FAQ

These frequently asked questions here are a collection of questions that I’ve been asked in different interviews lately. They give you answers about my background and also feature topics on the music production itself.

1. What’s with that unusual DJ name?

Schmolli has been my nickname since I was a child, it refers to my real last name. I’ve simply been too lazy to pick another DJ name so I stuck with my nickname.

2. Where are you from?

I’m based south of Vienna, Austria.

3. How and when did you get involved with producing mashups?

I’ve heard one or two mashups back in 2000 on our national radio. There hasn’t been a scene around this time, only a couple of people released their mixes on the internet, most of them were found on Napster. I did my first mix also in 2000 but mainly to get knowledge on the mixing software. I produced very few around 2000/2001 but then concentrated more on my other musical projects as I am a musician too. Back in 2005 I rediscovered mashups. I found out that a huge scene has grown on the internet. There were quite a few websites and forums dedicated to them. I started to produce those mixes again and still produce them to this very day.

4. How do you define a mashup?

The easiest definition would be to take an instrumental track and put an acapella track of another song on top. To make the mix more interesting it’s good to use different musical genres. Of course you can also use many different source tracks in one mashup or lay different elements on top of each other. But this is for advanced mashup producers as it’s not easy from the production aspect.

5. How many mashups did you produce so far?

Can’t tell you the exact number but about 200 I guess.

6. What kind of techniques do you use in the production process? Where do you get the audio source material from?

The whole process is based on software. I use Sony Acid Pro to combine all the bits and pieces. I think the interesting part here is the techniques I use to get the actual audio material to work with. There are various techniques how to get an acapella or an instrumental of one song. If no official instrumental is available you can cut out instrumental loops from the song or an extended version of the song. Many acapellas are available on the net, sometimes they are b-sides on 12’’ releases. You can also get an acapella by the so called “phase inversion”, but you need an instrumental for this. Just put the version with vocals and the instrumental version exactly on top of each other and change the phase of the wave form on one channel. With a bit of luck the instrumental waves get cancelled out and the acapella is left. There is also a method called center channel extraction which works well especially on old recordings were the instrumentals are hard panned on the left and right side. The vocals are right in the center of the mix and if you cut off the left & right sides there’s a chance that the vocals are left with some little instrumental bleed but ok to use in mashup mix. If I am lucky I get acapellas and instrumentals directly from the label, that helps a lot of course.

7. How do you make a mashup? Tell us about the process?

First off I need to check if the songs that I want to mix fit each other by having a look at their keys and tempos. When I found a theoretically fitting couple I make a quick demo. This usually takes just a couple of minutes, just to see if the combo also fits practically, not only in theory. Sometimes it’s necessary to pitch up/down one of the source tracks to make it fit keywise. Of course the tempos of the tracks need to be beatmatched in almost all of the cases, unless the source tracks have exactly the same tempo. Sometimes I use additional beats or sounds but in most cases I just use single elements of the source tracks. From then it’s just arranging and mixing, adjusting the different volumes. The last step would be some kind of mastering (by using a couple of software plug-ins) to finish the production.

8. Are you musically trained (can you play an instrument, read sheet music, etc.)? When you make a mashup, is any of that useful to you?

Yes I am a guitar player for almost 20 years now. I can’t read sheet music very well but I got a lot of knowledge of harmonies, chords etc., so yes this knowledge helps me a lot to produce my mashups.

9. Do you think that the copyright issues with mashups are deterring the possibilities for it to be popular in the mainstream?

Yes. Very few mashups have been legally released and it’s always quite some court proceeding to get everything cleared. Most radio stations refuse to play them. Mashups are an internet phenomenon and will always be I think.

10. You are a producer but also a DJ, do you work in several clubs or are you mostly based in one? How important is your popularity as a mashup artist in getting hired for DJing?

I deejay in several clubs, in fact anywhere in the world where you wanna throw a big party. The fact that my mashups have become pretty popular over the years helps a lot to get gigs. At least 80% of my gigs are bookings where I play mainly mashups.

11. How can I book you?

See the “Booking” button in the menu on top?

12. When you DJ are you spinning CDs, vinyl or do you play with a laptop?

I have been using CDs for ages but in 2010 I finally decided to switch over to a laptop. I use the computer in combination with a Vestax VCI-300 controller so that gives me a similar feel to the CD players.

13. What is the place of mashups in the club scene where you are based/work? Are there special nights dedicated to mashups in clubs? Are there dedicated venues?

Basically mashups are a big factor for DJs in these days. Many of them play mashups in their sets but only a couple per night. DJ nights with mashups only are still very rare. The biggest mashup parties worldwide are called Bootie (www.bootiemashup.com). They are hosted in San Francisco, L.A., New York, Boston, Berlin, Paris, Munich, Rio etc., I also started one in Vienna. Lately regular held mashup parties are getting quite popular in Germany too.

14. I’ve got a question that has not been covered here…

Put it in the reply box below please.

57 comments on “FAQ

  1. So, did you stop allowing your stuff to be downloaded directly off your site? Or am I just ignorant to how it’s done on the new kick-ass looking format? I miss bumping your stuff in my ride!

    …sean

      • I am with Sean. I would like to download some stuff so that I can listen on the go. What do you mean “it’s easy, click the arrow on the official.fm player ;)” ? I can’t find the arrow. Maybe I am slow. Can you be more specific? thanks, Brian

      • Can you see the small black “official.fm” player in each post? If not you may run NoScript or such. So in this player there’s an arrow on the right for direct download.

  2. I noticed that some of your mashups are with Falco’s songs. I’m conducting a study on Falco which hopefully will lead to a book on him and there I want to write about his fandom. I wonder if you will be willing to answer some of my questions in relation to that.
    Thanks,
    Ewa

  3. Can you make a mashup of Yello’s “Oh Yeah” and New Order’s “Blue Monday”. I think that’s sounds cool.

  4. Hi DJ Schmolli!

    How can i get the albums Pirate Nation 1-2 as a single-track-package.
    I just found them as a single track with a length >25 minutes…

  5. Im trying to mash up INXS need u tonight backing with vocals from Stevie Wonders superstition.
    I have got the acapella vocals but can not get Micheal Hutchence of the INXS track.Have you got any advice please?

  6. Hey fella i know you are most probably super busy with life and all i need to ask a favor any chance you could knock me up a acapella version of the song psycho by puddle of mudd i see you dont do requests its just i found somthing i want to mash it with but cant find a acapella version of the tune anywhere and i know your a really good dj ty

  7. Hey Schmolli, greetings for Costa Rica. We are looking for someone to make a 30sec and 1minute mix of David Guetta’s most popular songs so that we can later put a local dj speaking on top for Radio Advertisement of DG’s Costa Rica Gig. If you can help please contact me.

  8. Hi DJ Schmolli,
    Can you tell me anything about “DJ Stacey Zirgar”? I recently bought “Titanium 500″ on iTunes; it’s being sold as part of an album by this DJ Stacey Zirgar, and I had no idea that it was actually your work. Here’s a link to the album on iTunes:

    https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/dj-stacey-2012-summer-mix/id535671745

    (Truth be told, I went looking for it after hearing it in “Pitch Perfect”… it’s a fantastic mashup, well done!)

    Thanks!

    • sorry to tell you but you’ve been screwed over. dj stacey zirgar took many of my freely available mashups (12 out of 17 for this album alone) and sells them on amazon, and also itunes (only knew about amazon so far). of course this is illegal but i’m not throwing stones inside the glass house if you know what i mean. i general you should never pay for mashups!

      • Thanks for your reply… I figured that would be the case. Oh well, at least it was only one track.

        Perhaps you could post something on your blog to warn peope away from Zirgar and any other resellers that you know of?

  9. Hallo lieber Schmolli!!
    Ich suche dringend den Download für Rihanna’s Kabinenparty. Meine Freundin liebt das Song und ich hätte es gern für eine Party bei uns demnächst! Ich finde leider nur das Video Download bei Vimeo. Im schlimmsten Fall kann ich ja das Audio mit VLC extrahieren, aber ein mp3/4 mit hohen Bitrate direkt von Dir wäre noch besser! :D Liebe Grüße aus Stuttgart!

  10. I am currently editing a short non-profit film. I would love to use one of your mashups in it. Is it possible to use any of your mashups for parts like the end credits? They are so awesome! ^_^

      • Pretty much the film is a horror film that serves as a tribute to the original Scream. A bunch of friends and myself made it as a fun little horror project. I have been listening to Cold As Superbeast Prometheus for months now, and I feel that would be a brilliant song for the end credits of the film. I would love to use it with your permission, and I will definitely give credit to you!

    • ok that sounds legit. :) the film is not commercial right? so it’s for fun and might appear on youtube then. or on dvd? you can use the mashup but of course i do not own the rights of the individual tracks used, in case that isn’t clear. please keep me updated and send me a link to finished flick. good luck.

  11. Hello, I don’t know if you take requests, but there are three specific songs that I have always wanted to hear mashed together. I would love to hear a mashup of “Still Alive” by Lisa Miskovsky, “I’m Blue (DA BA DEE)” by Eifel 65, and “Simple and Clean (PlanitB Remix)” by Hikaru Utada! Could you please make a mashup of these songs? I have been dying for so long to hear them mixed together!

  12. Dude, awesome… As a hobbying ‘dj’ I love mashups… Can’t imagine there are still people who offer this kind of quality mixing for free. Great! Love playing your music, love the reaction of (though small,) aswell. Great job. You’ve gained a fan!

  13. Dude, you know I think you’re the bomb. The Rebel Yell and 5FDP is off the charts. Personally, I wouldn’t touch it. That said, you also know that I need to keep songs as clean as possible…I know, I know, it removes some of the “creative” but these are for group fitness classes. If I buy Sony Acid, could I tease the tracks apart on your songs just enough to remove the “offensive” words and then recombine? Thanks.

    • Thanx Daniel. Sorry this won’t work. You just can put a “beep” sound over the explicit parts or try reversing the audio in these specific parts. This will work with any (free) audio editing software. You will not be able to seperate the my mp3 with Acid.

  14. Hi. I love your mixes, especially the one with the Monkees and Iron Maiden, The Iron Monkees! I’m making an advert for my university course for a line of audio products. I wondered whether I could use the mix in the advert. This advert wouldn’t be public, it’s just part of my course. I figured I should contact you first.

    Would this be alright?

    Jack

  15. Love your work. You have to work some Casey Kasem voice overs into an intro. In America we all grew up with Casey Kasem. It would be Epic!

  16. Seriously, If you toss in some cool Casey Kasem samples into a mix. Every DJ in America will be playing it. We all made mixtapes/CDs to potential loved ones back in the day while listening to Casey Kasem. Again it would be a WTF No F Way, Epic, Response. And he writes … dear Casey Kasem, please convince DJ Schmolli to write some awesome Casey Kasem remixes …

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