If you’re just getting started out, it’s best NOT to labour for hours just to finish your “first track”. Look at it this way: your just starting the course, so it’s going to take some practise! Be prepared to start many projects, and don’t be afraid to start remixing a new tune and trying some new techniques.
The more time you spend trying, testing, and experimenting, the faster your skills will improve. Ahh, but I get ahead of myself…
How to Remix: Start with an inspiring vocal, the Acapella of your track!
1. Use the web to find a great vocal. Acapella is the term given to a recording of vocals without instruments. Acapella’s are in abundance these days, and there are a few ways to get them. You can browse or search a website that features them:
Acapellas4u.co.uk – This is one of the major acapella website databases.
Beatport – Beatport now features many acapellas
2. Find a Unique, Indie, or Local artist and ASK them for an acapella! This is one of my favourite ways to start a remix. I will only remix a vocal / melody / song that I’m really feeling inspired to play with. Some benefits to going with this option:
* You’re likely to be the ONLY producer remixing their song. (Best way to win a remix competition: be the only remixer!)
* The artist themselves will likely be willing to help promote your remix (perhaps on a joint EP?).
* If the vocal is excellent, you may get others asking you “who is the singer?” and “how did you find this song?”, which makes you look like a major connector, and is a great opportunity to promote the original artist and boost their circle.
* You’re going to have an (almost) blank canvas to start with – no previous remixes to narrow your thinking.
I could go on, but I think you get the idea. I enjoy remixing some local artists, as they’re only going to gain popularity. Think of it as investing in penny stocks: you never know….! Of course, my primary desire is to remix a great song, and have fun doing it, but the above is really icing on the cake. If you don’t know any singers / writers that you would cover, just try looking for Folk, Pop, or Rock artists on Youtube, Soundcloud, and even Twitter. Twitter is a great way to connect with musicians, and you’d be surprised what you can get just by asking!
3. DIY your own acapella. Though beyond the scope of this post, you CAN do some work to extract vocals from a regular mix. It helps to do this on a sparser mix, and usually involves a lot of filtering, and MS editing (more on that later).
Next step is getting the vocal ready to mix, so stay tuned!