The Differences Between Bootlegs, Remixes and Mashups

The terms bootlegs, remix and mashups are very familiar to DJs. But not everyone understands the slight differences between them. In this post, we are going to attempt to distinguish between these terms.

Bootleg

In simple terms, a bootleg is an unofficial mashup or remix. The original copyright owners do not authorize it. It could be a teaser or a full song mixed from the original.

There are different types of bootlegs. It could involve taking vocals of a song and playing on top of an instrumental from another song. It may also include playing two sounds together to produce a new song. Of course, it takes a fantastic pair of ears to create something spectacular from mixing two different songs.

It is important to note that most bootlegs lack real production qualities. Most bootlegs are not put together in studios. Sometimes the artist can use their laptop to create something quick and different. They are then distributed online for promo or as a teaser.

Remix

A remix is a piece of media. In our case, music or song that has been changed from the original version. This change could be by adding, removing or changing specific items of the song such as vocal, beats, verses, chorus etc. The unique thing about remixes is that something has been changed from the original version. Of course, there are several reasons why an artist may want to remix a song. Here are a few:

    To create a unique version of the song for a particular event or audience such as clubs, parties, weddings.

    A producer may create a mix to improve the fidelity of an old song, especially if the master is lost or damaged.

    Sometimes it could just be to create another artistic vision of the song. It could be the case for a hit song.

The truth is there are so many reasons why an artist might want to create remixes from simply experimenting to improving the original version. However, do not confuse a remix to edit, which is a change in the music, no matter how small or insignificant. But usually, it is a shorter fine stereo master that could be used for marketing or podcasting.

Mashups

Mashups are blends from two or more songs. It usually involves placing vocals of one of the songs over the instrumentals of another to create a unique sound.

It is a trend that has been around for a very long time and is only gaining popularity. Artists like Niki Romero, who is massive in the EDM arena as well as others like White Panda, Hardwell have seen incredible success in mashups and bootlegs.

(Video : White Panda )

I’m not a legal professional, but you might want to tread carefully when it comes to creating bootlegs, remixes, and Mashups. There could be copyright issues to deal with. Hence, always make sure you have permission from the copyright owners before using their materials. It is better safe than sorry – as they say.

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