Making remixes of a song is an exciting endeavor for music producers and musicians alike. It’s a creative outlet that allows you to explore new ideas, techniques, sounds, and structures all within the confines of one beloved track.
Needles to say, there’s nothing quite like hearing a fresh take on your favorite songs!
Whether it's your first attempt to remix a song, or you are a seasoned veteran looking to learn more about specific topics (such as copyright infringement, or tips for improving your process), this guide will give you the tools and resources needed to make sure your remix lives up to its full potential.
Table of Contents:
Section 1: Introduction
What is Remixing?
Remixing is when one person (or group) takes an original piece of music and reworks it into something completely new.
This could be anything from adding elements like extra instruments, samples, or vocal tracks to changing entire sections of the song.
In some cases, remixes end up sounding totally different than the originals; in others, they may only be slightly tweaked versions of the same track.
Either way, remixing is a fun and creative way to take an existing track and make something entirely new out of it.
Why Is Remixing Popular?
There are several reasons why remixing has become so popular in recent years. One is that it allows artists to create something unique without having to start from scratch every time. Plus, the familiarity from the original song is likely to draw in listeners who are fans of that track.
Remixes also allow for experimentation with different styles and genres, as well as collaboration between artists who otherwise may not have worked together.
Finally, since most people have access to digital audio software these days, creating remixes has become relatively easy for anyone with basic knowledge of audio production techniques.
Section 2: The Basics
What Software Should I Use?
The type of software you use will depend on your individual needs. If you are looking to simply speed up or slow down a song, a free software like Audacity or an online website will suffice.
For more advanced remix songs, popular programs such as Ableton Live and FL Studio can get the job done. Both programs offer a variety of features for recording and editing audio as well as creating beats, synths, and more.
They also come with a range of virtual instruments that can help you create complex layers of sound and texture. Additionally, both programs are relatively user-friendly and come with tutorials that can help beginners get up and running quickly.
How Do I Import Audio Files?
Most music production software allows users to import audio files into their projects. Typically, this involves dragging-and-dropping the file from its source folder into the program window.
Alternatively, some programs allow users to “import” samples directly from external sources like online libraries or music platforms like SoundCloud or YouTube. This allows you to quickly add elements such as loops or samples into your project without having to manually search for them in your computer’s file system.
How Do I Begin Remixing?
Once you have imported your audio files or samples into your project, it is time to start remixing!
This typically involves...
experimenting with different effects (like reverb or delay) or manipulating existing sounds (such as shortening a sample)
chopping up a track (breaking it apart into small pieces) and rearranging it in different ways
layering multiple tracks together
adding additional parts (bass lines or original vocal harmonies)
using automated processes such as quantization (automatically timing a track)
Ultimately there is no one “right way” to remix—it is all about experimentation until you find something that works for your project!
How do I make slowed + reverb or sped up remixes?
Here are three ways to make slowed down + reverb or sped up remixes.
For the best results, you can use a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) such as Ableton Live, FL Studio, or Logic Pro X. These DAWs have built-in tools that allow you to change the tempo and add reverb to your tracks.
If you are not familiar with using a DAW, you can also use third-party online websites such as Audacity, Kapwing, or Canva to speed up or slow down the original tracks tempo. These websites allow you to upload your audio, change the tempo, and then download the processed file.
Lastly, some online websites also offer additional effects such as reverb, delay, and echo that you can apply to your tracks. However, keep in mind that the quality of these online websites may not be as high as using a DAW.
If you're looking for a creative way to remix your favorite song, a slowed + reverb remix or a sped up remix is a great place to start. All you need is an audio editor of your choice, along with an ear for music and the patience to experiment.
Section 3: Finding the Perfect Song
Finding the right song to remix can be a critical aspect of the remixing process, as the source material you choose will play a significant role in determining the final outcome of your work. Here are a few things to consider when selecting a song to remix:
Genre Compatibility: Consider the genre of music that you want to create with your remix. Make sure that the original song fits well within that genre, as it will make it easier for you to add your own personal touch and make the remix sound cohesive.
Popularity: A well-known, widely recognized song has the potential to bring in new listeners to your remix. This can be a great benefit as the likelihood that new listeners come from the original track is higher than if you were to remix an unknown or lesser-known song.
Song Length: Think about the length of the original song, as well. A three-minute pop track might not work well as a nine-minute progressive house banger. Choose a song that fits the length and style you have in mind for your remix.
Lyrics and Vocals: If you plan on keeping the original lyrics and vocals, make sure that they align with your vision for the remix. The lyrics should complement the overall sound and feel of the remix.
Instrumentation: Consider the instrumentation in the original song and think about how you can build on it or rearrange it to make it your own. A song with a strong beat or melody can be a great starting point for a remix.
Personal Connection: Finally, and arguably most importantly, choose a song that you have a personal connection to. Whether you love the melody, the lyrics, or the production, your personal connection to the song will give you the motivation and drive to create the best remix possible.
By taking these factors into consideration, you can find the right song to remix and set yourself up for success in the remixing process.
Two Helpful Hints
Acquiring MIDI files, original stems, and other valuable files from the original song can greatly enhance the remixing process.
MIDI files contain information about the notes and instruments used in the original song, allowing you to easily manipulate and rearrange the original track.
Original stems, on the other hand, are separate audio files for each instrument or sound in the original song, allowing you to mix and match elements to create your own unique sound. These files can often be purchased or acquired through online libraries or music platforms.
Some websites, such as Beatport, offer exclusive access to professional-quality stems and MIDI files. When searching for these files, make sure to only use reputable sources to ensure that you are acquiring high-quality files that are legal to use in your remix.
AI Tools Can also Speed Up The Creative Process
In addition to MIDI files and original stems, there are also other tools that can help streamline the remixing process.
One such tool is lalal.ai, which uses AI technology to easily isolate vocals or instruments in the instrumental, making it easier to edit the existing track. With lalal.ai, you can easily separate the vocals or instruments from a song and use them in your remix, or simply use it to practice your editing skills.
This tool can be a valuable asset for any music producer looking to make the most out of their remixing process, and other AI tools are beginning to take the music industry by storm.
Section 4: 9 Tips when Remixing Songs
Tip 1: Choose Your Source Material Wisely
While it can be tempting to just jump straight into remixing any old song that catches your ear, it's important to take some time to think critically about what source material will work best for your project.
As discussed, consider the genre of music you want to create and make sure the original track fits that style. Also think about the length of the song; a three-minute pop track might not translate well into a nine-minute progressive house banger.
When selecting the original track to remix, take the time to think about its suitability for the genre of music you want to create and the length of the song. A three-minute pop track might not be ideal for a nine-minute progressive house banger.
Tip 2: Understand Your Tools
No matter how talented or creative you are as an artist, if you don't understand how all the tools at your disposal work then your remix won't reach its full potential. Take some time to learn every single feature on your DAW so that when it comes time for production there won't be any surprises.
Tip 3: Think Outside The Box
Don't be afraid to get creative with your remixes! Try adding unexpected elements like acoustic instruments or vocal samples. Even simple things like pitching up or down certain sounds can add character and life to a track.
Creativity is key when it comes to remixing. Don't be afraid to add unexpected elements to the track, like acoustic instruments or vocal samples, and experiment with pitching sounds to add character and life to the track.
Tip 4: Keep It Simple
As much as experimentation is encouraged in remixing, it’s important not to overdo it either. Piling too many elements onto a track can muddy up its sound and make it difficult for listeners to focus on each individual element. So try sticking with fewer layers while still keeping things interesting.
Although experimentation is important in remixing, it's also important not to overdo it. Too many elements on a track can make it sound muddy and difficult for listeners to focus on each individual element. Keep things simple by sticking with fewer layers while still making the track interesting.
Tip 5: Constantly Seek Inspiration
Inspiration can come from anywhere – including other artists' work! Take some time out of your day for active listening – not only will this provide great ideas for inspiration but also help sharpen up your ears when crafting melodies or rhythms later on in production.
Listening to other remixers can be a great source of inspiration. Take some time for active listening and not only will you get ideas for inspiration, but it will also help you improve your skills when crafting melodies and rhythms in production.
Tip 6: Finalize the Remix with Mastering
Once your production work is done, don't forget to master your tracks. Mastering brings out the finer details in a track such as EQ adjustments or compression settings that may have gone unnoticed before. These small details can make a big difference in the overall sound of your remix.
Tip 7: Collaborate With Others
Collaborating with another artist can be a refreshing change from working alone. Whether it's someone who produces music in a similar style as you or someone who brings a completely different sound to the mix, collaborating can give you a new perspective on your projects and keep things exciting.
Tip 8: Have Fun
Making music should always be fun first and foremost. Don't put too much pressure on yourself if things don't go exactly as planned. Take breaks when needed and even switch genres or styles if needed. Sometimes stepping back from something can give you clarity and help you approach it with a fresh perspective.
Tip 9: Share Your Music With The World
Lastly, don't forget to share your music with the world! Posting music online has never been easier, so don't miss out on opportunities by being too shy. You never know who might hear and love your work, so share it proudly with friends, family, and fans.
Section 5: Remixes Done Right (Famous Examples)
There are several examples of remixes that have become more popular than their original versions and gone viral.
1. SAINt JHN - "Roses" (Imanbek Remix)
One of the most notable examples is the Imanbek Remix of "Roses" by SAINt JHN. The Imanbek Remix of "Roses" was a massive hit, reaching the top of charts worldwide and even outperforming the original version of the song.
This remix added a fresh, upbeat twist to the original ballad, with a catchy bassline and new production elements. The popularity of this remix showcases how remixing can breathe new life into a song and bring it to a wider audience.
2. Mike Posner - "I Took A Pill In Ibiza" (Seeb Remix)
Another remix that outperformed the original song was Seeb's official remix, which transformed the acoustic ballad into a more danceable, energetic track that gained popularity in clubs and on the charts.
The success of this remix demonstrates the versatility and appeal of remixing, as well as the potential for a remix to breathe new life into a song and bring it to a wider audience.
The remix went on to become a worldwide hit, reaching the top of charts in multiple countries and becoming one of the most streamed tracks of the year.
3. Lana Del Rey - "Summertime Sadness" (Cedric Gervais Remix)
Lastly, this vastly different styled remix transformed the original melancholy song into a upbeat electronic music track, which gained popularity among club-goers and earned Gervais a Grammy Award for Best Remixed Recording.
These are just a few examples of how remixes can bring new energy and attention to a song, and how they can become even more popular than their original versions.
These remixes demonstrate how remixing can offer new creative possibilities for artists and producers, as well as provide new opportunities for songs to reach a wider audience.
Section 6: How to Make Money with your Remix
The above mentioned remixes are all listed as a "official remix", meaning the original artist (or their label) cleared the track and released it with proper clearance.
Seeing that you won't instantly be working with major artists to put out an official remix, what is the best way to make money with your own remixes?
Well, if you follow these four key steps when you remix music, you should avoid any copyright infringement issues, and be able to monetize your remix.
If you're using any samples, sounds, or other parts of original songs in your remix, it's important to get permission from the original rights holders. This can usually be done by purchasing a sample clearance license or getting written permission from the rights holders.
Check the copyright status of the original song
Before you start working on a remix, it's important to check the copyright status of the original song. If the original song is still protected by copyright, you'll need to obtain permission from the copyright holder before you can use it.
Consider using royalty-free music
If you're not sure if a particular sample or sound is protected by copyright, or if you simply don't want to deal with the hassle of obtaining permission, you can consider using royalty-free music instead.
Consider using a music licensing platform
If you want to monetize your remix, it's important to make sure that you have the proper licenses and permissions in place. There are several music licensing platforms available that can help you secure the necessary licenses and permissions, so you can focus on creating and sharing your music with the world.
Note: Remember, copyright law is complex and can vary from country to country, so it's important to do your research and consult with a lawyer if you have any concerns. The best way to avoid copyright issues is to ensure that you have the proper licenses and permissions in place before you start monetizing your remix.
Section 7: Final Thoughts and Advice for Aspiring Producers
Remixing is a fun and creative way to put your own spin on an existing track, and with the rise of digital audio software, it's easier than ever for aspiring music producers to get started.
Whether you're looking to simply speed up or slow down a song, or create an entirely new piece of music, there's no right or wrong way to approach remixing. The key is to experiment and find what works best for your project.
For aspiring producers, here are a few pieces of advice that can help you on your journey:
Keep learning and practicing.
There are many online resources, tutorials, and courses available that can help you improve your skills and knowledge of audio production techniques. Take advantage of these resources and keep honing your craft.
Build a library of samples and loops.
A library of sound files that you can use in your remixes can be an invaluable resource. Start by building a collection of samples, loops, and sounds that you like, and keep adding to it as you discover new things.
Work with other artists.
Collaborating with other producers, musicians, and singers can be a great way to push your creative boundaries and create something truly unique. Try reaching out to other artists on platforms like SoundCloud or social media to see if they might be interested in working together.
Be persistent and patient.
Remixing can be a time-consuming and sometimes frustrating process, but don’t let that discourage you. You never know where remixes will take you, for example, Two Friends now makes electronic music mashups every few months with a massive fanbase solely for their remixes. Keep at it, and keep pushing yourself to create something new and exciting.
In conclusion, remixing is a popular form of music production that involves taking an existing track and altering it to create something new. There are many software options available, including free programs like Audacity and more advanced ones like Ableton Live and FL Studio.
To find the right song to remix, consider the genre compatibility, popularity, length, lyrics, and instrumentation of the original track.
When remixing, keep in mind things like experimenting with different effects and techniques, as well as the importance of collaboration and creating something unique. With practice and experimentation, anyone can create a successful remix.
Whether you are just starting out or an experienced producer, there is always room to explore new ideas and develop your skills. The ultimate goal is to have fun, be creative, and make something new and exciting out of an existing track.
So why not give it a try and see what you can come up with? We'll be anxiously waiting to see what you come up with. Best of luck!