Mixing And Mastering Competition

Posts 1 - 25 of 127
  1. 500098
    ShortBusMusic : Thu 28th Aug 2014 : 5 years ago

    Hello fellow Loopers. For the new folks, I'm ShortBusMusic and I've been a member of Looperman since 2008 in one form or another. In the past I ran a few competitions to get people to interact with each other, and I think it is time to hold another. This time though, there is a twist.

    As most of you know, the difference between a good track and a great track usually lies in the production end of things. A bad mix or master can ruin a great song. Many, many people on this site call themselves "producers" but in fact fall short in the true production phase of their projects. Production really is an art form and something that takes practice to master (no pun intended). Many of us get caught in a rut and produce the same kind of music - hip hop or dub or rock or metal or whatever, but seldom venture into other genres. And that is too bad because by staying with one genre, you are limiting yourself in honing your production skills.

    Here is the challenge. I have constructed a track called PROXIMAL VICINITY. You can listen to it here at this link:


    If you listen closely, you will hear that there are some errors in production. I won't tell you all of them, but I will say things like the choir coming in a tad behind the beat, instruments occupying the same frequency thus making the mix a bit muddy, and many, many more. Each of these errors in production really detract from this song.

    Here is your task if you choose to participate. This is a MIXING AND MASTERING competition. Again, not a remix competition, but a friendly contest to see who has some great mixing and mastering skills. You can pick up the individual instrument stems at this link:


    Inside this zipped folder you will find the following:

    2 acoustic guitar tracks
    1 bass track
    1 brass section track
    1 choir track
    3 electric guitar tracks
    2 fx tracks
    1 pad track
    2 percussion tracks
    1 piano track
    1 string ensemble track
    1 synth track
    1 flute track
    1 wav file of my completed mix
    1 mp3 file of my final track, mixed and mastered.

    If my math is correct, that is 17 instrument tracks, and 2 tracks that you can use for reference only. The tempo of the piece is 80bpm..

    The RULES:

    1 - You must use all of the instrument tracks, all 17 - no exceptions
    2 - You can use EQ, Pan, Delay, Reverb, Compression, etc. (use all the production tools you have in your tool chest)
    3 - You cannot alter the song. In other words you can't chop it up and redo it. You have to use these files and leave the song intact. Think of this as being something submitted to you by an artist who wants you to mix and master their baby. You can't alter the baby, but you can pretty it up a bit.
    4 - You must post your finished product here on Looperman.com on your profile and then post a link to your finished product here in this thread.
    5 - You have until October 3, 2014 to enter.
    6 - Encourage people to review your work and ask for criticism and help with your mixes and masters. Then make changes to improve your work.
    7 - I will be the final judge and the winner will receive a ShortBusMusic t-shirt (and I'll pay the shipping to you even if you live outside the USA).

    That's it. Nothing fancy, no pressure, but hopefully something that you can do to help you in your journey to being the best producer you can be. Thanks in advance for participating.


  2. 347760
    PortraitOfABlackHole : Thu 28th Aug 2014 : 5 years ago

    Im on this like a mosquito to your ear when trying to sleep.

  3. 308224
    theHumps : Thu 28th Aug 2014 : 5 years ago

    Hey Bear, great idea, couldn't agree with you more about the value of a good, clean mix. I listened to your original, hmmm, no mando or acoustic guitar. It will certainly make for some good practice to mix a song that isn't typical of my preferred style.

    I am having a hard time dl'ing the files though. Having trouble with the captcha thing in general, tried several times and failed miserably, lol. I've been redirected to a white page that says "Page Not Found click here." and "here" was a link that brought me to some random company's page. And a couple times it just reset itself with a different security word/ad. I'm not a member of mediafire, not sure if that matters.

    Any suggestions?

  4. 186161
    Spivkurl : Thu 28th Aug 2014 : 5 years ago

    Definitely doing to give this a try! It's a good idea for a competition, and I especially like that it's not an average "remix" competition. Maybe it will help people understand mixing a bit more, as opposed to just turning someone else's song into their own. Very interested to hear what everyone comes up with! My eye's are on the prize!

  5. 500098
    ShortBusMusic : Thu 28th Aug 2014 : 5 years ago

    It is good to see 3 of Looperman's best jumping into this comp.

    Wayne, I just went to MediaFire and tried the download and it worked just fine. You shouldn't have to be a member to get to the files. Their captcha is always just 3 numbers, so maybe give it another go. If it doesn't work I'll see about uploading to another site. I look forward to hearing what you guys do with this lump of coal. Thanks in advance for participating gents. Hope all is well.

  6. 589130
    Unknown User : Thu 28th Aug 2014 : 5 years ago

    Great thread and great competition Bear, you can count me in. Also, I downloaded the files and I have a blank choir stem. Good luck to everyone!


  7. 308224
    theHumps : Thu 28th Aug 2014 : 5 years ago

    I got them Bear. I poked my head in and read that it should work so I just went back and tried it again and I got actual captcha words this time. Earlier I was getting ads, the first one said Canon with the logo for the camera company so I typed in Canon, it didn't work. Next it was a picture of the Michelin Man with the Michelin logo, so I typed in Michelin, didn't work.

    Oh well, crazy interweb. Thanks for sharing these stems, hope I can do you proud. btw, dig the t-shirts, saw it on your site a while back.

    Take care.

  8. 186161
    Spivkurl : Thu 28th Aug 2014 : 5 years ago

    The captcha for me was an ad, and the words to enter were the name of the product.

    Haven't checked the stems yet Pete, so hopefully they're okay.

  9. 500098
    ShortBusMusic : Thu 28th Aug 2014 : 5 years ago

    Hey Pete, thanks for jumping in on this, and for letting me know about the choir stem (I am not sure what happened on that one). Here is a link to just that choir file:


    I will see about fixing the package and then posting a link to the folder with ALL of the files inside :) To all of you who have already downloaded the zip file, sorry about the inconvenience.

  10. 500098
    ShortBusMusic : Thu 28th Aug 2014 : 5 years ago

    Glad you were able to finally get the files, Wayne. Weird about the captcha. I just checked and it was a picture of a mailbox with the number 1337 on the side. I entered the number and it took me to the download, haha. I'm uploading a complete zip with the choir file as we speak so the next to join in won't have to mess with two downloads. Again I am sorry for the confusion.

  11. 486477
    GramoChopin : Thu 28th Aug 2014 : 5 years ago

    Sounds interesting SB bro. I might give this one a try. I've been working every aspect of my productions lately and this would be good practice

  12. 500098
    ShortBusMusic : Thu 28th Aug 2014 : 5 years ago

    Neo, it would be great to have you join in. You definitely have the skill set to do this one up right. Here is a link to the zipped folder that has all of the stems, including the choir, and all have sound, hahaha. I look forward to your contributio bro. Nice to have a bunch of the old guard join in, now where are all of the new producers?


  13. 186161
    Spivkurl : Thu 28th Aug 2014 : 5 years ago

    This will be fun! Thanks for updating the choir stem!

    "now where are all of the new producers?" ... it's not hip hop or dubstep, so that will probably frighten several people...heh.

  14. 365820
    WongKiShoo : Thu 28th Aug 2014 : 5 years ago

    Awesome, I'm up for the challenge! Like ShortBus says, I only ever really stick to one genre so would be good to get some experience under my belt... and a new tee ;)

  15. 1254208
    JAweGuy : Thu 28th Aug 2014 : 5 years ago

    I will give this a go, hopefully I don't end up making it worse!

  16. 500098
    ShortBusMusic : Thu 28th Aug 2014 : 5 years ago

    Hey WongKi, good to see you again and good to have you jump in the pool. JA, I'm sure you will do just fine. Believe me, the mix and master I posted is full of mistakes, so I'm pretty sure you will surpass that one by a mile :)

  17. 365820
    WongKiShoo : Fri 29th Aug 2014 : 5 years ago

    Ahhh man.. I've started analysing the separate parts and I've gotta say, you truly are a talented musician Bear.. I hope I can do this piece justice :)

  18. 500098
    ShortBusMusic : Fri 29th Aug 2014 : 5 years ago

    Ah Wongki, you are way too kind. The hands don't work nearly as well as they did 40 years ago, thus making me just an old hack who still has a ball doing this. I have no doubt with your skills that you will be more than capable of polishing that lump of coal and turning it into a gem.

  19. 498019
    Tumbleweed : Sat 30th Aug 2014 : 5 years ago

    Downloads worked fine Bear...thats a big file...Thank you very much..I wont do the remix competition thing, but definitely have to have these tracks in my ShortBusMusic folder for whenever a bit of inspiration hits me....hope to get back around the Loop a little more a couple of months down the road......Ed

  20. 605220
    Ensam : Sat 30th Aug 2014 : 5 years ago

    I'm in, a little late but I'll give it a go Barry.


  21. 1254208
    JAweGuy : Sat 30th Aug 2014 : 5 years ago

    I've started to have a go at this, first time mixing something that isn't my own!

  22. 308224
    theHumps : Sun 31st Aug 2014 : 5 years ago

    This is no easy task Bear, great idea to do this. Excellent practice for learning to mix. I am so used to recording with my setup and having all my recorded tracks sound a certain way. This isn't the case here. This is not an afternoon project by any means.

    I do have a question. How much are we allowed to use volume envelops on the tracks? You said the tracks have to stay in tact, can't alter them. Does that mean we can't fade some in and out here and there or do they all need to be on through the entire song? I got the impression they all needed to be on the entire song. I would obviously use all the tracks but towards the end when it is all going down it would be nice to drop a few things and let others shine through. I am only eq'ing and getting some starting levels at this point but would like to know if we can and to what extent we can use volume envelopes.


  23. 186161
    Spivkurl : Sun 31st Aug 2014 : 5 years ago

    Good question Wayne! I am waiting until an opportune moment to start working on this, and it would be good to know all the limitations before I get going.

  24. 605220
    Ensam : Sun 31st Aug 2014 : 5 years ago

    After reading again what Barry has layed down as rules my take would be that as long as you don't fade things out altogether you should be good as he wants the arrangement to remain intact but until the man himself has spoken its hard to define

  25. 500098
    ShortBusMusic : Sun 31st Aug 2014 : 5 years ago

    Hey Simon!! Great to have you on board!

    You gus can use all the dynamics you want, so if you want to fade in and fade out that is perfectly OK. If you notice on my posted version, one of the electric guitar tracks was so low, you really can't hear it, haha.

    I think the thing I was trying to replicate is the actual studio setting where the producer/engineer has the freedom to make things sound the best that they can. You can also use distortion (gain), and those kinds of things to vary the production. I'm really happy to see accomplished people working on this....but where are all the young guns at?

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