Should You Be Submitting to Remix Comps?
I recently had a healthy debate with a friend over whether or not artists should be submitting to remix comps.
He landed on the side that artists shouldn’t and they are a waste of time. I pushed back quite hard as I just don’t see it that way.
Remix comps should be a tool in every producers aresenal.
Whether you win or not, should not necessarily be the goal in mind. Remixing is not easy, it’s a skill of it’s own. There are many, many terrible remixes that DO NOT do the original justice…
And then there are remixes that are legendary. Remixes that have stood the test of time and still to this day are true classics, arguably bigger than the original. That is what makes remixing so difficult and so unique compared to writing an original.
Think the Skrillex remix of Cinema. How about Illenium’s remix of Don’t Let Me Down? If I Lose Myself, the Alesso remix, huge track! All arguably better than the originals.
With that in mind, this showcases how important having this tool in your arsenal is.
Check out this episode of the podcast where we dive into the logitisics of remix comps and whether or not you should be submitting to them!
What You’ll Learn:
- Why remix comps are around
- How to approach remix comps
- What to avoid in a remix comp
- Negatives of a remix comp
and much more!
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Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy
Hey guys, welcome to electronic dance money, your number one business resource for making money as electronic musicians and producers.
Yo, yo, what’s up, everyone? Welcome back to another episode of electronic dance money. I’m your host, Kristian besito. And we’re gonna be hanging out today discussing remix comps, and whether or not they’re worth it, or if they’re just a complete waste of time. Hope you guys are doing well. I am hanging out this week, just grinding on some work getting some stuff done. By the way, if you guys haven’t checked out, I’ve got a new playlist set up. I’m playlisting new artists weekly, or I should say new tracks weekly. But most of I’d say probably 80 ish percent of all the tracks that get added to the playlist are from pretty small producers that you probably haven’t heard of, that most people haven’t heard of. So this is one of my ways of trying to support and find new artists and new awesome tracks. I’ve been doing it for about four weeks now four or five weeks. So if you want to check that out, I’ll have a link to that playlist in the shownotes. And if you want to submit your track as well, if you feel like your track would be a good fit for the playlist, you could submit it by sending me an email at promo at envious audio.com. That link will also be provided in the show notes. Reach out, let me know if you want to get added. The playlist has been a ton of fun. And there’s just a lot of really, really amazing artists that I’ve met through Play listing them. It’s been fantastic. I talked to you guys about this a few weeks ago about how valuable playlisting can be like playlisting other artists starting your own playlist, tagging people in it’s provided both myself with a ton of value and other artists. So it’s I mean, it’s a great thing to do, it’s a great way to give back to other producers support other artists. But the whole playlist is pretty much straight up just bass house, Drum and Bass, some pop stuff, a little bit of like really epic sounding electro style trance stuff. So if you’re making anything in that genre at all in those genres, I should say, then you’d probably be a good fit if your track is good enough. So go ahead and reach out. And hopefully we can get you playlisted though for the time being, why don’t we talk about today’s episode. So I got into a nice little argument, a healthy argument with a buddy of mine a couple months ago about whether or not people should be submitting remixes to remix comps, and if they’re worth it, or if you’re just wasting your time, I argued on the fact that it is worth it like there is a lot of value that you can get on remix comps. He didn’t think there was really any value at all, because the odds of you winning them are very slim, slim to none which he is true. He’s right. He’s right on that on that front. And we’ll be talking about that in a little bit here. But there I still think that there’s there’s more value in remix comps than there isn’t. And we’re going to dive into those different topics and those different ideas of why remix comps are worth it are worth your time why you should be striving to create remixes and submit them but regardless, he’s He’s not wrong there. You know, there are negatives to remix comps. I wouldn’t say there’s like time wasting negatives to remix comps. But depending on where your headspace is, it can be a negative. So let’s let’s get into first. Why are remix comps around? You know, is it because labels really have no idea who they want to remix the track? Is it because it’s a fun thing that an artist thinks would be a good good time spent looking for a remix for the track and they don’t know who should remix their track? Is it because the labels want to give back to artists? Or maybe the artist wants to give back to other producers? What’s the reason why remix comes around? Well, I guarantee most of it is probably because not any of the things I just mentioned. I would argue that it remix comes around and labels do remix comps and sometimes even artists do remix comps. And this goes into you know this idea of what we’re getting into of why remix comes around could be a great marketing tool for you. And that right there is the key phrase marketing. So you know, take two Take a note from labels. Take note from artists that remix comps can be very valuable for you the one putting on the remix comp, or, you know, in this case, it’s very valuable for the label and the artist. And going back to the term of marketing. That’s basically the sole reason for these remix comps. Yes, artists get get something out of it, right, smaller unknown artists can, it can be a big opportunity for them. But let’s not get it twisted, that remix comps are around because it is a fantastic marketing tool for both an artist and a label. If the label wants to make money on a record, after they sign a big artist, and maybe the artist is taking a big, big cut, because that’s how the artist plays. That’s how they work. And they’re going to invest a lot of time and money into it and resources. They want to make some money back on that. What’s one way they could do that? Well, after the release, how about two weeks after Why don’t we continue the marketing program and announced that there’s a remit term for it. Now you get 10s if not hundreds of artists, sometimes 1000s of artists, all remixes a track sharing that track. And in promoting it for potentially, you know, days if not weeks on it. And a lot of the times it’s weeks on end, it can go for an entire month, where artists are creating their remix, they’re sharing it, they’re posting about it. And it just creates this additional buzz around the track stuff that was not there either pre release or post release, or that they want to maintain post release. So don’t get it twisted. A lot of these remix comps are just a great marketing tool for artists and record labels to keep the word going around to keep the buzz moving. And for new new people to be introduced to the track or to remind people that hey, this track is still around. And let’s think about after the remix comp, they can continue even more promotion after the remix calm, which sometimes the remixes aren’t released for two to four weeks, if not six weeks after the remix comp is done. So let’s say the track is released January 1, the remix comp starts February 1, they take through March 1, to actually get all the tracks submitted, choose who the winner is. And then they take another two to four weeks, April 1, right mid March April 1 for them to release a track. And then that’s promoted for another two to four weeks. Or maybe it’s you know, a month and a half after they select tracks because they’re going to do pre release stuff, which could be two weeks or promoting and then another two to four weeks after it’s released. So now you’re looking at a release from January is being promoted. From the first of January all the way potentially through Nay. That’s like a it’s a you know, you’re looking at like five to six months of promoting a single, which is wild, or you know, it could be multiple tracks on album or just a you know, a single track on an album. But regardless, it’s usually a single, but now you can see you can get a good idea of why remix comes around what is the motivation for a remix comp, it can be fairly lucrative for just a single, especially if you have a big enough artists where it’s gonna pull in a lot of people or sometimes it’s just the allure of a label. It doesn’t even have to be a huge artist. But the fact that spinnin records is doing a remix comp, I could get released on spin it and that’s what everyone’s thinking is where are they going to get out of it, which is being signed to spend in getting respect? Self actualizing? Right? We’ve talked about that in the past. So
with that in mind, you have to you got to come at remix comp with a strategy and you have to understand what some of those pros and cons are with working with essentially what is a marketing tool, a marketing tactic. Now with that in mind, why is it that I think that remix comms are worth it? Because, again, going back to my buddy in our conversation, he is right on some things that there are negatives, to remix comps, that may not be worth your time. That being said, I think that’s a scarcity mindset. And I think that’s 100% where the negatives come from with a remix comp. So if you have this negative scarcity mindset, where you just don’t think they they’re worth it. You don’t think you could win you don’t think this would happen or that would happen. If that’s the case we’ll going into then yeah, you’re not going to put your your best foot forward into a remix. You’re not going to think that you’re actually going to win. And with that in mind, you probably won’t win so if you don’t win then you’re a bad taste in your mouth and you’re gonna be like, you know, these are, these are Polish shit these suck They’re, there’s nothing good from them. It’s just a big waste of my time. Now, there’s things that you can do in the remix comp to avoid that as well like, like I should say, producing your tracks, there’s ways you can write your track, where you can completely subvert the fact that you think, Well, they didn’t choose my tracks. So this was a big waste of time. What a waste of writing a song, the way you get around that the way you get away from this idea of well, this is I wrote, I spent all this time on that track. And now Now I now I can’t release this, you know, that was, the way to get around that is. And this is why I tell everyone if they’re working on a remix or a bootleg, if you’re ever starting to work on a remix or a bootleg, you should use one thing and one thing only if they allow it. And that one thing is a vocal, write an entire remix around a vocal and only use the vocal do not use anything else. Why is that? Well, think of it this way. If you were to write a remix or bootleg and you can’t release it, for whatever reason, you know, the label doesn’t want you copyright issues, bla bla bla, well, then you can just strip that vocal, take it away, and now it’s an original, you could put another vocal on top of it higher top liner, or you could just release it as an instrumental and release it as an original. Now it’s no longer a waste of time for something that track to a reacts and you didn’t win. So that completely gets rid of the issue of while I spent all this time writing and tracking, I can’t release it. Very, very important to only use a vocal in a remix comp, if you can. Sometimes they want you use like four elements. So if that’s the case, then what you do is you use like the kick is the snare. And then maybe you use the vocal and then use the lead or the baseline or something, something simple that you can basically extract and replace with something else. So now it turns into a an original, it’s very easy to replace a kick, it’s very easy to replace a snare, it’s pretty easy to replace a baseline, I’d say a lead is a lot more difficult to replace then and baseline. So that’s why you should focus on those elements. When you’re when you’re writing a remix, or you’re writing a bootleg so you can strip them. And now it’s an original, you can tweak them and release them and you’re basically good to go. If you don’t want to do all that you can usually get away with posting the track as a bootleg so not an official remix, just post as a bootleg online. And depending on where it’s at, you can probably get away with it. SoundCloud can be kind of fishy sometimes it really depends on who the artist is that you’re re mixing or writing a bootleg for. So keep that in mind you can you can usually get away with releasing as a bootleg. Now let’s go into some of like what you actually get out of a remix comp, when you do a remix comp, what are what are most of the positives that you’re getting out of it. The biggest thing that I think is very valuable to applying for remix comps or submitting your tracks to remix comps is really just learning how to remix remix thing is entirely different than writing an original, an original track in in some ways more than not. But really, when it comes down. Really when it comes down to remix thing like you you have to learn to use other people’s stems are multi tracks, you have to learn how to write around a vocal which can be very, very, very, very, very, very
useful. If you know how to just immediately start writing a track around a vocal it’s how you can just quickly download a splice vocal right track around it, send it off to top liner and have them writing original overnight. Not only that, but if you want to get even more creative, you take the stems and you sample them and you adjust them and change them in different ways. So now you’re practicing how do you samples very similar to what Daft Punk does. A lot of Daft Punk music is all sampled all their old stuff. It’s sampled from older tracks, but it’s all original. I was actually just talking to a buddy about this when he was in town for South by Southwest and like how why is Daft Punk music so good. It’s because they take these these once old classic tracks are these really amazing originals that no one has heard of, and they turn it into something unique and different. That sounds like Daft Punk but still has remnants of the original in it so that it still has that soul that character so you can do that with remix and you can you can learn how to extract what’s good out of a track and alter it a little bit and make it a little more unique to your style and your taste which just carries over into writing original music One of the most valuable things about why you should be remixes submitting them to contest now that why you want to submit those to contest is because there’s still opportunity there. If your music is good enough, if you’re good enough, you could potentially be signed to a pretty big label. And now you have an in you have a foot in the door, not only do you have a foot in the door with the label, do you have a foot in the door with pretty much every other producer that wrote on wrote for that remix, or were the original artists, you’re also going to be tapping into their network, they have the original artists, they’re probably going to be posting the track or record labels gonna be posting the remix. And so now you’re tapping into their fan base, and you’re just extending your net worth out. Now going back to the other artists that are writing a track, for the same remix content you’re submitting for, this is just another major opportunity for you to start reaching out to other producers and connecting with them. Ones that write in a similar similar style to you. Ones that are at your same level, maybe they’re a little bit above you or below you. Regardless, you know, whatever your thought process is, if you want to find someone that’s better than you and you want to learn from them, or you want to teach someone in, in, grow with someone that’s a little smaller than you or not, not up to your level, but you think you might be able to help them and bring them up to your level and you really like their music and you see the potential that they have. Well, that’s your opportunity to network with them, connect with them, collaborate with them, and just expand that network out and support them. And hopefully, they’ll support you back. So just the interacting and networking with other producers and the opportunity you have there can be massive, especially if you win the remix calm, because everyone’s gonna be thinking Damn, I wish that was me. And if you’re reaching out to other artists, and you’re like, you know, I actually really liked yours, I’d love to collaborate with you, that’s going to be massively promising for you and the smaller artists and they’re going to appreciate that so much more. And you’re opening up a door potentially for them as well again, think go giving, right the Go Giver, don’t forget about go giving, being in a remix comp is also going to give you an opportunity to be able to test your skills and compare your work directly against others that are working with the exact same elements. Now I don’t think it’s always healthy for you to compare yourself to others, that’s never good. For the most part. In this case, though, you’re given an opportunity where you can start to look at other artists that are working exactly with the same things that you have, and start to compare your work to theirs and go, You know what,
what makes there’s really good, what makes this different from mine, or vice versa, what makes me different from this artist, and now you have an opportunity to start to actually like completely analyze what you’re doing, can in comparison to others and see how you can fix your mix, right? They’re all they’re all working in the same key. They’re all pretty much you’re all pretty much working in relatively the same frequency space. But it’s it’s it’s tough to compare your work to others when their work is so much different from yours. And I’m talking about originals, right. So if you’re writing bass house music, and you’re scrolling through Spotify playlists that are built up of other bass house tracks, it’s an unfair comparison, when you’re comparing your work to theirs, when their work might be in a different key. Their work might be using different entirely different samples that are just not even relatively close to yours. They’re hitting completely different notes. They could potentially be using completely different sounds and there’s just there’s there’s so many differentiating factors involved with comparing your original to other originals that now you can get lost in the weeds of like I suck entirely and that imposter syndrome really kicks in hard because you’re comparing an original to an original. If you’re comparing your remix to another person’s remix, you can make a more fair judgement on where your track lacks compared to theirs. What you could improve on compared to theirs. Why there’s Pop’s in this specific area compared to yours. Especially if you’re you know working with just a vocal and everyone else is just working with a vocal then you can really get an idea of like well how does my vocal mix compared to theirs? Because you both have the same vocals process the same but how is it fitting in your mix compared to theirs? So gives you a really good insight into your skill set and why your your track didn’t work compared to that other person and what you can start to improve upon always my sound selection bad Am I downplaying the right notes? What was their arrangement arrangement look like compared to mine compared to the original there’s so there’s so many positive factors that are still within the correct or the correct realm of being able to compare your stuff and not get over the weeds into that imposter syndrome area where you’re really fighting against yourself for no other reason than that little voice in the back of your head telling you that you suck because you’re comparing original to an original, honestly, my opinion, the least concerning factor of what you get out of a remix comp, but the one you shouldn’t even really care about or be thinking about, because it doesn’t necessarily help you all that much with growth is gonna be prizes, you know, prizes are all involved with remix comps, whether that’s gonna be software, you know, you get a bunch of plugins, you get a release on the track, you get, potentially, you know, sample packs or hardware, like there’s a number of things that you get for prizes, and a remix comp, and it’s, you know, usually first place prize gets an official release. And then second, third, maybe even fourth, get some smaller prizes, like some software or gift card or something like that. This should be the least of your concern, especially that number one prize, because remember, like I said, my buddy is right, the odds of you winning a remix comp are fucking slim to none, you have to be the best of the best bring your fucking a game and just kill it. And the odds of that happening when you’re competing up against 600 other people, it’s, it’s very difficult to reach that. So don’t be thinking about the prizes. And this really brings us to the end of the podcast episode where I want to mention, going back to my buddy again, in this mindset of if you have this scarcity, negative mindset about remix comps,
or whether or not if you don’t, you know, maybe you don’t right now, but you’re you’re starting to feel like you should have a negative outlook on remix comps based off of what I’ve discussed today. Don’t, because you need to go into the remix calm with the mindset of what I’ve just laid out, you’re not going into it. Because you’re going to get released on this major label or you’re going to get this piece of software, you’re going to get this piece of gear, you cannot go into the remix comp with that mindset or that thought process. Because that’s gonna lead you down a bad road where you’re gonna get a bad taste in your mouth, you’re gonna hate the the label or the artist or the or remix comps, in general, because you didn’t win because you had this mindset that you thought you’d win. Now, I still think it’s important to have a winner’s mindset and a positive outlook like I think I could win this, I think that’s important. But you should be going into remix comps, with the mindset of this is a tool one of many tools that I can utilize for myself as a producer to get better at remix and get better at writing learn to network with other producers. Find out why other people’s tracks work better than yours, and take it as a learning opportunity. Similar to the idea of what marketing is. And if you don’t know what marketing is because we’ve discussed it in the past. The goal of marketing is not to make more sales or get more customers or get more clients. That is not the goal of marketing. That is a symptom of marketing. The goal of marketing is to find which tactic reaches your target audience in the best way possible, and reaches as many of them as possible. And the symptom out of that of reaching the right audience with the right message is that you will get more clients and you will make more sales. And so re mixing is essentially the same thing. The symptom of having an amazing remix and entering into a remix comp is that you will get one of these prizes, you will get a release with a label and have your name next to the artist. That is a symptom of having a great Remix in a remix comp. The goal of submitting to a remix comp should be that you’re testing your skills, you’re interacting with other producers who you feel are are at your same level or around it that you want to be around and you’re learning how to remix a track and you’re just using it as a tool for your growth. Again, the symptom is going to be one of those prizes, but it should not be the complete end goal you should be going into it with the with the idea of this is a tool that I’m going to utilize to better myself as a producer going into remix comps, with that idea in mind is going to make the remix comp feel more fulfilling. It’s going to make it feel like you’ve been working more so towards an original for yourself and a remix for another artist and if you win it’s going to be so much sweeter that you’re almost a little surprised like holy shit I can’t believe I won this okay now I’m feeling like I’m at a much bigger level than I than I previously thought going into this before we get out of here I’m
just adding this in after I’ve already recorded edited I’m actually getting ready to post the podcast I recorded this a couple days ago but I have to mention this because in my client discord someone actually mentioned as I was posting the podcast episode what we think about remix comps, and he had posted a remix comp that he was thinking about creating a remix for but he mentioned the terms and agreements looked pretty pretty sketchy and I 100% agree with him part of the terms of agreements and this is very important so I’m adding this before we go because this just I completely missed this I didn’t think to even mention it I’m very happy he brought to my attention so that I can bring it to your guys’s attention but read the Terms of every remix calm make sure they’re not sketchy terms like this. Now listen this this is what is a part of the remix calm. He said just read the rules for what I’m interested in. But it says you can’t one. Post the remix to SoundCloud that’s most remix coms, honestly, to perform the remix in a set, that’s crazy. Three offer the remix as a free download. That’s a little more. It’s not as crazy but I still think it’s weird. This is the wild terms and agreement like the number one red flag. The remix is the property of the label, win or lose. This is that’s a bullshit fucking remix comp. That is a terrible rule. If you ever see that, that’s a fucking red flag, run the fuck away do not apply and avoid that label. Because if the label is willing to do that to people who are giving up their time, they’re freely submitting their track and it’s now the property of the label without ever signing you they are to promote you they don’t have to do anything. What the fuck are they doing to the people they sign? They definitely don’t treat the artists that they sign with as much respect I can guarantee you or I should say much more respect but this is a massive fucking red flag I told him avoid it. Never go never avoid that label do not use do the remix comp is it is terrible. Now with most remix comps with bigger labels, you can usually get away with posting on SoundCloud like I said that depends on the label on the song SoundCloud’s copyright algorithm can flag your thing and just nice post it that can happen but you know giving away the track is a free download. You can usually get away with that with a big enough label because there’s so many people submitting to to it and remix them track that like the the odds of them combing every single one of those is slim to none. If a remix blows up big enough, that label sends like a cease and desist letter or strikes your track most likely you already benefit benefit out of it by getting a decent following from the remix or the labels gonna be like you know what, let’s actually just sign this. So in which case, you know both scenarios are great. But this is just a terrible remix comp, terrible label and it blew my mind. So I need to add this in there. Read the terms and agreements read the conditions and the rules. And if they’re this nasty, stay the fuck away from it. That’s pretty much it for today’s episode guys. Keep this in mind. Look for remix comps, and submit to them. If you if you feel like this would be a good opportunity for you and you want to release on a specific label or work with another artist. Or I should say a bigger artist that you would be re mixing for but had to envious audio.com/episode 75 to check out the show notes and I’ll talk to you guys next time.
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