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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Ultravox new album “Brilliant” 30-second clips and microsite

I couldn’t resist sharing this… it’s not my own music, but a link to 30-second clips of Ultravox’s new album, entitled “Brilliant”. It’s the band’s first studio album for over 25 years, and EMI Germany have set up a microsite specifically to promote the album. The site includes exclusive videos and competitions to win Ultravox goodies. “Brilliant” is out on 28th May, 2012, and you can pre-order it via the microsite too.

Play Ultravox “Brilliant” 30-second clips

Track Listing for “Brilliant” by Ultravox (2012):

1. “Live Again”
2. “Flow”
3. “Brilliant”
4. “The Change”
5. “Rise”
6. “Remembering”
7. “Hello”
8. “This One”
9. “Fall”
10. “Let It Lie”
11. “Satellite”
12. “Contact”

Visit Ultravox Brilliant microsite – ultravoxbrilliant.com

Visit the official Ultravox website – ultravox.org.uk

Ableton Live 8 for beginners and kids

My 8 y.o. getting to grips with Ableton Live 8 Lite Edition!
Vodpod videos no longer available.

1st collector for Ableton Live 8 for beginners and kids
Follow my videos on vodpod

Thanks to Soundcloud and Ableton for the Live 8 Lite Edition giveway!

 

Still blogifically schizophrenic

Blogifically Schizophrenic? What’s that supposed to mean? After setting up goodness knows how many blogs and different presences on the internet, I still can’t decide where to keep all my updates. There are only two places that I probably should really keep up with – this one (mistrust.wordpress.com) and my own website (mistrustmusic.co.uk). Some people, I read, say that you shouldn’t post the same information in two different places, so if you’re reading this, please tell me why not (not because you’ll get bored, but the actual technical reasons. I still can’t decide, still change from one to the other, and probably always will. Actually, I’ve come across a WordPress theme that I could use to make my main website look like a proper website and not a blog. That’ll solve a problem or three!

In the meantime, I’m lingering on 3997 plays on my Soundcloud page. If anyone reading this would like to hop on over and play one of my songs, please do. It’s looks bad when you’re stuck on a few short of a round thousand. You never know, you might actually like the songs too!

While you’re listening, why not say hello on Facebook too! I’ve just changed my music page from “mistrust” to “Tim Blackburn Music”. I’ve been sending out invitations to my friends on FB asking them to like “mistrust”. No wonder they didn’t take me up – probably no idea it was me!