20 Watts


Juice Jam 2009: Make Your Own Damn Mash-Ups! by 20watts
September 12, 2009, 9:04 pm
Filed under: Features, Juice Jam Preview | Tags: , , , , ,
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Wanna mash like Girl Talk? 20 Watts' Michael Tran tells you how.

Who would have thought to combine Ace of Base with Cassidy and Swizz Beatz? Or Metallica with Lil Mama? Or even Lil Kim with MGMT? Just ask Pittsburgh-based mash-up artist Girl Talk or Chicago-based duo The Hood Internet.

Most songs are made of two tracks: instrumental and vocal or a cappella. A mash-up, however, takes a bunch of different tracks from different songs and artists, reengineering or “mashing” them into completely new music.

If you are dying to make some serious ear candy or a Frankenstein-like creation that may ruin music for yourself or others, follow these three easy steps. Just watch out for copyright laws; sampling sans permission has landed Girl Talk in court more than once.

1. Invest in a digital audio editor program. Wanna make magic like Girl Talk and The Hood Internet? Invest in the ever-so-easy-on-the-wallet program Adobe Audition, formerly known as Cool Edit Pro. It’s pricey ($350.00), but if you really want to cut and paste music effectively and efficiently, this is the way to go. Sorry folks, but Mac OSX’s Garage Band won’t help you on this one – you can’t adjust the tempo of samples imported into Garage Band.

2. Find your instrumental and a cappella tracks. Use Audition to rip the instrumental track from one of your favorite songs, and then just cut, paste and loop the track as desired. A cappellas are a little trickier, as they can’t be isolated in Audition like instrumentals can; the vocal tracks for most of your favorite songs can, however, be found through a Google search.

3. Put it together. Use Audition to speed up, slow down and coordinate your tracks, adjusting the tempo and timing as desired. Add effects like reverb, delay and fade, and voila! You’re ready to rock both the club and court circuits.

— Michael Tran
This story originally appeared in the May 2009 issue of 20 Watts.

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