KVR MIX CHALLENGE - MC17 December 2015 (#HolidayMix) - Winners announced

How to do this, that and the other. Share, learn, teach. How did X do that? How can I sound like Y?
Compyfox
KVRAF
14279 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Post Thu Dec 24, 2015 5:20 am

Hello and welcome to the KVR Mix Challenge 17 - December 2015/January 2016.


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.



Yes, we are a couple of weeks late, and I'm sorry for that. So let's not waste any more time and get started. This month we welcome back a former song provider - it's Jeff St.Clair (client of MC14), and we're tackling a winter holiday themed mix in the Country/Rock Ballad genre. Additional to that - we extend the winners podium to 5 people for this Winter Holiday. (goes back to the usual three in February 2016)

The current challenge also marks a new route in both the rule set and theme specific challenges. We already had #Rocktober - why not have a yearly "Holiday Mix Challenge" as well? (which can also be expanded for other holidays)



Please take note of the following
  • the rule set has been overhauled/simplified - please take note of them in the Rules and Guidelines thread.
  • like last year, we're doing a short break in Mid January and continue the Challenge in February

Also Important:
  • We're still looking for new source material for future KVR Mix Challenges. Our pool is in constant fear of running dry. Please follow our official campaign for this in the Music Cafe. No new tracks, no more challenges!
  • Please also spread the word on your preferred social media platform. Our Twitter Account is already a good start



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 17: Winners announced
Last edited by Compyfox on Sat Jun 04, 2016 5:53 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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Compyfox
KVRAF
14279 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Re: KVR MIX CHALLENGE - MC17 Holiday Mix 2015 - Submissions until 15-01-2016 11:59pm CET/GMT+1

Post Thu Dec 24, 2015 5:21 am

CURRENT CHALLENGE - GENERAL INFORMATION

Time Frame: Thursday, 24th December 2015 to Friday, 15th January 2016 (>21 days)

Challenge submission will end on 15-01-2016, 11:59pm CET/GMT+1 (Germany) - 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 "Berlin (Germany)" as location 1, and your location as location 2:
http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/meeting.html



Song Provider: Jeff St.Clair (KVR Profile)
Song Name and Length: It came upon the midnight clear, 3:59min
Song Information: 60 bpm, time signature 4/4, in D maj/G maj/E enharmonic
File Format: WAV, 44kHz, 24bit

GENRE: Country/Rock Ballad


Preview of the Song:
Preview on Studio Compyfox (might need right click - save as)
INFO: This is a rough demo mix!


Jeff St.Clair wrote:A word from the song provider:

This track is part of an attempt to create a Christmas Holiday CD with slide guitars, in the style of late 70s/early 80ies country music.


I'm looking for a clean, warm yet interesting mix with a good overall balance. I'd also like a good, solid, well defined bass guitar, as this is (along with the Slide Guitar) the driving element of the arrangement.


Else, there are no rules. Please create an enjoyable ballad mix, fitting for the holidays.

A few words by the Mix Challenge staff:
Staff (Compyfox) wrote:This particular track is an interesting blend of a traditional carol song from 1850 (known as "Carol", written by Richard Storrs Willis), spiced up with slide guitars, and a more classic rock/pop oriented arrangement. Definitely an interesting twist.

This ballad can go several routes:
- modern pop (ultra wide mixed, modern sound)
- 80s rock ballad (more focus on the guitars,
lots of reverb)
- classic rock (think mixes from early 70ies, limited
equipment, chamber reverb, etc)

The choice is yours. Be creative!
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:
- create a an interesting mix in your style (keep in mind, it's a ballad)
- Alternative versions can be used if you need more flexibility over a certain sound
- No rearrangement of the song structure
- try to not(!) pre-master the track (please no overuse of mix bus treatment)


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


Source Files:

Main Mix Package - Mirror on Studio Compyfox (477MB, LZMA compressed - Updated: 25-12-2015 1:45am GMT+1)

For users that loaded the main mix package before 25-12-2015 1:45am GMT+1
Snare Update Pack - Mirror on Studio Compyfox (46MB, LZMA compressed)


The provided files were packed as ZIP with LZMA compression.
File size extracted: 1300 MB, packed 477 MB (ZIP, LZMA)
In order to extract the files, we can recommend these programs:

Macintosh:
The Unarchiver - get it here

Windows:
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.


Image
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.de


Image
Ghostwave Audio (KVR User Karten) 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/


Image
JRR Shop will give away either one of the following plugins:
SONiVOX Wobble, Pulse 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/


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


Image
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/


Image
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/


Image
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


Image
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 Q1 2016)
License will not turn into NFR
More info on Two Notes: http://www.two-notes.com/en/



THANKS FOR THE DONATIONS!
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 the challenge staff.


Did you know that there are even more contests / competitions /challenges here on KVR Audio?


Please spread the word of the challenge on social media.
For example with our dedicated Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/KVRMixChallenge

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

Good luck to all participants.
And most importantly, have fun!
Last edited by Compyfox on Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:09 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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User avatar
Ichad.c
KVRian
1070 posts since 8 Feb, 2012 from South - Africa

Re: KVR MIX CHALLENGE - MC17 Holiday Mix 2015 - Submissions until 15-01-2016 11:59pm CET/GMT+1

Post Thu Dec 24, 2015 8:24 am

I was a bit apprehensive about a "Holiday mix", but dang, this is a good, well thought out song! Gonna be fun!

P.S. Is it just me or does the image for the Metric Halo stuff not show?

Compyfox
KVRAF
14279 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Re: KVR MIX CHALLENGE - MC17 Holiday Mix 2015 - Submissions until 15-01-2016 11:59pm CET/GMT+1

Post Thu Dec 24, 2015 10:48 am

It's not just you. I'll fix that the coming days.

Glad you like the song. I hope you'll have a lot of fun during mixing. :tu:
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Compyfox
KVRAF
14279 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Re: KVR MIX CHALLENGE - MC17 Holiday Mix 2015 - Submissions until 15-01-2016 11:59pm CET/GMT+1

Post Thu Dec 24, 2015 5:01 pm

IMPORTANT UPDATE:
After talking to the client, we agreed that the snare needed a slight overhaul in terms of the overall pitch (it is now slightly pitched up). This change has been addressed in the current mix package (see link to source material above), dated to the 25-12-2015.

Should you have downloaded the main mix package prior to this forum entry (25-12-2015, 01:45am CET/GMT+1), there is no need to re-download the whole set again. Unless you want to, just to rule out any possible hickups on your end. Just download the "Snare Update Pack" ZIP file and simply overwrite the provided WAV files. But please check your gain staging, just in case.


If you have not downloaded anything yet, just grab the main mix pack (477MB) and ignore the update pack.


Sorry for the inconvenience.
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User avatar
Ichad.c
KVRian
1070 posts since 8 Feb, 2012 from South - Africa

Re: KVR MIX CHALLENGE - MC17 December 2015 (#HolidayMix)- Submissions until 15-01-2016 11:59pm CET/GMT+1

Post Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:59 am

Just a quick "loudness wars" Q - be gentle Compy... In general, I tend (and try) to supply my mix roughly as loud as the supplied rough-mix, to make comparisons easier. But this challenge has 2 rough-mixes! And they are wildly different, to the point where it sounds like it was mixed by two different people(probably going crazy)... So I pulled out some meters, TBProAudio's meter to be exact:

http://www.tb-software.com/TBProAudio/dpmeter.html

I don't care that much about all the fancy measurements, except "Crest" in RMS(+3dB) mode and/or Loudness Range(LU) in EBU R128 mode. The 2014 mix has a Loudness Range of ~5.5->4.5 and the 2015 mix is about 10.5->9.5, that's a huge difference. Mine is at 6.5->5.5 atm. The tricky part is, the 2014 mix is like a classic late 70's/early 80's ballad with high levels of guitars and slightly buried drums which obviously messes with the measurements, since most of the dynamics come from the drums; the 2015 mix in comparison is more modern pop rock/country sound with the drums mixed in much louder in comparison... My balance is more like the 2014 mix btw. So what what levels are you guys aiming for on this one -> 2014 mix loud or 2015 loud?

P.S. This has like a ~7sec of silence at the beginning, that none of the other mixes have, can I trim it to 2sec?

Compyfox
KVRAF
14279 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Re: KVR MIX CHALLENGE - MC17 December 2015 (#HolidayMix)- Submissions until 15-01-2016 11:59pm CET/GMT+1

Post Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:39 pm

Excellent timing for a bump as well. :tu:

Ichad.c wrote:I don't care that much about all the fancy measurements, except "Crest" in RMS(+3dB) mode and/or Loudness Range(LU) in EBU R128 mode.
The meter in question is not a "true" RMS realtime meter per se (as in Measures L and R independent and then gives out a value), but actually mixes the L+R signal together, and uses the EBU type weighting filter. So the "RMS readouts" are actually off by 3dB. Got this confirmed by the developer.


Ichad.c wrote:And they are wildly different, to the point where it sounds like it was mixed by two different people(probably going crazy)...
It actually is a complete different mix (more instruments, different sounds). The original didn't have strings and hand percussion for example. The 2015 version is also a rough demo mix how things "could go". The route is not set in stone - it can be modern pop, it can be vintage rock.

Be creative! (see second post in this thread).


Ichad.c wrote:So what what levels are you guys aiming for on this one -> 2014 mix loud or 2015 loud?
Just mix how you seem fit, try to shoot for -18dB RMS (0VU) to -15dB RMS (+3VU) on average. The rules have been updated/simplified on that behalf (also, more links to tutorials, etc).

If you need a free VU, try SleepyTimeRecords Stereo Channel. Else, for merely 4EUR you can get Hornet Plugins VU Meter (was recently updated), and for 8 EUR you can get Klanghelm's VUMT (update in the making).


Ichad.c wrote:P.S. This has like a ~7sec of silence at the beginning, that none of the other mixes have, can I trim it to 2sec?
Sure! Usually I'd go with at least 1 bar in front of and after the last signal of the production to give a Mastering Engineer enough room to work with (proper fade in's, etc). I also try to let the effects ring out naturally as well.




A couple of mix tips:
---------------------
  • if you don't like the drum's ambiance, why not create your own room with suitable effects?
  • if you want to use the alternative snare drum, "dampening" is recommended (and necessary)
  • guitars sound too harsh/nasal - why not take a closer look at the mid frequencies?
  • strings don't want to fit? Maybe there is a way to add some vintage "limitations" to them?

Furthermore:
16 days left to mix.


Since I don't know how frequently I can visit this within thread the next 48hours, a happy and hopefully successful new year in advance to all of our Challenge participants.
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Compyfox
KVRAF
14279 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Re: KVR MIX CHALLENGE - MC17 December 2015 (#HolidayMix)- Submissions until 15-01-2016 11:59pm CET/GMT+1

Post Sat Jan 02, 2016 6:57 am

A friendly reminder:
Including today, you have 2 weeks left to submit your mix.


So the first submissions can slowly start to drop in the coming days.
Thank you and have a great start into the new year. :tu:
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photonic
KVRian
532 posts since 5 Mar, 2011 from Austria

Re: KVR MIX CHALLENGE - MC17 December 2015 (#HolidayMix)- Submissions until 15-01-2016 11:59pm CET/GMT+1

Post Sun Jan 03, 2016 7:31 am

Compyfox wrote:...So the first submissions can slowly start to drop in the coming days...
Your wish is my command :hihi:

Let me be the ice breaker again. The song fits the season of the year very well. I had no special genre in mind during mixing. I followed my feeling.

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

DAW: Reaper v5.0

Drum Bus – Ferric TDS, ReaEQ
Kick Bus – nothing
Kick beater – The Strip
Kick front – The Strip
Snare Bus – ReaEQ, ReaComp
Snare top – The Strip
Snare bottom – The Strip
Toms – The Strip, ReaGate to shorten the decay of mid and low tom
Hihats – The Strip
Ride – The Strip
Overhead – The Strip
Ambience – The Strip, Reverb send
Percussion - The Strip, Reverb send
Bass – The Strip, ReaComp, QX24
Slide - The Strip, TAL-DUB-II
Slide solo part – ReaComp, Boogex, TAL-DUB-II, ReaEQ, TDR Nova
DBL and Harmonic – The Strip
Rhythm – The Strip
Mellotron - The Strip, Acon Digital Multiply
Piano - The Strip
Strings Bus – ReaEQ, Acon Digital Multiply
All Strings - The Strip

Reverb – Verberate from AconDigital for Drums, Rhythm and Piano, Ultraspace for Strings, Mellotron and Slide

Master – MQ57, Satin, Span, TT-DR-Meter

Time correction for Bass, Slide and Strings. The stings in the staccato part are all a bit late and offbeat and need to be shifted. I think the midi note on was quantized, but the sound has a certain attack time, which had be considered.
Low strings sound and low toms are sometimes in conflict with the bass. I need to shorten the toms and a quite high setting of the high pass for the strings to avoid dissonant sound.
I tried to give the last part of the glide guitar a different sound, as it is more a solo than the previous melody part. Therefore I gave it a bit more distortion.

BTW: Happy 2016 to everyone :party: :tu:
soundcloud.com/photonic-1

Compyfox
KVRAF
14279 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Re: KVR MIX CHALLENGE - MC17 December 2015 (#HolidayMix)- Submissions until 15-01-2016 11:59pm CET/GMT+1

Post Sun Jan 03, 2016 7:50 am

Ah man, you should get an extra medal once in a while for always being the first to submit. But definitely glad that you like the mix. :D

Just for understanding purposes:
- you used the alternative snare tracks instead of the "mixed" one?
- you used the "added sub" for the kick
- you used all(!) available string tracks (incl. the mixed one?) or just either/or (individual or sum)


The E-Bass needed correction? Interesting...
Strings staccato could be a couple of ms late indeed, but nothing drastic.



Oh and... did you see the overhauled rule set?
Writing down the details is not mandatory anymore. :tu:
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photonic
KVRian
532 posts since 5 Mar, 2011 from Austria

Re: KVR MIX CHALLENGE - MC17 December 2015 (#HolidayMix)- Submissions until 15-01-2016 11:59pm CET/GMT+1

Post Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:19 am

Compyfox wrote:Ah man, you should get an extra medal once in a while for always being the first to submit. But definitely glad that you like the mix. :D

Just for understanding purposes:
- you used the alternative snare tracks instead of the "mixed" one?
- you used the "added sub" for the kick
- you used all(!) available string tracks (incl. the mixed one?) or just either/or (individual or sum)


The E-Bass needed correction? Interesting...
Strings staccato could be a couple of ms late indeed, but nothing drastic.



Oh and... did you see the overhauled rule set?
Writing down the details is not mandatory anymore. :tu:
Oh yes, worth to mention!
I used the alternativ snare tracks with the lower pitch.
I used the sub kick.
I used only the individuell stereo versions of the strings.

E-Bass: I allways listen to drums and bass alone, when starting mixing. And when I have the feeling that something is not very tight I look at the waveforms and grid. The drums are tight to the grid. I saw that on some notes the bass is a bit too early. It is not much. The bass is played well. But when one is normaly doing electronic music like me, where most of the stuff is quintized, you get quite sensitive to timing. Maybe I am too critical. But I allways remember the hints from experienced mixing engineers like Mike Senior, who emphasized who important it is to correct timing, because every listiner is used to perfect corrected tracks from professional productions.
soundcloud.com/photonic-1

Compyfox
KVRAF
14279 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Re: KVR MIX CHALLENGE - MC17 December 2015 (#HolidayMix)- Submissions until 15-01-2016 11:59pm CET/GMT+1

Post Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:26 am

Interesting thinking.

Yes, the "alternative snare" is slightly(!) off tuned (minimal, I'd say in cent values - so nothing to fix here) and definitely not dampened. It's hard to match different sample sets. Though did you check if you got the "updated snare" pack if you got the full mix pack within the first 12 hours of the start of this thread? Just in case. (the whole pack was updated on 25-12-2015, which addresses this change)

But the drums are definitely not hard-quantized. They are "tight" in terms of the performance, but no hit is 100% on the grid. Else it would sound too mechanical. So further quantizing those would only destroy the feeling of the whole production IMO.


But the rules are, that there is creative freedom. And in the end, the client decides.
It's just that your comments are definitely interesting, especially considering your mixing approach.
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Kolyev
KVRist
62 posts since 25 Aug, 2014

Re: KVR MIX CHALLENGE - MC17 December 2015 (#HolidayMix)- Submissions until 15-01-2016 11:59pm CET/GMT+1

Post Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:21 am

Ah man. I thought I could give photonic a little icebreaker break this month, but you were once again quicker :tu:
maybe next time.

Anyway, here is my mix:
mp3: https://www.dropbox.com/s/5nq0vcedqtp4i ... v.mp3?dl=0

wave: https://www.dropbox.com/s/n484axalo43cn ... v.wav?dl=0

I went for a less modern sound compared to photonic's mix. Thus I didn't use the sub kick (or any of the other additional files).
strings are the individual files and not the sum.
In total there's nothing fancy going on in my mix, as I tried to keep as close to the original recordings as possible and to use as little processing as possible.
Apart from the usual EQ and compression (and gate on the toms), there's only some tape saturation on a number of channels (fabfilter saturn).
Reverb was done with Steinberg's Reverence and impulse responses from lexicon reverbs that I found on the internet.
One tiny ambience was used as blend reverb, a room verb was applied to the drums, a plate to the slide guitar, and different amounts of a hall reverb on the other instruments for creating a sense of depth.

Bigerax
KVRer
8 posts since 9 Nov, 2015

Re: KVR MIX CHALLENGE - MC17 December 2015 (#HolidayMix)- Submissions until 15-01-2016 11:59pm CET/GMT+1

Post Mon Jan 04, 2016 3:01 pm

I greatly enjoyed this track. I did 2 mixes and ended up liking the less messed with version. I used some of the alternate tracks and the new snare (with damping and a very tiny phase align).
mp3: https://www.dropbox.com/s/vkoz4ymk9kh86 ... l.mp3?dl=0
wav: https://www.dropbox.com/s/fd4924r04xaur ... l.wav?dl=0

As for plugings I used Nasty VCS on most channels. TRD Nova on a few tracks that needed more than vcs provides. Compression is from Densty mk3 (drum buss) and dc1a (or just from the VCS). Verb is epicverb. I ended up re-amping the bass and bounced a new track to get the sound I wanted. Other than that I just tried to stay out of the way.
Last edited by Bigerax on Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Compyfox
KVRAF
14279 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Re: KVR MIX CHALLENGE - MC17 December 2015 (#HolidayMix)- Submissions until 15-01-2016 11:59pm CET/GMT+1

Post Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:04 pm

Bigerax wrote:...and a very tiny phase align
Can you please elaborate on that? The snare should be in phase with the rest of the kit.
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