Mashups Are Overrated!

by Ruben on June 27th, 2013 Leave a comment »

Okay, so I’ve been ranting around about the mashups quite a bit now, what’s my problem? Well, no problem really, I just can’t stand those people who act like they are the worlds best producer ever just because know how to click a mouse and drag audio files to the right position in their DAW.

There is nothing “genius” about making a mashup, people who create them are not “talented”, it is not “awesome”, “great”, “fantastic” nor “amazing”.

Those are just a few of the responses I read regularly on mashups that are uploaded to YouTube or SoundCloud, while the real genius minds don’t get any replies at all. I’m talking about the real producers out there. People who make wonderful compositions, remixes or other creative masterpieces that took hours, days, weeks or even longer to create.

If anyone EVER thinks that creating mashups required any skills, just send them to this page to prove them otherwise. The things you REALLY need to make a mashup (apart from the obvious hardware to play/mix audio):

  • Some audio tracks, preferably separate instrumental and acapella tracks, although you can also easily mash up certain tracks just as they are.
  • The ability to determine the tempo of a song.
  • Software that can change the tempo of a song (timestretching).
  • The ability to determine the key of a song, although you can get some results just by trial and error.
  • Just a very slight idea about the structure of a song, like chorus, verse, bridge etc. Although I’ve heard some mashups that didn’t seem to care at all and were also liked by the no-brainers that are easily amazed by the most simple things.

Here are some examples I made just to prove my point:

  • Adele vs. Britney: Two mashups of an Adele vocal track over a Britney Spears instrumental track. Made in about three hours, which included everything from finding songs in the same key, setting the tempo, determining the elements of the song’s structure and move bits around.
  • Superman Can’t Dance with the Magic Twilight Criminal: A mashup of 5 different songs together, just to try to be at least a little bit creative with this mashup thing. Took me little over two hours. Song keys were already determined previously.
  • How to create a mashup less than 3 minutes! Something I didn’t even dare to put on SoundCloud. It’s a video showing how to create a mashup of an Usher song and a Tears for Fears song in little over 2.5 minutes! The key and tempo were already determined previously. Just picked two songs from my acapella/instrumental collection.

Now, there are of course exceptions to the “rule” of mashups being lame. Like this absolute masterpiece by Daniel Kim that crams over 50 songs in 8 minutes. That IS absolute creativity to the max!


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