Ever listen to a song and think it needed a little more bass, maybe a little less reverb or more echo on the vocals? Now’s your chance to play producer and maybe win a little cash for it.
The Nimbus School of Recording and Media, based in Vancouver, has kicked off its annual Mix contest, in which high school students (ages 13-19) and adult learners (high school graduate or age 19 and up) are encouraged to download master tracks from a group of artists and upload remixed versions of the songs for a panel of judges. The winners in each of two categories get a $25,000 scholarship, with $10,000 scholarships going to second place winners in each category, $5,000 scholarships going to third place, along with a $10,000 “voters choice” award. All participants must be Canadian residents — excluding Quebec– and only one entry is allowed per person.
The master tracks were made available on April 1 and interested remixers have until May 1 to submit their edited versions. This year’s selections are Son Real’s “Preach,” Mother Mother’s “Modern Love” and Wes Mack’s “Before You Drive Me Crazy.” Winners will be announced on June 1.
Nimbus has quite the history of working with some of the biggest names in music. Started by Jack Richardson in the late 1960s, the school offers classes and training in audio engineering and music production in addition to video production. Richardson himself produced more than 240 albums and had 27 singles on the Billboard charts during his career, earning him 38 gold and platinum awards. Now operated by Richardson’s son, GGGarth, and Bob Ezrin, who studied under Richardson, the school this year introduced the Dylan Sterling Memorial Bursary, a $1,000 scholarship in memory of a young man who dreamed of attending the school, and the addition of a new eight-month video production program.
The judges for this year’s Mix contest include Ezrin, who has worked with Alice Cooper, KISS, Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed, will.i.am, Nine Inch Nails and a variety of other artists during the course of his 40-year career and is co-founder of Beat Kangz electronics; GGGarth, a Juno-winning and Grammy-nominated producer who has worked with Rage Against the Machine, Ozzy Ozbourne, Mudvayne, Chevelle and Taylor Swift, among others; and Shawn Marino, a three-time Juno winner who has worked in various capacities in the music business, including head of A&R for UMC where he worked with artists including Matthew Good, Jann Arden, the Tragically Hip and Paul Anka.