Remixing a track that you love the original version of is always a labour of love and is more often than not it makes the whole process easier, even when things get tough. I produced this remix of the classic 80,s hit by the band called Double which is called "The captain of
This post will outline some of the key elements required to make a remix without going over the top and over producing your track.
KEEP THE DRUMS AT A MINIMUM
First thing is to keep your beats as minimal as you can. Don't over do it on tops loops and percussion etc, just keep it stripped as if you are using a sample loop from another record then that will already have drums included so it will only add to the mix. So keep those drums simple.
WORK OUT THE CHORDS
There are many short cuts nowadays to music theory and although they are useful I still wonder if they actually help you in the long run become a better producer/songwriter? I came from the school of learning your instrument and I am still no where near as accomplished as I could be.
But if you genuinely struggle to play then use the Chordify website that works out any songs structure for you as it plays. If I struggle to work a chord arrangement out I always jump onto Chordify and it helps instantly.
SELECT THE APPROPRIATE SOUNDS
With this remix being on the Nu-Disco / Synthwave vibe, it is obvious that the sounds need to be more emotional and deep. So for the pads they needed to be rich in texture to suit the mood of the original loop from the original version. So make sure you explore as many sounds as you can that are fitting to the vibe you are creating.
It is common for people to get stuck selecting the right sound for a track and this can stall your progression. So listen to as many other records in your chosen genre as you can and use their sounds as reference.
CHOOSE ONLY A FEW KEY LOOPS
Sampling and remixing tracks can go one of two ways. The first is that you basically make a re-edit that just has extra drums added to it and a few filters. Or you can take a handful of loops and the vocal and completely rework it. I always prefer the latter.
Why bother trying to create a rework without actually trying to put a unique stamp on it? The reason to remix should always be to enhance the track rather than just add another layer like many lazy re-editors often do. So keep in mind that you should only take a few key loops from the original and not use lots. Leave the obvious bits out if possible and see if you can make a track out of the lesser recognizable sections and build around that.
Listen to how I take the loop with a pad in and then build an arpeggio bass line to bring it to life more and give a new direction from the original.
KEEP THINGS SIMPLE
If you look at the video I produced below you will see that it has less than 20 tracks. I always like to keep things to a minimum. Do you really need four channels for four separate effect sounds if they are using the same return buss sends or similar eq settings? Probably not, so try and strip back the over usage of channels and this will allow you to mix the whole record better as it will clear several avenues of unwanted sounds.
Mix downs are always about reduction and not addition, so once you get a solid bass line and kick drum eq that work well together and you have captured a nice bottom end in your mix, then the next thing to do is start layering the eq on your instruments and reduce the bottom ends of those sounds.
So for example remove the lower frequency of the pads and the pianos and this will come through in the mix more clearly as it is opposite the low end of the kick and bass. So always reduce the low frequencies of your individual sounds and work on brightening them up and panning a few sounds and you will have a much clear mix down.
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