Get Your Pop Tips And Mashups Now

Today’s title sounds like a bad menu choice from a greasy spoon, but is inspired by my recent discovery of two useful lists; the first being a list of 25 pop track production tips over at the newly-beta music radar, and the second being Bootie’s list of the best mashups of 2007, which are all available for free download…

On Track For The Perfect Sound

Computer Music magazine has just launched a new website for electronic musicians, DJs, producers and technicians, and it’s called Music Radar. As one of their first articles, this piece provides some very succinct insights into the art of producting a straight-up pop song. Many of these points have been touched on in the PodBlog already, but this is a good reference for budding producers. One interesting observation here is the importance of recording a ‘vocal up’ mix – this is your finished mix with the vocal track boosted by a few dB. Having a ‘vocal up’ mix can be very handy for mastering engineers, particularly if they plan on creating a radio mix. Try this post for more information about how radio compression affects music.

Another valid point is the fact that musicians and producers often approach a mix in very different ways. From a musician’s perspective, the notes are the most important thing (and perhaps they are), but a producer knows that how those notes sound can make the difference between a pop classic and an also-ran. Because pop is often listened to on very limited speakers, the vocal and the instrumental hook must sound great – because this is all a lot of people will hear. As such, it may be a good idea to layer a few sounds on the same hook-riff to give it a bit more punch and lustre.

Meet The Mashups

Bootie has been a flagship of the bootleg mashup world since 2003, and now has mashup club nights in six cities around the world – and one in Second Life. You can download their compilations of the best of the year’s mashups from 2007, 2006 and 2005 directly from their website. As the mashup is such an overt intermingling of often disparate entities – at least two, and Copycat’s Fade to Pretty Vacant is a mix of five different artists – the legal position of such works is in something of a grey area. Everyone’s pretty sure that mashups in general are technically illegal, but unless all the artists in the mix were on the same label (and the track became a huge hit) then it’s unlikely that any coherent litigation could ensue. Until this situation changes, you can get yourself a copy of the best Bootie mashups here.


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