Sunday, January 8, 2017

Hijack (Techno Track, and Remix Contest)

Congratulations to Dom3n, from Slovenia, who was the winner of our Hijack remix contest!  Here's his winning entry:

Before we get into some of the notable entries for our "Hijack" remix contest, here's a link to a newer contest that we're currently sponsoring, for our "Skyscraper" track:

Here are a few of the many other notable entries for the Hijack contest. We'll be slowly releasing additional remix entries over the coming months.

Here is the Original Post that we made about this remix contest:

Urban Francis and I just did another track together.  This time, the style is techno.  We've made the mastered final track available as a free download, we've created a music video on YouTube, and we're sponsoring a Remix Contest (details below).

Most importantly, for the producers, we've shared our entire Ableton Live project files!  Producers can download the full project, see how we put the track together, do your own remixes (which we highly encourage), or even use the project as a template for your own future projects.  All that we ask in return is that you spread the word about our track and video!  Here's the original:

The files that you'll need for remixing (either the Ableton project or the audio Stems collection) are now available from my public Dropbox account.  Just look in the "Bolivia's Remix Projects" folder. My Dropbox also includes a lot of other stuff that people might be interested in.  Here's the link:

The RAR and ZIP versions are different compression types, but the same archives.  ZIP files are universally compatible but larger than RAR.  RAR will be a significantly smaller and faster download, but are only native to Windows.  If you're using a Mac, download a free app such as "The Unarchiver" or "UnRarX" to unpack them.

If you're interested in the stems, you'll be able to use them in pretty much any DAW or audio editor.  They're in WAV format, at 48000/24-bit.  If you're going for the Ableton project, you must have Ableton Live Suite version 9.7 in order to be able to open the project.  Only three resources external to Ableton were used, as detailed in the notes included in the folder.  One external plug-in is a free download (Voxengo's Span), one is cheap (Dadalife's Sausage Fattener), and the last (Absynth 5) is more expensive, but can be replaced with a different VSTi of your choice if you don't have it.

Here's the music video that we produced for this track.  Thanks for sharing it around :)

Remix Contest Details:

We're currently hosting a remix contest for this track.  I'm personally sponsoring the contest with a prize of $300 (in Canadian dollars) for the winning track.  That amount can be paid to the winner (in Canadian funds) as long as you have paypal.  If the winner is a Canadian resident, I'm also willing to mail a cheque if you don't use paypal.

In addition, a number of other randomly selected entries will be showcased on my website, in this blog post, on our SoundCloud accounts, and through other internet media, along with the contact info and/or a promo website for the producers of those remixes (if you want to share such info).

1.  You may share your remixes freely on any internet sites, in any file type(s), both before and after the closing date of the contest, as long as you name your remix according to the following convention:  Urban Francis & Bolivia - Hijack (YOUR NAME Remix).

2.  You should not attempt to register your remix with a professional label or publisher (due to potential copyright content clashes, which I'll explain at the end of this post).  So if you share your remix with the world, you'll have to do it through your own personal publishing efforts.

3.  Your remix can be any genre at all, of your choosing.  Obviously, it will be easier to produce your remix in a style similar to the existing original, ie. some sort of techno derivative.  But feel free to be creative.

4.  You may submit up to two separate entries.

5.  There is no restriction on the length of your submission(s), although we expect that the majority of submissions will probably be between 4 and 8 minutes in length.  Having a submission that is shorter or longer than that range will not handicap you when it comes to judging.

6.  The deadline for entries is 11:59pm (Atlantic Standard Time Zone) on Sunday night, February 26th, 2017.  All judging will take place and winners will be announced within this post by March 15th, 2017.

7.  This contest is open worldwide where permitted, to entrants who have reached the age of majority in their country of residence.  Persons under the age of majority who create a remix may submit their entry through a parent or legal guardian as proxy.

8.  Notwithstanding the above, this contest is void in jurisdictions where prohibited by law.

9.  The prize for the contest winner will be $300 in Canadian dollars.  The Canadian dollar is currently weak, and is worth less than the US dollar.  This amount can be paid to the winner as long as you have Paypal or Interac Email Transfer capabilities.  If the winner is a Canadian resident, I'm also willing to mail a cheque if you don't use Paypal or Interac Email Banking.  I will not send a cheque or use any other type of money transfer service to non-Canadian residents.  The recipient of the winning prize is solely responsible for reporting and submitting any relevant income taxes that might apply to your prize money in your country of residence.  Canadian residents will not enjoy any preference in judging.  We want this to be a global contest.  Having said this, we do expect a number of Canadian entrants, so it's possible that the winner could be a Canadian.  Just rest assured that we definitely won't discriminate against non-Canadians!  The majority of the winners of our past remix contests have been non-Canadians.

10.  Judging will be done by a panel of judges including Urban Francis and other associate producer friends.  The judges' decision will be based upon the quality of music, production values used in making the remix, and possibly also on how innovative the remix is.  The judges' decision will be final, and the judges will not provide feedback on why they chose the specific winning track above any other specific track.

11.  You may share your remix publicly before the contest is over.  However, the popularity of any shared remixes will not influence the judges' decision.  The winner will be decided based upon the judges' perception of the quality of the submissions, not based upon a popularity contest.

12.  Your remix is permitted to include any additional vocal/sample material that you generate, although don't take this as a suggestion that we'd prefer that.  In other words, you may produce an instrumental version if you want, or you can add new vocal/sample material of your own.  You may also include new sounds/instrumentation of your own.  However, please do not include ANY samples or vocals that have been copyrighted elsewhere by another artist.  Any entries containing someone else's copyrighted content will be disqualified.  Any new samples, loops, or other audio materials incorporated into your remix must be royalty-free or exclusively designed by the remixer.

13.  Musicians or producers who are under an exclusive contract with a record label are ineligible.

14.  No purchase is necessary to enter or win this contest.  In fact, there is nothing that you can buy.  However, by entering this promotion contest, you agree that any costs that you incur in creating your remix are solely your own responsibility.

15.  Any potential copyright or other intellectual property rights that may potentially vest in your remix will be granted to Bolivia (Jonathan Clark) and Urban Francis (Francis Cormier).  Note that this is simply to avoid legal complications, and we do not intend to attempt to sell copies of your remixes.

16.  It is expressly agreed that no payment is due to the participants for the production of your remixes.  Only one winner will receive a monetary prize.

17.  By providing your entry details to us, you confirm that you would like to enter the promotion contest and that you agree to be bound by these rules, terms, and conditions, ethics rules applicable on the internet, applicable laws and regulations, and all legislation applicable in your jurisdiction of residence.

18.  Your remix must not contain any illegal, obscene, racist, defamatory, or sexual material, or any material likely to offend any person or any material likely to infringe upon any person's rights of privacy.  The judges reserve the right to disqualify any entries based upon these or any other criteria.  Entrants represent and warrant that their comments or public publishing do not contain any harmful, offensive, or inappropriate content, or any other communications which might defame, disparage or reflect adversely upon the promoters or our goods/services.

19.  We reserve the right to disqualify any submissions that we believe to be the work of other producers.

20.  The winning prize is non-transferable.

21.  We accept no responsibility for entries lost, damaged or delayed, or for any inability to submit entries as a result of computer services, systems, software and/or server failure, error, interruption, defect or delay or any other technical malfunction, including problems with internet connectivity and/or filtering or content by any social media platform.  Entries which are late, incomplete, corrupt, garbled, inaccessible/blocked, bulk, automated, ineligible, suspected as fraudulent, do not comply with the rules & terms & conditions, or which in our sole discretion affect the validity or operation of this promotion contest will not be accepted and are void. 

22.  Except to the extent that they may not be excluded by law, no representations, warranties, terms or conditions that are not expressly stated in these rules & terms & conditions apply to this promotion contest.  We share no liability for any injuries, loss, or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with participation in this promotion (including any damage to entrants' or to any other persons' computer relating to or resulting from participation in, or downloading of any materials or software in connection with this promotion contest), or acceptance, use, misuse, or non-use of any prizes.

23.  We reserve the right to edit and/or augment the rules & terms & conditions at any point throughout the duration of this contest, in case we think of something that we forgot to mention.

24.  Your remix must not include any unauthorized samples or audio which have a copyright belonging to any other artist or entity.

Phew.  That was exhausting.

To Enter:

1.  Send a link to your track via email to Urban Francis in an uncompressed audio format, ie. WAV or AIFF format.  The best way to do this is probably to put it into a Dropbox account (you can get one for free if you don't already have one) and share the link to the file with Urban Francis.  If this isn't possible, you can find other services that would allow you to host and share your file.  But to be honest, Dropbox is probably the best and easiest by far.  An alternative would be to get a free Soundcloud account (if you don't already have one) and upload the file there, and enable downloads, then send that link to Urban Francis.

2.  You should not send your project/session files.

3.  You can produce your remix in the DAW or Audio Editor of your choice.  We'd like to know which DAW you used, but that's mostly just out of curiousity.  Also, although we haven't decided this yet, we might pick a couple of especially good entries to feature in our public dropbox (your entire project files) IF you're willing to do that.  But you don't have to, and that won't affect how we judge the entries.  Again, don't send us your full project/session files.  For now, just tell us which editor you used.

4.  We must have the following information:
     - Your full name.
     - Your producer alias, if you have one.
     - What country you're from.
     - Your email address (if unspecified, we'll assume that it's the one that you use to enter).

5.  You can optionally include a photo with your entry.  This is not mandatory, and won't affect your chances of winning.  We'll only use this if you're the winner and if you happen to want a photo published.

6.  In the event that your submission is randomly selected to be shared by us to a wider distribution, it would be helpful for you to tell us (when you enter) whether or not you want to share any promotional details with your remix.  Details must be limited to one email address and/or up to four website links (soundcloud, facebook, etc.).

7.  Urban Francis will reply to all submissions to confirm that they have been received.  If you don't get a submission confirmation email, please send a second email which is TEXT ONLY to specify that you sent a submission.  That way, if your original email (with links and/or attachments) got redirected to spam/trash, we can look for it.

8.  The email address to send entries to is:

Good luck with your remixing.  And if you can think of any remix or production-oriented message boards where you could share the link to this post, I'd appreciate it.  Thanks!

Note:  We have copyrighted and registered the original work with SOCAN, the Canadian music licensing agency.  Although we are not pursuing copyright claims if the content is posted online, you should be careful if you do a remix and give it to a label that tries to enforce copyright claims on your own remix.  Since we've already registered the work, we'd be able to prove that we hold the original copyright.  In other words, make sure you don't get into a situation where you sell your remix to a label who then tries to use content-matching algorithms at services such as YouTube and Soundcloud to monetize remixes of your remix.  If such a content-match occurred with our original track (which is on both of those services, and other services) then you'd have a lot of hassle trying to remove your track from the system.  However, this shouldn't be an issue if you share your own mixes freely on YouTube, Soundcloud, and other platforms.  It would only be if you tried to share through a label that was trying to collect publishing royalties that you'd run into an issue.

Don't forget to follow Francis on his SoundCloud account, because he posts free tracks a lot more frequently than I do!  Here's the link:

Also, if any labels out there are interested in additional tracks similar in style to this one, let us know.  We have a few unreleased tracks that we might be willing to place with labels, although we would not be willing to sign an exclusive or long-term contract with any one label.  We'll do track-by-track one-off placements only.

We've recorded a series of seven separate YouTube videos that will help explain how we put together various parts of this project.  The videos are aimed at intermediate and advanced Ableton producers.  Here they are:

For results from an older 2016 remix contest of a progressive house track called "Courage" that Urban Francis and I produced together, which also has the Ableton project available in my public Dropbox, visit this link:

Here's a different version of the mix by Urban Francis.  I think he did a much better job of mastering on it than we did on the original.  Also, the instrumentation has changed somewhat.  Listen or download here:

Thanks for stopping by.  Don't forget to bookmark this post, and come back shortly for more updates!  We'll be posting a number of the remix contest entries here throughout March.

Follow Jonathan Clark on other sites:
        Main Site:
        Music Blog:


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