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Radiolab Remixed

Monday, July 02, 2012 - 07:00 PM

Spinning record (Ivan Zuber/flickr/CC-BY-2.0)

Turning ideas into radio is one of the most exciting, frustrating, rewarding, and insanely fun things there is. Which got us thinking--why not ask you to join in on the fun? So we teamed up with Indaba for our first-ever remix competition. And now we get to play the winners.


A few weeks ago, we put the raw materials from a few favorite pieces up on Indaba, and asked listeners to have at it in a no-holds-barred audio throwdown. 136 brave contenders jumped into the mix, and made some really exciting, really impressive, new stuff. (You might notice that our sonic ID--the voices and noises at the beginning of every show--was tweaked a little bit. That's the work of one of our remixers, aleatorictelevision.)

In this podcast, Jad and Robert share a couple of their favorites. First up: grand prize winner David Minnick zeroes in on the pitch patterns of Jeffrey Tambor's reading of "Sum" (from our short 15: Sum) to create a musical reckoning of what life after death could look like. Then Jad admits his love of techno and annoys Robert with a remix by Sonic Emblem.

Then, one of our favorite runners up--Jeff Barr, editor of a podcast called Risk--mines the show for unexpected coins flipping and voices falling...that morph into a melody of their own.

And finally, we end with a director's choice, from sketch lightly & daimyo, that completely re-imagines a story we did on vertigo--by turning our telling of a real-life medical mystery into a deeply personal meditation on love.



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Comments [38]

Four years have gone by. Wow. Hmmmmmmm.

Welp, I think it's about time for round 2, doncha think?

Apr. 22 2016 10:15 AM
RebekahBarger from Nashville, TN

And actually, if aleatorictelevision happens to read this...I would love to get in touch with you to ask permission to use your remix for an upcoming performance.
Thank you!

May. 29 2014 10:07 AM
RebekahBarger from Nashville, TN

This is one of my favorite things that Radiolab has done (and that's saying something!).
I'm the director of an aerial and contemporary dance company, and have been working on a piece of choreography that incorporates some of these remixes. However, just in the past month or so, the whole Indaba Music site seems to have crashed and you can't access the remix page at all anymore :(

Anyone know if the remixes are posted anywhere else, or of some way to access them that I'm missing?


May. 29 2014 10:02 AM

Another year, and still no more remix.

I have so many things I'd like to try. Let's open this thing up again.

Please :]

May. 15 2014 07:31 AM

Let's bring on round two!!!

Jun. 18 2013 11:26 AM
Aurelien from London, UK

Please make this an anual thing!!!

Apr. 12 2013 10:05 AM
Prof. Dave King from Mannheim, Germany

Calling a 2 bar loop, music is like calling a brick, a skyscraper.

Jan. 22 2013 01:50 PM
DH from Chicago

Did anyone ever get a response to if the raw materials are still available? I'd love to work up a mix of my own.

Oct. 20 2012 12:04 PM
Jordon from Tokyo

Love the program - I even donated!

Missed this contest but now looking for the stems / raw materials.
Can anyone please share so the rest of us can still play?


Oct. 15 2012 12:38 AM
Ryan from NYC

Any chance the raw material is still available for others to play with? I missed out on the contest, but would love to try making something just for fun.

Aug. 15 2012 02:28 PM
LydiaMNYC from New York

I listened to David Minnick's remix first and then the short 15 Sum and I totally hear it.

Wicked job, great show guys.

Aug. 07 2012 05:40 PM
Miles West from Detroit

OK. So Robert doesn't like techno. At least he thinks he doesn't. Would someone please educate this poor soul and at least explain the diff between bad techno (trance) and good techno (underground/minimal).
I'm from Detroit! Of course!
WUOM baby

Jul. 27 2012 12:36 AM
Sandy Marsh

That's so creative!

Jul. 25 2012 12:51 AM
Alec Dudley-Bestow from 2780

Can you please post me all the submissions the winner sounded great! so I would really appreciate it if you posted me them thanks!

Jul. 16 2012 06:34 AM
Forrest from Berkeley, CA

Never mind--looks like all the submissions are here:

Jul. 12 2012 10:33 AM
Forrest from Berkeley, CA

Can you post all of the submissions? I'd love to listen to many hours of RadioLab-inspired techno and house music!

Jul. 12 2012 10:32 AM
david minnick

Hi Ted,
The Snoop thing is available from my page on soundcloud.

Jul. 11 2012 02:20 PM
sketch lightly

Ted from Philly- you can download the director's choice piece at and like me on facebook..maybe i'll see you around the city some time!

Jul. 11 2012 12:13 PM

Sorry guys, totally undoable.

Jul. 11 2012 11:25 AM
Ted from Philadelphia, PA

I thought some of this stuff was awesome. I would love to download the snoop dogg pirate remix as well as the director's choice track. Are they available for download anywhere?

Jul. 11 2012 10:12 AM

Please let Mr. Krulwich know that was *house*, not techno. :) Fun idea, guys.

Jul. 10 2012 02:35 PM

Is it still possible to get the stems? I'm new to remixing, but I had an idea of a remix after listening to this broadcast that I wanted to try out on my own, but I couldn't find the place to download the stems anymore. Is it still possible?

Jul. 09 2012 04:01 PM
sketch lightly

hahaha.. thanks, kevin! as far as i understand it, the guys at Radiolab chose the winner too, out of all of the entries, including ours. i think they just referred to ours as the director's choice, because we were only 18th place at the end of the voting, but they still picked us for the show. i think the other winners were all atleast top 10 there. i could be wrong, but that's the way i understood it. thanks again for the love though!

Jul. 07 2012 11:47 AM
Gauthier from Queens, NY

What a fantastic idea! And after listening to the podcast, MAN! Is there some talented people out there!

Congratulations to the winners!

Is there any chance we might still be able to access (read, download) the raw material somewhere? I wish I had given it a shot...


Jul. 07 2012 03:06 AM
Kevin Heymann-Horan from Copenhagen, Denmark

I thought sketch lightly & daimyo's, the Director's Choice piece, was far, far better than the winning entry. It was personal, meaningful and put a completely different spin on the original story. I can't come up with a better description than "Broadway in a way that made me hurt" for the winner, so I won't try! Also, if sketch lightly & daimyo's was the director's choice, who chose the winner?

Jul. 06 2012 02:28 AM
Shannon from Iowa

This entire Podcast irritated the hell out of me. So much so I felt the need to come share my feelings. I personally hate repetition in sound.

However, every other podcast/radio show that has been released by Radiolab has been amazing. I will always come back for the next show.

Jul. 05 2012 02:47 PM
kk from koprivlen

hihi cool show
i kind of think you have good sense of humor, thats why
good woork

Jul. 04 2012 05:15 PM
david minnick from Detroit

Thanks aleatorictelevision! Yes, I can't believe your piece didn't end up on the show. It was a beautiful & inspired piece of work in my opinion! We must listen to a lot of the same music, I think.
Thanks also sketch lightly and daimyo...very fun to listen to & a great idea!

Jul. 03 2012 10:26 PM

great track, david. nice work everyone! and if you didn't make the cut, look at it this way: at least you didn't get remixed right out of the remix show!

Jul. 03 2012 08:15 PM

You should release the entries together as a pledge drive promo.

Jul. 03 2012 06:23 PM
sketch lightly

thanks, souxiequeue!! that means a lot :)
and thanks, Radiolab, for the inspiration, the conversation, and the shine!
..and david, i'm with daimyo. we talked about your piece a lot and called you as the winner from early on. if i'm not mistaken, he said you reminded him more of a frank zappa composition than broadway. love all around.

Jul. 03 2012 04:39 PM

david, you rule man. i loved everything about your track. i was floored!

Jul. 03 2012 01:48 PM
david minnick

Hi! I just wanted to say thanks to the good people at Radiolab for giving me this opportunity! It took a lot of work to find the melody in the speech of the reading of this story. I'm not exactly sure where the "Broadway music" idea came from; that wasn't the intent at all and it's not a style of music that I particularly enjoy (all in the ear of the beholder, I suppose). The center of this piece is the slow scientific work of figuring out the notes and rhythms that we use every time we speak and arranging music around it. I do apologize for not being "hardcore". I should work on that ;).

Jul. 03 2012 01:36 PM

Brilliant idea, I loved the Director's Choice piece. Only one suggestion: do more of this!

Jul. 03 2012 12:41 PM

HATERS GON HATE. THANK YOU JAD & ROBERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was amazing!

Jul. 03 2012 12:34 PM
Dawn from Kansas

I haven't even listened to the whole podcast yet, but may I suggest that this is just a taste of how even more incredible this could be if you gave people MORE to choose from and gave them a year to remix it... Just a thought! Cheers..

Jul. 03 2012 12:18 PM

i agree. sucks. expected more.

Jul. 03 2012 11:21 AM
Gamma from Oh well

Jesus. I couldn't stand the winning remix. 'Broadway in a way that made me hurt,' indeed.

Actually, I really didn't like most of these remixes. I thought there'd be more hardcore interesting sound producers listening to the show and chomping at the bit to have their take on the pieces. I guess not. Maybe I should enter next year.

Jul. 03 2012 05:27 AM

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