Here is a tutorial to show you how to mix your own audio tracks or songs together to create music. This is a free way to create your own remixes easily. An audio editing tool and some creativity is just what you need to make your own mixes. You can try mixing various sounds and songs together with some effects to make your own music.
Here, we look at the basics of audio mixing using Audacity, a very powerful free and open source software. You can download Audacity from here. To save your tracks as MP3s, you need the LAME MP3 Encoder, which is available under ‘Optional Downloads’ at the same site.
Once you start Audacity, you can open the songs you want to work with by selecting Import Audio from the Project menu. File > Open will open the file in a different window. The song(s) will open in different tracks in the same window as waveforms.
A waveform is a graphical representation of the audio file. It shows the amplitude (or volume) of the track at every instant of time. You can play from any position on the track by simply clicking on the waveform at the desired point (timeline) and pressing the spacebar or the Play button. To select a portion of the wave-form, just click and drag your mouse cursor and you will see the waveform being highlighted.
Making A Selection
Let’s say you want to mix the music from Akon with the track of Tiesto. Open these files in separate windows. Note that you cannot copy just any part of Akon and mix it at any point in Tiesto. First, you must take care to begin your selection (in this case, Akon) at a point on the waveform where the amplitude is zero. Zoom in to the waveform to pin-point a position where the Y-axis (hence amplitude) is zero. Similarly, end the selection at a zero amplitude point.
When you play the tracks, ensure that the mix sounds good. You may need to spend some time on it before you get the proper hang of mixing at the correct points. You can try different combinations like mixing the intro music of a number at the end of the song, extending the track by pasting another song at the end. The possibilities are limited only by your creativity!
Normalizing The Tracks
When you have two songs open, you will immediately see that the average levels (the Y-axis levels) of the two are different (in most cases). Before you do any mixing, you need to bring them to the same level by a process called normalizing. Press [Ctrl] + [A] to select all tracks, and go to Effect > Normalize and apply the change.
Mixing The Tracks
Open the Tiesto track in a new window and here, create a new blank track by going to Project > New Stereo Track. Choose the point(s) in Tiesto where you want to mix your selection. Now, in the blank track that appears just below, paste this selection (from Akon, by our example) at a point of your choice. Now when you play the track, you can hear the sound from both tracks.
You can repeatedly paste your mixing selection to create a loop effect or even paste them at different points. If your mixing appears at the beginning of the track, you may want to Fade In your selection (increase the amplitude gradually) or conversely, Fade Out if it appears at the end of the track. These options can be found under the Effects menu.
Deleting Parts Of A Track
Deleting is perhaps the simplest thing you can do, just highlight (select) the portion to delete and press [Delete]. You may select a whole stanza or beat sequence to delete if you want to shorten the song. Erasing at random will make the track sound bad, to say the least.
Save The New File!
If you’re satisfied with the way your mixed track, you can save it as an MP3 by going to File > Export as MP3. Your output file will contain the “mix” of both the tracks. Mixing two tracks is just one of the basic operations that can be per formed on audio files using Audacity.
Audacity offers a lot more editing and manipulation options. Try different options under the Effects menu on parts of the file. The Music Director in you might just be unleashed. Share these songs with your friends and who knows you may be the next big thing.