How to Remix Music – Two Solid Approaches to Remixing

By | November 9, 2015

When you get a chance to remix a track, it could be difficult to get started and guide the remix on the right tracks straight from the beginning. For this reason, it’s good to be aware of a few different methods on how to approach a remix in the first place, as they could save you a lot of pain and headache, and result in a better remix in the end. Read on to find out how to remix music more efficiently using certain remixing principles.

The Heart of the Original

What acts as the heartbeat of the original? Photo Credit: Victory of the People via Compfight cc

What acts as the heartbeat of the original? Photo Credit: Victory of the People via Compfight cc

Listen to the original track – a lot – and try to analyze it. Figure out what the original track is trying to say, and what are the main elements that form the underlying statement. Is it a certain melodic line, a vocal, a bass hook or a lyric? You could even make a short list of these things while you listen through the original, to gather up the most important bits.

After you’ve finished analyzing the track and gathered the important elements, use these as the main ingredients for your own remix. In other words, take advantage of these elements to build the musical motif for your remix. Borrowed from Wikipedia, a motif is described as a “musical fragment or succession of notes that has some special importance in or is characteristic of a composition”.

To create an effective and credible remix, use the motif as the “scent” of the original track, but build the rest of the remix around it using your own tools – your sound.

Augmented Reality

Make the original track's reality your reality. Photo Credit: mielconejo via Compfight cc

Make the original track’s reality your reality. Photo Credit: mielconejo via Compfight cc

Another way to approach remixing is, taking multiple elements and sources of the original, but totally mangling, distorting and transforming them to sound like they came from another realm of existence, while still paying homage to the original sound. Sound complicated enough? Luckily, it really isn’t.

Effective methods of aural reconstruction include the usage of a variety of samplers, effects processors, audio chopping and re-arranging, pitch-shifting and so on. Methods like these ensure a totally different outcome in sound, still having a taste of the original elements in them.

The key here is to take the original track and augment it in any ways possible, making for an interesting remix.

Something to remember

Take the colors of the original track and make them your own colors. Photo Credit: kevin dooley via Compfight cc

Take the colors of the original track and make them your own colors. Photo Credit: kevin dooley via Compfight cc

When you start making a remix, promise yourself to create something original, and don’t just recreate the track with a few different sounds. Create a different kind of arrangement and inject your own musical ideas into the remix, and that way your remix will surely stand out from the bunch.

Because seriously, if the original version already represents a certain idea, why should you redo it merely to waste your time? I also promise you, you’ll have tons of more fun remixing the hell out of a track…

-JP

What were your wildest decisions in remixing a track? Let’s discuss below.

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