KVR MIX CHALLENGE - MC10 May 2015 - Winners announced

How to do this, that and the other. Share, learn, teach. How did X do that? How can I sound like Y?
14539 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Post Tue May 05, 2015 5:10 pm

Hello and welcome to the KVR Mix Challenge 10 - May 2015.

This month's challenge is a special shout out to KVR Audio's own "One Synth Challenge" community. Thank you for keeping the game alive and providing excellent music content for over 5+ years. Maybe the KVR Audio "Music/Song Cafe Contest" will also work with us in the future. This would bind out community even more together.

Please keep up the good work. And let us celebrate the "challenges". :tu:

This is the introduction post, where we link directly to the challenge corresponding files (source files, submission information, sponsors), start of the evaluation process and maybe even the first post for resubmissions.

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
End of the first mix round: End of Round 1, answering general Q's
Mix Round 2: Song Evaluation, Beginning of Round 2
Results of the Mix Challenge 10: Winners announced
Last edited by Compyfox on Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:32 pm, edited 6 times in total.
[ Studio Page / Twitter ] | [ KVRmarks (see: metering tools) ] | [ Mix Challenge ]


Topic Starter

14539 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Post Tue May 05, 2015 5:11 pm


Time Frame: Wednesday, 06th May 2015 to Wednesday, 27th May 2015 (21 days)

Challenge submission will end on 27-05-2015, 11:59pm PDT (Pacific Daylight Time) - until further notice. If you want to find out when that is the case at your place, please use the following tool and and select "Los Angeles" as location 1, and your location as location 2:

Song Provider: Ben Hehir ( H-Man )
Song Name and Length: Smoke 'em Out, 3:26 Min
Song Information: 192bpm, 4/4, in Key of D min (pentatonic)
File Format: WAV, 48kHz, 24bit

GENRE: Synth Rock, One Synth Challenge #71

Preview of the Song:

A word from the song provider:
H-Man wrote:Maybe this track should have been titled "The thing that should not be?" A Metal / Heavy Rock track made with U-he's new SuperSaw EDM synth, Hive, as part of KVR One Synth Challenge 71.

The track received plenty of attention and eventually placed 8th in what turned out to be an insanely competitive field of 67 tracks. Needless to say I was very happy :)

However, like many of my tracks for the One Synth Challenge, not enough time was given to the mixing which is now why I am ecstatic that this track has been selected for the KVR Mix Challenge.

Smoke 'em Out - 192 Bpm in the key of ROCK!

There are 50 tracks which may seem high but remember nearly all sounds are layered in up to four parts.
I have removed my group tracks and busses so that you, the mix engineer, may start with the basic building blocks for the various instruments. The goal is to combine the elements to create the desired sounds for the instruments with an emphasis on realism for the drums, guitars and bass in particular. The rest I will leave up to you.

Style note: Simply, the track was created to "blow peoples hair back". Your goal should be to achieve punch and power alongside the clarity that I feel eluded me in places.

Everything is possible - this is not limited to the "One Synth Challenge" rules of only using synth built-in FX anymore. Get inventive with the material.

Have fun and good luck, H-man/Hokey
A few words by the Mix Challenge staff:
Staff wrote:Once more, this track can go several routes.

For example, a pure "synth rock" approach, with emphasis on the pads and the synth guitars. Then there is the "trip hop" approach, with focus on the beat and the arpeggiated sounds. And finally, the "modern mix" approach, where the sky is the limit without deviating too much from the source material.

A hint from our side is to first sort and put the tracks into subfolders in your project to get a better overview in terms of what is going on.

We then advise to first take a look at the beat section, as this is a driving element of the whole track.

The next focus should be the synth guitars. Try to get them right, then everything else falls to place. Don't be afraid to use heavy EQing to blend the layers together.

Another tip is to maybe take a listen to old Amiga "Demo Tracks" form the 80ies and 90ies to get a grasp of synth rock.

But most important - listen to what the client provided, and then add your own twist to elevate the track into new heights.
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:
- Achive punch and power, but keep some clarity in the track
- No rearrangement of the song structure
- No omission of any track/no muting/deletion of channels other than to cut noise or using a custom reverb
- no drum replacement
- try to not(!) pre-master the track


Source Files:

Mirror on Studio Compyfox (873MB, LZMA compressed)

The provided files were packed as ZIP with LZMA compression.
File size extracted: 2750 MB, packed 873 MB (ZIP, LZMA)
In order to extract the files, we can recommend these programs:

The Unarchiver - get it here

7zip - Installation, Portable


Please take note of the official rules - they can be found at the following thread:
KVR Mix Challenge - Official Rules and Guidelines

Please address any OT question in the official Gossip thread:
KVR Mix Challenge - Gossip and Discussion


SPONSORS (Prizes):

Prizes for mix 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.
More info on Acon Digital: http://acondigital.de

IK Multimedia is kind enough to donate any one plugin of their T-Racks Singles range. Winner's choice.
More info on IKM: http://www.ikmultimedia.com

Metric Halo will give away a single plugin of winner's choice.
More info about Metric Halo: http://mhsecure.com/metric_halo/

JRR Shop will give away either one of the following plugins:
SONiVOX Wobble, Pulse, Vocalizer, or Twist
More info about the plugins on SONiVOX: http://www.sonivoxmi.com
More info about the sponsor: http://www.jrrshop.com/

Tone2 is kind enough to donate either a bundle consisting of AkustiX Enhancer and WarmVerb, or a license of Ultraspace to the winner.
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/

Sound and Graphic, KVR user and Mix Challenge staff Satyatunes is donating one commercial product of winner's choice (until further notice)
More info on Satyatune's page: http://www.satyatunes.com/

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 headmaster of the competition.

Also, please spread the word of the challenge. We now have a dedicated Twitter Account:

You can also still use the hashtag #kvrmixchallenge


Good luck to all participants.
And most importantly, have fun!
[ Studio Page / Twitter ] | [ KVRmarks (see: metering tools) ] | [ Mix Challenge ]

User avatar
2053 posts since 22 Aug, 2006 from Earth

Post Tue May 05, 2015 6:06 pm

Awesome track. This is gonna be interesting. Good luck to all contestants.
satYatunes - Sound and Graphic Designer
Premium and free skins and soundsets
Website | Portfolio

87 posts since 28 Nov, 2012

Post Wed May 06, 2015 7:05 am

Can you please provide dry tracks ? I find the reverb on the tracks pretty awfull.


Topic Starter

14539 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Post Wed May 06, 2015 7:16 am

These tracks are right out of HIVE, it's from the OSC#71.
And this is also part of the Mix Challenge - work with what you get.
[ Studio Page / Twitter ] | [ KVRmarks (see: metering tools) ] | [ Mix Challenge ]


Topic Starter

14539 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Post Tue May 19, 2015 10:41 am

This is new... a bit over a week left for mixing and no entry so far.

Did we break the challenge?
[ Studio Page / Twitter ] | [ KVRmarks (see: metering tools) ] | [ Mix Challenge ]

87 posts since 28 Nov, 2012

Post Tue May 19, 2015 11:31 am

I pause this MC. This is nothing for me.

47 posts since 15 Sep, 2014

Post Tue May 19, 2015 11:52 pm

well. I don't understand why there are two MCs in parallel. guess most of us are hobbyists doing this mixes in our spare time. and spare time is rare. and a song with 50 tracks needs time even if you figured out that 1/3 are redundant.

65 posts since 25 Aug, 2014

Post Wed May 20, 2015 12:02 am

I'm working on it, but as mixedmin said a project that big needs time and if I manage to finish on time, it will be close to the deadline.

User avatar
619 posts since 5 Mar, 2011 from Austria

Post Wed May 20, 2015 5:14 am

Ok, here comes the first entry!

I was surprised to see a track from the OSC. This gives me the first time the chance to mix a song I allready know fom the OSC. And it is a very nice one!
It was interessting to hear how the raw-tracks do sound. Especially the drum sounds, which are most of the time not so great as raw sound out of the synth. Hive has a lot of FX, so the sounds are not so raw as out of other synths. Nevertheless, some sounds needed some help to become more powerfull.

MP3: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/717 ... otonic.mp3
WAV: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/717 ... otonic.wav

Mixed in Reaper 4.731

Drums Bus: Ferric TDS for Satturation and Compression, TDR VOS Slick EQ
Kick Bus – Flux BitterSweet III
Kick body – DDMF The Strip
Kick woody - DDMF The Strip
Snare bus - Flux BitterSweet III, ReaEQ
Snare body – ReaEQ, ReaComp
Snare high – ReaComp
Stick – ReaEQ
Hihats and Crashes – ReaEQ

Bass Bus: ReaComp, sidechained by Kick
Bass Deep1 and 2 – ReaComp, ReaEQ
Bass Real - Flux BitterSweet III, ReaEQ, CamelPhat3
Dirty Bass – Gstereo to mono the lowend, ReaComp, ReaEQ

Chugga Bus: ReaEQ, Flux BitterSweet III
All Chugga tracks – ReaEQ

Rock Axe Bus: TSE808 for metal sound, ReaEQ, Flux BitterSweet III
All rock tracks – ReaEQ

Swarm Synth – ReaEQ
Tremolos – ReaEQ
All leads – ReaEQ
All FX – ReaEQ

Reverbs: U-he’s Uhbik-A for Drums, Tone2’s Ultraspace for long reverbs.

Master: MQ57, AkustiX, Satin
Analyser: Voxengo’s Span, Sleepy Time’s Stereo Channel

User avatar
27 posts since 5 Sep, 2011 from Hungary

Post Sat May 23, 2015 7:37 am

Here is my entry:
MP3 https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/646 ... regate.mp3
WAV https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/646 ... regate.wav

Mixed in Ableton Suite 9.1 only with Ableton stock fx plugins.

Reverb used mainly for colouring and adding depth.
For EQ I frequently used low and high cut on the instruments.
Utility is used for controlling stereo width and adding more volume.

Workflow: I made submixes for drums, bass, guitars and so on.
Then I made a final session with 20 stems for final mixing.

drum instruments: EQ Eight and some Reverb on snare and hats
drum group: EQ Eight
bass group: Utility (volume), Compressor (sidechained to kick), EQ Eight (low cut), Utility (monoize)
mo-chug: EQ Eight, Utility
rock axe: Reverb, EQ Eight
tremelo pick group: Ping Pong Delay, EQ Eight (low cut, high cut), Compressor (sidechained to kick)
swarm: Reverb, EQ Eight
lead group: Reverb, EQ Eight, Utility
arps group: Reverb, EQ Eight
feedback group: EQ Eight, Ping Pong Delay, Utility
chuk and chug group: EQ Eight, Utility
buzz: EQ Eight
buzz high: EQ Eight

master channel: EQ Eight, high cut at 14.4 kHz, Glue Compressor with very small 1-2 dB reduction

39 posts since 22 Feb, 2015

Post Sun May 24, 2015 6:06 am

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/158 ... cutter.wav

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/158 ... cutter.mp3

Done in Tracktion 6, I spent the most time with slight volume automations trying to make it exciting. I really wish I had some type of actual faders for this one. Besides the drum buss and a few of the leads, I didn't feel the need for a ton of compression or EQ. Compared to the original I just wanted it a little bit clearer and bigger sounding. I tend to not like huge kick drums, but in this song I felt the boost was warranted. Main plugins used were Satson CM (on everything), mpressor, Overtone AF2-10, TB Barricade (on the drum buss in that order). I compressed the 2-buss 1.5db with the elysia alpha compressor to make things pop, followed by some SPL Passeq to add some air and tighten the low end.
Compyfox wrote:This is new... a bit over a week left for mixing and no entry so far.

Did we break the challenge?
Hopefully not, I have enjoyed the last two and hope it continues to go monthly. It's been cool being able to mix new stuff and compare it with others.

3822 posts since 8 Mar, 2006

Post Sun May 24, 2015 8:08 am

pfff... didn't even know!

Will try to make time for it, sure, love mixing competitions! :)

User avatar
2053 posts since 22 Aug, 2006 from Earth

Post Sun May 24, 2015 8:52 pm

2 more days to go.
satYatunes - Sound and Graphic Designer
Premium and free skins and soundsets
Website | Portfolio

3822 posts since 8 Mar, 2006

Post Mon May 25, 2015 6:13 am

Why the absolute need of so many tracks? I bet that some could have been groped together... call me picky but honestly I'm a bit annoyed by this.
I can't even load all the tracks... too much work trimming and sorting all of them for me atm, sorry but I'm skipping this one...

good luck and have fun guys! :)

Return to “Production Techniques”