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jordanrooben

Advice for working with really, really short source material

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Do any of you experienced mixers have any advice for working with really short material. There are songs I'd love to ReMix, but they're so short, it feels impossible. Are there songs that aren't possible to ReMix? And what advice would you give for working with short material?

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Add lots of your own original composition and mixed in parts from other songs as well.

That's about it really. I wouldn't say there are any songs that are, "impossible" to remix.

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What kind of arrangement are you going for? If you're going for a kind of mainstream electronic remix style, a lot of the track can be a repeated rhythm part with a lot of build-up until you get to the actual melody.

Slow it down. Playing it at half speed takes twice as long. You just gotta make sure to keep things interesting instead of making the arrangement sound like you just dropped the bpm by half. ;)

You can also rewrite the melody to be longer. Just make sure it works well on its own, so ppl hear it as a cool melody rather than as the melody made longer or played twice with some modification. Tyler Heath made a pretty cool change to the melody in his Wind Waker remix, and while he didn't make it longer, it's a good study of what you can do with a single source.

You can look at the background elements of the source and see if any of them can be made into a lead melody. You can take any such melody, or the original lead melody, and give it new chords, or play it in a new mode or scale. For practice understanding this, take Frère Jacques or some Zelda ocarina melody or some other simple song, write it in a key consisted of only the white keys - then move the whole thing up or down and change the notes so it still only plays on the white keys. To make sure I'm not just making stuff up, I just tried playing the aforementioned song in Am instead of C - a minor scale instead of the original major - which changes its mood. You can do the same with any scale or mode. This can be used together with new chords to really change things up, or it can be used for more subtle changes.

You can also chop up the melody into little bits and move those around, like I did in my OoT remix. Actually, just look up what ppl have done with those same old ocarina melodies and other short and simple sources.

There's some techniques. I don't think there are songs that can't be remixed, you just gotta do it right.

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Build bigger melodies by splicing together bits of the original melody in the wrong order, at the wrong pitch level, with the wrong durations, etc. (Naturally, getting too liberal with this will get you shot down by the judges' panel if you're looking to actually sub the mix.)

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Motive.

There are only 4 notes in Beethoven's 5th Symphony 1st Movement.

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