Pop Danthology is a huge project that requires about 180 hours of work.
The first and least exciting part of making Pop Danthology is gathering all the different instrumental and acapella tracks, audio stems, and full songs. I search all over the internet like a determined chef searches different markets and grocery stores for his ingredients. Mashup artists like myself, however, are “chefs” who live in a world full of many deceitful grocery stores that mislabel their produce as “fresh” and “organic” when they really are far from those descriptions. It makes me angry when people misuse the word “official” to promote their instrumental remakes and acapella covers. I am one “chef” who will not be deceived. I instead take the time to visit every “grocery store” in order to get ingredients of the highest quality. I usually end up with around 200 audio files.
Organization is so important when working with 200 audio files. I organize all my files by their bpm (tempo) and key. This year, I used a DJ software called MIXED IN KEY to find out all of my tempos and keys. Watch the video above to see me working with it. It greatly increased my efficiency.
check out Mixed In Key DJ Software
(How I organize my 200 audio files)
If you change the tempo too drastically, instrumentals sound too different. If you change the pitch more than 3 semi-tones, voices lose too much of its original quality and begin sounding less and less human. In order to preserve the highest quality, I do an extreme amount of planning.
I use Logic Pro X to arrange all the music. I start with laying down the foundation of the mashup by mixing all the instrumentals together first. I love dance music so I feature mostly upbeat instrumentals. I then arrange all the vocals on top.
I edit the video in Final Cut Pro. I set aside only the clips that I need – if my music only features a 3 second section in a song, I will set aside only that section of the music video to work with. I then change the speed of the clip by the exact percentage of the change I made to its music. During this time, my computer lags so much because I am doing so many things at the same time. I will be simultaneously downloading large video files, converting those files into even larger files that I can work with, and editing the music video. I also try to use good judgment when it comes to video clips that may not be suitable for my younger audience. I am not a fan of videos that appear to objectify women. For the past few years, I have toned down a lot of music video clips from Enrique Iglesius. Sorry Enrique.