News and comment about remixing, mashups and music technology.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Yourspins have added the Faithless track "Bombs", from the album To All New Arrivals. The track features vocals from Harry Collier (of Kubb).

Should be fun to remix. I've had a part complete hardtrance edit of "We Come 1" on the go for ages (now if I had the parts for that!).

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Guardian coverage

The Guardian had an article by Chris Salmon the other week giving U-Myx some coverage.

Like he says "how much better that last song would sound if only you could add some dirty synths and a kicking breakbeat". One can always resort to old fashioned techniques with filters and stereo separation to start remixing a conventionally recorded song - but it's a lot easier with remix ready music to start with.

Friday, November 10, 2006

U-Myx tops downloads for Depeche Mode

U-Myx topped the digital format downloads for Depeche Mode's new single "Martyr" last week.

The single itself made number 13 (in the UK) - I wonder who's buying remixable music formats? Are many DJs making mixes and playing them out? It would be interesting to know.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

ChoonML toolkit released

The first alpha version of the ChoonML toolkit has been released.

ChoonML is an open source alternative format for remixable music. Being open source, full details of the spec are on the site as well as source code for a conversion library.

A converter for Adobe Audition files is already available. Further converters are promised and they encourage software developers to use the toolkit to build in support for the format.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Where is Umixit going?

I was looking at the Umixit site. There doesn't seem to be that much going on in terms of new music being released on that format.

I tried to order a few CDs from Webster Hall, but they wanted USD40 for international shipping - which is a bit over the top (I'd want to be ordering a whole box of CDs to justify that sort of shipping cost - Amazon charge about USD10 to ship from the UK to NZ). I might just grab some when I'm next in the US.

A pity, since the idea of a Cakewalk based system looks promising.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Stuff I'd like

Here's a few thoughts on what I'd like from music technology going forward:
  • An interface between mixing software and something like Serato Scratch Live so you can "drive" the position through traditional terminals.

  • Alternatively, a control surface with big spinning wheels - a bit like a Pioneer CDJnnn but as a controller rather than just a CD player.

  • Even better, a "mixing appliance" - not something from Kenwood, but a hardware unit that provides multitrack playback and remixing.

I find hardware boxes more fun to use - I've got an old Boss DR-202 drum machine that I picked up on TradeMe - excellent toy! I also still prefer a real vinyl 12" to a CD.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Rupert at YourSpins emailed me last week to tell me about their remix technology/website.

YourSpins is slightly different to the other commercial formats. Rather than being focused around physical CD singles, they are mainly (entirely?) web-based. The site is an interesting blend of social networking (a la Myspace) with remixing.

They've currently got 38 tracks available for remixing, with artists including Coldcut, Moby, Sasha (who has long supported grassroots remixing, offering mixable tracks to download with the airdrawndagger album back in '03) and Erasure (that 80's thang again!).

The actual remix software is available in different formats. You can either use a web-based mixing tool, or download a Windows Media plugin. The way you make a mix is different, too - each segment of the tune has a choice of instrumental/effect styles to apply, which works along with adjusting the level faders to complete your mix.

Here's a snap of the Windows plugin version:

Getting results is quite easy. The only problem I had was making the levels match up between tracks to avoid choppiness. An envelope feature (like U-myx) would be nice to have, as would a loop button.

Once you've made your mix, you can post it back to the site for others to listen to. There's an active comments feature, so you've got an instant feedback facility.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Umyx 3.0

I've had a look at the preview clip of Moby's New York, New York single (featuring Debbie Harry on vocals).

This is (one of?) the first tracks to be supplied in the Umyx 3.0 format. The key feature here (notice the circled pulldown in the photo) is that you can not only switch samples in and out and change the volume, you can also cut, copy and paste sections of the song. This gives a *lot* more flexibility - you can extend the intro, remove choruses, really change the style of the song.

No effects or external samples though - although one option would be to feed the output into a mixer and play around with that.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

New Order - Jetstream

Band: New Order
Title: Jetstream
U-Myx 2.1
Minisite: t.b.d.

"Not as good as they used to be?" - When bands have been around as long as New Order that tends to be the case. However they've produced a reasonable pop song here. The vocal is a bit irritating (but you'll be able to mix that out). So not the next Blue Monday, or even Krafty, but probably worth buying (or downloading!).

Oh and it's U-myx 2.1, so you can't put the samples in a "new order" - groan!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Welcome to The Concrete Mixer.

This blog provides a venue to discuss remixing and mashups. In particular, I'm going to report on emerging multitrack music formats like ChoonML, Umixit and U-Myx. I'll cover them from a technical and musical point of view, and try and review new music coming out in multitrack formats.

Feel free to email me with any comments, news, etc: