The Perfect Remix: A Broken Note Guide

Broken Note - Live In France

It’s been a while since we asked a producer what their perception of remix perfection is. But when we heard Broken Note’s take on I Am Legion’s Powerplay we knew he’d be the perfect candidate…

“I ran into Pav from Foreign Beggars at a party,” explains Broken Note, “He’s been a long-time fan of our music and wanted me to remix one of the tracks. The majority of the other remixes on the last I Am Legion release were more instrumental, so I thought I would do the opposite by building the track somewhat around the vocals.”

Demonstrating Broken Note’s left-minded experimental breadth, this remix fits neatly alongside the refined output to date.

“It’s very different from the types of remixes I have done in the past,” explains the man who in addition to his original work is accomplished in mastering, with one of his projects including the Billain’s upcoming remix of Bad Company’s legendary Ladies Of Spain for Bad Taste Recordings.

“I definitely had to leave a bit more space than usual and get inventive with the mix in order to get the vocals to sit cooperatively within the mayhem of the instrumentals.”

Explaining how remixes often help him take his productions into areas he wouldn’t have necessarily explored in his own productions, Broken Note’s first ever remix was this…

“I think I was about 19 at the time,” he reminisces. “It was a great project as his studio was literally metres away from ours. When we finished the track we got to physically be there with him when he had the first listen, which was nice. He thought it was better than the original, always a good sign you’re doing something right.”

Here are five more ways to make sure you’re doing something right… Broken Note style.

“I try not to follow too many rules when writing,” he admits. “But here are some of the things that usually work for me…

You have to like what you’re remixing

“It’s obvious but true… You have to like it enough to make the effort to remix it. Working on material you’re not really into is always going to be a struggle.”

Think before you write

“Pre-determine what you’re going to build the track around (i.e. vocals, instrumentals) before you dive in. Having as much of a clear idea of what going for before you begin can really help to retain objectively during the writing process.”

Do the leg work before you start, too

“Re-process the stems and sounds before starting the arrangement. It usually gives a better starting point. This also helps to keep objectivity, as you’re focusing less on the manipulation of the sounds at the arrangement stage.”

The first idea might not be the best

“Don’t be afraid to try a few different approaches before you settle on an idea. Once you’ve got most of the sounds working together, the chances are those same sounds will work within multiple different arrangements, one of which may be better than your current one.”

Shut the world out

“Turn off your phone and disconnect your router…”

Broken Note’s Three Essential Remixes

“These aren’t necessary my all time top three. But they are definitely up there and great examples of all-out remix creativity….”

Bad Company – Bullet Time (Spor Remix)

“I know Jon spent a while on this one and it really shows. Every sound has a place and is crafted to perfection.”

Kryptic Minds & Leon Switch – More Like You (Unknown Error Remix)

“This one is a classic. One of the heaviest rollers about when it came out and it stands up as a great track.”

Black Sun Empire – Arrakis (Noisia Remix)

“This track is huge! The weight and precision of the drums on this one are incredibly tight.”