Mix Challenge - Gossip and Discussion

How to do this, that and the other. Share, learn, teach. How did X do that? How can I sound like Y?
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KVRAF
2038 posts since 22 Aug, 2006 from Earth

Post Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:32 pm

Uncle E wrote:That's an unfortunate development. Does anyone know how to tally the votes without the author of the thread present?
I think the result is pretty clear. This is what I see in the voting thread:

7 - mwaudioprod
6 - compyfox
5 - shroom feverish
4 - photonic, halma, do_androids_dream (opted out)
2 - Doc Jon, No Use, Wooden Cube,
1 - camsr, MaxSynths, Uncle E, Arglebargle, Davias
0 - kbaccki, Headphone, 3ee, Yeager

Until unless there is an objection, we should go with this list.
satYatunes - Sound and Graphic Designer
Premium / free skins and soundsets
Melda plugins, Hive, DUNE 2, DUNE 3, Patchwork and many more...

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

12412 posts since 22 Nov, 2000 from Southern California

Post Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:55 pm

Very cool! 41 votes have been cast so far! Voting ends in about 2 hours and people can still get votes in until then, correct?

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KVRAF
2038 posts since 22 Aug, 2006 from Earth

Post Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:14 pm

Correct.
It shows the time remaining at the top, which is cool. I am assuming that it will not accept any vote once it's up. I have no experience with these polls though. Just to be safe, you should reply to the thread mentioning voting time is over. I will do so if I am not on road driving back home around then. Looks like there is a tie for 3rd place as of now.
satYatunes - Sound and Graphic Designer
Premium / free skins and soundsets
Melda plugins, Hive, DUNE 2, DUNE 3, Patchwork and many more...

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KVRAF
2038 posts since 22 Aug, 2006 from Earth

Post Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:39 pm

Following participants yet to vote:
Wooden Cube
Headphone
3ee
Arglebargle
Shroom Feverish
satYatunes - Sound and Graphic Designer
Premium / free skins and soundsets
Melda plugins, Hive, DUNE 2, DUNE 3, Patchwork and many more...

KVRAF
14481 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Post Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:45 pm

satYatunes wrote:Compyfox is suspended. Any idea what happened?
Uncle E wrote:That's an unfortunate development. Does anyone know how to tally the votes without the author of the thread present?

Summed up, I got kicked off the board by an overzealous modearator, insisting that I said that I "have stuff to do", if the stuff that I actually did was(!) KVR bound and related to the MC. You can't even imagine how f*cking pissed off I am right now - as I couldn't work on other stuff either since it wasn't prepared, or not time to actually work on it yet (schedules and appointments exist for a reason).

Due to this BS action, I lost a day and a half, since I'm definitely NOT putting an all nighter this time around. So if things are delayed for round two - thank the person that temp suspended me.


In the meantime, I try to catch up on things. Sorry for the trouble, folks.

satYatunes wrote:Just to be safe, you should reply to the thread mentioning voting time is over. I will do so if I am not on road driving back home around then. Looks like there is a tie for 3rd place as of now.
The timer for me shows 12:32am. Though I don't know if this is UTC, or PST. Dammit this board confuses me. I actually said that I will close the voting by midnight to the 1st of July. We have it 0:40am currently, so I leave this one running for another hour. If it then doesn't turn off by itself - I stop it manually.

Then I ask Eric to cast his final vote.


Whoever of the remaining mix participants did NOT vote up until this point, agree to not win any stuff if they are on the winner's podium (we have several prices, we can in theory offer up to 5 giveaways - one per company donating!). Time frames were known from thread post No 1.

Eric is the headmaster, I leave further decisions in terms of winning stuff up to him.
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KVRAF
2974 posts since 18 Oct, 2004

Post Mon Jun 30, 2014 4:14 pm

didn't have time to vote, I just moved to a new place, suffice to say I don't even have my computer set up. :hihi:

KVRAF
14481 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Post Mon Jun 30, 2014 4:25 pm

Okay - short and simple:
MC01 WILL NOT start within the next 5 hours, maybe not even during the course of the 1st July in UTC+1/GMT+1 time.


I need to catch up on some sleep first. And maybe a couple of PMs.
If any of you thew me one within the last 24 hours and it didn't get through - try it again. Thanks.

[/log off]
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KVRAF
14481 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Post Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:11 pm

And we are live with the MC02!
Thanks for satYatunes to offer his track for the current mix challenge.


Please take note of the new, enhanced and hopefully improved Rules and Guidelines thread:
http://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic ... 2&t=415154

Yes, it is longer - but it should make things more clear.



Then a word on the provided source material:
You will find a sub-folder called "GUIDE" in there. This sub folder contains three stereo WAV tracks that are basically the AUX Returns (send FX) that Satya used for his track. My recommendation is to basically orient yourself on these FX, but do not use these tracks. Use your own FX, go a bit wild, but keep within the known limits.


What?! 32bit floating point WAV files? Isn't that a bit overkill?
The tracks were originally in 32bit float point precision. This is how Reaper (the host used for this production) was set up. A couple of tracks exceeded the 0dBFS limit (which is no issue with 32bit float), so I pulled them down in volume (maximal signal strength) to -2dBFS. This made bit truncation (or bitrate downsampling) way more easy and definitely less destructive.

I went for a simple "downsampling" method rather than using a Dithering tool for two main reason:
a) it was faster to pull off and
b) the sounds are fairly loud to begin with and the downside of bitrate downsampling/truncation is basically reducing the bitrate resolution, which can result in absolute worst cases in distortion noise.

As part of this Mix Challenge, we will however add more FX to the source material, so to untrained ears, it might not even be an issue and those that are low on ISP bandwidth can access these files simpler.


But we do have a problem with software players and web based players:

We (or better said I) know if SoundCloud can handle 32bit WAV files. I do know for a fact however that not every player can support MP3s at 32bit float. In this case, the playback of 32bit MP3s usually results in noise bursts. FLAC sure can't be encoded with 32bit float or integer either.

So as of this moment, we have three options:
1) If you happen to use the 32bit version, you can render at 24bit and therefore "bit truncate". But this introduces distortion, which is really only an issue on low volume signals
2) Render with a dithering tool on the master out (best case scenario on lower bitrates)
3) provide the file "as is" (48/32float)



Wait, so I do need a dithering tool if I worked at 32bit and want to upload an MP3?
In theory yes. In practical terms, not necessarily if you can live with certain setbacks. Or you have the right CODEC and your player supports these formats. As mentioned before, if you render out in 24bit or even 16bit without a dithering tool, you do heavy bit truncation. And this can result in a heavily distorted sound on low noised signals (especially in 16bit). Most of the time, 24bit is at the acceptance limit, but audiophiles will call you out.

I just checked the 32bit raw tracks with a Bitrate Analyzer to see what's going on. Certain sounds of the currently provided multitrack bundle hover between 4bit to 32bit (so basically 28bit), the full mix results in a readout of 32bit, bass intensive content ranges from 1bit to 26bit, sometimes 28bit. In theory you should be fine. With emphasis on the words "in theory".

In practical terms (if this would be a real live scenario), you do render out at 24bit or higher if you happened to work in 24bit and feel the need to render at "higher bitrates", but if the source files were 32bit to begin with, you can (and should) pretty much stay there and not dither anything. Dithering upon dithering (first after mixing, then on mastering) only introduces more noise.

An info in Dithering and Bit Truncation/Down-sampling can be found here:
http://www.darkroommastering.com/blog/d ... -explained
http://www.rane.com/par-d.html#data_converter_bits



But can I still encode 32bit MP3 files?
As of this moment, yes this is possible. Again, if you have the right CODEC. Currently this should be possible with the widespread "LAME Project" Encoder, but also with the Fraunhofer ProCodec (though not the Consumer version, this can only render in 16bit!). Though depending on your playback device, your results may vary.

For example - I just pulled a couple of tests with 48/32float files and LameXP (a free windows based multi encoder) from 2013, which happens to bundle the LAME codec v3.96+ as well. But not all hosts and playback devices recognize these files flawlessly. Steinberg Wavelab 8 for example didn't show these files as 32bit but created a temp WAV file with 16bit. This is how Wavelab works. Steinberg Cubase on the other hand listed the files as 32bit through the file import window. AIMP played them back without problems but didn't show any information on the original bit depth, the same with Media Player Classic. I am not too sure on hardware players (here, Noise Bursts are the ordinary), Android Devices, or even SoundCloud.

The MC team will do some tests with the SoundCloud account we will have at our disposal. You can still provide your WAV file how you feel like: 24bit dithered or 32bit float. Same with MP3. We will sort things out on the go.

I mean... this is part of the game - we're all learning and can benefit from our findings.



Mister Fox, you invest a lot of time for this - what would you recommend?
Personally, if I create so called "HD Audio" releases, I dither down to 24bit after I'm done with the final touches (Mastering). This way I can use FLAC or HD AAC (once I get Wavelab 8.5, which has the Fraunhofer ProCodec built in). Files up to 96/24 are known to work in most modern hardware players. Actually, 24bit is also the upper limit on Blu-Ray's in terms of audio streams.

If I don't create HD Audio releases, I still render in 32bit - even if I worked in 24bit. For demo renderings, I use 24bit however, since I'm lazy.

But this particular topic is not the main focus of this challenge - it's just added bonus information.
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KVRAF
14481 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Post Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:02 pm

UPDATES:
- the "rules thread" got an update in terms of the Sponsors List (thanks for the visuals by satYatunes)
- the "rules thread" got an update regarding song provider and winner honoring
- on that behalf, the "rules thread" got updated in terms of links in the first post
- the MC02 Submission thread got updated with sponsor visuals as well (again, thanks for the visuals by satYatunes)
- the MC01 Submission thread was renamed to "Submission Feedback and Q&A", please contribute!
- the MC01 winner prices have been distributed (again, thanks to satYatunes), the voting and winning process is therefore fully cleared


We also have our first MC02 entry.
As of this moment, you have 10 days left to mix and send in your track. The dealine is the 18th July, Midnight to the 19th (GMT+1).
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KVRAF
14481 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Post Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:43 pm

ALL DROPBOX USERS OF MC02 ARE HEREBY ADVISED TO CHECK THEIR LINKS.

If we can't download your tracks, you're instantly disqualified. No exceptions. Users had severe issues with Dropbox with MC01 - I think we will ban it for MC03 if the issues continue. And apparently, I can't download ANY track submitted within the last 48 hours (to check and prepare for a SoundCloud folder)

Users in question:
- wesleyt
- shroom feverish
- Yeager
- H-man


ERROR MESSAGE
Error
Something went wrong. Don't worry, your files are still safe and the Dropboxers have been notified. Check out our Help Center and forums for help, or head back to home.

I just checked the thread all around - NO DROPBOX link is working.

I have backups up until user No_Use on page 2.
Please get that sorted!
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KVRian
1170 posts since 28 Jun, 2005

Post Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:59 pm

Sorry Compy, but when I rightclick and save as, all the files are downloadable, maybe the problem is on your side ?

KVRAF
14481 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Post Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:41 pm

I assume an overload of Dropbox.

I got all files now.
12 MP3s, and 11WAV files (Uncle E did not provide a WAV)


Also took a listen already - some users did NOT adhere to the recommendations in terms of loudness according to the rule book. I will maybe use the WAV files and loudness normalize them prior to uploading the content as bundle and making it available on SoundCloud. Though I will speak to both Satya and Eric about this first.

This is the reason why we ask for WAV files - for in-depth analysis. Like last time, i will create a list who sticked to the rules and who didn't.



@No_Use:
Any recommendation in terms of providing a bundle to download for host A/B?
Currently I have a pack of about 480MB of RAW WAV files on my HDD, which will be around 300MB packed as bundle.
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KVRist
444 posts since 7 Mar, 2011 from Pleasanton, CA

Post Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:37 pm

Compy, maybe you should disqualify me. I rushed to submit and I realize I broke a number of the rules beyond tagging.

It seems this competition isn't for me.

I apologize for wasting your time.
Seasoned IT vet, Mac user, and lover of music. Always learning.

KVRAF
14481 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Post Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:11 pm

I won't disqualify anyone, as I'm not the headmaster. And currently with 12 entrants, we can also distribute 3 licenses to the top winners. See it as learning curve - which this challenge is all about.



Regarding Loudness Normalisation:
Eric just contacted me... I guess this is a "go" and I'll see how well Wavelab performs on that - else i have to do it manually (which might cost me a day extra). This way we don't have massive loudness jumps on playback and can focus more on the sound.
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KVRian
679 posts since 26 Dec, 2007 from Australia

Post Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:21 pm

Compyfox wrote:See it as learning curve - which this challenge is all about.
Yep, that's where I'm coming from :wink: I've just checked my Wav against some of the others and I'm way too loud so apologies for that ....won't happen next time.

Now, off to complete my track notes.

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