Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 7:16:09 PM
How to run a Remix Project
A Remix Project is a Great Way to Promote Yourself and Your Music
If you are interested in running remix projects, the following should help you get started and get the most out of your remix project.
AritstServer.com now offers a means to run your own remix projects. This feature provides you a set of tools to manage participants, a site the promote the project, and easy to use admin tools to manage the details of your project, like start and stop dates, terms, and sign-up management.
What is a Remix?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remix - A remix is an alternative version of a song, different from the original version. A remixer uses audio mixing to compose an alternate master recording of a song, adding or subtracting elements, or simply changing the equalization, dynamics, pitch, tempo, playing time, or almost any other aspect of the various musical components. Some remixes involve substantial changes to the arrangement of a recorded work, but many are subtle, such as creating a "vocal up" version of an album cut that emphasizes the lead singer's voice. A song may be remixed to give a song that was not popular a second chance at radio and club play, or to alter a song to suit a specific music genre or radio format. Remixes should not be confused with edits, which usually involve shortening a final stereo master for marketing purposes.
Even if you aren't creating electronic music, running a remix project or simply allowing others to remix your music is a great way to promote your music and yourself as a band/artist. You may feel that your music isn't 'remixable,' but chances are, it is, remixing works across all genres.
There are many ways a remix project can function, but the most common is as follows. You write a song and record it, then you take the separate tracks from the recording and save them as WAV files, or convert them to high bit rate mp3 files. Be sure to not include effects, you'll want to make these files 'dry.' You now have a 'sample pack' which you can zip up w/ a 'ReadMe' file inside that contains copyright info and any rules about the project. Next, you upload the zipped up samples to a Web site, then get ready to do some promotion. After a period of time, you can select a winner, or just let the project play out for years. After the remix project is over, you should keep it online with all the songs. This way the project can continue to serve as a promotional tool for not only you, but also the artists who participate.
Preparing a Song for a Remix Project
While it is possible for people to take a completed/mixed song, lift their own samples from it, and create a remix, this isn't really remixing, it's sampling. In order to 're-mix,' an artist/producer needs access to the raw elements that were used to create the song (or anything else being remixed). The following is some information to help you prepare those raw elements so the remix artists have quality material to work with.
The basics of samples:
You can also provide midifies in your remix project if they exist.
- A sample is generally a wav file, it can be stereo or mono, it depends on the sound within the sample.
- A sample that that is a few measures or less, and can loop around from the end to the begining, is called a loop.
- A sample that that is a measure or less, that doesn't loop, and is meant to play though, is called a one-shot.
- A sample of drums that can loop, is a drum loop.
- A loop of guitar would be be a guitar loop, etc.
- A longer sample, could be called a phrase.
- A long recording, for example, the lead guitar channel of a song, while not really a sample, would be called a channel mixdown.
- A channel mixdown of vocals, would be an a'capella.
Remix Sample Pack Preparation Tips:
Free File Hosting Services:
- Remix artists should be provided with eiter wav files, or high quality mp3 files.
- When creating your loop, make sure there isn't a 'pop' at the loop point. If there is, zoom in and adjust the position of the loop point.
- If you use virtual instruments in your song, render down a wav of this channel.
- Single drum hits, bass parts, and some percussion sounds are usually in Mono.
- If you are in a band and have stereo channel mixes of each part, you can render down 16bit 44100 stereo mixes of each channel and zip them up. If you do not provide premade loops and samples, you may have fewer completed submissions.
- If you know the BPM of the song, include that info to help others get started.
- If you used material in your song that has a copyright, you'll need to secure rights to redistribute the material, or leave it out.
- Multiple sample packs are ok - just be descriptive in the title.
Once you have your sample packs ready, you'll need a place to store them online. Below is a list of file hosting services, with the top two being the best choices. The reason they are the best is because your files do not expire, they have URLs, they are easy to use, and the download process is painless. While ArtistServer provides music and remix project hosting, we do not host your sample files. We do provide an easy way to add download links to your files and providing them to participants.
Planning Your Remix Project:
Before you start, you should have a plan or reason for your remix project. Is this a new release you are promoting? Maybe the launch of a new collective? Possibly you are looking to get B-sides created for a 12in release? Or, maybe you just want to dive in to the whole remix, mashup and sample scene. Whatever the reason, your project may not go anywhere unless you actively promote it and have a plan. Web promotion ideas and methods is a whole different discussion, so we'll leave that out for now.
Before you do the promotion, setup your Remix project page or site. Artists with upgraded accounts at ArtistServer.com can create these in the My Account area of the site, under Music Projects.
This would be a good time to work out the 'terms and conditions' for our project. Be sure to define how the remix artist can use their remix, for example: can they post it online or on P2P networks, can they put it on their own CD, what will the copyright or Creative Commons license be for the remixes. Are there any rules as to how the remixes should be titled (some artists want their name in the song title). Don't try to dictate too much control though, you'll find that having these people promoting their own remixes creates another wave of promotion for you, possibly bigger than the one you created. At ArtistServer, we provide a general set of terms and conditions for you to start with, feel free to modify them how you like.
Once you have your promotion plan, the sample packs, and maybe even some banner ads created for your project, you'll be ready to announce the project on forums, blogs, your site, places that allow news releases posted about independent music, and fliers in your local clubs and appropriate stores. You'll want to include a link to your remix project Web page, so be sure to create your project before printing fliers.
Some people run their projects as contests, where they'll pick the top 3, or the 'best one,' and present the artist with some prize. This is a great way to stimulate interest in your project if artists haven't heard of you. When there's no direct outcome for a project, you may find it difficult to attract remix artists. If this is your case, then a contest might be the only thing that will get your project off the ground, you could even offer a gift certificate from a site like amazon.com. ArtistServer provides a means to select any number of winners for your remix project.
As the remixes come in, post comments, give feedback, and get the conversation going. Once you have a few on the site, you can do a second round of promotions at all the sites you first announced the project at. Let people know that there are some cool remixes to be heard, that the project is still in progress, and that it's not too late to give it a try. When doing your promotional runs, be sure to monitor the threads on the forums you post at and reply to everyone so they see that you aren't a spammer. Many people get this part wrong, they forget to communicate with people and simple spam the Web with information about their project.
Concluding the Remix Project:
At this final stage, you can either leave the project open, or you can close the project, so no others can sign up. From here, you could do a few cool things, like release a remix album, promoting the remixes on an online station, sending out a Cdr of the project to your radio stations that support independent music, creating a CD using an online service like Mixonic.com or CafePress.com, or do another round of promoting, presenting the 'best of' to people. Getting remixed is fun, it shines a new light on your music, it creates connections between people and genres, and it's an excellent way to promote your music and yourself as an artist/band.
Enjoy, and keep in mind, these aren't rules, these are suggestions and ideas you can use to help ensure you have a successful remix project.
Feel free to ask questions and post your own tips.
- ADD TO:
You can post songs with remix kits and studio stems for others to remix on the web community Remixin, http://www.remixin.com
Remixin is a great place to spread your tunes.
I'd also like to add that if anyone takes Gideon's advice from this nice article and they also take the contest option with prizes, please submit it to us at RemixComps.com and we will list it for free and give your remix contest some much needed promotion.
Also send the info to http://findremix.com We list remix contests and music production tutorials :) We will help you spreading the word and getting more entries!