Alvin and the Chipmunks made their debut in 1958 as a singing trio on a hit novelty record called "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)." They were turned into toons in 1961 and for nearly 60 years they've continued to sing their way through various incarnations on both small and big screens, the latest being Nickelodeon's hugely popular CGI-animated "ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks." As with previous iterations, this one relies heavily on music, and when Nick was looking to create a megamix of Chipmunk songs to promote a new season, Nutmeg's sound designer, mixer and composer JD McMillin was the obvious choice.
- Over 13 million views and 4,700 shares on YouTube.
- Successfully mixed 12 original songs from the TV show to produce a single megamix of the greatest hits.
How to Create a Megamix
The concept for the “ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks” megamix was simple: take 12 music tracks, mash them together, remix them and add a little bit of composition to create one seamless song.
First, JD loaded all the tracks into Abelton Live. This allowed him to time-warp and match pitch on individual clips so that the different songs could be pieced together. From there he broke down each song into its different elements and laid them out on different tracks.
With pitch-correction and time-crunching complete, JD was able to perform the entire piece, triggering each clip in Abelton Live to add different beats and vocals as if he were playing an instrument. When clips were triggered on the same track, the previous clip stopped playing to prevent unwanted overlap. Sometimes, multiple clips were triggered at once to layer new vocals or additional instrumentation to create that mashup feel.
In a long piece like this one, it can be difficult to blend all the different songs together. Baseline mini-notes were used to bridge the distance between songs, creating a cohesive piece.
In the end, the original 12 songs were transformed into one three-minute megamix everyone can dance to.
Supervising Producer: Mike Greaney
Editor: Liz Burton
Sound Designer: JD McMillin
Graphic Designer: Stephen C. Walsh