MIX CHALLENGE - MC28 December 2016 - 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 Wed Dec 14, 2016 2:09 pm

Hello and welcome to the KVR Mix Challenge 28 - December 2016/January 2017

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.

We're ringing in the bell for the final mix challenge of the year (and as of this moment, the final challenge altogether), and we want to go out with a bang.

In this Challenge, we get the chance to mix a more than chart ready Pop production provided by bstageboss that he created for the project "vivolator". The track is called "Find Our Way".

As with the last two December Challenges, we're bumping up the winners podium to 5 spots instead of 3. Please also have an eye on the thread - chances are that bonus prices might be added to the current existing license pool. So please spread the word - the more participants, the more fun.

With this Challenge, we have to sadly inform you, that the Mix Challenge Song Pool has now dried up. I'm still reaching out to people in public and behind the scenes, there is the one or another tracks on my HDD that needs an integrity check (trying to work as fast as I can). But we've sadly now reached a dead end - and the submissions so far were only a drop in the ocean.

So please get involved, please head over to the new webpage, 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.

Without you, the participants and song providers, the Mix Challenge wouldn't exist in the first place. So thank you so, so much for that. So please... let us keep it alive as long as possible.

Please take note of the following
  • we're now having an official webpage - it can be found via http://www.mix-challenge.com
  • as of MC27, we are tightening the thumb screws on participant submissions - please take note of official Rule Set in the Rules and Guidelines thread. Submissions after the deadline can sadly not be taken into consideration after the timer (see webpage) has run out, even if one of the host posts hours later to close out the current running Challenge
  • our Twitter Account can be found via the handle @MixChallenge - throw us a Tweet and we add you to the participant lists

Also Important:
  • We're desperately looking for new source material for future Mix Challenges. Our pool has currently run dry. Please follow our official campaign. 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 28: Winners announced
Last edited by Compyfox on Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:15 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Topic Starter

14539 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Post Wed Dec 14, 2016 2:10 pm


Time Frame: Thursday, 15th December 2016 to Friday, 6th January 2017 (21 days)

Challenge submission will end on 06-01-2017, 11:59pm CET/GMT+1 (Germany) - until further notice.
Want to find out if you're still within the deadline, please visit the Mix Challenge webpage
We do post reminders via our Twitter account

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:

Song Provider: vivolator (via bstageboss)
Song Name and Length: Find Our Way, 4:56min
Song Information: 131 bpm / Signature: 4/4, Key of B maj (according to Hornet Songkey)
File Format: WAV, 44kHz, 24bit


Preview of the Song:

A word from the song provider:
bstageboss wrote:Hi all,

Thanks for taking a crack at mixing this tune.

The drums could definitely use more punch. Especially the kick drum. The toms are a little too "nice", they could lean a bit more towards "tribal drumming at a distance".

The bass pulse could also be a bit punchier, but try and balance that with the buzzy bass in the instrumental choruses. The pads should be spacious and wide, to surround the listener, but I'd steer towards delay more than reverb, to keep some clarity.

The vocal performance have a raw-ish quality that would be nice to preserve; if you want to try tuning them, go ahead, but the subject matter and performance was rather emotional for our singer, so I'd like to keep that feeling intact. The doubles and harmonies could be a bit fuller, though.

There are a few breaks and drops that could benefit from emphasizing them more; one drumbreak before the second verse could even be soloed and processed. Edits on the other breaks are up to you; whatever
you feel like throwing in there.

The aim for the overall mix was towards electro pop fused with some rock, sort of The Killers meet Alesso or Wolfgang Gartner. A nice electronic sheen, but with a rock edge from the guitar and vocal performance.

Of course, if you come up with something that's really cool that wasn't in the notes, I'd love to check it out, too.


One of the tracks contains a kick drum part that isn't meant to be heard; its purpose is to control the sidechain compression on the bright pad in the instrumental choruses, as well as the guitar 16th notes in the verse. You can try sidechaining a few of the other tracks if you like but the sidechain kick should not be sent to the master (mix bus).


- the guitar a Les Paul, recorded into a Mesa Boogie with a 2x12 Cabinet and a Shure SM57 on axis
- the drums are from Roland V-Drums

A few words by the Mix Challenge staff:
Staff (Compyfox) wrote:This track has a lot of potential, and to me this is a perfect candidate of late 90ies pop with the sound from early 2000's. So if you delve into that genre, this is the time frame you should look for.

The drums are fairly "raw" so to speak and can still be heavily treated with both EQ and compression, not to mention maybe even parallel processing.

Some tracks share different sounds, so if you want to clean up/prepare the project, look out for them for having more control over the mix.

The backing vocals can definitely use a healthy dose of a chorus or micro-pitching effect. In terms of the main vocals, I'd not keep them too "dry" either (emphasis: personal opinion!)

You basically have free hand in terms of mixing, even with creating effects during the breaks/drops. So 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:
  • 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 (if present in this production)
  • No rearrangement of the song structure, with the exception of the following add-on rules
  • ADD-ON RULE: none
  • try to not(!) pre-master the track (please no overuse of mix bus treatment)


Source Files:

Main Mix Package - Mirror on the Mix Challenge Homepage (336,92 MB, LZMA compressed)

The provided files were packed as ZIP with LZMA compression.
File size extracted: 2391,38 MB, packed 336,92 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:
Mix Challenge - Official Rules and Guidelines

Please address any OT question in the official Gossip thread:
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.
License will turn into NFR
More info on Acon Digital: http://acondigital.de

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/

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/

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/

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/

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/

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

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/

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


Good luck to all participants.
And most importantly, have fun!
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User avatar
31 posts since 31 May, 2016

Post Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:12 am

Hey, I'm sure this is the wrong place to post, but I can't for the life of me figure out where we're supposed to submit tracks. Could you clarify that for me?


Topic Starter

14539 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Post Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:21 pm

Sure I can, this is why I'm here for. :tu:

You upload your entry to "where-ever". Can be SoundCloud, DropBox, GoogleDrive, our own webspace. As long as the host (and participants) can download the WAV and MP3 file without jumping hoops (aka: logging in somewhere - as it's sadly the case with SoundCloud these days).

If that is problematic for you, throw me a PM and we can figure something out.

Have fun, and good luck. :tu:
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Topic Starter

14539 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Post Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:38 pm

And here is out first friendly reminder for the current running Mix Challenge
Including today, you have 14 days left to mix.

Please take note that I had a slight time offset with the timer (had one day less), that is corrected now. The correct end date is now the 06th January 2017 at 11:59pm. Please check the timer on our official homepage:

Additional to that, we hosts wish all of the Mix Challenge participants very peaceful and relaxing Happy Holidays
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User avatar
31 posts since 31 May, 2016

Post Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:08 pm

I meant where I was meant to post the entry, not where to upload it.


Topic Starter

14539 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Post Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:43 pm

The entry is posted here in this thread.

Check the previous Challenges to see how your posts could look like.
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User avatar
31 posts since 31 May, 2016

Post Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:58 pm

Ok, thanks.


Topic Starter

14539 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Post Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:46 am

So... who will break the ice first? :tu:
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User avatar
2396 posts since 13 Jun, 2008 from Napier,New Zealand

Post Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:35 pm

Here we go, first time I've entered. I mixed this super quick, maybe two hours? It was a pretty tidy track and I didn't do too much, the biggest problem was that the kick had too much bass... for my taste anyway. But any-hoo, here it is, good song too!


https://soundcloud.com/anelectricheartm ... -heart-mix


Topic Starter

14539 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Post Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:27 pm

A friendly reminder:
Including today, 7 days left to mix and submit your entry for the current Mix Challenge.
Never miss the deadline, follow our Twitter Account and check mix-challenge.com

Additional to that, the Mix Challenge team wishes you a(n early) happy and successful New Year 2017.
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49 posts since 17 Jun, 2015 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Post Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:13 pm

Hi, everyone!

I have a question to @vivolator: are the snare hits all supposed to be flam hits (one slightly after the other)? I felt like having ALL of them "flammed" makes the snare sound like it has a weird slapback delay effect on it. IMO this is more of a composition/arrangement decision, so totally up to you :tu:

User avatar
31 posts since 31 May, 2016

Post Sun Jan 01, 2017 6:10 pm

I'm not exactly the best at mixing, but I figured I'd give this a go (at least so as to improve).

https://soundcloud.com/hate9/mc28-vivol ... -hate9-mix

289 posts since 11 Sep, 2004 from just a little to the left

Post Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:58 pm

Hi everyone,

First off, Happy New Year to all of you, and thank you for taking a crack at mixing this tune.
So far I've checked out the first two mixes submitted (Thank You! :tu: ) and there's definitely some stuff I like. I'll keep listening and making notes.

Regarding the question from thiagoam88 about the snares: There were two snare tracks that ended up layered and we ended up using a small offset for one of them to give it more of a 'roomy' effect, which I think my drummer preferred at the time. Initially the plan was for a simple layering, with one for attack, the other for body. If you come up with something you think is really cool by realigning the tracks, by all means, do it.
Other notes: The Sylenth Pulse patch going through most of the song was meant to pretty much carry the verses, with the guitar 16ths adding more interest. We sidechained the guitar to get more emphasis on the upbeats (the guitar player/singer really liked the sound of it that way).
The choruses were meant to create a big space, in contrast to the verses, kind of like first running alongside, then jumping off a cliff and opening a parachute. (I know it's kind of an odd description for mixing, but we were after that sort of feeling, the lyrics in the verse describing a desperate, overwhelming situation and the choruses being about looking for a release from it.)

Hopefully this gets you a bit more insight into what we had in mind for the song. I am certainly grateful for anyone taking on this mix challenge; I ended up with a lot of tracks and sorting them out takes some doing.
So, again, thanks to all of you, and I'm looking forward to hearing more and being surprised by your creative mixing efforts.



User avatar
619 posts since 5 Mar, 2011 from Austria

Post Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:36 am

Hi all,

First of all, all the best for 2017! :party:

Here is my mix of this real nice song. It made fun to mix it.
The snare was allready mentioned. I left it as it was with the small time difference.
A lot of work was to remove the hard transients on the lead vocal. Some of them are realy sharp. I managed this with volume automation and de-esser together.

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

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