Update (8/15/10): the first challenge is up.

Sorry about creating a new post for this, but it's getting hard to keep track of where all the feedback is for this thing (some in the first thread, but there are a bunch floating around as comments in other threads too). So, here it is.

When I provide a video for the competition, and it already has real world audio, would you prefer to get the video with or without that audio?

I've spent a fair bit of time researching/gathering for this month's challenge. I had to pass up my first choice, because I was unable to secure permission. Thankfully, I found a suitable replacement (it might even be better). This question would have applied to either one.

If you're curious as to what might have been, you can view it here: http://www.archive.org/details/FootballAccident

I'm still not telling you what the challenge was gonna be, because I may still use the idea either this month or in some future challenge.

Thanks for any input you guys offer.

  • Can we start the challenge already?!? :-)
    – Utopia
    Aug 9, 2010 at 17:40
  • LOL. Sunday, dude. Sunday. Aug 9, 2010 at 17:49

5 Answers 5


Not knowing what you have in mind makes it tough. I'd say it depends on the source and the challenge. If it's raw production audio that moves the scene and it's a requirement to include it in the final mix for the challenge, then certainly yes. Otherwise, I think it would be more interesting to see where everyone comes from when faced with a blank slate than when given a "guide track."


Hmm. Really depends on the challenge rules. If we are allowed to use certain elements of the mix, then we definitely want it there. If it has to be 100% original, I'd rather not have anything and let my imagination run its own course on what I "hear" when I see the image. I feel like hearing the real audio would permanently bias my sound design.

It might be interesting to see what people come up with if they are given the mix audio vs given a silent track.


Post the video without audio, and post a link to a zipped wav of the original audio for the people that might want it.


Definately, video should come muted, to not change your existent idea of how you would design it. I prefer not to hear the original audio first time and instantly associate a picture with imaginary sound and then realise it. After 3/4 of work its good to hear original to polish your own work.

And good idea i think is to post muted video in the beginning of competition, and then as all works will collected - post same video with audio. That will be interesting to compare.


I pretty much agree with what all of you guys are saying. Here's the dilemma. At least with this first challenge, the video is available to watch on Vimeo. I've just made agreements for its use. Now, as I will want to be giving credit where credit is due, people participating in the challenge will be able to find the original with very little effort.

I suppose I'll just have to explain the benefits of doing the piece cold and rely on people's desire to better themselves to keep them from being overly influenced by existing audio.

Of course, this also means I'll have to strip the audio and export a new version of the video. Making more work for myself all of the time. lol

  • Well, if people want to cheat they'll cheat. Plus, I think it will be easy to tell if someone used and augmented the original tracks. I think the honor system can go a long way and if you specifically note you don't want people to be influenced by the original audio, they wont.
    – Utopia
    Aug 9, 2010 at 18:11

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