How to Remix a Song
If you’re a beginner, creating your own track might prove to be a hard task. That is exactly why numerous musicians/producers out there start by remixing/mashing-up international bangers. This is probably the best and the fastest way to improve your skills and gain some confidence. Now, it might seem like a walk in the park, but remixing is actually not really easy. You’ll need to have at least some basic knowledge of music production and try to find your own, unique take on that song/track. Technically, a remix is a different version of an already-existing composition. Here’s how you can give it a second life:
– Remix it into a different genre. The most popular remixes of our time are usually EDM versions of legendary pop, jazz, and even rock tunes. The only thing that stays intact is the vocal line (and the main theme, of course).
– Try to take a look at it from a different angle. If the song is a slow ballad, turn it into a fast and furious track. If it’s too serious, introduce some simple-yet-catchy lead lines.
Note: if you feel like you won’t be able to “handle” a complete remix, try your luck in a mash-up. It’s just a matter of using different sounds for the existing parts, while a remix can sound completely different from the original.
What Do You Need To Get Started?
– A DAW. This is where all the magic happens. A Digital Audio Workstation is equally great at writing, recording, editing, and mixing a song. Ableton Live and Cubase are among the most popular and easy-to-learn DAWs.
– VST instruments. Most of us can’t afford real instruments (or simply can’t play them). VSTs allow us to play thousands of different sounds through a MIDI keyboard or even without one.
– Some critical thinking. Before you embark on this exciting adventure, take a minute to listen to the track several times and recognize its key elements. Write down any ideas that come to your head – they will be of great help later on. And, think about the target audience: do you want the remix to be radio-friendly, or maybe you’re trying to get the attention of the original author?
Getting Right to It
So, before you even launch the DAW, go to places like Sound Cloud to find a decent acapella track. Without it, you simply won’t be able to make a remix. If you can’t find one, but really like a certain song, use professional software like Adobe Audition to cut it out and leave the instruments behind. It’s not perfect but will work for now.
– In order to be heard, you need to stand out. While the modern-day trends are very important and you can (and should) use some contemporary elements in your remix, it will only be able to “shine through” if you have your own, distinctive style. Trendy music becomes boring, especially when every single musician starts to use the same techniques.
– Go to spots like Beatport. There, you’ll find all the whitepapers necessary for a proper remix. Only then decide whether you want to follow the original chord progression or make your own.
More Things to Consider
– The tempo comes next. If you’re planning on using loops, you’ll need to adjust them to the existing tempo. Or, if you’ve got the skills, change the tempo of the song/track and decrease/increase the speed according to the plan you already have in your head.
– As mentioned earlier, you’ll need something unique to stand out. For that, write your own melodic, rhythmic, and lead parts. Some DJs like to keep everything in except for the lead line; others create a completely different mix while leaving the key elements in. Remember: it is very important for your remix to remind people of the original; otherwise, there’s no point in making one.
Keep working on your masterpiece and perfecting it. Even though the first projects won’t be 100% hits, you’ll gain all the necessary knowledge for taking your production to the next level.