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How To Make Metal Remix How To Make Metal Remix


How To Make Metal Remix

Written by: Didi Dick

Learn how to create epic metal remixes with our step-by-step guide. Unleash your creativity and master the art of remixing, featuring tips, techniques, and examples.

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Table of Contents


Remixing has become a popular art form, allowing musicians and producers to put their unique spin on existing songs. One genre that has gained significant attention in recent years is metal remixes. Metal remixes take songs from various genres and give them a heavier, aggressive sound by adding distorted guitars, powerful drums, and intense vocals.

Creating a metal remix requires a combination of musical creativity, technical skill, and a deep understanding of the metal genre. In this article, we will explore the step-by-step process of making a metal remix, from selecting the song to mixing and mastering the final product.

Before we dive into the details, it’s important to note that remixing is both an art and a skill. While there are general guidelines and techniques, there is also room for experimentation and personal interpretation. The goal of a metal remix is to transform the original song into a high-energy, headbanging experience while staying true to its core elements.

So, if you’re ready to unleash your inner metalhead and create a killer metal remix, let’s get started!


Step 1: Selecting the Song

The first step in creating a metal remix is selecting the right song to work with. It’s essential to choose a track that has the potential to sound powerful and aggressive when transformed into a metal rendition. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a song:

  1. Genre compatibility: Look for songs from genres that lend themselves well to a metal interpretation, such as rock, alternative, pop, or even electronic music. These genres often have catchy melodies, strong hooks, and memorable riffs that can be enhanced with a harder, heavier sound.
  2. Structure and arrangement: Pay attention to the song’s structure and arrangement. A remix generally involves reimagining the original arrangement, so choose a song that allows for experimentation and creativity. Look for tracks with distinct sections, such as verses, choruses, bridges, and instrumental breaks, which can be developed further in the remix.
  3. Vocal possibilities: Consider the vocal elements of the song. If the original vocals are strong and have emotional depth, they can be powerful additions to the metal remix. However, keep in mind that the vocals may need to be re-recorded or processed to fit the heavier musical style.
  4. Personal connection: Choose a song that resonates with you personally. When you have a genuine connection to the track, you’ll be more motivated and inspired to put your best creative efforts into the remix.

Once you’ve selected a song that meets these criteria, it’s time to move on to the next step in the process: isolating the instrument tracks.


Step 2: Isolating the Instrument Tracks

After selecting the song for your metal remix, the next step is to isolate the individual instrument tracks from the original recording. This process will allow you to have more control over the elements you want to enhance or modify in your remix. Here’s how to isolate the instrument tracks:

  1. Obtain the stems: If you have access to the stems (individual tracks) of the original song, this step becomes much easier. Stems are typically provided by the artist or label and contain separate audio files for each instrument. If stems are not available, you can still extract the instrument tracks using audio separation software or plugins.
  2. Separate the tracks: Once you have the stems or instrumental tracks, import them into your digital audio workstation (DAW) of choice. Create individual tracks for each instrument, such as drums, bass, guitars, vocals, and any additional elements. This separation will enable you to mix and process each instrument separately later on.
  3. Adjust levels and clean up: Take the time to listen through each instrument track and make any necessary adjustments. This may involve balancing the levels, removing unwanted noise or artifacts, and applying basic EQ and compression to enhance the sound quality. Ensure that each track sounds clean and well-defined.
  4. Save your project: Once you have isolated and cleaned up the instrument tracks, save your project with a new name to differentiate it from the original song. This will allow you to make changes and modifications without affecting the original audio files.

By isolating and organizing the instrument tracks, you gain more flexibility in shaping the overall sound of your metal remix. You can now move on to the next step: creating the drum tracks.


Step 3: Creating the Drum Tracks

The drum tracks play a crucial role in a metal remix, providing the foundation for the heavy and aggressive sound. In this step, you will create powerful and dynamic drum tracks that drive the energy of your remix. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Select drum samples: Begin by choosing drum samples that have the right tone and impact for metal music. Look for samples that have a strong attack, punchy sound, and good clarity. You can find a wide range of drum samples in libraries or use virtual drum instruments if you prefer a more customizable approach.
  2. Set up your MIDI controller: If you have a MIDI controller or drum pad, connect it to your computer and DAW. This allows you to play the drum parts manually, giving them a more human feel. Alternatively, you can draw in the drum patterns directly in your DAW’s piano roll editor for precise control.
  3. Create the basic drum pattern: Start by building the basic drum pattern for your remix. Lay down the kick, snare, and hi-hat patterns, ensuring they align with the song’s tempo and groove. This provides a solid rhythmic foundation for the rest of the instruments to follow.
  4. Add fills and variations: To add interest and intensity to the drums, incorporate fills, rolls, and variations throughout the track. These moments of complexity and change enhance the dynamics and keep the listener engaged. Experiment with different drum patterns and transitions to find the right balance between consistency and excitement.
  5. Layer the drums: For a bigger and more impactful sound, consider layering additional drum samples. This involves adding extra elements like toms, cymbals, and percussion to enhance the overall texture of the drum tracks. Experiment with different combinations and placements to find the right blend.
  6. Apply processing and effects: Once you’re satisfied with the drum patterns, it’s time to apply processing and effects. Use EQ to shape the sound of each drum element, add compression to control dynamics, and consider adding reverb and other effects to create depth and space. Remember to maintain a balance between heaviness and clarity in the drum mix.
  7. Refine and fine-tune: Take the time to fine-tune the drum tracks, making any necessary adjustments to ensure they gel well with the rest of the instruments. Polish the timing, velocity, and overall performance to create a tight and cohesive drum section that complements the intensity of the metal remix.

Great job! With your drum tracks set up, you are one step closer to unleashing the full power of your metal remix. Next, we’ll move on to recording and layering guitar riffs.


Step 4: Recording and Layering Guitar Riffs

The guitar riffs are the driving force behind a metal remix, adding the aggressive and distorted sound that defines the genre. In this step, we will explore how to record and layer guitar riffs to enhance the intensity of your remix.

  1. Tune your guitar: Before you start recording, make sure your guitar is properly tuned. Use a tuner or a tuning app to ensure each string is in tune, as this is crucial for achieving a clean and accurate sound.
  2. Select the right guitar tone: Experiment with different amplifier and pedal settings to find the right guitar tone for your metal remix. Aim for a heavy, distorted sound with plenty of sustain. You may also consider using guitar amp simulation software or plugins to achieve the desired tone.
  3. Record the main guitar riff: Start by recording the main guitar riff of the song. Focus on capturing a tight and precise performance, ensuring every note is clear and defined. Use a metronome or play along with the drum track to maintain a consistent tempo and groove.
  4. Layer additional guitar tracks: To create a fuller and more powerful sound, layer additional guitar tracks on top of the main riff. These additional layers can add depth and complexity to the guitar section. Experiment with different harmonies, octaves, or variations of the main riff to create a thick and textured sound.
  5. Pan and eq the guitar tracks: Once you have recorded and layered the guitar tracks, pan them left and right in the stereo field to create a wider soundstage. Use EQ to shape the tonal balance and remove any unwanted frequencies. This helps each guitar track stand out in the mix and prevents them from clashing with other instruments.
  6. Apply guitar effects: Consider adding guitar effects to enhance the overall sound. Experiment with distortion, delay, reverb, or modulation effects to add depth, ambiance, or extra character to your guitar tracks. Be mindful of not overusing effects and maintain clarity in the mix.
  7. Automate guitar parts: To add dynamics and variation, consider automating certain guitar parts. This can involve increasing or decreasing the volume, adding tremolo, or applying pitch bends at specific moments in the song. Automation adds a touch of human expression and keeps the listener engaged throughout the track.
  8. Blend and balance the guitar mix: Finally, during the mixing stage, ensure that the guitar tracks blend well with the drums, bass, and other elements of your remix. Adjust the volume levels, panning, and EQ to achieve a balanced and impactful guitar mix.

By recording and layering guitar riffs, you amplify the raw power of your metal remix. The guitars serve as the sonic backbone, pushing the energy level to new heights. Keep up the great work! Next, we will explore how to add distortion and effects to your remix.


Step 5: Adding Distortion and Effects

Adding distortion and effects is a crucial step in creating a metal remix. These elements contribute to the aggressive and impactful sound that defines the genre. In this step, we will explore how to apply distortion and effects to enhance the overall intensity of your remix.

  1. Distort the guitar tracks: Begin by applying distortion to the guitar tracks. This is key to achieving the heavy and gritty sound associated with metal music. Experiment with different distortion pedals or plugins to find the right level of saturation and grittiness that suits your remix.
  2. Consider other guitar effects: In addition to distortion, you can explore a range of other guitar effects to enhance the sound. Effects like wah, phaser, flanger, or chorus can add character and depth to the guitar tracks. Be mindful of not overusing effects, as it can clutter the mix and detract from the overall impact.
  3. Apply effects to other instruments: While the guitar is the primary focus in a metal remix, don’t hesitate to experiment with effects on other instruments as well. For example, you can add distortion or saturation to the bass guitar to beef up its tone and make it more prominent in the mix. Apply effects tastefully to each instrument to create a cohesive and powerful sound.
  4. Use dynamic effects: Dynamic effects like compression and limiting can help control and shape the overall intensity of your remix. Apply compression to even out the volume levels and add sustain to the guitar tracks. Limiting can help prevent any unexpected peaks and ensure a consistent and powerful sound.
  5. Add atmospheric effects: To create a sense of atmosphere and add depth to your mix, consider incorporating reverb and delay effects. These effects can make the instruments sound bigger and give them a sense of space. Experiment with different room sizes and decay times to find the right balance between a tight, aggressive sound and a more ambient feel.
  6. Automate effects: Lastly, don’t be afraid to automate effects throughout the track. This can involve manipulating parameters such as the depth or speed of modulation effects, adjusting the mix of reverb or delay, or even adding filter sweeps. Automation keeps the mix interesting and dynamic, adding further excitement to your metal remix.

By adding distortion and effects, you amplify the intensity and aggression of your metal remix. These elements contribute to the overall sonic landscape and help create a captivating listening experience. Excellent job so far! Next, let’s enhance the bass line in our remix.


Step 6: Enhancing the Bass Line

The bass guitar plays a crucial role in providing the low-end foundation and groove in a metal remix. In this step, we will explore how to enhance the bass line to create a powerful and impactful sound.

  1. Evaluate the original bass line: Begin by listening to the original bass line and analyzing its role in the song. Pay attention to the rhythm, note choices, and any intricate or melodic elements. This will help you understand how to enhance and augment the bass line in your metal remix.
  2. Layer the bass: To create a thicker and more prominent bass sound, consider layering the original bass track with additional bass layers. This can involve duplicating and detuning the original bass track or adding a synthesized bass line to fatten up the low end. Experiment with different layering techniques to find the right balance.
  3. Apply distortion or saturation: For a heavier and more aggressive sound, consider applying distortion or saturation to the bass tracks. This can add grit and harmonics, helping the bass cut through the mix and contribute to the overall intensity of the remix. Be careful not to overdo it and ensure the bass remains tight and controlled.
  4. Use compression and EQ: Apply compression to the bass tracks to even out the dynamics and add sustain. This helps the bass sit well in the mix and have a consistent presence. Use EQ to shape the bass tone and remove any muddiness or unnecessary frequencies. Boost the low-end frequencies to enhance the punch and weight of the bass sound.
  5. Experiment with bass techniques: Metal music often includes various bass techniques, such as slides, palm muting, and string slapping. Incorporate these techniques into your bass lines to add interest and intensity. Experiment with different playing styles to find the right balance between groove and aggression.
  6. Consider the bass tone: Experiment with different bass tones to find the one that complements your metal remix. A bass tone with a strong low-end, presence, and a slightly aggressive edge often works well in metal music. However, ultimately, the tone should fit the overall aesthetic and style of your remix.
  7. Collaborate with the drums: Coordinate the bass line with the drum tracks to create a tight rhythm section. Work together to lock in the kick drum and bass guitar, ensuring they hit simultaneously to deliver a powerful impact. Pay attention to the syncopation and groove of the drums and bass to create a cohesive and driving rhythm.

By enhancing the bass line, you amplify the low-end presence and groove in your metal remix. The bass guitar adds depth and power to the overall sound, working in synergy with the other instruments. Keep up the fantastic work! Next, we will explore how to incorporate synth elements into your metal remix.


Step 7: Incorporating Synth Elements

While guitars and drums are the primary elements in metal music, adding synth elements to your metal remix can enhance the overall sound and add a unique flavor. In this step, we will explore how to incorporate synth elements into your metal remix.

  1. Select the right synth sounds: Choose synth sounds that complement the overall tone and style of your metal remix. Look for aggressive and powerful synth patches with a wide range of textures and timbres. Experiment with different synthesizers or virtual instruments to find the perfect sound.
  2. Add synth layers: Layering synths with the existing instruments can create depth and richness in your remix. Consider adding synth layers to enhance the melodies, hooks, or atmospheric elements of the track. Experiment with different layers, harmonies, or counter-melodies to make your remix stand out.
  3. Create synth pads: Synth pads can provide a lush, atmospheric backdrop to your remix. Use sustained chords or evolving textures to add depth and ambiance. Adjust the ADSR (Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release) settings of the synth patches to match the flow and energy of your remix.
  4. Experiment with synth effects: Apply effects such as modulation, delay, or reverb to the synth elements to create movement and space. Experiment with filter sweeps, rhythmic effects, or automated modulation to add interest and intrigue. Be mindful of balancing the synth effects with the other instruments for a cohesive mix.
  5. Use synths for transitions and fills: Utilize synths to add transitional elements and fills between different sections of your remix. These can be short bursts of arpeggios, risers, or sound effects that add flair and excitement. Use these moments strategically to create anticipation and keep the listener engaged.
  6. Blend the synths with other instruments: During the mixing process, pay attention to the blending and balancing of the synth elements with the guitars, drums, and bass. Adjust the levels, panning, and EQ to ensure that the synths complement and enhance the overall metal sound without overpowering the other instruments.
  7. Experiment and be creative: Don’t be afraid to experiment and think outside the box with your synth elements. Metal remixes offer a wide scope for creativity and innovation. Try unconventional sounds, unique textures, or even incorporating electronic-inspired elements to create a truly distinctive and captivating metal remix.

By incorporating synth elements into your metal remix, you add depth, texture, and a touch of modernity to the sound. The synths can complement and enhance the guitars and drums, elevating the overall experience. Great job so far! Finally, let’s explore the crucial step of mixing and mastering your metal remix.


Step 8: Mixing and Mastering the Remix

Mixing and mastering are essential steps in the production process of a metal remix. It is during this phase that all the individual elements of your remix come together to create a cohesive and polished final product. Let’s delve into the process of mixing and mastering your metal remix:

  1. Balance the levels: Start by adjusting the volume levels of each instrument to ensure that they blend harmoniously. Pay attention to the balance between the guitars, drums, bass, synths, and vocals (if present). Aim for clarity and ensure that no instrument overpowers the others.
  2. Pan the instruments: Use panning to spread out the instruments in the stereo field. This technique allows each instrument to have its own space within the mix. For example, pan the rhythm guitars slightly left and right to create a wide and immersive soundstage.
  3. Apply EQ: Use equalization to sculpt the tonal balance of each instrument. Enhance the desired frequencies and remove any muddiness or unwanted resonances. Pay attention to the low end to ensure a tight and defined bass, while also adding bite to the guitars and presence to the vocals.
  4. Add compression and dynamics: Apply compression to control the dynamics of individual instruments and the overall mix. Use it to add sustain to guitars, tighten up the drums, and ensure a consistent vocal level. Be careful not to over-compress and squash the dynamics too much, as it may result in a lifeless mix.
  5. Enhance the stereo field: Utilize stereo widening techniques, such as doubling or using stereo imaging plugins, to create a wider stereo field. Be cautious not to overuse this technique, as excessive widening can lead to phase cancellation and a less focused mix.
  6. Add depth and ambience: Incorporate reverb and delay effects to create depth and space in the mix. Use reverbs to give instruments a sense of being in a physical space, while delays can add a sense of dimension and excitement. Experiment with different room sizes, decay times, and delay settings to find the right balance.
  7. Address frequency conflicts: Analyze the mix for frequency clashes or masking issues. If certain instruments are competing for space in a particular frequency range, use EQ or other processing techniques to carve out their own sonic space. This will help ensure that every element can be heard clearly.
  8. Master the remix: Once the mix is sounding cohesive and balanced, it’s time to master the remix. Mastering involves adding the final polish and ensuring that the track translates well across different playback systems. This includes optimizing the overall volume, applying subtle compression, EQ, and stereo enhancement. Consider using mastering plugins or seeking the assistance of a professional mastering engineer.

By applying the principles of mixing and mastering, you’ll transform your metal remix into a polished and professional-sounding track. Take your time to fine-tune the mix, addressing any issues that may arise. And remember, don’t be afraid to seek feedback from trusted ears to help you achieve the best possible result.

Congratulations! You’ve come a long way in creating your metal remix. Now, you have a powerful and intense track that showcases your creativity and skills. Take pride in your work and continue to explore and push the boundaries of metal remixes. Rock on!



Congratulations on completing your metal remix! You’ve gone through the step-by-step process of selecting a song, isolating instrument tracks, creating drum patterns, recording and layering guitar riffs, adding distortion and effects, enhancing the bass line, incorporating synth elements, and finally, mixing and mastering your remix. Through this journey, you have transformed a song from a different genre into a heavy, aggressive, and powerful metal rendition.

Remixing is an art form that allows you to unleash your creativity and showcase your musical skills. It requires a deep understanding of the metal genre and the ability to think outside the box. By selecting the right song, isolating and manipulating instrument tracks, and adding your personal touch with guitar riffs, distortion, effects, bass enhancements, synths, and a polished mix, you’ve created a unique and captivating metal remix.

Remember, while this guide provided a comprehensive framework, it is crucial to develop your own style and experiment with different techniques. Each remix presents its own set of challenges and opportunities for creativity. Don’t be afraid to push boundaries, try unconventional approaches, and trust your creative instincts.

Lastly, share your metal remix with others. Upload it to music platforms, share it on social media, or collaborate with fellow musicians. Engage with the metal community, seek feedback, and continue to refine your craft. Remixing is a journey of continuous improvement and growth.

Now it’s time for you to take what you’ve learned and apply it to future remixes. Explore different genres, experiment with different techniques, and allow your creativity to flourish. With your knowledge of selecting songs, isolating tracks, creating drum patterns, recording guitar riffs, adding distortion and effects, enhancing the bass line, incorporating synths, and mastering the mix, you have the tools to create remarkable metal remixes.

Embrace the power of metal, let your creativity run wild, and keep evolving as a remix artist. Remember, in the world of metal remixes, the possibilities are endless. So, turn up the volume, headbang to your own beats, and keep rocking!

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