Trap Queen Sickness

Made by Joanna Baranowski

Created: September 29th, 2016



My idea for this project is to create a mashup of three songs: "Trap Queen" by Fetty Wap, a cover of Trap Queen by Ed Sheeran, and "Down with the Sickness" by Disturbed. I have always wanted to somehow incorporate the intense drumming and screaming in the heavy metal song "Down with the Sickness" into another song, so here is how I'm doing it: acoustic and screamo. I also chose "Trap Queen" because it has the same time signature and a very similar tempo as my heavy metal selection. However, the contrast between these two songs was not drastic enough. Fortunately, I discovered that Ed Sheeran produced a cover of this song, which was the perfect fit for the idea of my project. The goal of this project is mainly to try making music myself. Editing songs and beats into something audibly appealing is no easy task, especially using audacity. 

In terms of spreadability, it seems that I will be posting my piece on soundcloud (since that is my primary method of sharing it with the class anyway). Otherwise, I intend to start small and work my way up. I can show my project to several people, share with them the link to my soundcloud, and maybe they will be impressed enough to spread it to their friends. There's also Facebook, which could lead to a surprisingly large following. Facebook and Twitter are potentially promising since it is very easy for someone to click "share" and my piece will be catapulted into many other networks including many many people. 



I have always loved listening to mashups of popular songs. I've been inspired by quite a few well-known mashup artists like Girl Talk and Super Mash Bros. I think I was mostly inspired by the mixing of very different types of music. Especially when it comes to acoustic and techno of some sort. So, I tried to emulate my own idols and pull together something that was composed of very different elements: acoustic, techno, and heavy metal. I think my approach is not too different from that of other mashup artists. My guess is that they start with an idea of two styles of music that would combine well together, which is how I started as well. However, I do believe that my outcome is slightly different simply because making music is not as simple as it seems. 



I chose to begin my project the hard way, which was to search for songs with a similar tempo and time signature, not nearly an easy task. I was lucky to stumble upon the two songs I chose since they worked well together, after some editing. I found it challenging to match the tempos of the songs to one common tempo (without distorting either song dramatically). Audacity was my only known audio application, so I stuck to what I knew and, after much fussing with metronomes and tempos, I finally matched the two songs. After the tempos were synced, I also had to time each scream and drum beat to the cover song. For those who don't know that that means, I had to make sure the drum and scream would work rhythmically and in the beginning of a measure rather than randomly dispersed in the middle. Another idea I rejected was using the lyrical portion of the heavy metal song. I attempted to put some of the chorus into the mashup, however it seemed way too abrupt and harsh for the effect that I was looking for. 



I am very pleased with my outcome. The drums and screaming blend into the acoustic song much better than I had expected. I composed my remix using Audacity. Although the process of making this project was a hassle and had its fair share of inconveniences, I cannot be upset with how the project turned out. 



The success of my work may have to be determined by how much it spreads in the near future. My inner critic is yelling at me from inside when I think of this project: 

I could have better transitioned the end of the techno portion with the re-entrance of the acoustic portion. 

I could have strategically placed the screams and drums with more thought in mind of the piece as a whole. 

I could have started with a well thought-out idea rather than slap two or three songs together.


Overall the project was a success despite its minor hiccups. My intent was fulfilled and there will always be room for alteration. 



I learned quite a bit from this project. It is not so easy to put together several different songs into one bigger song and make it appealing. It seems like there is so much going on at once. I commend the artists who make mashups for a living because I don't think I can ever happily listen to Trap Queen or Down with the Sickness ever again. I didn't realize these two songs would require being replayed several hundred times to edit and re-edit until ti seems right. 

If I would do one specific thing differently, I would start with a very very small portion of  one song and edit it into a repeating soundtrack and do that with many smaller pieces. Basically, instead of working with two or three big sound pieces, I would try to work with maybe 10-15 small bits and repeating them to make an interesting sound piece.



"Down with the Sickness" Disturbed

"Trap Queen" Fetty Wap

"Trap Queen" cover by Ed Sheeran



Reference and attribute any texts, concepts, ideas or related material that informed but wasn't directly used in the creation of the outcome. 

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62-150 Intro to Media Synthesis and Analysis

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