ALIBI Music Smart Tip: Searching and Working with Mixes

3 Minute Read |

Jonathan Parks

In case you haven’t already noticed, the new ALIBI site is pretty loaded with fun, intuitive ways to search music, quickly narrowing results to get you what you need. We’re proud of the work we’ve put into our little engine that could-turned big engine that will! By now, we hope you’ve gotten the chance to try some of our personal favs like Tap Tempo, BPM and Negative Search, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t share even more great ways to zero in on and customize tracks for your projects.

Another “must try” ALIBI tool on that list lets you search by Mix Type – full, instrumental, vocal, rhythm, sparse, stem, radio edit, loop, holiday and more. If you’re surprised, we get it. Mix Type searches are rare (if not nonexistent) for most production music libraries. But because we give each ALIBI mix its own unique data, the info is right there at your fingertips – different mix types serving different purposes and all very useful for tailoring music search results to the type of scene you’re setting.

And while any mix you search can also be found in a track’s

, the ability to proactively filter by Mix Type just gives you more control over getting the tracks and the sound you need most, with added customization options.

How to Filter ALIBI Music Search Results by Mix Type

Here’s how it works: Once you’ve used keywords, negative search or any other ALIBI tool to generate an initial list of tracks, you have the option of selecting further filters on the left of those results. The site will automatically default to searching full mixes (which include all instruments for both lyrical and instrumental tracks), but there are numerous other mix options available if really want to dig deeper and strike a different mood. Simply click on the type(s) of mixes you want to include and your results list will update accordingly.

Working with ALIBI Mixes: What They Are and How to Use Them

What are the best uses for ALIBI Music mix types? Here are my recommendations:

  • Rhythm Mixes are best used in scenes with heavy dialogue or voiceover, as all the leads are stripped out so they won’t interfere with a scene’s dialogue. Being able to search just rhythm mixes means you don't have to wonder what a track would sound like without the lead guitar or vocals because that’s already done. And even though all rhythm mixes can be found within a track’s Power Player, our Mix Type filtering option lets you just listen to them as they are.
  • Sparse Mixes, which don’t include drums, are atmospheric and can be a bit more ethereal, so they’re ideal for minimal uses like podcasts and underscore. They’ll also often sound completely different than the full-mix version, which gives you a whole other vibe.

Important side-note: the reason ALIBI calls these mixes “sparse” rather than “no drums” comes down to accuracy of search data. If you add the word “drums” to a mix name or title, even with the word “no” in front of it, those tracks will show up in search results for someone wanting a track with drums, which is counterproductive. I see a lot of libraries that do that, and it's a pet peeve of mine because it wastes time.

  • Drums and Bass Mixes – On the flipside of sparse mixes are those with just the drums and bass. These tracks are especially helpful for laying down a background groove and allowing room for dialogue and FX.
  • Stems, which allow you to single out a particular instrument, are useful in many different ways, but are particularly useful if you just want a drum groove, epic drums or even a solo piano or flute.
  • Vocal Mixes are going to give you those lyrical songs, as well as tracks with big oohs and ahs.
  • Instrumental Mixes obviously give you a good way to search mixes without vocals.
  • Holiday Mixes, which span all genres, are quite useful when you want to create holiday versions of our tracks, with sleigh bells and other seasonal instruments. Whether you’re cutting a Christmas horror trailer or making a show’s poignant song sound Christmasy, this is a great option when you don't want to use a standard Christmas track. Being able to search these mixes (available for roughly a third of our large catalog) is pretty unique to ALIBI and a great tool.
  • Radio Edits are straightforward, linear tracks for which we have removed all the edit points, breaks and alternate endings that ALIBI specially designs as helpful building blocks for editors. This is the format more typical of other libraries or most useful for streamers. ALIBI actually began creating radio edits for our tracks when consumers started seeking out our music after hearing it in TV shows or commercials. We then so fans could enjoy them.
  • Loops are originally designed with video game developers in mind, but are useful for a lot of in-show TV as well.

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