Chapter 6: Remix Competitions
Remix competitions are a wonderful thing. They provide opportunities for upcoming artists to get attention and put themselves in the spotlight, and they allow newer producers to get access to professionally-made material and study how it’s been put together.
However, they aren’t easy to win.
In this chapter, I’m going to talk about when you should start entering remix competitions, how to find suitable ones, and how to improve your chances of winning them.
Let’s get into it.
When should I start entering remix comps?
My answer to this question will be double-sided.
You should start looking for remix competitions and downloading remix packages the day you start producing, ideally. There is much to be learned from other artists, and having access to work they’ve put together is invaluable.
I’ve learned a ton from simply downloading remix packages containing audio stems and MIDI files and studying them.
So, if you’re a new producer, or your production chops aren’t really up to speed, you should be downloading remix packages and learning from them.
But should you be entering the competitions?
This is where I can’t provide a definite answer. There isn’t any downside to entering remix competitions as a newer producer. You might not win, but there aren’t really any negative repercussions, and you might gain a few followers from them.
So, my answer is yes, enter them. Just don’t become obsessed with the idea of winning them.
Finding suitable competitions
So you’ve been producing for a few years and you want to try your hand at some remix competitions.
The question is, where do you start? What competitions do you enter?
A lot depends on your goals and the style of music you want to make. For instance, if your goal is to build your brand and your audience, then entering small remix competitions may not be the best way to go even if you have a higher chance of winning.
If your goal is to get a few releases under your belt and build some connections, then smaller remix competitions may benefit you.
It’s important to note that the bigger the remix competition, the more people will enter. Given the nature of probability, the more people that enter, the more competition you’re up against. Some of the popular remix competitions have established producers entering.
Given that remixcomps.com is essentially an aggregator for all remix competitions, there isn’t much point in listing a ton of different websites out, so I recommend using that website for all your remix competition needs.
What does the artist/label like?
Most remix competitions will accept all genres of remixes, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to submit a modern dubstep remix to a label notorious for their techno elitism.
It’s a good idea to find remix competitions in or around the style of music you produce, for two reasons:
- You’ll enjoy remixing a track more if it suits the style of music you’re making.
- You have a higher chance of winning if the artist/label is a fan of the genre of music you’re making.
So, when looking for remix competitions, keep in mind the genre or style of the label.
Submit multiple versions
If you’re anything like me, you’ll go through several iterations of a remix before landing on something you like.
But the thought always remains…”what if I submitted that version?”
If the competition allows for multiple entries, why not submit 2 or even 3 remixes? Assuming you don’t lower the quality by producing more remixes, your chances of winning will increase.
Focus on one competition at a time
The mistake a lot of producers make is thinking that if they enter several competitions at once, they’ll have a higher chance of winning at least something.
This is a mistake because if you enter multiple remix competitions at the same time, you’ll either not finish any remixes, finish poorly made remixes, or burn yourself out.
Focus on one at a time.
This is a topic of its own, so I won’t unpack it too much in this guide, but you should be seeking feedback on all your production work and *especially* when you’re looking to enter a competition.
Check these out:
- 5 Tips for Gathering Feedback the Right Way
- A 6-Point Checklist to Read Before Finishing Your Track
- The Mixdown Workflow PDF (great advice about seeking feedback in here)
Leverage the deadline
Some remix competitions will give you a reasonable deadline for submission.
Let’s say it’s 30 days. It’s not a great idea to submit your remix on day 2.
Instead, leverage the deadline. Get more feedback, make tweaks, work on a second version, and submit just a few days before the deadline.