Go Beyond Sampling and Looping
Have you ever wanted just the vocal part of a song? Or, how about the opposite, where you wish you had just the backing track? DJs and remix producers go through great lengths to acquire track stems, loops, acapellas, and other bite-size sections of songs for sampling and remixing. In the old days of DJing, the only way to create a loop was to have two of the same record, which made it possible to capture and extend a portion of a song by reversing and crossfading between both pieces of vinyl. When CDJs became available, looping could happen with the push of a button. And now, with computers, DVS systems, and Loop Stations, it’s easier than ever to remix with loops.
Cut and Paste…
When sampling became available in the 80s, producers created entire songs from parts of songs. (The “Amen break” is a perfect example.) However, it’s still very challenging to extract just the vocals from the mix. Unless you have a direct relationship with the record label who publishes the song, or have access to special-issue vinyl sold through DJ records pools, getting the individual tracks of a song can be pretty daunting. And the made-for-DJ-records are usually singles that include several mixes of a song and an acapella track on the flipside, not the individual stems. Modern digital record pools typically provide the acapella track, too, but not always. Since vinyl is pressed for a short time, and digital record pools only provide acapellas of songs supplied by the labels, options can be limited. Despite all the hurdles, some of the best samples and loops have been found, and continue to be found, on rare and obscure records. And new shows like Fuse’s “Crate Diggers” showcase the producers and DJs that have given new life to these obscurities.
Crate Diggers: Jermaine Dupri
Published by Fuse
Evolution of Technology…
If turntables, mixers, and samplers pushed remixing to new heights, then R-Mix is a step into the future of music. Imagine if you could take an entire song from start to finish and just extract the vocals, or maybe the backing track without vocals? R-Mix makes this possible. You can even extract the drums from a song, or bass, or just the guitar if you like. For a pristine studio-quality guitar or any instrument from a song, you still need the individual track stems from the recording session, but R-Mix can do a ton of heavy lifting and boost your creative palette exponentially. When you’re putting a mix together, you’re essentially constructing a collage of sounds. An individual track may not sound good by itself, but when combined in a mix, it can sound amazing. It’s the difference from looking at “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by Georges-Pierre Seurat up close and stepping back to observe the entire piece. Knowing this, R-Mix can be a rather invaluable remix tool and muse.
3 Ways to Use R-Mix:
1. Remixing and Mashups…
You could select desired components from a mix and freely edit them, such as panning positions and individual levels of instruments. You can also add effects to these individual elements and even adjust the pitch and speed. Once you’re satisfied with your edit, you can save it as a WAV file. Drop your file into any DAW to construct your remix.
2. Creating Karaoke Tracks…
Create “minus-one” type karaoke tracks from existing songs by selecting the vocal part and lowering the level. You can then save the file and either start creating a karaoke database or pair the track with an acapella from a different song.
3. Creating Practice Tracks…
Like the karaoke example above, you could create practice tracks for instrument parts by selecting and lowering the desired instrument in the mix. For example, say you want to learn a complex guitar riff, you could select the guitar part from the song, solo it from the mix, and slow it down to analyze. Once you feel that you’ve mastered the riff, you could eliminate the original one from the mix and practice your playing with the rest of the song. It’s like karaoke for guitar. This could be very useful for bandleaders and tribute bands. Simply solo and lower the levels of the desired instrument, save the file and hand it over to your band mates to learn.
Remix with R-Mix Audio Processing Software