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Seize the subtleties of musical remixes

If everyone can strum the guitar for fun or strum on a keyboard, they are rarer those able to create tunes. Musical composition indeed requires special talents, whether for a soloist or an ensemble. However, technology has led to another type of artistic creation that is a little more accessible: the remix.

Master the turntables

Turntables have for several years acquired importance in the musical sphere. They succeeded in composing dance pieces and airs entering the radio rankings. Let’s not minimize the talent of Guetta, Harris and others who managed to carve out a place for themselves in the hearts of listeners. Nevertheless, DJs (disc jockeys) can more easily experiment than a traditional instrumentalist. Even easier today with software and hardware that no longer requires using vinyl records.

Which doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn to be a DJ. On the contrary, since it will be necessary to find the right tools and know how to use them. On the Internet there are paid courses to master all the various existing materials and to grasp the different techniques and terms. However, less well-endowed scholarships don’t necessarily have to go without because there are dozens of videos on YouTube made expressly for beginners.

Here is a French-speaking example among many others:


learn to mix

Moreover, on the Google video platform, many tutorials are offered for a related activity: the remix. Audio software being more and more accessible, it is quite possible to create mixes of songs with different rhythms. But what about legality? Obviously, those who want to make a commercial activity and share it on sites like Spotify, YouTube or Deezer will first have to contact the rights holders to avoid committing copyright infringement. On the other hand, for strictly personal use (without any related remuneration or sharing), there is no need to do all these steps.

However, there will be many things to consider before embarking on such an activity. We will already have to think about the piece to remix. What more will the creator bring? A little more rhythm? A distinct approach to the chorus? Be careful not to completely distort the original work, which may put some people off. A good mix brings something unique to a piece so that it practically becomes an alternate version. Thereafter, it will be necessary to know how to isolate the different tracks such as voices, instruments, etc. It will also be necessary to reflect on its progression and rhythm. To help, a site lists the harmonic data (tone and BPM) of more than 70 million songs.

Those who are more hesitant can turn to applications that simplify remixing. GarageBand, famous and very popular music software, has been offering remix learning since the summer of 2021. Other solutions are available online and make it easy to create air fusions for free or for a small fee. Each has unique properties and also limitations.

Potential educational uses?

The remix does not necessarily have an artistic interest. It can also be an idea to interest students in other areas of study.

The giant Amazon has partnered with three indigenous artists to continue, at the beginning of 2022, a programming competition. Thus was born “Your Voice is Powerful” which invited high school and college students to use EarSketch, a free coding program. They had to compose a unique song drawing on the repertoire of Quebec hip-hop singer Samian, Ontario singer-songwriter Jayli Wolf and Vancouver hip-hop artist Dakota Bear. Although the competition has been over since the end of May 2022, the modules are still present and allow you to hear, among others, the winner of the 2021 edition. The idea was to particularly interest First Nations youth. to programming. Moreover, EarSketch is available in French, Ojibwa and Inuktitut.

This original initiative shows the possibilities of sound mixing in order to learn. For example, why not think about literary creation by mixing classic or modern French, English or Spanish songs? Would it be possible to design a mathematical workshop where students have to play turntables by calculating a rhythm (by BPM)? With a series of free or low-cost technology solutions, why not consider remixing as a future educational tool?

Photo credit : en.depositphotos.com

References :

“6 Online Audio Mixer Tools To Remix Music Like A DJ.” ISkysoft. Last update: April 22, 2022. https://www.iskysoft.com/en/video-editing/music-mixer-online.html.

Benessaieh, Karim. “Learn To Code On Samian.” The Press. Last update: February 23, 2022. https://www.lapresse.ca/affaires/techno/2022-02-23/enseignement-a-coder-sur-du-samian.php.

Brown, Griffin. “How to Remix a Song: Learn to Isolate Vocals and Add Your Touch.” IZotope. Last updated: July 15, 2021. https://www.izotope.com/en/learn/how-to-remix-a-song.html.

Connaghan, Tyler. “How to Remix a Song: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide.” Mastered. Last updated: August 22, 2021. https://emastered.com/blog/how-to-remix-a-song.

Haroosh, Itai. “How To Remix Any Song Legally And Never Get Sued!” Wealthy Sound. Last updated: October 13, 2021. https://wealthysound.com/posts/how-to-remix-any-song-legally-and-never-get-sued.

Hartley, Jamie. “Online DJ Courses.” We Are Crossfader. Last updated: June 10, 2022. https://wearecrossfader.co.uk/online-dj-courses/.

“How to Start Becoming a DJ—A Beginners Guide.” The Wire Realm. Last updated: January 10, 2022. https://www.wirerealm.com/info/how-to-become-a-dj.

Magny, André. “Remixing Songs From Indigenous Artists To Learn To Code.” Trendy School. Last update: March 23, 2022. https://ecolebranchee.com/remixer-des-chansons-dartistes-autochtones-pour-learn-a-coder/.

Matla, Sam. “How to Remix a Song: 21 Powerful and Practical Tips.” EDMProd. Last updated: September 9, 2021. https://www.edmprod.com/21-remix-tips/.

Morse, Phil. “Learn To DJ: The Proven Method That Will Work For You.” Digital DJ Tips. Last updated: November 16, 2021. https://www.digitaldjtips.com/2021/07/learn-to-dj-the-proven-method-that-will-work-for-you/.

Roy, Gautam. “27 Killer Tips to Remix a Song! [Step-by-Step].” Recording Base. Last updated: December 28, 2021. https://www.recordingbase.com/how-to-remix-song/.

Your voice is powerful. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.yourvoiceispower.ca/en-ca.


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