We’re Breaking It Down To Build It Back Up

Note: before reading this entry, you should listen to Trombone Shorty’s “Vieux Carre“.

One of the challenges I sometimes face is restructuring an instrumental so that it fits my acapella. I faced this challenge with my latest mashup, “In The Vieux Carre“. In “Vieux Carre”, there aren’t many bars where there isn’t at least a bit of the lead trombone playing. In my mind, if I looped the bars with the first trombone pattern for the first half of each Linkin Park verse, it would have been overkill; I wanted space between each trombone pattern in those sections (e.g. where Mike Shinoda says “Keep that in mind”).

With that idea in mind and Sound Forge 8 loaded, off I went. Usually, piecing together a mashup’s instrumental backing is pretty straightforward. This time, I had to split the original instrumental into sections, put them together coherently and prevent clicking and popping while doing so. I also had to make sure that each transition sounded natural; unless listeners already know the instrumental beforehand, they should have no idea that I’ve done things with it as they listen to my mashup.

That aforementioned stitch ended up being one of a few in the final version. I spiced up the second and third Linkin Park choruses with a piece of that first trombone pattern (the stuff you hear when Chester Bennington says “It doesn’t even matter”). I also fiddled with the ending to include the drum hits you hear in each chorus and gave the trombone solo its proper prominence upon receiving feedback at The Stix.

I think Trombone Shorty would recognize his song if he hears my mashup (I hope he does), but he may find a few things which are different about it.


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