Secrets of the Mashup Course by Elite Force
Since 1996, Simon Shackleton has been producing and DJing across the globe as Elite Force. Famed for both his technical prowess and exceptional creative capacity, he has received support from legendary DJs like Sasha and Fatboy Slim. In this lengthy set of tutorials, he provides an insight into how this remixing master created his mix of M.A.D. (with Hatiras, Jelo, Stanton Warriors & Vandal), featured on his 2010 ‘Revamped’ album.
Throughout the course, the methods Elite Force utilises are dissected so you can understand not just how he works, but also the ‘why?’, which is fundamental to his ability to put together such vibrant and memorable mixes. By the end of the course you will have learnt how one of the most respected producers around uses these methods, as he imparts information to you in his clear and concise manner alongside real time demonstrations of these sophisticated techniques.
Alongside the two hours of video tutorials, the course also includes a 100MB bonus pack of samples courtesy of Loopmasters and the track M.A.D. For additional guidance on the techniques demonstrated, or to share your own tips and tricks, you can visit the Producertech forum where you can receive feedback and advice from other students and Producertech tutors.
Module 1: Introduction to the Revamp
Elite Force begins by explaining the concept of the revamp, covering his approach to giving existing material a new voice, including explanations about his workflow and aims that are so important to achieving an exciting mix.
Module 2: Selecting Samples and Creating the Drums
In this module, Elite Force begins to to reverse engineer the track M.A.D, talking about how to select loops and prepare them in Ableton Live. He then discusses the main drums, creating a strong rhythmic underpinning to lay funky samples and catchy hooks over, as well as specific production techniques and their importance to the overall sound.
Module 3: Extra Loops (focus on ‘Pop Your Cork’)
Focusing on the higher frequency elements of the track, Elite Force describes how to incorporate the feel of the original tracks into the mashup whilst maintaining your own musical identity. He describes the processing he uses to remove unwanted aspects of the samples, and use of aux sends to create a unified sound-scape.
Module 4: Transitions
In this lesson, Elite Force demonstrates how smooth changes between very different rhythmic parts can be achieved through careful selection and the right processing. He comments on how to retain focus when selecting different loops to create a coherent whole.
Module 5: Finishing the Drums
This lesson covers layering kick drums and crash cymbals, to add punch and bring together the drums without getting lost in the mud. The use of different cymbals and their purpose in a remix are described, with demonstrations of how to alter the envelope and pitch to add a sizzling, yet organic top end.
Module 5: Finishing the Drums
Using effects such as reverb and delay is a time honoured technique for setting the sonic landscape of your track. In this module, Elite Force shows how he utilises them, as well as controlling the stereo image, to set the different samples in their space across the soundscape.
Module 6: Creating a Unified Texture
In this module, Elite Force breaks down some of the most important concepts to keep in mind when creating your track. He talks about using the bass part from Donkey Punch as the driving groove in the remix and why he selected it, as well as advanced techniques for processing.
Module 7: Musical Content
Intrinsic to any remix, breakdowns can make or break a track. In this lesson, Elite Force shows you how he took samples from Vandal’s Mad as Hell and used FX and automation to draw in the listener and create huge builds to the drop, as well as how he increased the anticipation further with the second breakdown before leading to the outro.
Module 8: Breakdowns
Having put together the bones of the remix from the three main tracks, the texture of the revamp might be lacking. Rather than spending hours tweaking plugins, Elite Force shows you how he went searching through his expansive record collection and found exactly the right samples to pull the track together. This lesson concludes with a demonstration of using automation and FX sends with melodic elements to add interest.
Module 9: Additional Elements
This module contains tips and tricks and things to bear in mind throughout the creative process to help you get the most out of your revamp.
Module 11: Conclusion
This video concludes the Secrets of the Mashup course.