Tag Archives: audio

Maleficent has her Vengeance

In December of last year, I received a request to create an original music soundtrack for a Maleficent pointe routine; combining several elements of the Maleficent motion picture soundtrack. The pointe routine was entirely the creation of Brennan Kolbo who choreographed the concept from scratch, and she performed it last weekend at Rainbow Dance Competition in Omaha, Nebraska.

Enjoy this unique interpretation of Maleficent, featuring costuming from JEM Creations, and soundtrack by Squirrel Trench Audio. Congratulations to choreographer and performer, Brennan Kolbo, for creating this unique and wonderful Maleficent interpretation!

Run The World Girls (Ultra Clean Version)

Who Run The World SquirrelsHappy to announce our latest addition to the Squirrel Trench Audio catalog of cleaned, edited and remixed music on Legitmix: Who Run The World Girls (Ultra Clean Version) by Beyoncé. While there exists a clean edit on iTunes, the clean edit may not be clean enough for many dance or fitness teachers. This Ultra Clean version removes all instances of the word “Mutha” as well as all instances of “F. U.”.

This Ultra Clean edit of Who Run The World Girls is available on Legitmix for only $4.99

Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

A YouTube preview is here:

Don’t Let Your Audio Degrade

clean_music_by_fatihakgungorWhen editing, cutting or mixing music yourself, don’t let the audio degrade. Be careful when you do audio editing. Sometimes I get requests to fix or clean already-edited songs, and when I hear the edit supplied, it sounds like a bunch of squirrels have gotten in and trenched the music.

There are many reasons audio can get degraded, and many different types of problems that inexperienced music cutters can create. When you put degraded music on stage, it’s really not much different than putting a dancer on stage with a tattered costume.

Here are just a few things to watch out for:

  • Don’t let the volume drop. You don’t want your music to be far softer than everyone else’s. Trust me, this happens.
  • Don’t turn up the volume either. You may not hear the distortion on your laptop or iPad, but when played on a large sound system, the distortion sounds terrible and piercing. I’ve heard this in competition a number of times as well.
  • Don’t make a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of an mp3, or get the audio from YouTube. People think that you can make a copy of a digital audio file, and it will never degrade. That’s true of AIFF or WAV files, where all of the audio information is retained in the file. But mp3 degrades the audio a little bit every time it’s saved. So when you make a copy of a copy it gets worse, just like a cassette (though not as dramatically worse of course). One generation of high quality mp3 is not that much worse than the original. But several copies like this, and it sounds awful compared to the original.

There are many other pitfalls that inexperienced music editors introduce into audio they are creating, including fade-outs at strange places, pops, clicks or irregular jumps in the beat, copying bad audio from YouTube, and more.

Of course you can prevent degraded audio by taking advantage of the services offered by a professional music editor/remixer who has years of experience manipulating audio. One service springs to mind as someone who specializes in understanding the musical needs of competitive dancers. But if you already have edited your music, and you need it fixed up or cleaned, we are happy to help.

All You Need Is Help From Friends

the-voice-judges-finale-performance-with-a-little-help-from-my-friendsRecently a dance teacher requested a mix of songs, for the benefit of a little girl fighting stage 4 cancer. This teacher wanted to use the song All You Need Is Love combined with others for a 2.5 minute routine. I added the Tom Petty song I Won’t Back Down and wrapped it up with With a Little Help from My Friends. To create freshness, I used cover versions of all of these songs; Brandi Carlile’s upbeat version of All You Need Is Love, Blake Shelton & Dia Frampton’s The Voice version of I Won’t Back Down, and concluded with Brandon Roush’s The Voice version of With A Little Help From My Friends.

This uplifting and original Squirrel Trench mix is perfect for any dance routine designed to pay tribute and be inspiring to someone going through a tough time, whether it’s a medical battle or the loss of a loved one.

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Don’t let your music hold back your competition score

dancer-with-music-flowers.jpgIt’s that time of year…. when hours upon hours of dance rehearsal are getting ready to be brought to the big stages of competitions. Dance parents have poured hundreds upon hundreds of dollars into lessons, dance teachers have poured their heart and soul into creative choreography, costumes have been chosen and tried on, competition fees have been paid, and hotel rooms booked.

Dance teachers are doing their best to insure every aspect of the dance is as clean as a whistle. Entrances and exits are tight. Costumes, hair, and makeup is perfect and ready to go.

There’s just one thing left, that some choreographers forget to clean, and that is their music. There are several things you want to check, to make sure your music is as clean and perfect as it can be for competition.

Transitions: Make sure that every transition is precise and smooth. Hiccups, jumps, pops, or other glitches take the audience and judges out of the moment, distracting them from the beauty of the dance. In addition, bad edits can make it more difficult for the dancers to stay on tempo. Precise transitions, on the beat, are made far easier when you align the music to a tempo grid. Click here for more information on Finding the Tempo.

Lyrics: CHECK YOUR LYRICS. Judges will MAKE DEDUCTIONS for inappropriate language used in your music. There is no need for these deductions! Why risk the thousands of dollars that have been invested in your dance with an unnecessarily lowered score? You wouldn’t put your dancers on stage with tattered costumes, so why would you put them on stage with lyrics that have the potential to offend a judge?

Volume: Make sure you have not accidentally lowered the volume of your music in the editing process. Older songs can often have the volume raised without distortion in a process called mastering.

Clarity: Make sure you are not using a song imported from YouTube (more explanation on why). The quality often suffers and that loss of clarity will be amplified in a theater or convention hall.

If any of your songs needs cleaning, Squirrel Trench Audio is at your service. We have cleaned songs for lyrics, transitions, volume and clarity many times, and have literally helped dance studios increase their scores because of it. Use this request form to get your music cleaned! Squirrel Trench Audio also has clean versions of many songs ready to choreograph. For instance, here are clean versions of:


Uptown Funk Clean Lyric Sheet

bruno-mars-snlAs the creator of the popular clean edit of Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson, featuring Bruno Mars, I was recently asked to supply a lyric sheet of this cleaned version.

Here is a link to the PDF of Uptown Funk (Squirrel Trench Clean Version) lyric sheet.

The full-length clean version of Uptown Funk is available here on Legitmix for only $4.99. This clean version features the exciting intro as performed on Saturday Night Live, as well as being sped up slightly for maximum excitement while retaining the fantastic groove.

In some cases, the words “sexy” and “flaunt it” need to be taken out as well. For those instances, we have the super squeaky version where that has been eliminated also:

In addition, there are five edited versions available for just about any dance routine you might need; 2:58, 2:46, 2:32, 2:16, and 1:59. They are available individually for $9.99, or you can buy every length for $11.99:

Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

Lyrics that have been eliminated from these clean versions include “damn” “bitch” and “put some liquor in it”. “Sexy” and “Flaunt it” have also been removed from the super squeaky clean version and the shortened versions. Click on the above PDF link to see the full lyric contents. Words that have been eliminated are shown with a strike-through.

We also do custom editing, so if you need a version of Uptown Funk, but didn’t find exactly what you need here, use the online Request Form here.

Katy Perry, Queen of the Super Bowl

katy perry chessmenWhile 2015’s Super Bowl was one of the finest from a sports perspective, Katy Perry’s halftime entertainment may have stolen the show. Inspired by this amazing spectacle, this Queen of the Super Bowl mix features the first two numbers from this performance, Roar and Dark Horse. The length is 2:41 for a jazz or hip hop dance routine.

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The reason you don’t want audio from YouTube videos

youtube logo (6)There are many reasons why it’s a bad idea to extract audio from YouTube.

1) It’s illegal.

2) Even pristine audio is somewhat degraded since YouTube uses mp3 encoding of any audio submitted. In many cases, it’s an mp3 of an mp3 of an mp3….. and the audio gets worse every time it’s re-encoded in this manner.

3) But if the above reasons are not enough to convince you it’s a bad idea to extract audio from a YouTube clip, then realize this:  In many cases, what you are listening to on a YouTube clip is the room in which the audio was played. Even if the clip doesn’t have audience noises, like coughing, moving around in seats, and other assorted venue noise, the audio is playing back over a sound system, and being picked up by a microphone, along with all of the reverb, reflections, and echoes of the room in which the music is being played. All of these things combined downgrade the audio, sometimes a little bit, and sometimes to the point of pure garbage. But it’s never as clear as it could be. And once degraded in this way, there is no practical way to restore it, except to go back to the original source. That is why, when creating music edits and remixes for dance teachers, Squirrel Trench Audio always goes back to source audio whenever possible.

If you want GOOD, CLEAN audio, DON’T get it from YouTube!

Squirrel Appreciation Day!

squirrel-jazz-hands-iconGuess what day it is? GUESS. WHAT. DAY. IT. IS! It’s Squirrel Appreciation Day! (No, I have never heard of that before either, but I guess it’s really a thing.)

In honor of Squirrel Appreciation Day, it is our turn to appreciate YOU, our fabulous clients who keep Squirrel Trench Audio busy with all of your custom music editing and remixing requests! And to show our appreciation to you, we are giving away a FREE edit of Colbie Caillat’s beautiful song “Try”, which is perfect for a lyrical dance. Get your FREE copy of Try right here on Legitmix:

Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

Uptown Funk (Clean version) – album now available

uptown funk jazz handsDue to the runaway popularity of our clean version of Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk, we’ve created an album containing every length (six) of this song, that we’ve created to date. Our clean version of Uptown Funk is super-smooth – no awkward hiccups to interrupt the song’s funktastic groove! Most of our clean versions also include the exciting intro as performed on Saturday Night Live – an intro which is not heard on the iTunes release of the song.

This album contains six different lengths of the song, and is a terrific bargain at $11.99, a savings of 78% compared to buying each version of the song individually!

The six versions of the songs are: 4:28 (full length), 2:58, 2:45, 2:32, 2:15, and 1:59. One of the lengths is sure to be perfect for your jazz, tap, or hip hop competition or recital dance routine.

Grab your complete Bruno Mars Uptown Funk Clean Version album now! Or just purchase the length you need for your dance routine!

If you know what length you need, click these links below to get it. Each edited version is $9.99; or the full-length version is $4.99:
4:28 (full length)2:582:452:322:151:59

Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix