Friday, March 2, 2012


This week I created my first remix. I was inspired by the callout from the local hip hop collaboration Backburner and Handsolo Records, to create a remixed version of the song "Heatwave". You can watch the original video here.

Now, I've been an editor since high school. I've edited documentaries, music videos, promo videos, foley and audio scores. I've also recorded music with friends on 4-tracks and onto my computer, but I have not dabbled much in music production and song remixing on my own, so this was a new endeavour for me. One thing I did know was that this song could use some flute. I listened to the song repeatedly and jammed along, scribbling notes that accompanied the song nicely.

Onto the recording process, I started by doing what every financially struggling indie artist does every now and then, and that is, borrowing gear. I was hoping my friend's MBox would do the trick to capture the sound, but the software was not co-operating with my operating system. The techno age gap was too great. We tried different connection methods and I almost had it working as a line-in to my computer, but ended up with a heck of a lot of noise from the mic input.

So after fiddling around with that for a night and the following morning, I scratched that idea, decided to switch gears and use a digital recording device. Thank you Liminal Arts for providing the recorder. It worked wonders. We set up in the spare, empty room in my apartment to give the flute natural echo. The recording was pristine, despite my creaky floorboards. We recorded a couple tracks, with ample bars to be looped and mixed as desired.

I spent the next day laying that track in with the acapella track of Heatwave in Garageband. I really love the original production of the song and I wanted to pay homage to that sound and maintain the integrity of the original version, while giving it, new elements and a unique flair. I cut up the instrumental track, added FX to different sections of it, removed some of it, subbed in a new drum track in parts and overlaid instrumental elements here and there, moving, cutting, adjusting the sound.

The end result, a remix I'm quite pleased with. The flute feels like a natural element in the track, the new drums have a snazzy kick to the song and the original elements ground it back to it's roots. I would love some feedback, don't hesitate to comment, praise or criticize. I wanna hear it all!

Have a listen to my remix here:

I submitted the track on the day of the contest deadline (Feb 29th) to the record label. They will pick their favourite and that selection will be included on a vinyl single of "Heatwave"! It's always been a dream of mine to have some of my work on a piece of vinyl. One of these days, it will happen. I'm not harbouring any expectations from this particular project. The whole process was a fairly new thing for me, which will hopefully lead to some more flute accompaniments, live or recordings. It was a four day experiment, which turned out to be a great deal of fun and I now know I want to do more of it.

Here are my words of advice for those looking to branch out with their music production. Don't be afraid to:

  • try something new
  • push your boundaries,
  • ask for help (and accept it if offered)
  • be open to ideas

Finally - Do not give up if you fail after the first attempt. When it seemed I had no way to record and my troubleshooting was unsuccessful I nearly stopped, gave up, thinking I had no way to do it, not enough time to get my gear/mixer from across town, all these roadblocks that I thought I didn't have enough time and energy to overcome. By accepting a suggestion of an alternative way to record and jumping on that chance, I managed to get it done! I learned the software as I went, honing skills and having fun.

Whether it's the best submission of the bunch will be up to the judges, but I can tell you it is definitely an original one. With live flute and the remix stylings of dj mediafrenzy it's bound to be one of a kind.