2021-DEC-27 Info: The Mix Challenge audio community branches out to Discord. Please read up on the topic here.

MIX CHALLENGE - MC083 December 2021 - Mix Round 2 in evaluation

Join the Mix Challenge - recurrence: February until December
Post Reply
User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2472
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

MIX CHALLENGE - MC083 December 2021 - Mix Round 2 in evaluation

#1

Post by Mister Fox »

Hello and welcome to the Mix Challenge 83 - December 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 chance to work on an "Acoustic / Contemporary Singer-Songwriter" production by John Henderson (better known to us as forum regular @Johnny_Fingers). Thank you for kindly providing multi-tracks as final Mix(ing) Challenge for 2021. The song is called "Sun Returns".

The biggest challenge this month, is working with a sparse arrangement of only 7 tracks. Additional twists result from not ideally recorded/edited takes (noises), maybe unusual dissonances thanks to the use of a fretless bass, and you can experiment with time aligning vocals. All while trying to retain a natural sound and offering your own twist to the mix compared to the original version.

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: <optional>
Results of the Mix Challenge: Winners announced
User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2472
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

MIX CHALLENGE - MC083 December 2021 - Submissions until 21-12-2021 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#2

Post by Mister Fox »

CURRENT CHALLENGE - GENERAL INFORMATION

Time Frame: Wednesday, 01st December 2021 to Tuesday, 21st December 2021 (21 days)

Challenge submission will end on 21-12-2021, 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: John Henderson (@Johnny_Fingers )
Song Name and Length: Sun Returns, 3:38 min
Song Information: 75 BPM / Signature: 4/4
File Format: WAV, 44kHz, 24bit

GENRE: Contemporary Singer-Songwriter, Acoustic


Preview of the Song (Demo Mix):


INFORMATION: This version is a demo. please also consult the mixdown in the multi-track package, which features an additional bass.



A word from the song provider:
John Henderson wrote:I wrote this song on a trip to San Diego to visit my 13 month old nephew, who I had not seen in over a year. Visiting with him felt like hope coming back into the world along with the COVID vaccines. In this song I tried to capture the feeling of returning to the world after a long hibernation. Like the return of the sun in the springtime after a long dark winter.

The style of the song falls somewhere within contemporary singer-songwriter and contemporary Indie Folk. Artists who have influenced this style of song in my songwriting include Iron and Wine, Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop, Jose Gonzalez, Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver, and extending to The National, Fleet Foxes, and Lord Huron.

For the mix, I would like the mix to bring out the emotional immediacy of the song, and also to achieve a sound that is generally in the same sonic universe as the artists above.

Feel free to re-amp, double, slightly shift tracks in time to increase or decrease alignment, add effects, or whatever else you have in your toolbox to reach the desired sound. Beyond that, please flex your creative juices to bring out the emotion of the song.




(more technical details in the Mix Pack bundled TXTs)

A few words by the Mix Challenge staff:
Mister Fox wrote:This is a very minimalist production with merely 7 tracks. Paying attention to detail is therefore of upmost importance as there are many intricate details that can add, or take away from the emotional impact of the story.

Aside from reading the lyrics and checking out some of the provided references for inspiration, I once more highly recommend to listen to each individual track first, clean them up (e.g. the vocals have many side-noises and slight repeated syllables). Time aligning of the performance (in this case, chorus vocals) is allowed - but keep a natural performance in mind.

Another focus should be the bass. This is a fretless electric bass. Due to the way how you handle such a bass, a slight offset pitch is normal. It is also played like an "upright bass". So you will have buzzing, double stops, slides, etc. You can try re-amping, but you can't go "distorted rock bass". (hint: check the frequency spectrum!).

Also important: the original mix features a fade out - please create a suitable one as well!


Such a production definitely offers a "the sky is the limit" type deal. This can go various way: 1960s type sound (more reverb and openness), to modern singer-songwriter (more dry).

Tip: take frequent breaks, re-evaluate your creation, does it "get a certain feel across?", "is it still intimate?", etc. As usual, do not add anything that wasn't there/subtract what originally belongs.


Enjoy mixing!


Possible additional references: Steely Dan, Creedence Clearwater Revival (their more acoustic material).

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 (MC083 / December => 44/24)
  • ADD-ON RULES - PRODUCTION RELATED:
    • Filename Template: MC083__John_Henderson__Sun_Returns__ForumUsername.wav
    • create a suitable fade out (get inspired by the original mix)
    • use all available tracks of this production (see bundled TXTs, but also posts from 03-DEC-2021 and 06-DEC-2021)
    • 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 (137,31 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: 275,39 MB, packed 137,31 MB (ZIP, LZMA, not a typo!)
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
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/


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!
UHLS
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2020 14:25 CEST

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC083 December 2021 - Submissions until 21-12-2021 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#3

Post by UHLS »

hi, thanks to mr.fox and john for the opportunity to mix the song.
this time i decided to send off the mix straight away, because the material needs a lot of editing and it is just not worth it to manually remove every uncleanness and background noise on the main guitar. people with restoration software are challenged in this case and get there faster - unfortunately i don't have any.
fretless is digitally distorted, so I had to mix the bass quieter than it deserves.
luckily i could somehow tame excessive s-sounds in vocals. maybe too much?
the song really deserves to be recorded again, has a nice atmosphere. unfortunately that we are not allowed to add anything... at the beginning I could imagine the forest and birds singing ...


a-guitar: slate vtm, slate inf eq, waves h-comp, klanghelm mjuc.
main voc: inf eq, mjuc, waves rvox, deesser.
gtr-harmony: inf eq, reel adt, eventide h910, overloud gem mod, verbsuite classic.
gtr-melody: inf eq, h910.
bass: thu slate, waves c6, gem mod, mjuc.
voc chr: inf eq, reel adt, deesser.
LUFS: -16.7, true peak: -2.7dB.
best regards,


mix download:

https://workupload.com/file/7eMXUywdwyC
cpsmusic
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2019 23:41 CET

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC083 December 2021 - Submissions until 21-12-2021 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#4

Post by cpsmusic »

Hi,

I have a question about the Guitar 2 recording. In the notes it says that:
Due to a render error, the SM58 track has been irretrievable
overwritten with the Rode NT1-A track. Thanks to the help of some
modern audio trickery, we still get access to a different microphone
sound, resulting in the option to be more flexible sound design wise.
Just wondering what the Guitar 2 file is? Is it a combination of the NT1 and 58? What was the "audio trickery"?

Cheers,

Chris
User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2472
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC083 December 2021 - Submissions until 21-12-2021 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#5

Post by Mister Fox »

Thank you for the question, @cpsmusic. We've decided on using microphone modeling software to make this second guitar sound possible.
cpsmusic
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2019 23:41 CET

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC083 December 2021 - Submissions until 21-12-2021 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#6

Post by cpsmusic »

Mister Fox wrote:
Fri Dec 03, 2021 07:40 CET
Thank you for the question, @cpsmusic. We've decided on using microphone modeling software to make this second guitar sound possible.
Thanks!
Chris M
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2021 19:21 CET
Location: Switzerland

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC083 December 2021 - Submissions until 21-12-2021 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#7

Post by Chris M »

Hello and thank you for the opportunity to be able to mix this track.

There is a lot of work involved in cleaning the tracks and then there are decisions to be made for panning microphones.
Then, I was inspired by artist references, given by John Henderson, trying to get as close as possible.
I haven't re-amped or dubbed any tracks. I worked mostly on EQ and compression, trying to put every instrument in a space and merging all them together.

After cleaning and time aligning the tracks, I started by inserting FabFilter ProQ3 in subscactive EQ to remove the bad frequencies on each track.
Then, I add an EQ to color the sound, in this case, the Slate Digital VMR FG-N and SSL Channel channel strip v2 for eq and compression.
I tried to match sonically with the references.



Here is my mix.

Mix download :
https://drive.google.com/file/d/11eK1V1 ... sp=sharing

Thank you.
Greetings, Christian
Last edited by Chris M on Wed Dec 08, 2021 13:15 CET, edited 2 times in total.
alavault
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2020 15:00 CEST
Location: Dijon, France

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC083 December 2021 - Submissions until 21-12-2021 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#8

Post by alavault »

Hello !
Mix : https://drive.google.com/file/d/1X2QaSi ... sp=sharing
First remark : the vocal double should have re-recorded. It's way too out of time.
Anyway,
AC GTRs : Panned L/R, EQ, comp. Short verb and parallel guitar comp
"Lead" guitars : amp emulation, EQ, comp. Sent to short verb, stereo delay and parallel GTR comp
Bass : added parallel distortion (automated). Sent to flanger and parallel comp
Vocals : 1176 into LA3 into limiter. Sent to plate, parallel vox comp and synced delay
Automation : FX and parallel processors essentialy. Some volume changes depending on the section.
Mixbus : Kotelnikov, BussColors, ToTape, EQ, Limiter
SuC76
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2020 18:12 CEST
Location: Croatia
Contact:

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC083 December 2021 - Submissions until 21-12-2021 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#9

Post by SuC76 »

Hi, everyone,



Mix:

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



1. MAIN VOC - put some cla2a limiter to get some controll on peaks, some cla76, few dB on 100 and 5k, put some reverb and some wide delay on chorus

2. VOCAL CHORUS - roll off some top and bottom, cla2a limiter and cla76 to get some controll on peaks some reverb and delay

3. ACC GIT 1 and ACC GIT 2 - panned to left and right, not wide, added to one track, roll off some bottom, added cla76 12:1 to controll peaks, added some top eq, put some reverb and automation

4. GUITAR HARMONICS and GUITAR SOLO - added to one track, panned almost to left and right, roll off some bottom, some cla3a, added some tops and some delay and reverb

5. BASS GUITAR - copied to two track, one is lowpassed 200Hz and put in mono, on second added some harmonics, subbed into one track, added some cla3a limiting and cla76, added some bottom eq





Little bit of Automation through the song




DAW: Ableton Live 10



Mixbus:
VTM Brit-N, UAD-Pultec, VTM
Ronson79
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2021 17:59 CEST

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC083 December 2021 - Submissions until 21-12-2021 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#10

Post by Ronson79 »

Tried to create an atmosphere that feels intimate/privat as I feel the song.
Enjoyed it a lot.
My goal was to create space and overall glue that doesn´t feel too overwhelming but
recognizable in a musical way.

I don´t write any extensive information about individual tracks anymore as I don´t think anybody
cares much and more important nobody will have a benefit from knowing which eq, which compressor
or reverb someone used. EQ, comp etc. decisions based on the main goal which means a more hugging
warmth and not too much highs for me.

I hope the judge feels it...

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YyEpUV ... sp=sharing
Post Reply