How To Make A Mashup

If you've ever heard a CD with two of your favorite artists' music meshed well together, you may be wondering how to make a mashup of your own. While this is definitely a creative process that requires a bit of talent—or at the very least, a good ear for music—anybody can make a decent mashup if they are passionate enough about the artists they are using and know where to start.

To make a mashup, you will need:

  • Digital copies of the music you plan to mix
  • Music editing software
  1. Import the songs to your music editing software. Whether you have CDs or MP3s, the first thing you need to do in order to make a mashup is to have the songs you are working with in one place. Many music editing programs have an import option to make this process easier for you, or you can just open MP3 files you have saved on your computer.
  2. Seek out common elements. Although it is ideal to do this prior to choosing what songs or CDs to make your mashup with, you should try to seek out common elements in the songs regardless of what you choose. Whether it's a similar melody, similar instrumentation, similar vocals or even just a similar tempo, there needs to be something shared between the songs you are trying to mash up, otherwise you won't have a starting point.
  3. Cut out the portions of the songs you want to include in the mashup. Once you have discovered the common elements in the songs, you can decide which parts will be essential to creating a catchy mashup. This step can be tricky though, because the common elements may or may not be recognizable parts of the songs. You want to make sure that your mashup captures the essential parts of each artist's song, otherwise it won't be as satisfying for listeners who are familiar with the music. At the same time though, you want to make sure that you are really putting your own creative spin on it. It's a delicate balance, but you can always go back and select other clips from the songs if you change your mind.
  4. Build your mashup. You now have your starting point—the common element that the two songs share—and clips from the songs that you want to include in your mashup. Now all you have to do is build your mashup based on these. This of course is the most difficult step, and no one can really tell you the best way to do it. However, if starting bare and building up is not for you, another approach you can take is to start with everything and strip down. In other words, remove the parts of the songs that don't go together, instead of trying to find the ones that do. Also feel free to add your own instrumentation if you can't quite find what you need in the songs. Most importantly, have fun with it!
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