Creating your own music might prove to be a rather hard task. That’s exactly why most beginners prefer to remix other songs in order to improve their skills and gain some recognition. Now, even though remixing is a lot easier than doing everything from scratch, you’ll still need to put all of your energy, dedication, and talent to good use. So, what is a remix? Basically, it’s just a different version of an already existing song/track.
In order to make the new version sound interesting, it would be a good idea to change the musical genre. There are countless EDM remixes of famous pop tunes. The vocals remain untouched, while the production is completely different. Furthermore, try your luck with the tempo: sometimes, a slow jazz song can turn into an amazing dance hit if you just speed it up.
There are two ways to go here:
- A mash-up is when a musician only replaces some musical parts/instruments with others.
- A remix, in turn, is a completely re-worked musical piece. Begin with mashing and slowly move to re-mixing as your skills improve.
If you’re serious about this, an audio editor won’t suffice. You’ll need some professional equipment for that:
– DAW. Short for Digital Audio Workstation, this term is used to describe the software that handles recording, producing, mixing and mastering. FL Studio, Ableton, and Cubase are the most popular ones.
– VST. DAWs aren’t usually capable of producing sounds on their own. That’s where Virtual Instruments come in. Drums, bass/electric guitars, pianos – you’ll find it all with VSTs.
The Thinking Process
Sometimes, inspiration hits us from all corners and we spend days writing/remixing songs. However, most of the times, a remix needs careful and thought-through planning. Listen to the original and write down any ideas that come your way. That will be of great help when you get to the actual process of creating your music. Besides, it’s important to always keep the target audience in mind. Are you planning on creating a club banger? Or maybe a radio-friendly tune? Do you want to surprise the author or the original?
Getting Right to It
The most important thing for a remix is the vocal track. Go to SoundCloud: usually, there are hundreds of acapella tracks there. Some folks try to surgically “carve it out”, and there are 3 ways to do that:
- The reversed technique. All you need to do is copy the MP3/WAV to your DAW, make another copy, and invert it. While playing together, they will “cancel” each other, killing almost any instrumental sounds.
- Premium Tools. They actually do the same thing but the entire process is automated and you’ll get an EQ, a compressor, and other things to work with.
- Singing the parts yourself. Why not try to sing the song in your studio? Or, better yet, ask a person with a lovely voice to do that for you.
When working on a remix, try to remember the first one you’ve ever heard and put it on. Does it sound as good as before? What are its strongest parts? Don’t over think it, though.
Some Tips for the Beginners
Even though it might be a good idea to do a modernized, trendy remix, don’t forget about the importance of individuality. Make a remix that has your “imprint” on it. Go old-school if that will help you create something fresh and unique. People always appreciate a new take on things. Learn from the best, but don’t copy them.
The first step is to learn the song’s key. The Internet will help you with that. Once you figure it out, pick between sticking with the original chord progression and creating your own. You are also free to work with samples. Just chop them up and adjust the tempo/key to match the vocals, and that’s it. This will be like a walk in the park for the DJs. For the rest of us, creating parts from scratch will be easier.
For that, you’ll need VST instruments. They are capable of generations all kinds of sounds, starting with the drums and ending with a ukulele. At the same time, try to keep the track recognizable. For example, don’t change the main melody – only tweak it a bit. Same goes for the bass-guitar part. Don’t kill the vibes, though, and let the creator deep inside of you prove his/her worth.
Finally, mix the track by using EQs and compressors. Basically, you’ll need to make the individual parts sound like one whole thing. The first remix won’t be a chart-breaker; however, the longer you keep at it, the better your music will become. Once you feel like you’ve got it, don’t hesitate to post the remixes on YouTube and SoundCloud. For a professional feedback, go to dedicated forums of sounds producers.
One more thing: leave your signature. You can do that by simply saying your name over the track or by putting a catchy short melody in the beginning.