MIX CONTEST: Enter The Haggis - 'Two Bare Hands'

MIX CONTEST: Enter The Haggis - 'Two Bare Hands'

So do we have a deadline in place for this contest thing?

Downloaded the tracks today. Man am I out of shape. Two and a half hours of fiddling and knob turning (because I made ALL kinds of rookie mistakes trying to where the hell my plugins were at), and I eventually limped my way to a rough mix. I can’t believe how long its been since I’ve mixed music that was made by a band! lol. When I in my prime I could have hacked this thing out in an hour!!!

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Al has posted it: October 12th (see updated Rules).

I have a question about song/mix modifications … we usually put some stipulations in there but I don’t see any other than it looks like we can’t post our mix on other sites without permission. But I’m talking about things like adding instrumental parts (probably not on this one though), adding drum samples/triggers, changing the song arrangement radically, adding song sections, etc. Basically, what things can you NOT do to this song/mix and still participate in the contest. I think the ‘live’ aspect of the track limits things a little bit, but we have some imaginative people here so you never know. :slightly_smiling_face:

Also, for @BigAlRocks, I still think the Rules could be cleaned up a bit in that things like “Trust Level 1” shows up in two different and separate paragraphs (plus associated text and pointers), and in the second instance it says “10 posts” to qualify as a Level 1 member while 2 sentences after that it says “15 posts”. I just think it would help avoid some confusion if new people come in, and could cut down on the amount of text a little bit.
[Ref: The Rules paragraphs 6-7 and then 13]

I shouldn’t comment on this too much…but here’s some thoughts:

These are two different things…one is standard practice in every day mixing, the other is clearly the function of a producer or arranger. Drum samples, trigger augmentation, and trigger replacement should be fair game. I would probably recommend that adding loops are not.

I duplicated the vocal track, threw an autotune on it and added harmonies then decided against it, because in real life, that’s not the job of the mix engineer. Autotuning a vocal should be fair game (because that is part of the job), but adding background vocals probably shouldn’t.

@BigAlRocks - your call

I’d say that we should work with the files that were provided and manipulate them how you see fit.

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Right, I just thought it would be good to clarify it in the rules. For a mixing contest, you can put on the producer/arranger “hat” if you want to, if it hasn’t been ruled out in the rules. It’s just something that’s been in the guidelines in the past IMO.

I agree again, and especially on this track. The ‘live’ setting doesn’t lend itself especially well to further interpretation. Out of curiosity, how did you fare with autotuning that vocal? Did you have to gate it heavily to get rid of the background sound (bleed) so the tuner could grab onto the vocal pitch? Because of that I probably wouldn’t have even tried it.

I guess the voting scores can take care of anomalies. That’s one way to deal with it.

I need clarification on a few things:

First, my understanding is that before submitting their official entry it is perfectly acceptable, maybe even encouraged, to submit first to the BTR thread for critique, yes? I ask cuz nobody’s doing that. So it’s okay that my official submission has been unofficially bashed prior to submission, right?

Last, when we vote, 1 means a weak mix and 10 is a strong mix? Or other way around?

Yes you can

It’s early in the contest, though this one is kind of informal and no prizes listed yet, so the BTR route may not be as active as it usually is.

I believe that’s correct. It’s usually helpful to have that in the instructions, and some parameters around how points can be used. Probably 9-10 would be a top-level pro mix, 7-8 a pretty good mix with no major issues, 5-6 needs some work, etc.

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I’m gonna eventually. I don’t have mine to the place where its ready for a critique yet.

Yes, posting to BTR first is recommended, but not required. And your voting assumption is correct. (I shouldn’t have rushed myself in getting the contest started, lesson learned.)

OK, I think I have the rules cleared up. All that’s left is to come up with a prize.

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No, please don’t go there! We all know that your pulling this together was in response to several of us who’ve been chomping at the bit to get something like this off the ground. It really isn’t a big deal at all, and you’ve been very responsive to questions.

Thank you for your leadership, for the time you’ve already put into this, and for making this happen. Much, much appreciated! :slight_smile:


All I’m really saying is that next time, I’ll slow down and proofread before I do the initial launch. :stuck_out_tongue:


@BigAlRocks, could you clarify for me (sorry, new to this!): is the feedback we are encouraged to give, to be given only when it’s in BTR status? Or are we to comment on official submissions as well?

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I have this same question.

I have no idea how this has been done in the past, but just a thought: the case could be made that commenting on submissions might influence people’s votes.

And yet I don’t want to forfeit the feedback/critique, cuz that’s how we learn.

I don’t imagine there’s a way to not be able to read comments until after you cast your vote?

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You can comment on both. In fact, commenting on the official submission is what is meant by “how actively you participated in the contest and helped others + the quality of that participation and help”. The BTR comments do not count toward that, at least they haven’t in the past. Judging on your contribution to the contest is only done for the official submission of each mix/mixer. You don’t have to critique every entry, I think 8-10 mix critiques has been considered pretty good participation in the past, but probably more if you’re serious about that helping you win. Obviously, this part of your overall score is pretty subjective, and is determined by the judges.

Perhaps, but there’s no way around it that I know of. Hopefully everyone votes their conscience and gives each one a fair shot. Certainly, overly favorable or overly negative trends on voting and comments for a mix could bias someone’s opinion … I think you just have to resist that and be as objective as possible, and hope others do too. In other words, comments like “I bet this will be the winning mix” or “this mix sucks, you’ll never win” should be avoided. :slightly_smiling_face:

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There has been, and could be again, some discussion about how to critique. Usually it’s pretty open-ended, but I have tried using a template with several criteria, or just a paragraph of positives … and a paragraph of negatives or potential improvements (constructive criticism).

The way I look at it, anybody attempting to something like this deserves at least some credit for “here’s what you did right”. Find something, anything, and praise or at least validate that for them. It helps balance out the “this could be better” part that comes next. :wink: Or at least it helps the ego sit back and relax a bit. :smirk:

In critiquing, there’s what should have been done “according to the rules of mixing” (but then we know that you can learn the rules and then break them if it suits your purpose :sunglasses:). And then there’s your own “taste” as to what the person did. I try to distinguish those things from each other, because things like snare tone and snare reverb (among many others) can be personal taste. But basically, what can you tell the person to help get their mix to the next level so that an imaginary listening audience would like it better. What would be an improvement to the mix that would cause you to rate it with a higher score? (this is where it can be a learning opportunity)

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