CURRENT CHALLENGE - GENERAL INFORMATION
CHALLENGE TYPE: Multi-Track Mix Competition
Special Add-On Rule: No special rules for this competition
Song Provider: Nine of Kings
Song Name and Length: "Doubtfully Optimistic", 2:32min
Preview of the Song: http://kiwi6.com/file/9melpkx4q1
The source files: https://app.box.com/s/uzgviu2v4t7ds2xvwi5g (44kHz Stereo, 85MB ZIP)
Please take note of the rules below, tag your tracks accordingly and upload at least a 320kbit MP3 to any location you like, and link it in here. Though ideally, please provide both a MP3 file (for low ISP bandwidth users) and a WAV file for further analysis.
Maximum signal levels (until further notice):
-15dBFS (RMS) / +3 VU average at -18dBFS reference; and -3dBFS digital peak max
No mastering please - this is a mix challenge
The competition time frame:
Sunday, 08th June 2014 - 3pm GMT+1 (or 15:00 o'clock) to Sunday, 22nd June 2014 - Midnight to 23rd June (GMT+1)
Please take note of the 24 hour submission restriction rule: first track on 09th June 2014 - 3pm/15:00 o'clock (GMT+1) soonest
Confused with the times, use this tool and select "Berlin (Germany)" as Location 2:
between 23rd and 25th June and will last until 30th June - let's speed up things a bit so that we can maybe pull off one competition each month. Or let's discuss in the Gossip thread how we handle the time limits.
The headmaster of this competition will be:
- Uncle E (Eric Dahlberg of JRR Shop)
General technical questions (through the Gossip thread):
OFFICIAL RULES (unless mentioned different above):
This is a Mixing or Mastering Challenge, depending on the provided source material. A Mix Challenge would be, if the source material are individual tracks, or more than 6 stereo STEM's (in this case, it's a "limitied mix challenge" and gears towards a mastering challenge). A Mastering challenge would be, if the source material are STEMs (i.e. 4 stereo STEM's) or just a stereo mixdown.
Since the focus is on mixing mostly, please provide as many individual tracks as possible. Please also take note of the loudness limits for this contest further down below.
SONG PROVIDER RULES:
- a song provider can be anyone. It must not need to be the winner of a former competition. If you're no songwriter, you can't provide musical content. No pressure.
- Song provider must not(!) be a member of the GEMA, RIAA or other music replay tax collection service - in this case, license fees are involved, and an offering of source material not possible!
- Song provider must agree (consent), that the provided content is used for this particular competition only(!) and that the participants can make their mixdowns public for this particular competition. If the song provider is a member of a music replay tax collection service, this would cause a lot(!) of issues for the mix participants
- Songs are not allowed to be released through a sale of some sort by the contestants. The rights remain with the creator. If there might turn out a collaboration between the Songwriter and Engineer after the competition, even better. Maybe even inform the community about that deal.
- Songs need a special permission to be released as part of a portfolio of the contestants! These songs are only allowed to be released as part of this competition! (see former point)
- Songs must not(!) be foreign content. Meaning, as song provider you must have(!) the permission to share this song for this competition.
- Songs needs to either be provided in stereo (Mastering Challenge), as STEM's (Mastering and/or limited Mixdown Challenge) or ideally as individual channels (Mix Challenge). Ideally it's a rota of a full mix (individual channels) at even challenge numbers (i.e. Challenge 02, 04, 06, etc) and a stereo mixdown (mastering) at odd challenge numbers (i.e. Challenge 01, 03, 05, etc) - though there is no definite rule for that
- source material should ideally be provided in RAW format (uncompressed WAV or compressed FLAC). MP3 at 320kbit is an option, if the upload bandwidth of the song provider is really low
- the song provider has no(!) influence how the song will turn out. He/she agrees to full artistic freedom by the participants of the competition
- the song provider is not(!) allowed to join the mix competition for this particular round - he/she provided this material due to the fact that he/she is obviously interested in an alternate mix. A participation would null that.
SIDENOTE - COMPETITION BACKUPS:
- Chances are that there will be backups made of both the source material and the contest entries to review that material at a later state. This can be revoked by the song provider if there is a regular/commercial release imminent and the song creator clearly states "do not share this anymore".
MIX COMPETITION RULES:
- Depending on the availability of the provided material, the competition usually starts at the first of each month at the time it was posted at KVR. At latest, at the first of each odd numbered month (January, March, May, July, September, November). It will generally last for 2 weeks (usually end's 14th of the month, at midnight to the 15th, GMT+1 - Germany - unless stated differently)
- The contestants have artistic freedom in terms of mixing (no limits on filter/compressor/and time based effects), but are however limited to the source material provided. Contestants are not allowed to add new additional audio material (i.e. replay of a guitar part, complete drum replacement to ultimately change the tone). It is however allowed to edit and to a certain extend even mangle the source material to improve the production (think: pitch correction, reamped bass if there was a DI track at present, added saturation, different filter approach, etc).
- Additional to the former list point, the provided arrangement shall remain the same (take note of a provided audio demo). This is not a remix competition, but a mix competition! Please treat the provided material "as is" for mix purposes only. Unless stated otherwise as a bonus rule.
- Participants are NOT allowed to send in mixes within the first 24 hours of this competition! Reason behind it: a real life scenario for a very skilled mix engineer would mean a turnaround from 2-4 hours (mastering), to 6-9 hours (24-32 track mix, plus extra time for preparation) to even several days (48+ channels), plus uploading the content and getting in touch with the client. Take your time with the mix (though not too much), show what you're capable off. This is not a race. I recommend take another listen at the next day again with relaxed ears to check if you're really happy with your creation or not. A reupload with changes is NOT allowed for this competition. Unless we talk about a real life scenario where the client is not happy with the mix - but we're not covered by any contracts here. The first entry is final!
- if you want to monitor and note down your used work time, use a tool like HOFA's 4U Project Time
- Participants MUST at least give a small insight of what they did with the provided material. Highlights of what you did, what your main focus was while mixing, or specific tools you used would suffice. The winner is asked to reveal a tad more detail (in whatever form is preferred: text, screenshots, screencast). The concept is not to unveil your secrets, or what exact tools you used. But without a certain documentation, people can only guess what was done to the source material. The more documentation, the more people can learn from.
- the contest thread is only for posting an entry (wherever you uploaded it to) and post some documentation. Voting and Gossip will be outsourced
- SPECIAL RULES MAY APPLY AT A LATER STATE, these will be highlighted separately
MIX RULES - ADDENUM (Loudness):
Loudness of the material shall not(!) exceed the following values:
Multi-track mixdown competition -3dBFS digital peak and -15dBFS RMS/+3 VU (reference level at -18dBFS), no mastering plugins used!
Mastering competition: K-14v2 (i.e. ToneBoosters EBU Loudness Preset, Demo works without harsh restrictions) or K-12v1 at K-12 Amber Zone +0dB as absolute max!
This is to ensure a consistent loudness for easier equal comparison. Loud and compact mixes are possible at these values! The old engineers did it, we can do it at this day and age as well. If you're confused of the values or metering tools, take note of user Compyfox's KVRmarks!
- you can upload wherever you feel like. Just make the songs available to download without the need of any special login (SoundCloud for example) or download tools
- the entries must be branded in this format: "Name of the Artist - Name of the Song - KVR MC<nr> - contest participant"
- at bar minimum for review purposes, and for those that are on limited bandwidth, the submitted track needs to be in MP3 (320kbit, 48/24 maximum)
- ideally, the final format (stereo mix) shall be WAV at either sampling rate or bitrate (please be reasonable if the if the source material was 44kHz). Unless source material was 96kHz, then please downsampled to 48kHz. At bar minimum: 44/16 or 44/24, ideal maximum: 48/24
- if WAV isn't possible due to upload bandwidth or limited webspace, then providing a FLAC file is suitable. Though at least a MP3 at 320kbit (see above). HD-AAC is an option, but not widespread enough yet (even though built into NERO Burning Suite's WAV editor, Fraunhofer ProCodec Consumer and Pro Edition, Wavelab 8.5, etc). No OGG's or other rare formats please
JUDGING / VOTING RULES:
- post competition (15th of the competition month and ongoing), all songs will be collected at one space for you to listen to and cast a vote
- the voting is currently handled through KVR's vote system (unless stated differently, or the board limit of 15 participants is exceeded), starts ideally on the 16th of the month latest, and lasts for 2 weeks (until end of the month: i.e. February: 28th, i.e. September: 30th)
- the winner of the competition will be decided by popular votes - there might be second and third places, or even runner ups. More definite rules will be defined over the course of further Mix Challenges
- every member on KVR, with the exception of the song provider and the contest headmaster (see reason below), is entitled to vote, there is no limitation to be a participant or not. This is to actually gain more interest in this competition.
- if you have less than 20 posts on KVR, you're not entitled to vote - this is to prevent abuse from off-KVR promotions through Twitter and Co like "please vote for my track here <url>"
- if you're a contest participant, you shall not(!) vote for your own creation. We know you're proud of your work, but let the mass decide please
- you can cast THREE (3) votes. The song with the most votes in the end, wins. If it's a tie, both the song provider (if he/she is a member on KVR) and the contest headmaster are asked to vote for a definite decision
- in rare cases of another tie, all "tied" participants win
- if there are less than 4 entries in the competition, the number of votes will be adjusted
- voting is mandatory to all participants in order to win something (read: you have to, full commitment!) - if the voting is through the KVR voting system rather than a free voting system, please post in the voting thread with "I voted" so that we know that you participated.
- please use your THREE votes, to make the game more interesting. There will be no(!) fish option.
- voters do not need to comment why they voted for a particular entry - this also ensures that other listeners won't be influenced - but they need to at least comment with "I voted" to be able to win something (see rule above)
- the winners of the competition can choose from the available content by the sponsors. First come, first serve.
- Since we have several sponsors for this Challenge, the first winner has the first pick, the second winner can choose from what is left available in the pool, etc.
- If you're not interested in any of the tools, or you only want to join due to the sheer fun of it, you are entitled to say "no" or even give that material away. You are not forced to take it.
- should there be contestants that are joining regularly and winning several times, we need to pull a limitation on that (this will be decided as soon as it's happening).
- the winner can provide the next song to mix, if he/she is a songwriter and wants to provide a new trac. Else something out of the queue will be used (if there is enough in the queue)
- the winner should ideally stay to answer questions regarding the mix
JRR Shop will give away either one of the following plugins to whomever gets the most votes:
SONiVOX Wobble, Pulse, Vocalizer, or Twist (until further notice)
More info about the plugins on SONiVOX: http://www.sonivoxmi.com
More info about the sponsor: http://www.jrrshop.com/
Camel Audio is kind enough to donate either Camel Space or CamelPhat to the winner (until further notice)
License will turn into NFR
More info on Camel Audio: http://www.camelaudio.com
Tone2 is kind enough to donate a bundle consisting of AkustiX Enhancer and WarmVerb to the winner (until further notice)
License will turn into NFR
More info on Tone2: https://tone2.com
KVR user Karten (CEO of Ghostwave Audio) is kind enough to donate MixRight (a Reaktor Ensemble) to the winner (until further notice)
License won't turn into NFR, you need Native Instruments Reaktor 5.8+ for this
More info on Ghostwave Audio: http://ghostwaveaudio.com/
Melda Production is kind enough to donate MDynamics to the winner (this month only)
License will turn into NFR
More info on Melda Production: http://www.meldaproduction.com/
THANKS FOR THE DONATIONS!
If you want to sponsor content (please have a focus on mix plugins, bundles and the likes), please get in touch with the headmaster of the competition.
Good luck to all participants.
And most importantly, have fun!
Edit 01: Added some further information in terms of posting/submitting content, how certain real life scenarios would look like, etc
Edit 02: Added sponsor "Camel Audio"
Edit 03: Added sponsor "Tone2"
Edit 04: Slightly refined rules, changed information regarding sponsored tools
Edit 05: Added Sponsor "Ghostwave Audio", added information regarding sponsored tools, slightly refined rules
Edit 06: Added sponsor "Melda Production"