Tag Archives: audio

Two minute songs for dance recitals and competitions

Here is a collection of music, edited and remixed for your dance routines that need be two minutes or less, no matter if it’s being used for competition, recital, or talent shows. These songs cover a range of dance styles, including jazz, tap, lyrical, and contemporary. Some of these songs are fresh off the charts, and there are a few classics mixed in as well. You can purchase any of these songs individually, or you can buy the entire album of 16 songs for only $34.95*. That is a very large savings compared to buying all of them individually. Best of all, they are ready to be choreographed, no further cutting is required.

Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

*The price for this album of 16 songs is $34.95, if you already own all of the original songs in it via your iTunes library. If you don’t already own some of the songs, you can purchase them for $0.99 or $1.29 as specified, when you checkout at Legitmix.

For those new to Legitmix: The way it works is that when you want to purchase an edited or remixed song, Legitmix checks to see if you already own the original song(s) in your iTunes purchased list. If you already own it, you only pay for the edited or remixed song in your shopping cart. If you don’t already own the original song in iTunes, you have the opportunity to buy that too, at the normal iTunes cost (usually $0.99 or $1.29). For more on how it works, you can watch this video, or go to the Legitmix site.

Take a listen and take them home if they are what you’ve been looking for! Feel free to leave any feedback in the comments below as well.

Five songs for your next tap routine

Here are five songs, each with a taptastic groove. Each of these songs is already edited to the right length for competition (two-minute versions for recitals are also available for most of them). Click the play button next to any song below to hear it, and if it’s your song, click it’s name to put it in your Legitmix shopping cart and take it home with you.

  1. Lips Are Movin – Meghan Trainor
  2. Calling All Angels – The Town Criers (a cappella)
  3. Come With Me Now – Kongos
  4. Hit Me – Dirty Loops
  5. Get My Name – Mark Ballas

Get more Taptastic Squirrel Trench edits and remixes at Legitmix

If you need a custom edit or remix, click here for an online form to get started.

CD-quality versus mp3-quality – What’s good enough?

A recent comment on a dance facebook group asked for some further explanation on the differences between CD-quality audio (lossless or uncompressed) and mp3-quality (lossy or compressed) audio.

I thought I’d share my explanation on the subject here.

cd.gifBecause mp3s were created when the internet was new, and slow modems were used to connect with it, they have gotten somewhat of a bad rap because early mp3s were at such low bit-rates, that they truly sounded awful. However, as bandwidth has increased rapidly over the years, it’s possible today to get high quality mp3s that are virtually indistinguishable from CD-quality audio.

The audio quality in stores like the iTunes store or Amazon mp3 store are now quite good. Not CD-quality exactly, but on virtually all sound systems that the music will be played on, no one will be able to tell the difference.

I have had the misfortune of working with some really cruddy music sources supplied to me, and once music is degraded (which I will explain more below), it can’t be returned to its original form. It would be like ripping up a costume and then trying to put it back together with duct tape – yuck. So here’s what you REALLY want to watch out for: DO NOT USE MUSIC SAVED FROM A YOUTUBE VIDEO.

CD quality is a very high standard of music quality. Even better forms of digital audio exist, but this is irrelevant for the dance world and dance purposes. Here is a list of format qualities, from fantastic to poor:

  1. CD quality (usually stored as either AIF or WAV format)
  2. m4a/AAC — iTunes store quality, 256k bit rate
  3. mp3 — 256k or higher, variable bit rate – this is nearly as good as iTunes store quality. Most people on most systems won’t hear a difference between this and CD quality
  4. mp3 — 128 k or lower bit rate—- this is where you start to hear what are often called “swirlies” especially in the high frequencies of the music.
  5. The worst possible digital music is music that is saved as an mp3, and then saved as an mp3 again (possibly more than once). This is how audio from YouTube gets to be so bad.

Bottom line: For dance studios, rehearsal, recital, competition – mp3 at 256k or higher variable bit rate, or m4a at 256k or higher bit rate, are going to be fine, with one very important caveat: as long as the song has not been resampled/resaved in mp3 format more than once. And this is precisely why music taken from YouTube ranges so wide and far in quality…. it can be nearly pristine, or it can be severely degraded, depending on how it arrived there.

Just like cassettes in the old days: if you recorded a CD onto cassette, it didn’t sound too bad…. just a small amount of hiss was added. But as soon as you start recording cassette to cassette — you are left with practically nothing but noise after just one or two such transfers. The hiss becomes nearly as loud as the music!

Well, that’s exactly the same thing that is happening with an mp3 to mp3 copy, and this is where compression comes in that you mentioned six comments above (lol). When you save music as an mp3, indeed, you are compressing it, compared to CD-quality which is uncompressed. The mp3 encoding throws away some of the “less important” details of the music in order to save space in the storage of the file. If you take a CD, and save it as a 256k-rate mp3, you can barely even notice any difference. But if you save a 256k-rate mp3 as a 256k-rate mp3, now you are throwing away even more detail. And low-quality YouTube videos have music that is encoded as a 128k-rate mp3. So if a person takes an mp3, and then uploads that as the music of their YouTube video, now you are listening to the same thing in essence as a cassette-to-cassette transfer. If you then save the music track from the YouTube as an mp3 on your computer, and remix or edit it and save the result as an mp3, now you are doing the same thing as a cassette-to-cassette-to-cassette transfer. So if the music sounds awful at that point, well, now you know why.

Here’s an example of audio that sounds terrific on YouTube. Especially if you click the quality setting to 720p HD or higher. (Switching the YouTube video to an HD setting increases the audio quality to the highest available.)

 

Here’s an example of music that has been pretty severely degraded, as a 48k bit rate mp3. This would be similar to saving a 96k-bit rate mp3 more than once:

On the above clip, if you go back to the start of the video, you can hear what it sounds like as a very high quality mp3. Every 30 seconds, it’s played as a lower and lower quality mp3.

If you have any questions about CD-quality, m4a/AAC, or mp3 audio quality, please comment, and I will answer to the best of my ability!

Creepy music for creepy routines

zombie_dancer_by_slice14414-d32ff86Happy Halloween!

Ghouls, ghosts and goblins will appear at your doorway tonight, and if you have dancers who would delight in dancing a routine with deliciously macabre music, we have some selections that would be perfect in our Legitmix store. Here are our spooky and/or creepy offerings:

Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

Songs featured on Dancing With The Stars (DWTS)

Disco Ball 2The latest episode of Dancing With The Stars, Season 19, episode 9, aired tonight (10/27/2014). Here are two songs featured in the show, edited to be the perfect length for your next dance routine. Secret by The Pierces is perfect for a macabre contemporary routine, and Come With Me Now by Kongos works as a jazz or tap routine.

View other Squirrel Trench edits and remixes for dance routines on Legitmix or contact us for custom edits and remixes.

Hot new band: Dirty Loops – Hit Me

Dirty Loops Hit MeA hot new artist has just arrived on the scene from Sweden. Dirty Loops is a trio of talented musicians bringing an avant garde twist to popular music. Their first single is Hit Me. This song will be spectacular for a small group, large group, line, or production, in either jazz or tap. It could also work for a very advanced soloist in jazz or tap. Squirrel Trench Audio has three versions available on Legitmix:

2:45 version:

2:30 version:

2:00 version:
Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

View other Squirrel Trench edits and remixes for dance routines on Legitmix or contact us for custom edits and remixes.

Michael Jackson/Dangerous & Janet Jackson/Rhythm Nation remixes

The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, crushed it at the MTV Music Awards. Here is a remix based on that performance, along with some original twists. Edited for a 2:45 length dance routine.

Janet Jackson is one of the top female music performers of all time. Here is an original remix of the classic Rhythm Nation from the album 1814.

Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

New! Taylor Swift: Shake It Off

Taylor Swift is about to release a new album called 1989. As of today, only two tracks are available, but the full album is due October 27, 2014.

Squirrel Trench Audio is trying something new, by making edits available to all at a low price, via the music service Legitmix. With Legitmix, you can purchase these edited songs at a very low price; in this case, $5. Legitmix will verify that you have also purchased Taylor Swift’s original version of this song from iTunes. If you haven’t already purchased it, you can do so at the regular price.

Shake It Off is the first single. Here are three versions, edited for a 2:48, a 2:25, or a 1:59 routine length. Just click the play button on any of the players below:

(2:48 length)

(2:25 length)

(1:59 length)
Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

If this format proves to be solid, I will be editing and remixing many more. Please give me any feedback you may have on this service, and watch for more edits and remixes to follow.

Congrats to Joleen’s Starz of the South

Starz of the SouthA huge congratulations to Joleen’s Starz of the South studio who took home some serious hardware from the NYLA Dance Nationals in Biloxi Mississippi from June 12-15. “Music of the Night” featured a five-minute-plus Squirrel Trench-mixed soundtrack for this production number. In addition to Music of the Night, Starz of the South won in many other categories with routines featuring Squirrel Trench edited and mixed music, including Oceans, a Baseball-themed mix, My Flawz, Egyptian Style, Dirty Laundry, and Crazy in Love. Three additional special numbers were: a remix of Lady Gaga’s Applause, a moving 9-11 tribute, and a NYC street drumming scene. Here are the complete results from Starz of the South’s Nationals.

Here’s what studio owner Joleen had to say:

“We absolutely loved all of our music you created for us. :) Music of the Night won an overall highest scoring group/production and 1st place at Nationals. All of our music sounded amazing and we received great judges comments on all of our mixes and cuts. Thanks again!”

– Joleen Sanders, studio owner
Starz of the South, Vancleave MS,
July 5, 2014

How to find fantastic music that isn’t overused

Happy-New-Years-Fireworks-2014-WallpaperFor all the dancers going to Nationals in the next few weeks, break a leg! I know some studios have already finished their Nationals, but in any case, the 4th of July for many dancers, teachers, and studios means it’s time to start working on music for the upcoming season.

Just thought I’d share this tidbit, that comes courtesy of my girlfriend, dance teacher extraordinaire Lesley Lambert, for finding that hidden gem of a song… you know, that one you hear at a dance comp, and can’t believe that no one else is using this amazing song. Here’s one way to do it:

Go to Spotify or Pandora or iTunes Radio, and play a song that you really like. Then turn it into a radio station, and you’ll have a whole bunch of similar songs, many of which you may have never heard of before. Give them a listen, and pick out the gem for your next routine!

Happy hunting and happy independence day!