Re: Mix

July 20, 2008 10:48 AM

I want to start remixing songs - how do I get the stems/individual tracks for a song?

I know I could get away with just getting an acapella and building parts around that, but if possible I'd also like to mess with all the other parts of a song. Is there a good site to get stems, or do I have to directly contact the label/artist? If it's the latter, how friendly are the labels/artists generally about giving their stems away? Do they give them away to just anyone?
posted by god particle (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

In my experience, I've always gotten the original source files from the bands themselves, either other bands on the label I was on, or other bands who knew those bands. If there are any relatively unknown bands that you happen to like, you may want to drop them an email and see if they have any remix kits that they wouldn't mind sending to you.

Be aware that most labels aren't so friendly about these things, but there are exceptions:

Nine Inch Nails releases source files on the official website: You'll have to sign up but there's a lot of insight that can be gained from seeing the building blocks of the tracks of a true master at music production.

Self-link alert: I have a .rar file of one of my tracks available. It's the source files of Fault Lines which I uploaded here not too long ago. The download is fairly large (but small for a remix kit, around 200MB), but if you want to grab it and take it a part to see what's going on with it you can get it here.
posted by chimaera at 1:01 PM on July 20, 2008

If you have the acapella you're golden. Sample bits of the source track you're remixing. Drum fills, breakdowns, etc. When an instrument solos that's perfect material to lift and tweak to your liking for a remix. Without an acapella, it's difficult for a complete overhaul of a track without it sounding like, well, just a remix.

You can also simply learn the progressions and melodies yourself and recreate them creatively.
posted by ageispolis at 5:53 PM on July 25, 2008

hmm, do you have any friends in bands / write electronic music? Thats probable the best way to get started in it. Ask them if you can remis some of thier songs.

Most official remixes are done by requestof the original artist - and the remixer will often be paid for their effort (well if you have a reputation..)
posted by mary8nne at 4:18 AM on October 19, 2008

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