Just as remixing requires a very particular set of skills, you can also benefit from a few well-honed and expertly crafted tools. In this gallery, we’ve picked out what are, in our opinion, the top tools available today for ripping, twisting, pitching and spinning older tracks and stems into completely new pieces of music. From sample organisation to the latest in digital signal processing, knowing the best tools of the trade can greatly benefit any prospective remix projects.
Don’t get us wrong, just owning these tools won’t make you a master remixer, and neither will forgoing them make you less worthy of being the next Daft Punk; but when used correctly and with the right attitude, they can help you unlock your potential and take your remixes to the next level. It’s not about what you’ve got - it’s about how you use it!
Read the full Ultimate Remix Masterclass in the September 2018 edition of Future Music.
The king of pitch editing software is unsurpassed in its level of fandom and its ability to manipulate polyphonic recordings.
Once it’s analysed a piece of audio, Melodyne splays its notes out across the piano roll display and lets you edit them like MIDI. It can also pull off tempo and groove matching, and enables timbral adjustment with spectral editing.
Melodyne has gone from being a small miracle to a wonder of the modern world. It’s available in various editions, plugin and standalone, and if you have an ARA-supporting DAW (Studio One, Sonar and, soon, Logic Pro), it’s baked right into the editing functions.
We may be preaching to the converted here, but Live’s creative clip- and scene-based workflow make it a transcendental piece of software for coming up with new spins on old ideas, trying out wild combinations of sounds, and exploring totally new creative avenues.
As well as the powerful but simple arrangement feature found in Live’s Session view, it’s also replete with some of the best timestretching and pitchshifting algorithms out there, as well as loads of editing, slicing, warping and chopping functions that’ll make short work of any genre-twisting remix task.
Load a beat into Regroover and its intelligent algorithms will split the source sounds into an approximation of its constituent elements. It’s great for transforming rhythms in unexpected ways. And it’s not solely for beats: anything that can benefit from a bit of source separation and de-bleeding can be shoved in!
Regroover can be at its best when it gets things slightly wrong. Let it misinterpret a layer that isn’t there between hi-hats and kicks, or split a snare in two, and you can tell the software it’s got things wrong… or run with it and come up with something truly new!
An insanely powerful piece of software that should be in your toolbox whether you’re into remixing or not, RX is unsurpassed in the once-unthinkable things it can do to audio.
Its machine-learned noise reduction algorithms can bring dusty old recordings into the light again, and that’s just one of its many tricks. Try algorithms such as Deconstruct to split any signal into its constituent noise and tonal components, then separate these two elements into something completely unexpected. Experiment: mess with settings and dial in extreme controls to use its power to your advantage and see what you can come up with.