Learn When and How to Remix a Song
Remixing songs is a great way to improve your production skills!
It can be a ton of fun to be able to see what other artists/producers incorporate into a song to make it come to life.
You may become really inspired after seeing these components and it can give you great ideas when working on your next production.
Sometimes, remixes can be easier than making an original track, but other times it can be more tedious than you expected. Before approaching the remix, have a plan of what you wish to accomplish with it and think of a direction you’d like to go in.
Remixing is a great opportunity to win contests where you can build a great reputation and potentially release the song through a label, which then gets your name out in the music industry.
Keep reading to discover why music is remixed, the legality of remixing, and a few steps to head in the right direction.
Table of Contents | How to Remix a Song
- Why is Music Remixed?
- Is it Legal to Remix a Song?
- Where to Find Remix Contests?
- Find the Key and BPM of the Song
- Make it Your Own
Why is Music Remixed?
First things first, what exactly qualifies as a "remixed song?"
A remix is a song, track, or piece of media that has been altered from its original state, typically by removing or adding pieces of the item.
The most common reasons for a remix include the following:
- To alter a song to match a specific genre or style
- To allow a song to fit radio format
- To adapt a song for radio or nightclub play
- To alter a song for artistic purposes
- To develop a surround sound/stereo version of an older song
- To provide an alternative version of a song
- To create additional verses to a song
- To allow a song to reach a new and different audience
It is important to note that a "remix" is not the same as an "edit." Edits are typically shortened versions of the original content, often trimmed for marketing or radio purposes.
Is it Legal to Remix a Song?
The best way to remix a song and avoid any legal consequences is as simple as you imagine it would be: ask for permission to remix the song.
The practice of remixing a song without proper permission is technically a copyright violation.
As long as your intention isn't to deprecate the original song, the artist will likely not have a problem with the remix, especially since your remix could turn listeners and fans toward the original song.
However, it is advised to keep copies of the communication between yourself and the artist. Having written, concrete approval from the artist could legally protect you should the artist's attempt to take legal action if, perhaps, they just did not enjoy your remix.
How to Remix a Song
Where to Find Remix Contests?
These are just a few examples of many websites you can go to in order to enter these contests.
Chances are, your favorite artist may have done a remix competition before and you might be able to snag some stems from their song!
If given a chance, download stems in 24bit Wav files with no normalization. This will give you the highest quality audio to work with.
Find the Key and BPM of the Song
Finding the key of a song can be difficult if you are just using your ears. Most of the time, the contest holder will give you this information, but that's not always the case.
Knowing the key of a song can help your creativity flow more smoothy since you aren’t struggling for 20 minutes trying to figure it out.
Also, knowing the key will guarantee your melodies will fit in the scale and not be out of key, which can be easy to mistake if it’s just one note off.
Many tracks’ key and BPM can be found on beatport. If that doesn’t do the trick, Google is your next best friend. There are plenty of websites that can tell you this information.
Just be sure to not overlook this step. You'll thank yourself later for your due diligence!
Dropping in an EQ will also allow you to find root notes that are being played in the song. Opening up the analyzer will show you exactly where these notes are being played on the scale.
Make it Your Own
The point of remixing a song is to give it your own flare. What makes you different than the other people who are remixing the song?
You don’t want to overthink this process, but you definitely want to stand out.
If you are remixing a house music song, how can you make it sound different so the judges really remember your entry? Maybe you can turn it into a different genre. You could even keep the genre the same but use sounds that are usually in a different genre.
These are the things that you should be thinking about when entering these contests. At the end of the day, you just want to be making unique and high-quality music.
Start Remixing Today
Remixing is a great way to let your mind loose if you’ve felt like you've been in an artist bubble or fighting writer's block.
Spending time looking at how other producers make their tracks will inspire you to make something amazing.
Even if you don’t get chosen to be the winner of a contest, don’t let that discourage you. You end up winning in the long run because you got to have fun remixing and now you have a new remix to play at your next show.
Also, who knows how many creative projects that remix may have sparked?
Interested in earning a music degree or certificate?
The Atlanta Institute of Music and Media offers intermediate musicians and producers the following program options:
- Music Production and Audio for Media Associate Degree
- Music and Technology Associate Degree with a focus in Guitar, Bass, Drums, Keyboard, or Voice
- Certificate in Music Production
- Online Certificate in Music and Technology
Separate from the crowd and elevate your skills by attending an accredited music college like AIMM.
Click the link below to learn more today.
Related Article: Do You Really Need the Best Equipment to Produce a Great Song?