tried to keep the feel of the song natural, and allow the acoustic instruments to not be over-processed, while also trying to have a little modern feel to the mix. This was a challenge to balance, and the time restrictions on recording and mixing might have pushed us to go to familiar mixing solutions instead of taking the time to explore new ideas. It will be very interesting to see how others solve this challenge, and to get inspired by all of you!

We are open to new interpretations and ways to mix the song, but still keeping in mind the acoustic medieval instrumentation and inspiration.

For reference tracks it is a bit tricky as there is limited recorded albums in the sjangre, but it is possible to check out Ulvens Döttrar (Månmors Gëstabud), Valkyrien Allstars (Tåre Du Tarv Ikkje Falla), Garmarna (Herr Mannlig)

(more technical details in the Mix Pack bundled TXTs)

A few words by the Mix Challenge staff:
Mister Fox wrote:This month is really shaking things up. Instead of having access to our usual suspects in terms of instruments and sound spectrum, we're suddenly talking about instruments that are the forefathers of our modern day woodwind, stringed and percussion instruments. I highly recommend to listen to each individual instrument first, maybe compare it to it's contemporary counterparts, then you might have it easier while mixing.

Which also brings me to the topic of "having to make compromises". A lot of the material is already properly aligned, cut clean (strip silence), but there might still be the occasional small issue (clicks), some signals might be running just a tad too hot ever so often. Nothing that can't be fixed. Although personally, I'd focus on keeping the natural tone and groove alive, rather than be surgical.

Have fun mixing!

For additional references...

Corvus Corax (German medieval folk band, with the occasional dip towards metal)
Faun (German medieval folk band)
In Extremo (German medieval metal band, check out their early work, they build their instruments themselves)
Omnia (Dutch medieval folk band)
Heilung (Norwegian-Danish-German experimental folk band, they build their instruments themselves)
Żywiołak (Polish medieval folk band, also worked on "The Witcher 3" video game and recorded Polish folk songs for "World of Tanks")

On that behalf, I also recommend watching the "making of" video:
Creating The Sound - The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Official Developer Diary

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)
  • 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.
  • 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", neither any changes to the arrangement (copy/add/move/remove parts)!
  • please only provide WAV files, files need to be accessible/downloadable from your preferred cloud storage space (no SoundCloud!)
  • render the edited material in the same sampling rate and bitrate as originally provided (MC082 / November => 44/24)
    • Filename Template: MC082__Canardus_Horribilis__Längtan_feat_Saga_Björling__ForumUsername.wav
    • no (more) add-on rules specified
Please consult the official Rules and Guidelines for a more detailed set of rules, including how to document your edits, maximum loudness values and delivery formats (see Rule Book - Post #6). Failing to adhere to the rules will result in disqualification. There will be no additional reminders given.


Source Files:

Main Mix Package - full package (157,30 MB, LZMA compressed, zip - not a typo!)
IMPORTANT NOTE: download window might show a smaller file size, file unavailable after 21-NOV-2021

The provided files were packed as ZIP with LZMA compression.
File size extracted: 1304,27 MB, packed 157,30 MB (ZIP, LZMA, not a typo!)
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 (exception: Verberate Immersive)
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/

NUGEN Audio is kind enough give away one license from the depicted tools (see image) to the winner
License will turn into NFR
More info on NUGEN Audio: https://nugenaudio.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!
Cadence Soundlabs
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC082 November 2021 - Submissions until 21-11-2021 23:59 UTC+1/CET


Post by Cadence Soundlabs »

Hey everybody,

Here is the link to my mix for this month's challenge.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jf964by8jcxiy ... s.wav?dl=0

This was an interesting change of pace comparative to what I normally work. I can't say that I have ever worked on a medieval-themed song before. I started with the percussion elements first on this by applying some EQ and compression. Then, I just moved my way down the line. Percussion to bass to flutes to stringed instruments, and lastly, the vocals. I just EQ'd and compressed where needed. Then, I added various reverbs to the track for ambience. That was pretty much it. I also used Rx Breath Control to tame some of the breaths on the vocals.

I forgot to check my mix in mono before I initially exported my mix. I listened back and decided I better check it out and thankfully I did. Because the drum groups virtually disappeared when I summed it to mono. I then went in and manually moved the second drum track of each group so they were more phase accurate with the first. Then, I decided that since I was editing anyways, that I would fix the natural harmonic thing on the one stringed instrument so it was lined up with the other instrument. Then, I reprinted my mix.

Thank you for taking the time to read and listen!

Cadence Soundlabs
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC082 November 2021 - Submissions until 21-11-2021 23:59 UTC+1/CET


Post by IbanezoO »

File: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1P7AVB6 ... sp=sharing

True Peak: -1.6dB
LUFS-I: -16.8

I went a different approach than the original mix. Drums and Bass got a lot more low end and I decided to put the Kulning vocals more prominent in the mix.

Mix-wise I created 8 groups: drums, bass, flutes, "guitars", lead vocals, choir, drones and background vocals. All groups but drums and bass share a long plate and small room reverb.

I used all the -1 tracks to get some low end (kick drum like) and all -2 tracks to get some high snap (snare like). All tracks got through similar chains within Slate Virtual Mix Rack: Neve Preamp, SSL EQ, SSL Compressor and Revival Saturation. The drum bus got substractive EQ all along the mid range with a very narrow Q and some gentle SSL bus compression.

I put Bass A & B through the TSE Audio BOD and an AMPEG SVTR to get some life out of the high mids. Afterwards they go through a Neve EQ with a low shelf boost at 160hz + high pass at 50hz into an 1176 that works as a limiter with a ratio of 20:1.

I let them mono in the intro and spread them out to the sides when the whole band kicks in. I tried to get the breaths under control with automation. The flute bus gets some SSL high shelf boost at 7.5 kHz and 1176 compression at 4:1 with slow attack and fast release and up to 10dB gain reduction as the flutes are so dynamic. And additionally some tape saturation.

I put all Bouzoukis and Latinas through a Fender Twin '65 amp in bright mode as the overall sound was pretty dull. On top they got some top end boost and the bus and some gentle 1176 compression.

lead vocals got a Neve preamp, an 150hz high pass of a Neve EQ, an API EQ with a high shelf boost at 20kHz and a boost at 100hz as well as an 1176 compression in "all in mode" into an opto compressor for overall levelling.

The vocal has a sent to a 1/8th delay into a plate reverb that gets ducked by the lead itself to only let the decay through.

I used the de-esser of the SSL Native Vocal Strip.

Choir, Drones and Background vocals just get some subtle EQ and compression.

two stages of saturation (Neve console and a Fairchild comp without any compression), a passive smiley EQ with subtle boosts at 60hz and 10 kHz and SSL bus compression with a ratio of 1.5.
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC082 November 2021 - Submissions until 21-11-2021 23:59 UTC+1/CET


Post by Ronson79 »

I love this kind of music so it was fun to jump into it.

The song is about the vocals, flute and special atmosphere so I focused on those and tried to create a nice image and space.

I really can´t say anything special about how I worked on individual tracks. EQ to make the elements clear, compression,
one reverb on the high vocals (Baby Audio Spaced Out) and one (AA- Silver) for all the other elements which needed some space. imaging on busses. a lot of automation on individual tracks to make them sit in the mix.

No compression on individual drums, just on the drum bus. (UBK-1)

mixed into BX_Masterdesk (without THD and Stereo) which I could get for a few bucks on sale which is cool for an overall control without getting to fancy. SPL Vitalizer MK2 just for the stereo enhancement. A touch of Gullfoss for dynamic balancing and Tone Projects Kelvin for some additional warmth and harmonics. FF L2 for security and measurement.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/15JlyAR ... sp=sharing
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2020 14:25 CEST

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC082 November 2021 - Submissions until 21-11-2021 23:59 UTC+1/CET


Post by UHLS »

Hello, thanks @Naturecord and @MisterFox for this challenge.
I liked the original mix and didn't know how to mix it better now. Original is based on the vocals and wind instruments. So I then tried to give the song a different direction, more dark and intentionally more towards "rock" ?, with a lot of saturation.

After the decision the biggest problem for me were the drums and bass, followed by the vocals that sound great in the original mix, but had too much lowcut for my attempt.
First i aligned all vocals with MAutoAlign.
Then i brought the warmth/body/whatever to all vocals with Soundtoys Sie-Q. Maybe too much, if I think about it, but I was looking for character, and not for glamor and fairy dust ... The "choir" part didn't get clean, despite all the phase shifts and "tricks". Something sounds strange to me there, but what the heck ... It is surely my fault. :headscratch:

For different backing vocals I created submixes with RVox, and for main vocal I used waves CLA-2A.

I worked on the drums with sie-q, waves C6 and dbx 160.
I edited bass with SSL native channel strip, C6 and EKramer BA.
I worked on woodwinds and string instruments with Sie-Q, C6 and SSL native x-saturator.
As send I used H-delay, Lustruous Plate, GemMod, H910, H-Reverb and LittlePlate.
2Bus: SSL Native Bus Comp, JST Clip.
LUFS: -16.5, -1.5 dB peak (Youlean LM2). 44.1/24, I hope it's okay...
Best regards


Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC082 November 2021 - Submissions until 21-11-2021 23:59 UTC+1/CET


Post by RobertWalter »


My first contribution to MC:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/grf1lvnutplrh ... r.wav?dl=0

I hope the link works well. It was fun to mix this song.

I followed my general aproach. First I normalized all tracks/takes/items to -23 Db LUFS. Then I organized the tracks in subgroups with for each a dedicated 'Bus': Drum, Bells, Latina, Bouzouki&Bass, Flute, End Harmony, Drone, Vox Choir and Lead Voc. I worked pretty much in this same order, panning and adapting volume (very little automating), applying plugins for a bit of EQing, multiple compressors and colouring plugins and one for bass enhancement. I used the plugin Spectre to make the lead vocal more apparent. Finally I used my favorite rvb plugins to make some ambiance (OrilRiver on Choir and End Harmony) and to make the lead vocal stand out some more (Rev Plate-140). On the Mix Bus I have a compressor I mix into, a little EQ (Sie-Q) for a nice tone and a gentle EQ to finish of.

Used plugins
DRUM: TR5 Black 76
Bells: TDR Nova GE, La Petite Excite
Latina: Winkl
Bouzouki&Bass: bx_subfilter
Flute: TDR Nova GE, TR5 Saturator X
End Harmony (vocals): Spectre, Oril River
Drone: (none)
Vox Choir: Defacer, Oril River
Lead Voc: Spectre, Rev PLATE-140
Mix Bus: FET Compressor, Sie-Q, TDR SlickEQ M

I mixed the song yesterday. After posting I will listen to the work of other contestants!

Greetings, Rob

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC082 November 2021 - Submissions until 21-11-2021 23:59 UTC+1/CET


Post by tshelton21 »

Hello everybody! This is my first time trying one of these so hopefully I am doing everything right. I have not ever worked with any medieval so this was super cool and I had a blast working with it! I first went through and made sure to group and bus together similar tracks (specifically all of the vocals). I then worked on the main vocal and tuned it up a little and put it through a CLA-2A and it was sounding good. I added a reverb track for it and mixed that into it. I tuned up most of the other vocals and used a glue compressor to bring them all together rather nicely. I also put all of the vocals sans the main vox through a reverb bus I made. I kept things pretty low key with the rest and tried to maintain each instrument's integrity and just eq out some harshness and compressed. On a couple of them I added an exciter. I also made sure everything was stereo panned well. I think that is about all I did if I remember correctly so here's the link:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/16VXCPC ... sp=sharing

Thanks again everybody and hope you all had fun with it like I did!
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Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2021 18:12 CET

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC082 November 2021 - Submissions until 21-11-2021 23:59 UTC+1/CET


Post by GamaGama »

Hello everyone, and thank you for the opportunity to be able to mix this track: it was very interesting.
I imagined creating a "medieval" environment (a large stone room with tapestries and carpets) in which our musicians performed.
Everything was therefore kept very natural, trying to identify an appropriate environment. As far as the instruments are concerned, apart from the voices that have undergone some minimal intonation interventions, no significant interventions have been made. Instead, automation was used to balance the levels of voices, choirs and flutes. The result is for me a pleasant and balanced piece.
At min. 2.57 I think I have interpreted the intention of the performers creating a more decisive atmosphere, which in my ears has a good impact.

The whole has a sound dimension of -16 LUFS and -2dbTP PeakLevel, I think I have correctly interpreted the guidelines...

Here's my WAV file:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yWxJKD ... sp=sharing

Many thanks for the opportunity, have a nice day.
Wild Card x1
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC082 November 2021 - Submissions until 21-11-2021 23:59 UTC+1/CET


Post by PauPeu »

Hi! here is my second entry the de MC series.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1COp17n ... sp=sharing

This track was fun and "easy" to mix because all the instruments are well recorded.

I made some volume decisions in some parts for letting breathe the most important aspects, helping what I considered the narrative or progression of the song. Also I tried (more in a traditional popular music style) to put the main voice forward in the mix.

I approach this mix from a "reverb" perspective, trying to put every instrument in a space and merging all them together also by a more global reverbs.

I tried to use minimum compression and eq, but the main Voice and Flute, had to be a little compressed for fitting the dynamics of the song, I also added sub frequencies to the bass (it seemed to lack a little body)

The drums are not compressed but a little excited on the high mids, for more presence and attack.

Sorry for the Bad English! Good Luck to everyone!!
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