Publish at August 01 2022 Updated August 01 2022

Understanding the subtleties of music remixes

The Internet allows you to learn how to be a mixer or DJ for little or no cost

While everyone can strum the guitar for fun or piano on a keyboard, they are rarer those capable of creating tunes. Musical composition does indeed require special talents whether for a soloist or an ensemble. Nevertheless, technology has led to another type of artistic creation that is a bit more accessible: remixing.

Mastering the turntables

Turntablists have been gaining importance in the musical sphere for several years. They have managed to compose danceable pieces and tunes entering the radio charts. Let's not minimize the talent of Guetta, Harris and others who have managed to carve out a place for themselves in the hearts of listeners. Nevertheless, DJs (disc jockeys) can experiment more easily than a traditional instrumentalist. Even easier today with software and hardware that no longer requires wearing out vinyl records.

This is not to say that one should not learn to become a DJ. Quite the contrary since it will be necessary to find the right tools and know how to use them. On the Internet are paying courses to master all the various materials out there and to grasp the different techniques and terms. Nevertheless, less affluent purses need not necessarily deprive themselves because there are dozens of videos on YouTube made expressly for those just starting out.

Here is one French-language example among many:

Learn to mix

In fact, on Google's video platform, many tutorials are offered for a related activity: remixing. With audio software becoming more and more accessible, it's entirely possible to create mixes of songs with different beats. But what about legality? Obviously, those wanting to make it commercial and share it on sites like Spotify, YouTube or Deezer will have to contact the rights holders first to avoid committing copyright infringement. On the other hand, for strictly personal use (without any related remuneration or sharing), there is no need to go through all these steps.

However, there will be many things to consider before embarking on such an activity. You will already need to think about the piece you want to remix. What will the creator bring in addition? A little more rhythm? A distinct approach to the chorus? Be careful not to completely distort the original work, which may turn some people off. A good mix provides something unique to a piece so that it practically becomes an alternative version. After that, it will be necessary to know how to isolate individual tracks such as vocals, instruments, etc. It will be necessary to think about your progression and rhythm as well. To help, a site records the harmonic data (key and BPM) of more than 70 million songs.

Those who are more hesitant can turn to apps that simplify remixing. GarageBand, a famous and very popular music software, since summer 2021 offers remix learning. Other solutions are offered online that make it easy to create tune fusions for free or for a small fee. Each has unique properties and also limitations.

Potential educational uses?

The remix does not necessarily have to be of artistic interest. It can also be an idea in order to interest students in other areas of study.

The giant Amazon has partnered with three native artists to continue, in early 2022, a programming contest. Thus was born "Your Voice is Powerful" which invited high school and college youth to use EarSketch, a free coding program. They had to compose a unique song from the repertoire of Quebec hip-hop singer Samian, Ontario singer-songwriter Jayli Wolf and Vancouver hip-hop artist Dakota Bear. Although the competition ended at the end of May 2022, the modules are still present and allow us to hear, among others, the winner of the 2021 edition. The idea was to interest First Nations youth in the programming. Moreover, EarSketch is offered in French, Ojibwe and Inuktitut.

This original initiative shows the possibilities of sound mixing to learn. For example, why not think about creative writing by mixing classical or modern French, English or Spanish songs? Would it be possible to design a mathematical workshop where students have to play platinists by calculating a rhythm (by BPM)? With a range of free or low-cost technological solutions, why not consider remixing as a future educational tool?

Photo credit:


"6 Online Audio Mixing Tools For Remixing Music Like A DJ." ISkysoft. Last updated April 22, 2022.

Benessaieh, Karim. "Learning to Code On Du Samian." The Press. Last updated February 23, 2022.

Brown, Griffin. "How to Remix a Song: Learn to Isolate Vocals and Add Your Touch." IZotope. Last updated July 15, 2021.

Connaghan, Tyler. "How to Remix a Song: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide." EMastered. Last updated August 22, 2021.

Haroosh, Itai. "How To Remix Any Song Legally And Never Get Sued!" Wealthy Sound. Last updated October 13, 2021.

Hartley, Jamie. "Online DJ Courses." We Are Crossfader. Last updated June 10, 2022.

"How to Start Becoming a DJ - A Beginners Guide." The Wire Realm. Last updated January 10, 2022.

Magny, Andre. "Remixing Songs By Native Artists To Learn To Code." École Branchée. Last updated March 23, 2022.

Matla, Sam. "How to Remix a Song: 21 Powerful and Practical Tips." EDMProd. Last updated September 9, 2021.

Morse, Phil. "Learn To DJ: The Proven Method That Will Work For You." Digital DJ Tips. Last updated November 16, 2021.

Roy, Gautam. "27 Killer Tips to Remix a Song! [Step-by-Step]." Recording Base. Last updated December 28, 2021.

Your Voice Is Powerful. Accessed July 27, 2022.

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