Tips & Tricks for you to take when remixing one of your favourite records.
I am a huge fan of the label Salsoul and over the years have loved almost all of their releases. From 1975 to 1983 they released countless classics and tracks that have been sampled thousands of times from House to Drum & Bass. So I decided to finally remix Double Exposure's iconic anthem Everyman which was released in 1977.
So read on and check out the tips and tricks on offer in the video below to see if you can take from this for your own productions. I have demonstrated the video below on the following points.
1. Finding out the chords
The first thing to work out is the chord arrangement. Now if you are not a seasoned player and struggle to work things out musically. The best option at the time of writing this is to use the website Chordify. You can google it and basically you can search pretty much any song and it will play out and unfold each chord in the track as it streams.
A bit like guitar hero where you can see the colours of each note, this shows you the chords. It is a good place to start and one where you can also develop your playing skills as the more chords you work out the more you get to learn about structures and progressions.
2. Choosing the correct sounds
Sound selection is a big one to work on if you are developing your own sound palette. For this remix I decided the best way forward was to use a nice solid Fender Rhodes keyboard and couple that with a live bass pre set. Here I was trying to get a live band feel rather than a digital vibe.
So always think how you can enhance the original vocals and if they lend themselves to a more live feel or a studio feel with synths etc. I did use a synth lead line here as I wanted that disco feel so again keep within the styles of the original without trying to replicate it too much.
Also strings are important in disco and so here I replayed the riffs with a staccato short stabbed string hit. But also added warm strings to go underneath. So just keep the sounds in a similar way that compliment each other rather than confuse each other.
3. Layering the beats and percussion
The drums and percussion elements are a key factor to work out once you have the chords developed and the right instrument selected. This way you can decide if your kick drum will work with the bass or does it kill the vibe. For example you would not use a 808 kick drum with a live bass as the two just wouldn't sit right for a disco remix that has a live band vibe.
Percussion wise you should always consider not over layering the track with too much as a simple loop or pattern would suffice. Consider using wind chimes and small short one shots throughout the track too to add a little surprise here and there.
Check out the video below to see how I put together this remix from scratch just by using the acapella vocals and little creative flow.
Here is the full remix in its entirety so you can listen and have a jam.