We've provided 10 tips below which we think may help our friendly Labels and Musicians who are thinking of running a remix contest to understand the mind of the remix contest entrant... and I believe I speak for many a remix contest entrant as I list them. This list should be seen as things you should think about before running that remix contest.
What we want to see in no particular order...
1. A remix pack that we don't have to pay for.
Unless we are one of your devoted fans we don't want to have to pay to get the remix parts. Every time we see a price tag on the remix parts we scowl at you through our computer screens with disbelief. We don't mind paying for the MP3 of the original track, but please don't charge us for the remix parts.
2. Decent prizes.
The one is a pretty obvious one, we are not that keen to see this sort of prize... "We put your remix in my MySpace player for 1 month.", and then we go to your MySpace page and realize it gets visited by 10 people per month. We are musicians, we like music, so do you really think we need an MP3 player which most of us will already have? So what do we want I hear you ask? We would prefer to have a prizes such as... "A release on our label/b-side single release with a small share of the profits.". I ask you... "Would 10% of the takings of the remix that we created and won with really hurt you that much?" We would also love to see more labels offering the chance for the winning remixer to get a release of their own tracks on labels. If you can't provide releases we all like music making gear.
3. A good remix pack.
We want all the remix parts included in the pack and named properly, we don't just want the acapella, we want the drums, guitars and everything else that is part of the original. We want the vocals with effects on and off if you have them and we want them in high quality .Wav files, not 128kbps .MP3s which have sound quality loss. By giving us better samples, you get back better remixes.
4. The ability to stream our remixes on our MySpace page.
When we make music, we want people to hear it, so let us place the remixes we took the time to make in streaming format on our own websites, our myspaces, our reverb nations and our last.fms. You do realise that people may come a buy the original from you and maybe even become one of your fans because they heard our remixes. It is free advertising for you.
5. A well run contest.
Making a remix can take some time and you should acknowledge that by running a good contest. When we send you our entries, send us a message back saying... "Thanks we have received you entry". It's not that hard to do. Don't leave us hanging on for 6 months waiting to find out who won and actually tell us who won in an email or news post on your site, we want to know who beat us if we lost. Also give us enough time to complete our remixes, we think 6 week long contests are about right.
6. May the best remix win.
We don't want "Mr. Spammy" to win because they had the most Facebook, Twitter or MySpace friends who went and voted for their remix after they spammed everyone with their "Yo, go vote for my remix y'all" messages. We want well judged remix contests with the winner being the best remix. You can take into account any votes from people, but in our opinion it should not completely dictate the final winner.
7. A streaming version of the original.
Most of the time when we see a remix contest we don't know the original version, so provide us with a streaming one so we can take a listen. Just providing a few drum hits and sounds in a remix pack does not allow us to hear the original version in our minds ear.
8. Worldwide acceptance of entries.
Remixers come from many countries, why limit it to just one country. If you can speak 2 languages why not write the remix contest description in 2 languages. You will get more entries and you never know that foreign entry might be a hit.
9. The ability to listen to all entries.
Give us the chance to hear what other remixers are up to, it helps us to improve our remixing and is great to hear how others portrayed your track. It is also exposure for our own music, even if we lose your contest and we like exposure.
10. Give some kudos to good entries and feedback.
And if you're feeling extra generous with your time why not at the end of the contest, give us some feedback on where we went wrong and/or right or even some tips on how we could've improved our sound. A sentence or two doesn't take long as you listen through them or you could tell us some "best of the rest" entries in the winner announcement so that we know we were close.
If you are running a remix contest remember to tell us about it. This site exists because it can be tricky keeping track of them and sometimes we miss them too, so submit it to Remix Comps and let hundreds of remixers know about your contest. This is not a guide of requirements to get listed on Remix Comps. As a remixer do you have any tips for musicians, bands and labels who are running remix contests? If so add them to the comments.