MIX CHALLENGE - MC26 October 2016 - Winners announced

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Compyfox
KVRAF
14275 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Post Fri Sep 30, 2016 3:38 pm

Hello and welcome to the KVR Mix Challenge 26 - October 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.



This month, we're shaking things up a bit!

First and foremost, we get the chance to mix an awesome 90's Hip Hop track with Jazz/Funk elements, provided by Action Cat. His track is called "Tomorrow" and blends Public Domain movie sound snippets and a jazzy piano with old school hip hop beats.



Also some news
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I'm very proud to announce that we are now having an official homepage! :party:

You can find it here: http://www.mix-challenge.com

The page has been weeks in the making and will still see a couple of fine-tunings in the near future (mainly the rule set being ported over, a Winners Podium listing). Our goal is to offer a better reach, while having one global place to always come back to. It's a much more comfortable/streamlined version of the "Rules & Guidelines" thread, not to mention can you read at an instant what audio material we are after for future Mix Challenges. No more split threads that are easily overlooked and/or nobody finds. And the best thing on it: it's a responsive web design, suitable for mobile devices and desktop browsers.

So please get involved, enjoy browsing the page, leave us a message via Mail or our Social Media accounts
And if you want, share your feedback or ideas for page add-ons in the Gossip and Discussion thread.



Please take note of the following
Also Important:
  • We're desperately looking for new source material for future Mix Challenges. Our pool is in constant fear of running dry. Please follow our official campaign. No new tracks, no more challenges!
  • We especially still look for a Hard Rock/Metal Track for Metal November (MC27). If you know somebody in this area that is looking for alternative mixes, please forward him to us
  • 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 26: Winners announced
Last edited by Compyfox on Fri Nov 11, 2016 12:57 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Compyfox
KVRAF
14275 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC26 October 2016 - Submissions until 21-OCT-2016, 11:59pm GMT+1/CEST

Post Fri Sep 30, 2016 3:38 pm

CURRENT CHALLENGE - GENERAL INFORMATION

Time Frame: Saturday, 01st October 2016 to Friday, 21st August 2016 (21 days)

Challenge submission will end on 21-10-2016, 11:59pm CEST/GMT+1 (Germany) - until further notice.
Want to find out if you're still within the deadline, please visit the Mix Challenge webpage

Alternatively (especially for Mix Round 2), 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: Action Cat (KVR Profile)
Song Name and Length: Tomorrow, 4:19min
Song Information: 97 bpm / Signature: 4/4, Key of C minor (Cm)
File Format: WAV, 44kHz, 32bit

GENRE: 90ies HipHop w/ Jazz/Funk influences


Preview of the Song:
https://soundcloud.com/action-cat-1/tomorrow



A word from the song provider:
Action Cat wrote:For this track I tried to combine elements of 90s hip-hop (the bassline, the choice of drum samples), jazz (the drum fills and improv piano noodling), and a little bit of IDM (the tiny subdivisions of beats in the rhythms). There's not a lot of different instruments, most of the time it's just bass, piano, and strings, and sometimes even less than that, so I used a good amount of reverb and/or delay on most instruments and on the snare, but I've provided all tracks (except the 2 FX tracks) clean so you can really do whatever you want.

Not really relevant to the competition, but here's some history of the track and the mindset I was in when I wrote it:

I was working with a friend, a local rapper in my neighborhood, and this was orignally gonna be the next thing I showed him to write lyrics for. He was shot before I got a chance to show him what I was working on, and was in the hospital for a long time (he's okay now). I finished the track as an instrumental while he was recovering, and this event lead me to the "tomorrow" theme. I guess it's kinda about not letting sadness about the state of things today triumph over hope for a better future.

So take from that what you will, and really just do what you think sounds good, keeping in mind 90s hip-hop.



ADD-ON RULES:
- cutting away the beat section (in part or fully)
during certain parts is allowed to create impact,
as long as it's done moderately

A few words by the Mix Challenge staff:
Staff (Compyfox) wrote:This track has a nice vibe from those mid 90ies, where hip hop had it's so called "Golden Age".

I can't add that much to the given topic, other than "if you want to read up and get familiar with 90ies Hip Hop, Youtube and Wikiepdia are your friends" - as usual:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hip_hop_music


Characteristic for that era were not cleaned up samples as it's common these days. You heard imperfect cuts (due to samplers being limited, see E-MU SP-1200), noisy (limited sampling rate), and vinyl noise wasn't rare either - sometimes even desired.

A rumor I can't confirm however, is that delay and reverb on such tracks/cuts was frowned upon. But as we know today, it glues tracks together, so don't feel limited at all.


Cutting out tracks (specific kit parts in certain sections of the song, to create impact) were also not uncommon - but ultimately down to the song provider if he accepts that route or not.

All I can wish at this point - is to have fun!

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:
  • try to create a mix that complements this production (in your own style)
  • Clean / Alternative versions can be used if you need more flexibility over a certain sound (not present in this production)
  • No rearrangement of the song structure, with the exception of the following add-on rules
  • ADD-ON RULE: cutting away the beat section (in part or fully) during certain parts is allowed to create impact, as long as it's done moderately
  • try to not(!) pre-master the track (please no overuse of mix bus treatment)

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Source Files:

Main Mix Package - Mirror on Studio Compyfox (105,13 MB, LZMA compressed)


The provided files were packed as ZIP with LZMA compression.
File size extracted: 1394,16 MB, packed 105,13 MB (ZIP, LZMA)
In order to extract the files, we can recommend these programs:

Macintosh:
The Unarchiver - get it here

Windows:
7zip - Installation / Portable


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

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

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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.


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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


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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/


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JRR Shop will give away a free copy of Audiffex/Audified STA Preamp (until further notice)
More info about the plugins on Audiffex (now known as Audified): http://shop.audified.com/
More info about the sponsor: http://www.jrrshop.com/


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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/


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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/


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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/


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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


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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 Summer 2017)
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 Mix 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/MixChallenge

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Good luck to all participants.
And most importantly, have fun!
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mementus
KVRist
456 posts since 10 Apr, 2011

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC26 October 2016 - Submissions until 21-OCT-2016, 11:59pm GMT+1/CEST

Post Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:33 am

Very nice track, thank you client. I can feel the flow. I also enjoy those snare fills.

The website is a good idea and it's well designed, it's plenty of information and I enjoyed reading the story behind the challenge. The only thing I'd improve is the "Mix Challange" font on top left.
You are doing the things right the way they have to be done! :clap:

On the song:
-Is it allowed to add sample layers?
-Can you give me a loudness reference level, please? Is it the original track or can be louder?

Compyfox
KVRAF
14275 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC26 October 2016 - Submissions until 21-OCT-2016, 11:59pm GMT+1/CEST

Post Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:57 am

mementus wrote:The website is a good idea and it's well designed, it's plenty of information and I enjoyed reading the story behind the challenge. The only thing I'd improve is the "Mix Challange" font on top left.
You are doing the things right the way they have to be done! :clap:
Thanks for the feedback (though this is what the Gossip Thread is for).
The font top left on the page is the same as the rest of the page. Just in bold and larger, however not uppercase...

BTW - I forgot to add MC26 to the Challenge listing dropdown. It's now included as well.


mementus wrote:On the song:
-Is it allowed to add sample layers?
As in drum replacement or drum add-on? No... please take the tracks or rather the mix pack "as is".


mementus wrote:-Can you give me a loudness reference level, please? Is it the original track or can be louder?
Try to shoot for a reference level (during mixing) around -18dBFS = 0VU to about -15dBFS = +3VU (with or without processors on the master bus). This way it's easier to judge the edits by your mixing skills. This is first and foremost a Mix Challenge, not a Mastering Challenge.

See the FAQ and the "Participant Rules" in the Rules/Guidelines.
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mementus
KVRist
456 posts since 10 Apr, 2011

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC26 October 2016 - Submissions until 21-OCT-2016, 11:59pm GMT+1/CEST

Post Mon Oct 03, 2016 11:10 am

Sorry, I am not sure I have well understood.
-We can't add any instruments and any layers. Only the tracks into the pack. Period.
And this rule is the same on every mix contests.
-

Did I get this right?

Compyfox
KVRAF
14275 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC26 October 2016 - Submissions until 21-OCT-2016, 11:59pm GMT+1/CEST

Post Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:10 pm

Correct.


You get one mix pack per month, consisting of an xyz amount of tracks. The challenge is to make everything work together, built upon the existing material within the boundaries of the given rules, and create an outstanding mix within your skill set. :tu:
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mementus
KVRist
456 posts since 10 Apr, 2011

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC26 October 2016 - Submissions until 21-OCT-2016, 11:59pm GMT+1/CEST

Post Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:21 pm

Is the provided mix song already mastered? It stays around -8 rms. Do we have to stay around -15/18?

camsr
KVRAF
6914 posts since 17 Feb, 2005

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC26 October 2016 - Submissions until 21-OCT-2016, 11:59pm GMT+1/CEST

Post Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:54 am

mementus wrote:Is the provided mix song already mastered? It stays around -8 rms. Do we have to stay around -15/18?
Good question. There isn't a vocal to balance out the rest of the stems, so I guess it's like mixing an instrumental.
Image

thiagoam88
KVRist
49 posts since 17 Jun, 2015 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC26 October 2016 - Submissions until 21-OCT-2016, 11:59pm GMT+1/CEST

Post Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:39 am

mementus wrote:Is the provided mix song already mastered? It stays around -8 rms. Do we have to stay around -15/18?
Haven't listened to the mix yet. Are you saying there is not much headroom left on the tracks or just the overall mix is loud? If it is the second case, I'd grab all the tracks and trim the gain down to have some room to work.
camsr wrote:Good question. There isn't a vocal to balance out the rest of the stems, so I guess it's like mixing an instrumental.
It IS mixing an instrumental. :D

But some instruments provide a melody line, just like a vocal would.

Compyfox
KVRAF
14275 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC26 October 2016 - Submissions until 21-OCT-2016, 11:59pm GMT+1/CEST

Post Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:53 am

mementus wrote:Is the provided mix song already mastered? It stays around -8 rms. Do we have to stay around -15/18?
I think there is some confusion happening here.

We have a demo mix (linked in the second post), and we have a mix pack that consists the RAW files (that also has the demo mix as "inspiration"/guide).

The demo mix by the client is usually already heavily edited, and maybe even also loudness raised to modern day radio/CD level (read, anything between -9dB RMS avg to -5dB RMS avg), which can mask a lot of issues. The individual RAW files on the other hand (mix pack) are usually in a form that they don't peak higher than -2dBFS max, and about -24dB lowest. And depending on how they were provided, can be unprocessed (see last Mix Challenge - which leaves a lot of room for sound design).


Now your job is to properly setup a project, with or without a reference level (-20dB, -18dB, -16dB), and then simply mix it. If you use a reference level on your metering tools, you usually shoot around +-3dB of the reference level. Example: -18dBFS = 0VU, then the signal should usually hover between -1dB to +2dB avg on the VU. This does not mean that it SHOULD constantly - it's an example for using reference levels (see my KVR marks, I wrote plenty about it) - every person mixes different, with a different density - so the values can shift.

The focus of this challenge is "mixing" in your style, not reproducing the original mix 1:1 or mastering.


camsr wrote:Good question. There isn't a vocal to balance out the rest of the stems, so I guess it's like mixing an instrumental.
This production is technically an instrumental.

BTW - will we see you join again this time?
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camsr
KVRAF
6914 posts since 17 Feb, 2005

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC26 October 2016 - Submissions until 21-OCT-2016, 11:59pm GMT+1/CEST

Post Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:47 pm

Uhh, I guess, if you like a wall of bass! :D
I usually cram in too much bass.
Image

Compyfox
KVRAF
14275 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC26 October 2016 - Submissions until 21-OCT-2016, 11:59pm GMT+1/CEST

Post Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:55 pm

Come on, man! This is what the Challenge is all about - learning experience. :tu:

And you never know, maybe your mix is exactly what the (virtual) client was after.
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User avatar
actioncat
KVRist
112 posts since 19 Dec, 2014 from Philadelphia PA, US

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC26 October 2016 - Submissions until 21-OCT-2016, 11:59pm GMT+1/CEST

Post Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:20 am

Client here, just wanted to mention that the files provided in the pack are unprocessed (except for the one FX track) to leave room for individual mix styles and creativity and such. And cause I don't know what I'm doing when it comes to mixing, I'm a musician first and... well that's it.

Also:
camsr wrote:Uhh, I guess, if you like a wall of bass! :D
I DO like a wall of bass! well maybe not as much as usual for this track, but still, that certainly shouldn't stop you from entering.

mwaudioprod
KVRist
87 posts since 28 Nov, 2012

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC26 October 2016 - Submissions until 21-OCT-2016, 11:59pm GMT+1/CEST

Post Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:55 am


camsr
KVRAF
6914 posts since 17 Feb, 2005

Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC26 October 2016 - Submissions until 21-OCT-2016, 11:59pm GMT+1/CEST

Post Sat Oct 08, 2016 5:37 pm

I thought the stems sounded fine when I loaded them. I was trying to make the kick drum punchier, but the chosen sample wasn't having it (kick1). It's more a relaxed beat than heavy, mellow volume level, and IDK if I can actually make a proper wall of bass from it, but I'll do something.
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