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Thinking about your direction

From: Remixing a Song in Logic Pro

Video: Thinking about your direction

Establishing a musical direction. I find this to be actually one of the most important parts of the process. Some of my favorite remixes over the last 10 years are the ones where I stepped back, sat down, and took time to figure out my musical direction prior to starting my actual remix. I love to sit back and just listen to the vocals. It's actually a very, very inspiring process to just listen to nothing but the vocals. Hopefully, the vocals for your remix will inspire you.

Thinking about your direction

Establishing a musical direction. I find this to be actually one of the most important parts of the process. Some of my favorite remixes over the last 10 years are the ones where I stepped back, sat down, and took time to figure out my musical direction prior to starting my actual remix. I love to sit back and just listen to the vocals. It's actually a very, very inspiring process to just listen to nothing but the vocals. Hopefully, the vocals for your remix will inspire you.

I like to sit back and listen to the song maybe two or three times from start to finish. This way you can make sure that there's no key changes, nothing that happens two and a half, three minutes into the song that catches you off guard. It's always good to think ahead. That's really the important part of listening to these vocals. In addition to just the pure enjoyment of listening to well recorded vocals by themselves, I usually find my creative inspiration at this part of the process.

It's very exciting to me to sit back and actually forget about the music that was underneath these vocals in the original version. That's something that you have to be careful of. I actually don't like to listen to the original versions of songs too many times and there have been times where I've actually not heard the original version and just been sent the vocals and I purposefully did not seek out the original version because I didn't want it to steer me in any sort of direction. I don't like to listen to the vocals too many times, it burns my ears out and clouds my perspective.

This is a theme that we will cover in upcoming movies as well. Keeping perspective on your creative work is extremely important. If you're just listening to 8 bars or 16 bars are just Verse 1 and Chorus 1 over and over and over, you will absolutely lose creative perspective and it will be very difficult to sort of pull yourself back and imagine sum of all parts as a whole as opposed to just a section here or a section there. I love to listen to other people's remixes.

That's actually something I do even when I'm not working on remixes just to get a vibe, a direction, it's very exciting to seek out what other remixers and producers are doing because sometimes I'll hear a base sound or a baseline or a set of chord changes and go that's really cool. I think I'd like to implement that into a track sometime. That being said, I make it a point not to copy or knock off another person's work. There is a fine line between hearing a musical idea, a musical riff, a baseline, a track, a set of chord changes and then actually completely copying it and ripping them off.

That's not what I mean. I like to get inspiration from hearing the way that someone arranged a song, the base sound they chose, the baseline they played, the drums, the vocal editing, all these things play a part in my mind and help me establish a creative direction prior to programming any drums or playing any keyboard parts. I'd like to think of my studio as an extension of my brain. When I get an idea, whether it's a drum loop, a baseline, a keyboard part or even a melody, I'd like to be able to sit down and immediately capture that idea.

It's really important to think of the studio this way. It's also very easy to get tripped up and hung up in the electronics, the software. So I encourage you to think about music away from the computer, prior to actually starting your remix. It's important for you to find your voice, be original. There's nothing wrong with inspiration and paying tribute to your inspirations within a track but it's very important for you to establish your own sound.

If you hear ten other guys that are doing the same thing that you are doing, it's going to be very difficult to stand out and separate yourself. So all of these things play a very important part in establishing a musical direction prior to sitting down and even listening to the first drum loop. I hope these tips and suggestions help you. The more you work, you'll come up with your own list and hopefully, these five suggestions will get you going in a direction sooner than later.

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Image for Remixing a Song in Logic Pro
Remixing a Song in Logic Pro

35 video lessons · 6681 viewers

Josh Harris
Author

 
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  1. 16m 14s
    1. Welcome
      1m 8s
    2. Using Logic Pro as a remixing environment
      4m 45s
    3. Optimizing Logic's performance and monitoring system usage
      4m 29s
    4. Working with software synths
      3m 15s
    5. Using the exercise files
      58s
    6. Relinking audio files
      1m 39s
  2. 22m 51s
    1. Setting up your session
      2m 34s
    2. Determining and verifying source BPM
      1m 30s
    3. Lining up vocals over a kick drum
      5m 36s
    4. Choosing destination BPM and time-stretching in Flex mode
      4m 30s
    5. Exporting time-stretched vocals and importing into a session
      4m 23s
    6. Thinking about your direction
      4m 18s
  3. 22m 50s
    1. Using Apple Loops
      6m 8s
    2. Auditioning drum loops
      5m 46s
    3. Layering drum loops
      4m 45s
    4. Drum loops and drum programming
      6m 11s
  4. 19m 56s
    1. Chord changes and harmonic structure
      4m 18s
    2. Getting bass sounds and programming bass lines
      8m 50s
    3. Layering bass sounds and side chaining
      6m 48s
  5. 34m 20s
    1. Choosing foundational synth parts and sounds
      11m 46s
    2. Layering synth parts
      10m 21s
    3. Lead line hooks
      5m 37s
    4. Synth candy
      6m 36s
  6. 12m 19s
    1. The importance of arranging
      2m 26s
    2. Arranging your track
      9m 53s
  7. 23m 3s
    1. Creating vocal samples and transitional sounds
      11m 57s
    2. Advanced vocal editing techniques
      5m 44s
    3. Filling holes in the arrangement
      5m 22s
  8. 47m 30s
    1. Mixing philosophies
      6m 30s
    2. Mixing drums and bass
      5m 40s
    3. Mixing synths and transitional sounds
      12m 14s
    4. Mixing vocals
      10m 36s
    5. Final touches, referencing, and mastering your final mix
      5m 17s
    6. Listening to the final mix
      7m 13s
  9. 47s
    1. Final thoughts
      47s

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