View Full Version : Question: How do YOU start your remixes?
03-23-2006, 12:11 AM
I mean, everyone has their own style, their own special way of beginning their remixes, how they get influence, etc., so my question for you guys is, how do you start off? This is less an actual question topic and more of a curiousity topic that may be good for newbies to check out to get ideas.
Personally, what I do is I get a MIDI file of said track, then I find the major melody line, and an alternate melody line, the save those scores seperately. If either of the melodies is complex or is really epic then I might grab the strings/pad/whatever that help enhance the mood and save that score. I never will take the bassline or drums unless its an essential part of the song (and drums never seem to be).
Then, I get a basic progression lined out in my sequencer of melodies (something FLStudio's pattern-based sequencer works well with) and start slapping some drums together. Then I'll make the bass/pad to go along with the melody. Occasionally around halfway through the song I'll create an entirely new melody based off of the notes that already exist in the song. After that its just a matter of what style I was doing, compression, EQ, etc..
So how do you guys/gals start off your remixes?
03-23-2006, 12:21 AM
Typically, I approach things one of two ways. One is a spontaneous method where I sit down at my computer with a tune in mind and see what comes out of my head. Often times I start with a simple riff, bassline, or drum loop and then build off of that into a full mix. This is usually the approach I take if I want to remix a specific theme, like for a project or something. Occasionally I will vary this up and start with the chorus or main melody of a song, but I find that this is usually not very effective and I prefer to start with a simple component of the original (like the bass line from Fei Long).
The other way is when I actually have an idea of what I want beforehand. I'll just be listening to music and get the inspiration to do a remix of a theme, such as Kefka or the sewer from Chrono Trigger. I'll often have a very basic idea in mind for something I want to do with the mix - by NO means a full plan, this is usually only like 15-45 seconds or so of material - and then I basically do my best to put down what I have in my head. Once I began working with my idea, I usually come up with more ideas, which eventually lead to a full fledged mix.
Regardless of what method I choose, it's within about 30-60 seconds of the song that I can tell whether I'd like to continue it and develop it or not.
03-23-2006, 12:42 AM
Usually, an idea for a mix will just come out of nowhere, and I'll sit down and record what's going through my head.
03-23-2006, 12:45 AM
good point. it depends for me.
as you know, I'm not a great remixer, and it's rare for me to write a remix. I really need a big amount of inspiration to start, and like zircon I start in different ways.
I may start completely from scratch, like I sit in front of my tracker and I think "K let's write some stuff here", but I need to be very familiar with the source tune (like I did with Tetris and F-Zero, for example). When I proceed in this way, I may start from a random position within the song, according to what is my favorite part in that song. In my Overtop remix (everything I mention is on OLR, fyi), for example, the pattern sequence is 4, 1, 0, 2, 8, 6, 7, 5, 3. What a coherent mind! :lol: Well, I wrote it in 1999, so I was younger, it's actually my first remix ever. Then I write all the rest, including more channels (like guitars and drums) to fill up the harmony.
I can either proceed in other ways, but the main steps are always these ones. And then I add some effects (panning and so on).
03-23-2006, 08:42 AM
Two main methods. The biggest one is when I come up with a melody or beat in my head and need to get it down on paper (in the case of guitar music) or in FL Studio. My other method is when I'm tweaking VST presets or writing patches and accidentally do something that sounds cool, then expand on it.
But when you're talking specifically about remixes, there's a third method I've used with some of the remixes I have here. It's the "start out writing an original song and notice it sounds kind of like a Castlevania melody, then jack the song into a new direction" method. :)
03-23-2006, 01:58 PM
The first thing I do is ask questions to myself. For example, "Why are there no non-trance Vectorman remixes?" usually leads me to remix Vectorman in a non-trance style. I almost always remix something because I think or know it deserves recognition, hence why I have so many Deus Ex and Vectorman tunes, and a good amount of the stuff I had on VGMix was fresh material. A lot of it was from games most people knew about, but the actual song covered was something no one's done yet.
As for the anime remixes... there's still SO MUCH GROUND to be covered! I gotta get busy :D
Also, don't make me jinx my muse... if I talk about my actual physical composition process, I won't be able to make anything good for at least a month :P
I start out by lsitening to the song as it was in the game. I also look for other songs that could blend into whatever targeted song I have.
After that, I grab a midi and use that as a guide to get whatever's floating in my mind out...which is kinda fun because I think abstractly, and have almost no idea what the end result will sound like untill I actually hear it.
"Hmm...that's not what I was expecting...I like it."
03-23-2006, 10:30 PM
When remixing, I normally take a part of the tune and write some parts around it, meld that into an intro, introduce the tune itself, then chorus sections & building etc. etc.
This is just most of the time.
03-24-2006, 12:48 AM
I will admit I like to borrow styles from various artists. Usually I start with the melody first. Sometimes it starts as an original project and think, this sounds better if I put this (game track) on it. Creating an alternative harmony is the trickiest part for me. It makes all the difference between making the whole remix sound flat or lively.
i build ideas from the drums up. my paperboy track started out as me building a drum pattern and then adding to it until i had basically a whole song's worth of drums. then i decided to add in the paperboy bassline and worked from there.
03-24-2006, 02:47 AM
In Soviet Russia ReMix star
03-24-2006, 03:25 AM
I will admit I like to borrow styles from various artists.
Welcome to ReMixing 101: So does everyone else :P.
03-25-2006, 03:00 AM
In Soviet Russia ReMix star
In Soviet Russia the songs ReMix you.
03-25-2006, 03:08 AM
Generally I write an 8- or 16-bar section to figure out exactly how I want it to sound, then I build around that.
Same. Either that, or start with a simplistic drum beat or melodic line and build it from that.
03-25-2006, 03:24 AM
My piano mixes come from just playing some piano pieces and messing with them. My sequenced mixes I usually see what hasn't been mixed to my liking and go from there.
07-06-2007, 06:57 PM
I almost asked this exact question today, then thought to search for it. Who knew someone had already asked.
I typically start with a simple 8-bar pattern in a style I have in mind and pick instruments for it that work well together. Then I find a VG song I like that could work with that groove. It seems a little unromantic to do it that way, but I can't control my inspirations. (Though with one of my songs for this site the style and song came to me simultaneously - yeahhh.)
A lot of major rewriting can go into it along the way, including messing with my initial pattern, but the beginning is the same basically every time.
07-06-2007, 07:21 PM
Interesting question, I've been analyzing this a lot myself lately.
I've started in mixing in a lot of different ways, but generally I just start to spontaneously 'rewriting' the song I want to do in my midi sequencer. This way it often happens that because I haven't set the rhythm correctly, or put in a wrong note, the melody is altered, and sometimes it comes out sounding better.
Also I generally don't bother with finding out the backing chords or the drum patterns down to every hi-hat, but rather I put my own beats and added instrumentation under the melody.
Of course, there are a ton of other ways, you could just import the midi and add harmonic, melodic and rhythmic content until you get something good (I don't like this method at all though), or you could start writing your own music, and suddenly think " Hey, that melody from song X in game Y would sound totally awesome over this"
Generally, I like the hit/miss factor in remixing, and while I have a very decent understanding of musical theory, I find it much more entertaining to just play along with what I have on my guitar, and "accidentally" find out a really cool chord progression, rather than thinking " Wow, if I put an IV-V-III progression under this, it will sound totally awesome"
07-07-2007, 06:20 AM
I select a synthesiser, twiddle the knobs for a while. Play a little melody with it, see where it goes from there. IfI like the patch, I'll modify the melody. If the patch blows, I'll twiddle more and try a different melody. If I got that down, I might work on a second line or go straight for the rhythm.
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