Making A Remix
4 minutes minute read
There are so many ways to make a remix that the only real limitations are really just how far out of the box you’re wanting to think!
We know that some of you out there have been musicians for a long time and have been making songs/remixes for years, but there will still be some useful tips in this guide for you, as well as some resources at the end of the post worth checking out. To inspire the more experienced producers, here's an awesome video showing just how creative you can get with sample hunting, made by the Point Blank Music School.
For lots of people though, you may not have access to a music studio, you may not even play an instrument but there’s still many ways that absolutely anyone can make a remix. So, here is our rough guide of how to make a remix using some of the various popular software/apps out there.
Firstly, nearly every producer uses what’s called a DAW, this stands for Digital Audio Workstation and basically just means that the software allows you to handle each element of music making. If you have a Mac then you should have Garageband but other options to use are Logic Pro (Mac only), FL Studio (Windows), Ableton Live (All Platforms) and Reason (All Platforms). If you’re new to this then most of the options listed above have free 30 day trials you can use that give you all the same features as the full version.
These days though you can even get basic DAWs for tablets and phones, they may have limited features but it’s not about what you have it’s about how you use it to bring your ideas to life! Here’s a good list of some of the best DAWs available as apps - http://www.musicradar.com/news...
Next, if you’re unfamiliar with the software, it can be good to watch some tutorials on YouTube, there are thousands available for every kind of software, you just need to search for it (eg. “how to add drums in Ableton Live”). Sometimes it can be good to recreate a song you already know well as a way of learning how to use the software, and again there are plenty song recreation tutorials on YouTube.
At the bottom of this article there’s a list of good tutorials and starting points for some of the different DAWs.
The next step is then just adding the parts of the song you plan to use into your DAW and setting up the project to match, so for this song, the original vocal is at 106 beats per minute (BPM) and so it’s good to match the project BPM to this in the project settings, this will mean that anything that you add to the project will then match the beat of the vocals.
The direction you go in with the remix is then completely up to you! There are remixes out there that strip a song right back, and create a piano version of the song, and then there are others that cut up the vocals so much and add a heavy beat to it that you would hardly recognise it from the original.
The best option though is to build from your influences - you wouldn’t find a single rapper in the world who has never heard a hip-hop song! In the same way, a group like Daft Punk will listen to other artists who make similar sounding music to them, and then bring influence in from everything else they hear.
So if you’re a hiphop fan then use that to your advantage, if all you listen to is electronic music then start there! If you’re a saxophonist who loves indie music then see what you can come up with! There’s no limits to making music and if you get stuck with the software then google is your best friend, and if you need inspiration then go and listen to lots of music first until an idea comes to you!
Rise up, take courage and do it!
Point Blank Music School Tutorials (Lots of great videos, mainly for Ableton Live and Logic Pro)
Sonic Academy (Lots of tutorials for a wide range of DAWs)
Reason’s Official Tutorials
Arvid Sandgren (Lots of Garageband Tutorials)