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Mixing Contest!!!

Update: The contest is now ended. We are now going through the submissions and picking a winner. There were lots of submissions and we want to make sure each one gets a fair listen, so hang tight. When we choose a winner we will announce it through our email list and facebook, and contact the winner directly.

In the meantime, the tracks will remain available to download for those who missed the contest but still want to mix the tracks for practice.

Boz Digital Labs and David Bendeth are holding a mixing contest with awesome prizes. Contest Ends Aug 21, so get your mixes in early.

 

Prizes

summer Mixing banner 2

1st Place: All Boz Digital Labs plugins for life! This means that you get all BDL plugins that have been made or ever will be made.  That means there will be one less person in the world who wants me dead.

And a PRS SE 245 signed by Paul Reed Smith.

2nd Place: You take home +10db Bundle and Hoser XT.

3rd Place: Your choice of either +10db Bundle or Hoser XT.

Random Contestant: One random contestant will win their choice of either +10db Bundle or Hoser XT.  This person will be chosen randomly.

The Song

I’d describe this song as a modern rock ballad, but I don’t want my opinion of the song swaying your mixing decisions, so listen to it yourself and judge how you want the final mix to sound.

You can listen to the song mixed by Greg Johnson. Keep in mind that this is a contest to see how you can do mixing it, so don’t use this as any sort of a golden reference or anything. Use your own creative judgement.

Title: Believe

Written By: Josh Paschke and Greg Johnson

Performed By: I Am Cassettes – Josh Paschke (Vocals), Jon Levario (Guitar), Darren Garcia (Drums), Greg Johnson (Keyboards) and Kevin Garcia (Bass)

Tracked By: Greg Johnson

BPM: 74 at 6/8

How to Enter

– Step 1 –

Download the stems. There are 4 separate zip files. They are big, so be patient. Choose either Mirror1 or Mirror2 (not both) for each section. The files are the same.

Drums: Mirror1, Mirror2

Vocals: Mirror1, Mirror2

Orchestra: Mirror1, Mirror2

Guitars: Mirror1, Mirror2

Note: These stems are tracked at 48kHz. Most DAWs should be able to handle the sample rate conversion just fine if you want to mix in 44.1kHz, but I wanted to let you know in case it throws anybody off.

– Step 2 –

Mix your song. Duh.

– Step 3 –

PAY ATTENTION!! THIS IS IMPORTANT. Upload your song to www.soundlcoud.com  and tag it with #bdl2015mix. If you don’t do this, we will not see nor hear your song. Make sure that your track is downloadable so that we can hear the original version without Soundcloud’s compression. It’s in your best interest to use high bit rate mp3s when uploading.

If you don’t have an account, you can make one quickly for free.

– Step 4 –

Just wait. We will go through and listen to all the songs once the deadline is here and we will announce the winner.

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.

2) Submit your mix by August 21. 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.

Other Thoughts

This is not a loudness contest. Smashing your mix into oblivion is not the purpose. That said, keep in mind that the people judging the mixes are actual humans and subject to the laws of psychoacoustics.

Be creative.  This is your chance to try new things without consequences. Get out of your comfort zone a bit and have fun with it.

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parnellij
6 years ago

Came across this way late. I aspired to be an audio engineer two decades ago. My last attempt to mix was on an analog board using a Tascam DA-88. I’m getting the bug again, so I decided to challenge myself by mixing this song. This is my first attempt to mix on a PC. I downloaded Audacity for free and used just the plugins that came installed, except for a free noise gate and guitar amp plugin. My monitor is a $30 pair of ear buds. I’m actually quite happy with the the way this came out, although the mix is bright as hell. I had the same tendancy 20 years ago 🙂

https://soundcloud.com/parnellij/believe

parnellij
6 years ago
Reply to  parnellij

Update: Just listened to this over real speakers. Boy does it sound like crap. Let this be a lesson in using accurate monitors.

TheBrince
7 years ago

how are you all gonna have the same person win twice? (3rd and 4th place) what kind of crap is that?!

TheBrince
7 years ago
Reply to  TheBrince

never min guess it was some kind of mishap on my browser

Glen Felkins
7 years ago

Congratulations to the winners! It’s been a great contest and I learned a lot!

Josiah Hamilton
7 years ago

Congrats to the winners!!!

Not that I stood a chance, but if my soundcloud submission still shows that it has never been downloaded, does that mean it may not have had a listen?

Marty
7 years ago

Just noticed that as of today I have 0 downloads on my SoundCloud submission. Looks like the judges have their hands full. This may take some time. Can anyone confirm when all of the pre-deadline submissions have been downloaded?

Marty
7 years ago
Reply to  Marty

Just checked and my entry was on time and according to my stats, never listened to or downloaded.

hamradio
7 years ago
TheBrince
7 years ago

can i please get some comments on my mix?
Thank you!
https://soundcloud.com/thebrince/believe-performed-by-i-am-cassettes

Pro5
7 years ago

Very late to the party as usual but I stil grabbed the files last night and did what I call a ‘quick mix’ (last night on headphones then again on the monitors today). As I’m not trying to win I can’t spare too much time to go in and nuance the mix (more FX and tricks, vocal level automation etc as I would usually) but I got a basic mix down which I’d be happy to get critiques on (good and bad/constructive) cheers https://soundcloud.com/pro5/believe-i-am-cassettes-snippet-only-pass-2-read-details-bdl2015mix << Only a snippet as competition is closed but if anyone wants the full song I can upload it.

studio_maks
7 years ago
Reply to  Pro5

Hi Pro5,
A good mix! More balanced than many of our mixes in this contest. We can hear all the instruments in that passage. If you are interested in a few points with some room for improvement, I’d say:
– A tad bright, more mids would sound nice,
– The voice could be a bit louder as it gets slightly buried in the music; only here and there though,
– The solo guitar would gain from being more prominent.
I hope this help somewhat.
Best,
MC

Roberto
7 years ago

Hi all i’m very happy to be in this contest.I mixed this beauty song with a great care to preserve the dynamics and the transients in the final part especially.This is a song with a great emotional intensity…..i did not think to the loudness stuff.
The loudness war it’s over(Bob Katz)!
Good luck at all

https://m.soundcloud.com/gimproductions/believe-mixed-by-gim-productionssstudio-rome

ask4alex
7 years ago

Hey Boz, after reading some of the posted concerns, were you able to get to all the entries? I put mine up on the last day. 500 was the magic maxed out number on soundcloud, were you able to listen to other entries that were posted beyond the 500 mark? Here’s my link;

https://soundcloud.com/alex-27819177/believe-i-am-cassettes-bdl-contest-bdl2015mix-mix-by-alex

Schitz
7 years ago

Hey,
Is the contest still being judged?

studio_maks
7 years ago
Reply to  Schitz

Unfortunately, no. The deadline was August 21st. But it’s great to be able to grab some fresh tracks to mix, if only for the pleasure of it. Great song!
Best,

studio_maks
7 years ago
Reply to  studio_maks

Error on my part. I read too fast. Yes, the contest is still being judged as far as we know. “Like” the Facebook account to get fresh updates from Boz.

evergroove
7 years ago
Reply to  Schitz

Actually, yes. The contest is still being *judged* but is no longer accepting any entries. They have not selected a winner yet.

RobinLeijon
7 years ago
qwertyasdf
7 years ago

Who won?

Schitz
7 years ago
Reply to  qwertyasdf

I was wondering the same thing.
Is it still being judged?

studio_maks
7 years ago
Reply to  Schitz

It sounds like it. Go to the “Boz Digital labs” Facebook profile to read the latest on it.
Best,

dnery
7 years ago
mokobigbro
7 years ago

Hello Boz,

When will the winner be announced?

Cheers,
Moko

estudiovertigo
7 years ago

My Mix doesnt appear in the feed of #bdl2015mix page.
??
Posted 1-2 day until the end .

https://soundcloud.com/andrehmattos/i-am-cassetes-believe-andreh-mattos-boz-mix-contest-2015

jerze
7 years ago

Please check #bdl2015mix. not just #bdl2015mix
There are a few of use with the period at the end.
Thanks

1176
7 years ago

Thanks BDL for awesome multitrack and encouraging!

I wonder if any girls took part in competition? Please reply me a link, if there were.

To feed everyone a link, I’d like to share a mix, which is NOT MINE, and actually not my type of mix, but I love the outro, it’s super creative! https://soundcloud.com/amber-days/i-am-cassettes-believe

onerob
7 years ago
Reply to  1176

Thanks 1176 – that’s kind of you to post. I was thinking of making it into an intro at one point, but it would have taken too long to get to the vocals, I guess.

Dave McIsaac
7 years ago

It looks like there are 500 entries – this is not going to be an easy mix contest to judge! I believe mine was entry #480, so the judges ears should be totally fried by the time they get to me ;-(

About the only thing that makes my mix stand out from the rest is I did a little manipulation on the harmonies to make them a bit more interesting. There are others who added a delay to the lead vox, but I wanted to keep it as tasteful as possible without overdoing it. If you’d like to take a listen and offer some contructive criticism, the link to my mix is: https://soundcloud.com/dr-audio-labs/believe-dr-audio-labs-mix-bdl2015mix

I enjoyed doing this mix because I really like the song and it is very nicely produced. Good luck to everybody!

brett
7 years ago
Reply to  Dave McIsaac

There are over 500. soundcloud only shows up to 500 search results, so anymore than 500, they truncate at 500. searching bdl2015mix (without the #) resulted in way more than with the # symbol. on wednesday the search hit the 500 max with #bdl2015mix. thurs and friday had about 150 or so each day so my guess is just under 1000 entries with #bdl2015mix and way more that match without the # symbol. hard to say.

Henrik Hjortnaes
7 years ago

Boz or whoever is going to listen to the mixes – good luck and may the force be with you.
How many submissions – ballpark?

brett
7 years ago
estudiovertigo
7 years ago

HI ALL

HERE IS MY MIX

https://soundcloud.com/andrehmattos/i-am-cassetes-believe-andreh-mattos-boz-mix-contest-2015

Mix In The Box
1 hour editing
3 hours mixing
ProTools 12
Native Plugins from PT + Steven Slate Mix-Master Bundle (demo trial).
cheers from Brazil
estudiovertigo.com

bdl2015mix

Josiah Hamilton
7 years ago

I tagged mine on the 20th – it still shows zero downloads: https://soundcloud.com/otherdog/iamcassettes-believe-bdlmixcontest-otherdog

I wonder if Boz and David anticipated so many entries – brutal!

brett
7 years ago

Looking at the normal user experience on Soundcloud, it doesn’t seem possible to be able to manage ~1000 uploaded entries. I am wondering if soundcloud gave the judges a different interface and way to manage the entries. for example a way to easily download a days worth of submissions. also an automatic renaming of the file names to include the user’s soundcloud username… just speculating. I just don’t see how it would be possible to manage this contest using the normal front end tools.

Moises
7 years ago

I uploaded the song yesterday here on the blog, because when I uploaded it on Soundcloud using the tag, there are such number of tracks that I couldnt find mine, there should be at least more than 1000 tracks!!!, I hope he listen the tracks here on the blog.

studio_maks
7 years ago

Hi Guys,

Several of us have listed the defects of the tracks we received for this tune. Here is a list of what I have found. As mixers it’s our duty to solve every one of those issues before delivering the final mix–that’s typically done before mixing.

– The Kick had plenty of bottom end but was lacking some snap and needed to be reinforced with a sample.

– The two Overhead tracks were out of phase (as said many times).

– The two Drum Room tracks didn’t sound like stereo tracks but like two completely different drum set tracks.

– The Drums tracks, as they were, didn’t allow to recreate a panned position of the cymbals (they ended up in the center) and we had to create it artificially (choosing the drummer or the audience positioning of the drums), while still ensuring the drums would sound as natural as possible.

– The Bass’ melodic fills in the higher notes had to be pitch-corrected.

– The Acoustic Guitar tracks were too bright and needed to be re-EQ’d to sound natural.

– The same Acoustic Guitar tracks had in them the noise of a pick hitting the guitar case, which got masked after a few bars by the other instruments but was clearly heard in the first bars when fewer instruments played.

– The Electric Guitar, playing solo at some point in the song, needed then to be almost as strong as the main voice, since it replaced it during that passage, and needed to be either EQ’d/compressed skillfully or re-amped, in order to give it the strength and clarity necessary.

– The Harmony Voice tracks had a number of breaths to be cleaned up and the syllables needed to be realigned onto the main voice. The voices also had a tendency in a few instances to start at a lower note and slide up to the note they were to sing.

– Finally it sounded like the voices had been pitch-corrected and an artificial sound resulted from it, which lead us to use them only as a texture, in order to avoid exposing them.

– The Main Voices had to be EQ’d–no more than usual–in order to sound not too muffled, not too shrill and to cut sufficiently through the mix.

– Beyond that, it was the usual placement of the elements in the frequency spectrum and in the stereo field, using compressors only when necessary and without ever squashing the tracks, finding the right volume for each track, thickening/thinning out some tracks, applying volume automation, etc., and of course mastering the tune correctly.

– A study of the tune’s emotional content told us that a logical progression of the intensity started with low energy at the beginning, and a confidential tone in the voice, to grow gradually and steadily until reaching its maximum in the tutti of the voices and instruments, in the final part before the outro. Then in the outro, the intensity dropped suddenly. Our work on the textures and the levels of each track had to reinforce that movement.

Let’s not forget that when we mix a tune for a label, the number of tracks we receive can vary between a handful and…150 or more, among which we must find the best takes (or portions of takes) and bring it down to a manageable number of tracks. We should consider ourselves lucky that, in a contest, that work is already done for us.

Best of luck to all!

Max Cidon
STUDIO Maks Productions, LLC

brett
7 years ago
Reply to  studio_maks

Hi. All valid points. can you provide a link to your mix for us to check out?

studio_maks
7 years ago
Reply to  brett

Hi Brett, I don’t know if among 500+ mixes it’s of any interest, but sure (https://soundcloud.com/studiomaks/bozmixingcontest_studiomaksprod). There must be some killer mixes in the bunch. Best, Mx

MrBongo
7 years ago
Reply to  studio_maks

– the kick already was a sample, and easily bright enough

– nothing had to be pitch-corrected or cleaned. In fact I liked it much more than all the boring, artificial robot tunes out there. Btw, I love true live concert recordings

studio_maks
7 years ago
Reply to  MrBongo

Hey man, You are right, your kick sounds excellent! I found too that the authenticity of the tracks sounded very refreshing. That’s probably one of the main reasons why everyone here loved the song so much. Best, MC

Jay Branam
7 years ago

well i was told that boz was gonna use pacific time so i pulled the first and did some more work… so the link up top is not correct. here is the new revised one. https://soundcloud.com/jaybranam/believe-i-am-casettes this was my first attempt at automating volumes to swell and playing around i almost missed the getting it up. lol anyways even if i don’t get in… hope you guys enjoy my attempt. (that’s what ADDHD is all about) cheers

jay

imsrprod
7 years ago

Haha, well don’t know if I made the deadline but, I was able to upload the mix by 11:59. It’s still processing.
Here is the link when it’s done.

https://soundcloud.com/marc-ellus/bdl2015mix

Good times,

Marc

Jay Branam
7 years ago

well i don’t know if i got it in. started the download at 11:58 EST and by the time it was ‘saved’ and processed… the clock said 00:01 EST so it was officially 8/22 🙁

i had a computer go out and i lost all the work i had done. i had to rebuild my computer a little over a week ago. so i been having a spell of bad luck it seems but it is what it is.

not real happy with the final mix but it’s done and maybe they were using the Pacific Date Line and not the Eastern. anyways here is a link and i hope you enjoy it. https://soundcloud.com/jaybranam/believe

thanks to Boz, David and Greg for the contest and the chance to win a new guitar (not to mention the plugins)

jay

REAL MAYONNAISE
7 years ago

In case this doesn’t appear in the search, here’s my Boz 2015. No PVC symphony. Guitars only. Abbreviated slightly.

https://soundcloud.com/real-mayonnaise/i-am-cassettes-believereal-mayo-redux

REAL MAYONNAISE
7 years ago

Forgot to include download link. It should be there now.

https://soundcloud.com/real-mayonnaise/i-am-cassettes-believereal-mayo-redux

benjaipod
7 years ago
7 years ago

Here is my version ,enjoying listening to your mixes, good luck everybody

https://soundcloud.com/thedon100/i-am-cassettes-believe-mixed-by-thedonbdl2015mix

silvership
7 years ago

Really fun song to mix. Can’t get it out of my head.

Here you go just in case your browser runs out of memory while scrolling down through the thousands in soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/sergiosilvership/i-am-cassettes-believe-silver-ship-mix-bdl2015mix

Cheers,
Sérgio

CHiLLWiLL1013
7 years ago

Throwing my hat into the ring as well…

https://soundcloud.com/chillwill1013/i-am-cassettes-believe-starcrossedheartachemix-bdl2015mix

Thanks for this opportunity, I really enjoyed myself!
Good luck and happy mixing, everyone…

Peace.

Moises
7 years ago
philip.sapp
7 years ago

Thank you for the opportunity.

https://soundcloud.com/philip-sapp/i-am-cassettes-believe-prs-07

Blessings

Philip Sapp

7 years ago

Good comp and a great learning curve. A genuine deadline is about the only thing that ensures my finishing anything! I’ve been able to at least pretend I’m a pro for a while (which I am absolutely not!) – as evidenced by this: https://soundcloud.com/amateur-dramatix/i-am-cassettes-believe

All (constructive) criticism welcome/needed by the way. I’ve heard a few on soundcloud and there’s some very good mixers out there.

Best of luck everyone

Mark

dsanders
7 years ago

Decided to give it a shot, here’s my mix:

https://soundcloud.com/dsanders-975198151/boz-digital-labs-mixing-contest-dsanders

Thanks for the contest!
dsanders

barthof
7 years ago

Here’s my mix:
https://soundcloud.com/user-555249332/believe

Thanks!
Bart

brett
7 years ago
Reply to  barthof

I found you mix with your link. its a really cool mix! i really liked it. however… there was no download link. they need to see a download link to get your mix. so enable the download link asap as they may not have gotten to your mix yet. but who knows…. good luck

barthof
7 years ago

Hey guys – I uploaded my mix last night onto Souncloud. I’m not very Soundcloud savvy, so I’m wondering if you guys got it or not. How do I tell?
Thanks!
Bart

amoretam
7 years ago

Hi there, … Thanks God I am on time, … I loved mixing this song!!

Here is the link:
https://soundcloud.com/audiosweet_studio/bld-mixingcontest-by-amoretam

Please feel free to comment and I am very open to critics, …
This was a very lovely journey full of learning…
I will enjoy listening to all of your mixes too. !!

Thanks a lot,

amoretam
7 years ago
Reply to  amoretam

Turn Up your volume knob, I did not apply a good amount limiting gain in the master!!

Thanks

amoretam
7 years ago
Reply to  amoretam

Oh my God, .. I thought that there was no setting to change to make the track downloadable, I thought that by making it “Public” it would be sufficient..

I already changed it now..

I hope I am not disqualified, ..

Thanks

Solidtrax
7 years ago

Hi guys/girls!

Here is our submission: https://soundcloud.com/solidtrax/i-am-cassettes-believe-mixed-and-mastered-by-solidtrax-bdl2015mix

Please be gentle, we don’t mix pop/rock often and we are currently rebuilding our studio, so we had to do this on a laptop with headphones. I know, excuses excuses… we had a lot of fun mixing this wonderful track and that’s what is most important, isn’t it? 🙂

Good luck everyone!!
Solidtrax

7 years ago

Here is the link to my mix thanks

https://soundcloud.com/ahrc6803/believe-mix

lb_hms
7 years ago

Hi All,

I’ve updated my submission posted earlier – thanks to a comment received pointing out an issue I hadn’t noticed. Hopefully this version is a bit better. Comments welcome.

https://soundcloud.com/wsemp/i-am-cassettes-believe-boz-mix-comp-wse-version

Thanks,
Leon.

SkyF4ll.82
7 years ago

Hello guys! I think that I was one of dudes who almost missed party =)
Found post about contest in FaceBook in two hours left for my time zone.
Any way I did it maybe it is not best mix but very fast one here it is

https://soundcloud.com/andrey_gankovich/bdl2015mix

Mix is uploaded on time no worries about it =) .

lb_hms
7 years ago

Hi All,

Ok – only found out about this comp yesterday pm – but had great fun mixing the track. Hope I’m not too late. 😉

Here’s my effort: Please comment – I’d love feedback – this is the first proper go at mixing a decently recorded track 🙂

https://soundcloud.com/wsemp/i-am-cassettes-believe-boz-digital-labs-mix-submission

Good luck everyone.

dekarty
7 years ago

It’s amazing. I don’t remember which mixes I’ve listened…
How will they choose a winner…
500 tracks, 4 minutes per track… more than 30 hours of audio…
Uuh!
🙂

ggreene123
7 years ago
Reply to  dekarty

Try more than a thousand mixes. Soundcloud is only showing a max of 500 but it’s been that way for weeks with at least 50 new mixes a day coming in.

brett
7 years ago
Reply to  ggreene123

I think that it hit the 500 search limit the day before yesterday (wednesday). if you search the “bdl2015mix” you will get everything that has that in the title which includes all those without a download link (eg. not submitted). but if you search #bdl2015mix (with the # symbol) you will only get those with the “proper” tag which includes most of those submitted. the latter hit the 500 mark on wednesday. there were maybe 200 submitted yesterday and maybe the same today so probably just under 1000 entries.

I’d love to know the judging process for this – how they managed all these mixes and narrowed it down.

ggreene123
7 years ago

Posted a few weeks ago but here is the link to my mix:

https://soundcloud.com/grant-greene/believe-i-am-cassettes

samuellidstrom
7 years ago

This is an awesome track! And mixing it was great fun!! 🙂
Here’s my contribution: https://soundcloud.com/samuel-lidstrom/i-am-cassettes-believe-mixed-by-samuel-lidstrom-bdl2015mix

Marcio
7 years ago

I loved this song, it was a challenge to mix, I’ll be happy who can evaluate my mix. Thank you
https://soundcloud.com/marcio_bezerra/i-am-cassettes-believemarcio-henrique-mixbdl2015mix

7 years ago

Hello everybody! 🙂

My mix: https://soundcloud.com/3eesounddesign/i-am-cassettes-believe-3ee-mixdown3

Hope you like it and feel free to comment…

Good luck!
Cheers”
3ee

mtkeister
7 years ago
Reply to 

Fantastic solid and tight mids of rhythm guitar and bass. I can listen to that all day long.

7 years ago
Reply to  mtkeister

Thank you! 🙂
Was a bit worried before posting the mix that the low-mids might be a bit too prominent VS the rest of the freqs but I guess they are in balance.

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