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MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC002 February 2018 - 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 - MastC002 February 2018 - in evaluation

#1

Post by Mister Fox »

Hello and welcome to the Mastering Challenge 002 - February 2018


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.



With Mastering Challenge 002, we revisiting a 9:37 minute long Progressive Rock mix by the Spanish band "Por Un Puñado", recorded and engineered by Mix Challenge known local OctopusOnFire.

This month, I highly encourage you to stay as "neutral" as possible. Please also consult the written "Words by the Song Provider" below. I also ask you to take note that not adhering to the rule set will result in a disqualification of your entry.



Please take note of the following
  • IMPORTANT: It is 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 either route, 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 002: Winners announced

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Mister Fox
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Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC002 February 2018 - Submissions until 14-02-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#2

Post by Mister Fox »

CURRENT CHALLENGE - GENERAL INFORMATION

Time Frame: Thursday, 01st February 2018 to Wednesday, 14th February 2018 (14 days)

Challenge submission will end on 14-02-2018, 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: Simon Blanco/Por Un Puñado
Song Name and Length: El Impulso Necesario, 9:37min
Song Information: variable BPM / Signature: 4/4, E min
File Format: WAV, 44kHz, 24bit


Preview of the Song:




A word from the song provider:
OctopusOnFire wrote:This song has been developing for months, started as something to gain studio practice for the band and me. I've polished it during these latest months, but it's bound to have issues. You may have to use some "rescue" plugins such as multiband compressors.

It is a long song with different parts. The challenge is to balance all the parts tonally while letting each one of them to have their own character. Note that the mix has a healthy amount of saturation already. Please be mindful, and consider using cleaner tools.

The song has a vintage vibe to it, definitely in the softer parts. I want the heavy parts to sound punchy and in your face, while maintaining dynamics.


TECHNICAL INFO:
The summing bus has the following chain:
T-racks Quad image (Narrow super low frequencies/ open up highs)
Slate Virtual Tape (30 ips/ 1/2" 2 Track)
T-racks Bus comp (Similar to a SSL bus comp)
Vertigo VSM-3 (applying M/S distortion)
Abbey Road Vinyl ( TG12410 mastering console into a vinyl simulation with all the noise and crackle OFF)

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 / Streaming (all via one file)
  • Release Medium B: <currently not desired>

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


Source Files:

Main Mix Package - Mirror on the Mix Challenge Homepage (142,35 MB, LZMA compressed, 7z v15)
Main Mix Package - Mirror on the Mix Challenge Homepage (142,55 MB, LZMA compressed, zip)



The provided files were packed as ZIP with LZMA compression.
File size extracted: 158,97 MB, packed 142,55 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!

SRMix
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Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC002 February 2018 - Submissions until 14-02-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#3

Post by SRMix »

Hello, I haven't understood what type of file we have to deliver.

wav 16 bit and mp3?

please be specific and very accessible with your reply since I am so new in this.

Thanks!

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Jorgeelalto
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Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC002 February 2018 - Submissions until 14-02-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#4

Post by Jorgeelalto »

SRMix wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 17:02 CET
Hello, I haven't understood what type of file we have to deliver.

wav 16 bit and mp3?

please be specific and very accessible with your reply since I am so new in this.

Thanks!
Hi SRMix, if you take a look at the upload and submission guidelines for participants you can see there are some indications about the formats, it looks like MP3 has to have a bitrate of 320kbps, and then the WAV depending on the requested final formats you have to export with different bitrates and bit depths.

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Mister Fox
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Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC002 February 2018 - Submissions until 14-02-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#5

Post by Mister Fox »

A friendly reminder:
Including today, 7 days to submit your edit

(EDIT: Thanks for the correction, Dave McIsaac)





To answer the question (thank you, Jorgeelalto) - a short summary:

REDBOOK Audio (Audio CD format) is 44kHz/16bit
MP3 therefore has to be 44/16 in the highest quality possible (320kbit)

In the future, we might switch to M4A/AAC

davemcisaac
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Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC002 February 2018 - Submissions until 14-02-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#6

Post by davemcisaac »

Mister Fox wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 01:24 CET
A friendly reminder:
Including today, 14 days to submit your edit
Actually, it was 7 days to submit... Submissions due by 14th, so less than 4 days left now. :grin:

On that note, let me break the ice. Maybe I'll get some company :wink:. Sadly, I think we may have some doubters as to whether or not to enter, considering what happened (or is happening) with MastC001. Left hanging for 2 months might have left some hesitant to try again, but I know OctopusOnFire won't leave us hanging. :hihi:

Mp3 - https://my.pcloud.com/publink/show?code ... zgkBqhzOsk
Wav - https://my.pcloud.com/publink/show?code ... hwb7E9zdBV

I started with MDynamicEQ to primarily level the Bass notes, using automation to compliment the different sections. I then added an instance of Goliath from Tone Empire. I stuck it on in Default setting just to see what it might do and liked what I heard. It really added some nice glue to the mix. A little adjusting and I decided to keep it. I then added C6 from Waves starting with the Multi Electro Mastering preset and did a bit of tweaking. Then I went for Wave's Vitamin primarily to automate some widening and add a little more glue. I then used bx_hybrid V2 to boost the mids a bit & carve out the bottom end for added punch & clarity.

For limiting, I used Newfangled Elevate to boost the level going into Izotope Ozone 7 Maximizer for True Peak limiting and dithering to 16 bits. I ended up with -14.1LUFS and -1dbTP. I used MP3tag for the ID3 tags.

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Arthur Labus
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Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC002 February 2018 - Submissions until 14-02-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#7

Post by Arthur Labus »

Count me in Mr. Fox !

OctopusOnFire
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Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC002 February 2018 - Submissions until 14-02-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#8

Post by OctopusOnFire »

davemcisaac wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 00:40 CET

On that note, let me break the ice. Maybe I'll get some company :wink:. Sadly, I think we may have some doubters as to whether or not to enter, considering what happened (or is happening) with MastC001. Left hanging for 2 months might have left some hesitant to try again, but I know OctopusOnFire won't leave us hanging.
No worries, I'm fully committed to choose the best master in the least amount of time (doesn't mean at all that I'll rush the decision!)


Cmon guys!! I know this song is an 8 minute long moody beast, but don't tell me you're afraid of it! You can slay this dragon! :grin:

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Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC002 February 2018 - Submissions until 14-02-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#9

Post by Dodgingrain »

Here are mine.

The main stuff done was:
1. Noise gate to get rid of the stuff before the track.
2. Top and tail track, I wish the mix didn't cut off the end of the song so quickly.
3. Got rid of some extreme high end and low end to make for a better mp3 conversion.
4. EQ boost for the kick, some narrow Q band subtractive eq on the bass, upper mid range reduction to try and control some of the brightness.
5. Some slight compression using 4 bands across the frequency ranges, most of the compression occurs in the band below 150Hz to try and keep the power and punch of the kick. The two upper bands have slight reduction in dB gain.
6. Reduced Bass stereo width, increased the width on the frequencies above 150Hz.
7. -.9 dB of dynmanic EQ with broad Q at 3.4kHz to try and control the brightness of some parts.
8. -.6dB EQ reduction at 240Hz with moderate Q, mid only.
9. Maximizer to boost levels up to iLUF of -14
10. Dither to 16bit for CD format with a small amount of noise shaping.

mp3: https://1drv.ms/u/s!AqpB-RLndYJriZp79pXL4EuAJcxgYQ
wav: https://1drv.ms/u/s!AqpB-RLndYJriZp8IpfdLw6Hrr-lUA
Mixing, Mastering, Remixing Services
Two Cat Audio Labs, llc
https://www.twocataudiolabs.com

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Arthur Labus
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Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC002 February 2018 - Submissions until 14-02-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

#10

Post by Arthur Labus »

Anybody is going to cut out the first 9-10 seconds of silence ?
Or it isn't allowed ?

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