Thread: Remix advice?
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Old 4th September 2008 , 04:44 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Birmingham
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Default Re: How to go about remixes

The other thing I know a lot of remixers do, is they will take the original vocal and then use it as an acapella over other tracks. When they find something that works, they then go about doing something similar..

Good post there Modz. I do however, have a different way of going about things (doesn't everyone).

1) I will timestretch the vocal from it's original bpm to something more usable. Normally that's between 126-128 for me.

2) I will drag out a basic Ultrabeat, and let it play constantly over the duration of the vocal.

3) I will then arrange the vocal first, before I even think of start playing with any instruments. I do this, because I tend to find it easier to write a track that's in the order/structure I like. Rather then start writing, and then have to edit later. Also I've found, a lot of vocal takes are just dumped from the original recording, not the produced version.. When I did the Peyton remix, it was quite frankly a mess. I had to start from scratch. The only blessing was that it was a good quality,clean and dry vocal. I therefore, could do just about any amount of processing I wanted to it.

4) I'l then start pulling up bass sounds. Once I've got a rough 8 bar loop going. I'll move onto the chords.

5) I then start looking at things for chords. I use different things. Sometimes its a rhodes,guitar, piano etc. All depends on the style. A lot of this comes down to processing though. Ie you can completely change the sound of an instrument with effects. I spend quite a bit of time here fiddling to get sounds that I like.

6) I'll write some drum loops in the arrange page. Ultrabeat is handy in this repsect, in that it allows you lay out a foundation loop in a matter of seconds. You can then drag that loop onto the track, and begin writing the other parts. I do the drums now rather then before. I'll also start processing the drums here, because they now start forming the heart of the track. I'll start setting up things like sidechains, delays on hats etc, reverse claps etc..

7) I go back to the chords and bass, and write another 8 bars to compliment the first ones. They are normally very similar. Tends to be subtle shifts. In some cases. I'll then copy both, and vary them again to get a 32 bar loop.

8) I'll look at writing the top line, now that everything else is in place.

10) Once all the main parts are there, I'll add things like noise,string pads, copies of other parts being accented on another instrument. I don't always leave them in though. Sometimes less is more effective.

11) I leave it for 30 minutes, go downstairs or outside for a vreak. Come back and then start mixing things properly. I tend to go for drums,bass, vocal, topline and then effects. Its not the order I wrote the mix in, but I think it's the oder that is most important to balance when mixing down. The drums and bass drive the track, the vocal is the most important element, and everything else neds to sit in between afterwards and work with them. It's not always like that, I'm sure I will eventually get tracks that I will sack the vocals off on Infact

I'd like to hear Paul's take on the Ian Carey track. I got all excited when his office manager (an old friend of mine, Brad) told me that they were re-releasing it and putting the parts up. When I heard the parts though, I cursed. It wasn't the original vocal. Instead they had done a replay, and it came with a lot of blatent and awfully overdone auto-tune on it. I had a go but it was so bad in my books that I deleted it, and moved on..

I'm gonna go find some of the old writeups I did about my last couple of remixes..
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