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Mashups

Mashup Music is simply a blend of two different songs mashed up. More often than not the vocals are taken off one track and set over the remixed music track of another song. This is an awesome hobby to start since it can be done on most computers and in your own home. The idea is to experiment until your mixes start sounding cool (or they never sound cool and you either just enjoy them yourself or you find a new hobby!).

Below is a terrific introductory article where you can learn the basics and how to get started. You can help grow our learning community by contributing your knowledge to the article. Just click on the edit tab in the wiki article below.

Use the white subtabs above to navigate the other Mashup resources. We have a Mashup forum where you can get your questions & doubts answered, a page with Mashup how-to videos, a page with the best handpicked links to other sites, and a page with the best Mashup books and products.

Good Luck and Have Fun!
Duncan Davis

 

Introduction


Mashup is also called as a blend. It is made by blending or mixing two or more songs. The mashup is also called by many other names like blend or mash up. Blends, Bastard pop, Powermixing and boots or bootlegs are some of the other names that this genre of music. The usual method in which it is created is by changing the instrumental and vocal tracks from one song to another.




Though this may be thought to be infringing on the copyright of the song since the vocal or instrumental tracks of the existing song is used, it is not true because it is claimed that it comes in the fair use in the laws of copyright. There are also instances where there have been problems with copyright infringements, especially when a mashup has been done to make a profit from a hit music.




Mashup is a great hobby too. There are many professionals who use this method of recreating music to make money, but just as professionals go about creating new tracks, there are also many individuals who use this method as a hobby. Playing musical instruments gives you a lot of relaxation, but when you are able to change an existing music track and create your own masterpiece, you will not only have a great sense of relaxation but you will also have a great sense of achievement.




Mashups are very popular as they create an element of excitement in all the people who hear these new tracks. They first became very popular in the serial called Glee, which is an American serial. From that time, there has been no turning back for the popularity of mashups. These days, they are very common in various programs. The popularity of these has also made it possible for many people to start the creation of new tracks as a business and a source of income. Though this has helped many to earn their living, it is also considered to be one of the best hobbies.




History of Mashup


Mashups were created first in the mid 1990’s, but they became popular later than that, probably in the beginning of the new millennium. Though these were popular much later, the history of mixing the voice track and the instrumental tracks started as people experimented with them decades ago, probably even from the time when recorded music started becoming popular.




Though many of the different kinds of music have eveolved over the years, the genre of music as far as a mashup is concerned has not evolved to a great deal. The reason for this is that the mashup itself has evolved from music and so it has caught the imagination of people and has become very popular. In fact mashup and its creation is so popular that many people are even taking it up as a hobby.




There have been many popular and notable mash ups. One of the very popular ones is A stroke of Genius. This was released in the year 2001. Smells like a booty was also released in 2001. Mylo released Doctor pressure in the year 2005, though it was first made by Phil ‘n’ Dog. In the album Collision course, Numb/Encore was so famous that it won even a Grammy. This highlights the popularity of various mash ups. People with little knowledge about mash ups can learn about the art of creating a new music in the place of an original one. If you have the creativity and the will to do it, you will be able to make a huge difference and create some heart throbbing music mash ups.




Unlike many of the other genres of music, the mashups have been popular for a long time. There are many who love this kind of music. This is especially true in those who have heard both the original track and the one that is remade, the difference in the music is enjoyed a great deal. Many people have started taking this up as a hobby in trying to recreate new music.




Types and Genres of mashup



A vs B


Putting an a cappella against a completely different backing track in order to make a "third song" is the original "mission" of bastard pop, and it is no surprise that, in the wake of "A Stroke of Genie-us", the genre has continued to focus on this basic premise.


 



Version vs Version


Mixing two or more versions of a song to create a duet or alternate version of a song is what a version vs version is set to accomplish. It can mix 2 different versions of a song, such as a Ballad and Original version, or a cover version of the song. Some of the more popular version to version mixes are language mixes. Mixing multiple languages into one song. Version vs Version mashups usually have the same original instrumental but sometimes it is changed to benefit the song.


 



Abstract Mash Ups


Music collages which refer to avant-garde music practice and Musique Concrète. These are not intended for the dance floor and are made using all types of music and sound as valid sound sources to be played simultaneously and often manipulated. Beat matching and stylistic or aesthetic similarities are not an important factor in these mash ups. Chaos, dissonance and harmony are all possible results.


 



Glitch pop


Glitch pop is a subgenre of the bastard pop scene which marries the Digital Signal Processing (DSP) wizardry associated with Kid 606 and Tigerbeat6 records to the ostensibly familiar contours of pop. Sometimes this is done in a spirit of homage; sometimes it serves merely as a form of ridicule and even vilification; often it is both at the same time.




In the UK, the most notable exponent of the genre is Poj Masta, a teenage schoolboy whose work has been keenly supported by DJs such as Eddy Temple-Morris and James Hyman of London`s Xfm radio station. Their weekly show, The Remix, has played a major role in nurturing new bootleggers and bringing them to the attention of a wide audience.


 



Remixes


Technically, all pop songs are remixes. But while most are made up entirely of plundered material, some bootleggers have fused old a cappellas with completely new compositions of their own devising.


 



Bootleg albums


DJ Danger Mouse`s critically acclaimed remix project The Grey Album effectively launched a new pop subgenre. While The Beatles had made appearances on several mash-up tracks prior to this album (for instance PPM`s "A Life In The Day" and JPL`s "Let It Be Missy Elliott (Beatlesmix)"), The Grey Album distinguished itself by being made up entirely of samples from The Beatles` White Album and vocals from Jay-Z`s The Black Album. The project received considerable attention following EMI`s legal threats towards distributors of the album.


 


Though there are many types and subgenres of mashups, you should make sure that you understand that it is the concept of changing the music track or the sound track so that the music of one album or song is mixed to the vocal track of another one. This should never be confused with some of the other ones that are based on the other aspects like comedy tracks. Those are called as cutups.




There are many people who use the videos and even the spoken materials to have a different sound track for it. Though the principle behind both of these is the same, they are different in what they actually are. The mashup deals with only the music and songs, while cut ups and other things deal with videos and spoken words.




Notable mash ups


- "A Stroke of Genius" by Freelance Hellraiser


- "Smells like Booty" by 2ManyDJs, As Heard On Radio Soulwax Vol. 1. (Combines "Bootylicious" and "Smells Like Teen Spirit")


- The Grey Album by Danger Mouse - mashup of Jay-Z`s The Black Album with The Beatles` The White Album


- "Doctor Pressure" originally created by Phil `n` Dog in 2004, eventually released by Mylo in 2005.


- "Numb/Encore" by Linkin Park & Jay-Z, the most popular of the six mash-ups on their album Collision Course. The song was a hit amongst radio stations and eventually went on to win a Grammy.




Tools that are needed


Creating a mashup is a technical job. There are some equipments that are required to create a mashup. Some of the common equipments that are used in recreating music are the Digital audio editor which helps in editing the audio track digitally. This makes the process of recreating music to be simple and easy. The other equipment that are used include the sampler, sequencer and DJ turntables. The audio mixer is also an important equipment that is used in mixing the various audio tracks and plays a major role in the recreation of the music.




Though the use of various hi technology instruments in creating mashup is important, there is another important aspect to the creation of mashup. This is the use of various kinds of software in the making of a mashup. There are many tools, editors that are available online and can be downloaded for a price. Some of the software needs to be installed using a disk. The common software that are used in the creation of mashup include those like Wavelab, Cool Edit Pro, Soundforge and others. The most important of the software tools that play a huge role in the mashup creation industry are the Cubase and the digital audio workstation.




There are many advantages of using different kinds of software to create a mashup. The main advantage is that it is very easy for the creation of a mashup as no hard work is really needed. Beat mapping which is the method used in the process of synchronization of music with different tempos is very helpful and saves a lot of time. If this was a manual process, then it would take a very long time to get the right tempo. Other than saving a lot of time, the other advantage of using software to create mashup is the high quality of the music that is produced. All the processes including the production, mixing and editing are digital in nature. This increases the quality of the mashup which is produced as an outcome of the whole process.




Even those who have little knowledge about the techniques need not worry because of the digitalization and the creation of a mashup with software. All you need to have is a little knowledge about the music and that is enough. You do not even need to worry about the fact that you may not be able to handle the software. Almost all the software tools that are used are simple and easy to use. You will be able to create amazing mashup music by just using the software tools and the other equipment.




The cost of these equipment can vary from place to place because they are electronic goods. Though the cost may also vary depending on the extent to which you would like to digitalize the mashup. There are some people who use the traditional methods to create mashups. These people use very less equipments and even if they do use these modern gadgets, they use equipments only when it is absolutely needed. On the other hand, some of the people who have started their hobby recently in making music using mashup method are all fully into buying various kinds of equipment and software so that everything can become digitalized. This helps to increase the quality of the mash up that is created and also makes the whole process simpler as there is very little manual work that really needs to be done.




Popularization of the Mashup


Popularity of the mashup is not a very difficult process because once you have created a new track of music using the audio track from one album and the instrumental track from another album. The internet is the medium in which most of the mashup finds a global audience. In the decades before the rampant use of internet, the music needed to be physically distributed to various people. These days, the internet supports the easy transfer of music files. All you need to do is to post it and the interested people will download the mashup.




The easy transmission of mashup has created a world of opportunity for any person who is interested in recreating music in this method. Other than selling the mashup, if you are a starter in the business, then you can just give it out free initially to make yourself more popular. Once you have been able to get the attention of a lot of people on the internet or when you have started having many fans, you can start selling the products. This way, people will know what they are paying for. If you have created the first mashup and then try to sell it, you will hardly have any buyers because no one knows who you are.




To make the mashup popular, you can also use the social media to a great extent. Social media along with social networks are the two most important mediums that you can use to make your creation more popular. You can even sell the songs that you have created in the social media. Once you have become very popular and have a regular following and a growing fan base, you can start creating a web site of your own. This will further help in popularizing your creation. You should remember that if you are creating mashups as a hobby, then it is very important that you do not become commercial very quickly because you lose the joy of creating a new product.




Can you do it?


The creation of a mashup is very simple if you start doing it. The reason for the simplicity is that there are various kinds of equipment and software tools that exist already. All you need to have is a little creativity and you are good to go. Many start up businesses have made an attempt to recreate music in this method. Many individuals also try to create a mashup as a hobby. The reason for this is that it is really a satisfying job and is completely legal.




You will be able to enthrall your family and friends with the album that you have created using the instrumental music from one source and using another audio track. The resulting music is so amazing that you will not only be able to use it as a hobby, but it can also become a money making venture for you.




Copyright issues


Though there are no major problems when you have the mashup creation as a hobby, it does cause some copyright problems if it is produced on a massive scale and distributed for making a profit in a business. This can cause the original owners to cry foul. Copyright infringements can be a very tedious legal hassle and so if you are planning to go on a big scale, then it would be better to get the approval of the actual creators of the music to prevent these hassles.




In fact there have been instances where legal production of a mashup has been hugely successful.