Retro Corner 8: The Daily Mash(up)

When I’m not writing fiction, I sometimes trouble the world of music. And I just installed Audacity on the Surface. Brace yourselves.

I do love a bit of music geekery. I own an original DX7, made before such useful concepts as ‘MIDI standards’ and ‘not needing a maths degree to understand the thing’. Sometimes, though, it’s easier to do creative things with other people’s music. Mashups kept me sane during my MSc, especially Party Ben’s inspired Coldplay vs Kraftwerk epic. And I normally hate Coldplay.


I did my first mashup during NaNoWriMo back in 2013, because Gotye was on the radio all the time and it bothered me that he sounded like Peter Gabriel. After a crash course in Audacity, and PG being kind enough to be giving the individual tracks for Shock The Monkey away for free. It’s rough as hell, but someday I’ll put up ‘A Monkey That I Used To Know’. Someday.

A few days back, I discovered the Isolated Vocals Reddit. See, it’s possible to take your favourite song and pull the vocals out, but it’s not easy, and it depends on whether they’re centered in the mix, whether the moon is in the seventh house etc etc. Much easier to let someone else do the work. I found Fleetwood Mac lurking in the list, and listening to their vocals alone is a sheer delight. Then I ran into an instrumental version of Billy Ocean’s When The Going Gets Tough, from cheesy 80s cinematic gem The Jewel Of The Nile.

And that’s when The Tough Don’t Stop sort of happened. Sorry about that.

Rough round the edges it may be- one day I’ll learn to normalise and change vocal tempo properly- but it’s still happy-making. It’s a bit like editing. The more you do it, the better you get at it. In theory, anyway. Ahem.

As an added bonus, flexing another creative muscle caused an editing roadblock to fall away, and I’ve done a massive big chunk of work in the past few days. International Day of Happiness, indeed ❤

Lindsey doesn't seem that happy about my efforts, though.

Lindsey doesn’t seem that happy about my efforts, though.

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