Thanks to technological advancements, remixing tracks became more accessible. However, it is still hard from the point of view of creative decisions we have to make. So in this article, I will talk more about what goes into the process and hopefully help you achieve better results.
1. Find a track that excites you
If you ever wondered how to remix songs, you probably know that you should start with the good source material. When you start looking for a song you want to work with, make sure to choose the one that inspires you to write something great. The point of any remix is to rebuild a track in your style, not to write a new one from scratch. So it won’t be helpful if you feel like you want to fix the initial song. It should fill you with the desire to write something new and fresh.
Some of the things you should pay attention to while choosing the track are memorable and recognizable chorus or hook and the tempo. Ideally, the bpm of the chosen track shouldn’t be drastically different from the tempo of your song. Let’s say if your track is 100 bpm, the chosen song shouldn’t exceed 110 bpm or be less than 90 bpm.
2. Keep in mind your target audience
When you sit down to work, keep in mind who you are doing it for because it determines the overall direction of your work. Remixes for study and work require a different approach than remixes for nightclubs. So keep in mind who will listen to it and cater to the expectations of your audience. If you feel stuck and don’t know where to start just google how to remix music for nightclubs and go from there.
3. Make sure to tune your samples
It is obvious that you should find the key of the original, but many new producers fail to do it when they work on a remix. If you are not able to determine it yourself, there are a lot of sites on the internet where you can find the key of any song, just type in the name of the track, and the key will pop up. It will save you a lot of time because you will be looking for samples with the original key in mind. It is faster than transposing the samples yourself. It is also a good idea to determine the bpm, so all your samples are in sync without you having to do extra work like wrapping the sample.
4. Organize your stems
Stems are a group of processed tracks mixed together and exported as one file. A song can be divided into several stems. During the process, you can edit them and apply different audio effects to get the desired sound. Usually, stems are divided into categories depending on the instruments. The most common categories are vocals, synths, drums e.t.c. You don’t have to use all the stems in your work. Feel free to get rid of the ones you don’t need. Here, you should rely on your own style and unique sound. See what elements of the original will work great in your remix. Once you toss all the stems that do not correspond with your vision and style, you should start thinking about the remaining stems and how you will use them. Of course, you would want to rearrange and process the original stems, to give your listeners a new perspective and make them sound more captivating. Some changes are necessary but don’t go overboard, they still should be recognizable.
5. Creating your mix
There is no one way to remix a song, but if you are still wondering how to create remix, I’ve got a few tips to make your creative juices flowing and hopefully give you a starting point.
Play with the melody
You may try switching the instruments that play the main melody or change the order of the notes without changing the notes themselves. Try reversing or looping the notes, which often gives unexpected but beautiful results. It is also possible to leave the original stem but process it to alter the sound to your liking. Playing with the rhythm of the melody is also a good idea. For example, if in the original the melody is static, try adding staccato.
Switch the chords
This method is arguably one of the most effective because it changes the sound completely. You can do it even with the basic knowledge of music theory. Or if music theory is not your strong suit, you can do it by ear. If in the original the chords were descending, you can play ascending chords. You can replace static chords with arpeggiated ones, make them more complex or more simple, add notes or remove notes. There are so many possibilities when it comes to this method, that’s why it is one of the most effective ways of diversifying the sound.
Use custom-made drum pattern
Creating your drum pattern underneath the song is the first thing you should do when you are remixing. Rhythm is an essential aspect of modern music, so once you figure out the desired dynamics for your remix, it will be easier to craft the rest of the song on top of the drums. Besides, programming your own drum pattern and using your drum samples can help you create the signature sound. Just make sure to tune them to stay in key.
Once you are all set and ready to go, it’s time for the final step - mixing and mastering. Mixing and mastering are very important as it makes your remix sound professional and polished. If you are going to send your work to a label, it should sound impeccable if you want them to accept it. So I highly recommend that you hire a professional to mix and master your tracks, as it is a complex process that requires attention, skills, and knowledge.
I hope that this article was helpful to you and that you learned how to make remix.