Make a Mashup With Audacity

The sound editing program known as Audacity can be used to create all kinds of digital sound files and audio projects. Audacity can even be used to put together a "mashup", or a mix of multiple songs. Mashups use bits of two or more songs and compositions to create an original track - sometimes with stellar results. See Step 1 below to get started making your very own mashup with Audacity!


  1. Collect your mashup samples. Mashups are made of bits and pieces of different songs called "samples". The songs, snippets, and audio tracks you intend to use should be clearly labeled and saved as audio files in a format that Audacity supports, such as .wav files.
    • Put your samples into folders where you can find them when you want to use them. It may help to label different sets of samples or folders as "percussion," "guitar," "miscellaneous," etc. in order to quickly find and use them.
  2. Install Audacity on your computer. This freeware can easily be installed by downloading the executable installation file from or a variety of other locations. If you're unsure of how to download and install Audacity, see the section below for more information.
    • Use trusted sites to download Audacity. Although this software is free, some disreputable sites may include viruses or other malware along with the download.
  3. Drop your samples into Audacity tracks. Use the controls in the Audacity program to import a sample. You will see it show up in an initial Audacity track as a collection of moving lines that represent sound fluctuation.
  4. Manipulate your samples for length and placement. Audacity uses a visual design to represent the placement of sounds within your audio file. When you see your sample in the track, you can use mouse commands to either move the sample within the track, lengthen or shorten it, or fit it into a specific time window.
    • Read your Audacity track left to right. The movement of sound is represented on the scrolling track, which scrolls left to right. You will also see time markers on the track that are critical for fitting different samples together rhythmically.
  5. Add additional samples onto Audacity tracks. Begin to layer your song snippets and samples into a rhythmic pattern. Create additional Audacity tracks as you go to hold wide varieties of samples or sounds that will occur simultaneously.
    • Edit your tracks to make sure your sounds are rhythmically calibrated. For example, if you are using your samples in relation to a constant, rhythmically static backbeat, use the backbeat as the initial track and simply "sync" samples by moving them to places in the scrolling tracks where they are in sync.
  6. Play through the mashup. When you have added all of the samples that you want, play through and listen for any issues. Be on the listen for misaligned rhythms, dissonance, clipping, and other common audio problems.
    • Mix your sounds down. You can change volume on specific Audacity tracks to help blend sounds together in a better way.
    • Address "muddy" sound. If you are getting unclear sound, you may be mixing too many samples together. Go through with a critical ear and edit as necessary.
  7. Save your entire Audacity project. When you are done, save the entire project into a format that's playable on your computer's sound-playing programs (.wav and ..mp3 work well). Congratulations! You have a finished mashup to call your own.

Downloading and Installing Audacity

  1. Visit the main Audacity website. Audacity is completely free to download and use - you don't even have to create an account or provide an email address. To get Audacity from its creator's website, visit You should see a large blue "Download Audacity" link on the main page..
  2. If you can't get Audacity from Sourceforge, use an alternate download mirror. If, for whatever reason, you can't access the main Sourceforge site, don't worry. You can still download Audacity from a number of other sites. Search "Audacity download" or similar terms in your search engine - you should obtain several suitable results. Be sure to use a safe, reputable download site - beware of adware, spyware, and scam artists.
    • If you're unsure whether the site you're downloading Audacity from is safe and reputable, run a quick, free check with Scam Adviser as follows:
      • Visit
      • Enter the URL of the website you're downloading Audacity from (i.e.
      • Receive a free reliability rating. If it is not in the "green" area do not use the site.
  3. Download Audacity. Whether you're downloading from the Sourceforge website or an alternate location, the process is usually fairly similar. Click the "Download" link, if prompted, specify a location on your hard drive to save the file, and wait for the file to download. Depending on your browser, this process can vary slightly. See below:
    • On Internet Explorer 9, a new window should open and display your downloads. From here, you can choose to run the file if you did not do so earlier.
    • On Firefox, you'll be prompted to decide whether to save the file. When you save the file, its progress will be marked by a small icon in the corner of your browser. Click this icon when the download is done and click the file to run it.
    • On Chrome, to access your file, go to the Options bar, select Downloads (or press Ctrl+J or Command+J on Mac) and open the file.
  4. Run the install file. Once you've downloaded the Audacity install file, access the file and run it. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up Audacity!
  5. Open Audacity. When you are finished with the installation process, the setup wizard will give you the option to open Audacity. If you do not want to do this, uncheck the check box that says "Open Audacity". You can also open Audacity at any time by accessing the file location where you installed it and double-clicking on its icon.
  6. Remix to your heart's desire. Congratulations! You've downloaded and installed Audacity. Use the instructions in the section above to make your first mashup.


Things You'll Need

  • Computer with Audacity
  • Digital samples and sound material
  • Music that you want to mashup.

Related Articles

Sources and Citations

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