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MIX CHALLENGE - MC098 June 2024 - Mix Round 1 in evaluation

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Mister Fox
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MIX CHALLENGE - MC098 June 2024 - Mix Round 1 in evaluation

#1

Post by Mister Fox »

Hello and welcome to the Mix Challenge 098 - June 2024

 ! Bonus Info
This month, you have the chance to work on an "Acoustic Folk" production by singer-songwriter duo @Arnwyn, who kindly provided these multi-tracks. The song is called "Robot Baby".

This production is characterized by several trials and turbulences. Not only is the source material in 44/16 (44kHz 16bit) and the final mix has to be distributed in 44/24, you also have to pay attention to the noise floor. You need to find an appropriate balance between music and vocals as well, especially as depending on the approach to the mix (volume of instrument groups, use of effects, etc.) you can drastically change the overall feel of the song.

Are you up for this challenge?

Then please take special note of the attached TXT files in the Mix Pack. And please read about the details and special requirements for handling this mix further down below.



:information_source: BEFORE WE GET STARTED:
  • Please consult the official "Rules and Guidelines" (TL;DR version) 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)
  • The focus of this game is "mixing". Try to create a mix in your own style that complements this production and can stand on it's own, no matter the playback medium. Edit/Mix in such a way, that barely any after-touches other than proper fade in/out and finalizing for distribution (incl. loudness adjustments e.g. for release on Streaming, Vinyl, Tape, CD) is needed for a possible follow-up mastering step.
  • The "Mix Pack" and additional information for this months production can be found in in post #002
  • Please consult the bundled TXTs for more info -- a sub-300 words TL;DR Rule Set is also part of the "Mix Pack"
:arrow_right: Filename Template: MC098__Arnwyn__Robot_Baby__ForumUsername.wav

Failing to adhere to the rules will result in disqualification. There will be no additional reminders given.
If you got any question, please also reach out on Discord



.
:arrow_right: MIX(ING) CHALLENGE THREAD INDEX

Post #001 -- Introduction post and index for the various stages of the Songwriting Competition. Will be updated as we progress
Post #002 -- Submission Period: General Information, Source Material, License Sponsors
Post #003 -- One Time Reminder -- general task, filename template, distribution format, off-site license distribution agreement
Post #128 -- Mix Round 1 Statistics/Data Sheet: Overview of Submissions - is your entry within given parameters?
Post #000 -- Mix Round 2: Global Feedback and Round 2 Participant Announcement
Post #000 -- Mix Round 3: <optional>/<not happening this game>
Post #000 -- Results: Winner announcement
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Mister Fox
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MIX CHALLENGE - MC098 June 2024 - Submissions until 21-JUN-2024 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#2

Post by Mister Fox »

CURRENT CHALLENGE - GENERAL INFORMATION

Time Frame: Saturday, 01st June 2024 to Friday, 21st June 2024 (21 days)

Challenge submission will end on 21-JUN-2024, 23:59 UTC+2/CEST (Germany) - until further notice.

Want to find out if you're still within the deadline, please either consult the Global Countdown (dedicated page), or the countdown on the landing site. There will also be short reminders on Social Media and on Discord.



Song Provider: Arnwyn (represented by @Arnwyn )
Song Name and Length: Robot Baby, 3:23 min
Song Information: 98 BPM / Signature: 6/8
File Format: WAV, 44kHz, 16bit (source)

GENRE: Acoustic Folk


:arrow_right: Preview of the Song (Demo Mix):

phpBB [media]


Image


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


:arrow_right: SOURCE FILES:

Main Mix Package - full package (135,36 MB, LZMA compressed, zip)
IMPORTANT NOTE: download window might show a smaller file size, file unavailable after 21-JUN-2024


The provided files were packed as ZIP with LZMA compression (specs from 2015).
File size extracted: 583,18 MB, packed 135,36 MB (ZIP, LZMA)


In order to extract the files, we can recommend these programs / apps:
► Show Spoiler

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


A word from the song provider:
Arnwyn wrote:This song is about the humanness of motherhood and a possible future where babies are conceived and grown artificially, outside of a human womb, under license and with prior governmental permission.

It was written after a discussion about the effects of COVID mask wearing on child development.

It's a sad song, almost grieving. It's also a slightly angry song. We want the sadness and the "emptiness" or "hollowness" of a disconnected mother and robot baby to come through in the mix. We work hard on dynamics in our music when we play live and this was something lacking in our own mix. The dynamics were not as apparent as we would have liked, especially in the quieter sections.

The vocals are deliberately monotone in places to give a slightly robotic feel to the words (lines such as "permission to birth", "the motherless life", "sleeping feeling confused"). Feel free to use effects, panning or any other sound treatment you may consider appropriate to further enhance this robot/non-human/ artificial type idea. Feel free to be creative with effects for any of the tracks.

Sometimes the lead vocals can have a harsh edge and we can hear a slight whistle on vowels like "e". When we're mixing our vocals, we often find extraneous harmonics and weird overtones that we have to EQ out.

We've recently had an issue with some old recordings from 2005 that sounded AWFUL when they were played on our local radio station. We listened via the digital online radio player and the audio sounded heavily (and badly) compressed. There was a lot of very loud hiss in the quiet parts of the song and it sounded like it was overloading for the rest of it. We're not sure why our old recordings sound so bad on the radio but are very keen to avoid this problem!

The mix must translate well to all playback media. Radio play is especially important to us.

Our influences include Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Rufus Wainright, Billy Joel, Steely Dan, Albert Lee, Dixie Chicks, Beth Neilson Chapman, Shawn Colvin, CSN, The Eagles, The King's Singers, The Beatles, Beach Boys, anything with good vocals and harmonies.


Rule Summary:

More technical details are in the Mix Pack bundled TXTs. In there you can find the lyrics of the song (incl. a translation to English), more information about the individual files, possible changes to the time signature, and maybe even additional tips and tricks relevant to this production (by the Mix Challenge staff). Additionally a TL;DR Rule Set and, depending on the song provider's approval, an available "Off-site redistribution agreement" for a possible portfolio presentation.

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). Please pay attention to detail. Failing to adhere to the rules will result in disqualification. There will be no additional reminders given.


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


:arrow_right: LICENSE SPONSORS (Bonus Prizes):

A huge thank you goes to our very generous License Sponsors for this month's game. Those being (in alphabetical order):
Acon Digital, Audified, Hornet Plugins, IK Multimedia, Kilohearts, Metric Halo, NUGEN Audio and Tone2


A detailed list of offerings can be found in the following information block.
► Show Spoiler
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Good luck to all participants.
And most importantly, have fun!
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MIX CHALLENGE - MC098 June 2024 - Submissions until 21-JUN-2024 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#3

Post by Mister Fox »

Since this is a recurring topic each month - I am introducing a new "One Time Reminder" post.

This is the absolute base-line you need to cover prior to joining the Mix(ing) Challenge. Failing to adhere to the rules will result in disqualification. There will be no additional reminders given.

 ⚠ Moderation Message from Mister Fox  
:arrow_right: Prior to joining this Mix(ing) Challenge
  • You must consult and adhere to the official Rules and Guidelines (long version). Bar minimum, please consult the TL;DR Rules version (also available as "TL;DR Rules.txt" with each Mix Pack)
  • Please pay attention to details such as sampling rate, bit rate, maximum signal strength, file name template and documentation. Check this before you upload your entry.
  • Your entry must be accessible and easy to download by the time the deadline has been reached (21th of the month, 23:59 UTC+2/CEST). Cross check with a different device and/or browser.
  • No re-uploads - your submission is final.


:arrow_right: Important Stats to check prior to uploading

Filename Template: MC098__Arnwyn__Robot_Baby__ForumUsername.wav

Song Length: 3:23 min

File Format: WAV, 44kHz, 24bit (export)
Loudness (min/max): anything between -24,0 LUFS to -16,0 LUFS ILk, -1,00 dBTP max



:arrow_right: Off-site redistribution agreement

Our Song Provider for this month, @Arnwyn, does not allow the usage of this song as part of a personal mix portfolio without prior communication. To request an authorization, please reach out to this month's "client" directly (in private!).



:arrow_right: Mix Round 1 evaluation process

Our Song Provider for this month, @Arnwyn, decided to go the "(Feedback for) Top 15" route.
There might be additional feedback, but this is not a guarantee.

EDIT: Initial Post on 31-MAY-2024 22:25
EDIT: Updated "Stats to check prior to uploading" on 02-JUN-2024 15:40
cpsmusic
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC098 June 2024 - Submissions until 21-JUN-2024 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#4

Post by cpsmusic »

Hi,

Just having a listen to the source files - have the vocals been processed in any way?

Cheers!
elements
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC098 June 2024 - Submissions until 21-JUN-2024 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#5

Post by elements »

Hi everyone,

Nice song….question: what is the official length of this song? Up above in the song length and name it is given as 4:11, but the demo shows 3:26 which is closer to what I see in the DAW. Knowing how every little bit counts in this comp can we have an official call on how long this song is supposed to be please?

Thanks heaps.
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MIX CHALLENGE - MC098 June 2024 - Submissions until 21-JUN-2024 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#6

Post by Mister Fox »

elements wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2024 07:30 CEST
question: what is the official length of this song?
Thank you for bringing this up. This was a thread editing mistake on my part - I just fixed this, and also updated post #003.

In fact, the Mix Pack bundled TXT (General Info) lists 3:17min as runtime. Considering no "fade out" with the last bass note, and no safety net of silence in front/back for further editing, the song is actually 3:23min long.


:arrow_right: One final/bonus hint for the acoustic guitars:
► Show Spoiler
MilkMonster
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC098 June 2024 - Submissions until 21-JUN-2024 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#7

Post by MilkMonster »

Hi,

well this is my first time joining MC. greetings everybody in the comunity
here's my submission for the competition
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hbbyci ... sp=sharing

I Mix OTB. using 2-bus lt 16ch and Stam SA4000 on the mixbus very gentle 1.5 ratio

after I got the balance of the songs, I started cutting out freq and making space for each instrument and vocal to sit in the mix
for the lead vocal I use outboard rupert neve 551 to cut 1.5khz and roll the shelf on 8khz slighty, as the vocal high sounds abit too much in my opinion. after that going into Retro double wide compressor in single mode to make the vocal more consistent throughout the mix
I use seventh heaven reverb for the vocals and other insturment

My aim with this mix is clean with great separation, punch and clear out harsh freq so that the song enjoyable to listen
hope you enjoy
Ronson79
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC098 June 2024 - Submissions until 21-JUN-2024 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#8

Post by Ronson79 »

Here´s my mix. In the text file it says deliver 24Bit but if I remember correctly it also always says "deliver in the source format provided"
which is 16Bit in this case. Therefore I rendered 16Bit. If that's somehow wrong please chime in and I will deliver 24Bit.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Yp6RlM ... sp=sharing (new link with original edit)

Drums:
Saturation, eq and limiting to catch peaks ("tcp") on individual tracks to cut out unnecessary frequencies ("un") and control the dynamics, transient shaping

Bass:
kick ducking, eq cutting "un", saturation with Spectre, limiting "tcp"

Guitars:
hard panned, eq cutting "un", spread, limiting "tcp", light parallel compression, mono verb, Soothe for ducking when the vocals appear

Piano:
eq cutting "un", broad eq and harmonics + spread, MS eq for further shaping, verb, compression, automatic eq, Soothe for ducking when the vocals appear

Vocals:
several stages of eq and compression for tone and dynamic control, limiting, little bit of spread, verb, Pro-DS, transient shaping
BGVs: little bit of doubler, verb and micro shift to take off some directness in comparison to the lead vox
Last edited by Ronson79 on Tue Jun 04, 2024 18:16 CEST, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC098 June 2024 - Submissions until 21-JUN-2024 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#9

Post by JeroenZuiderwijk »

Ronson79 wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2024 21:31 CEST
Here´s my mix. In the text file it says deliver 24Bit but if I remember correctly it also always says "deliver in the source format provided"
which is 16Bit in this case. Therefore I rendered 16Bit. If that's somehow wrong please chime in and I will deliver 24Bit.
You can find it in post #1 (bonus info)' and post #3 (one time reminder) of Mr Fox. Final mix 44/24.

Cheers,
Jeroen
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC098 June 2024 - Submissions until 21-JUN-2024 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#10

Post by alanvaldez »

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jEhc0x ... sp=sharing

:phones:

Hi! For this mix I used the VoostEQ Model N Channel on every track I just purchased and put it to the test.

Software used:

Nuendo 13
Used Revoice Pro 5 to align vocals and create a doubling (stereo) fx on the main vocal
Melodyne, used like a Deeser
Rx 11 sometimes to fix small details.

Drums: all channels have the Model N, all channels are routed to a master and on the drum master has Invigorate by Newfangled Audio 18% on the mix just to give some life to it, then Front DAW by Sound Device Digital to ad some saturation with a small cut in the low frequencies, and then FireCobra by FireSonic to make better transients + wider.

Toms, Snare are routed to a reverb track, on that channel has the MTurboReverb by Melda Production Im using the Lithium Plate because was the one that sounded better for the case.

Bass: Difix by Soundevice Digital, this plugin makes the direct signal sound like if it was recorded on a better DI box. Then model N using the compressor eq and saturation inside that plugin, plus FrontDAW to give some extra flavour and at the end FirePresser to extra compress (just a little)

Piano: Model N, MWaveshaperMB to ad some saturation using the MFlator model then Smart EQ4 from Sonible to adjust some small things and FrontDAW to make some low cut and extra saturation.

AC Guitar: used MAutoAlign on both guitar tracks to fix some issues from the tracking, model N and the Softube Widener both were routed to a master track and used SmartEQ4 then Kiive Tape MsaturatorMB (this one to enhance high frecuencies) and then Nuendo Roomworks SE.

Vocals: Model N, Weiss Deess FrontDAW
Lvox2 has MTurboDelay and I created a stereo doubler using Revoice Pro 5 on that track used MCenter to make it wider and MorphVerb by Muramasa it's a reverb but has this preset that has some delay and sounds cool just a little bit.
There is an alien voice that was made using Izotope´s VocalSynth 2, routed with a midi track and took the chords by drag and drop an audio file to the chord track on Nuendo.
and used Melodyne Studio to eliminate some Ess from that track.

All tracks from the choir were routed to a master track and has the Model N then Invigorate a small percentage then Hornet H22A to extra compress then Weiss Deess and then MCenter to create a wider image, this routed to a reverb delay using the Newfangled Audio Recirculate.

on the output track used the Softube Bus Processor then FireCobra and Nuendo´s Brickwall limiter just to protect the signal to not pass certain levels.
Metal Musician Certified by Steinberg with a degree in Classical guitar, I love to use Cubase / Nuendo and make noise.
:phones:
http://equipboard.com/alan_valdez
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