When Beyonce and DJ Mustard Combine its Na Na Naughty Boy!

This remix project was in  accordance to DS106 audio assignment Music Mashup, which asked us to create an audio mashup aka a remix of two songs. I didn’t used Audacity as the assignment asked, but that is because I didn’t have to used Audacity.

Instead I used Mixxx which a free DJ Software. I have used previous DJ software such as Virtual DJ (which I’m certain many people I know used already,  Serato and Taktor. What was such a bother about these program besides the obvious cost, was that they were never easy to use up front, seemed intimidating and there was always some underlying catch if you really wanted to practice some pro work. Serato for example, its program being free but the hardware to go with it costing more than the most computer did. That is for another forum however.

I chose to use the below audio clips :

The instrumental is from the the Trey Songz single Na Na produced by DJ Mustard. While the A capella I found is from Beyonce’s single Naughty Girl.

From the beginning when I chose to do this project I decided it would be best to use songs which were close in bpms (beats per minute). This was so that the manipulation of the songs wouldn’t differ greatly and sound over edited from the original version. Those are problems which I encountered before trying to match a slow song with an instrumental that was much much faster or slower than that acapella was.

I am new to Mixxx and decided to find a tutorial on YouTube, after I downloaded the program and began to play with it for a bit. This clip over viewed using the cross-fader, the pitch bar which not only increases or decreases the pitch but also alters the bpms correspondingly so the higher the pitch the higher the bpms. Next was the individual volume adjust for each audio track and filters with can either cut or adjust the high, mid and low frequencies of each track. Loop controls which I was familiar from other software which allows for placing marks at specific points of a song, but I didn’t need it in this case. Generally I can agree this software is good for non-professionals, but you can also practice a lot a being that is free.

I also read this article from Beyond Beatmatching, which was essentially on creating your own mashups. This article spoke on how its best not to be too complex, and to match songs of the same or similar key. For me this can be the biggest challenge, in finding songs that are close enough in key and have a similar bpm. This article also featured an interview with DJ Prince, who is a DJ and producer from Norway who has been around since the 1980’s. He goes on talk about how he had to do research back then by going to the library and reading about music theory, and discovering the root key of pop songs back then and applying them to his turntables to work. He also goes on to say how back then without affordable software he had to rely on musician friends to find the key in a song, which really shows me how far technology has come where we have free and available software that lessons our work load but obviously requires us to understand what exactly we are doing.

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 11.16.59 AMScreenshot of songs adjusted and playing together.

As I was using Mixxx and used two songs which were close enough in bpm I left the Instrumental track as it was. However I lowered the pitch of the A capella track since it was slightly faster than than the instrumentals and changing the pitch also changes the bpm or speed of the track. It was difficult to find the correct pitch of the A capella that would seem legitimate enough to match the instrumental. My final project is as close as I believe I could work the A capella which does not begin as sounding as good as it finishes.