How to Make a Remix Song – A Beginner’s Guide
Image Credit: Spencer Imbrock
Never tried to remix a song before? Do you want to start? Learn the basics of remixing with our top tips.
For beginning producers, remixing someone else’s song is a great way to start orienting yourself in a DAW and learning more about music production. It’s a chance to get easily creative if you find the blank canvas for a new project a little intimidating.
Before you are sure you are composing, the remix allows you to focus solely on crafting your own artistic process. What kind of producer do you want to be?
If you’re a more seasoned producer releasing tracks to the world, remixes provide the opportunity to attract new listeners as fans of the original find out what you’ve been up to with their favorite song. Remember that it is always essential to have legal permission from the original creator of the song when releasing a remix.
Whether you’re a newbie looking to start remixing or a producer looking for inspiration to try out a remix for the first time, check out these tips.
First decide on a structure
Have a plan before you jump in, so you don’t get lost along the way and never end your remix. Try not to listen to the original song too many times – you can get carried away by the song that sounds a certain way, hampering your creativity.
Think about the structure of your song. Do you want to follow the original or create a new map? Sketch out the intro, builds, drops, outro and think about what elements of the song you want to appear where.
What are stems and do i need them?
Stems are groups of a song’s main tracks, stereo recordings of mixes of multiple individual tracks – for example, a drum rod will be all of the drum tracks mixed together. To remix a song, you usually need the original stems of the track.
How to get rods?
Did you fall in love with a certain song? You can request his stems by contacting the artist or his team and requesting them.
If an official stem is not available, some producers will boot their own, using techniques such as smart EQ to isolate elements of the track, finding an a cappella version of a song online, or using a simpler acoustic version to stack it. Before releasing the remix in any form, you must obtain legal permission, even if you have altered the track from the original.
If you have the money to buy Music Rebalance from iZotope, it can separate the elements of a song for you. Audacity also has a free feature for isolating vocals.
Research remix contest
Remix competitions are a great practice – anyone can participate, and if you’re not there to win it, it’s an easy way to access some good quality rods. You’ll get a pack to work with, containing anything from all stems to just voice. Remix contests are often run by platforms like Splice.
As you remix, try editing the midi of the individual chords, changing the chords from major to minor or moving the notes to different inversions to create space. Vary the chord rhythms, move them around and copy them around the song to completely change the feel.
Learn from others
Listen to remixes from other producers alongside the original track to see what has changed.
What elements do they keep? How have the tempo, rhythm and structure been changed? They might have even kept just one part, like the vocals, and built an entirely new song from there as a starting point. Use the remixes for creative inspiration.
What remix are we talking about?
To properly match the original, enough material from the source track must remain in your remix to relate it to the original song. For official remixes, the creator deserves some credit, and for people to be drawn to their song to boost their profile.
It’s not called a remix for nothing. If you are using the process only as a learning exercise, move as far away from the original as you want. Highlight a neglected track instrument or completely transform the song to attract a different market than the original.
Anything that drew you to the song in the first place can be used as the first building block to create the remix. Is this a haunting piano line that you adore? Just take that item and go from there.
Working with someone else’s creation takes away the feeling of latent reluctance when playing with your own compositions, removing that pull of resistance felt when cutting out a beat you’ve spent days perfecting. You can be as experimental as you want.
Remixing can revitalize your creativity
Stuck in a rut with your production? Struggling to come up with a new idea? Try to remix to get back into the creative free space. It gets you thinking about structure and what sounds exciting without constantly hitting the barrier of the producer block.
It’s good practice, cut and edit stems, completely re-ligate a track. The time spent fiddling with someone else’s track just might trigger something that will cause you to rush out to open a new project.
Let the world hear your remix
Do you feel happy that you made a song even more awesome? You can distribute your remix for free with RouteNote, so that anyone can hear it on Spotify and other major platforms.
Remember that you will need a license or proof of authorization from the copyright holder before you can distribute a remix of someone else’s song on the streaming and streaming services. download.
Have fun entering the wonderful world of remixing. Let your imagination run wild and don’t be afraid to take the trail to new places. With every decision and change you make, you learn more music production techniques and improve your production.
Super excited about your banger from a remix? Sign up for RouteNote today to distribute your remix around the world for free. Find out more here.