The "remix" has been a key marketing and creative concept in the music industry for years. Business savvy record labels have been releasing alternate mixes of hit songs in order to reach larger audiences since 12-inch record singles became popular in the late 1970s. Today, the remixing craze is in high gear, driven by the rise of electronic music (from dance to hip-hop), the proliferation of affordable remixing tools (such as powerful laptop computers and amazing music production software programs), the Internet (for ease of distribution and websites that host serious remixing contests), and national ad campaigns that use the term "remix" as a catchphrase for marketing everything from soft drinks to magazines.
However, behind the remixing craze lies a serious craft. In fact, beginning in 1998, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS, The Grammy people) recognized the technical and creative skills necessary to be an accomplished remixer and created a specific award category for Best Remixed Recording. This is very much deserved, especially since Remixing has been culturally significant over the years as an incubator for new music and technical innovation. Indeed, the practice of remixing has helped to foster many innovative music production techniques and sounds that have ultimately bubbled up through the underground into today's popular music.
This course focuses on the production techniques employed by the pros, professional remixers who earn money from their remixes and, occasionally, even a Grammy or two. To keep up with the class, you will need a powerful DAW program and a good understanding of your software. Your DAW program must have excellent audio editing, mixing, MIDI sequencing, and tempo mapping and warping capabilities. In addition, you'll need plenty of virtual instruments and effects for composing new parts and sound design. A few examples of DAW programs that meet all of these criteria are: Pro Tools, Live, Logic, and Reason.
The skills required to remix have a lot of practical applications beyond simply producing remixes. In this class you will learn not only the technical skills necessary to produce professional sounding remixes, but also how to "think outside the box," to hear a song's possibilities beyond its original arrangement and musical style. These skills will translate seamlessly to many areas of your own musical endeavors, from producing original material to thinking of ways for an artist to reach new audiences.
In this course, you will produce remixes based on several different types of source material: stereo masters, a cappellas, breakout tracks (Stems), and multitrack sessions. As the lessons progress, each remixing assignment will tackle another side of the remixing process that is more challenging than the last. Along the journey, you will learn to:
- Identify the differences between an original and remixed version of a song
- Legally obtain material for remixing
- Employ appropriate virtual instruments and effects to remix a song
- Sound design effective "ear candy" for your remix
- Recognize the difference between warping and recycling audio
- Understand ticks-based versus sample-based tracks
- Tempo map a song
- Perform flawless tempo changes
- Compose new tracks that fit perfectly over the original song
- Remix practically any type of source material
- Build DJ friendly songs
- Produce professional sounding remixes
- Prepare your remixes for distribution and live performance