A remix is an alternative version of a recorded song, made from an original version. Sometimes this term is also used for alterations of media or recreation other than song (film, literature, beverages etc.). Remixing is the adoption, alteration, and recombination of pre-existing cultural texts (songs, literature, paintings, etc.) to create something new.
A remixer uses audio mixing to compose an alternate master recording of a song, adding or subtracting elements, or simply changing the equalization, dynamics, pitch, tempo, playing time, or almost any other aspect of the various musical components. Some remixes involve substantial changes to the arrangement of a recorded work, but many are harmonic, such as creating a "vocal up" version of a song that emphasizes the lead singer's voice. Contemporary remixes are often produced in a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), which allow producers to reorganize tracks and apply various effects.
Songs are remixed for a variety of reasons:
- to give a song a second chance at radio and club play
- to create a stereo or surround sound version of a song where none was previously available
- to improve the fidelity of an older song for which the original master recording has been lost or degraded
- to alter a song to suit a specific music genre or radio format
- to use some of the same materials, allowing the song to reach a different audience
- to alter a song for artistic purposes
- to provide additional versions of a song for use as bonus tracks or for a B-side, for example, in times when a CD single might carry a total of 4 tracks
- to create a connection between a smaller artist and a more successful one, as was the case with the chart-topping remix of Brimful of Asha by Cornershop
Remixes should not be confused with edits, which usually involve shortening a final stereo master for marketing or broadcasting purposes. Another distinction should be made between a remix and a cover. A remix song recombines audio pieces from a recording to create an altered version of the song. A cover is a recording of a song that was previously recorded by someone else.