Competing In Competitions

Creating Your Own Music Mix

Producing your own professional mix is simple once you have the right tools. First and foremost hardware is needed. You will need to have a basic PC with a CD burner (labeled CDR, CDR+, or CD-RW), a sound card (it may be built in and is not labeled PC speaker) with a microphone and audio out port. The CD burner will be used to create your mixes while the microphone will be used to record additional audio.

The software you use will determine how easy and professional your mix will be. Although there are different kinds of software that can edit and rip music, the following is a list of what you want your software to perform:

Burning software: Software that will copy your audio compilation from your computer to an audio CD.
Ripping software: Software that will copy your selected songs to the computer for editing. It is also necessary if you plan to rip audio from movies.
Audio conversion: You will need a software that can convert your audio from one format to another if necessary, MP3 to WAV and vice-versa.
Outsource of audio clips: You might need audio clips for transitions which could be an explosion, record scratch, car crash, etc.
Editing software: The most important software needed. This software will ideally allow you to change the speed of a song, link a number of songs together, cut or edit length of music, etc.

Although there may be dozens of software available, we will list the software that will be used for our example:

Burning software:
Roxio Media Creator 7.0 link
Ripping software:
Winamp 5.0x (registered) for music CDs link
DVD-2-DIVX for movies
Audio conversion:
Winamp 5.0x for converting MP3 to WAV and DivX movies to WAV audio link
Roxio Media Creator 7.0 for converting WAV to MP3 link
Outsource of audio clips:
The Internet for searching .wav files using a search engine.
Editing Software:
Sonic Foundry Acid 4.0 link

For our example, we will create a mix that has a disco theme to it. We've selected the following audio clips for our theme:
"Disco Stu likes Disco Music."
"How you doin?"
Explosion
Car Braking
Giggle

We've also selected the following songs and movies for our mix:

Johnny Polanco & Su Conjunto - Guaguanco con Rumba
Bee Gees - Disco Inferno
Bee Gees - Staying Alive

First, we'll need to register and set up Winamp. After typing in our registry key under the preferences menu, we have to set up where the music is saved to. Click on "CD Ripping" under the preferences menu and click on the "Output File Setting" tab. Now select the location where you would like your music saved to. Clicking on the "Encoder" tab, you can set the file output to MP3. Now we're ready to go. We start by ripping "Guaguanco con Rumba" from the CD "Pa'l bailador." After inserting the CD into our CD drive and loading it into Winamp, we select the track that the song is on and rip the song to the computer in MP3 format. We do the same for "Disco Inferno" and "Staying Alive."

In order to rip audio clips from movies, we have to copy a portion of the movie to the computer using DVD-2-Divx. Although the mix we created used audio clips from the internet, the ripping of audio from DVDs would go something like this: following the instructions in DVD-2-Divx, set up your rip session for your movie. Once the movie has been ripped to AVI, use Winamp to rip the audio from the movie clip. This is done by going to the preferences menu and clicking on the output. Change the output to [out_disk.dll] and select the destination of the rip. Be aware that the output will be in WAV format. Once done, we can cut out most of the audio that we do not need with Roxio's Sound Editor. Load the wav file with the program and cut out the parts of the song you do not need then save it as an MP3. You do not have to be perfect in cutting out the parts; this will be done with Sonic Foundry.

The audio clips were found by searching .wav files under a search engine. After going across a number of sites, we found the clips for free and downloaded them to our computer.

We also used audio clips from internet videos. Using the same steps in Winamp, rip the movie file's audio to the computer from the [out_disk.dll] output under the preferences menu.

Now that we have all of the audio sources we used Sonic Foundry to piece together or mix. After loading up the program, we load all of the audio clips. With some fancy work, we set up our clips in the following way:

Once we have the music ready, we have to write the audio into one MP3 file. In order for this to work, we have to route the output audio to the microphone jack. We then clicked on the "record" button and write the music to a file. Be aware that if the hardware is set up incorrectly, the file that comes out will have no audio.

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