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Mixing the Unmixed Contest

permalink   Tue, Nov 17, 2009 @ 3:54 AM
Ahoy fellow mixters! I’m putting up a small prize, unofficial contest called “Mixing the Unmixed”. This is in no way associated with ccMixter, ArtisTech Media, or Creative Commons. It is purely my own little personal thing. I personally love hunting down nifty unused samples and ‘pellas that need some mixing love. This is my way of encouraging you to the same.

The basic concept is to create mixes mainly, if not entirely, made from unmixed samples and acappellas. There are still a ton of great sounds out there on ccMixter that have yet to be given their proper love. I want you to give it to them!

After the conclusion of the contest, I will select one grand prize winner and three runners up. The grand prize winner will receive a $20 gift certificate to Amazon. The runners up will receive a $10 gift certificate. In lieu of accepting the Amazon gift certificates, you may choose to have me donate twice the value to a non-profit charity of your choice, in your name. I will donate triple the value to a charity dedicated to helping the people of Haiti. So, choosing a generic charity would be a $40 donation for the grand prize winner and a $20 donation for a runner up. This would be $60 and $30, respectively, for a charity helping Haitians in Haiti.

Without further ado, the rules:
* “Samples” include any material on ccMixter that bears a “sample” or “acappella” tag.
* “Unused” is defined as having been uploaded and unused in a ccMixter remix for longer than three months. (Podcast or video use does not count as “used” for the purposes of this contest.)
* Samples that were only used in other Mixing the Unmixed remixes or sampled no more than two weeks before the submission of an entry are considered “unused” for the purposes of this contest.
* Samples only used by the original contributor are considered “unused” for the purposes of this contest.
* Your own samples do not count as “unused” for this contest. (And, the ccMixter software will not let you “sample” your own material anyways.)
* Mixes must use at least three unused samples.
* Mixes may not use more previously used samples than unused pieces.
* Charities involved in political activism or religious evangelism, or linked to terrorist activities, are not eligible for a donation under this contest. (This permits donations to groups such as the Salvation Army and Catholic Charities, but not groups like church building charities.)
* Winners will be selected entirely at the sole discretion of PorchCat.
* Preferences will be given to mixes using a higher proportion of unmixed samples and to mixes using samples unmixed for longer periods of time. (So, for example, a mix using 100% unmixed samples that have been untouched for two years, or longer, will receive significantly greater weight in the final determination.)
* Remixes must be uploaded by December 25, 2009. (Consider it a Christmas present for those poor neglected sounds.)
* Winners will be announced by January 15, 2010.
* For tracking purposes, mixes for this contest should be have the tag “unmixedmix” added to the entry.
* Anyone may upload as many entries as they wish, but there is a limit of one prize per person.

Feel free to fire away with any questions. I look forward to all the great mixes and seeing some neglected sounds get the love they deserve!


P.S. The current stats regarding mixed percentages are:
A Cappellas: 1859 77%
Samples: 4040 51%
That means about 55 ‘pellas need to be mixed to hit 80%. About 363 samples need to be mixed to hit 60%. We can do that, can’t we?

P.S.S. In response to an email sent directly to me and the recommendation I post the responses here: Yes, if you’d like I can choose or recommend some charities, both in general and specifically for aiding those in Haiti. No, I am not flexible about my charity exclusions. If I’m going to cough up the extra cash from my pocket, I want to be sure it is going to help people. Yes, I do have some preferences for charitable causes. Those that go towards basic health care, education, self-sustenance programs, and small business startups are preferred. I believe these have the biggest impact on improving the quality of life for those in need.
permalink   Tue, Nov 17, 2009 @ 6:25 AM
Great idea PorchCat. It’s nice of you to offer a prize, but I think the mining expedition aspect of this is far more attractive.

Is there a way to help us hunt for these sounds?

Is there a rule against remixing sounds we have created ourselves that have yet to be used elsewhere (I would kind of think there should be, but it’s not my contest.)
permalink   PorchCat Tue, Nov 17, 2009 @ 6:41 AM
Quote: essesqGreat idea PorchCat. It’s nice of you to offer a prize, but I think the mining expedition aspect of this is far more attractive.

Is there a way to help us hunt for these sounds?

Is there a rule against remixing sounds we have created ourselves that have yet to be used elsewhere (I would kind of think there should be, but it’s not my contest.)

Thanks for the support!

With ‘pellas, it is a simple matter of clicking the box next to “Hide remixed pells”. With samples, unfortunately the only way to do it currently (that I know of) is to browse manually and find samples that have nothing listed under “samples are used in”.

I would say remixing your own sounds doesn’t count. Besides, ccHost will not let you sample your own material. I’ve added a rule to note this.

permalink   Tue, Nov 17, 2009 @ 7:12 AM
This sounds like fun!
permalink   Tue, Nov 17, 2009 @ 9:58 AM
Maybe it’s the Darwinist in me, but I’m ok with a percentage of samples being unmixed - I’m assuming if something goes unused in other folks there’s a reason for it.

Speaking strictly for myself: I don’t see music as a game of statistical goals, but an emotive, expressive conversation.
permalink   Pitx Tue, Nov 17, 2009 @ 1:54 PM
In darwinism the pressure of the environment decides the selection. PC has change the environment and there are new chances for survival… [i’m thinking loud :)]
permalink   spinmeister Tue, Nov 17, 2009 @ 5:38 PM
while I’m entirely ok with some stuff being unmixed, it’s also true that the Darwin principle is routinely overridden by our species. In art, too. :-)
permalink   fourstones Wed, Nov 18, 2009 @ 3:28 AM
what can I say…? you can split hairs on my mention of ‘Darwin’ but I see the success of this site (so far) predicated on musicians inspired by what they hear - not on statistical goals. sorry…
permalink   essesq Wed, Nov 18, 2009 @ 11:03 AM
I didn’t see the contest as requiring a statistical outcome although I see how it was proposed in statistical terms. I just liked the idea of shining a flashlight into the cobwebbed corners of the site to see what can be dusted off and brought to light.
permalink   spinmeister Wed, Nov 18, 2009 @ 11:32 AM
secret mixter ?
permalink   fourstones Wed, Nov 18, 2009 @ 12:31 PM
tbh I don’t know what the magic is that makes secret mixter work - but it’s definitely not about recycling the trash to meet a quota.
permalink   spinmeister Wed, Nov 18, 2009 @ 1:28 PM
Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m not reading a “duty” to remix all sources into this initiative. And I’m guessing that’s what you’d have a problem with. And I would agree with you: There’s no duty to have every source remixed.

I see this just a common rallying point for an informal “group remix”. Heck one day maybe someone will start a group remix for sources which have the letter “C” in the second position of the title. Or for sources that are at exactly 128 BPM. Or in the key of F# minor. Or on the topic of the color blue … ok, ok maybe that one would be too easy! :-)

p.s. and you never know what you may end up with :-)
permalink   fourstones Wed, Nov 18, 2009 @ 1:56 PM
well, I guess we can go ‘round & ‘round where I express my doubts about a process that runs counter to what has proven to make this site what it is and you link to examples of garbage being turned into art. But I’ll stop on this round and leave the last word to you.
permalink   PorchCat Wed, Nov 18, 2009 @ 4:13 PM
I regret adding the statistical note as a postscript. It was merely an aside. It would be kind of neat to reach a certain percentage, but it is not at all necessary or the primary goal of the context. The main point is showing some love to as yet unloved pieces.

I do not perceive this to be greatly different than the SecretMixter series. That is, it is a remix gig with a limited set of samples. This actually makes a much larger number of samples available than a SecretMixter assignment would.

I think you greatly underestimate the quality of available samples and the ability of mixters to draw inspiration from them. I regularly find and use unsampled pieces for my remixes. We may just have to agree to disagree, but being conservative, I’d say at least one-quarter of the unused material is quite usable and can be inspiring. And even if it all is “trash”, which I (obviously) quite strongly disagree with, people have made some quite wonderful art out of literal garbage.

permalink   fourstones Thu, Nov 19, 2009 @ 2:29 AM
just ftr the quotes around “trash” doesn’t belong to me - I was quoting others comparing the unsampled works here to trash and garbage - literal or otherwise. It’s been spin, and now you, apparently, who keep trying to sell me this project in terms of digging through the garbage and dumpster diving.

I don’t under estimate or over estimate the quality of the unused samples - it’s the community, through remixing, that does that selection.

I’m all for highlighting the gems in our dustbin - I think I’ve worked pretty hard this year to encourage folks to upload stems and re-use more material - but I still have my doubts about the music that comes out of a project based on criteria like upload date and number of times sampled and a financial incentive to numerically boost the sample count in a remix or on the site.
permalink   PorchCat Thu, Nov 19, 2009 @ 3:45 AM
Inaccurate info redacted. My use of it was explicitly only as a “I disagree with the label, but even if I accept it…” type of comment. My comment was in response to the general thread of trash/garbage. Misinterpretation redacted.

Beyond that, I’ll just agree to disagree. We obviously see this with quite different framing. (You apparently see it as some statistical manipulation game and I see it as encouraging people to show some love to neglected pieces.) We may perhaps also have some fundamental differences in our artistic philosophies.

permalink   fourstones Thu, Nov 19, 2009 @ 4:37 AM
Sorry, but your history is incorrect. You need to follow the link in this comment “recycled art from trash” - the only caustic thing is you reading something into something I never said - I was quoting the link.

Meanwhile I see “Preferences will be given to mixes using a higher proportion of unmixed samples” and all the other conditions based on numbers and dates and you have to forgive me if I read that as a statistical manipulation game for money. I have to admit - it’s still a little difficult for me to read it any other way - and yea, perhaps it does stikes at the core of my philosophy about expression.
permalink   PorchCat Thu, Nov 19, 2009 @ 4:47 AM
I stand corrected and apologize for the error. For some reason, my browser was not giving me a link there before, so I thought it was just a bolded comment. I sincerely apologize for the misrepresentation.

For the rest, I think our disconnect does arise from differing artistic philosophies. I honestly would like to discuss it more at a future point. I think a solid discussion about our respective remixing and general art approaches and philosophies would be not only entertaining, but informative and interesting.

Again, my apologies for the misinterpretation and misrepresentation. I’m going to go wipe egg off my face and work on some writing and music.

permalink   spinmeister Thu, Nov 19, 2009 @ 4:45 AM
just for the record, I do have to confess to raising the “art made from recycled materials” parallel (via a link) in my very first response to the original “Darwin” post. It was an (in retrospect ill-chosen) attempt at inserting a little humor into the conversation of expressing my differing view from VS.
permalink   spinmeister Thu, Nov 19, 2009 @ 4:48 AM
oops, looks like VS and I were typing at the same time — and I’m clearly the slower typist :-)
permalink   Tue, Nov 17, 2009 @ 1:39 PM
What about the samples that has been used in a podcast or in a video? Can be considered as unmixedmixable samples?

BTW, a list of some of my samples that fullfill the conditions (one of them from 2006) saying unmixedmixme,unmixedmixme :) July 2006 October 2007 October 2008 January 2009 June 2009
permalink   Pitx Tue, Nov 17, 2009 @ 1:48 PM
Good idea PC!!
permalink   Thu, Nov 19, 2009 @ 7:30 PM
cool idea!
permalink   Sun, Nov 22, 2009 @ 11:25 PM
permalink   fourstones Mon, Nov 23, 2009 @ 3:37 AM
btw, just let the admins know and we can work out a ‘submit form’ that will automatically tag uploads with a special tag which will make it a lot easier to track the remixes.
permalink   PorchCat Mon, Nov 23, 2009 @ 3:42 AM
Quote: fourstonesbtw, just let the admins know and we can work out a ‘submit form’ that will automatically tag uploads with a special tag which will make it a lot easier to track the remixes.

That is awesome!