How To Mashup: Step 2 with Nacotheque

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Ever wonder how or why DJs fuse seemingly opposite tracks? Um, Willie Colon and Britney Spears? Qué qué? Mashups are a great way to give listeners a point of reference (remember that Menudo song?), something to grab on to. But they’re not just your regular ol’ mix. Mashups happen when you combine two stylistically-different tracks (think Yanni and Metallica, Vico C and Andrea Bocelli) and fuse them together to create one track. No flip flopping, just constant overlay. Most times, they’ll end up sounding even better than the originals.

New York duo Nacotheque has been creating a myriad of mashups as Heineken MezclaSonic DJs, touring with Heineken Inspire, a summer-long concert series that will next hit up New York (July 31st) and LA (August 28th). Here we got Nacotheque’s main man, Marcelo Baez, to teach us Step 2 of our How To Mashup Series. We visited him in his Manhattan cave to find out how he gets started with his mashups, what programs he uses, and why. Watch and learn!

Mashup the Nacotheque way. Follow these quick tips and steps to continue your mashup project.

STEP 2: How to get started? What programs should you use?

Once you have your two songs down (Marcelo chose his own beat to mashup with YouTube sensation Yasuri Yamileth), the next step is laying out how you’re going to go about your mashup production. Most importantly: what programs and software you use.

— Marcelo recommends using your own computer or laptop as your DAW (DJ jargon for Digital Audio Workstation), especially if you’re starting off and low on cash. “It’s all about personal preference, but if you’re trying to do it on the cheap, a personal computer is the best way to go. Not only do you get an all-in-one solution, but if you’re a bedroom enthusiast, you’ll also save yourself some physical space.”

— Marcelo has opted for the bedroom option, converting his quaint cuarto into a built-in studio.

— Use software programs like Logic, Protools, Reason, Cubase, and Live. Marcelo’s favorite: FL Studio. “It has a very intuitive layout and it gives you great out-of-the-box tools for making remixes and mashups.”

— If you’ve chosen a song you heard on YouTube (like in this case), you have to download the video and convert the file from an MP4 (video format) into a WAV format (Windows uncompressed audio format).  Marcelo used Sony’s video-editing software Vegas, but there are tons of file converters out there that can do the same.

— To download a video from YouTube you can use a number of free Web sites (Downloader9, KeepVid, etc.) that allow you to input the URL of the YouTube video and auto-generates a download link  in the appropriate format for your desktop.

— Once you have your programs and your songs in the right format, it’s all slice and dice from there!

Next time catch Camilo Lara of Mexican Institute of Sound’s take on mashups with our final steps in our How To Mashup Series.

Catch Nacotheque alongside other Heineken MezclaSonic DJs Mexican Institute of Sound and D’Marquesina, and Tito el Bambino in NYC on July 31st. Also catch the three DJs with Babasónicos in LA on August 28th as part of the Heineken Inspire Summer Tour. Click HERE for more info on how to get tickets, which cover entrance, music, food, beer, Heineken taste testing, gaming area, t-shirt silk screenings, and más!