There a lot of confusing terms in the EDM world. Today we will be looking at the differences between a bootleg and a remix.

Music is beautiful to listen to, but it can be fairly complicated to understand how it works. A bootleg and a remix can both be considered a mashup of two or more songs mixed into one track. Sometimes, they can also contain just one song but it can sound entirely different from the original track.

Bootleg vs Remix

Both a bootleg and a remix can contain two of the same songs but still sound different. Two bootlegs can also have the same set of songs but have a different feel.

Remixes are often what we see and hear online. There is a reason why and that is probably the main difference between a remix and a bootleg.

What is then the difference between a bootleg and a remix? A remix is a remixed version of a song/s wherein the original artist gave the music producer permission to do the mix. A bootleg is essentially also a remixed version of a song wherein there is no permission given. Below is an official remix from PARTYNEXTDOOR for “That’s What I Like” from Bruno Mars:

In layman’s terms, a bootleg is an illegal remix so to speak because there is no permission given from the original artist of the song/s used. That’s also the reason why bootlegs are not heard of that much.

True remixes also make use of the audio stems that came from the original artist. For the uninitiated, these stems are basically the separated tracks of the guitar, piano, drums and any other instruments the original artist may have used.

Bootlegs, on the other hand, only make use of the original track itself. It is often dissected as best as the bootleg maker can.

YouTube “Remixes” vs Bootlegs

One reason why there is a confusion between the two terms is because of YouTube. There are a lot of aspiring music producers that put their bootlegs on YouTube calling them “remixes” even if they do not have the right to do so.

Try it. Just type in a song title on YouTube and add remix. Thousands of results will pop up. I bet that most of the uploaders also just downloaded cracked versions of Fruity Loops or Ableton software.


Bootlegs are just unofficial remixes. You can find lots of them on YouTube and on social media pages of aspiring music producers.