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Remixing Techniques: Arranging and Song Form

Referencing the original or demo version of the song


From:

Remixing Techniques: Arranging and Song Form

with Josh Harris

Video: Referencing the original or demo version of the song

It's almost impossible to create a quality musical arrangement without having some pre-existing version of the song to reference, even if that version is merely a piano and a lead vocal. In the world of remixing there are instances when an artist or a label will request a radio remix, with the hopes that this new version will either add to whatever radio play they are currently receiving or help them get the radio play that they desire. Over the years I've worked on many remixes that were purely geared for radio, often reproducing an entirely new track just using the vocals and nothing else from the original version.
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  1. 2m 59s
    1. Welcome
      1m 17s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      23s
    3. Why did we record this course in four different DAWs?
      49s
    4. Using the exercise files
      30s
  2. 4m 58s
    1. A general overview of musical arranging
      2m 4s
    2. An overview of remix arranging
      1m 34s
    3. An overview of radio and club arranging
      1m 20s
  3. 51m 30s
    1. Referencing the original or demo version of the song
      3m 2s
    2. Listening to stems and deciding on the musical direction
      4m 36s
    3. Creating a sketch arrangement
      8m 36s
    4. Developing the drums and bass
      13m 31s
    5. Adding synths
      8m 43s
    6. Adding guitars
      7m 49s
    7. Arranging the rest of the song
      5m 13s
  4. 51m 54s
    1. Referencing the original or demo version of the song
      5m 7s
    2. Listening to stems and deciding on the musical direction
      3m 42s
    3. Time stretching stems and creating a sketch arrangement
      11m 18s
    4. Developing the drums and bass
      11m 10s
    5. Adding synths
      10m 30s
    6. Working from the hype backwards
      4m 27s
    7. Arranging the rest of the song
      5m 40s
  5. 18m 31s
    1. Trimming down the club version
      3m 32s
    2. Identifying arrangement changes within the body of the song
      9m 44s
    3. Listening through the final arrangement
      5m 15s
  6. 19m 38s
    1. Adding a vocoder
      5m 36s
    2. Adding filtered delays to vocals
      7m 42s
    3. Adding drum fills
      6m 20s
  7. 14m 48s
    1. Listening through the final radio mix
      4m 12s
    2. Listening through the final club mix
      6m 47s
    3. Listening through the final radio edit
      3m 49s
  8. 38s
    1. Final thoughts and next steps
      38s

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Remixing Techniques: Arranging and Song Form
2h 44m Intermediate Dec 10, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, author Josh Harris shows how to create radio and club arrangements, and a radio edit of a club mix. He utilizes four different digital audio workstations (DAWs)—Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Logic, and Reason—and shows how to build different arrangements from the ground up, by adding guitars, drums, bass, and synths. Each DAW explores different types of arranging scenarios. Plus, learn how to add ear candy and take your arrangements to another level.

Topics include:
  • Reviewing the different types of arranging: music, remix, and radio/club
  • Referencing a previous version of the song
  • Listening to stems
  • Creating a sketch arrangement
  • Adding synths and guitars
  • Developing the drums and bass
  • Using time stretching
  • Creating a radio edit from a club mix
  • Adding special effects like drum fills and delays
Subjects:
Audio + Music DAWs Mixing Music Production Audio Plug-Ins Mastering Remixing
Software:
Ableton Live Logic Pro Pro Tools Reason
Author:
Josh Harris

Referencing the original or demo version of the song

It's almost impossible to create a quality musical arrangement without having some pre-existing version of the song to reference, even if that version is merely a piano and a lead vocal. In the world of remixing there are instances when an artist or a label will request a radio remix, with the hopes that this new version will either add to whatever radio play they are currently receiving or help them get the radio play that they desire. Over the years I've worked on many remixes that were purely geared for radio, often reproducing an entirely new track just using the vocals and nothing else from the original version.

I'd like to take you through this process using a song by Natalie Brown called Around the World. Those of you who have taken my Remixing Techniques: Time Stretching course will recognize the song. I'll import an MP3 version of the original and Pro Tools will convert it, and I always set my Quality on sample rate converting to Tweak Head. It's important to leave the sample rate converting option on Tweak Head at all times. It just ensures that when you import outside samples that you have the highest quality of sample rate conversion possible.

I'll select the Audio folder and I'll designate New Track and there's our clip. So, let's lower the volume, because you never know how loud a file that you've just imported is going to play, and let's take a listen. (music playing) I generally listen to one verse and one chorus just to get the feel of the original, and I can already tell from the background vocals that I will probably have to follow the chord changes of this original version.

I might be able to get away with swapping out of few chords, but those background vocals have an R&B feel, they're layered, and they're essentially spelling out chords in the way that they are harmonized. So, don't underestimate this part of the arranging process. Many questions about how your arrangement will unfold can be answered by spending a few minutes listening to the original version and asking yourself a few important questions. That should help you begin to develop a focus on a musical direction.

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