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MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC001 December 2017 - in evaluation

recurrence: on occasion (if audio material is available, 2 times a year max)
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Mister Fox
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MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC001 December 2017 - in evaluation

#1

Post by Mister Fox »

Hello and welcome to the Mastering Challenge 001 - December 2017


This is the introduction post, where we directly link to the challenge corresponding files (source files, submission information, sponsors) and start of the evaluation process.



We're revisiting a bit of Mix Challenge history with our first Mastering Challenge. In several ways actually. Being reminiscent of the Mix Challenge roots, and actually a long-time request to do "some mastering ever so often". To start things off, we're revisiting a winner mix from Mix Challenge #14 out of the year 2015.

The twist?
To set some ground rules, I am this month's client (Mister Fox) on behalf of the songwriter Jeff St. Clair.



Please take note of the following
  • IMPORTANT: It is now mandatory to provide WAV and encoded files (MP3 currently), files need to be accessible/downloadable, and please document your edits
  • IMPORTANT: please use the following naming convention: MastC000_-_ArtistName_-_TrackName_-_ContestanttName.wav/mp3. The order of the tags might change in upcoming challenges - though this is up for debate
  • It is highly encouraged to give feedback to each other, to share tips and tricks. Ideally, this should happen after the initial Mastering Round has ended, to not influence each other during the main competition round

Also please take note of the following
  • We're desperately looking for new source material for future competitions (Mix Challenge, Mastering Challenge, Remix Challenge). Please follow our official campaign. No new tracks mean no more challenges! Please reach out!
  • Social Media accounts can be found via the handles @MixChallenge (Twitter) and MixChallenge (Facebook). Please spread the word!
  • if you like what the Mix Challenge (community) has been doing in recent months, please consider supporting us. For example with a voluntary monthly donation (this will mainly cover server and social media maintenance fees). Some interesting bonus perks await you through Patreon, and donors get a special rank on the forum.



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
Results of the Mastering Challenge 001: Winners announced

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Mister Fox
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Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC001 December 2017 - Submissions until 14-12-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#2

Post by Mister Fox »

CURRENT CHALLENGE - GENERAL INFORMATION

Time Frame: Friday, 01st December 2017 to Thursday, 14th December 2017 (14 days)

Challenge submission will end on 14-12-2017, 11:59pm CET/GMT+1 (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: Jeff St. Clair
Song Name and Length: All I Can Think Of (is You), 4:20min
Song Information: 100 BPM / Signature: 3/4, E maj
File Format: WAV, 44kHz, 24bit


Preview of the Song:
phpBB [media]




A word from the song provider:
Mister Fox wrote:The songwriter and I would like to see a well balanced, yet still dynamic "master" that can be played back on all possible playback mediums. There is the mention of "Vinyl" (hint: limited groove width) but also "Streaming". Find a good middle ground in this case.

The production can see some "minimal fairy dust" still, but it's vintage vibe (and also the vintage mix) shall not be destroyed in the process.


TECHNICAL INFO:
The Summing Bus was the following chain:
Tube Console (RCA Victor) -> Tape Machine (Studer J37/15ips/modern tape, custom setup)

Average Signal Strength: -19dB RMS avg / -16dB RMS max
Maximum Signal Strength: -4,6dBFS peak max

Documentation about the mix:
http://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic ... 4#p6246864
http://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic ... 1#p6257281

Please also consult the TXT files that are bundled in the source files package below.

Add-On Rules / Target Values:
  • Loudness Target: -14LUFS ILk
  • Maximum allowed digital peak: -1dBTP
  • Release Medium A: Redbook CD / Vinyl / Streaming (all via one file)
  • Release Medium B: <currently not desired>

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


Source Files:

Main Mix Package - Mirror on the Mix Challenge Homepage (65,31 MB, LZMA compressed, 7z)
Main Mix Package - Mirror on the Mix Challenge Homepage (65,30 MB, LZMA compressed, zip)



The provided files were packed as ZIP with LZMA compression.
File size extracted: 70,97 MB, packed 65,31 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:
Mastering Challenge - Official Rules and Guidelines

Please address any OT question in the official Gossip thread:
Mastering Challenge - Gossip and Discussion

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


SPONSORS (Prizes):

Prizes for Mastering 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 license of their editing, mastering and restoration host Acoustica 7 / Premium Edition (until Q3/2018)
License will turn into NFR
More info on Acon Digital: http://acondigital.com


Image
MuTools is kind enough give away one license of MUX Modular of winners choice (until Q1/2018)
License will turn into NFR
More info on MuTools: http://www.mutools.com/


Image
NUGEN Audio is kind enough give away any one plugin of winner's choice from the "Master Pack"
License will turn into NFR
More info on NUGEN Audio: http://www.nugenaudio.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!

FixInTheMix
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Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC001 December 2017 - Submissions until 14-12-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#3

Post by FixInTheMix »

So just to be clear, the target loudness of the final master is -14LUFS integrated right? (is that what ILk stands for?) If that´s the case it sounds kind of low but I assume it has to be that way in order to work in vinyl I guess.

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Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC001 December 2017 - Submissions until 14-12-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#4

Post by Mister Fox »

FixInTheMix wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 01:52 CET
So just to be clear, the target loudness of the final master is -14LUFS integrated right? (is that what ILk stands for?)
That is correct. The Integrated loudness value (ILk in short) is "a mathematical average" of the whole program stream (start to finish)

FixInTheMix wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 01:52 CET
If that´s the case it sounds kind of low but I assume it has to be that way in order to work in vinyl I guess.
Current Loudness Normalization standards for streams are (December 2017):
  • Spotify and Tidal = -14LUFS (Spotify dropped the value down from -12LUFS in Q2/2017, shortly after AES #142/Berlin)
  • Mastered for iTunes = -16LUFS
  • YouTube = -11,5LUFS to -13LUFS (depending on the current "trend")

I'd say, -14LUFS ILk is a good compromise***, which doesn't trigger (super) strong "compression mechanics" on various playback mediums yet (consumer tape for example). But it's still "hot enough" to be competitive on streaming services. The focus of the Mastering Challenge is to deliver a balanced mixdown that translates well to all possible playback mediums, not to make stuff insanely loud and "be competitive" (contrary to what various magazines and online tutorials are saying)

Transients are, that make a production "punchy" and alive.
(I recommendation to watch this short 2 minute video on this topic)



*** the source material is -19.9LUFS ILk. By raising the loudness to -14LUFS, you'd add 6dB of gain effectively making it nearly twice as loud in terms of "perceived loudness"

3ee
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Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC001 December 2017 - Submissions until 14-12-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#5

Post by 3ee »

Long time no see! been very busy + almost finishing the switch to Reaper

Definitely taking part in the challenge this month especially since I've upgraded my mastering tool set! :D

Got:
DMG Limitless & Trackcomp
Millenia NSEQ-2
Black Rooster VPRE-73 and Magnetite

Cool song too! :)

All the best"
3ee

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Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC001 December 2017 - Submissions until 14-12-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#6

Post by Mister Fox »

And welcome back! :sing:

I'll be looking forward to your entry then. You showed interest in this production in 2015 - but sadly didn't have the time. So now is your chance. :tu:

Coiled_Ear
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Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC001 December 2017 - Submissions until 14-12-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#7

Post by Coiled_Ear »

Hello! Great track but I've got it that to make some corrections...yes sure, it's all about mastering)
So I used multiple set of 3 Fab-Fitler Pro-q2 for different purposes - on for first impression of track, two for balance and third for few resonances I found. Then I used TubeTech EQ for attenuation Low and High little bit. Then I used Izotope Ozone Dynamic EQ. Then I used another Pro-q2 to cut low frequency in side channel and add 3db wide q to 10khz in side. Then little compression by TubeTech Cl1B just 1db because it's very color
It's very hard to master this, especially in terms of translation...I check the result in my mono Behritone and with plugin MixChecker and it translates better I hope (my main setup is Behringer 2031a with Sonarworks Reference plugin correction).

WAV: https://www.dropbox.com/s/hu8egpiuly0li ... 6.wav?dl=0
MP3: https://www.dropbox.com/s/13kvm5fk3gdp6 ... 6.mp3?dl=0

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Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC001 December 2017 - Submissions until 14-12-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#8

Post by Ungifted »

Not so easy to bring a own signature into a perfect mixed song...

WAV:
https://profi-satz.box.com/s/s2asjuc2b6 ... yzb4lym1xr

MP3:
https://profi-satz.box.com/shared/stati ... 6pwsqd.mp3

download link:
https://profi-satz.box.com/s/j1k8vmtt9v ... db7o23w6q3


Notes:

IZotopeRX: 2x Oversampling to 88,2kHz
Samplitude Pro X3:
1. AlexB Dynamic Tube Enhancer
2. Oxford Dynamic EQ: compress harsh freq guitar part
3. Coral Elliptical Filer: Mono down 120hz
4. SugarAudio Filtorizor: micro freq cuts
5. Magenta3 (Manley Massive Passive): lo-cut 22hz, 1db boost 38hz, 1 db boost 390hz
6. Ivory3 (Maselec MEA2): 0,5 db boost 572hz, 0,5 db boost 13kHz, 0,5db boost 27kHz shelf (on sides +0,5 db more per band)
7. Cobalt Tube EQ: 0,5 db 40hz shelf cut, 0,5 db 80hz shelf boost, 1 db 20kHz shelf boost, 1 db 680hz boost, 0,5 db 22kHz hi-cut
8. Ivory MAC-3 (Maselec MLA-3), tighter low end with band 1 att. 100ms, rel. 0,1s
9. TR5-Quad Image: mid band stereo widening
10. Cobal Tube Comp: very slow stereo clamping
11. Charlylimited (TubeTech summing): some harmonics
12. Newfangled Elevate: Limiter
13. Barricade 4: only True Peak catcher
iZotopeRX: downsampling and dithering to 44.1kHz
Samplitude Pro X3:
CD-Project and TOC-Export + MP3
---
Date: 04.12.2017
CD Title: MastC001_-_Jeff_St_Clair_-_All_I_can_think_of_-_Ungifted
CD Artist: Jeff St. Clair
UPC/EAN Code:
Start Pause: 00:02:00

T I Position Length Title Artist
01 00 Pause 00:00:00 00:02:00
01 Track 00:02:00 04:28:18 All I Can Think Of (Is You) Jeff St. Clair
02 CD End 04:30:18

Total length: 04:30:18
Total length without pauses: 04:28:18

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Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC001 December 2017 - Submissions until 14-12-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#9

Post by Mister Fox »

Interesting entries so far. Please keep it up.

Very detailed as well - although the "CD extra silence" wasn't/isn't necessary, Ungifted. I didn't request a DDP (I guess Samplitude Pro just renders this way). But it's nice to see you edit in that direction.

What surprises me, is the use of saturation tools - especially if the production is already heavily saturated (using a Tube Console, and Tape Machines at 15ips). But mastering is all about the final bit of fairy dust, so "character tools" are not a rare sight. I will dive deeper into that topic, once the challenge has ended (this will be feedback on a "subjective" level).


Either way... looking good so far. You still have 11 days left (incl. today). Please present your AA-game here.
Oh and, screenshots would be nice, but not necessary if you're as detailed as "Ungifted" was.

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Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC001 December 2017 - Submissions until 14-12-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#10

Post by Ungifted »

Mister Fox wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 17:00 CET
Oh and, screenshots would be nice, but not necessary if you're as detailed as "Ungifted" was.
Here is a Screenshot ...2 in 1.

Image

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