First of all, thanks to everyone for getting so involved in this competition
You're all helping to make an online educational resource that's second to none, and I've been extremely impressed by the quality and variety of all the mixes that have been posted, as well as by the friendly and constructive nature of all the thread posts.
However, a competition is a competition, and the time has come to announce the results of my first stage of judging. I deliberately left a few days gap before returning to these these mixes, and removed the track names in my comparison DAW project, so that I could try to avoid listening with too many preconceptions. My only criterion for choosing between the mixes was how well I thought they fulfilled the potential of the material within the brief provided by the band. Where appropriate I loudness-matched the mixes to try to avoid loudness affecting my decision.
Shortlist: ALivingSight, Daunt, MartinOlsson, mrtuesday, and mugo.
Very well done to you five, but I'd also like to give 'Honourable Mentions' to the following people, who made it through the first round of auditioning, even though they didn't quite reach the top five: Argle, Berk13, deejsirois, DirkZuber, essessbe, fHumble fHingaz (who provided a great original mix), fixated7, gLOW-x, GuitarZero, karumba, Loon, mlabman, and Xander.
I'll be sending the mix files to the band for their input now, although I'll make it clear to them that they're also welcome to consider any of the other mixes which might have taken their fancy. I've also just now set up a Competition Shortlist Poll
so that the band can get an idea as to the general concensus of opinion on this forum if they want. At the moment my plan is to announce a winner on Monday May 2nd, depending on how long it takes the band to get all their feedback sorted.
Stay tuned! And if you get a chance to participate in the poll in the meantime, then that would be great!