Unless you have a decent understand of electronic music production basics, then you ‘re probably going to have a hard time remixing a song. The beauty of making remixes is that the procedure is reasonably aboveboard .
In this guide, we ‘re going to go through everything you need to know about how to remix a sung so that by the end, you ‘ll have all of the cognition and tools you need to make the best remix possible.
What Is A Remix?
A remix is a track that has been contorted or altered in such a way that it is evocative of the original song, though has been changed so much that it stands as its own, separate entity.
A producer will get stems from original songs, which are individual audio files ( bass, vocals, guitar, drums ), and compose and arrange them in a way that they create a final track.
Why Would I Want To Remix A Song?
Yes, you could continue to only put out original tracks and never make a remix in your life, which is wholly fine. Trying to enter remix contests with hundreds or thousands of other music producers just to land a spot on your front-runner artist ‘s remix album seems difficult right field ?
well, if you think about it, you ‘re up against the worldly concern anyhow when it comes to being a music producer, so working with stems from experience producers for a find to land a touch on an album or EP, or merely win a remix contest, is an excellent opportunity .
Winning a remix competition is a capital way to get your name out there and enhance your reputation. Some remix competitions open the doors up to labels or other big artsist .
A lot of meter, remix competitions will publish an official remix on an EP or album, giving the music manufacturer even more vulnerability. Of run, it is authoritative to know how to set yourself apart as a remixer, which is what we would like to discuss in this article .
first, however, let ‘s talk about the legalities or remixing.
The Legal Aspects Of Remixing a Song
Is It Legal To Remix a Song?
It is illegal to take a random song, remix it, and share it online without license. even if you entirely use a split-second of that traverse, you need permission from the sung ‘s copyright holder to redestribute it .
good because you are posting to free streaming sites like SoundCloud and YouTube does not mean that it is legal.
What Is The Difference Between a Bootleg and a Remix?
many producers much inquire about the difference between bootlegs and remixes. An official remix is something that an artist or record pronounce pays or asks a manufacturer to make .
A bootleg, on the other handwriting, is an unofficial iteration of the song, which is typically illegal. DJs will often make moonshine copies of popular music to play at populate shows .
When it comes to selling music, bootlegging is illegal, even though many producers plowshare bootleg remixes online.
How Do I Get Permission To Remix a Song?
One manner that you can get permission to remix a sung is by entering remix competitions that are open to the populace, as they provide populace permissionand stems. You can besides reach out to the master artist and ask for their license. If the original artist is unsigned or separate of a smaller tag, getting license to remix their song might be reasonably easy .
For big labels, you might have a difficult meter, as they tend to be far more protective of their works.
What If I Don’t Get Permission?
Let ‘s say that you ca n’t get permission for the sung you very want to remix. possibly the artist is n’t getting back to you or there are n’t any remix competitions out with the song. possibly the person did answer and said you could NOT remix their racetrack .
Whatever the character is, if you were not given license to create a remix, you can not do so legally .
Will you get arrested or fined if you do ? VERY improbable .
Of course, there is the gamble that your song will get flagged from the streaming web site for copyright violation. This happens all the clock on sites like SoundCloud and YouTube. If this happens to you often, the platform might equitable shut your bill down altogether.
What Do I Need To Remix A Song?
To remix a song, you will need the stems. As we said before, the stems are the individual audio tracks from the master project charge .
These stems can be found in a number of places, including DJ Pools, sample packs, and remix contests .
You might start by checking out Loopmasters or Splice for sample packs, as you ‘ll be able to find thousands of high-quality sample packs that you can use to remix publicly. From vocal chops to full-on licks to drum grooves, these sites have it all. Plus, you never have to worry about the legality of using a sound you download off of these sites in your remix, as they are dislodge from copright .
To find acapella tracks or the original vocals from popular songs, you might want to try websites like Acapellas4U, DJ City, or BPM Supreme. Having vocal stems can come in handy when trying to craft high-quality remixes .
last, you can find stems through remix competitions. An artist or label will frequently provide a democratic web site or platform with existing stems for producers to work with. Because they have given public permission for producers to use these stems, it is completely legal and tied encouraged.
Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
When choosing a DAW for your remix, there are a bunch of options. Producers frequently ask us ,
Can I remix songs on Garageband ?
Can I remix songs on Audacity ?
Can I remix songs on Ableton ?
You get the point .
The thing is, you can remix a song on equitable about any type of music editing software, whether it is Audacity, Garageband, FL Studio, Pro Tools, or Ableton. There are even mobile apps that you can use to remix songs.
How to Remix a Song In 7 Steps
- Pick the right track
- Figure out your direction
- Figure out the key and BPM
- Prep your stems
- Choose the stems you want to use
- Craft your remix
- Mix and master your remix
1) Pick the Right Track
When picking an original sung to remix, it is important that you choose your song carefully. We recommend only remixing songs that you like. If you hear an original song and your first base intend is to change it up completely, then you should credibly go with another track. An original song should already feel exciting to you to the point that you want it to use it for an official remix .
When looking for songs to remix, look for :
- Songs that have catchy hooks (synth leads, vocals, basslines). It should be memorable enough that no matter how much you alter it, listeners will know what it is.
- A BPM that isn’t more or less than 10BPM from your track.
classic tracks can be a capital choice if you are a DJ that is trying to get exposure at the baseball club, such as an previous Motown sung or a 90s atavistic .
2) Figure Out What Direction You Want To Go
As you sit down to create your remix, think about the direction that you want to go. Do you want your remix to be something people can chill out to or do you want it to blow people ‘s eardrums in the club ?
If you ‘re looking to win remix competitions, then you might need to consider the artist, label, or company that put out the contest to see what they are looking for.
3) Figure Out The Key and BPM of The Original Song
When you get the root for the original birdcall, you need to do some excavate to figure out the key and BPM of that cut. The majority of the time, remix competitions will provide this information. however, if you ‘re making bootleg remixes, you might have to figure it out on your own .
Knowing the identify can help you work much faster, in that you ‘ll be able to find samples and chord progressions that mesh well with the hook on the original birdcall. An easy way to ruin a bang-up remix is by using sounds that are n’t in the right key .
TuneBat is a great place to find information regarding the key and BPM of an original song.
4) Prep Your Stems
The stems are the individual pieces of the original song that are normally supplied to a music manufacturer for a remix. These stems are separate files that you can chop, mangle, and mix to your liking to create a alone heavy .
typically, stems are broken down into several categories, including bass, drums, vocals, keys, guitars, FX, etc. Start by arranging the stems in your DAW and line them up so that you can see what you have to work with .
In organizing your stems, you ‘ll be able to see which of the elements you should use in your remix, ampere good as which elements you can scrap.
5) Choose The Stems You Want To use
once you have your stems organized, you will want to put some think into which stems you should use. You will have more freedom to get creative with your track the fewer stems you decide to use. This can be great if you want to impart your own feel of musicality and creativity on the tra .
Of class, you do n’t want to get rid of the original besides much, as it can lose the smell of being a ‘remix. ‘
first, you ‘ll want to decide which of the stems must stay in the remix. For exercise, if you decide that the original vocal is a necessary part of your remix, keep that stem in your school term. You can ( and possibly should ) process, chop, and rearrange this outspoken in the future, but equitable make certain that it is there and remains recognizable .
adjacent, digit out which of your signature sounds you want to use, whether it is a synth lead, a synth sea bass, or a few drum samples, to see how they fit withsome of the original stems .
last, get rid of the unnecessary parts that do n’t fit with your signature sound. For exemplar, if your signature healthy is flinch guitar and the sung has some bleached, reverb-drenched guitars, you might consider removing those stems.
6) Crafting Your Remix
The way in which music producers remix a birdcall will differ from manufacturer to producer. however, for those precisely starting out, we figured we ‘d provide you with a few ideas as to how you can begin crafting a quality, creative remix.
Mess With the Melody
You could start by taking the existing melody and using a unlike instrument to represent it, keeping the same notes while changing the orderliness that they are played in. If it is a four-bar melody, possibly consider looping the first bar three times, reversing the second bar, and letting the fourth bar twist it about back to the begin .
You might even consider keeping the original melody, though heavily processing it so that it gives the hearer something fresh. song chops are great for this, as you can just maintain the original tune while altering the rhythm or sonic characteristics.
Use Your Chord Progressions
One incredibly singular way to remix a song is by building your own harmonize progression under the existing tune. Of course, you might need some basic cognition of music hypothesis to alter the harmonize progress, though you can besides try and work by ear, as many music producers do .
You could even change the means that the harmonize progress is played underneath the melody. For case, the original song might have a sustained bassline acting as the foundation. You could take the like notes and use your own bass or synth freshwater bass to give it a funky, syncopated vibration.
Use You Own Drum Samples
You might consider focusing on the rhythm of the drums first gear if you plan on remixing your song with a different BPM all in all. In doing then, you ‘ll be able to build melodic ideas on top of it based on the rhythm .
By placing your own barrel samples underneath a melody, you can figure out the energy floor and groove to help you envision the perch of your remix. Plus, you can use your drums to put your own sonic cast on the remix.
7) Mix and Master Your Remix
You might be able to make an incredible remix, though if you ca n’t present it in a milled manner, then it wo n’t stand up with other remixes out there. You need to mix and master your track .
Labels will often master all of the remixes they receive together indeed that they have a similar legal from one to the following. however, you must even provide them with a dressed mix .
If your remix is n’t for the label, them you ‘ll have to make sure you get it mastered on your own .
You can either choose to mix and master on your own or send it to professionals to get it done. We highly recommend sending your tracks to professionals, as they can look at it from an objective point of view, using tools like EQ and compaction to help all of the individual parts feel cohesive.
Elements of a Great Remix
There are no golden elements of a bang-up remix that we can give you, as remixes are frequently identical different .
What we can provide you with, however, is examples of capital remixes that can give you ideas of where to go .
For exemplar, let ‘s front at Mark Ronson ‘s remix of Angel Olsen ‘s “ New Love Cassette. ” Mar Ronson took this deep cut from Angel Olsen ‘s All Mirrors album, stripped it bet on, and added a long ton of synth sounds to it to make it unique .
Ronson evening throws listeners a curveball with a doom-like wall of synths during one passage.
In another example, St. Vincent remixed one of the lead singles off of the newfangled Beck album, Hyperspace. Annie Clark, the lead singer of St. Vincent, decide to add some playful, rhythmical elements to the track, imparting some uniquely 70s elements on this radio hit.
One of the most surprising remixes in holocene days was the Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs remix of LA Priest ‘s “ Beginning ” off of the artist ‘s second album GENE .
This chase was an absolute standout on the album, bringing funky and lo-fi bedroom popular vibes to the masses. Of naturally, in expected fashion, british DJ and manufacturer wholly enormous Extinct Dinosaurs took the song and gave it a complete makeover, turning it into a high fidelity club strike.
How To Win Remix Competition
When you enter remix contests, you will normally give your track to judges. These judges are frequently looking for a creative take on the original song. You do n’t want to stray so far from the original sung that the remix begins to compete with it. Try to make it vitamin a complementary color as possible .
intend of ways in which you can slenderly alter original songs, making them slower, faster, harder, softer, better for the cabaret, or chilled out .
In a remix contest, the judges will listen to hundreds, if not thousands of submissions. They want something that will pique their interest. By providing them with a creative and unexpected flex, you will stand out from the herd .
We recommend looking at what early remixers have done for the particular artist that you are remixing, as it will give you some insight into what they ‘ve liked in the past .
here are a few ways in which you can get creative to stand out in a remix contest :
- Sample original sounds in the song and use them as transitional elements
- Chop up the vocals in a unique way
- Create a different groove with the percussion sounds in the original
- Raise or lower the pitch of your remix with warp mode
- Drastically change the sound of the original stems with heavy processing
It is all about being singular and distinguishing yourself from the many remixes that the judges are listening to while highlighting the original magic trick of the song. Failing to do either of these things will likely land your cut in the trash pile .
To a certain degree, the total of populace support your remix gets is important excessively. If the remix contest is based on votes, get as many people to vote for you as you can, including family, friends, and acquaintances.
Pro Tips For Making Remixes Faster (And Better)
Set a Deadline For Yourself
When it comes to making an official remix, an artist or label will typically provide you with a deadline for when they want the track completed. The same thing goes for remix contests. If you ‘re making your own remix, you must set your deadline on your own .
We recommend setting a deadline from two to three weeks and STICK TO IT.
Of course, this does n’t mean you should rush it. Just use the spare clock time that you have available to work on your remix. Make sure to send it out to friends that you trust to get their opinions and critiques.
Use The Best Elements of the Original Track
If you have a good remix, the hearer should immediately recognize the original track that it came from. It is up to you to make sure you pick the correct parts. For your standard pop lead remix, you might take equitable the vocal. If you ‘re remixing an instrumental track, you might go for the lead guitar, bass, or synth .
Ask yourself ,
What makes the original track special ?
Your remix should be built around that thing .
For the most separate, equally hanker as you have the original vocal in your lead, you probably wo n’t have to use any other parts. Of path, if you can use as many parts of the original track as possible, then that ‘s a good thing !
For electronic music, however, we always recommend using your own drums to differentiate it.
Know Your Key and Tempo
When remixing an original sung, know what key it is in and what tempo it ‘s at so you can fit it into your remix. Yes, you can constantly time-stretch the respective elements or re-pitch them, but those kinds of tools can only work so hard before things start to sound rickety and affected .
On the other hand, if you ‘re going for a chipmunk vocal music, then by all means go en !
For the cardinal, we recommend keeping it with three hale steps of the original song. For the tempo, +/- 20BPM is normally a good start point .
Re-Play The Hook
The master song that you work with might have a very attention-getting bait that sounds bang-up for the original track, though does n’t work arsenic well for your particular music genre. In that case, you might decide to re-do the overcharge with an instrument that better suits your bibe .
For model, as a deep house artist, you might choose to re-play the original hook a reverb pick. As a capture artists, on the other handwriting, a epic supersaw might be a better choice.
Keep It simpleton stupid !
Sorry if that was a little mean. It ‘s good one of our front-runner acronym for reminding ourselves when we ‘ve gone besides army for the liberation of rwanda !
You do n’t want to go sol far that you ‘ve completely obliterated the original chase. Just make indisputable you have the hook award in your remix and that it sounds like you .
begin with the hook and build the remix around it to make it sound as concise and cohesive as possible.
Listen To Other Remixes
If you are n’t certain where to start, or if you get stuck in a barrier during the remixing process, go and listen to some early remixes to gather some ideas. In doing indeed, you can get an theme of how that particular music producer is using the hook or arranging the path.
Put a Unique Twist On It
By using signature elements and sounds, you can give your remix a personal touch. If you ‘ve spent time developing your own samples, presets, and work chains, then this should be fairly slowly .
Plus, using sounds and elements that you are already familiar with can help speed the production process up. never be afraid to reuse sounds that you ‘ve used earlier, as they will sound different in different context !
Fans of yours will recognize those sounds right away and know precisely who they are listening to. Of naturally, do n’t be afraid to intersperse new and creative sounds with your usual suspects a well .
Song Remixing FAQs
Is It Legal To Remix a Song?
It is not legal to plainly remix a random song of your choose and share it online. You must get license to utilize the parcel of the original song in your remix, no matter how insignificant the part of the sung is.
Can I Remix Music And Put It On YouTube Without Getting Sued?
If you get permission from the tag, artist, or whoever owns the copyright to the song to remix it, then remixing a song and putting it on YouTube is legal. however, if you do n’t get license and share the birdcall anyhow, you could find yourself with legal troubles.
How Much Does It Cost To Remix a Song?
Depending on how long and building complex the remix is, you can expect pay anywhere between $ 200 and $ 400 for a remx. This typically amounts to 4-5 of exploit. however, the pace can drastically change based on the manufacturer and whether or not it is an official remix or not.
Can Audacity Remix Songs?
While Audacity is n’t the best software for making a full remix, you can import an existing song into Audacity and solve with the audio to remix it. many people even use Audacity to isolate vocals ! however, there are much better DAWs out there that we would recommend, including Ableton and FL Studio.
What Is the Best Free Remix Software?
When it comes to finding the best free music remix software, some of our front-runner barren options include :
- Ashampoo Music Studio
These absolve pieces of audio software are surprisingly herculean, perfect for mixing stems, trimming samples, or recording audio.
Can I Remix Songs On My Phone?
absolutely ! There are enough of great apps for making a thoroughly remix on your earphone. If you have an iPhone, for exercise, Garageband should come with it for dislodge. You can use Garageband to import stems and use the available virtual instruments on the platform to develop new sounds.
Can I Make Money From a Remix?
When it comes to making an official remix, the pronounce will often pay the producer a categoric tip for the final remix. In early cases, the label will create gross splits with the remixer and the songwriters for backend earnings. In short, yes, you can make money from a legalize remix.
Who Owns the Copyright Of a Remix?
When you make a remix, you become the copyright owner of the remix. however, you plowshare the overall copyright with early parties besides, including the owner of the birdcall, the owner of the publication, and the owner of the master master recording.
Do Remixers Get Royalties?
More much than not, a remixer is not paid any royalties. The backend money will normally go to the label and the original artist or songwriter. If you are working with a major label, however, and you have a set of pull, you might be able to work royalties into the remix agreement.
What Is The Difference Between A Cover and a Remix?
Remixes use material from the original song to create a new track by rearranging and altering the original idea. A cover, however, is a brand raw performance of the original song with completely master instrumentation and style, which does not use any of the original source substantial.