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.

How To Record Your DJ Sets by R&K

If you don’t have a SoundCloud/Mixcloud account updated of great mixes to back up your talent, it is going to be very difficult to get the gigs you may desperately want. DJs have come to us asking for help with recording mixes. So we go over some basics on recording mixes that would hopefully help you too.

Why is recording mixes a good habit for DJs?

Simple! It helps you get better at your craft. We’ve included a few tips to make the process easy. We advise every up and coming DJ to make it the habit of recording all their mixes. You may be contemplating about storage. However, the truth is nowadays; it’s incredibly cost-effective to store large files. Therefore, stop worrying about data storage and start recording. Storage should be the last thing on your mind when it comes to recording your mixes.

We’ve split up some of the potential advantages for recording mixes. They have been categorised into two groups for easy understanding.

1.Review, Critique and Improve

As a listener, you have a different interpretation of mixes you hear. This is different when you listen as a DJ. Therefore, try to listen to your mixes with the ear of a typical lover of music. So, this offers a unique opportunity to make assessments to your sound. You are not alone if you decide to do this. Some of the biggest artists use this trick to perfect their sound, especially true for DJ sessions in legendary clubs

Make it a habit to take notes while listening, especially when in the process of mastering a new technique. Listening back to your mixes can help you get excellent at recording the best mixes. Make no mistake. You would be surprised by the experience of listening back to your mixes. However, you’ll get used to it with time.

2.Share the mix:

I know sometimes you might feel sceptical about sharing your mix with your friends and family. Although well-intentioned, those closest to you can sometimes be your worst critics. However, this should not stop you from getting their opinions as it could lead to opportunities for gigs either for them or for those in their network. Also, Social Media is an excellent place to share your mixes and get feedback to help you grow your craft. Make it a habit to share every new mix on social media.

It is necessary to incorporate feedback from your audience when recording new mixes as this helps you evolve and most importantly deliver to the taste of your most loyal listeners.

3. Create an online DJ brand:

In the music world, mixes are somewhat a DJ’s resume when it comes to landing gigs. A lot has been written on the importance of crafting an online DJ brand. Your mixes play an essential role when potential clients are thinking about whether or not to book you. So it pays to have a decent portfolio of mixes. Keep this handy to present to your clients when required.

 How do you record your mixes?

If you don’t often record like most DJs, you find out that in the process of mixing, you would sound very nice only to end up feeling disappointed when you listen to your own recorded mixes. There’s nothing more frustrating than enjoying an inspiring recording session only to end up feeling discouraged when the recorded version doesn’t deliver on the expected quality. Always remember: “If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Improve It”. Peter Drucker

One sure secret is to record often. When you get into the habit of continually record your live sets, you automatically develop an understanding of the precise improvements to apply to sound just the way you want.

We have put together two types of formats to record your mixes.

  1. Digital Audio Recorder – You would find this to be very common in high-end installations and studios, but they’re also portable versions. With priced tags of about £200, they allow you to record and send to an SD card. It is easy to transfer your recorded mix to your computer or Laptop and import your mixes to your editing software where all the magic happens. After which you can export as an MP3 file. So it is an excellent way of recording, especially when you don’t want to keep going back and forth to your computer.

2. Direct on your computer if you are using a laptop- If you don’t mind the disruptions of opening other sites while recording or are disciplined enough to stay focused on doing recording only. After the initial of setting it up, you can enjoy flexibility when it comes to sharing your mixes online creating content every time you play.

Links:

Digital Audio Recorder to buy:

https://www.zoom-uk.com/products/field-video-recording/field-recording/zoom-h4n-handy-recorder

credits to: RavKan

R&K’s SoundCloud:
https://soundcloud.com/rodrigo-kerol