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MIX CHALLENGE - MC049 November 2018 - Winners announced

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Mister Fox
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MIX CHALLENGE - MC049 November 2018 - Winners announced


Post by Mister Fox »

Hello and welcome to the Mix Challenge 49 - November 2018

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 we have the chance to work on a Blues production by the Blues Quartett "Moe Joe". The song is called "I'm Alright" and is actually a session recording from 2008. No overdubs, and the twist - no click track!

Read more about the production below, and in the bundled TXTs.

:arrow: A sidenote for this challenge:

Please, do a proper documentation of your production and pay attention to properly naming/tagging the files. An inspiration as to how you could do that, might be via two old posts of mine during MC014 (post 1, post 2). Furthermore - keep the summing bus treatment "tasteful" - no pre-mastering! The focus of this game is "mixing".

Please take note of the following
  • IMPORTANT: It is mandatory to provide WAV files (FLAC bar minimum on low internet bandwidth), files need to be accessible/downloadable, try to work within suitable work levels, document your edits (ideally with screenshots)
    IMPORTANT: please use the following naming convention: MC000_-_ArtistName_-_TrackName_-_ContestanttName.wav/mp3 and MC000_-_ArtistName_-_TrackName_-_ContestanttName_R2.wav/mp3 for Mix Round 2. 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 Mix Round 1 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 (currently mainly the Mix 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.

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 2: Global Feedback and Round 2 Participant Announcement
Results of the Mix Challenge 49: Winners announced

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Mister Fox
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC049 November 2018 - Submissions until 21-11-2018 11:59pm GMT+1/CET


Post by Mister Fox »


Time Frame: Thursday, 01st November 2018 to Wednesday, 21st November 2018 (21 days)

Challenge submission will end on 21-11-2018, 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: Ergin Özler / Moe Joe
Song Name and Length: I'm Alright, 2:45min
Song Information: <Medium Shuffle> BPM / Signature: 4/4, Key of A
File Format: WAV, 44kHz, 24bit

GENRE: Blues

Preview of the Song:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1O8xcb ... 6w1GPruqdL

A word from the song provider:
Ergin Özler wrote:The band's name is Moe Joe, it's a blues quartet based in İstanbul. We recorded in Studio Deneyevi, and directly to ProTools via a Lynx Aurora16 converter.

The song was recorded live without a click track. I edited out a chorus which wasn't swinging. Unfortunately, that's all the tracks I have. I don't have D.I. tracks for the guitars since we had only 16 simultaneous tracks to record with.

If you want to do drum replacement or enhancement or any kind of reamping, you are welcome. If you want to go old school and leave everything as is, that's also great. You may choose a modern approach or an older one. You may stay on the raw side of things and try some older mixing techniques - even like panning the drums and bass a la 60’s - or process the hell out of everything. You may make it bright and open or dark and mellow or anything in between. It’s up to you.

Mixes with excellent balance but no life mean nothing to me. I prefer transients with some weight - not brittle or spiky, but present - even if it compromises the spectral or instrumental balance a little bit. If you wish, let the challenge of this mix be not to overuse fast compressors and still maintain an acceptable balance.

To get a general idea about the genre, you may check out B.B. King, Albert King, Jimmy Reed, Howling’ Wolf, Lightning Hopkins, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Keb Mo, Taj Mahal, Robert Cray etc.

(more technical details in the Mix Pack bundled TXTs)

A few words by the Mix Challenge staff:
Staff (Mister Fox) wrote:It has been a while since we had access to a classic rock production. Or in this case, "Blues Rock". All tracks are printed (read: recorded with effects), except for maybe the Bass guitar. So you have to work with what you're given. But despite that, you still have a lot of free hand in terms mixing.

But before you reach for a sample enhancement tool, maybe try your basic ones first (compression, EQ).

Personally I'm a fan of the sound from the 60s to 70s if we talk Blues. The recordings are really great to begin with, so I would use a limited tool set, reverb chambers and tape machines. But it's up to you which route you will go.

Another recommendation I can give you for references, is to also listen to John Lee Hooker, Aretha Franklin and Elvis Presley. Especially their material from the 60s. Here you can hear a clear shift from early stereo experimentation attempts (dual mono, see The Beatles) with muted/tame instruments in the background split to either channel (because this is how they mixed back in the day). To more modern mixes where things are spread out more evenly (the rise of affordable "stereo" in the 70s). In both cases, the vocals have a heavy emphasis.

I'm sure that this chance to delve "into the past" for a bit, will be a fun experience. Good luck.

A WORD OF CAUTION: don't let the production with mere 11 tracks fool you as being "easy" to mix because the initial sound is great to begin with.

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.

Special 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 in this production)
  • No rearrangement or pitch shifting of the song structure, with the exception of the following add-on rules
  • PRODUCTION RELATED: make the best out of the provided audio material (EQ, compression, transient tools, etc) before reaching for supplementary drum sample treatment
  • summing bus processing is allowed, as long as the dynamic range (average signal strength to maximum signal strength) doesn't suffer - use of this method is artistically!
  • try to not(!) pre-master the track (please no overuse of mix bus treatment, no loudness adjustments / limiting) - read: NO MASTERING


Source Files:

Main Mix Package - Mirror on the Mix Challenge Homepage (190,84 MB, LZMA compressed, zip)

The provided files were packed as ZIP with LZMA compression.
File size extracted: 270,72 MB, packed 190,84 MB (ZIP, LZMA)
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


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.
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

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/

MuTools is kind enough give away one license of MUX Modular 7 of winner's choice (until End of 2018)
License will turn into NFR
More info on MuTools: http://www.mutools.com/

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/

Nyrv Systems offers AGENT incl. all currently available NyrvDevices and free update to at least v1.5 of winner's choice (until further notice)
License will turn into NFR
More info about Nyrv Systems: http://www.nyrvsystems.com/

Tone2 is kind enough to donate either a bundle consisting of AkustiX Enhancer and WarmVerb, or a license of Ultraspace to the winner (until further notice)
License will turn into NFR
More info on Tone2: https://tone2.com

Two Notes Audio Engineering is kind enough to donate one license of Torpedo Wall of Sound III to the winner, loaded with 57 cabinets (equivalent to "Torpedo WoS II") (donation until Spring of 2018)
License will not turn into NFR
More info on Two Notes: http://www.two-notes.com/en/

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!

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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2018 17:36 CET

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC049 November 2018 - Submissions until 21-11-2018 11:59pm GMT+1/CET


Post by liberator_x »

Hello! Thank you for music guys!

Im parcticapating 1st time and i hope i doing everything right :roll:

Heres my mix:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1e2oJD ... Rh_y2X-aL0

I tried to make it kind of vintagy roomy and soft but not too dark or muddy, or too harsh on transients. With ride snare and hihat doing doing the rhytm, but gently. Drums, bass, guitar busses and vocal track - all went in tapeplug. Not so much corrections on drums: gated (with 100ms hold) kick, some eq and compression on snare, deesser then hf up on overheads. I used multiand on vocal to tame some striking frequencies and level automation to make it more consistent and send to dark "old plate" reverb emulator and to parallel saturation plug. On guitars buss i bumped hishelf. Parralel compression and some roomines :hmmm: to bass-guitar track.

Also loved the song. :tu:

Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:23 CET

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC049 November 2018 - Submissions until 21-11-2018 11:59pm GMT+1/CET


Post by guiZgui »

Hello everyone ! :smile:

I'm new here, I would like to say thank you for making that kind of plateforme ! It's really good to be able to work on some other people music and
have real feedback on it. Or just see how other deal with the same project :)
By the way I'm french so I'm sorry if I'm making some typing mistakes :lol:

So this is my first entry on your Mix Challenge !

My MIX: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1lR9Vf ... M9zeBBwXmy

I wanted to preserve that live sound that we found in most of blues music, not making it to perfect or too in your face. Add some glue to everything and make it sound like a live band as I'm imagining it.

On the technical side now:
I started with the drums, first checking the phase between elements (the 2 kicks, 2 snares, OH with kick and snare), making a quick balance.
Then moving to the bass, then to the guitar (did some panning) and kept the vocal for later.

Second move is to refine the sound of elements so back to the drums:
- kick: add some low end and some presence, a bit of compression too (all with the SSL channel)
- Snare: same process (add some weight around 180hz and some presence by cranking around 6Khz)
- hat: filtering a bit of the rumble
- OH: just filtering and removing some boxiness
- Room: filtering and add some mid range + extend the ambiance with a reverb on it (100% dry + 15% wet)
- Duplicate Room: saturation and hard compression

Moving to the bass: Mostly compression to make it sit better, and EQ (adding low end but removing at the same time in the upper bass + boosting the presence )

The guitars: for me there was more a rythmique guitar and a lead one, I gave more bite to the lead gt with some extra parallel saturation. For both guitars I used some compression and limitation to tame those sharpy transients, but the big move was to create an Aux with a stereorizer plugin and some chambers reverb, to really give a sens of depth to those guitars. Blending this with the original signal (in the context of the mix)

Vocal: first move was compression (fair amount), then some EQ, but some frequencies where still moving a lot so I added some multiband to get more control over it. I used some limitation to prevent from some big peaks. For the effects I used a chamber reverb with a big pre delay, and also a slap delay.

For the sens of glue I've made a "music room verb", so sending elements to that channel to make a relation with everything.
Also on the Mix bus I used a touch of compression and some light EQ .

FInal stage was some automation of the vocal and the bass, changing some eq and some volume and Voilà :)

I hope you'll like it , good luck to everyone !

Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2018 16:35 CEST

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC049 November 2018 - Submissions until 21-11-2018 11:59pm GMT+1/CET


Post by Sandro »

Hello guiZgui,
I really like your Mix!It sounds like live on the Gig.
How did you get this natural and nice sitting Vocal-Sound?
Is automation the cause? How do you do this to even it out with the instruments.
I have my problems with the vocals:
In some parts they sit nice, but in others they´re to loud or to quiet.
I just started mixing 2 month ago and would be very happy, if you can give me a tipp.

cheers - Sandro

Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:23 CET

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC049 November 2018 - Submissions until 21-11-2018 11:59pm GMT+1/CET


Post by guiZgui »

Hey Sandro ! Thank you for your feedback :)
For the vocal sound the problem was the dynamic, it was too important. You need to use compression to keep the vocal sit on the mix (and not too low or too above).
Automations was just for refinement at the end.
As your beggining in mixing you should watch how people mix . You’ll find lot of information on Youtube, but most important is too practice and train your ear !
Good luck :)

Posts: 150
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2017 14:28 CEST

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC049 November 2018 - Submissions until 21-11-2018 11:59pm GMT+1/CET


Post by OctopusOnFire »

Here's my mix, I went for a natural sound with plenty of character and weight. I tried to take the best things of the performance and let them shine naturally.

MP3: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1f12th ... P6G2etSGPB
WAV: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1JLsHw ... OBiniDjZxN

For details and screenshots, check out the following note:

https://www.evernote.com/l/Aaw4-eRT3JRD ... MEZTK47_I/

The Hidden Studio
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2018 01:47 CET

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC049 November 2018 - Submissions until 21-11-2018 11:59pm GMT+1/CET


Post by The Hidden Studio »

Hey all,
This is my first entry. I appreciate the platform and the great track.
The musicianship was top notch and the audio was immaculate. I hope yall enjoy it as much as I did.
The Hidden Studio

My Mix:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/seanp7mq93rx ... z0JGa?dl=0

Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2018 06:26 CET

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC049 November 2018 - Submissions until 21-11-2018 11:59pm GMT+1/CET


Post by Musikality »

Hello! :)
So, I was going for a "polished but old-school" vibe. Delays on the guitars and vocal (and a bit of reverb). I tried to keep the drums further back in the mix instead of the up front and punchy modern type. No drum sample replacement. Mix Buss had eq, console em, and tape em. Most of the individual tracks/ busses had eq and compression. Some (like the drums and the bass) also had some tape saturation.

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

Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2018 16:06 CEST

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC049 November 2018 - Submissions until 21-11-2018 11:59pm GMT+1/CET


Post by thomasberg »


Cool song!!

My approach was to get it "old", but with a more compressed sound, with bottom.

The most interesting thing in my mix would perhaps be the vocal chain:

SLATE VMR with console emulation, SSL for some 8k top and a lot of 118hz bottom (!), 1176 in parallel for the fastest transients, and a Distressor in parallel for the rest. Decapitator for overdrive effect, and L2 for leveling and pushing.

Sends; room reverb, slap delay, and a good amount of my own "dobler-fattener" (30ms and 22ms tape-delay stereo hard right and left).

https://www.dropbox.com/s/oif127i851ugp ... g.mp3?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zgew08iqbfsq1 ... g.wav?dl=0

Good luck to all!


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