9-song live mash-up made with Ableton Live and Akai APC40

A monster mash-up
A monster mash-up

What have Isaac Hayes' Theme from Shaft and John Williams' Star Wars Imperial March got in common? No so much, you might think, but they form the bedrock of a new nine-song mash-up (Don't hold back, just push things forward) that was created in Ableton Live and triggered live using an Akai APC40 controller.

It's the work of Ithaca Audio and also features elements of Leftfield's Phat Planet, The Chemical Brothers' Galvanized, Sugarhill Gang's Apache (Jump on it), Fatboy Slim's Praise You, the Doug Wood Band's Drag Racer (otherwise known as the BBC's snooker theme), Daft Punk's Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger and The Streets' Push Things Forward.

Discussing the making of the mash-up, Ithaca Audio's Chris Evans-Roberts told MusicRadar: "The track started when we noticed the similarity in the rhythms of the intro to Isaac Hayes' Theme from Shaft and John Williams' Imperial March from Star Wars.

"We then set about trawling through lots of tracks and a capellas to find audio that was similar in tempo (around 127bpm) and would fit the key (in this case G minor). We loaded a huge selection of cut up clips into Ableton Live 8 and worked out elements that fitted well together, concentrating on getting a flowing rhythm with a mix of drums, chord sequences, basslines and vocals that blended nicely.

"We then recorded the Live/APC40 performance using a Flip HD camera that was lying around the studio and bounced the audio. A few mastering tweaks were added to the exported master audio track in Cubase.

"The audio and the APC40 video was then edited together with the clips from the original videos in Adobe Premiere Elements."

Chris says that he's hoping to use Max/MSP for real-time video triggering in the future, so watch this space.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.