Tag Archives: dj

Pop Danthology 2013

dan·thol·o·gy

/danˈTHäləjē/

noun
an anthology of various creative works arranged by Daniel Kim.

Finally, after a total of 180 hours of work, I have finished the 2013 edition of my annual “Pop Danthology” music mix series.

SONG LIST

(In alphabetical order by artist)

  1. Anna Kendrick – “Cups (When I’m Gone)”
  2. Armin van Buuren feat. Trevor Guthrie – “This Is What It Feels Like”
  3. A$AP Rocky feat. Skrillex, Birdy Nam Nam – “Wild For The Night”
  4. Avicii – “Wake Me Up”
  5. Avril Lavigne – “Here’s To Never Growing Up”
  6. Bastille – “Pompeii”
  7. Bauuer – “Harlem Shake”
  8. Bingo Players feat. Far East Movement – “Get Up (Rattle)”
  9. Britney Spears – “Ooh La La”
  10. Britney Spears – “Work B**ch”
  11. Bruno Mars – “Locked Out Of Heaven”
  12. Bruno Mars – “Treasure”
  13. Bruno Mars – “When I Was Your Man”
  14. Calvin Harris feat. Ayah Marar – “Thinking About You”
  15. Calvin Harris feat. Ellie Goulding – “I Need Your Love”
  16. Capital Cities – “Safe And Sound”
  17. Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams – “Get Lucky”
  18. Demi Lovato – “Heart Attack”
  19. Drake feat. Majid Jordan – “Hold On, We’re Going Home”
  20. Drake – “Started From The Bottom”
  21. Ellie Goulding – “Burn”
  22. Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX – “I Love It (I Don’t Care)”
  23. Imagine Dragons – Demons
  24. Jason Derulo – “The Other Side”
  25. Jay-Z feat. Justin Timberlake – “Holy Grail”
  26. Justin Timberlake – “Mirrors”
  27. Justin Timberlake feat. Jay-Z – “Suit & Tie”
  28. Katy Perry – “Roar”
  29. Kelly Clarkson – “Catch My Breath”
  30. Ke$ha – “C’mon”
  31. Ke$ha feat. will.i.am – “Crazy Kids”
  32. Krewella – “Alive”
  33. Lady Gaga – “Applause”
  34. Lana Del Rey – “Summertime Sadness (Cedric Gervais Remix)”
  35. Lorde – “Royals”
  36. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Mary Lambert – “Same Love”
  37. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton – “Can’t Hold Us”
  38. Maroon 5 – “Daylight”
  39. Maroon 5 – “Love Somebody”
  40. Martin Garrix – “Animals”
  41. Martin Solveig & The Cataracs feat. Kyle – “Hey Now”
  42. Miley Cyrus – “We Can’t Stop”
  43. Miley Cyrus – “Wrecking Ball”
  44. Naughty Boy feat. Sam Smith – “La La La”
  45. One Direction – “Best Song Ever”
  46. One Direction – “Story Of My Life”
  47. OneRepublic – “Counting Stars”
  48. OneRepublic – “If I Lose Myself”
  49. Passenger – “Let Her Go”
  50. P!nk feat. Nate Ruess – “Just Give Me A Reason”
  51. Pitbull feat. Christina Aguilera – “Feel This Moment”
  52. Pitbull feat. Ke$ha – “Timber”
  53. Pitbull feat. TJR – “Don’t Stop The Party”
  54. PSY – “Gentleman”
  55. Rihanna – “Pour It Up”
  56. Rihanna feat. David Guetta – “Right Now”
  57. Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko – “Stay”
  58. Robin Thicke feat. Kendrick Lamar – “Give It 2 U”
  59. Robin Thicke feat. T.I., Pharrell Williams – “Blurred Lines”
  60. Selena Gomez – “Come & Get It”
  61. Selena Gomez – “Slow Down”
  62. Taylor Swift – “22”
  63. Taylor Swift – “I Knew You Were Trouble”
  64. will.i.am feat. Britney Spears – “Scream & Shout”
  65. will.i.am feat. Justin Bieber – “#thatPOWER”
  66. Ylvis – “The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)”
  67. Zedd feat. Foxes – “Clarity”
  68. Zedd feat. Hayley Williams – “Stay The Night”

LYRICS & SONG TITLES

(In order of appearance)

THE MAKING OF POP DANTHOLOGY 2013

There is so much that goes into the production of Pop Danthologies. Below is a pie chart that shows the breakdown of all the work I did for Pop Danthology 2013.

Pop Danthology 2013 Pie Chart

MUSIC

GATHERING

The first and least exciting part of making Pop Danthology is gathering all the different instrumental and acapella tracks, audio stems, and full songs. I search all over the internet like a determined chef searches different markets and grocery stores for his ingredients. Mashup artists such as myself, however, are “chefs” who live in a world of many deceitful grocery stores that mislabel their produce as “fresh” and “organic” when they really are far from those descriptions. I am one “chef” who will not be deceived. I instead take the time to visit every “grocery store” in order to get ingredients of the highest quality. This year, I felt that there was a shortage of high quality audio parts compared to previous years. Nevertheless, after 33 hours, I was able to compile a ready-to-mix list of 179 (73 vocal, 41 instrumental, 65 complete with both) music files.

Pop Danthology 2013 Song List

PLANNING AND ORGANIZING

A lot of planning is required in the making of Pop Danthology because not all songs fit nicely into one stationary tempo and key (many other mashup artists do this but it distorts the sound quality and timbre of the original audio parts too much for my liking). In order to determine what keys to use in Pop Danthology, I draw up a chart like the one below.

Pop Danthology 2013 Key Chart[ the numbers above refer to the number of songs in that key ]

This key chart shows me that this year’s music, like many of the previous years’ music, is all over the place; there is no one key being predominantly used. I, therefore, had no choice but to use multiple key changes in this year’s Pop Danthology. The tempos of all the music this year were all over the place too. I had to use a total of 11 tempo changes in Pop Danthology 2013.

Pop Danthology 2013 Tempo[ This is Pop Danthology 2013's tempo graph showing all the fluctuations in tempo from the beginning (left side) to the very end (right side) of the mix ]

I spent a total of 9 hours planning and organizing Pop Danthology 2013.

ARRANGING AND MIXING

The fun part began only after investing 42 hours into this epic project (talk about delayed gratification, huh?). This is the part I get to combine all the different sounds together to make new sounds. I spent a total of 114 hours arranging and mixing Pop Danthology 2013. A lot of that time, though, was spent just listening to my progress at full volume and dancing as if I was hearing it at a DJ concert. It is also during this part of the mashup making process that the only music I listen to, on loop, is my work in progress. Even while driving my car from one place to another, I examine all the volumes and frequencies of each individual audio part with a critical ear.

Pop Danthology 2013 Arrangement

[ Arranging my music on Logic Pro X ]

VIDEO

GATHERING

Unlike the music portion of the mashup making process, it is so much easier to find the official music videos to all the songs used in Pop Danthology. All it took was 1 hour of simple YouTube searches.

EDITING

Editing the music video was so easy as well. All I really had to do was find the video clips matching the audio parts featured in Pop Danthology 2013 and then stretch or compress them by the same percentage that the audio parts were stretched/compressed. I do spend the extra time, though, to carefully select video clips that are appropriate for all ages. I spent 23 hours editing Pop Danthology 2013.

POP… DAN… THOLOGY INTRO

Van Damme VS Dan

This year I decided to make a parody of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s viral Volvo commercial as my video intro. I could not have done this part without the help of:

Justin Lam (Lighting, Equipment)

Steve Tan (Editor/Compositor)

Website: threesixtyphoto.com Website: stevetan.net
Facebook: ThreeSixtyPhotography Instagram: @stevetan
Twitter: @threesixtyphoto Twitter: @stevetan
Vimeo: threesixtyphoto Vimeo: stevetan

Click here to read more about how Steve was able to make my floating head move so perfectly along with Jean-Claude Van Damme’s body.

DOWNLOAD

Pop Danthology 2013

Pop Danthology 2012

Pop Danthology 2011

Pop Danthology 2010

TITLE ART

(Click to enlarge)

Pop Danthology 2013 CoverPop Danthology 2013 Black TitlePop Danthology 2013 White Title

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Making of Ultra Dance 14 Megamix

Three weeks ago in my post titled “Teenage Dream Come True,” I wrote about my exciting new opportunity to work with Ultra Music. Today, Ultra Music released my work on their YouTube channel!


I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this work. To be more exact, I enjoyed all fifty hours that I spent making this music video mix. Even though Ultra Music gave me just two weeks to finish the project, I was so passionately involved that I finished it within a week.

GATHERING (2 hour)

One of the greatest perks of legitimately working on a mix with a record company as opposed to working on a bootleg mix alone is the full access to all the best quality audio parts. In “The Making of Pop Danthology,” I had to spend an entire month working on this part. It is this part of megamixing that I hate the most because it feels so unproductive. I was thrilled to find out that Ultra Music was willing to save my time by providing me with all the audio parts that they had access to. All I had to do was click one button to download everything onto my computer. I felt like a little boy on a shopping spree at a toy store when I saw all the perfect audio stems! There was only a little bit of additional searching that I had to do on my own.

LISTENING (1 hour)

To get a good overview of the compilation of music, I spent an hour just listening to the fifteen songs that Ultra Music wanted me to mix.

PLANNING (8 hours)

My planning always starts off with me making a list of all the songs with their tempos and keys. I thought maybe I could save some time on this part by looking at the key information provided by Beatport, but I discovered that even their details are not always so accurate. I then made a note of all the best and most marketable parts for each one of the fifteen songs (I have always had a natural sense for sounds that appeal to the masses). Then I started to plan out the order in which those best parts would appear on the mix.

ARRANGING (23 hours)

I spent the next twenty hours putting all of the audio parts together using Logic Pro.

MIXING (1 hour)

Once all the audio parts were in their rightful place, I had to mix my arrangement. Surprisingly, this took a much shorter time than I originally expected because, this time, I worked with such good quality audio. Previously when I worked with lesser quality audio and warped them using lesser quality warping mechanisms, I had to play around with the EQ so much to make up for the lost frequencies. This time, however, I downloaded a free trial version of Ableton Live and was amazed by its ability to warp audio while retaining much of its original quality.

VIDEO EDITING – first edit (8 hours)

Once the music is done, the video editing comes so easy. I finished making the first edit of the video in one day with no breaks, no meals. To me, all the parts before this stage is like drawing and this part is like tracing over my drawing. Since there is also less lip-syncing in electronic music videos, timing is so much more flexible. I did not need to speed up or slow down too much footage. After watching all of the electronic dance music videos, I realized that too many directors overuse running and fighting during the climactic parts of electronic music.

VIDEO EDITING – final edit (7 hours)

Adding images, text, logos, making changes as requested by Ultra Music, making the teaser.

SONGLIST:

[A] Calvin Harris ft. Florence Welch – Sweet Nothing
[B] Qwote – Letting Go
[C] Brass Knuckles- Bad Habits
[D] Enur feat. Nicki Minaj and Goonrock – I’m That Chick (Rune RK Remix)
[E] Alex Gaudino feat. Taboo – I Don’t Wanna Dance
[F] Kaskade feat. Neon Trees – Lessons In Love (Headhunterz Remix)
[G] Benny Benassi presents The Biz – Satisfaction (RL Grime Remix)
[H] deadmau5 – The Veldt (Tommy Trash Remix)
[I] Sandro Silva feat. Jack Miz – Let Go Tonight
[J] Fedde Le Grand & Nicky Romero feat. Matthew Koma – Sparks (Turn Off Your Mind)
[K] Bang La Decks- Kudeon (Obsession)
[L] Michael Mind – Feeling So Blue
[M] Congorock and Stereo Massive – Bless Di Nation feat. Sean Paul
[N] Black Boots – Rebels In The Night (Extended Mix)
[O] Above & Beyond feat. Zoe Johnston – Alchemy (Above & Beyond Club Mix)

ORDER OF APPEARANCE:

[time start - song - time end]

 VOCALS:

 INSTRUMENTALS:

00:03 – C – 00:07
00:07 – A – 00:11
00:10 – J – 00:19
00:11 – H – 00:15
00:14 – E – 00:15
00:19 – C – 00:21
00:21 – J – 00:23
00:23 – C – 00:24
00:24 – J – 00:26
00:26 – C – 00:35
00:37 – F – 00:52
00:44 – C – 00:45
00:52 – B – 01:07
01:07 – C – 01:22
01:22 – N – 01:52
01:59 – K – 02:00
02:01 – D – 02:05
02:07 – L – 02:22
02:28 – L – 02:30
02:30 – M – 02:37
02:52 – O – 03:21
03:25 – G – 03:26
03:33 – G – 03:34
03:40 – G – 03:41
03:41 – J – 04:11
03:48 – G – 03:49
04:10 – I – 04:28

00:03 – C – 01:22
01:22 – C + N – 01:37
01:37 – N – 01:52
01:52 – N + L – 02:07
02:07 – L – 02:37
02:37 – O + G – 03:26
03:26 – G – 03:56
03:56 – A – end
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Teenage Dream Come True

Chao Headphone

Between the years of 1998 and 2003, I attended an all-boys Catholic high school. During this time, rap was really popular and all of my friends were listening to American rap music. I, on the other hand, found an obsessive liking for Australian hi-NRG dance music (this was before YouTube came into existence so it was very uncommon for a Korean boy from Vancouver, Canada to be listening to music from Australia).

I was a huge fan of Nicholas Agamalis (a.k.a. “DJ Nick Skitz”) and Alex Karbouris (a.k.a. “DJ Alex K”). It was through their work that I discovered how much I love megamixes. I loved how megamixes efficiently transitioned from one song to the next before my boredom could cause me to lose my focus. When I first heard this megamix by DJ Nick Skitz, I was completely blown away! “How is this even possible?” I thought to myself at the time.

I thought it was so cool that “Wild FM,” a dance music radio station that used to exist in Sydney, recognized their talents too and had them produce their megamixes. I collected every single one. “Wow!” I thought, “what an honourable gig! I wish I could do something like that someday.” But having no faith in myself, I put aside another one of my silly teenage dreams.

Ten years later, after having completely forgotten about that dream, I make a megamix just for fun and it goes viral all over the internet! Since then, so many great things have been coming my way: interviews (TV and print), free DJ equipment (like the beautiful headphones in the picture above – click on the image too see more of their headphones), and work opportunities (some overseas with all travel and accommodation expenses taken care of).

One of those great opportunities was able to resurrect that dream that I had put aside in high school.

Ultra Music,” the #1 dance/electronic music label in the US, contacted me and asked if I could make them a video megamix as a promotional piece for their “Ultra Dance” various artists compilation.

Ultra Music

O-M-G.

Of course I said “YES!” to this wonderful opportunity. The megamix will be released very shortly as I have not been given much time to work on it :P

Thank you DJ Nick Skitz and DJ Alex K for both being such an inspiration to me during my high school years. Thank you Ultra Music for making one of my dreams come true.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Making of Pop Danthology

Pop Danthology 2012Once a year, I try to make a seamless musical mix (“mash-up”) of the year’s top pop songs. This is not a quick and easy thing to do. Making a mash-up is like completing a huge puzzle (not every piece goes together). Fortunately, my brain was made for these kinds of puzzles. The whole process takes me about three whole months.

FIRST MONTH (GATHERING)

This is my least favourite part of the process because it feels so unproductive. All I do for one month is gather my ingredients (vocal parts, instrumental parts, video clips, etc.). Like Jiro, the master sushi chef I wrote about in my last blog post, I sacrifice my efficiency to get the best ingredients. I search all over the internet and use my sensitivity to compare all the different versions of the same puzzle pieces. If good quality audio parts are not available on the internet, I will then make my own audio parts (using audio engineering techniques like phase cancellation) as a last resort. I then start compiling an organized list of the best puzzle pieces.

This is what my list looks like from A to C

Mashup List

[ Song Title (Part) - Key - Tempo ]

SECOND MONTH (PLANNING)

Once I have all my audio parts, I then start planning out a way to fit them together. Audio parts must be in the same key AND in the same tempo in order to fit together. But it is not as simple as digitally manipulating all the tracks to one key and tempo (though many other mash-up artists do this). If vocal parts are pitched more than one semi-tone from its original key, the vocalists no longer sound human (they either sound like chipmunks or like king Xerxes from “300”). The tempo of instrumentals cannot be changed too much either. In order to find the perfect key to work with, I make a key chart.

Pop Danthology Key Chart

[ the numbers above refer to the number of songs in that key ]

Looking at this chart, I can tell that C minor is a great key to work with and F# minor is a terrible key to work with. In the end, I decided to use four different keys and three tempo changes.

THIRD MONTH (ARRANGING AND MIXING)

In the third month, I finally get to work on my favourite part of the mash-up making process, arrangement! This is the part when I get to have fun putting my puzzle pieces together. The part that feels like work, however, is the very technical part of mixing. I must adjust the volume and EQ of about 150 individual audio parts. I get very OCPD about mixing because everything just sounds so imperfect and messy to me. This is the part when I listen to Rihanna sing the line “Shine bright like a diamond” on loop, over and over again, as I make my changes.

Hope you enjoy it! It was a lot of work! For an entire month, I went to sleep every night with ringing in my ears :p

FAQs

Q: Is it easier to make a mash-up of pop music because it all sounds the same?
A: No. I can just as easily mix the Beatles and other “more complex” music. Different time signature does not make a song less easy to mix. All you have to do is find another song that is in the same time signature. Mixing live classical music can be a little bit more challenging only because of its inconsistent tempo (those inconsistent conductors!). Quantizing can easily fix this obstacle (I use “flex view” in “Logic Pro” and manually compress and stretch the audio for classical music). The biggest challenge I can think of would be mixing songs that are using completely different scales. So mixing western music with something like classical Arabic music or Gregorian chant would be challenging. But even those can be mixed after changing the pitch of some of the notes using tuning software. Mixing pop music the way I do is not all that simple either. I mixed together the music of “We Are Young” and “Brokenhearted” between 2:29 and 3:00. After putting them in the same tempo and key, “We Are Young” has the chord progression F, Dm7, Gm7, A#, C while “Brokenhearted” has the chord progression F, Dm, A#, C, F. Do you notice how only the first two chords work together? I had to find the parts of “Brokenhearted” that played the bass notes without too many other sounds, copy that sound to all the down beats of the instrumental of “We Are Young,” and then use a professional tuning software called “Melodyne” to change the individual notes of the bass to match the chord progression of “We Are Young.”

Q: Why put in all that time and effort in something that you cannot earn any money from?
A: I do it simply because I can. That is what I believe separates us passionate artists from the rest of the world. That is probably why the term “starving artist” also exists haha.

Q: What did you use to make this mash-up?
A: MacBook Pro (Computer), Logic Pro (DAW), Melodyne Editor (Pitch Correction), Final Cut Pro (Video Editor)

Q: Where can I download the mp3?
A: http://www.facebook.com/danielkimmusic

Q: Can I play this on my radio show, during my DJ set, on my wedding, etc.?
A: Yes, you at least have my permission. But I’m no lawyer. So you might want to check first before playing it on something that you are making money off of :p

Q: Why is Taylor Swift and other big artists of 2012 missing from this mash-up?
A: I extracted some of the audio parts of “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and really wanted to use it. Unfortunately, the tempo of the song is too different from the tempo of the section of my mash-up that is in G major (the key that Taylor Swift’s song is in). The key is also too different from the key of the section of my mash-up that is roughly around the same tempo. If you did not hear some of 2012’s hit songs, it is simply because I could not find a way to fit them in or the audio parts that I had for them were in such poor quality that it would have compromised the quality of my mash-up to include them. Also, 2012 was not a big year for Britney Spears and Lady Gaga. Please check out Pop Danthology 2011 to listen to them.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 638 other followers