Remixing: The Ultimate Guide
“All ideas are secondhand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources. We are constantly littering our literature with disconnected sentences borrowed from books at some unremembered time and now imagined to be our own.” Mark Twain
Remixing isn’t a new concept.
It’s been around for ages. So why write a guide on it?
I asked myself that question many times over while writing this. Ultimately, I realized it had to be done, because remixing is challenging.
It’s different to working on an original.
So I sent out out an email asking readers what they’d like me to cover in the guide. The most popular responses included variations of…
Writing chords & melodies under vocals
Identifying key and notes from compositions
Keeping the original idea intact
How to "start" a remix
How to get stems
How to pitch artists and labels
Finding and winning remix contests
The legal ramifications of unofficial remixes
Chapter 1: Introduction, History, and Why Remix?
In the first chapter, we’ll take a look at what exactly a remix is, as well as the modern definition of the word.
Following that, we’ll briefly dive into the history of remixing and how it came about. Why study the history of remixing? Because it’s interesting. Stop being shallow.
Finally, we’ll go over why remixing is beneficial. We’ll also address the common question – Should producers focus on making remixes?
Chapter 2: Gathering Material and Finding Opportunities
The second chapter is centered around finding remix opportunities and gathering material (stems, MIDI, acapellas).
In particular, we’ll cover:
- Finding the right track to remix
- Pitching artists and labels
- Leveraging remix competitions
- Getting approached for remixes
Chapter 3: Approach & Mindset
Before digging into the practical side of remixing, that is, the part you’ll skip to if you’re not interested in everything else, we’ll delve into mindset, looking at:
- Analysis of three popular remixes – what makes them great?
- How to approach a remix
- Differences in workflow compared to originals
- 8 creative approaches
Chapter 4: The Practical
Chapter 4 takes us deep into the process of remixing. We’ll dive in to the following:
- Warping acapellas
- Fixing timing issues
- The super popular deep house vocal technique
- Creative ways to use stems
Chapter 5: Bootlegs
We’ll discuss the controversial topic of unofficial remixes, their legality, and a few techniques.
After the much needed disclaimer stating that I’m not, in fact, a lawyer, we’ll delve into:
- Copyright law
- Finding & making acapellas
- Making a DIY acapella
- Tips for Bootlegging without an acapella
Chapter 6: Remix Competitions
The last major chapter will cover remix competitions, specifically:
- When to start entering remix competitions
- How to find suitable competitions
- How to improve your chances of winning
Chapter 7: 8 Tips for Creative Remixing + Resources
The final chapter is a shorter one. I’ll leave you with 8 thought-provoking tips that you can refer back to when you get stuck, and also provide some resources for you to further develop your remixing skills.
If you make it to this chapter, give yourself a pat on the back.
About the Author
I’m the founder of EDMProd, a project I started after several years of producing electronic music. I have a passion for seeing people experience the same joy I and others have experienced through creating music, and that manifests itself in blog posts, books, videos, podcast episodes, and guides just like this one.
As for the generic non-music-related stuff – I live in the windiest city in the world (it’s true), enjoy a good beer, and… actually that’s about it.