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2016 Mixing Contest

The contest is now closed.
We are judging the mixes and will let you know when we have a winner.

Prizes – 4 Winners Total

toontrack groove3 bdl

1st Place

  • Toontrack Superior Drummer + 1 SDX of choice ($478 Value)
  • Year pass to Groove3 ($150 Value)
  • All Boz Digital Labs Plugins for life (Priceless?)

2nd Place

  • Toontrack EZDrummer + 1 EZX of choice ($228 Value)
  • 30 day pass to Groove3 ($15 Value)
  • Any Boz Digital Labs plugin of choice ($149 Value)

3rd Place

  • Toontrack EZDrummer ($149 Value)
  • 30 day pass to Groove3 ($15 Value)
  • Any Boz Digital Labs plugin of choice ($149 Value)

Random Contestant

  • Toontrack EZDrummer ($149 Value)
  • 30 day pass to Groove3 ($15 Value)
  • Any Boz Digital Labs plugin of choice ($149 Value)

 The Song

The song was written and played by myself and Mark Richey (Red Line Tragedy). So I’m not the best guitar player in the world. Sue me (Just kidding, don’t sue me. I hate paperwork.). You get the DI tracks of all the guitars, with the neck and the bridge pickups tracked onto separate tracks (my favorite way to track guitars). You also get the DI bass track (bridge pickup only). Drums are samples, so you can either use the raw samples that I provided, or you can download the MIDI track and use whatever samples you want.

Everything is as raw as it can be. I really don’t want to sit through 2000 mixes that all sound the same. Do NOT use my version of the song as a reference. It’s just there to give you an idea of what the song sounds like. I want you to come up with your own take on the song. Plus, my guitars sound too fizzy anyway.

Song BPM: 170

Time Signature: 4/4

Standard guitar tuning

Mixes must be submitted by Sunday, September 4th at Midnight PST.

Download the Tracks

Drums Mirror 1  | Mirror 2 | Drums MIDI 
Vocals Mirror 1 | Mirror 2
Guitars Mirror 1 | Mirror 2

Free plugin to help with the stereo guitar tracks: Mac | Windows

Here’s a video that walks through how to use the plugin: https://youtu.be/ACIZ9Cx7l4c

Note: Yes, the files are called Drums2.zip, vocals2.zip and guitars2.zip. They do contain all the tracks. I just don’t want you to think you are missing anything because they are names XXX2.zip.

Your Job

Your job is simple: make this song sound as awesome as possible. Pretend that I’m the client and I want you to turn this song into magic. It’s up to you to decide how to do that. While this is a mixing contest, you are welcome to change up whatever you want if you think it makes the song better.

How to Enter

  1. Download the tracks
  2. Mix the tracks (obviously)
  3. PAY ATTENTION!! THIS IS IMPORTANT. Upload your song to some hosting service. You can use dropbox or soundcloud or whatever you want, just as long as we can listen to the song without having to create an account anywhere.
    Your mix must be streamable! Do not post your mix somewhere where the judges have to download the file in order to hear it. The judges are listening to a lot of mixes and adding extra steps makes it a lot harder.
  4. Go to this page and enter the URL to your song: http://www.bozdigitallabs.com/phpfunctions/submitsongform.php
    Note: You must be logged in to your Boz Digital Labs account to view that page. If you don’t have an account, you can make one for free.

Get Feedback on Your Mix

You are more than welcome to get feedback on your mix before entering. We have set up a facebook page for you guys to discuss the tracks, the song, get help and get feedback. You can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/254263468285882/ (I keep it a closed group because I know some people don’t want the whole world hearing their unfinished mixes). Just ask to be added to the group and I’ll add you.

How You Will be Judged

You will be judged on whether or not the judges think your song sounds great. That’s all there is to it. Extra points will not go to people just because it’s different, but feel free to be creative. If there’s a sound in your head, do whatever it takes to get that sound.

Rules

I want to make this fun, so we have to have a few rules.

  1. One Entry Per Person. You can enter one song. You are free to post your mix for feedback on other forums or Facebook or whatever, but once you submit it, you have submitted it. No more changes.
  2. Submit your mix by September 4th. Any submissions entered after this date will be ignored. There doesn’t exist a single excuse in the world that will make us change our mind on this, so don’t procrastinate.
  3. No whining. This is supposed to be fun. Not everybody will agree with the winner. Just accept that fact now so we can all move on and have a good time.
  4. Give Feedback to Other Contestants. This isn’t really a rule, but just some advice. The whole point of this is so we can all get better. By giving feedback on other people’s mixes, not only will they learn, but so will you. Be nice about it. I shouldn’t have to say that.
  5. Have Fun. If you aren’t having fun, you are doing it wrong. The whole point of this contest is to learn and get better. Any emails I received telling me that I should die or my house should be burned down will be ignored and forwarded directly to your mom.

FAQ

Q: How much of the song can I change?

A: While we are not looking for a new song, you are welcome to make any changes to the order, instruments, vocals, whatever. It does need to be recognizably the same song in order to be considered a winner. If you want to have fun with it and replace the guitar with a banjo, be my guest. I can’t imagine that winning though, but if you can pull it off, more power to you.

Q: Will this contest be judged fairly?

A: Of course not. There’s no possible way to judge thousands of mixes and keep it completely objective. The point is to have fun and to learn. If your end product sounds awesome, we will notice.

Q: How many submissions to I get.

A: One submission.

Q: Can I get feedback on my mix before submitting?

A: Yes, you are welcome to get feedback from anyone you’d like before submitting your mix. Once you have submitted your mix, however, you can’t make changes to it. We have set up a facebook forum specifically designed to get mix feedback, so feel free to utilize it. You can also use any number of forums that already exist for getting mix feedback. There are plenty of them out there, and they are a great resource.

Q: Do I have to comment on other people’s mixes in order to qualify?

A: No, you don’t have to, but it’s highly encouraged. Again, the point of this contest is to learn and get better, and pointing out the good and bad parts of other people’s mixes is a good way for both you and them to learn.

89 thoughts on “2016 Mixing Contest”

  1. For the Contest 2016

    I think I speak for all when I say that the St. Anger mix is at a level of excellence all on its own. That man deserves the Nobel Prize for innovating and inspiring with his unparalleled mixing abilities (mostly within the 400-1000Hz range).

  2. Just out of curiosity, how many mixes were submitted? Wasn’t there something like 2400 or so last year?
    I’ve been listening to a lot of them on Soundcloud, and a lot of them sound great. Gotta be tough for the judges for sure.
    Anyway, good luck to everyone, and thank you Boz for doing this again this year. It was fun!

  3. This is my first competition and my first time doing a mix like this for someone else. It was a learning experience like no other and I had an amazing time doing the mix for the competition as well. Just like Boz Millar said, “If you aren’t having fun, then you are doing it wrong.” This was a great learning experience for me and the experience I gained by doing this will help me greatly in the future. Thanks for giving me and everyone else an opportunity to do something great, amazing and to either brush up on our skills and /or learn something new in the process.
    Best wishes to everyone who participated in the contest and good luck to everyone.

    Best,
    Joseph Valo III

  4. I had been out of the country and away from my DAW for the past four weeks. I just got back yesterday and finally got a chance to mix this thing. What an awesome song! This has been a lot of fun. This is actually the first rock track I’ve ever mixed. I’m a video game music composer, so most of my music is orchestral or electronic in nature. This was a great challenge and I really enjoyed it. I want to submit my track right away, but I’m going to let it sit overnight in case I hear something new in the morning when my ears have had a chance to rest.

  5. Thank you for doing this contest. It’s really a awesome song, and many of my friends really loving it.
    I just finished the mix, and I have a question?
    Do you want me to submit with mp3 or wave File?
    Kind Regards
    Bassen72 (Bjørn Storsveen)

    1. For the Contest 2016

      I mastered mine, but I take the less is more stance on mastering. No compression or limiting whatsoever. Just EQ and sometimes a couple of other subtle tricks.

  6. Pretty cool song. Only gripe I have about the tracks is that the vocal tuning is a little spotty during certain parts, and you can tell that lots of these tracks where comped because the volume or tone just randomly changes mid phrase. Drums, bass, and guitars are in good shape though.

    1. I consolidated the tracks into as few tracks as possible to make the download smaller. So there are some tracks where the vocals change from one phrase to the next, but that’s usually because they were tracked be used as separate tracks. You can break them apart as much as you would like.

      The tuning wasn’t perfect, but I didn’t want people to waste a whole bunch of time on editing and tuning, so I figured it would be better to provide the pre-baked tuning rather than make people spend time on it rather than focus on mixing.

  7. So I’ve uploaded the killer wining mix (I can dream) where / how can I listen to the competition, I mean the mixes that other folk have entered?

    Or do we have to wait until the winner is chosen to hear some of the other mixes?

    I gather that a previous Boz mix contest got 24,000 entries! I’d just like the chance to hear a few of the entries for this competition.

    I love all the Boz Digital plug ins I have and like the fact that they look good as well as sounding great.

    Thanks for hosting this competition and good luck with the judging I hope it doesn’t break you down, break you daoooowwnnnnn ! 😉

  8. Brand New Groove

    I do have a bit of a complaint to be honest regarding this competition. I have started unpacking the audio tracks for mastering and i realised that there is not a bass guitar. This will give poor results in the mastering process and will not allow it to sound as good as it possibly could.

  9. I feel bad about everyone having problems with the download and the midi tracks. I must be in the minority, because as soon as I switched to mirror two, I got everything first try. I should’ve bought a lottery ticket. Haha

    Thanks for the contest Boz. I really like the track. I am having lot’s of fun playing around with the guitars, vocals………
    I thank everybody in advance for any feedback I may get when I upload the mix.
    I found the original drum tracks provided a great start. I may try layering something.

    : – )
    TC

  10. I usually like to give and get feedback but this time I’ll probably barely have the time to do the mix.
    So, sorry in advance if I won’t..
    Downloading right now:)

      1. Yeah, I tried sending it to a virtual Instrument. It wants me to import the tempo settings as well…I don’t know really lol. I will probably just use what you have. Thanks man!

  11. Hi Boz, Many thanks for running this!

    I have a quick question you might be able to answer and save me some time. Were the vocals all tracked at the same time for this? (I.e. on the same day with the same mic) Or was it captured over multiple sessions?

    Cheers!
    Mark

  12. bartosz.seredyn.83@o2.pl

    Hi, I can not download the file “mirror 1” whether it is guitar, vocals and drums. I worry about this. I have a mirror 2 it will be enough?

      1. Would it be possible for you to share the SSD4 Player kit preset for your printed drums? I think its a great starting point for many a rock mix. Thanks for your time either way.

  13. Thanks for fixing all the downloads before I got started 😀 No problems on Win 10 – I downloaded all from Mirror 2 and the MIDI file as well and unzipped them with no issues.

  14. I downloaded the audio and the midi files. When I opened them in Pro Tools, the midi track was slower (and longer) than the audio. Did I do something wrong? I set up the session as 44.1, 24 bit.

    1. Sept 4th 11:59pm and he is probably allowing for everyones particular time zone since he hasn’t stated,,,
      I’ll get em in early 😀 not like I do this for a living, yet, lol,,, one day I hope 😀

  15. stripes27@hotmail.com

    Got everything, but the midi drum track. I guess that’s a good sign there will be some good amount of competition since the traffic must be messing with One Drive 🙂 Thanks and Cheers!!

    1. Sorry, I tried to space out the email so it would go out over the course of the day, but more people are responding to it than I expected. The traffic should die down a little as time goes on. It’s just getting hit hard right now.

        1. Thanks for the solution. For whatever reason, apples archive utility can’t figure out how to open these. Unarchiver worked for me too, but I’ll have to find a better solution that doesn’t require people to download extra software.

    1. I am slightly confused and not at all conceptually happy about having the 3 sets of stereo tracks of the guitars, your ascii says that tracks of all the guitars, you do not say it is three melanges. You take important image building options away. That of course is the same for all, but if it was for money I would refuse the task if I did not get the components. However the constraints it poses are interesting even if it is not raw tracks. I do however like the serving of the vox tracks, thank you!

      1. Really!? First of all, you can easily split a stereo track into two mono tracks. I’m not sure why this is a problem for you. Also, the producer’s intentions could very well have been to have stereo guitars in which case you might want to consider his vision in your mix. Honestly, for a rock song like this I don’t know why you wouldn’t want the guitars in stereo. You just need some sort of re-amp plugin since they are just DI’s. They worked fine for me and had no problem getting good sounds out of them in my mix.

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