Remixing Dance Music: Digital Production Basics | King Arthur DJ | Skillshare

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Remixing Dance Music: Digital Production Basics

teacher avatar King Arthur DJ, DJ / Producer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction: The Role of Remixes


    • 2.

      Pre-Production: Determine the Vibe


    • 3.

      Benefits of Using Stems


    • 4.

      Building the Groove


    • 5.

      Percussion and Lead Melody


    • 6.

      Sequencing the Track


    • 7.

      Adding Transitions


    • 8.

      Intro and Outro for DJs


    • 9.

      Legal & Sharing


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About This Class

Song remixes can be a great way to crack into the music industry and build your name as a producer. In this 60-minute class with globe trotting DJ King Arthur (Hexagon/Spinnin Records), you'll follow along as he builds a remix from scratch – a skill that has been instrumental in getting him to where he is today. You'll learn:

  • How to define the purpose of your remix - where will it be played?
  • Creating a groove for your new version of the song with baselines and leads
  • Utilizing percussion to set the tempo
  • Adding in transitions to polish a track
  • Including intros and outros so DJs can easily feature your track in a mix
  • Tips on sharing and spreading the track

Whether you're a seasoned producer or an aspiring up and comer, this class will give you the ins and outs for what you should consider when creating a dance remix meant to get spins. After going through the lessons, you'll share a remix of your own.

It is recommended that you have a basic understanding of digital music production (any digital audio workstation will suffice) to fully utilize the lessons King Arthur shares in this class. 

Meet Your Teacher

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King Arthur DJ

DJ / Producer


King Arthur is a music producer and DJ signed to Don Diablo's Hexagon roster, a sub-label of Spinnin Records.

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: The Role of Remixes: My name is King Arthur. I am a music producer and DJ, musician, artist. All that stuff. Back in 2006, I heard Snow Patrol's song, Chasing Cars, for the first time, and I thought it was the most amazing song I'd ever heard. At that time I was learning how to produce and write music, and so I was like, why don't I make a version of this song that DJs could play? I feel like it's something that is so close to being there. It can be something that would be amazing in the dance music world. So, I downloaded the original song off iTunes, just the normal MP3. I had a friend, who was much further along at producing at the time. I sent it to him, for him to change the speed of the song for me. He had had some tracks that had done really well, and so then we ended up finishing the song together. It turned into be this track that was one of the biggest dance music songs of 2006 and 2007. I got to actually meet Snow Patrol. They took me backstage at one of their shows. I got to hang out them for a few minutes. At that moment, I said to myself, maybe I can make this a career, maybe this is possible for me to give this a go and be a professional musician. That's the beauty of remixes. You can take stuff that you love, that already exist, put your own taste on it and put it back out into the world. When I was talking with Skillshare, we decided that this would be a great topic to discuss with young producers and artists out there because it's maybe the easiest entry point into getting your name out there and getting productions out there and into the music industry. So in this class, we're going to cover some different aspects of the life of a remix. All the way from getting the stems and having an idea of what you want to do to getting it out to DJs, and putting it out in the world for you to start. Hopefully, getting some attention and creating some buzz for your name. Whatever remix you do, your identity and your fingerprints are all over it. From the way that you produce it, the sounds that you use, the way you mix the track. Anything that is unique to your style, you need to have that be a part of your remix so that people know it's you. I wanted to teach this class because it gave me hope to give this a real go and try and make this a professional career when I saw the success of a remix that I did. So hopefully, this class can be wonderful for you guys to learn how to make remixes and can be the beginning of a wonderful journey for you guys with music. 2. Pre-Production: Determine the Vibe: So today we're going to talk about remixes, and I think the most important thing is to have a good foundation to start from. To build that foundation, you need to have an idea of what you're going to do with the song, where you want it to go as far as the direction and sound of it? You also need to think how is it going to be consumed, "Is this for people on Spotify, on iTunes, on YouTube, SoundCloud, or is it for Beatport, is it for just DJs?" This track has to have an identity that can fit somewhere and you need to create that identity from the beginning and it's only going to make the process so much easier in the long run. So, if you decide to make a song that's more built or I guess fan consumption, which is Hype Machine, Spotify, SoundCloud, iTunes, keep more vocals in it to keep it, I don't want to use the word commercial, but keep it very accessible for people to listen to, something they're going to want to listen to when they're walking down the street. That's what you need to think of. If it was built for DJ's and for nightclubs, it's a very different angle in the sense that, it needs to be built and produced in a way that it's going to bump in the clubs on a Friday or Saturday night, where when a DJ plays the record he looks amazing. So, it needs to be sequenced very differently than a pop song or a radio song. It's probably going to be a more stripped back. The kick in the base or need to be so much bigger and a lot fatter, you have to have an intro and an outro of the song that DJs can mix with. So, when a guy is playing in a club he needs to have that 30-second intro and outro to be able to mix in the record and mix out of the record. Your job is to make this record as easy as possible for DJs to play. The easier it is, the more likely they're going to play it. If you make a record no matter how great it is, if it's really difficult for a DJ to play when he's sitting there in the middle of a set and he's trying to think of what should I play next and he looks at and has to decide between two songs, he's going to pick whatever is easiest to play and is still going to work. So as an artist, it's really important to be efficient with your time, especially the busy you get like in the last two weeks I have had to finish two remixes and two original songs while flying between continents, and so organization is very, very key. Have a workflow that you are familiar with that will help enhance your creative process, and one big key to that is just being organized from the get go. So in this class, I'm going to actually keep this really simple, because I didn't have to talk to anyone else, but myself. I'm going to remix a song that is the lead single of an upcoming EP of mine on Hexagon and Spinnin and the original is about 104 bpm and it's a very kind of moody chill track. I'm going to then take it and make it a bit house here that, it's a version I can play when I play out for all my sets because I love the song so much, I think the work was incredible, but the original is not something that would keep the dance floor moving. So my goal today is to show you the process of how I take a song that is not built for the dance floor and make it build for the dance floor. Reach out to an artist or a manager that you love their music, ask for the stems or if none of that comes together, download a song off iTunes that you love and let's start the process of putting this stuff into action. Once you've started to work on this project, start sharing with everyone in the class and we'll all give each other feedback and try to encourage others that we can grow and become much better as producers. 3. Benefits of Using Stems: So, I mentioned before that just taking a song off iTunes is a way to start, but Stems, they're so much more important because you have so much more versatility. Some people have asked, is there software out there we can just extract the vocal off of the track or anything like that? There are some ways we can reverse engineer things, and it's really complicated, and you end up with a version of the vocal that's going to sound pretty rough. So, this is because the way that songs are mixed and produced, if the sound spectrum is 180 degrees from right ear all the way through your left ear. Usually in the track, you have your kick drum and your bass in the middle, and then vocal can be in the middle, or depending on how the layers are pinned to the sides, and if you try and extract something, you can't pinpoint a certain area of the frequency and only want this because in any song that exists, a vocal and the guitar have some of the same frequencies. So, if you try and rip the vocal out, you're going to get some guitar. If you try and rip a kick drum out, odds are you're going to get a little bass drum or bass line in there. So, it's really difficult to try and do that. So, I strongly encourage if you can, get Stems, definitely do it because it will give you so much more freedom as far as creativity and exploring and messing around with whatever you want to do. 4. Building the Groove: So guys, I have my project set up and I've got the stems and I've thrown them into my session. First thing I'm going to do is I'm going to listen to the original and see if any ideas come to my mind as far as direction, or vibe, or sending sticks out to me that could really be important in creating a new identity with the song in the remix. So, I'll play you some snippets of the original song. So, as you can tell from the beginning, it's a very laid-back varying moody song. So, it's a good snippet of the intro, let's get faster but more towards the chorus. So, now, that I've listened to it, I know that this song is not built for the club, this is a radio song, a song for Spotify, a song for iTunes. So, I need to make a version of the song that I can take and play in my sets and in my shows. So, the first thing that I do is I import the vocal stems, already done that. So, the original BPM of this song is 104 beats per minute, which is not something that I can, well, I could play my sets but it will keep it very moody and very vibey. So, I'm going to speed it up to 124 beats per minute. So, when I do that, the vocal sound a little bit different. So, you can hear, it's definitely more, it's already more energy and more tempo to the track which changes the vibe. So, the next step that I do, once I get the vocals in the session, it's about finding the core progression that I'm going to use to build the whole track off of. This is the first building block that you're going to use, and so I kept it really simple and use the exact same chords as the original, because I thought they were really pretty and fit with what I wanted to do. So, here are those chords and they're going to be sped up because I've sped the tempo of the track up. Now that I've got the chord progression and the vocals, we can play a little bit of this together. So, we know that this works because it's the same chord progression as the original song. I need to start building the elements that are going to make this song work on the dance floor and worked for me as a DJ. Because I stated earlier in the video, it's really important to have a really good kick drum, a really good baseline and those need to be really big and fat and warm in the low end. So that in the club, it just really feels good and really hits hard, and I've got to have a really good groove that's going to keep people dancing or make people start dancing. So, the next thing that I do, I start to work on what the groove is going to be underneath this. I'll just take the vocals out, I'll take the chord progression and I'll then say, "Cool, this is the chord progression." Cool. So now, we've got the chord progression and start building the baseline. So, I can start building this groove, so it is going to be really, keep it simple like this. So, I know that with the sound that I'm going for, that sounds good and what I did earlier as I created a couple of different groove templates that I really liked. So, I'll throw you one on there, this is the first idea that I came up with. So, let's put a kick drum in this so we can get a really good idea of what this is going to sound like. That, we're starting to get a groove. Something that's going to get people dance. A rule that I always have, if it's not going to make me dance and make me move, is not going to make anyone else. Not that I know all the answers, but if I can't make something that gets me dancing and moving in my seat and while I'm making the song, I don't think it's going to translate to the dance floor. So, make sure when you're creating this, whatever groove or baseline that the effect that you're hoping it has, it needs to have that effect on you. You are the first person of reference for the song if you think it's going to work on the dance floor. So, make sure you're really honest with yourself about this stuff. So, I've got the chord progression and I got at the beginning of a baseline groove. Okay. So, let's throw the vocal on top of that and see if the baseline groove and the vocal fit together. Okay it works, and it works melodically. But I think groove-wise for what I'm trying to do, it's just really moving and kind of chugging along. So, something that I do is I'll start muting notes. If I think there's too much going on, I'll mute a couple notes. So, let's try muting a couple of these and see if it changes the groove. Okay. It's starting to get there. I still think there's too much, so let's try mute a couple more. Okay. We're getting there, we're getting there. I'll go with what I end up using in the end. It's basically the same type of groove. But I start bouncing some notes and octaves so that it gives it a little more funk. So, if I put the vocal back in, it's got enough like side-to-side swag movement [inaudible] Cool. This'll get people bopping and moving on the dance floor, I'm really digging in it. So, I'm starting to build this track, I've got the core progression, I've got a baseline groove that I like, and I know the vocal was already like. So, let's start piecing more stuff together as far as what's going to create the identity for this song. So, you need to add your kick drum, because it's a dance music track. So, we'll take the kick drum and the bass signer. We'll just play them together with a sub bass underneath it. Okay. I'm really liking that vibe, I'm really liking that vibe. It's really simple, so it's a kick drum and a baseline. We need to start adding some percussion. This is a loop that I've found and I've used it and chop it up in so many songs. I loved the way the high-hat sound in it, and it's got some nice swing to it. So, let me isolate that and play it for you real quick. This is some percussion I'm going to add to the track. Because we've got the kick in the base line, we've added some percussion. So, one thing that's important to do is throw, even if you're not going to have the core progression, kind of piano or string or something in that actual part of the song, play it in there just to see how it fits and make sure everything melodically and groove-wise is working. You just want every now and then check back and make sure everything melodically and groove-wise fits with the chord progression that you've picked to use for the song. So, easy way is take the baseline and the groove in the percussion that I've already created and throw in the piano on top, and just make sure everything is melodically working together. So, cool. It works and it sounds good. So, then the next step is make sure the groove and the vocals and everything are fitting together, there's no clashing. So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to throw the vocals on top of the kick, the baseline, and the minimal percussion that may have been there to make sure that the groove is supporting the vocal, because it's all about the vocal and these types of tracks. So, that is the vibe that I'm going for right there. It's groovy, it's a bit moody because the vocals in that direction, but it's taken a totally new identity as far as this track is something that I can play in my sets, that's going to work on the dance floor. This is what I call it the skeleton of my track, I've got- 5. Percussion and Lead Melody: So, we've got the skeleton of the track here and ready. What I like to do at this point is I like to really focus on the percussion, that's what I'm thinking will be the final percussion. This down the road will end up helping with the sequencing of the song because we need to get almost everything that we want in the track when it's going full on in this section. That's what I like to do. So, I have my percussion loop here. I need to bring in my clap and my off beat hi-hat. These are two essential parts to almost every dance music track. This is an 808 clap that I really love. I used it in a lot of tracks, probably heard it used in a lot of song. This is one of the many variations of an 808. This is the hat that I've used in a lot of songs. I like how it's sharp but clean at the same time, and so this is really good. I know it will fit with the sound of the other percussion that I already have in there. So, I'm just going to set these up. Don't need that. Set them in the mix a little bit better. So, we're going to put some effects on this clap. This is technical, I will have to EQ my clap a little bit at 5,000 hertz and a little bump at 200 to get a bit more body and I'm going to add a little bit of reverb on this so that it has more life to it, isn't such a stale sounding clap. So, let's just do something like this. Let's see how it sounds. There's little bit reverb to give it a bit more life. We've got the clap and the hi-hat in there now. Let's listen to everything all together. Cool. So, I'm really liking that. This is really starting to come together as far as how the percussion is going to be. So let's listen to percussion by itself. Okay, cool. I want to add one or two more elements that can bring a bit more character to the percussion in this track and so I opened up Battery and I used the Clik Dub Kit. I was really inspired by listening to some of the Diplo-Skrillex stuff, the Jack U stuff. They used some really odd sounds for percussion but when done right, it adds so much to the track because the unique element that's not in anything else, so I made this little loop. When I wanted to make this loop, I went through and literally just scrolled down and found weird sound that I thought could fit. I thought that was really cool, looking like an off beat and then it was about adding, so together that turned into this, which is really unique sounding percussion and it's like two odd sounds but with everything else it brings a lot of character, instead it is just something like this. So, cool. So, I've got everything. The new percussion also really adds to the groove. So, I've got a really good thing going here. I'm really liking the groove. I like the vibe. How it all really supports the vocal, how the vocal has a bit of a new identity on top of this new sound and rhythm. But I think with this track, I can't just have a bass line groove the whole time, I need to add something else, and so, only I've done is I made this sound. It's kind of hollow but has a lot of reverb on it so it adds, I don't know, a lot of character and mood I guess. So, what I then do is I take the groove. So, it's about compensating a little rhythm that will go on top of the groove. So then, once I come up with any sort of melody, the important thing is the melody fits and accentuates the groove of the bass line, so I'm going to drag this over here. I'm going to pull up the MIDI of the bass line. I'm going to pull up the MIDI of my lead sound that I've made. I'm going to place them on top of each other and make sure and just play them together and see how it sounds. So, as you can tell that any time the bass line plays, the lead sound is hitting right on top of that and I really like doing stuff like this because it creates space in between each notes. But it also creates really cool harmonies between the bass line melody and the lead melody, and it also makes sure that the lead, the groove and rhythm of the lead doesn't get in the way of the bass line. We all know the bass line already worked with the vocal and what the chord progression so the lead is then, that it fits with the bass line, will also fit with the vocal, and the chord progression. So at this point, I've added my lead. I've got my lead. I've got my bass line. I've got my percussion. I've got my chord progression and we've got the vocal. So now, let's listen to everything. Listen without the vocal, let's make sure everything sound okay. Let's also throw the chord progression in there and make sure everything, the piano, chord progression to make sure the lead and everything fits. Cool. This is basically a part of the song where I think this is as busy as this track should be. There's nothing missing in my head as far as where I want to take this in my head. I'm not missing anything on here. That's really important to have all of your ideas that you think you could want in the track down in one section that could be everything. Because from here, we're going to start dividing out and sequencing the song. So, when you've got all of your elements in there, you know it's really easy to start building the track. How you want to add elements, how want to take things out and all of that stuff because you have everything. All of my creative ideas are down. Now, it's about taking the creative ideas and placing them in the right order that's going to make the track flow together really well and build and dropout and all of that stuff. 6. Sequencing the Track: So, now we have, in my opinion, everything I need in this song for when it's going to be full on. So, from here, it's a matter of how are we going to sequence this track out, and we're gearing this one more towards the dance floor. So, because of that, I need an intro and an outro that deejays can mix in and out of the song, and then most club tracks have breakdowns and drops. We've got these elements, and now we need to start telling a story with these elements to help create the identity for this track. So, what I'm going to do is listen to the vocal and now I put the chord progression underneath it just so I can have an idea of where I'm going to start building things. So, in my head, that is a verse in the original song, but this could be a great first section of the breakdown after the intro and outro. I haven't made the intro yet. I always do that last because I want the track to be great. The intro and the outro are only there to support the main meat of the track. So, I'll do the intro and the outro last. So, this will be, that's going to be the beginning of the first breakdown. So this section in the original song is more of a pre-chorus. So, I think, if it's a pre-chorus in the original song, I like how it sounds, and there's the chorus. So I've got to think how am I going to build this track to get to the chorus and have the hooks be in underneath the chorus. So, it's subtly coming in because I'm gearing towards, when the chorus and the original vocal comes in, the baseline is going to come in to create a moment and really get things going. So, then we'll take the section that we had over here, where everything was full in, and I want to create enough of a difference where it's not full on, but there's still really good energy and a really good groove right when everything kicks in. So, then I would take the kick and the baseline and just throw it underneath that part of the vocal. Let's see how it sounds. So, that's cool. So, the groove is now implemented. So let's just listen from the end of this. Okay. Cool. I'm really liking that. I like how an attitude to the song comes in right there. So we've got our first beginning of our breakdown, what will be the build eventually into the first drop. So we've got the initial drop. That's good, but I feel like there could be more going on with the groove. So, I'm going to add just the original loop that I had. I like that. So let's just see how it transitions from right end. So, automatically, just adding that little bit of percussion just adds so much more when the track first drops in. So, I really like that. So, from here, just copy things out to keep going underneath the vocal. So we've got everything, but the problem is we can't just have that keep looping over and over and over again, or else it will stop being interesting. So, one of the thing that I usually do is I take my clap and I bring it in halfway through the first section of the drop. It's just really subtle, but it keeps things moving along just enough. Well, I think it just really keeps people interested. So we've got this. I think something else needs to come in right there because keeping it at that level is really missing some things. So what I'll do is I'll unearth the hi-hat that I have, that I brought in earlier in the track, and just put it in, and we'll see how that adds. I really like that. It's another subtle element to add a bit more energy. We can throw in that little quirky percussion that I had as well and see how that sounds. It sounds really good over the groove, but I think bringing back some more melody, maybe the chord progression will make the vocal pop and stand out even more. So, in the second half, something I do in a lot of my tracks is after it's grooved out for a second, we take the piano from the breakdown, this is the same chord progression throughout the whole track, and drop it in right here, and see how it sounds on top of the groove and everything. So there's some stuff melodically that's not right there. So, the chord progression over here is very different than the first time around, which is here. So, what I need to do is, I need to take the baselines and open up the chord progression. I'll move the baseline notes so they fit melodically exactly with the chord progression of the piano because if the thing does not fit together melodically, this track is never going to go anywhere. So let's listen to this now. Let me mute the lead sound. So hopefully, you guys can hear the difference from the ending. Let me mute the vocals just so I can really clarify the difference in the ending. So this one ends like this. This one ends like this. It's important that everything lines up melodically. Something that I do in my project files is, if I ever have something looping or going over and over, and then there's a change, I change the color of it, so I know that it's different. So as far as organization, it's really easy to see visually, that this section is a little bit different than the previous ones. So, that's just a simple tip that can be really helpful as far as work through an organization workflow and organization, and your project files. So, what we're going to do is we're going to have a section. This is what I call like a post chorus. If we solo the vocal, the vocal goes back into what is the second verse of the original song. On the first breakdown in the song, we had the first verse. So, the second verse is here. For dance floor purposes, I think the song is it keep grooving along. It could go right into another breakdown and sometimes that works. But in this track specifically, I feel like there needs to be more groove to keep the track chugging along and keep moving. What I've done is I've just copied the bass line over with no percussion at the beginning. Just copy the bass line over, so that it transitions and keeps the groove and momentum going. Okay. So, we've got that and it works. I know it works. We've done the test the chord progression and all that stuff. So, I've got this section here to keep the momentum going and like we did in the first drop, we have it coming with just the first percussion loop and then we add the clap and the high hat and the quirky percussion. We add that slowly to keep momentum going. So, we'll do the same thing with this section. Where it comes in, it's just the kick and the bass line and the vocal. Then, halfway through the first section of it, we're going to add in a high hat or a clap to just add some movement. All right. So, we've got that section now. We've got this idea of, it's not a drop, it's not a breakdown, it's what I call post chorus just to keep the momentum going, where I can really have the vocal. I can keep the vocal from the original intact. So, I keep the song there, but this is built for the dance floor. So, that section, as a part of the song where everyone on the dance floor's going to keep dancing. We've got the groove and the kick really moving and all of that. So, we've come up- this time, I want to use the chorus a little bit differently, where it doesn't come in with the drop. So, this is going to be where the second breakdown is. The first breakdown and the second breakdown should- I shouldn't say never be the same, but you want there to be some difference. You want each breakdown to have its own identity, so that there's a little bit difference, so that it keeps things going and people don't feel like you've just copied and pasted the track over and over and over again. So, we'll do the same thing as the first breakdown, where it just drops down to everything. But the vocal on the piano. Then like we did in the other breakdown, we're going to add in some melodic stuff to help build some momentum. Another really simple thing to do in breakdowns, to just add a little bit of spice is, add a clapping over the top. It's really great. It get people clapping in the club, little things like that. So, we're going to add the clapping and the little melodic section that we had. So, we've got that and that is essentially the build to head back into the groove. Something that I did in this project is, as I listen to this section, I feel like there's something missing for when it goes into the drop again, which is the bass line, the kick, and some little percussion. So, we just have a drop. So, something that I did and I tried this is, to maybe add something else to that section that fattened it up, and have a little bit more going on, a little more fore sounding is, I just brought the bass line over underneath that melody, to try and add. I really love the way that the melody and the bass line play off each other. So, we'll just listen to it with that and there is worlds to see the difference and hear the difference. But does it starts to introduce the groove again and it starts at a bit more energy in the builds, that when the drop comes in, it's not too much of a shifting of gears. It's not like we're trying to skip over second gear. We're going from one to two to three much smoother than just one to three. Then in this part, assuming this is going to be the same as the first drop, as far as I'm sequencing at a percussion, is I think these tricks just worked really well, where halfway through the first section you add the clap back in. You know what? The high hat and the quirky percussion here, we've now started to have an idea of how this track is going. We've got the first breakdown, we've got the build, we've got the first drop, the second part of the drop, we've got what I call the post chorus section, or we can call it a verse if you want. Then we've got the second breakdown into the second drop. So, all of this is just the core parts of the song that we talked about sequenced out in different ways and layered differently in different parts of the song. From the piano to the piano and the bass line to just the bass line to everything all at once and percussion coming in and out. These are all things that you will need to develop on your own as far as how you want to layer the different parts or sequence things out and make it unique to you. But the key parts are your breakdowns, your intro and outro for DJs to mix, and your drop. How each of those look should vary from song to song, because every song is different. But those parts need to be consistent as far as they all need to exist in this type of track for it to work on the dance floor for DJs to play, and to give yourself the best chance of people picking up your remix to support it. 7. Adding Transitions: So, now that we have the track sequenced out, the next thing to do is to really figure out how to make each section transition into the next section well. So, that can be done with effects, adding different percussion, sweeps, fills, all sorts of things, a white noise sweep. So, we've got our normal. What's the build section. So, that's okay. But if we add a white noise sweep, and then a crash or a white noise crash, this will make the transition sound so much better. It really smooths out the difference between those sections. You can find tons of sweep samples online. I know Vengeance makes some great stuff and there are lots of other companies where you can find all sorts of things. But a simple white noise filter sweep where you just EQ or use a cutoff and just roll it off and then bring it back in, and then have your crash sample whatever you want to be right there when it all hits back in, those are really simple things. Another thing that I like to do, especially before the drop comes in, when there's a big build or sweep, have some sort of percussive fill or vocal fill or something that adds something unique to get people ready for the drop to really come back in, so I've added. This one is two layers. One is the snare I think one is a kettle drum. This one is, [inaudible] So, I've layered those and it's just a really simple bum, bum, bum, fill. It's really, really simple but I think it adds. These are things that just add a little bit here and there to make your track just that much better. Another thing that I like to do is in sections and breakdowns, when it's, there, between one part of the break and into the build, I use what I call it a sub kick or a sub boom, which you can also use a crash. But that's a bit more on the high end of the spectrum. But this is at the low. It's just, I mean, it's a sub boom, a boom that's really down in the low end of the track. Putting that underneath when a new section kind of starts and a breakdown, just adds just let's everyone know there's another part right here. This is a new section. This helps keep the momentum going and carry. So, let's listen with it. Here's without it. Then with it, I think there's a little real things. Then, another really big thing. Once you've got your track sequenced out and you want to start getting things from one section to the other. I do a lot of stuff with kick drums. So, as we have the drop here the first part of the drop and the clap is about to come in. I do a really, really simple. Instead of having the kick, just be one, two, three, four, I cut the last kick and I nudge it over, so it's coming in the offbeat. You get this. It was a quick little double kick here. In the second half of this section, I cut out all four. Well, yeah, all four of the last kicks, and then have another kick in the off beat right there, to let you know, "Oh, another section is coming", and these are things that work really well on the dance floor, taking a kick out and then kind of putting them back in. Because so much of this music that's built for the dance floor is played on loud systems, that when you take a kick drum or the bass line out, it's very, very noticeable in a very loud system. Little subtleties with the kick drums go a long way. Another thing that I do in almost every track, and this is something that Don Diablo taught me and told me about. He loves it and he's got me hooked on it, is reversed piano sound. How those help with transition? So, it's really simple. What you do is you take your piano. Everything except the first chord and the chord progression. We add let's see what we used. I used the Space Designer, I used the Abbey, which is a nine second reverb. So, it's a huge reverb. So, it really carries. You balance that. Open this back up and make everything playable. Then you open up the audio file and you reverse it. I don't know whichever software you're using. It's really easy to reverse a sample. So when you get it, you get something sounds like this. We'll play it right into the piano so you can hear what I'm talking about. So, you play that with everything in there. It really brings the piano in quite nicely. It helps each section stick out but then flow right into the next section well. So, this is such a huge part of a track despite it not sticking out as much as the maybe the melodies or the percussion or things like that. So, make sure you have your transitions down because it will pay huge dividends in the end. Try and experiment on so many different things and see what works for you. But transitions are really important and they're only going to make a track sound so much better. 8. Intro and Outro for DJs: All right. Now that we have our track and we have the whole body of it, how we want the sound, the sequencing of it all, we have to make this something that DJs can play in their sets. So we need an intro and an outro. So, now we're going to work on the intro which I have right here. So, the intro is going to be basically what I did in this song, it's the drop section percussion just copied and thrown at the beginning. So, you got your kick, your clap, the loop high hat and then the hi-hat loop and then just the individual high hat. So it's just really simple as far as sequencing this at the beginning. It's really standard stuff here. The second time around, I add the clap or the hi-hat sorry. So, it's really simple because the intro and the outro are not going to be the part of the song that the crowd is going to hear the most of. The point of this intro is for the DJ doing a mix into the previous track, and the point of the outro is for the DJ to go the mix the next song in. The basic core of it is the percussion. I usually add maybe one melodic element so that it starts to bring in the vibe of the track and so on this one, I just put the baseline in and I've slowly fade it in. It's really simple. So, we've got that whole section. The intro and the outro. I always wanted the quickest things to do and I don't mean to say that they're the least important, but as far as the success of a song is going to be from the drop, the breakdown and the transitions and all of that. So that is the meat of the song. This is just to be able to get DJs to mix it in and mix it out. As you notice on here though, I have a little gap between where the intro ends and the breakdown begins. So, I'll play this without that little gap. That works but usually DJs don't want to rush right into the vocal right after the intro ends, the vocal coming in right away. Something that really frustrates DJ. So a really simple thing to do is, and these are already elements we have in the song from earlier tips, is you have your sub drop at the end and then what you do is you put a reverse piano on top of it. So it's a little bit of a pause from the intro into the first breakdown. So I'll play it with everything in there. So that's my intro. It's really simple but very effective. So then we'll look at the outro. The outro is a little bit different because I always find the outro a little bit harder because I don't want to say I struggle ending a song. If I like a song that I'm working on, I just want it to keep going but the problem is I have to end it, I have to bring it to conclusion at some point and it's a matter of figuring out how to get to that conclusion without it sounding too abrupt. So we've got our chorus section with everything going on. This is kind of a post course section again, starting to bring the track down a little bit. So this is really the outro right now, this is where it's just starting. The outro for me is about slowly just taking elements back out of the song so that it just gets down to the percussion at the very end. It's 32 beats of just percussion before the track is over so that it's really easy for DJs to mix in and out of. If there's too much going on melodically in your intro and your outro, it's going to limit DJs as far as when they can play it as far as mixing into and out of because every song is written in a certain key. Your job is to make music you love and a song that you believe in and that is totally you and that you want to share with the world, but you have to remember if you want DJs to play this or you want this to get played in clubs, there are almost certain rules that you have to add into your track or play by an intro and outros are those rules, not too long and not too busy. You want to get to the point but get there well. Work on your intros and outros they can make a huge difference and if DJs are going to play your songs or not, and that's so important with with remixes. 9. Legal & Sharing: So now that we've finished our remix, our job is to now take the remix and try and get the right ears on the song. But you've got to remember a few things. If you do not have permission to legally release the song on SoundCloud or play it in radio sorts of things like that, you can possibly get in trouble, and by get in trouble I mean the label will email you and tell you that you have to stop putting the song out. You delete it off all of your social media and all that stuff. I had an experience where I got paid for a remix, it got played on BBC Radio once six weeks in a row, and I thought I had permission to upload it to my SoundCloud, but found out that I didn't. The label that paid me to do the remix had SoundCloud sending me message saying I had to take it down. So I received the strike on my SoundCloud account. Even though I was paid, even though I had all the rights to do the remix, sharing it is a tricky thing. The labels are really trying to figure out how to go about this right now in the world of streaming because so much of it is new and so many labels are still trying to figure out, "Do we want stuff online for free or do we not?" You're not going to get sued for thousands of dollars or anything like that, they'll ask you to take it down and you need to be respectful of that because you are not the owner of the song. Once you start sharing this stuff, it's important especially for the remix like this one that I made today, is pick your audience and pick it well. Whether it's deejays, know which deejays would actually play your song. It's so important not to spam people because deejays are so busy, they're playing tons of shows, they're jet laged, they're flying all over the place, they're trying to write a bunch of new music and then they get sent hundreds of songs a day. So, be really polite, make sure you pick the right people to send the songs to, and it's okay to follow up a couple of times. Don't be annoying, don't follow up every day. Send it, give them a few weeks, if nothing back, send a nice polite follow up email and then try a third time. I did that back in the day when I was first getting started, I emailed people and I let it sit for a couple of weeks and I follow up and sometimes people miss emails so it is okay to follow up. Also keep it personal. It's so important because deejays are sent lots of songs and anything that you can do to stick out through an email is going to help. Not send you something drastic, radical and crazy but just a personal story of how their music means something to you or what inspired this song. Once you finish your remix, you've done a lot of the hard work but now even more hard work is about to come and that is taking this remix and sharing it with the world. Best of luck with everything guys, upload your songs. I'd love to hear some, I'd love to check some out. I'll be checking back periodically to listen and give feedback. Good luck and keep making music.