What is to be considered a remix?

I think the guidelines are very vague about what’s considered a remix and what is not. I know that versions that add a new featuring artist and versions that are altered by a producer or DJ are remixes. But there are a few cases that are still confusing to me.

For example, are acoustic versions of a song remixes? And by that I mean studio acoustic versions, not live. She re-recorded her vocals for this version and the arrangement is different, but there are also many acoustic versions where they just re-use the original vocals and change the arrangement. They also may come with different ETI such as piano version, stripped or even unplugged. What about versions that include a new artist but are also sung in a different language? Are those remixes? There are also versions that change the genre of a song with a new arrangement.

Those are more specific cases, but in general my question is what defines a remix on MB? Should any type of arrangement that differs from the original be considered a remix? If the examples above aren’t to be considered remixes, should they be under the same RG or just be another single with no secondary type?

Some of these cases fall under the category of what is considered a remix on Wikipedia.

However, I don’t know if such definitions apply to MB. What are your thoughts on this?

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I think it’s easy to make an argument that a recording is a remix if it has the same name as an earlier recording and incorporates a substantial portion of the earlier recording’s audio. That’s not an exhaustive definition, but I doubt that many people would argue against an edit that added a remix relationship to a recording meeting that description (assuming that there isn’t a more-precise relationship that could be used like “edit of” or “karaoke version of”).

I doubt that it’s possible to create an exhaustive definition of a remix that will prevent any arguments.


I also just came across the Mix terminology documentation, which has the closest thing I’ve seen to an official definition:


A substantially altered version of a song, produced by mixing together individual tracks or segments of one or more source works. The artist doing the remixing can be the original artist. The source audio material can be from any part of the process; including the final mix, master, remaster, or original raw audio materials. If the tracks have been significantly modified, more than is necessary to produce a continuous mix, then the action described by relationships is considered to be remixing, not compilation or DJ mixing. Note: not everything called “remix” is really a remix in the classic sense. In hip hop especially, it’s typical to call “remix” to a new version of a song with different guest rappers; these should probably not be linked to any artist as “remixer”.

The last sentence seems like it might be trying to exclude the “new featured artist” case that you gave. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


I think that terminology is for recordings, no? My post was about the remix secondary type for RGs.

Release Group / Type - MusicBrainz says it’s for “a release that primarily contains remixed material”, so it seems like it’s still dependent on the definition for recordings.

I normally just use remix when they call it a remix, and edit when it’s a cut from the original recording. Otherwise, I’d just say it’s a new version of the same work.

For a remix album, I’d only use that when that’s what the actual artist calls it, pretty much.


Would be nice to have a secondary RG type for general edits/rearrangements though I’d still argue those should belong in the same RG as the original versions.

I’m not sure there’s a clear cut decision as of now as to whether “Album X” and “Album X (acoustic version)” belong in the same RG. I’d probably personally keep them separate because I’d not consider that if I have one I basically have the other though.


Indeed, especially if you think about (release group) ratings.
There are no ratings on releases, and I think it’s very good like that.

We usually prefer the originals than the new versions.
And it can be sometimes the opposite.

It’s more rare to like both versions equally.

So they should not be in the same release group.

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