What Does “VIP Mix / VIP Edit” Mean In DJ Set Tracklists?

What is a track labeled as “VIP Mix” in a DJ set tracklist? While browsing through various DJ setlists you might come across a track with a “VIP” Edit” label. But what does it really mean?

  1. Variation In Production
  2. The traditional meaning
  3. Can an artist release a VIP version of other artist’s track?
  4. Why are modern VIP edits made?
  5. What are “ID” tracks?

The two meanings of a V.I.P track:

VIP meaning “Variation In Production”:

The most widely known meaning of a “VIP mix” is “Variation In Production” mix or edit – that is a modified version of a song made by the artist that originally produced the track.

VIP mixes usually feature different kinds of variations – from modified drops, altered melodies, changed rhythm patterns or vocals up to complete redo of the track arrangement and structure.

An example of a VIP Mix in the R3HAB DJ set during Maya Music Festival 2020.
An example of a VIP Mix in the R3HAB DJ set during Maya Music Festival 2020.

The VIP mixes traditionally should only be made by the artist who is an author of the original track.

So the “VIP mix” in its modern meaning can be described as an edit, remix or re-arrangement of a track made by the original artist.

“VIP Mix” and “VIP Edit” carry the exact same meaning here.

The second traditional meaning:

The second definition of a “VIP” track, although it originated much earlier is generally not used anymore.

According to the more traditional definition dating back roughly speaking to early 90s, a “VIP” track is a version of a track that has been made by a specific producer for a specific DJ for exclusive use during his live set (or multiple sets) – hence the DJ becomes a VIP.

Those tracks often featured the overdubbed mention of the stage name of a DJ they were handed to (as we would perhaps call it today; “a DJ drop”), to prove the exclusivity of the newly pressed VIP record.

VIP mixes were originally single mixes/records made exclusively for a specific DJ. | Photo: KOBU Agency

A track could be easily released as a VIP edit prior to its official release. The VIP mixes additionally could and frequently did feature many structural changes which in a sense makes them similar to the “VIP” tracks as we all know them today.

Nowadays most of the time when someone is reffering to a “VIP track” they really mean “Variation In Production” mix, rather than that an exclusive edit of a track made for a specific DJ.

Can an artist release a VIP version of other artist’s track?

Traditionally an artist will release a VIP version only of a track that he produced.

There is an exception here – remix tracks. In case of a remix track an artist can release a VIP mix of his own remix of another artist’s song, for example:

In terms of VIP edits, you may very rarely see that an artist has made a VIP edit of a track which he did not produce by himself, this is most often either a bootleg remix or a custom edit made to be used by the original producer of the track during his live DJ set exclusively. Those are pretty rare cases.

Why are modern VIP edits made?

Most commonly VIP track edits are made by producers to introduce some variation during their live DJ sets. A widespread practice is mixing the original song together with the VIP version.

Knife Party - Power Glove (VIP MIX) - EDC Mexico 2020 setlist.
Knife Party – Power Glove (VIP MIX) – EDC Mexico 2020 setlist.

A second most common reason for making VIP song edits is freshening up an old track to release it’s new modified version separately. A new track is made using an old project file and the variations in production introduce new qualitties that can qualify the newly made track for re-release.

What are “ID” tracks?

If you’re curious about “ID” tracks in DJ set tracklists check out our quick explanation: What Does “ID” Mean In DJ Sets? Tracklists / Setlists

Article photo: Colin Lloyd

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