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What Is A DJ Remix And Why Should I Care?

by Matt · 2 comments

in DJ Music,Latest Posts

You may want to just DJ for all your life without ever doing a single DJ remix and without having to make DJ music.

And that’s entirely up to you.

But you should think about why it’s best for you to learn how to do it and how it can make you get an edge over other DJs.

With DJ equipment advancing technologically so fast and many decks and DJ controllers now making beat matching so easy, the onus is now on what you do to stand out from the others and get noticed.

What is a DJ remix?

Technically, a real DJ remix is about reprocessing all the audio files of an existing track and adding your own touches to it, often rearranging the track in the process.

Inject new life into old tunes

You can take an old rock record and reinject life into it or rip apart the latest pop classic, adding your own synths, hooks, melodies and drum patterns whilst preserving the vocals.

To do a real remixed version of a track you’ll need to author’s permission and they’ll need to transfer all their audio files to you often under a contractual agreement.

If you manage to get to this point, then you’re obviously having some success.

The Bootleg remix

However, some DJs out there are doing their bootleg or live remix, only for themselves to play out.

This means they don’t make a real remixed version of the tune but they may add extra drum patterns to an existing tune, they may apply some sound effects to the tune, loop parts of the chorus or a melody, extend the intro or the outro, they may create a mash of 2 tunes and so on.

This can be done either before performing or in some cases, during performing.

Other DJs prefer to make DJ music instead.

I think you should try both remixing and making your own tracks.

Then, after knocking out a few banging tunes, you’ll start to realise which productions sound the best and which ones you’re not so motivated to do.

You may find that you can make a DJ remix more easily that you can make DJ music.

Many big DJs became successful on the back of a remix that went viral and got played by people all over the world.

If this happens to you then you could be looking at a very interesting DJ career!

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Why should I do my own DJ remix of any tune?

The whole point in remixing tunes is to showcase your originality, to go boldly where other men and girls have not gone before.

You can reinject life into tired, overplayed older tunes and to help integrate otherwise hard to mix music smoothly, thus improving the flow of your set.

If your DJ remix gets on the Internet and gets played by a famous DJ, that could make you famous too!

My point here also is that almost anyone can learn how to mix tunes now.

Beforehand, it was more challenging to learn to play with vinyl.

Now, both CD decks and DJ controllers either have a function which indicates the BPM, making it easier to beatmatch, or simply sync the tunes for you.

Some even help you harmonically mix the music you’re playing.

More competition

Before any old timer starts moaning about how easy these DJs have it these days, they don’t, because now you’ll have to do better than just beat matching good tunes to make yourself stand out as a disc jockey, and this means remixing.

So in fact, disc jockeys don’t have it as easy as some people say.

The bar has just been raised a bit higher and the competition has just got a bit more bite to it.

Create your unique DJ sound

Only by remixing and making tunes will you get really noticed and get the credit to advance to the next level.

I don’t know a single DJ who is known to the public without at least having made a good DJ remix or a good track of his or her own.

When you make DJ music or make remixes it also means that you’ll have a signature sound and this’ll help you get more recognition and much better gigs in top international clubs.

Where To Start

By now, if you’re wondering about how you can start remixing, then you’ll need to set up your own home studio.

Making your own tracks is great fun, but you’ll need some hardware at home.

A Mac or PC with a decent soundcard, a microphone, a music production software application, music recording software and a mastering software suite are generally enough.

You should also invest in a keyboard and learn how to use it.

The best and fastest way

If you want to get up and running fast, you can start with the Easy Home Recording Blueprint which will teach you how to make hit tracks by concentrating on what matters.

I spent the good part of a year on learning how to make DJ tracks, but I’d say over half of that time was wasted researching and learning what didn’t matter at all to me.

I have also spent precious hours sending demos to people who never listen to them which was a complete waste of money as well as time.

My advice for promoting your tracks when you’re done is just to take the route recommended by Easy Home Recording Blueprint which bypasses the timewasting record company route and saves you months and possibly years of your own time.

A decent DJ remix can take a while to master and learn, but once you start to get there, you’ll feel massive satisfaction, excitement and you’ll be motivated to keep producing. Give it a go!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Able Taz September 28, 2011 at 7:46 am

Does anyone recommend using the Reason 4 package for remixes? Cheers


2 Alien Weird September 28, 2011 at 7:49 am

Able Taz, I use Ableton for remixing and it’s the dog’s testes. I love the way it seamlessly integrates with other stuff.


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