REMIX KITS 101!

[Originally blogged 11/13/06]

Okay, I’m writing this from a simple perspective:  I used to put together horrid mixkits.  Ask TERRORFAKT.  My kits didn’t provide jack shit for what someone needed to put together even a mildly interesting remix and didn’t even make sense.

Since I’ve done some 20+ mixes this year (yes, I’m nuts), I’ve also received pretty much every damn type of kit on the planet.  I’m not trashing any one person’s methods, but there’s ways to give people a nice starting off point, and since most of us aren’t getting paid to do these having as much info as possible is always the kindest way to go.

So here ya are, Caustic’s easy steps to putting together a decent remix kit!
1) Everything should be in .wav or .aiff files.  MP3s are what you listen to music on, and are substantially smaller and more compressed files and take away a LOT of quality.

2) Give the tempo/BPMs of the track.   While it’s not that hard to figure out, and some people ignore it anyway, it saves time and allows the remixer to jump into creating the damn thing a lot faster.  This also applies to key changes and lyrics (for you indecipherable screamers).  Plus, it’s kind of annoying not getting it.

3) Do NOT send the entire damn .wav file of every channel.  Not not NOT. [Edit- unless it’s REQUESTED] I consider this a huge pet peeve, as generally in electronic music most tracks are a series of loops.  I’ve received countless, HUGE zip files of tracks that are 4:30 long yet have literally 10 seconds of actual MUSIC in them.  And LABEL THEM CLEARLY!  Editing huge files down into a usable loops is extremely helpful, takes up significantly less drive space, and allows the remixer to just listen to the loop and not have to find the music amongst 4:30 of silence.  Silence takes up space in a file too, people.  If you remember anything from this soapbox rant, remember this point.

4) Save files with vox with both FX and non-FX.  “Dry” vox can help a lot in a mix and allow the remixer to do other stuff to them– vocode or whatever– so supplying both the versions gives a little more room to play.

5) Sending individual drums/noises/samples is also helpful.  Sometimes people like a drum sound but can’t pull it cleanly out of a loop, so single beats (with the FX on ’em, if any) can be useful to a remixer for them to mess with in their own mix and add more dynamics.

6) Send the original track!  Some remixers prefer to not know much about the original recording, but at least supplying the option to hear it is appreciated.

7) Give plenty of time for the remix to be done!!  Sometimes people get in a pickle with deadlines, but most remixers appreciate a nice chunk of time to work on a remix.  I’ve been both lucky (The Gothsicles) and unlucky (waaaay too many) with putting together a mix in a short time frame, so have respect for the people you’re asking for help and don’t just pounce on them.

8) Make it easy to get the kit!  www.yousendit.com or an accessible server is the easiest way and costs little.  There isn’t much need to send a physical kit anymore so get it ready and out as fast as possible.

So there’s a few helpful pointers on how to put together a kick-ass remix kit.  Ta-daaaah.  Now I’m going to actually work.

And x-post if you like.  If you don’t like, fine.:)

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