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Are dynamics allowed in OC ReMix submissions?


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I sure hope so. It's directly mentioned in the submission guidelines....

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Submissions must be different enough from the source material to clearly illustrate the contributions, modifications, and enhancements you have made. Acceptable arrangement often involves more than one of the following techniques:

  • Modifying the genre, chord progression, instrumentation, rhythms, dynamics, tempo, or overall composition of the source material

 

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Volume levels should be normal compared to the average recording.

If you read the remainder, you can infer that a ReMix with minimal distortion, clipping, etc. are generally acceptable. There are many ocremixes with great dynamics. Several examples...

Orchestral:

 

Atmospheric (shameless plug for mine!)

 

Acoustic:

 

Cinematic:

 

Drum & Bass:

 

That covers many different genres of varying dynamics, each with considerably different mastering considerations. As long as your track reaches normal volumes, and the dynamic range is not really drastic (that your volume has to be adjusted mid-song) or really minimal or pushed (that distortion, clipping, overcompression, etc occurs), it's probably acceptable.

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  • Liontamer changed the title to Are dynamics allowed in OC ReMix submissions?

Like timaeus said, as long as your track reaches normal volumes, it's probably acceptable. The best way to check this is to check how it sounds next to some posted ocremixes in a similar style or genre. Even then there can be a lot of variation.

You should probably compare your work to similar, posted remixes anyway, as that'll make issues with frequency balance and some other mixing issues stand out more so you can deal with them before submitting the track.

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Although it's written in the rules that remixes must have normal levels compared to average recordings,  we don't have a written rule on how loud or quiet a track needs to be, but there are issues when you go both extremes: if a track is mastered too loudly it will usually get rejected because many times this will cause distortion, lack of dynamics and also obscures details.  On tracks mastered too quiet, or with very wide dynamic ranges, this causes some issues with the listener's ability to appreciate the details without cranking up the volume, or in the case of tracks with a very wide dynamic range, it causes the listener to have to change the volume during playback in order to appreciate some sections.

As for myself, I can't tell you if I will accept a -16 RMS track because there are other factors at play such as genre, and well, the nature of the arrangement, but unless the dynamics are interfering with the listener's ability to appreciate the track I don't have an issue with it.  Personally, I appreciate tracks with wide dynamic range, but it has to make sense why they are that way, it can't sound like an oversight.

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46 minutes ago, Sir_NutS said:

On tracks mastered too quiet, or with very wide dynamic ranges, this causes some issues with the listener's ability to appreciate the details without cranking up the volume, or in the case of tracks with a very wide dynamic range, it causes the listener to have to change the volume during playback in order to appreciate some sections.

This is what I find kind of backwards about the whole thing. Why should the burden of manually compensating for volume fall on music that hasn't been compressed? In the end, I view this as a technological oversight in the sense that proper standards were not developed to account for the fact that our perceived loudness as listeners does not correspond to how recorded/digital audio measures loudness by the peaks. This kind of stuff was simply not a real concern back then when the loudness war was not in effect.

But now we do have technology and standards being gradually implemented across different outlets and services which does pre-adjust gain based on what the calculated average loudness is in order to solve this. It's just a matter of how OCR chooses to stand in relation to that.

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5 hours ago, lazygecko said:

But now we do have technology and standards being gradually implemented across different outlets and services which does pre-adjust gain based on what the calculated average loudness is in order to solve this. It's just a matter of how OCR chooses to stand in relation to that.

The key word is "gradually."  Streaming services do this.  I don't know of any standard software that applies any kind of volume standardization to a plain ol' playlist of MP3's.  As such, we have to make certain guesses as to how loud a track should be in comparison to similar music that exists, not only on OC ReMix, but elsewhere in the general market.  We're pretty tolerant, on the whole: unless a track has a lot of unused headroom, or is distorted, pumping, or clipping, we're likely to be OK with it (although there's certainly some subjectivity involved, as NutS and Rozo said).

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