Enter the Haggis Mix Contest: Observation

Enter the Haggis Mix Contest: Observation

I have an observation about Round 1 of our current mix contest…

We all know that, all other things being equal, louder mixes are perceived as better mixes.

I was wondering how this might play itself out in our mixing competition. Just was curious, so I downloaded each of the entries in the competition and uploaded them to YouLean’s Online Loudness Meter. It analyzes each of the songs very quickly. Only took a few moments.

What I found is that in each of the matchups, the party with the highest integrated LUFS is winning the matchup. 100%. That is, the louder mix is winning every time.

More, to a large degree, the greater the difference in LUFS, the greater the lead.

Here’s the data from YouLean…

Matchups (leaders in bold, higher volume in italics):

  • ColdRoomStudio vs Takka360
  • Jclampitt vs Stan Halen
  • Tesgin vs Redworks
  • Blairhall vs miked
  • Jonathan vs venue studios

01 ColdRoomStudio.mp3
Momentary Max = -7.96 LUFS
Short Term Max = -9.09 LUFS
Integrated = -10.69 LUFS

02 Takka360.mp3
Momentary Max = -9.79 LUFS
Short Term Max = -10.94 LUFS
Integrated = -13.22 LUFS

03 Jclampitt.mp3
Momentary Max = -7.56 LUFS
Short Term Max = -8.46 LUFS
Integrated = -10.87 LUFS

04 Stan_Halen.mp3
Momentary Max = -9.56 LUFS
Short Term Max = -11.27 LUFS
Integrated = -13.38 LUFS

05 Tesgin.mp3
Momentary Max = -9.93 LUFS
Short Term Max = -11.64 LUFS
Integrated = -14.51 LUFS

06 redworks.mp3
Momentary Max = -4.96 LUFS
Short Term Max = -6.49 LUFS
Integrated = -8.35 LUFS

07 blairhall.mp3
Momentary Max = -7.18 LUFS
Short Term Max = -8.60 LUFS
Integrated = -10.36 LUFS

08 miked.mp3
Momentary Max = -11.53 LUFS
Short Term Max = -12.94 LUFS
Integrated = -15.37 LUFS

09 Jonathan.mp3
Momentary Max = -9.10 LUFS
Short Term Max = -10.23 LUFS
Integrated = -12.50 LUFS

10 venuestudios.mp3
Momentary Max = -10.37 LUFS
Short Term Max = -11.26 LUFS
Integrated = -13.16 LUFS


A very interesting proposition. Not surprising I suppose (i.e. the Loudness Wars), but certainly worth exploring to understand better. I don’t think anyone has ever pointed out that mixing contest files should all be level-matched for fairness. But it would seem to be a pretty obvious conclusion.

It reminds me of when someone remarked to Jack Black, “Less is more.” His response was something like “No, man … MORE IS MORE!” :smirk:

it looks like i should win this whole thing then because i got that thing hot.


And I’m on the opposite side of that one. :wink:

I genuinely forgot about this - man, I need to go vote!

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Also, each mix should be “anonymous” to prevent preconceived bias for or against any user. For example, we shouldn’t vote Jonathan’s mix down just because he missed the deadline. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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That’s actually a really good idea. I think we should incorporate that into future mix contests.

Man I knew I should have brought it up to -1LUFS! :rofl:

+1 on the anonymous thing and level matching in the future!

Blair, you’ve got NOTHING to worry about from me! It’s next next round where you might have a tougher match-up! :wink:

+1 again. So, +3? :slight_smile:

You and me both, Mike. Hey, I have a great idea: let’s just go with Spotify’s -14 LUFS standard and disqualify everyone who’s louder than that! :grin:

If we did that, Mike, then to quote Vizzini from Princess Bride, “So it is down to you, and it is down to me.” :rofl::joy::stuck_out_tongue:

On a more serious note, though, this has been a great experience for me. I am learning so much on this forum. Y’all are amazing.

I think the thing that has impressed me the most has been the benefit of the bashing that we all received prior to our official submission. That was awesome, and speaks volumes about this online community! The idea that, for each of us, our mixes were being critiqued for our benefit, by the very people we are “competing” against. Floors me. And the thoroughness, honesty and kindness in the critiques that take place here are way cool.

So, I’ve been a part of this forum for about a year (one-year anniversary was 11 days ago, per my summary page!), and I can’t thank y’all enough for how welcome I’ve felt here, how much y’all have invested in me, accepted me, and for how much I’ve learned. I find myself looking forward to checking in daily.

Last October I met @Jonathan on another site and he invited me over here. Spoke really highly of y’all. And he was spot on, baby! Thanks, Jonathan. Thanks IRD!


That would make it pretty hard to give each other feedback in the preliminary stages. I guess we could submit our update mixes and response to critiques anonymously, but that would be a pain in the ass for a moderator to manage.

For someone like @takka360, it might not matter. But for others… I know @Tesgin did a lot of back-and-forth dialogue about how to improve his. I mean, some of that might come down to strategy if someone actually wanted to win one of these really bad, but for me personally, I would probably get more gratification out of helping someone beat me than be all hard core about this lol.

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I was thinking we get the preliminary feedback before we “officially” turn them in. Then, yes, the moderator would need to keep track. He’d also probably need to level match them too… A lot of work for sure.

It seems to me that the mix contest dynamics have been driven more by the forum software/platform model, than an actual contest ‘objectivity’ design. In other words, “convenience”. In anything that involves judging, you usually have ‘numbered’ anonymous type identifications. “Blind” judging as it were. I think you’d put as much of this work on the individual contributor as possible, to reduce administrative management. For example, in the old RR contests, there was this Loudness War goal of -6dB dynamic range (before we had LUFS). If you didn’t reach that goal you could be voted lower. I don’t know that a goal of -14 LUFS would be all that different, though it seems that even though the standard should be unwavering … each measuring tool still seems to give at least slightly different numbers. You might have to mandate a specific tool for everyone to use in the measurement.

It’s a weird con-struct IMO, to have this competitive framework yet motivate ‘helping’. I know that’s nothing new per se, what they have called “good sportsmanship” perhaps, but what if the competitive element didn’t have to be there? I think most people here are more motivated by getting better and enjoying the intrinsic rewards of what they do … rather than prizes and notoriety. I think to truly motivate ‘helping’, it would be better to have more of a “Guild” type atmosphere (what I was calling “artist development” in my relevant thread) than a contest or competition. Winning a contest is a relatively short-lived gratification, compared to contributing to a community and individual development and success. I think its an outdated model, and is used more for convenience and expediency than anything else (i.e. not a “best practice”).

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Speaking of the next round, here’s where it’s going to get interesting. There’s going to be an odd number of entries moving forward. How are we going to handle that? :thinking:

Pass @ColdRoomStudio a bye because he has the highest voting score.

Or draw a name at random.

…or put up the lowest 3 against each other.

The competition has been really good so far and very interesting, and people have a learned on the way. Good fun too

@Jonathan & @miked, I like both of your ideas.

@BigAlRocks one other thing - you could draw a wild card and having one of the loosing mixes advance anyway, to even out the number of contestants.

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Could we work some sort of arm-wrestling aspect to even the participants? :laughing:

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