Waiting Remix Event
skip
Home » Forums » The Big OT » What constitutes a remix?

What constitutes a remix?

shagrugge
.
permalink   Sun, Apr 9, 2006 @ 1:30 PM
I would love to hear others opinions on this topic…

This is perhaps a fine line…but for me a remix has to have some sense of originality/creativity to it, which can be a bit hard to define. First and foremost, a remix has to be compared/contrasted to the complete sound of it’s sampled elements. Furthermore what I would accept as a remix from a DJ, I would not accept as a remix from a producer…so I think the medium through which the mix is created has to do with whether or not it is a remix.

ex. 1 - A DJ takes a pella and an instrumental and mixes them together live during a set. (remix)

ex 2 - A producer takes a full pella and a full (non-original) istrumental and mixes them together without adding any other production elements whatsoever. (not a remix, although it can be a valid educational experience for those wishing to create remixes)
lo tag blanco
.
permalink   Sun, Apr 9, 2006 @ 11:09 PM
Ah, good, this was on my mind today…

I uploaded an instrumental track this morning, and had no idea how to categorize it. I used a few sax samples, but I’m not sure that constitutes a remix. It’s not exactly a sample, either, is it? Is it an original work, even if I used another producer’s samples?

I may be splitting hairs, but there’s "remix" and then there’s a ccmixter "remix", which seems to be "any work of music that uses samples from any other work uploaded to ccmixter". Not that that’s a bad thing…

Is this correct? Agh, and I just checked my "remix", and it’s now listed under "remixes" and "samples".

Sorry if I’m getting too practical, I didn’t mean to kill your train of thought shagrugge… I just want to upload these files correctly.

So getting back to the philosophical bend… a remix to me is a piece of music that uses the core of another song in a new way… note I said "core", like a chorus or lead line or maybe a good hook. I’m not sure that short samples taken from a song and sprinkled throughout a new song would constitute a remix in the traditional sense of the word… but who’s interested in tradition anyway?

I’ve taken full pella tracks from this site, and reuploaded them with new music that I’ve created. I think that’s your second example. I’m not sure if that’s a remix or not, though it seems to be one from the perspective of this site… the vocal track is a core element. I guess a purist would cut it up a bit? Damn, I don’t know, it’s after midnight. Going to sleep.
shagrugge
.
permalink   Mon, Apr 10, 2006 @ 10:05 AM
If you take a pella and mix it with your original music as a producer to me that’s a prime example of a remix…but if I take a full pella and someone else’s full instrumental and mix them together and say here’s my latest remix (as a producer), in my mind that is not a remix…

For example if I were to take Squeaks and Squaks instrumental and mix it with Yen Ara Asaase Ni pella. I wouldn’t call it a remix because I had nothing to contribute originally to the mix. Or perhaps the idea to blend this two alone is enough for a producer to hold a form of ownership over making such a mix??

However, if I were a DJ mixing these two elements from a couple of dubplates live, then I would call it a remix.

Taking bits, pieces, and samples of songs and using them as building blocks for an original track, while it is cited as a remix for ccmixter site purposes, often has the connotation of completely original music.

I just think there are a lot of different definitions out there on what a remix is…and perhaps there is a need for terms to describe different contributional efforts to creating mixes.
lo tag blanco
.
permalink   Mon, Apr 10, 2006 @ 11:06 AM
Quote: For example if I were to take Squeaks and Squaks instrumental and mix it with Yen Ara Asaase Ni pella. i wouldn’t call it a remix because i had nothing to contribute originally to the mix.

I pretty much agree, if the end product is a commercial mix, or something that a producer is using to promote himself/herself to the world in general. ccmixter, though, seems to exist as a funky, collaborative chemistry experiment where just about anything is encouraged.

If I were to sense a hook between a pella and beat on this site, I might put it together just for the hell of it… I wouldn’t shop it around outside of this site, or put it up on my own personal site, but tracks placed in different contexts are probably something that other ccmixter users would be interested in.

So if we’re talking about the world outside of ccmixter, I agree with you. If we’re talking about ccmixter, I say pretty much anything goes.
fourstones
.
permalink   Mon, Apr 10, 2006 @ 11:21 AM
Quote: a funky, collaborative chemistry experiment

I think we have a new tag line (!)
gurdonark
admin
.
permalink   Mon, Apr 10, 2006 @ 12:56 PM
It’s an interesting question, but even your example 2 I would call a remix. I have done both mere marriage of a capella and vocal tracks and outright mangling. To me, the latter is usually preferable, but to me the former is still remixing.

Quote: I would love to hear others opinions on this topic…

This is perhaps a fine line…but for me a remix has to have some sense of originality/creativity to it, which can be a bit hard to define. First and foremost, a remix has to be compared/contrasted to the complete sound of it’s sampled elements. Furthermore what I would accept as a remix from a DJ, I would not accept as a remix from a producer…so I think the medium through which the mix is created has to do with whether or not it is a remix.

ex. 1 - A DJ takes a pella and an instrumental and mixes them together live during a set. (remix)

ex 2 - A producer takes a full pella and a full istrumental and mixes them together without adding any other production elements whatsoever. (not a remix, although it can be a valid educational experience for those wishing to create remixes)
lo tag blanco
.
permalink   Mon, Apr 10, 2006 @ 1:04 PM
…and getting back to your other point, as i see i’ve completely missed it…

yeah, it might be good to have some sort of better categorization for these various types of "remixes", but i have no idea what that would be. it’s confusing enough right now for me to figure out if something is a remix, a sample or an original track :)
Ran Dumb Dots...... .. .
.
permalink   Tue, Apr 11, 2006 @ 2:52 PM
I’ve been thinking about this too - seems like there are lots of variants - here’s how I think about the words we use (with no expecation that anyone agrees;)…

How I think of the word "remix": One or more lead tracks (like the vocal or lead melody from an instrumental) from a multi-track mix blended with one or more new tracks/sounds not in the original mix AND/OR one to all of the original tracks in a multi-track mix changed/reordered/repeated/diced without necessarily adding tracks or samples from outside the original mix. A remix to me is a new version of a song that already exists.

How I think of the word "sampling": Pulling a sound (like a snare hit), word or phrase (but not the whole vocal track), loop (but not the whole lead melody track if the song is an instrumental), or non-lead (not the vocal or lead instrumental) track and using it in a new composition.

And then there are fun things like mashups, which I think of as mixing two different songs together to create something that is both recognizably the two songs and something new and an artistic creation in and of itself (think Wizard of Oz + Dark Side of the Moon). And there are other labels for different kinds of derivative works, I’m sure…

I suspect the reason both "remixes" (my definition) and new compositions using ccMixter samples are labeled remixes is just to keep things simple.

Another thing I was thinking recently that ties to this conversation….If I post a mix and someone snips a loop from it and wants to make the loop available, should the loop be attributable to me or to the person who snipped it from my mix? Maybe they should be able to post the loop somehow to the original person’s upload as an additional file. I feel like there are probably a lot of samples snipped from ccMixter posts that are latently sitting on people’s hard drives at home that could be posted for use by others, but they’re not posted because there’s not really a place for them (people don’t want to take credit for something they didn’t really do, so they don’t post the loop, and it’s a little cumbersome to email to the original post owner and then ask them to post the loop). Another example: if I post an a capella that’s off-pitch in a few places (as I’ve been known to do) and someone uses software to correct the pitch problems and then wants to make that pitch-corrected track available to other mixters (the work’s already done, after all), how do they properly do that (email it to me & I post)?

As Victor has repeatedly reminded me, they’re changing all this next month, so we (I) should probably just wait to see the new site design and then extrapolate from there ;)….. .. .