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Old 10-01-2021, 05:54 AM   #1
darjama
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Default reaMIXed: The Reaper Mixing Contest - October 2021 - The Island Of Alsocanla

REAPER CONTEST - October 2021
(ONLY REAPER PLUGINS ALLOWED)



OFFICIAL WEBSITE: reaMIXed.com


MIXING: 1-16 October
VOTING: 20-26 October
RESULTS: 28 October
FEEDBACK: 29-31 October



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This month's track, chosen by last month's winner Dex, is "The Island Of Alsocanla" by Imp Act. They are an instrumental rock act based in Singapore.

Please remember:

-NO GLUING OF FILES
-ONLY NATIVE REAPER FX -or- non-Native JSFX files that you include with your submission.

Also, I'd recommend taking advantage of the new normalization settings in the reaper rendering dialog to meet the LUFS and dbFS requirements. My suggested workflow would be:

1. Normalize to -14 LUFS.
2. If your mix peaks at or under -1 dbFS, you're done!
3. If your mix peaks over -1 dbFS, rerender it normalizing to -1 dbFS.

MixCheck (https://reamixed.com/mixcheck/) is still beta, it can help you by analyzing your .rpp files before you upload to:
- Make sure your they don't contain disqualifying audio files
- Make sure your they don't contain disqualifying VST/AU plugins
- See what non-native JSFX files you need to include in your zip file
- See what non-native impulse files you need to include in your zip file

NOTE that Mix Check DOES NOT upload your mix, only checks your project file on your local machine.

Once Mix Check has been tested I may not require you to send in the mixed flacs, just the project files, jsfx and impulses. I'd like to hear your thoughts on that.

You can download the multitrack from the website or clicking on this link.

Again, no prize this month, aside from the customary track-picking privileges for the next month's contest.

Happy mixing!
-Daryl

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Old 10-01-2021, 07:02 AM   #2
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Here again after a break.
A challenging pick for this month. Post-rock? Mogwai? Godspeed you! Black Emperor?
First reference: https://open.spotify.com/track/3EBy3...18d35cfb1240a5
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Old 10-01-2021, 09:04 AM   #3
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Welcome back, LCM!

To be honest, this month I leaned toward selecting a song that would be on the easier side (in terms of number of tracks), in the hopes of inspiring more people to join the contest. There are some far more complicated songs (in the 40-70 track range) that I have on my radar for future contests, but for now I felt like it would be better to keep things simple.
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Old 10-02-2021, 12:59 AM   #4
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Great song selection, DEX!
I have been looking at the competition for a very long time, and finally decided to try to participate!
Good mixes everyone!))
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Old 10-02-2021, 01:31 PM   #5
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Recommend you put the original (mix/song?) up on the website so participants can hear the composition before having to download stems
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Old 10-02-2021, 10:19 PM   #6
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I don't include a finished mix of the song because I don't want people to think the goal is replicate the original or official mix. You can usually find the official versions pretty easily with a google or youtube search.
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Old 10-03-2021, 11:49 AM   #7
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Default reaching -14dB LUFS w/o any FX only possible with clipping?

Hi, I'm a bit at a loss. After finishing my mix yesterday, I checked the levels (rendering dialog in Reaper v6.36) with normalising ON to -14dB LUFS-I. But never came below the -14dB w/o clipping. At last I've disabled ALL FX - no compressor, no limiter, no EQ, nothing whatsoever. Okay, -14dB LUFS reached, but still 299 times cliping and Peak at +1.8dB. Re-rendering for -1.0 dB can be done of course, but this changes nothing for the clipping.
Does this mean that the mix already is too loud for the rules? Even without any EQ, compressing or limiting?
As I said, I'm at a loss. Are my thoughts are correct or is it complete nonsense?
BTW: rendering and normalizing the 20 waves to -14dB LUFS shows that the drums and Bass-DI are already clipping massively (>999 clips) with peaks up to +12dB.
Greetings from Germany
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Old 10-03-2021, 01:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jopame View Post
Hi, I'm a bit at a loss. After finishing my mix yesterday, I checked the levels (rendering dialog in Reaper v6.36) with normalising ON to -14dB LUFS-I. But never came below the -14dB w/o clipping. At last I've disabled ALL FX - no compressor, no limiter, no EQ, nothing whatsoever. Okay, -14dB LUFS reached, but still 299 times cliping and Peak at +1.8dB. Re-rendering for -1.0 dB can be done of course, but this changes nothing for the clipping.
Does this mean that the mix already is too loud for the rules? Even without any EQ, compressing or limiting?
As I said, I'm at a loss. Are my thoughts are correct or is it complete nonsense?
If when rendering your mix and normalizing to -14dbFS you still have peaks over -1 dBFS, rerender it normalizing to -1 dBFS then you are done. But once you add some compression/limiting your dBFS and LUFS will change. Normalizing should be done after processing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jopame View Post
BTW: rendering and normalizing the 20 waves to -14dB LUFS shows that the drums and Bass-DI are already clipping massively (>999 clips) with peaks up to +12dB.
Greetings from Germany
Jopame
I would not recommend normalizing individual tracks before mixing.

I would expect raw tracks that are more dynamic to clip when normalizing them to -14LUFS.

There's some good info and visualizations on understanding LUFS at https://www.masteringthemix.com/blog...ing-using-lufs (though they are trying to sell you their plugin). Anyone else have a resource to share?

Last edited by darjama; 10-03-2021 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 10-05-2021, 11:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darjama View Post
If when rendering your mix and normalizing to -14dbFS you still have peaks over -1 dBFS, rerender it normalizing to -1 dBFS then you are done. But once you add some compression/limiting your dBFS and LUFS will change. Normalizing should be done after processing.


I would not recommend normalizing individual tracks before mixing.

I would expect raw tracks that are more dynamic to clip when normalizing them to -14LUFS.

There's some good info and visualizations on understanding LUFS at https://www.masteringthemix.com/blog...ing-using-lufs (though they are trying to sell you their plugin). Anyone else have a resource to share?

Thanks Daryl for your explanation and also the link. The recipe is clear so far.
I was just wondering (and struggling a bit) what to do with those massive clips when normalising to -14dB LUFS. And no, I won't normalise individual tracks. I was just curious about how hot the 20 original wave files were (they sounded quiet hot for me), so I just normalised them so see what's going on.
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Old 10-05-2021, 11:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jopame View Post
Hi, I'm a bit at a loss. After finishing my mix yesterday, I checked the levels (rendering dialog in Reaper v6.36) with normalising ON to -14dB LUFS-I. But never came below the -14dB w/o clipping. At last I've disabled ALL FX - no compressor, no limiter, no EQ, nothing whatsoever. Okay, -14dB LUFS reached, but still 299 times cliping and Peak at +1.8dB. Re-rendering for -1.0 dB can be done of course, but this changes nothing for the clipping.
Does this mean that the mix already is too loud for the rules? Even without any EQ, compressing or limiting?
As I said, I'm at a loss. Are my thoughts are correct or is it complete nonsense?
BTW: rendering and normalizing the 20 waves to -14dB LUFS shows that the drums and Bass-DI are already clipping massively (>999 clips) with peaks up to +12dB.
Greetings from Germany
Jopame
This is normal. It just means you have a high peak-to-average volume ratio in your mix. You can either clip and/or limit those peaks, or you could just re-render at a lower volume to get the peaks down to a max of -1 dB.

You are not required to submit a mix that has an integrated loudness of -14 dB. It is allowed to be quieter.
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Old 10-10-2021, 02:11 PM   #11
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I've just submitted my mix.
Good luck to everyone and eager to see your works.


(I think it was not that easy hehehe)
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Old 10-12-2021, 05:37 AM   #12
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I just submitted my mix for October 2021. No custom JSFX at all this time. No vocals in this track, so I didn't find the need. I used a lot less compression than I would normally do. Had a lot of 'arguments' with the cymbals. Hopefully it sounds respectable and decent.
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Old 10-12-2021, 05:53 PM   #13
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Finally just gave up and submitted my entry.

First mix with new monitors and headphones, I think its going to be all over the place. Man I found it hard to tame those guitars and cymbals and still retain some top end.

The one problem I have with this competition is I spend half the month with the current contest song just going AROUND AND AROUND in my brain, and there's not a lot of room in there at the best of times.

rob
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Old 10-13-2021, 02:40 AM   #14
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My mix is submitted. This is my first round of participation, looking forward to more. Thanks for doing this!
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Old 10-14-2021, 05:18 AM   #15
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I too had issues taming the cymbals for this song. I wound up doing a lot of work and EQ to get it to a place where I felt it was acceptable. No doubt the feedback from someone will be that the cymbals are not loud enough! lol It happens.

I wound up cutting the highs on the cymbals and boosting the high highs with X Comp.

This was tough for me because I literally NEVER mix anything that is without vocals. Obviously the guitar is the star here for the most part. I wound up messing with JS Amp and Cab stuff until I found an acceptable tone for each guitar.

We'll see how it goes. I understand the concerns you have Westie regarding mixing with new monitors and headphones. If you aren't used to them yet it's tough to say how it's going to go. But if you used reference tracks then you probably aren't far from it.

Looking forward to hearing what everyone has done with the song. I did some things I've never done and hope that it will be received well. We'll see!
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Old 10-14-2021, 10:33 AM   #16
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I've submitted my mix. It was a tough song to mix, mainly because the tracks were recorded so poorly. Oh well, that's just how it goes sometimes!

Looking forward to hearing everyone else's mixes next week.
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Old 10-15-2021, 05:31 AM   #17
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Default new render feature in v6.37 !!

Hi,
so, just uploaded.
has anyone seen the new render feature which includes normalising to -14dB LUFS and automatically (in a second step) the normalising to -1dB peak? That's really helpful!!
I hope rendering using this feature meets the conditions.

The de-noising of the really ugly sounding guitars I found very laborious. Is it just me who doesn't like heavy distorted guitars but dislikes this overwhelming noise? I've cut out a lot at higher frequencies.
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Old 10-15-2021, 11:24 AM   #18
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Just entered my mix for this month.

I uploaded twice since my first upload attempt seemed faulty.

Sorry if that causes any inconvenience.



I have to admit, this month´s Mix session was quite intense.

My ears are still ringing from the guitars.
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Old 10-15-2021, 01:36 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jopame View Post
has anyone seen the new render feature which includes normalising to -14dB LUFS and automatically (in a second step) the normalising to -1dB peak? That's really helpful!!
I hope rendering using this feature meets the conditions.
Yup, see the first post, I recommend using it.
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Old 10-21-2021, 06:23 AM   #20
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voting is open: https://reamixed.com/vote
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Old 10-21-2021, 06:55 PM   #21
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I thought mixing was hard enough but voting is even harder.

I am so far out of my comfort zone with judging. Not qualified in any way, shape or form to pass judgement on others.

Well done everybody, that was not an easy mix.
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Old 10-22-2021, 12:36 AM   #22
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Quote:
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Well done everybody, that was not an easy mix.
What was the problem with the tracks? I mean wtf, the results are all over the place, it's not even funny anymore.
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Old 10-22-2021, 06:28 AM   #23
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What was the problem with the tracks? I mean wtf, the results are all over the place, it's not even funny anymore.
Mixing is hard, right? I agree the results showed a high degree of variation. Perhaps it could be related to how the guitar tones were really harsh to begin with, throwing many off the general tonal centre, either compensating too much or too little. My 2 cents.
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Old 10-22-2021, 06:56 AM   #24
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What was the problem with the tracks? I mean wtf, the results are all over the place, it's not even funny anymore.
I think the main thing is what we are listening on and room acoustics. Room treatment or none? How else do you account for such wide range of mixes from the same tracks??

I've seen many times in this contest where someone has a very heavy bass mix to my ears, then rate every other mix as not being able to hear the bass at all! I think it comes down to how your room is setup and your monitoring chain. I've used this contest to help me with my room and monitor adjustment. If every comment says I can't hear the bass then I probably need to turn the bass down on my monitors to compensate for next months contest.

Also, with this song some replaced the guitar sounds with IR responses, which is cool but I'm not sure is the intended scope of the contest. I would assume the band liked the sound coming out of their amps and wanted to keep it, for the most part. To each their own, I didn't take off stars because of it.
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Old 10-22-2021, 07:07 AM   #25
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"[...] not sure is the intended scope of the contest."
Well, as long as its not strictly forbidden, I believe it's within the scope of the contest.
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Old 10-22-2021, 07:54 AM   #26
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Well, as long as its not strictly forbidden, I believe it's within the scope of the contest.
Fair enough! lol

I enjoyed listening to the new sounds, but if I was the band and somebody changed out all my Line6 Spider amp sounds with something worthwhile I'd be pissed! ha ha
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Old 10-22-2021, 05:52 PM   #27
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I think that the variation in the "quality" of the mixes reflects that this competition is open to all. From the totally inexperienced beginner to those who have experience working in professional studios. So I'm not surprised at the differences.

I know I've learnt a lot already in the few submission I have made, both by comparison to good mixes and by constructive criticism from those who are willing to use their experience to point out where I have got it wrong.

I would like to think that there is always a place for the rank beginner in this competition. After all we were all just beginners once.
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Old 10-24-2021, 02:27 AM   #28
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Great replies, thanks! I remember (almost too well, cough cough) a time where I also struggled with my mixes - but I wasn't aware that I was struggling. The most important thing is to develop your listening, and as we all know development and learning works best when you make mistakes.
This applies to the listening environment more than most of you beginners might realise. Since you don't know what you're missing, you cannot know what needs to change. It's a slow process - that can only be accelerated by a mentor of some sort, with access to the best possible environment.

The reason why I was asking in the first place: Most of the mixes may (keep in mind I don't know the original tracks) have sounded much better if the recorded tracks were just left alone. It's tempting to tweak and alter each and every signal, but in many cases it isn't even necessary (save compression and the odd reverb send).

So I'm going to vote and add some constructive and hopefully helpful notes, based on what I hear --- EDIT: I'm afraid I can't ‒ I underestimated how much I loathe this genre, neither can I listen longer than 10 seconds nor do I have an idea how it's supposed to sound aka what it should feel like.
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Old 10-24-2021, 09:45 AM   #29
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This one was my fist submission into the competition. Definitely noticed the variation of all of the mixes tonalities. I regret being a little harsh in my notes while voting. Monitoring is everything to me, otherwise you won´t take the right decisions. It´s a pity because some of them had really cool mixing ideas but the general eq curve turns you off.
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Old 10-24-2021, 10:53 AM   #30
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Quote:
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Great replies, thanks! I remember (almost too well, cough cough) a time where I also struggled with my mixes - but I wasn't aware that I was struggling. The most important thing is to develop your listening, and as we all know development and learning works best when you make mistakes.
This applies to the listening environment more than most of you beginners might realise. Since you don't know what you're missing, you cannot know what needs to change. It's a slow process - that can only be accelerated by a mentor of some sort, with access to the best possible environment.

The reason why I was asking in the first place: Most of the mixes may (keep in mind I don't know the original tracks) have sounded much better if the recorded tracks were just left alone. It's tempting to tweak and alter each and every signal, but in many cases it isn't even necessary (save compression and the odd reverb send).

So I'm going to vote and add some constructive and hopefully helpful notes, based on what I hear --- EDIT: I'm afraid I can't ‒ I underestimated how much I loathe this genre, neither can I listen longer than 10 seconds nor do I have an idea how it's supposed to sound aka what it should feel like.
You could listen to the official mix here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/57s8WdxR254AhZqPwG4Wdt
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Old 10-28-2021, 09:33 AM   #31
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The results are in, congrats LCM! I'll be in touch about choosing next month's song. See comments and download projects from https://reamixed.com/results/

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Old 10-28-2021, 05:17 PM   #32
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Well done LCM, a deserved winner.
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Old 10-29-2021, 12:17 AM   #33
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This was fun, even though I want to slap myself reading some of the comments . Looking forward to the next round! Thanks everyone for participating.
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Old 10-29-2021, 07:09 AM   #34
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Well done LCM, a deserved winner.
Thanks Rob. As I have just said to Daryll, I think there were a handfull of mixes as good (at least) as mine (no humblebragging).
I hope you all will enjoy my pick for next month.
See you all there.
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Old 10-30-2021, 05:23 AM   #35
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Default Thanks for the comments

Thanks everyone for the comments, they are very helpful for the next time. I also angerd myself for my bad mix, as it was very muffled (I'm rayrayne by the way). But for mixing it in about 90 minutes on one evening, I think my ears were too tired, but I was late. I am a beginner and this is exactly what I searched for, getting constructive feedback to my mix. Looking forward for the next song. Thanks also to the manager of this contest for the work you do.
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Old 10-31-2021, 04:29 PM   #36
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@LCM!
agree to disagree mate.

@cschuetz
Couldn't agree more. The chance to have someone critique a mix with constructive criticism? Priceless, so helpful.
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