the official "theFB Mixing Challenge"....

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poopotpoopot Frets: 995
edited July 2 in Making Music
@TTony and @Roland ;;;;; have given me the go ahead to launch the first official “theFB Mixing Challenge”.

At the start of June, 20+ guitarists of varying ability and confidence walked into a studio (most for the first time) and played a few songs.

Very few of these guys had even met before let alone played with each other and pretty much all of the songs played that day were, Walk into room, Plug in guitar and away we go! All the songs were done in "One Take” with no rehearsal.

So to promote a bit of “Cross Category” love on theFB I’ve chosen a track from the day (Fortunate Son) and will make the raw tracks available to whoever wants to join in.

This is about getting a good mix from what is available, so no "re-recording parts".

If you want to join the fun, send me a DM and I will provide you with a link to the raw tracks.

Send your submissions to mix@thefretboard.co.uk as an mp3.


And completely stealing from @stratman3142 (sorry, Hope its ok?) 

Voting will start soon after the submission deadline of 24th July 2018, with each voter selecting their 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice.

First choice gets 5 points - Second choice gets 3 points - Third choice gets 1 point

Voting will end on 11.30pm 31st July 2018

The order and scores of the top three entries will be announced soon after the voting ends. If there are 8 or more entries, then the order and scores of those in the top half will be announced.  

No prizes. It's just for fun.

As people submit their entries, I'll post them in a playlist below. Hopefully we can share tips and tricks on how the mix was achieved.

Playlist of mixes bellow:

https://soundcloud.com/thefretboard/sets/thefb-mixing-challenge-no1

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Comments

  • flying_pieflying_pie Frets: 384
    Must use all the tracks... 

    Oh well. Not for me then. :)

    Good on you for organising this @poopot ;
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 995
    Must use all the tracks... 

    Oh well. Not for me then. :)

    Good on you for organising this @poopot ;
    Enter a “proper” one and send a “flyingpied” version afterwards... how’s that for a deal? :)
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 15765
    Sounds good .. like the track above. Will have a go.
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 995
    Fretwired said:
    Sounds good .. like the track above. Will have a go.
    Tracks sent
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 2949
    edited June 26
    Must use all the tracks... Oh well. Not for me then.
    I concur. In the context of a tFB "fun" mixing challenge, this constraint is unacceptable.

    If one were being paid by the quarter hour to use all of the supplied tracks, that would be different. 

    This is not said to be disrespectful to the musicians contributing to the multi-track recording(s). It is about doing what is best for each song. Sometimes, these two stipulations are incompatible. 

    As an example, I cite the 1999 edition of Jimi Hendrix Live At Woodstock. The Gyspy Sun And Rainbows sextet has been strategically mixed to emphasise the core trio of Hendrix, Mitchell and Cox. The second guitar and percussion have been adjusted to, ahem, do the least possible damage.

    Sometimes, you need to call in Andy White.
    I fear the Geeks, even when they bear GIFs.
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 995
    Must use all the tracks... Oh well. Not for me then.
    I concur. In the context of a tFB "fun" mixing challenge, this constraint is unacceptable.

    If one were being paid by the quarter hour to use all of the supplied tracks, that would be different. 

    This is not said to be disrespectful to the musicians contributing to the multi-track recording(s). It is about doing what is best for each song. Sometimes, these two stipulations are incompatible. 

    As an example, I cite the 1999 edition of Jimi Hendrix Live At Woodstock. The Gyspy Sun And Rainbows sextet has been strategically mixed to emphasise the core trio of Hendrix, Mitchell and Cox. The second guitar and percussion have been adjusted to, ahem, do the least possible damage.

    Sometimes, you need to call in Andy White.
    Ok, Maybe worded wrongly...   basically we don't want people re-doing  "Guitar" or "bass" parts for example...   Will Edit to reflect that.
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  • markblagdonmarkblagdon Frets: 584
    Why not have two challenges - one traditional, one free for all (Add keys, extra vocals, kazoo, goat yodeling, etc) - Id like to see what could be made from the same basic input material.
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 995
    Why not have two challenges - one traditional, one free for all (Add keys, extra vocals, kazoo, goat yodeling, etc) - Id like to see what could be made from the same basic input material.
    Moving forward I agree, a “remix” challenge would be a great thing to have...

    lets see see if we can get this one moving first. A few that have expressed interest in this comp have never mixed anything before and are keen to learn from others.

    Besides, with the amount of bleed on every track folk will have their work cut out with this one already :)
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  • flying_pieflying_pie Frets: 384
    @markblagdon I'm always up for the "ruin my song" extreme remix challenge 

    I think @poopot is right in that they're shouldn't be a middle ground where overdubs are used. Either mix with what you're given or cut it to pieces so it's unrecognisable 
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 15765
    edited June 26
    Come on .. there are 12 tracks of which 8 make up the drum kit. It's a bit of fun .... were it 30 tracks I'd agree.

    Let's just mix what we've been given .. :-)
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • BezzerBezzer Frets: 201
    Go on then, I'll give it a go ... been a while since I mixed live drums.
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 995
    Bezzer said:
    Go on then, I'll give it a go ... been a while since I mixed live drums.
    Files sent!
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 995
    Calling @spark240 and @IMC1980 you up for another?
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  • IMC1980IMC1980 Frets: 17
    I will get in on one in the future @poopot, trying to get through backlog of my own recordings to finish them off. I havent even downloaded the tracks for the last Chicken Thieves mix challenge and that was ages ago! 

    Will be interesting to hear what people do with their mixes though. 

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  • BezzerBezzer Frets: 201
    Oh my God ... the bleed ... the bleed ... it's everywhere!  Ha ha ...
    OK, I've done a mix but going to sit on it for a night and listen again with fresh ears.  Honestly though, I've never wanted to use drum replacement more ... not because of the drumming, just .. I wanted it all cleaner!  :) 
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 995
    Bezzer said:
    Oh my God ... the bleed ... the bleed ... it's everywhere!  Ha ha ...
    OK, I've done a mix but going to sit on it for a night and listen again with fresh ears.  Honestly though, I've never wanted to use drum replacement more ... not because of the drumming, just .. I wanted it all cleaner!  :) 
    It’s a challenge that’s for sure!  The day was more about “playing” rather than “recording”... 
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  • BezzerBezzer Frets: 201
    poopot said:
    It’s a challenge that’s for sure!  The day was more about “playing” rather than “recording”... 
    Well of course it was, it wasn't a criticism in any real sense.  Managed to gate most of it out of the kick and snare tracks but everywhere else, not a chance.  Does lead down the "OK, lets try for a balanced 'live' sound rather than a 'studio'" mixing game.
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 995
    Bezzer said:
    poopot said:
    It’s a challenge that’s for sure!  The day was more about “playing” rather than “recording”... 
    Well of course it was, it wasn't a criticism in any real sense.  Managed to gate most of it out of the kick and snare tracks but everywhere else, not a chance.  Does lead down the "OK, lets try for a balanced 'live' sound rather than a 'studio'" mixing game.
    Oh no!... I didn’t take it as a criticism, was commenting to excuse the recording :)

    to give you an idea of the setup, we had drums in one corner then bass amp and five guitar amps all around the room pointing into the middle!!!! The poor vocalists were stood in the middle of what was essentially a “noise circle” :)




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  • BezzerBezzer Frets: 201
    OK, I've sent in a mix. Hopefully it's reasonable ... think it sounds quite well balanced, you can hear everything, not nasty EQ spikes ... removed as much noise as possible so ... see what you think!

    Interestingly, I know I should've done but I didn't know this song until a year ago when I was challenged to cover it. Decided I'd go in with only lyrics, chords and an old school internet tab for arrangement purposes.  Might stick that up in another post ... :)
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 995
    Bezzer said:
    OK, I've sent in a mix. Hopefully it's reasonable ... think it sounds quite well balanced, you can hear everything, not nasty EQ spikes ... removed as much noise as possible so ... see what you think!

    Got it, will wait till I get another before I upload a play list!...
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 995
    Right, first mix has been submitted by @Bezzer and is in the playlist at the top of the thread... Who's next? how we all getting on?
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 995
    edited July 2
    Added mine to the playlist.

    Removed most of the bleed on the drums using a fast attack multipressor, Snare gets a big plate on a bus.
    kick and overheads have parallel compression.

    Bass, just a bit of compression and EQ.

    Lead guitar - EQ, send to bus with the plate and I have cut out all the dead space from the track.
    Rhythm guitar - EQ send to bus with the plate.

    Vocals - Cut out everything except the vocal from this track. Mild compression, small amount of pitch correction and send to bus with plate reverb

    Master track has light compression, EQ and limiter.

    Tempo raised slightly to get it jogging along nicely...


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  • CirrusCirrus Frets: 3439
    edited July 2
    I'm enjoying this thread! Just one request - could the entries be adjusted in volume so they're approximately level matched? Big volume difference between the two that are up at the moment.

    Happy to be told to piss off if not  B also happy to volunteer my own volume adjusting hand, level match them to something conservative like -16lufs to make it easier to switch between mixes to hear the different approaches.
    Captain Horizon (my band);
    Very (!) Occasional Blog
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  • BezzerBezzer Frets: 201
    My mix does seem a bit on the quiet side.  I'm not going to be around to get a chance to boost it further.  Was set to a zero db peak and compressed as I normally do.  On the off chance I get some spare time I'll see if I can add some loudification to it.
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  • BezzerBezzer Frets: 201
    As for some process of what I did:

    Drums.
    Kick and Snare were both gated to clean out as much bleed as possible, as these are such dramatic response this worked quite nicely.  The rest I had to live with the bleed (@poopot, can you give me some info on that multipressor, sounds useful!)
    EQ on the Kick to push the sub without too much whooomp, remove the boxiness with a mid cut and a boost around 5K to bring the beater in.
    On the Snare, emphasis on the crack, hi pass around 100Hz and a cut around 650 to tighten it up.
    General EQ on other mics ... just tighten the toms, take some fizz from the cymbals.
    Reverb channel set up, applied across all mics but only about 10% on the kick and snare, used to unify the kit but not weaken those drums.

    Guitars panned,compressed and gated.  EQ applied to boost some mid, cut the subs and remove a little fizz.

    Bass EQ to fit in with the kick a little better, boost some of the sub and a boost to brighten the attack a smidge.

    Vocals, just some EQ, compression and reverb ... @poopot if you got rid of the noise you're a genius and I NEED that plugin :)

    Final step was really light compression across the whole thing, some stereo enhancement, a limiter so I can push into the red and hold at 0db and a gentle EQ to even it out a touch.

    Definitely ended up too quiet though.
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 13577
    Bezzer said:
    As for some process of what I did:

    Drums.
    Kick and Snare were both gated to clean out as much bleed as possible, as these are such dramatic response this worked quite nicely.  The rest I had to live with the bleed (@poopot, can you give me some info on that multipressor, sounds useful!)
    EQ on the Kick to push the sub without too much whooomp, remove the boxiness with a mid cut and a boost around 5K to bring the beater in.
    On the Snare, emphasis on the crack, hi pass around 100Hz and a cut around 650 to tighten it up.
    General EQ on other mics ... just tighten the toms, take some fizz from the cymbals.
    Reverb channel set up, applied across all mics but only about 10% on the kick and snare, used to unify the kit but not weaken those drums.

    Guitars panned,compressed and gated.  EQ applied to boost some mid, cut the subs and remove a little fizz.

    Bass EQ to fit in with the kick a little better, boost some of the sub and a boost to brighten the attack a smidge.

    Vocals, just some EQ, compression and reverb ... @poopot if you got rid of the noise you're a genius and I NEED that plugin :)

    Final step was really light compression across the whole thing, some stereo enhancement, a limiter so I can push into the red and hold at 0db and a gentle EQ to even it out a touch.

    Definitely ended up too quiet though.
    The room setup was definitely done for players and not for the recording I'd say it was about as sub-optimal as it could get for a decent controlled recording!! As such, anything you guys manage to eek out of it is excellent
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 995
    edited July 2
    Cirrus said:
    I'm enjoying this thread! Just one request - could the entries be adjusted in volume so they're approximately level matched? Big volume difference between the two that are up at the moment.

    Happy to be told to piss off if not  B also happy to volunteer my own volume adjusting hand, level match them to something conservative like -16lufs to make it easier to switch between mixes to hear the different approaches.
    I guess it can be considered part of the challenge... Different mixes are going to come through at different levels depending on who has done the mixing.



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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 995
    Bezzer said:

    Vocals, just some EQ, compression and reverb ... @poopot if you got rid of the noise you're a genius and I NEED that plugin :)

    Ah, no... I got rid of the bleed on the vocal mic when there was no vocal by cutting the dead space out



    Did the same for the bleed on the 5e3 track
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  • BezzerBezzer Frets: 201
    edited July 2
    Ah see what you mean.  I tried that but felt (in my mix at any rate) it led to a weird effect, like some side chain compression going on.  Could just've been my setup / ears / incompetence though!
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  • BroccoBrocco Frets: 16
    As a mixing virgin I am feeling more than a little out of my depth!  
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