Difference between Bootleg/Mashup and Remix?

Posted By: Eric Robberts On:

This article was quite popular on our facebook page, I decided to make a post about it since the information is important.

Ok I saw some artists calling their track a “Bootleg Remix” or even worst a “Bootleg RMX”…wtf guys? Is it a bootleg OR a remix?

Here’s the definition of bootleg/mashup:
“A mashup or bootleg is a song or composition created by blending two or more pre-recorded songs, usually by overlaying the vocal track of one song seamlessly over the instrumental track of another.”

Remixing is the adoption, alteration, and recombination of pre-existing songs to create something new. A remixer uses audio mixing to compose an alternate master recording of a song, adding or subtracting elements, or simply changing the equalization, dynamics, pitch, tempo, playing time, or almost any other aspect of the various musical components.

So a remixer is also a bootlegger (bootlegs are so much easier to do) but a bootlegger is not a remixer by default, remixing requires a lot more skills.

…and about the RMX, let’s say you remixed “Justin Bieber – Boyfriend” …you call your track “Justin Bieber – Boyfriend (Superstar DJ RMX)” on soundcloud. While you can think it looks cool (RMX), people that will search for Justin Bieber remix, Justin Bieber – Boyfriend remix won’t see your track in the results or it will be near the end since the keywords doesn’t match.

I hope you found that information interesting and that you learned from it. If you have questions, comments or if you disagree with me I’ll be happy to discuss with you in the comment section.

Eric Robberts


  1. enemybass
    September 11, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Ive always been inclined to believe that "bootlegs" are "unofficial" regardless of the amount of production that went into them. Like old school concert bootlegs and such.

    Essentially a track is a bootleg if the original artist did not explicitly approve of it's release. Like old school white label vinyl. Most of which were referred to as bootlegs, but would better fit your definition of a remix. Either of the "ready or not" drum and bass plates would be a good example of what I'm talking about.

    Mash-ups imply that at least two artists are being mixed together. This usually implies "bootlegging" except in cases of "official" mash-ups being done i.e. Jay-Z vs. Linkin Park and similar mainstream efforts. These cases would be Mash-ups, but not bootlegs at all.

    I'm not trying to start an argument. Discussing semantics in the EDM community is complicated because of the international nature of the scene.

    I really don't care for obsessive categorizing and classifying anyways, as it tends to retard creativity. Call shit whatever you want to call it.

    Love the site guys. Keep it up.

  2. Eric Robberts
    September 12, 2012 at 12:21 am

    Thanks for the constructive comment enemybass! And for the feedback as well 🙂

    I agree with pretty much everything you wrote, except I feel like it's all a bit "old school" though like what we called bootlegs 5-10 years ago. I feel that recently with everybody becoming a bedroom producer, the new definition is more relevant.

    I'm not trying to argue with you and I'm happy we can have a proper discussion with nobody trolling. hehe

    Thanks again!

  3. Anonymous
    September 12, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    I was under the impression that a bootleg is a form of remix created from bits and pieces of a finished track, while with a legitimate remix you're given stems and individual elements for the purpose or re-vamping the tune.

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