Remixing Britney

Remixing and producing music is one of my biggest passions. It’s something that I’ve considered making my major in college many times, in fact, I’m considering it at this very moment.  Growing up, I began taking in interest in remixing after my mom bought me multiple cassette and CD singles as small stocking stuffers during the holidays. Although in the U.S. they are usually considered obsolete now due to digital music outlets, physical singles were probably my favorite gifts to receive as a child – and my mom didn’t mind buying them either because of how inexpensive they were. Singles for pop artists usually include one standard song along with a remix or a b-side (usually a track that didn’t make it onto the album), except in the case of maxi-singles which can include multiple remixes and edits. The remixes, especially on maxi-singles, were always my favorite to listen to because I found it interesting to hear different interpretations and presentations of the same general song.

We had a personal computer and internet very early into their introduction to the general public, so I have pretty much grown up with computer access for my entire life. When we installed a then-new CD burner around the year 2000, the installation disk came with early remixing software known as Mixman. I quickly made use of this software and produced multiple rudimentary tracks in the years following. In 2006, I stumbled upon of a newer remixing software known as Dance Ejay 7. It quickly became my favorite program to use because of the ease to put something good together, although it took me a few years to fully master the software.

I soon began remixing by putting together melodies that sounded good and then adding the artist’s acapella. These tracks were often remixes of Britney Spears. Vocally, Britney’s voice is very fun to mingle with – it’s easy to twist it into how you want it to sound, but at the same time it retains it’s unique sound. Musically, her tracks are usually pretty straightforward and the most fun to remix. I find it most fun when remixing to give a song a totally different sound and feel, and the straightforwardness of her songs often make it easy to experiment and change the melody at will.

Although I do enjoy making general dance mixes, mashup remixes are also some of my favorite to make. These are by far the easiest to produce because they don’t require making a background track, rather, it is taken from a different song. Mashups usually consist of two tracks blended, and can be done in many different ways, but my favored choice is to take relatively unknown remix instrumentals (for other artist’s songs) and combine them with a vocal from a different track. Although it still takes time, it’s easier because it’s more of a process of arranging rather than melodic creation.

Earlier this year, a collection that I put together of some of my remixes got major exposure on the BreatheHeavy homepage. I was absolutely grateful for that and completely taken aback by how much positive feedback I got. It’s really nice and fulfilling to know that other people like what you’re putting out there. A few months later, a mashup I did of Britney’s Circus and Lady Gaga’s Applause was also featured. I’m currently working on a new set of remixes, hopefully to be out by the end of the year.

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2 responses to “Remixing Britney

  1. Oh cassettes and singles CDs, the good ole’ days. I almost miss the simple technology that we used to have, like walkmens. It is really cool that you know how to makes mixes and such. My team and I were talking about making a mashup of hammer time and ice ice baby and I was wondering what program to use to do that, maybe if you have some free time you could help us out on making that happen?

    Btw congrats on all the positive feedback on the BreatheHeavy homepage, and I love your blog layout, so modern and crisp, it reminds me of an actual website.

    • Thank you! For mashups, Audacity is the tool I use most because it’s free and it’s really easy to use even though it has kind of a boring and basic design. Once you get used to it though, it can really do a lot. I’m currently working on a TON of Britney remixes that I originally planned to have out months ago so I might be able to, it just depends on when you need it! Thanks for the comments on the layout as well; I wanted it to be simple and fresh but still have a tiny bit of color.

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