How To Remix


Hope it’s ok to ask this as its more a general question.

I have registered at NiN website to get the tracks that they give you to do your own mixes. I dl’d Captial G to give that a go. Inidividual tracks are supplied, so one for drums, one for vocals, backing vocals , etc.

I couldn’t find anything specific; but is remixing as simple as just slicing up the tracks into individual samples? I dragged all the .wav files into the renoise instrument box then sliced 2 full bars and added them to a track, set the BPM to 109 as mentioned in the small document supplied with the track, and then hit play and it was seamless. That then got me thinking more and I realise that I can completely mix up the song into anyway I see fit!

Just seemed a bit to simple to me as I have never done anything like this.


I understand you are quite unfamiliar with the term remixing,
you should check out some random remixes in all genres, and compare them to the original tracks.
Then I think you perhaps will learn how different a remix can be - sometimes unrecognizable from the original.

things you can do with the material for a remix - for example:

  • chop up & rearrange parts
  • use fx and your imagination to twist and turn on these parts
  • change the general tempo, rhythm, style or groove
  • add your own drumtrack
  • add your own bassline, melody line, textures, samples, whatever…
  • change the general mood in the song by using different harmonies than in the original
  • strip the original entirely, and use only the vocal track, or parts of it, and make everything else your self
  • and there’s a whole lot more you can do… most importantly: make it your own! use your imagination! try to take it in another direction!

general rule: there are no rules :yeah:

Thanks that helps a lot. Yes I have no experience of modern music software apart from what I learnt in the last 5 months by myself.

I think the general rule is the best one. Been trying to find rules to fit and overthinking this but whatever I want to do is what works :)

I listened to the Tron Reconfigured mixes and started thinking about how they did it. Half of them seem to be an excuse to make their own songs as they sound nothing like the originals. But the ones where you recognised the original but completely changed were brilliant.

Denim pretty much nailed it. You basicly wanna use a few elements from the original track that you like, and get rid of everything else that you don’t like and make it better =) Like he said there are no set rules…I’ve heard some great remixes done completely stemless.

I know this thread is pretty old, but I’m going to bump it rather than make a new one. How do you guys go about remixing a song? The specific process seems somewhat of a mystery. The main thing I’m concerned with is how one would do it without having the individual tracks as mentioned in the original. The only big bands I can think of to get the original tracks for are Radiohead or NIN. How would you remix from a .wav or .flac of a song? Is it just a matter of layering on top of the single sample? How do you modify a single track so that it sounds good with your own material? Am I overthinking it and I should just play around until it works?

To get stems you usually have to contact the artist or label and if you are lucky enough you get them. Don’t expect much from Lady Gaga or so. :P

If you cut fully mixed track up and use parts of it in composition. It’s not really a remix, rather than sampling. (They are still often called remixes). Doing it is often illegal though unless you have cleared sampling. Official remixes are based on various licencing.

What are sampling laws like now?

“Nowadays when you’re sampling shit you gotta clear it”

I don’t think the sampling laws have changed during past 30 years. If you sample something you must clear it. You are unlikely to get sued unless you are big though.