By Steph Jorgl
Remix Galaxy is a new online community for remixing and music production that offers a way to create, mix, and share music. By selling songs in multi-track format (with vocals, drums, bass, and other musical elements as separate audio files), the site enables music fans to remix the song and create their own unique version.
This Website hosts a browser-based remixing application called MixStudio that allows anyone to become a producer in minutes, even if they have never mixed music before. The site also helps artists connect with their fans, fans remix and promote their favorite tracks, and remixers create original works and get feedback from others.
Although the site will appeal to seasoned remixers, who can import the multi-track files into any DAW, the online mixing application is self-contained, so users don't need any other gear or software to mix tracks.
The idea for Remix Galaxy came out of founder Kyle Reed's personal love of remixing. "When I started remixing, there was nothing easy or cheap about it," he says. "And as a remixer, I always had a hard time finding remixable music." From that experience, he could tell that the demand was there for a hub where users could access multi-track songs.
So together with a team that includes producer Nate Oberman (Snoop Dogg, George Clinton), he created a really cool experience for the first-time remixer, as well as one of the largest catalogs of multi-track songs in the business. "The multi-tracks are created from the original master recordings, not lo-fi studio trickery, giving us high-quality audio files with perfect separations," Reed explains.
Unlike sites like AcidPlanet, Remix Galaxy is a remixing user community that is non-product specific and browser based. You can also easily import tracks from standard DAWs like Logic, Pro Tools, or Cubase.
Remix Galaxy's broader mission is enabling those without home-recording studios to create remixes online. "We're about letting music fans express themselves musically even if they don't have experience with sophisticated platforms like ACID or Pro Tools," Reed says. "It's about making remixing accessible. We provide free tools that let anyone quickly and easily start remixing the songs they buy, whether it's making simple changes to an MP3 or doing an extensive remix with multi-track files."
Remix Galaxy's online mixing application, mixStudio works super fast, especially for a browser-based product. "All of the processing is done on the client side, so users only wait for the initial loading of the sound files," Reed says. "The rest of mixStudio works in real-time. But as with most complicated software these days, the faster your CPU and the more RAM you have, the better." More experienced users will appreciate having access to a large catalog of multi-track files for remixing—all created from the original master recordings.
"The site is built around the community and the exchange of information and opinions, so member interaction is important to us," Reed says. "It starts with a user's profile, which includes all of the remixes or original songs that the user has created. All users can listen to these songs, rate them, review them, and add them to their playlists. So the community is a great avenue to get feedback on your work." Users can also contact other members and connect through the site’s internal messaging system.
Remix Galaxy also features a variety of remixing and production related knowledge forums, where users can ask questions, review software and gear, and find collaboration partners. It's a great place for users—novice and experienced—to get and share information and improve their knowledge and skills.
FREE EFFECTS AND SAMPLES
Remix Galaxy's mixStudio application includes a frequently updated sample library full of drum loops, sounds effects and other audio clips that users can add to their music. In addition, users can easily upload their own loops and sound clips, making the sonic possibilities endless.
MixStudio also gives users a toolkit full of audio effects, similar to the VST or AU format plug-ins typically used in desktop applications. Included with the app are a three-band equalizer, a stereo delay, a flanger/chorus module, a filter that is HiPass/LoPass/BandPass selectable, a stereo phaser, distortion, a bit crusher, a ring modulator and a really fun glitch/randomizer effect called SupaTrigga.
In addition to hundreds of songs in multi-track format, Remix Galaxy offers a catalog of over two million traditional MP3 songs and albums, including major-label catalogs. So while you’re looking for tracks to remix, you can also purchase other music from Remix Galaxy.
The multi-tracks are available in two packages: The Basic Pack, which includes two files, an a cappella and an instrumental, and The Expanded Pack, which includes anywhere from five to eight stems, covering the major elements of the song. "Users can mix the stems online in mixStudio, or they can download them for use in other software programs," Reed explains.
Remix Galaxy serves as a unique distribution outlet for artists. "We allow artists to bring in a new source of revenue in a way that also lets their fans become partners in the creative process," Reed says. "This helps create an even better connection between the artist and fans. And users get to experience music in a whole new way—they get to participate in creating or re-creating the music they listen to."
Remixable tracks are sold on the Remix Galaxy Website under a typical limited, non-commercial license, similar to traditional MP3 downloads, but with the rights to make derivative works for personal use.
Every time a user creates a song on Remix Galaxy, they can create a special widget for that song to embed on their social networking site, or e-mail to their friends. This widget allows fans to stream remixes, but not download them. Remix Galaxy provides competitive revenue shares, with an added bonus that multi-track files sell for premium prices—providing a high-margin sale compared to traditional music sales.
The site is fairly genre-agnostic and strives to include an extremely wide variety of music, including dance music, hip-hop, rock, and country. "Every week we add new songs," he says. "We encourage labels and artists that are looking for a unique sales and promotion outlet to contact us."
You can't have a remix site without remix contests. Remix Galaxy's remix contests are a great way for artists to promote their music and connect with fans. Prizes range from cash to music software and hardware, artist merchandise, and even studio time with some major artists. The site recently concluded a successful remix contest for legendary house music label Trax Records, and the winner of that contest is now collaborating on additional projects with the label.
Another recent contest offered users a chance to remix a theme song (featuring Snoop Dogg) for an upcoming television pilot for an urban dance battle show with a content prize package including nearly $4,000 worth of music hardware and software provided by retailer AudioLines. The winning remix is also to be released by the project’s executive producer DCat Music.
Upcoming events include remix contests featuring dance music diva Pepper Mashay, industrial music pioneers Die Warzau and former C+C Music Factory frontman Freedom Williams.
At launch, Remix Galaxy is offering over two million traditional MP3 downloads, including the catalogs of most major labels. With several hundred songs offered in multi-track format, the site intends to add more tracks weekly.