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EM Editor's Note: Mix It Up

February 1, 2010
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Mike Levine

I've had a home studio for many years, and I have recorded a lot of different kinds of material including song demos, CDs and music for commercials and TV. But one thing I've never done is a remix (in the modern sense of taking a track or two from the original mix and adding new backing tracks, changing tempo, etc.). I've watched as remixing has become a common way to interpret a song or offer a variation on it, and the more I've learned about it, the more intrigued I've become.

Still, I never had much of a sense for how remixers approach their projects and the specific techniques they use. So I was thrilled when EM got the opportunity to have Vincent di Pasquale write the story “Remix Clinic” for us (see p. 40). He's not only an expert remixer (he's produced tracks for a long list of major artists), but he's also adept at teaching remixing, and he has a DVD series out on the subject (The Art of the Remix from faderpro.com). In addition to describing numerous techniques in the story, di Pasquale also made available to us video excerpts from those DVDs to post on emusician.com. If you've been curious to get involved in remixing, you'll want to check out this article and the online videos.

On a related subject, I should mention that emusician.com now features a collection of the best material from our late lamented sister magazine Remix. You can find tons of gear reviews, how-to articles and excellent artist interviews from the print and online versions of Remix on EM's site. Just look for the link on the emusician.com home page.

If you happened to notice that the photo of Vampire Weekend on the cover of this issue looks like it was shot during the warm weather, you're not imagining things. The back story is that their new album, Contra, was originally scheduled for release in the early fall, and we were planning to run the story in October to coincide with that. To that end, we did the interview and photo shoot in the late summer. But afterward, the band decided they wanted to spend more time tweaking the production, and they delayed the release of the album until this January. As a result, we pushed back the story until now.

Vampire Weekend is a fascinating band that seemed to come out of nowhere in early 2008 with their popular self-titled debut album. In reality, they worked pretty hard at building up a following and creating an industry buzz before they were able to attract the attention of record labels and eventually sign a deal. During that interview last summer, I spoke at length with the band's guitarist/keyboardist/engineer/producer Rostam Batmanglij and got a tour of the studio in Brooklyn, N.Y., where they did much of the recording for Contra. (You can watch a video of the tour at emusician.com.) The album was certainly worth the wait, and I hope you'll find the interview to have been, too (see p. 32).

Another feature story this month that I'd like to tout is “Sounds Unusual,” a roundup of 10 out-of-the-ordinary sound libraries, written by EM editors Geary Yelton and Len Sasso (see p. 26). If you want samples and loops that are unique and often downright bizarre (in a good way, of course), check out the recommendations in this story.

And, of course, we also have our usual blend of gear reviews, tips and techniques, columns and more. Enjoy the issue.

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