Apollo Road – ATB and Dash Berlin
Duro – Micha Moor
So it has been a few weeks since I have last posted. The reason for this is because I was in a creative black hole, and all the ideas I was coming up with were garbage, but I have at last managed to pull myself out of it, so without further ado, I give you the next mashup by Average Bill.
Now, on the last few posts I have put up, the most recurring comment I get is that you guys would like for me to offer more of an explanation on what it is exactly that I am doing, so here we go:
What is a mashup? I’m sure everyone knows the answer to this question, but just in case someone doesn’t, a mashup is when you take two or more songs, and play them together as one track to make a new sound. As far as rules go, there are none, other than make it sound good, and generally speaking, you want to use enough of each of the songs, so that people who have heard the originals can easily recognize them.
What equipment do I use?
This thing. It was cheap and is easy to use, which is perfect for learning which I am still doing. It’s called the Hercules DJ console MK4. Both the left and right side of the console are identical, allowing you to manipulate two songs at the same time by uploading a song to each side. The two, larger, turn table looking wheels, or jog-wheels as they are called, are used for scratching, as well as adjusting the song for timing and beat-locking (the act of getting the beats of two songs perfectly sync’ed up so they can be played at the same time). The six black knobs at the top center are used to adjust the levels of the song i.e treble, mid, and bass, for both the left and right side. The horizontal slide bar near the bottom of the console is used to adjust the amount you are pulling from each song, meaning if you have it all the way left, you will only being pulling from the song playing on the left, and if you have it all the way to the right, it will only pull from the right song. You can also have it resting somewhere in the middle slightly skewed left of right, which is very useful for blending two songs, because there are times where one song is so overpowering, that to find its balance with the song you are trying to mash it up with, you need to pull more from the other song. The vertical slide bars on both sides are for adjusting volume (left slider for the left song, right slider for the right song). They are used the same way, and for the same reasons you use the horizontal slide bar, adding another level of control for cleaner adjustments. Both sides have a sync button which auto locks the two songs at the same bpm ( beats per minute) as well as beat locks the songs for you, however it’s not always accurate so knowing how to adjust the songs with the jog wheel is still something worth knowing. Finally, the single black knobs on the top right, and top left of the console are another tool for adjusting the bpm of a song. In order for a mashup to be clean you will almost always have to adjust to bpms of both songs to match each other to blend them well.
How do I pick songs? Without going into too much detail, I pick songs based on if I think they can sound good on top of each other, and what their bpms are. two songs at closer bpms tend to mash better together because if you speed up or slow down a song too much, it can ruin it.
And that’s about it. The rest of it is pure trial and error, repetition, and using the tools I just showed you to make on the fly adjustments to blend the songs together. I will go into further detail next week about more specifics but at least now you can have a rough idea of what I am trying to do.
The following two songs are the song I used in the mash-up above. If you care too, listen to them both so that you can know the two songs and hear what I am actually doing. I could only find a preview of the second song on soundcloud but you should still be able to get a sense of what it sounds like on it’s own as a song.