by Steve Pardo, Audio Director, Authentic Artists / WarpSound
Many of you have been asking for some general info on how to get started using your WVRPS stems. So, here’s some helpful information on how to get started with working on a WVRPS remix!
First, you’ll need your stems. If you don’t already have them, you can visit our Discord and request stems in the #audio-stem-request channel; to receive your stems for the WVRP you own. And if you don’t own a WVRP, but still want to be a part of our remix contest, we’ve provided some for you to use HERE.
Tools and Sounds
Next, let’s decide on a tool or a set of tools. In the audio world, composers and producers from all levels start with a DAW (digital audio workstation), in which we can capture and layer audio using a microphone, a MIDI controller, and/or loops via multi-track recording. Coupled with effects and a powerful virtual mixer, this allows us to fully realize a vision for the remix/song we are working on.
Here are some of the most popular DAWs that we’d highly recommend for remixing (most have a nice trial period!):
- Ableton Live
- FL Studio
- Logic / Garageband
Out of the box, most DAWs will include some very capable and professionally-grade samples, software instruments, effects, and loops. You will need these in order to begin building in your own melodies, beats, textures, and chord progressions that will take your remix from its original sound to something more personal.
That being said, most producers venture out and utilize 3rd party plugins, consisting of instruments and effects that can be installed on your computer and live alongside a DAW. Here is a very short list of some of the most popular plugins out there for use in remix and electronic music:
- Arturia V Collection
- Native Instruments Komplete
- Fabfilter (Pro Q3, Pro L2, Pro C2, etc)
- Izotope (Ozone, RX, Neutron)
Another helpful creative resource for finding sounds is a sample library website not unlike Splice. Here, you can search for loops, instruments, one-off effects, and expressions using their powerful search tool and application. Most producers rely on tools like these to supplement their composed material, but one can certainly complete an entire remix simply by using source in this manner.
Getting your session prepared
Once you’ve decided on a DAW and you have your stems, you are ready to begin building out your working session.
Begin by finding out the tempo and key of the song you are working on. Every WVRP contains this information within its metadata, so you do not need to go hunting for a tap-to-tempo tool or consult your friend with perfect pitch. Simply update your new session to map to the WVRP’s original tempo and you’ll be set.
Now you can import your stems into the session. Depending on how the track was rendered (an automated process), you may need to nudge your audio a bit in the timeline to match the grid of your session.
Here’s a helpful resource for Ableton LIve users: https://youtu.be/6ESqSZ7yAnk?t=68. Note: you should not *need* to warp the audio or change the tempo of your audio, since your tempo and stems should inherently match. But if you want to change the tempo or key after the fact, then warping will be your friend. The way in which Ableton sonically handles time and pitch stretching, and the flexibility in which it does so, is one of the main reasons why so many artists and producers rely on Ableton as their daily driver for electronic music.
Once you have all of your stems imported and looping on the timeline as expected, then you are ready to go for remixing!
The world of remixing is vast, with artists and producers bringing their own style and techniques to the craft.
Truly, there is no right or wrong way to take on the creative process here, so we’ve collected a few resources that may be helpful in your journey to mixing and mashing up your WVRP: