Interview: LegitMix Founder Omid McDonald Talks Remixing Samples & Copyright Support

evolveteam June 24, 2013 0
Interview by Lulaine Compere

Omid McDonald is the co-founder of the company LegitMix, which is a product that allows musicians to remix sample-based work fans can buy from the website and iTunes. The product is an answer for people frustrated with the drudgery that the process of clearing a sample can be. The company is based in Canada and is being funded by a group of Canadian angel investors including the Purple Angels. LegitMix seeks to bring value to the remixes. According to the company, there is a feeling that it has lost value.

Related: Interview: Groovebug Discusses New Blue Note App
Related: Interview: YOTEL CEO Gerard Greene Talks Hotel Design and High-Tech Amenities

Evolve: How did the idea for LegitMix come about?
OM: I came up with idea for LegitMix after seeing my childhood friend (and LegitMix co-founder) Booker Sim struggle and fail to obtain the music clearance for a film he spent years making. After learning that many artists have the same issue, I starting to think about a technological solution to the sample-clearance problem.

Evolve: Who made the LegitMix?
OM: I came up with the LegitMix algorithm but the entire LegitMix team worked to make it a reality.

Evolve: When was it developed?
OM: The core technology was developed between in 2010-2011 by a team of six mathematicians and software developers. We did our first demo with a Diplo mixtape in the summer of 2012.

Evolve: What has the response been from the music community?
OM: Both remixers and copyright holders have been supportive of our efforts to build an automated system where both remixers and sample artists profit from the vast number of remixes, mash-ups and sample-based works being produced.

Evolve: Samples are a really touchy subject in the industry. So why make a product that goes directly at the subject?
OM: The current ambiguous system of takedowns is benefiting no one. I felt that if we can build a viable alternative that benefits both remixers and sampled artists, we can make a fundamental contribution to the industry.

Evolve: How do you see the product evolving?
OM: We have lots of work to do. We are currently building out features to connect remixers with new fans and are working to support mobile devices.

Evolve: Where can you purchase LegitMix?
OM: You can go to to purchase a LegitMix file to recreate a mix using your copy of the original tracks. If you don’t have the original tracks, our software will send you to iTunes to buy them.

Evolve: Do you know of any other companies trying to do something along the same lines?
OM: YouTube built an amazing system to automate compensating copyright holders when their music is synched to copyright music. We are trying to do the same thing with sample-based music.

Evolve: Any last words about LegitMix?
OM: There are thousands of great remixers using LegitMix and we hope fans will support them and the artists they sample using our platform.