5 Remix Tips with KLP!
We’re giving you the chance to go all DJ Big Ted and remix the Play School theme song!
The competition’s sick and it’s running until May 29th – you can download the stems, read the T&Cs and get to work over here.
Before you do that though, you might wanna check out one we prepared earlier, along with some handy hints. House party host and resident remixer KLP has twisted the Play School theme into an uplifting mega-jam: hear it (and get her remix tips!) below.
Don’t feel the need to use every single stem from the original.
Some great remixes only use 1 or 2 parts and the rest is made up of new ideas. I start by dragging every stem in and pressing mute. I don’t generally keep any of the drums or percussion, but I’ll turn on the other parts one at a time and find 1 or 2 to focus on. If you are using Ableton, you can group tracks which makes it easy to mute a few at a time and play around with what needs to be turned on. You can see what I mean over here. Keep in mind, sometimes less is more.
You don’t have to stick to the original tempo (bpm) of the track.
Play around with speeding it up and slowing it down so you can really take it in a new direction. The original Play School theme is at 88bpm, but my remix ended up at 108bpm.
Use your own skills to your advantage.
Maybe you play guitar, maybe you play drums and can add some live percussion. For me, I love vocals and can sing and write lyrics and melodies, so I decided to use that as a major feature of the remix. I started singing along some new melody ideas and played around with lyrics that would talk about the idea of staying ‘young forever’ and finding a fun place to let go and go crazy… like Play School. Ha ha! I then recorded the lead vocal and layered it up to create 5 takes (or doubles) so it sounds like a gang. Next I added an octave below, and then some harmonies on top. Once I had enough layers to sound like a big group, I slightly panned a few of them so it sounds like they’re coming from different parts/sides of the room. Here's a visual example for you.
Plan out the structure in your session.
Most programs have features to name sections - in Ableton, you can right click along the very top of the session to add and name locaters. Sometimes if you have a lot of tracks it can be overwhelming and confusing to look at as a whole. However if you plan out and name each section, it’s easier to see the sections where you could strip it back, and where you could build it back up again to create dynamics and a great flow.
Learn how to warp/time stretch properly!
So many times I hear remixes that have parts (in particular vocals) warped or placed out of time! A lot of programs have great built in time stretching plug ins, and Ableton is pretty bloody amazing at warping; however it doesn’t always get it 100% right. You need to make the decision to either totally change it up and give the part your working on a totally new pitch and rhythm, OR work your butt off to get them in the original rhythm/layout.
GET TO WORK BBs! We’re so excited to hear what you come up with!