How to Remix a Song (Beginner's Complete Guide)

Ali Abdaal

Are you a musician, DJ, or music producer looking to strengthen your fan base with some cool music hits? Well, then I guess you know how much listeners love remixes. That being said, here we’ll teach you how to remix a song. We will start from the very beginning, assuming you are only getting started.

However, if you are a pro seasoned in the art of music remixing, this post is still for you. It doesn’t break a bone to get a quick refresher on just about anything in life. There’s always a new way of remixing songs. So, stick with me and learn. Remixing of songs has been around for quite some time now. It’s a clever way that non-artists get to tweak the style of a song so that it appeals to a given target audience.

Song remixes push an average song to the top hits category, where it gets the attention of many listeners. That being said, how do you go about remixing songs? Well, it’s pretty easy. Technological advancements in the sound industry have made song remixing all too breezy. Keep reading to get the details of it. By the end of this post, you will very much be a pro DJ with incredible song remixing skills. I bet you will also land your first remixing gig pretty soon.

Table Of Contents

What Is a Song Remix?

Remixes are versions of songs that have been reworked so drastically that they no longer sound like the originals but still retain some of the song's essence. The remix producer uses the component audio files (guitar, bass, drums, and vocals) that make up the song's "stems" to construct and arrange a new version of the song. All aspects of a song can be changed, from the tones and structures to the harmony, pace, and lyrics.

However, it’s important to note that song remixing is illegal if done without the blessing of the artist. Remember this applies when you intend to use the remixed version of the song for commercial purposes. People have been jailed and some fined heftily for the same. Yeah, it amounts to theft of intellectual property.

However, there’s always a workaround. Just seek the permission of the artist or owner of the song so that you reach some sort of arrangement on how to share the spoils and then you should be all set to start remixing your favorite songs. Alternatively, you can choose to remix the songs for personal use.

Do You Need Permission to Remix a Song?

Yes! Remixing and posting a song online without permission is against the law, and you can be sued for it. You need permission from the song's copyright owner, even if you merely used a fraction of a second of the track. Make sure you seek approval before getting started. But to whom or where do you ask for permission to remix a song? Here is what we found out!

Where to Seek Permission to Remix a Song?

There are two ways you can be granted permission to remix a song:

But what if you already uploaded a remix without the original artist's permission? What might happen? Read on!

Consequences Of Uploading a Remix Without the Artist's Permission

Suppose you uploaded a remix without the original artist's permission. Here's what will probably take place:

With that said, what are the requirements to remix a song? Here is all you need.

What Do I Need to Remix a Song?

Here are the two requirements:

Obtaining the song's stems is a prerequisite to working on a remix. Stems are the individual audio tracks from the source project. You can find these items in several places, such as remix competitions. Nevertheless, an artist or label typically provides a platform containing existing stems for producers to use.

Numerous digital audio workstations (DAWs) are available as remixing tools. You may remix a song in Audacity, FL Studio, Garageband, Ableton, or Pro Tools, among many other music editing programs. You can even remix songs with mobile apps. Now that you know what's needed of you before working on a remix, without further ado, let's dive in and create a song remix.

A Comprehensive Guide On How to Remix a Song

For those starting, here's your guide to creating your first hit:

1. Choose the right track to remix.

Selecting the proper song from which to create a remix is essential. Work on a piece of music that you genuinely love. Please don't give in to the temptation of working on a hit song because everyone else is doing it. Just do whatever feels right to you. First, we recommend creating acoustic or minimal songs, as these styles require fewer components and are easier to master.

2. Spot what needs to be changed and note it down.

When you've decided on a song to remix, give the original a thorough listen and jot down any thoughts that come to mind as you're listening. For example:

3. Resize The Track

It's optional to maintain the entire song while doing a remix. You can choose which elements to use or focus solely on the vocals. Keep the vocals if you want to preserve the song's credibility. Remixing a song with only the original vocals is an advanced technique that comes out well.

4. Get your stems (remix source)

The most crucial tool for making a remix is a collection of stems. Stems are audio files from the original project, including but not limited to drums, bass, piano, guitar, vocals, etc. The quickest and most legitimate approach to obtaining stems is to ask the original artist or their manager/label for them. That's why you need a master use license before legally using the song.

However, when participating in a remix contest, the official stems will be available. The tournaments are organized, and the stems are provided. For example, you can find items at SKIO Music and Remix Competition Portal. However, we suggest acquiring them directly from the creator.

5. Check Out Some Alternate Mixes

If you want to learn how to remix a song, it helps to hear other people's ideas. It's a terrific way to get ideas flowing by listening to other people's remixes. You can hear what other people have done with a song by quickly searching on YouTube. Be wary of imitating the remix too closely while imitating another remix.

6. Arrange your remix

Not getting the arrangement down early is a common reason people abandon remixes. Arranging your remix is like constructing a game plan; it provides a feeling of purpose and allows you to take a step back and assess its overall progress.

Quickly after brainstorming, a rough outline should be drawn up. Since you have some starting points provided for you, you should be able to get it done more quickly than working on an original.

7. Try New Things to Get There

When you make a remix, you can play around with the source material however you choose. You can alter the song's atmosphere however you like. Make your song stand out by chopping up the original voices, grooves, and transitions and adding intricacy and severely processed stems.

8. Take Note of Your Work

Listening to your finished product multiple times is crucial. After finalizing the production of your music, it is important to hear it via the ears of a listener. Pay great attention to each of the elements you've crafted. If there is a part of the remix that you do not like, you will need to improvise.

9. Consider a New Approach

Things sometimes work out differently than we expect them to. If your initial attempt did not meet your expectations, make another one. Remixing the song in a new way can solve this problem.


Have you been interested in making a remix? Due to the evolution of technology, remixes have become an integral aspect of the electronic music industry. Now, you can remix a song after reading this guide. However, ensure you comply with the legalities required before remixing a song.

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