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Sometimes you will find that the remixed version of a song is better than the original. This happens very often. The remix being more popular more than the original, happens because of a producer finding out what he can better in the original song and executing it.
This happens a lot with DJs, where they take a few songs which are almost in the same range in terms of scale and tempo, modify them and make them into a new version of the original song.
Remixing has come a long way. It started with creating remix tapes and advanced to even removing complete sections of a song.
There are a lot of producers who have made a name for themselves from remix tracks. Just like cover songs, remix tracks are an easy way to get into the industry and gain popularity.
Even though this might be a more difficult option, as you would be working on other people’s songs, it’s a great learning experience where one can study the different methods of song production.
You can remix your songs by either changing a lead or even changing the complete set of drums. Advanced remixing techniques include changing the time signature and tempo of the song. These techniques are used to make the song better than the original version.
Just knowing that remixing has provided opportunities for producers is one thing. Starting to produce songs and understanding how remixing works, will make your production even better.
In this article, I will take you through the steps of remixing, exporting and releasing the song too.
What is remixing?
Remixing has been around for a long time. It all started with collecting songs from different albums and putting them together on a tape. These were called mixtapes.
Time passed and technology improved, paving the way for more advanced techniques to be used to produce music and even to remix music.
Remixing gained popularity in the 90s and brought more DJs to the music production scene. Over the years, the art of remixing has improved and reached new dimensions.
The evolution of song editing for remixing, started as soon as software programs became available for producers to manipulate audio.
Remixing, through manipulation of a single track, begins with the audio production software. The techniques used for remixing have also started to improve over the years as the process has been refined by the software developers.
The capabilities of audio production software have reached a level where you can change any track’s tune and tone within minutes.
The age of recording songs and waiting for them to be performed has long gone. Today you can import the project file of a song, remove and add elements to make a new version out of it.
Since everything has gone digital, you can also see a lot of different artists collaborating with the original artists to create remixes.
In simple terms remixing has evolved from putting together a bunch of tracks to manipulating a single track to make a different version out of it. This rapid change has made remixing a separate skill to develop for a music producer.
Remixing today involves removing or replacing vocals, drums, and various other parts of the song or track subjected. This makes the new version that is being remixed more interesting.
In today’s musical landscape, you often find the remix versions of songs becoming bigger hits in some genres of music than the originals.
How to remix a song
- There are some pre-requisites that need to be considered before even thinking about remixing a song. The outcome or the picture of the song should already be in the mind of the producer before he starts to work on it.
- This will ensure that the song remixing process develops in a structured way, rather than just adding and removing elements from the song. It is crucial for the artist as well as the producer to sit and analyze where they want to take the song in terms of energy and feel.
- The first step in remixing a song is to understand the mood of the song along with the elements present in the song. A producer must listen to the track at least 10 times to identify each element in the song that is to be remixed.
- When the producer is confident about the different elements in the song, it’s time to figure out which scale and time signature the song is composed in. This allows the producer to stay in the same scale and time signature to make the song cohesive at the end.
- Skipping the step of identifying the scale and time signature may result in completely ruining the song because the producer would have difficulty putting the elements together and the ability to handle multiple layers of harmonization will also be compromised.
- The next step in remixing is to find the elements that you want to replace in the song. This is where you have to be very cautious. The idea and the final result depend on what you do in this step.
- Usually, in this step, you will find producers changing the drum part in the whole song or in a certain part of the song. This is done to add a different rhythm and feel to the entire song and may even result in a change in energy thought out the song.
- The next step would be the removal of the main lead from the song. This can be an extremely tedious process. It’s a good idea not to deviate too much from the original lead but add something really interesting according to the idea that was developed at the start of the remixing project.
- Once the drums and lead are changed it’s time for the vocals. You can do a lot of manipulation with the main vocals and add more effects to it or even create adlibs throughout the whole song. This will make it more interesting.
- The important thing to keep in mind, while removing and adding components in a song during the remixing process, is never to disturb the scale, tempo, mood, and time signature of the song.
- These are the core details that represent the identity of the original song. When these components are manipulated, your song will go from a remix to an original song.
- When the above changes are done in the remixing project, it’s time to add additional elements such as harmonies. Usually, additions are kept minimal to avoid deviating from the original idea of the song.
Is it legal to remix a song?
Yes, it’s legal to remix songs, if you have a license for them. This license can be obtained from performance organizations like ASCAP and BMI. When you get a license for a song, you can start to remix it and publish it online or on your favorite streaming platform.
What app can remix songs?
Ableton Live, FL Studio, and Logic Pro X are some of the software that can be used to remix a song. Usually, audio production software is used to remix a song in the studio. These tracks are manipulated through digital modifications to make remixes.
Are mash-ups illegal?
Making a mash-up for your own listening pleasure, is not illegal. On the other hand, selling mash-ups or remixes without a proper license from the original artist is illegal.
Usually, these license costs are based on the purpose of the mash-up. If it’s being released as a song, it would cost a lot more.
How much does it cost to remix a song?
The average cost for remixing a song ranges from $400 up to even $2000 based on the requirements of the artist. If there are many remixing techniques used for the manipulation of the song, it can cost even more than $2000.
Remixing is a great way to start your career. It will provide you with enough knowledge to understand how mixing works and how to put together elements to make them sound good on a track. These are the basic dynamics of music production.
Following the above steps for remixing will give you guidance on how to navigate the remixing world and where to spend more time when you are starting to remix a song.
Remixing is a great way to have fun in music production because you can turn a sad song into an upbeat song by just changing the drums in the project.