Monster Mash BY: Arnoldo Offerman

January 1, 2013 by Dagan White

BUILDING FRANKENSONG WITH MASHUP

I loved Mixed in Key so much, I had to jump on their newest offering: Mashup. This program allows
most DJs to do what once looked like a daunting
task: create amazing mashups within minutes.
The software is simple to the point of looking like this is a trick question. Once opened, you’ll see your main work area and a track search area; just search for the track and drop it in, and you’ve begun creating your own mashups. I say “trick question”
on the interface because I expected something a bit more complex, something that offered tons of options that promise awesomeness, but would actually confuse the heck out of me.
“Nay,” Mashup says, “just follow your instincts.”
I read NOTHING of the instructional manual nor watched the handy tutorial at first. I did glance over it to see what extra goodies there might be waiting for me, and I did notice some extra options.
So how did I create my first mashup on Mashup” I found an a cappella of a song that I liked and dropped it in. Then I searched for “instrumentals” and my list popped up. However, this list was not in alphabetical order, instead it was sorted by “harmonic compatibility.” Sweet nuggety goodness, I thought, this software thinks for me? You betcha, and it doesn’t do a bad job, either. To be fair, this was done through the magic of Mixed in Key’s music analysis technology (see my review in the last MB), so make sure you get that first; you won’t regret it!
Measuring the a cappella’s BPM was a surprising accomplishment, since there was no detectable beat. I started dropping some instrumentals in and I noticed that it automatically synced up the BPMs for me But Mashup also provides the option to shift either song manually to make the mix sound better. My elements were slightly off from where I wanted them, so I did employ this feature.
A few fun features allowed me to modify volume and EQ along different points in each track. I was also able to trim the track to a shorter length, which allowed me to drop multiple beats in there and create a song that changed beats more than Cher changes clothes.
After a few tweaks, I was happy with my new Frankensong and I quickly exported it out.
What makes this software really easy to use is that on the surface it looks like most popular audio editing programs. Within a few seconds of using it, you’ll have a feel for where every feature is and you’ll instinctively know what to do next.

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Is this the be-all and end-all tool for creating mashups?
Indeed, there are more complex options that allow filters, plug-ins, and other tweaks, but they also come at a higher cost and a higher learning curve. Mashup allows the average DJ to start pumping out custom tracks immediately, which is perfect for those times when you think of a pair of great songs that really go well together.
Take it on the go, too! It?s available on iOS as well as Mac and PC. Mashup, from the makers of the super-handy Mixed in Key, is a must-have tool that you shouldn’t miss, if you want to easily generate great song combinations. MB

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Dagan White (27 Posts)


Filed Under: Exclusive Online News and Content, Issue #147