This Is How You Mashup

What is a mashup?

If you’re like my wife (and google everything), a mashup according to Wikipedia is:

A mashup (also mesh, mash up, mash-up, blend, bootleg and bastard pop/rock) is a song or composition created by blending two or more pre-recorded songs, usually by overlaying the vocal track of one song seamlessly over the instrumental track of another.

I’ve never heard of bastard pop/rock (this may be known as Nickelback).

Here’s what you need:

Software with time-stretching and pitch-shifting capabilities.

(I’m running Pro Tools and using Serato’s Pitch ‘n’ Time Pro)


(Your PV is stacked with the latest Acapellas)


(Your PV is stacked with the latest Instrumentals)

Song Keys

Optional Software/Apps

(Mixed In Key/Key Detect/Key My Songs)

Optional Plugins

(Melodyne/Waves Tune)

A strong understanding of rhythm and pitch and awareness of structure are key to making a great mashup. If you’ve got some practical skills under your hat – awesome! If you’ve got a great ear – awesome! If you’re tech savvy but unsure of notations, I would encourage you to invest your time (outside of twitter and facebook) into learning the basics of chord and note structures. Here’s a “cheats” guide (who doesn’t love a cheeky cheat’s guide) to mixing in Key.

Look to avoid extreme variations in tempos as time stretching vocals can sound terrible. I would recommend to pitch within 1 semitone either side of your source track and to keep it within a 10bpm variation (eg: a 90bpm instrumental with a 100bpm acapella).

For the purpose of this example, I’ve used an acapella from The Freestyler’s “Push Up” (138 BPM), Britney Spears Toxic Instrumental (143bpm), Jessie J Bang Bang Acapella (150 bpm) and the latest from Jessie J – Masterpiece (72bpm). Why 72bpm? It’s almost identically half the BPM of my original source instrumental.

**From the screenshot via serato pitch n time pro, I’ve highlighted two bars of music to determine the BPM**

With a tiny bit of time stretching – it comes up a seamless treat (if I do say so myself).

Mash ups can sound amazing in your everyday imaging too – from matching an acapella to a remix or instrumental for your next promotion, to building a killer music demonstrator that packs a bunch of hits into the one spot. You’ll find plenty of inspiration in the PV CHR & Hot AC imaging libraries utilizing mash up styles and pitch shifting.

Have fun!


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