Your Questions: What Do All The Names For Different Versions Of A Track Mean?


Subscription-based DJ download pools are great places to get music from, but they often list many versions of the same song. What do all the version labels mean, asks our reader today?

Digital DJ Tips member MUR write: "When I am downloading music from places like BPM Supreme and so on, I don't know what some of the version terms mean. I mean terms like "Short Edit", "Radio Edit", "Clean Intro", "Dirty Intro". Especially clean and dirty intro, that's confusing! I thought it had to do something with clean and dirty lyrics, but I don't think it does. Can you help please?"

Digital DJ Tips says:

A "Radio Edit" is usually a version that is around three or so minutes, which is the usual sweet spot for playing on regular radio shows, meaning not those shows in which the DJ is mixing songs as if it was a performance in a club. For the latter scenario, some labels and record pools release so-called "Mixshow" edits.

In addition to the above, "Radio Edits" could also be songs that have been censored to eliminate swearing, due to restrictions imposed by radio communications agencies (in the US, the FCC has long had a list of such words; you can check a terrific comedy routine on this that George Carlin did decades ago).

Meanwhile, record pools also offer a variety of shorter versions, edited by contributors to the pool. These include, for example, so-called "Cutdown" versions, which reduce the length; "Short Edits", which can be anywhere between about two and a half minutes to close three minutes long; and then there're also "Super Short Edits" which can range from about a minute and a half and just over two minutes, although I've found them as short as one minute. These edits are especially useful for mobile DJs who want to satisfy the dancers with a bit of a famous song, or a song that would be a good transition.

"Clean Intros", variously called "Clean DJ Intro" or "DJ Intro Clean", are edits of usually mainstream songs that when the single or album version or the Radio Edit was/were released, didn't contain at least an eight-bar intro that a DJ could use to beatmatch and transition from one song to another in a far easier way than otherwise. Some pools offer similar where the intro is 16 bars long.

"Dirty Intros" are similar to the above, except that any original use of swearing language has not been censored.

Has this helped? Got anything you'd like to add? Please do so in the comments below...

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  1. There are also extended versions which also add in extra bars in throughout the song to give more places to mix. There are also instrumentals and acapellas which strip the vocals or the instrumentals respectively. Then there are dubs and performance tracks which only strip part of the vocals usually the verses and leave the chorus in place for performances. In many record pools you might also find a hyped intro which has some sort of (intended) party hyping vocal or call and chant section before going into the main track. Then there are all the remixes, which you will have to listen to yourself to figure out.

  2. Antti Reinikainen says:

    Some remixes have nothing or almost nothing incommon to their original versions, here is just the two:

    Gat Decor - Passion / Gat Decor - Passion (Junior Vasquez Remix) -> I can't hear any element from original version.

    Eurogroove - It's On You (Scan Me) / Eurogroove - It's On You (Scan Me) (Jon Of The Pleased Wimmin Remix) -> only the male rap and that is little distorted from the original.

    Both are 90's dance/house tunes and are on youtube. The big question is: how can a remixer use original track and make a remix if it doesn't remind original at all? Remixer of course gets some money from the record label but if it doesn't remind original source material at all, they should be more remixers' own tracks instead because record buyer may feel little bit cheated if he/she assumes to hear great club mix of a song but instead hears completely revamped song. Luckily those two "remixes" mentioned are very great underground remixes.

  3. Psychofrakulator says:

    On a side note: Recently I keep stumbling about Extended Versions, that run 3 minutes or less, which makes me wonder how short the Radio Edit must be.

  4. I use BPM Supreme and Radio or Clean Edit means just that, dirty versions are unedited or Album versions.BPM has a nice variety of hit music and some old school and remixes as well. I DJ a lot of Weddings so I usually go for the clean versions. Great service, month to month and you do not have to sign a contract.

  5. Mur, let me give you a simple idea, works most times for me:
    1st: whenever available, try to search for the 'Original Mix' or maybe even better for the 'Extended (Club) version'. This allows you to beatmatch much easier (having extra bars at begin and end). During mixing you decide anyhow from which position you will fade in and out, and using hot cues you can jump over boring parts.. No Need to store the short (Radio) versions in your song library.
    2nd: check if you find any Remix Version which you like more then the Original, then go with this.

  6. Cali Dosh says:

    This is a good topic.

    Whats the difference between an "Orginal Mix" and a "Dub Mix"? They usually just sound the same to me.

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