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!

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Rude Mechanicals (mistrust remix) out now

rude mechanicals_ep

My remix for Pitch Black‘s Rude Mechanicals track is out now!!!

You can get it from the following download stores now, as part of the Rude Mechanicals EP:

Pitch Black – Rude Mechanicals (mistrust remix) – buy on iTunes

Pitch Black – Rude Mechanicals (mistrust remix) – buy on Beatport

Pitch Black – Rude Mechanicals (mistrust remix) – buy at Amazon.com

Pitch Black – Rude Mechanicals (mistrust remix) – buy at Dancerecords.com

Pitch Black – Rude Mechanicals (mistrust remix) – listen now at Myspace

Please note – some of these may only let you download from the USA/Canada.

…..don’t forget to read the rest of the blog!!!!

Rude Mechanicals remix on Myspace

Following on from my last post about my Rude Mechanicals remix being released on October 27th, I’ve just got a couple of updates about the track. It’s now on the music player on Pitch Black’s Myspace profile – in fact there are two different remixes up there: the first one is an instrumental version by Mike Hodgson (one member of Pitch Black), and the other one is the remix that I’ve done. So, you’ve got 2 Myspace profiles places you can hear the track before it’s released – mine and Pitch Black’s.

I’ve had quite a bit of interest in the “mistrust remix” so far.  The Only Michael played it in his DJ set at the BFI 75th birthday Big Weekend celebrations last weekend, and it looks like a DJ in Lithuania will play it on his alternative music radio show. Also, the track is getting quite a few plays on Myspace and some great comments around and about on the web. I’ve also put the track on my Unsigned Band Web page, where you can get a widget for my music player, plus a load of links to add to social bookmarking sites. There’s also a banner to promote the release of the Rude Mechanical remix. If you’d like to help out promoting the song, please copy the following code and paste it into your blog or website: