Caveat Remixer? The low down on remix competitions

Bored at home? Missing the awesome Edge Labs? Why not try a remix?

Laptop Rockers – probably the most comprehensive remix list site I’ve found. Gives you a short summary of the track on offer, deadlines, cost and prizes. Indie bands, bedroom producers up to major label superstars – they are all here.  If you find the choice overwhelming, how about starting with La Roux or Mos Def?

If you don’t have any software to remix on, don’t despair, some remix competitions come with their own web-based remix tools (the Nissan/LaRoux site even has simple/advanced options) or try Sony’s AcidPlanet . You’ll find  free, cut down version of Acid 7 available, and plenty of regular remix competitions from Sony artists.

If you are into the lastest underground electronic sounds, check out the FOEM contests and forums.  There are some legendary minimal/tech producers with tracks up for remix, and the contests usually last for months, so there is plenty of time to go all O.C.D over your blippy masterpiece.

Not into being competitive?  – download the parts to  R.E.Ms latest single and re-interpret the old(er) rockers (thanks Matt!). Prefer your music french and funky? Have a go at Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. Like industrial gothic post rock? N.I.N has been making multitracks available for years, in all sorts of formats, for free – once you sign up for his site of course.

Speaking of free – or otherwise – some sites like beatport.com, a DJ oriented download site, charge for remix parts. Personally I think this is a great way to decide not to do a remix, but if you really want to remix Laidback Luke for $3.99 US  – got for it.

Before you go ahead and spend all your spare time mashing up a storm, three things…

You’ve gotta be in it to win it – but do it for the love.  The chances of winning any of these comps are pretty low, and its not just about skill. Judging can totally personal, or it can be a facebook style spam your friends personality contest. Remix to have fun and gain skills.

Read the FAQ and eligibility AT LEAST. Even if you don’t read the whole rules, its better to learn that a contest is only open to indigenous Venezualans before you start.

If you do read the rules, you will notice that you will almost never, ever ‘own’ the parts to the remix (unless its under a Creative Commons license of course), and have to give away ALL rights to your remix.  So if you want to mash La Roux and Mos Def together, be aware that you’re breaking both contests rules, in a whole bunch of ways.

Sure, Danger Mouse got away with Jay-z vs The Beatles on The Grey Album. But he never tried to sell it….

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