How to Create a Medley of Songs for Free
By Chris Anzalone
Updated September 22, 2017
A medley consists of multiple songs strung together back to back, usually with some unifying theme, such as a collection of show tunes, jazz standards, or even a DJ mix. Medleys are created by merging audio files, a process supported by almost all digital audio recording programs. As a result of this technology, you can create your own fluid song medleys for free on your computer, whether for a house party, vacation video or other purpose.
Download a free digital audio program. Many programs exist for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux that allow you to edit audio using many of the same features found in recording studios. Examples of programs include Ardour, Audacity, Traverso DAW and Wavosaur.
Copy the songs for your medley onto your hard drive. If the song files are already stored on your computer, you can skip this step. If the songs exist on CD, insert the CD into your CD-ROM drive, open a free CD burning/ripping program (such as iTunes or Windows Media Player) and copy the file(s) to your hard drive. Do this for each CD.
Open your digital recording/editing software and create a new track for each song file. Most digital recording programs support multi-tracking (the ability to separate recordings onto different audio layers), and you can find your "New Track" option among your menu bar options, sometimes reading "New Audio Track" or "Create Audio Track."
Drag one song file onto each track. If you just drag the file from your hard drive directly onto a track (which appears as a long horizontal bar), your file should then appear on your project window as a shaded region with wavy lines, representing your waveforms.
Organize your song files in the order in which they should appear. Your timeline looks like a ruler, with the numbers representing seconds or beats, and appears above your waveforms on the project window. Your first song should appear at the very beginning, or left side, of your project window, beneath the numbers "0:00." The second song should begin right where the first song ends (but on its own track), and the third should begin where the second ends.
Smooth out your transitions. In order to achieve a fluid sound for your medley, use a "Fade Out" effect at the end of each song, and a "Fade In" effect at the beginning of each song (except for the first). Some programs feature these options under the "Effects" or "Inserts" menu, while other programs require you to fade manually by accessing your "Track Automation," then selecting "Volume" and gradually dragging the volume line upward (fade in) or downward (fade out) on the grid appearing beneath the track.
Export your song medley as an audio file. Locate the "Export," "Bounce" or "Save as Audio File" feature among your menu bar options (usually beneath the "File" menu), insert a name for your medley on the dialogue box and choose your format from the list. Typically, you would choose MP3 or WMA format for compressed (small) audio files, or WAV or AIFF format for uncompressed (large) files.
If your software does not support multi-tracking, you can still create a medley but you will have fewer mixing options. Just place each new song file at the end of the previous song region on your software window.