Is remixing the new X-Factor?

toy piano

Or Is remixing becoming the new X-Factor? Whatever you want to say about them, tv shows like the X-Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, America’s Got Talent, etc., are becoming the major way for kids to become pop stars. The temptation to audition for one of those shows is often too much for the budding singer, girl band, boy band, or guitarist, and when they finally reach the live shows, there’s the chance to get free publicitiy, exposure, critique of their style and ability. Even if they don’t make it all the way to the final, there’s always the chance of being signed by a record company, however well they can sing.

So, why do I think that remixing is becoming the new X-Factor? Well, compare the two: someone advertises a talent contest where you don’t need any industry form or prior performance experience. You just need your instrument (voice or digital audio workstation – Ableton Live, anyone?); the material to perform with, either a song or some audio stems; and you need some time to get your performance right, but not necessarily to a high level. There are so many talent shows out there – X-Factor contests run by pubs and bars, holiday hotels, local tv and radio stations, probably a new one every day somewhere in the world. There are so many remix contests out there too. There are even websites dedicated to advertising the latest contests. Somewhere in the world, someone will enter all of these contests, but usually budding remixers, who see it as a quick way to get signed by a record label, will enter one or two a month, hoping that this will be their big chance.

But, like the X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, the really talented, dedicated, hardworking remixers will miss out, only to be beaten by the “popular vote”, in terms of the ones with the highest number of plays or likes will be shortlisted. Talent probably does come into it if they’re in a contest that is looking for particular techniques and it’s about ability rather than what sounds good to some people. However, like in the real world of becoming a popstar, it’s the approaching people in the industry and showing them what you can do, that gets you the opportunities. Ok, so some people who win remix contests may be famous and find a way in to the music business, but more often than not it’s the talent that is wanted and that’s what gets you the gig.

So, two things from all that. First of all, anyone can make a remix. It may not be good, but it may be what someone is looking for. Even my 8 year old can make a remix in Ableton Live. Secondly, I still enter remix contests, despite having done “official” remixes for some bands I know, and appearing on compilations etc. Why, because there’s a very tiny part of me that still sees them as a way to get famous, despite that fact that I always ridicule shows like the X-Factor! My latest remix below, is one I did in about 6 hours for the Ableton 24 hour remix contest “Beat the Clock”. I downloaded the parts for the track, most of which you could only open in Ableton Live and you had to make the remix with the same program. Having only used Live for a few days before, I probably proved my theory that anyone can make a remix, so here’s the result:

Contest Page:

Beat the Clock – Ableton Remix by Tim Blackburn/mistrust

Listen in Soundcloud:

By the way, if you’re a Soundcloud user, and like the track, please favourite it,and share it, thereby making me win the popular vote! If Pudsey the dog can do it, so can I!

Advertisements

You should watch this video

I know that I said that I was moving my blog over to my main website, http://www.mistrustmusic.co.uk but seeing as though some people are still reading my posts on here and have maybe subscribed via newsfeeds etc., I’m going to carry on posting hereĀ  for a while. However, I’m probably only going to post small excerpts on here and the full version on my main blog. Hopefully, then you’ll get used to my new blog and start following me there! So here goes…

You should watch this video….

Without repeating exactly what Ian Shepherd wrote on his production advice website, you should really watch this video. I can’t really write much about it that will really do it justice, so it’s probably a good idea if you just watch it first – like I did – and then see what you think about it. As Ian says on his own blog, there’s more to it than first appears. The real message will “shock, surprise and move you.”

Click here to read the rest of this post and more on mistrustmusic.co.uk

All the world’s an MP3 stage

I’ve been thinking about the number of music hosting sites and MP3 directories that I have my music on. Most of them are free-to-download places where people can just have my tracks for nothing. I started off in late 2004 by choosing just one site – Electromancer.com, which is now no more, just because I lacked confidence about my music and it seemed like a good place to start when I’d never even considered putting my music out to the public. In fact, even though Electromancer closed down last year, a lot of the artists are still active on the forums of another site, Nervejam, and are still as friendly and supportive as ever.

I got a bit more confident after getting some great reviews, thinking that more people might give me a listen, so I followed links and recommendations about other hosting sites, signed up to 2 or 3, and waited for the plays to roll in. Then I started chasing more sites and more plays, until I had tracks on about 1o or 15 sites. I’ve now lost track (and usernames/passwords) of most of those sites, and still get the occasional email from them, saying someone has posted a comment. A quick check on google as to which sites I’m on offers up 94 links for “mistrust music site” and 30 for “never alone mistrust” (my first track from 2004).

I still see the same old faces on all these hosting sites,

Continue reading All the world’s an MP3 stage