This week, I'm slightly diverting from domestic craft and dabbling in something a little more art-y and tech-y.

Djnicole So I love music. I haven't mentioned this before because I feel that a love of music is a pretty generic one. It's the kind of thing you say on a first date or to sound cool to a new friend but truth is most humans are programmed to love music (some are even moved to produce their own!). And I think most of us have a really good psych-up song (the Dems and Republicans sure do when you watch their conventions!).

You know what I'm talking about when I say psych up song, right? That song with a perfect beat, probably some good butt-kicking lyrics? Mine back in the day was Celebration by Kool and the Gang. It moved to Everybody Dance Now By C and C Music Factory… I could go on and on further proving I was born in the 80s. Point is, you have a song. I have a song. And don't you wish there was more songs like it?

Well wish no more. You too can be a music mixing superstar with some free software (and not so free songs).

Materials
Computer w/speakers
Audacity software (Downlad the free software here)
iTunes or other music software (less chaotic then taking CDs in and out of the computer but your choice if you want to do that)
Potential psych-up songs

Cocktail: The Cloudy Number One (my invention)
3 parts slightly old white wine, 1 part Grand Marnier (the sweetness of the Grand Marnier can cut the slight bitterness of the wine plus it's a funky yellow color…hence the name)

Cloudynumber1 1. Download needed software. Pour yourself a Cloudy #1.

2. Find songs that naturally psych you up. Put them in a new playlist like "Run Fast" or "Music I Shake My Booty To". You are the DJ! These foundation songs will be your inspiration.

3. Find a few songs that are close to being perfect. In my case, Fergalicious and SexyBack are lovely but a little slow for my purposes.

4. Open Audacity. Select "Stereo Mixer" from the drop down menu in the top middle of the screen. Press the record button and minimize the window.

5. Go into iTunes and play the song. Audacity is free and cool but you need to play/record the song into the program to work with it. (At least, in my experience). You'll know you're doing this right when you see a "graph" begin to form and the bar graphs in the upper right corner are going crazy. Like this:

Audacityscreen

6. When your song is done recording, press the stop button in Audacity and iTunes. Cut out any dead air by highlighting the not good parts and pressing delete (within Audacity). Press Control A to select the whole song. Sip slowly.

7. Ok, here's the fun part, click the "Effect" drop down menu, then "Change Tempo". Changing tempo will allow you to change the speed of your song without the pitch of the music (so singers don't sound like Chipmunks). The number box is the percent the song will be sped up (use a negative number to slow a song down). I find most songs are ideally sped up between 10 and 15 percent (the five songs I did total were anyway). Try changing the song by five percent at a time, then listen to a small part to see if you have it right.

Changetemposcreenaudacity

8. How do you know it's right? Think of the tempo of your psych up song and compare. (You can even sing it at the same time your preview is playing to see if it works…not that I did that or anything…)
Hint: If you speed up the song by 5 and then 5, you have sped it up a total of ten.

9. Once you have the tempo where you want it, go to "File" and "Export as Wav." Name the file something useful and stick it on your desktop for now.

10.  Repeat this for as many songs as you want (close the Audacity track after each time and start a new one for each song).

11. Drag and drop the files into your mix. The wav files will work on your iPod.

Draganddropintoitunes

12. Put the mix in your iPod and do something where you can play it. I went for a run but you can try it by cleaning your house or doing some other high energy activity.

Please share your psych up songs (or even your whole playlist). I'd love to add new songs to my running mix.

Aren't you crafty, you deejay you!

Our first in-person workshop in 2+ years is happening September 24!

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