Old 01-30-2019, 05:14 PM   #1
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Default REAPER CONTEST - FEBRUARY 2019 (FEEDBACK)

REAPER CONTEST - FEBRUARY 2019
(ONLY REAPER PLUGINS ALLOWED)




OFFICIAL WEBSITE


MIXING: 1-17 February
VOTING: 18-26 February
RESULTS: 28 February
FEEDBACK: 1-4 March


FEBRUARY 2019 PROJECTS
REAPER CONTEST ANALYTICS



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After a well-deserved break here we are with the 3rd instance of the REAPER Contest. Thanks to everyone that has been following this project over the years!

First off, I have some news. This year, along with the usual only-reaper-plugins sessions, there will be from 2 to 4 months where there will be two songs to mix! But there's a twist... one has to be mixed only with native plugins, while the second is extended to all plugins. You can even participate to both and earn extra points or to only one, you decide!
More details in the following weeks

That being said, let's talk about the song for February this song is called Dread Machine and it was written/produced by several famous and awesome YouTube musicians. It's a metal song, but I think that not only metalheads or rockers are going to like it. This song was tracked very well and it could be quite challenging if you're not used to work with a medium/large sized multitrack. The recording process was documented on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tRnbESGDGA) and if you want you can also listen to the official (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJfraNCvR8s).
Do all your best and let's see who will prevail at the end of the month

As always you can download the multitrack from the website or clicking on this link.

Happy mixing!
Dave

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Last edited by DaveKeehl; 03-04-2019 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 01-30-2019, 09:59 PM   #2
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Default WOW!

I'm absolutely loving the song, and super looking forward to continued Reaper Contests this year. Especially with that caveat thrown into things, with the multiple sessions and the possibility of using MORE than just Native Plugs! :O
To compare whatever mix we do with native DIRECTLY with one we do without for the same contest should be crazy cool.
Pumped to organize these tracks!

Here's to hoping that this month has a great turnout, so we can all see how people handle a medium to large session.
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Old 01-30-2019, 10:34 PM   #3
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mmmmmmmmmmm.......
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Old 02-03-2019, 01:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Not_Here View Post
mmmmmmmmmmm.......
what's wrong? xD
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Old 02-04-2019, 01:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKeehl View Post
what's wrong? xD
Nothing at all... that was the sound of a twice dunked Oreo cookie being savored while listening to the commercial mix of that song....
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Old 02-04-2019, 11:00 AM   #6
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hi! so many tracks!
try to do something..
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Old 02-04-2019, 11:44 AM   #7
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the drums on the commercial version are so... overandoverandover produced..
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:54 PM   #8
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Wow. Just finished my 'rough'. Never mixed metal before. I don't think theres much more to squeeze out, used every trick I know for the lows to make it through.
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:45 PM   #9
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Is it just me, or am I getting the urge to mix some Iron Maiden all of the sudden?

Anyone else hear it?
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Old 02-10-2019, 01:22 AM   #10
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Maiden? You're seriously not alone haha. This has a super maiden-y vibe at times. It was super fun to mix, too!
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Old 02-16-2019, 11:35 PM   #11
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MAIDEN!


one word "ca eR eful" is gonna screw this up???!!!

WTF?
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Old 02-17-2019, 05:53 AM   #12
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Still 10 hours left then the real battle begins...
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Old 02-17-2019, 12:27 PM   #13
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I really wanted to participate this month but I just didn’t have the time. I will try to listen and give feedback though.
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Old 02-18-2019, 12:05 AM   #14
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Know all about the not enough time.

Didn't get to finish, but still submitted. it is what it is.

so frustrating.
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Old 02-19-2019, 03:41 PM   #15
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Thanks to everybody that has submitted his/her mix!

Uploading everything on the website right now!
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Old 02-19-2019, 05:25 PM   #16
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WOW.

I'm really glad I did turn in a mix.

totally diggin listening to all the mixes.
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Old 02-24-2019, 01:44 PM   #17
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Lots of great submissions this month! Great work guys I didn't manage to finish my mix unfortunately. When I'm gonna have some time off I'm gonna link it here, so you can take listen a critique

BTW... Big announcement about the rewards situation coming in a few days. Stay tuned!
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Old 02-24-2019, 02:17 PM   #18
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I didn't submit in the end, damn, but I will give feedback:

1: Quiet vocals. Generally muddy. Bass hits well, snare has a cool 90s vibe. Can hear all parts.

2: Bass clanks thru nice but doesn't support guitars. Sounds even weaker when kick comes in. Prechorus loses power. Chorus toms stick out a lot

3: Raised volume of intro, good. Great bass growl. Snare over compressed, kick lost. Cymbals buried when not accompanied by snare hits. Guitars very mid heavy. D Background vocals could be louder, but did like the focus on the gutteral vocals. Solos sound live like recorded on a phone camera. Heavy heavy compression on the bus on this mix? Sidechaining? Not desirable imo.

4: Great kick thud, could use a bit more tilting towards high end and a bit of snap. Bass gets lost. Muddy overall timbre of mix. Vocals especially background is quiet. Interesting tom panning but it does make them into a separate 'room' in the mix. Gives it an over-dubbed feel.

5: Big build up around 1k. Bass doesn't get lost but guitars lose their weight. Ringing on drums is distracting (chorus especially). Solos quiet and boxy.

6: Cool growl on bass, but does get lost later in verse. Pops through almost too much in prechorus and chorus. Drums are nice and present. Bit wide on tom panning, similar issue to mix 4. Vocals have a lot of verb on them that doesn't match rest of mix. Solos could use a bit more lifting out of the mix.

7: Also raised volume of intro. Opening guitar chugs lost a lot of their original untouched power. Bass is well processed but too loud. Guitars in general in the mix besides the chorus lost a lot of power. Chorus feels left-side heavy for guitars. Was a reamplifcation or heavy EQ used on the right side guitar? Good treatment of vocals. Kick is pillowy. Toms very quiet. Solos have an AM radio quality - what happened to their high end?

8: Guitars pretty good, though a bit muddy. Bass can be felt but is unclear. Kick overpowers it immediately when it comes in with the verse. Vocals could be a bit louder. Pumping audible on cymbals. Solos very quiet compared to rhythm, boxy. Acoustic guitar part got shifted in time by accident?

9: Winner for me. Good guitar and bass but could do with more subs. Best drum mix so far but has a bit of a slapback reverb thing going on that is too loud. However, the effect it has of separating the drums from the rest of the mix has a good thing going on. Just out of proportion. Drums overpower the mix in general. Vocals too much verb, and certain phrases are too quiet (prechorus). Guitars sound huge in different way than the original recording, it's cool. Doomy. Maybe not what the 'band' was going for but nice direction. Solos did lack bite standing up next to the wall of guitars.


Overall: Balance the vocals, their volume jumps around a lot. Bring up the intro and breakdown area. Bass gets lost easy in this mix, I think the best mixes used distortion and compression to keep it consistent and present and didn't let the blastbeat kicks over power it. Lay off the buss compression, there is too much high frequency stuff in this mix getting swooshed around by stereo limiters especially on mix 3. Bring solos to the front with high shelf EQ.
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Old 02-26-2019, 03:58 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fergler View Post
I didn't submit in the end, damn, but I will give feedback:

1: Quiet vocals. Generally muddy. Bass hits well, snare has a cool 90s vibe. Can hear all parts.

2: Bass clanks thru nice but doesn't support guitars. Sounds even weaker when kick comes in. Prechorus loses power. Chorus toms stick out a lot

3: Raised volume of intro, good. Great bass growl. Snare over compressed, kick lost. Cymbals buried when not accompanied by snare hits. Guitars very mid heavy. D Background vocals could be louder, but did like the focus on the gutteral vocals. Solos sound live like recorded on a phone camera. Heavy heavy compression on the bus on this mix? Sidechaining? Not desirable imo.

4: Great kick thud, could use a bit more tilting towards high end and a bit of snap. Bass gets lost. Muddy overall timbre of mix. Vocals especially background is quiet. Interesting tom panning but it does make them into a separate 'room' in the mix. Gives it an over-dubbed feel.

5: Big build up around 1k. Bass doesn't get lost but guitars lose their weight. Ringing on drums is distracting (chorus especially). Solos quiet and boxy.

6: Cool growl on bass, but does get lost later in verse. Pops through almost too much in prechorus and chorus. Drums are nice and present. Bit wide on tom panning, similar issue to mix 4. Vocals have a lot of verb on them that doesn't match rest of mix. Solos could use a bit more lifting out of the mix.

7: Also raised volume of intro. Opening guitar chugs lost a lot of their original untouched power. Bass is well processed but too loud. Guitars in general in the mix besides the chorus lost a lot of power. Chorus feels left-side heavy for guitars. Was a reamplifcation or heavy EQ used on the right side guitar? Good treatment of vocals. Kick is pillowy. Toms very quiet. Solos have an AM radio quality - what happened to their high end?

8: Guitars pretty good, though a bit muddy. Bass can be felt but is unclear. Kick overpowers it immediately when it comes in with the verse. Vocals could be a bit louder. Pumping audible on cymbals. Solos very quiet compared to rhythm, boxy. Acoustic guitar part got shifted in time by accident?

9: Winner for me. Good guitar and bass but could do with more subs. Best drum mix so far but has a bit of a slapback reverb thing going on that is too loud. However, the effect it has of separating the drums from the rest of the mix has a good thing going on. Just out of proportion. Drums overpower the mix in general. Vocals too much verb, and certain phrases are too quiet (prechorus). Guitars sound huge in different way than the original recording, it's cool. Doomy. Maybe not what the 'band' was going for but nice direction. Solos did lack bite standing up next to the wall of guitars.


Overall: Balance the vocals, their volume jumps around a lot. Bring up the intro and breakdown area. Bass gets lost easy in this mix, I think the best mixes used distortion and compression to keep it consistent and present and didn't let the blastbeat kicks over power it. Lay off the buss compression, there is too much high frequency stuff in this mix getting swooshed around by stereo limiters especially on mix 3. Bring solos to the front with high shelf EQ.
Are you not a bass player?)
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Old 02-27-2019, 04:41 PM   #20
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Default RESULTS!

Here we are folks... First month and first set of winners! Considering that the song was very challenging (especially if you've never mixed any kind of metal song) I must say that you all did a great job!
But one person managed to do something awesome, and that person is...

AFTERCUTRECORDS!

Well done! you have been granted the power to choose a song of your liking (just make sure it's not too much copyrighted or anything like that). Shoot me a PM by March 3rd with all the details

Updated analytics (click it)

February 2019 ranking:



Final Top 10:

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Old 02-27-2019, 04:57 PM   #21
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IMPORTANT UPDATES:
  1. In April, July and October of 2019 there will be 2 contests per month! Those extra ones are open to every Reaper user and to all kind of plugins, no restriction!
  2. There will be rewards at the end of the year for the highest ranked 3 users! More details will come but for now I can tell you that the winner(s) will receive something nice from Heda (https://reaper.hector-corcin.com/) and Blankfiles (https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=212340)

I'm very excited! I hope you are too!
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Old 02-27-2019, 09:57 PM   #22
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Default Wow!

Thanks guys! It means a lot to me that so many of you appreciated the mix I did.

Coincidentally, I got my fiance to vote this month... and I wasn't even in her top 3! (Her favorite was #2

Just goes to show how important it is to keep your friends close and your enemies closer > Haha just kidding!

Great competition this month, everyone. I'll be happy to go through and do feedback for everyone.

Thank you again... and great job to everyone who competed! The competition was incredibly stiff.
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:26 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbenderr View Post
Are you not a bass player?)
I am, whats it to ya?
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Old 02-28-2019, 01:41 AM   #24
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Hi, I'm mixing "real" multitracks only since some months, so I'm very glad that my mix was judged somewhat decent. Thanks for your voting and your suggestions!
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Old 02-28-2019, 07:15 AM   #25
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Congratulations to aftercutrecords!!!
Here are my short notes:

#01 interesting vocoder in the intro, good mix but could be more transparent
#02 good balance between clarity and punch, very good mix
how did you manage it that your mix always sound louder than the
others although the loudness is equal?
#03 too much compression, guitars could have more low frequency content
#04 my mix
#05 good mix, could benefit from 400-500Hz in the master
#06 snare and guitars too thin, good solo sound
#07 snare too thin, for my taste there is too much distortion in the bass guitar
#08 good intro, a bit dry, too much compression, snare needs more impact
#09 very good mix, could be a little bit fatter

i voted 2 - 9 - 5
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Old 02-28-2019, 02:20 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grundton View Post
Congratulations to aftercutrecords!!!
Here are my short notes:

#01 interesting vocoder in the intro, good mix but could be more transparent
#02 good balance between clarity and punch, very good mix
how did you manage it that your mix always sound louder than the
others although the loudness is equal?
#03 too much compression, guitars could have more low frequency content
#04 my mix
#05 good mix, could benefit from 400-500Hz in the master
#06 snare and guitars too thin, good solo sound
#07 snare too thin, for my taste there is too much distortion in the bass guitar
#08 good intro, a bit dry, too much compression, snare needs more impact
#09 very good mix, could be a little bit fatter

i voted 2 - 9 - 5
Sorry, my English is not so good. Thanks for your voting. I liked your mix, good sound. I used a lot of parallel compression, as well as parallel compression on busses.
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Old 03-01-2019, 11:07 PM   #27
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Good competition this month, really appreciated the variety of approaches. Please post the project files when you have a chance.
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Old 03-02-2019, 03:58 AM   #28
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The project files are now up on MEGA. You can download them as usual either by going to the first post or by going to the archive page on the website.
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Old 03-02-2019, 09:46 PM   #29
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Here's my feedback for everyone!

1: Very pretty intro, pretty solid impact. Snare lacks some body. It's very buzzy.
Vocals are a little buried, and the low end of the kick is hard to hear when the guitars and bass are drowning it out. Overall, more drum, less woofy 100hz to 500hz in the guitars and bass. The drums get lost, and the vocals only come out clearly at the chorus. The chorus sounds pretty good though! The solo section sounds very clean.
Overall, I like the mix but it's kinda woofy and the drums don't feel like they attack very hard. I love the acoustic part, by the way! I think you handled it the best.

2: My fiance voted for yours, and for good reason. It's real punchy and has great impact. The problem is really the low end. It sounds far too exaggerated, and everything gets muddy when the faster parts kick in. However, that exaggerated lowend means that it sounded great on her consumer headphones! Control the low end and allow for a little more midrange to compensate. Also, I feel like the snare could use a little more high end, but that's just my taste. I actually struggled to tell the difference between yours and mine on her headphones! Great mix. Just beware of the lowend on faster material like this!

3: It sounds like the guitars are a little loud and crushed. When they come in, it's brutally obvious there's some kind of compression on it. This isn't very necessary, because high gain guitars like these necessarily are already very compressed! The other thing is, the snare sounds really cool but would fit better with more 8k to 10k in a metal mix. The vocals have a LITTLE too much verb, and the drums sound a little overcompressed aside from the snare. I'd look into parallel compression, honestly. No need to overdo it on the track itself! Make a new track, send it to the parallel compressor with a high pass, and let that attack blend in a little bit at a time. Keep it up though! With a little less compression on the already fairly compressed elements, your mix can shine a little more!

4: This one has a lot of woof in the kick and toms. They kinda disappear when the bass kicks in. Focus on scooping that 100-200hz on the kick and 500hz to 700hz on the toms. That will let the attack come out more and leave room for all the midrange heavy elements. The guitar tones sound pretty good though. The vocals sit really well on top of the mix. I appreciate that! But the toms become noticeable and sound a little rumbly instead of like toms being struck with sticks when the rolls happen. Happy to help with this if you're interested. I liked your approach to the final buildup though, before the final chorus!

5: There's something really strange going on with the bass. I think it's just too loud. It's actually quite hard to hear the mix with all that bass, and because there's so much bass guitar in the mix it triggers lots of compression at times that it doesn't feel like it should. Lower the volume of it, and let everything else take a little bit of a front seat. The toms don't really sound panned, and a lot of metal toms are panned really wide. Tom 1 at like 40%-70% left, to 30%-80% panning on the lowest tom in some mixes! In fact, the narrowness of the panning could be leading to everything competing for space in the center. Panning overheads 100% isn't something you need to shy away from. This is metal! Exaggerate the things that make it wider or punchier

6: The guitars sound a little thin. The drums sound kind of overcompressed. The vocals sound cool, but having a little more guitar and not cutting so many mids from everything could help the overall sound. You notice how it sounds like there's a hole from lack of midrange? Like the guitars are way too background. This actually sounds kinda like a reggae mix to me, of a metal song. If you mixed a reggae song like this, I'd totally go for it. But for metal, you have to keep in mind that all the power from instruments comes from the balance of midrange and high end content. Low end is usually just bass and kick, with as much guitar as you're willing to have in the lows for emphasis.

7: Too much bass guitar! Especially when the kick comes in, everything feels too whooshy. Focus on giving the kick and snare way more high end cut and some midrange punch. 1.2k-3.2k and 8k-10k are usually where I focus on if a drum isn't cutting through. Those are big ranges, but you hear where the impacts are if you sweep! That kick has too much low end POOF so it could make with some snap and punch to counteract it. A transient designer cutting sustain and adding attack may help too. Overall the guitar tones sound pretty oddly panned and filtered. The leads do really cool stuff, but the rhythm should feel like a wall on both sides. Right now they feel kinda far away. Lead guitar kinda just dies... maybe use reverb and fade out the dry signal so it doesn't just pop out of existence? Also the acoustic on the bridge, with just the vocals, sounds WAY too quiet. If I could compare the mix for this to a different genre, I would say it sounds like an indie acoustic style mix. May not fit the vibe of the song, but that's what it sounds like to me haha. I'm not sure what genre you may be used to mixing, but that's my guess!

8: The guitars have too much low end and volume in the beginning. Then the verse comes in and the toms disappear. The vocals have too much low end too, it sounds like everything is being compressed below 1k and there's lot of frequency masking and ducking going on. Clean up the low midrange and bass, and use less compression on the guitars. The whole mix seems to be pumping, actually, especially during the chorus. You could also serve to have more kick and snare and toms (the shells) with more brightness. I like the snare's tone, but bring it up in volume a little! It's okay to crank things a little. It's metal. All the frequency content seems to be fighting from 100hz to 500hz though. Until the lead kicks in. But even then, the rhythm guitar is too loud. Let the lead breathe more by turning the rhythm down.

Hope I was able to help some people! If you have any questions for me, I'm happy to answer. Just pm me with a question and I'll get back as soon as possible!

Great mixes this month, guys!
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Old 03-04-2019, 06:10 PM   #30
DaveKeehl
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That's a ton of feedback so far! Wow!!! I wanna leave mine in the next few days, I didn't forget!

I've just created a new thread for the next contest by the way
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