How can I make nightcore music
How to make a remix
Conjure up new tracks from familiar melodies
"I know the song ...? But somehow different." - If that's what you think, then you're probably listening to a remix. Especially among DJs and producers, remixing strange songs has become an art form in its own right, which is no less important than producing your own tracks.
Remixing is easier than ever
Digitization has given this art form almost unlimited possibilities. In the past, the remix was still mixing music in the traditional sense, a purely sonic processing of the source material. Today, completely new tracks are often created that have only a few individual moments in common with the original.
While in the 80s one was still laboriously handling tapes in studios, parts of songs, samples and tracks can now be sent, uploaded, downloaded and exchanged more easily than ever. In the graphic surface of the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software, these parts can then be moved back and forth, rearranged, combined and provided with your own creative contributions such as new beats or melodies. Once you are familiar with the functional principle of the music programs, it is completely intuitive to work with.
The technology for mixing music has not only become simpler, but also significantly more affordable. All you need is a standard PC; the software you need is even free to download, such as MAGIX Music Maker. Just install it - and the happy music mixing can begin!
Where do you get the remixing material from?
If you are reasonably familiar with your music mix program, can arrange samples, build beats and play in digital instruments, you will certainly want to take on foreign material in order to work creatively with it. But where do you get the sounds from in order to rearrange them? There are many ways to do this:
- Direct sampling: The simplest thing is to simply process a song from CD or mp3. However, by far not every piece is considered, because most of them are already quite packed. However, you can use instrumental or vocal breaks from it. The fewer voices or instruments that can be heard at one point, the more it lends itself to being mixed with new music. A famous example is "Tom's Diner" by Suzanne Vega, which is originally a pure a cappella piece and was a huge hit in the remix with Beat.
- Internet search: Nowadays it is surprisingly easy to get the original single tracks of a great many hits. These are extracted, for example, from games such as Rock Band, for which record companies make songs available in individual tracks. The appropriate search terms are artist plus title plus "acapella" (to get the vocals alone), "vocals", "multitrack" or "stems" - this is what it is called when the individual instruments are in isolated tracks. If you can only find what you want on YouTube, you can use a converter program to download the audio tracks.
- Remix contests: Sometimes bands or artists make their songs available in stems themselves and actively call for the music to be remixed.
- Sample provider: Numerous sites have established themselves as the legal source of legally secure samples, which provide fee-based and free sample packs, sometimes even created by star producers. Examples are the Producer Planet and the Inn App Store, which offer a large number of instrumental tracks and loops for free use.
- Online communities / personal contact: As is so often the case, the personal path is probably the most pleasant. Maybe you already know other musicians who would be interested in you creating a remix of their song? Or you can find like-minded people on artist communities such as magix.info. Communication is the silver bullet here. In addition, you can always learn new things in exchange with others.
The legal question - what can you use?
Unlike cover versions, remixes require approval. If you use original parts of another song to mix up new music, you have an obligation to get permission from the authors and rights holders - this is usually managed by the music publisher. Even if you did not earn any money with your remix and put it online for free, you would be guilty of the unauthorized distribution and reproduction of the remixed work (or parts of it). So much for the theory.
In practice, music is still mixed wildly as much as it can. No publisher has the means to legally prosecute every basement project, every mash-up artist on YouTube and to prosecute every copyright infringement. Established greats such as Bushido or Moses Pelham have had to make contact with complaints, but legal action would hardly be worthwhile for hobby artists. With unexplained remix material, there is always a certain risk, which many people, however, shrug their shoulders.
Tips for a successful remix
Now that you have the audio files and you want to get started. How do you go about this?
- Before you begin, think about the intention of your remix. Can you make a song more danceable? Then mix in big beats. Do you want to transport it in a different style? Should the mood change, from sad to happy or the other way around? Do you have any other idea for the chord progression below the vocals? Do you even want to combine two different pieces? A basic idea helps to be systematic when creating a remix.
- The most important thing to start with is the song tempo. It is ideal to have this information at hand. Cutting loops appropriately and dragging them onto the timing grid can take a little patience. As with everything, success comes with practice. Some music mix programs such as Music Maker have special functions for this purpose, which make handling the sound material easier. Other loops can be edited using pitch shifter and time stretching to suit the project.
Pay attention to an arc of tension: music lives from contrasts and changes. Keep the listener hooked by adding more and more elements, increasing the intensity, surprisingly changing dynamics, key or instrumentation ... Don't shoot your powder right from the start, work towards a climax (or several) . And then you lead the phone back out - or stop when it's at its best. The art of a good track is to keep the music flowing and not get bored.
Play with effects: the original song already exists, for the remix you can alienate the source material, whatever it takes. Bring a lot of dirt in with distortion. Send the voice into wide reverberation rooms (with reverb and delay). Play in the tempo of the song with long decaying delay effects. Filter gradients are a tried and tested means of adding elements to the mix. In short: In every program you have a large toolbox at your disposal to create interesting sonic elements. Try it out and surprise yourself! How many great moments in music history did not come about by chance ...
Last but not least: take a break every now and then to gain some distance and to be able to hear your remix with fresh ears again.
Mixing music is still an art - but it's now very accessible. Thanks to the digital possibilities and easy-to-use programs such as MAGIX Music Maker, anyone can easily create a remix that sounds amazingly professional. And above all, it's a lot of fun - just give it a try!
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