A question of terminology - "Remix" vs "Remaster"

Currently I am planning on reworking some of my older songs going back as far as 1998. I don’t plan on changing very much if any of the original tracking. I just plan on cleaning up the mix so it sounds better than the original (using the skills I have developed since then), but still stays true to it musically.

Once these are finally finished, I’m trying to figure out what to actually label these songs as.

Technically in my opinion, they are a “Remix”, since I am re-doing the mixing of the song. However as we all know, “remix” especially in electronic music brings to mind something different than the original, often in a different genre and lots of changes. So I’d like to avoid this term if possible, since most people will probably not understand and think that there is an original which is significantly different than what they are currently hearing.

What I am doing is not a “Remaster” either though, since mastering is essentially bringing up the levels for final airplay or CD/vinyl release. I may do or have someone do mastering in addition to the mixing, but since most of the tracks weren’t ever mastered in the first place, I’m really not “re-mastering” them either.

The best term I can think of is “Remixdown”. Since a “mixdown” can be considered the same thing as what happens as the result of “mixing”, then if I am doing the mixdown again, it is a “re-mixdown”. While this distinguishes it from a remix, it sounds awkward and is not in common usage.

Currently I’m leaning with remixdown and hoping that people will understand what that means, or possibly something like “2013 remixdown/remaster”

Does anyone else have any suggestions/insights on this topic and what these types of mixes should actually be called?

Heck, I even threw in a poll for fun :)

Use remaster. Even if the process includes mixing all the tracks again, it’s a word that has been used before to entail the whole process of taking old recordings and treating them with newer technology.

There is “VIP Mix” which stands for “Variation In Production”. It’s used often in Drum n Bass releases.

For instance: Q Project - Champion Sound (Unreleased VIP Mix)

You can also use “Version”, as in:

Nucleus & Paradox - Elusion Theme (Version)

Whaa! I have heard that term for years and just always assumed it meant Very Important Person. Since usually the mixes get distributed to high profile DJ’s first… Right ??? Maybe it’s a double entendre, since the mix usually (always?) has different content. So that’s not really the same thing I’m doing anyway.

Good point. If most people probably understand that what it to mean, then you probably can’t go wrong calling it that.

Even though it feels wrong to my mind, like nails going down a chalkboard… :wacko:/>

There is no fixed consensus and no rules as to what these terms actually represent in the song. To me a variation in production can mean e.g. from solely adding a delay effect to a single sound, to actually remixing the entire thing so it sounds completely different. You can observe artists using these terminologies in very different ways. I’ve heard supposed “Remixes” which were in fact just extended but in itself unchanged mixes from the original.

Just use whatever you feel sounds right.

I’ve called things “redux” (pronounced “redo”) before, but when I’ve done something like that most recently I just put the year at the end of the title.

After reading what you were doing to the tracks, I feel like the best word would be remaster. Just like they remaster old Disney films to make them look and sound better, it seems that’s what you are doing with your old tracks. I do take issue with the word remix though. There seems to be no real definition to the word, as you can interpret it as simply re-mixing a tune, or going like Skrillex’s In For The Kill and changing everything but the vocals.

Rework is also a term I have seen.

Technically speaking, it is simply a remix, though usually a remix has to be remastered again so the final term will eventually be a remaster. But for the process description, i stick to the actual correct term remix.
For public a remix usually does mean that musical content changes. It just depends on what you want, the public meaning or the actual applicable meaning.

That is most often used for a version witout vocals when the original did have some.

VIP remixes are usually full remixes in my experience.

What this process is most often termed is a Remaster. You can get digitally remastered albums where the entire thing has been mixed down again from the individual multitrack recording. The term will generally also include the mixdown process, as long as no (or very little) additional content is added.

You could also called them Reworked version, if you don’t want to use Remastered.

Cool, I didn’t realize that.

+1 for Rework however, that’s the term I’d go with.

It comes from Reggae/Dub originally. DJ Versions so the MC can then chat/sing live over it. It does get used for more than just reggae these days though. There’s a brief mention of the fact on Wikiepedia’s Dub page.

I think it’s as good a term as any really.

“Remastered” has become so commonly used to imply ‘new and improved version’ that I think it’s acceptable to apply to stuff like that. Annoying to pedants, but I think everyone will know what you mean. Most people will understand it as ‘better/fixed’ version of the same songs and people inclined to use the technical definition of the term will understand that you kinda had to use it the way you did because of the popular abuse of the word ‘remix’.

Someone will probably pipe up with a ‘yeah, that’s technically not really exactly what you should call a remaster’, but that’s like, whatever, ya know? just say ‘yeah, i know, dude’.

Maybe you could call it a rerelease. Other than sounding kinda like scooby doo talking (maybe you could call it a ‘rererease’), i think that’s a good alternate term.

Or just mention in some note somewhere what you did and not make a big deal of it.

I think ‘remixed and remastered’ actually has a good clarity for everyone, and is what I might go for.

I do think that, for better or for worse, you have to tiptoe around stuff like ‘2013 remixes’ because too many folks will be expecting new, semi-rewritten versions of the music and might come out disappointed.

Then I will point them in the direction of this thread to let them know that I at least did put some thought into it.

You? That’s right, I’m talking to you! How’s it feel to be so predictable? :lol:

Well, there has been some really good points in this thread and I think I have decided to go with “remastered”. Thanks for all your help guys! Of course the discussion can still continue if anyone has anything else to offer.



I’d say just 2012/2013 mix or something like you suggested yourself.
Call it a remix, the fact that remix is now a term also describing “leaving only the vocals and replacing the rest”, well, that’s just how possibilities in music production evolved and it’s still remixing although it’s extreme remixing :D/>.

I also like Re-Fix like in Gorillaz - Clint Eastwood (Ed Case & Sweetie Refix)

Andy Goldsworthy

Just wanted to FYI, I love the banner in your signature.

Call it re-noising!

I like it! I could, except I probably won’t be using Renoise for much of this project except to render out the applicable songs.

But more importantly:


Dude! Where have you been lately? Hope all is well with you.