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Wax To Tracks Competitors + How To Play Along At Home

After a week of making our interns sit in a dimly-lit office and pour over hundreds of videos responses, we’re proud to say we have found the five who will be the competitors for the Wax to Tracks contest. Read on the see who we chose – and more importantly, how everyone can play along themselves at home as we release the official packs for the first challenge! 


Before announcing our choices, we would like to sincerely thank everyone who submitted responses: we were amazed at the diversity of talent in our community, and rest assured that there will be more opportunities in the future for you to showcase your unique approach to controllerism, turntablism, and live electronic music performance. And now, drumroll please: here are the final 5 competitors.

In selecting our competitors, we looked for a number of things, including experience DJing, a novel and interesting approach to music production, and a passion for music that extends beyond the scope of the bedroom. While these competitors were certainly not the only entries who showcased these facets, we found that each demonstrated the potential to write interesting and innovative musical material. But let’s talk about the competition…


For their first challenge, the competitors will be charged with using sampled audio and MIDI material to create a track in their genre of choice. Each will be receiving a unique “MIDI Kit,” which will contain some raw audio samples as well as some basic chord progressions to get them on their feet. The reason we’re starting this way is that beginning from a completely blank slate can be daunting for newer producers; instead, we’ve looked into the genres each producer might be interested in, and have created MIDI packs in accordance.

We’ll be checking in with these producers over the next few weeks as they progress – and they’ll even get help from some Ableton Ninjas! Stay tuned.

Here’s where everyone can join: We’re releasing the MIDI packs below, so any member of the DJTT community can join in, and while we can’t say what yet, showing us your sick production chops on these samples, competitor or not, might lead to some extra prizes.

All you have to do is submit your final works to this group on Soundcloud (all of the entries will get exposure here on DJTT) – be sure to mark it with the name of the MIDI pack you used to start your track off with.


The following information is what each contestant will receive with their MIDI Pack – similar to what a ghost producer might see in their inbox on a regular basis. We’re not big fans of ghost production as a business practice, but it’s a great model use to give beginner producers the context they need to really start a track off with.

  • Swede Tea (download)This MIDI kit was designed with an eye to the big Swedish producers; it has a couple hooks to get started with, along with a classic lead line and some punched-up drums. What’s lacking at the moment is a harmonic progression – all great Swedish house tracks build a melody into an anthem, layering harmony after harmony into a sweet, syrupy explosion. That’s where you come in. Add your own flair to either the MIDI or the pre-sampled synth lines to flesh out a Swedish house break. Try layering sparkling pianos and hi-hats to taste. Contestant Raws will be working with this pack.
  • From Berlin with Love (download)This MIDI kit goes for a darker, tech-ier vibe – the drums included feature resonating percussion and a deep, sub by kick. It also contains a glitches out pluck sample and some arp and chordal MIDI to play around with – try going for a deep, percussive vibe on this one by centering around the kick drum and keeping everything grooving. Contestant Zain will be working with this pack.
  • Atari Dreams (download)This MIDI kit incorporates elements of glitch, chip tune, dubstep, and orchestral elements. It contains a vocoder-d sample of a classic Steve Reich vocal, as well as a dark piano line, foreboding arp, and climactic strings. What it’s missing is a real “drop;” this piece can go in a lot of directions, from full-fledged brostep madness to some glitchier breaks. It’s up to you to decide. Contestant Messenger Boy will be working with this pack.
  • United States of Synth (download)This MIDI kit was designed with a bit of a trance-y vibe, with an eye towards producers like Mikkas, Porter Robinson, Armin van Buuren, and ATB; it contains all the elements of a great uplifting breakdown, without the euphoric climax. With this kit, your task is to flesh out these elements into a progression; try adding a chord progression or more atmospheric sounds to build towards a classic trance break, or adding octaves to the arp to make a truly massive lead. Contestant Jeremy will be working with this pack.  
  • Brooklyn Beats (download)This MIDI kit takes inspiration from indie-dance, synth pop, and even a bit of symphonic music. It contains a fleshed out synth progression and piano accompaniment, but no movement or development. Your task is to take these elements and to make a soothing indie-dance progression that doesn’t so much build as it does plateau. There are some drums included with a syncopated feel to experiment with as well. Contestant Chris will be working with this pack.



Rome wasn’t built in a day; the best tracks out there weren’t written in one, either. So we here at DJTT have compiled an extensive list of what we consider to be some of the best online video content that informs and educates budding producers. If you’re in a bind, definitely check these out.

Creating an Original Track from Scratch: 

A Few Different Basic Sound Techniques:  

Questions about the contest or advice for our competitors? Let us know in the comments – we’re constantly working on making it more and more awesome – with updates coming very soon! 

  • Preassigned – Chris’s song, very mellow and relaxing and good vocal chops. – Raws’s song, very mellow as well. Nice vocals. Doesn’t sound anything like it used the original packs, though.

    Jeremy Smith – ????????????????? – Zain’s song, very texturey and ambient – Messenger boy’s song, very aggressive and concise.

    TBH, there should have been more usage of the original packs or something and a few rules/guidelines. The at-home contestants were also up to par with the producers; for example: lots of the brooklyn beats and berlin artists, me (lol I’m kidding, I still use my laptop speakers to master and I’m 14), [Cubed], etc.

    All of us have stuff to learn.

    Do check me out as I myself progress. I’ve noticed that everyone else has over 10 followers. I only have like 5. – if you’re interested 😀

  • durtyjerzy609

    so whats the haps with this?

  • Preassigned

    Anybody wondering what happened to the contest?

    Do check my entry, Preassigned – Swede Tea. Made it in 3 hours and it’s pretty uplifting.

    BTW, I made two samples for Atari dreams up for download on the soundcloud page that you have to cut with an audio editor.

  • typeomega

    did none of the 5 people who where actually selected to be in this even submit anything by the deadline?

    • Artem Metra

      Messenger Boy made the “atari dreams” track, you can find it by just searching “Wax to Tracks” on soundcloud. Others, I don’t know. Probably they sent the beats directly to DJTT.

  • DJ Woodrow

    Just finished my submission! Check it out here:
    And good luck to everyone else!

  • lingk

    So is it Thursday Augest 22nd, Or saturday Auguest 24th?

  • WarpMonkeys

    We just finished our track! Good luck to everyone playing along from home!

  • Preston

    Jeremy Smith went to SAE with him, really makes me wish i entered,

    Playing along at home i love it!

  • Rachel

    Are the submissions due on the 24th (Saturday) or this Thursday (tomorrow?) – I think the date is wrong above?

  • DJ Jammydrover

    I cant find the dropbox…. how can I submit my track?

    • type_omega

      upload to you normal sound-cloud page then join the wax to trax group after you join a group there should be a add to group option next to the share option under your track on your main sound cloud page

  • Artifex

    Just uploaded my track check it out here:

  • zzzuperfly

    must live in a different timezone because my calender swear the 24th is a saturday 😉

    (and if you live in sweden come by Söders Hjärta in stockholm and listen to my deep house mix )

  • Skirmps

    A little bummed, but its not like I can’t kill these midi packs. Game on.

  • typeomega

    djtt can you upload the drum hit for the atari dreams pack ? the pre made loop is nice and all but its going to be worthless in the mix down/master portion of production especially in bass heavy stuff like the pack is intended for. just a idea. i sliced it up but cant seem to get a good bass hit out of it as all the bass hits end with a high frequency sound in the right stereo that is a total waste of time to try and process out. for future packs like this i would suggest adding some unmixed wav.s of the drums (g. bass , snare, hats …) and the individual hits used so the beat can be tweaked , mixed ,mastered and side-chained without all the haste of slicing it first

  • penguinsdoom
  • shy zamir

    my bootleg to avicii’s wake me up 🙂

  • Krystle Love B

    pretty crappy there wasn’t at least one female there. male dominated industry still.

    • Artem Metra

      I thought the exact same thing after viewing all the wax to tracks video replies. I guess they wanted to go safe with the contestants and chose men who previously had production experience. Can’t blame them for trying to make it work on the first try, if this continues, maybe we’ll have yearly competitions.

  • kenyi

    Good job to everyone that competed! But I feel like I should of been chosen, I know I can make some killer tracks!! look at my submission video and see if you agree

  • Guest
  • Guest
  • Guest

    • nopalmex

      hmm I think it’s a little late. You can still participate as part of the community

  • Lujxio

    It’s pretty funny that some of these guys who’ve said they have been producing for a while, have some not great sounding tracks on their soundcloud

  • Guest

    has a drama queen fit and never enters another online competition again.

  • alanna aine

    congratulations to the winners who already had the software and experience, condolences to the new ones.

    i am glad i am not a judge, i wouldn’t want the heat on my butt for what apears to be an unfair contest.

  • Guest

    what is the point in giving software to people who already have it?

  • DJTurbulence242

    Sad i wasn’t chosen but I am thankful for the compilation of learning tools. Thanks DJTECHTOOLS

  • daddy freddy

    what is the final prize?

  • penguinsdoom

    Our we allowed to use more then one pack to enter for the “play along” contest? Whats the deadline?

  • tetrix

    I don’t wanna sound sour but how come the competitors have production experience? I thought the whole point of this was that people who had never touched production but always wanted to got a chance?

    Not very fair that you suddenly changed the rules so that its basically anyone with experience!

    • 32Digits

      Lol I agree with all these negative reactions

      even tho I wouldn’t want to participate

  • BiGMAc

    I didnt win but im not dissapointed, I wont let this get me down. Im still going to shoot for the stars. Thanks for making the packs avilb.

  • Erlend

    Will the pacs work in Logic Pro 9?

    • penguinsdoom

      They are just samples, So yes. You need to cut them up. I suggest cutting out every sound they give you first. Look at you options. Then find the samples you like and duplicate them and change pitch, tone and add effects to add more notes/sounds at your disposal. Enjoy!!

  • Nick

    Will these work in FL Studio?

    • penguinsdoom

      They are just samples, So yes. You need to cut them up. I suggest cutting out every sound they give you first. Look at you options. Then find the samples you like and duplicate them and change pitch, tone and add effects to add more notes/sounds at your disposal. Enjoy!

    • Artem Metra

      Yes, just add Wav files into Samplers to open the sounds, and drop the midi files directly on the channels to post the midi.


    putting togeather a quality song is alot of time and effort for “might”

  • m.arthur

    Love that we get to play along at home. Looking forward to seeing what everyone in the DJTT community can come up with, as well as the 5 finalists.

  • Gino

    Wait so is the deadline thursday, aug 22 or sunday, aug 24th? Also thanks for the great opportunity as always DJTT. Even tho I may not be one of the main contestants, I can’t wait to see how much this helps me here at home. You guys are awsome!

  • Jeremy Smith

    Very excited for this, thank you DJTT! Good luck everyone!

  • DJ Eklipse

    I’m sort of disappointed that they chose people that already have a lot of experience producing as apposed to someone who has a clean slate and is looking to go from from just DJing to DJing and producing. It should be interesting though to see what they can create and thanks for the MIDI packs!

    • ithinkmynameismoose

      I agree It would have been nice to see one or two newbies at the very least. Maybe sometime they could run it again with people without much experiance…(maybe send them the lighter version of Ableton…) PLUS THAT PART PISSED ME OFF. I mean by the looks of it they already have Ableton or other high quality DAWS. To me thats the more annoying part. This looked like it was supposed to be about giving people a chance and the tools to do it. These people could probably just sell their new free abletons.

      • DJ Eklipse

        Yeah, I was curious about that too since it looks like most of the people already have Ableton.

    • Christian Jackson

      Agree x1000. Really wanted a chance at this since I thought I fit the description. Oh well, playing along anyways!

    • nopalmex

      I’m disappointed that I was not chosen hehe. However it is correct that people with experience selections. Make a track is not something that is learned in a week or a month. It requires hard work and commitment. There are many musicians out there but if you are looking for real competition and a track that can be sold to a label, the most appropriate is that people with some experience. It is not about creating instant talent. You need basic knowledge of music and production to make something of good quality.

  • ithinkmynameismoose

    What is wax anyways….?

    • benji


      • Guest

        Really? Wow haha I had no idea that’s what what that meant. Thanks. I’m too young *Cries *Then realizees that being young is not a bad thing and smiles.

  • Christian Jackson

    Dang, I was really hoping for this to be about DJs who haven’t really produced anything. Oh well, maybe next time.

    • ithinkmynameismoose

      What I thought and what the description seemed to indicate…

  • bruno

    What’s the deadline to submit for Round 1?

    • nopalmex

      yep, I want to know too???

      • Jean W. Joseph

        AUGUST 24th as it states at the end of the article

        • nopalmex

          Woo I’m very distracted you are right. Thanks Jean anyway. Im ready to rumble even as a guest 😉

  • Chris Raymond

    I’m honored to be part of the competition & Cant wait to get started. Thanks again DJTT.

  • RossLefkowitz

    Thanks so much DJTT for choosing me as one of the contestants! I am so excited to get started on this project!

  • Rachel

    Any chance we’d be able to hear what kind of advice/guidance the Ableton Ninjas share the the competitors? Thanks!

    • Dan White

      Good suggestion, we’ll see what we can do!

  • Owen

    Love this! Going to get stuck in after work

  • Chaser720

    I’m glad you guys added the ability to actually submit from home (for possible prizes ) and not just play along for fun. Keeps it fun for everyone. Thanks.

    • Dan White

      We want our whole community to play along – no point in doing something if it excludes people!

  • nopalmex

    Yeah!! great!! thanks guys for the material and links. Let the fun begin!

  • Zain Mehdee

    Thanks for the opportunity DJTT! Super excited! Let’s do this thing!

    • messenger_boy

      Right?!?! I can’t wait until I get back from work so I can get to WORK! COOLEST COMPETITION EVER. Best of luck to you Zain! And to everyone else as well! I can’t wait to see how much we’ll have grown as producers by the end of this competition!

      • Zain Mehdee

        Thanks mate, good luck to you and the others as well.
        This is gonna be fun!