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Music for a new dance season

Back to school time means it’s time for a brand new season of dance! One of the most exciting times of year for dancers is to find out what their new routines are all about. And in order to have a great new routine, you have to have great new music.

To transform the process of creating new music from a chore into a joy, we have more than 750 clean song edits and mixes that are instantly ready to be choreographed. Every song and mix is lovingly crafted to be the best possible foundation for your choreography. View the Squirrel Trench catalog of clean music and mixes here.

Here’s what a dance teacher had to say about the service today:

“Thank you so much! I’m going to continue browsing your mixes- you’re SO much more affordable than other sites and save me all of the time in editing. What you’re doing is great- thanks again.”

— Heather Closson, Dance Instructor
Ratio Dance, Auburn IN, August 28, 2017

Helping Ashley at Ohana

I love getting feedback from dance studio owners and choreographers. Especially when they find that my catalog of cleaned and edited songs and mixes transforms the music selection task from a headache and chore into an easy and exciting process of finding music that is perfect for their choreographic vision. Here’s the latest from Ashley Kohl, Creative Director for the Ohana School of Performing Arts in South Hadley, Massachusetts:

“You totally ROCK!!!! Wow, thanks so much Morriss! I’ll be in touch with more … this resource is a serious lifesaver. I have shared it with all of my instructors. I am so much more excited to pick music than I have ever been. It’s usually so daunting and stressful. Game changer!

Thank you for being so generous and helpful!”

—Ashley Kohl, Creative Director
Ohana School of Performing Arts, July 22, 2017

If you’d like to check out the listing of more than 700 clean songs and mixes, just click this link: Squirrel Trench Audio catalog. Find out how easy picking perfect music for your choreography can be!

Two ways in which poor music editing can lead to students who quit dance

Recently, there was a great conversation about the value of music editing as it pertains to dance studios in the Facebook group Dance Teacher Network. As I’ve outlined previously, there is much more to quality music editing for choreography than simply making a cut and calling it a day. Good music editing for choreography takes into account song structure as well as employs a variety of audio engineering techniques when needed. But there are two specific cases where poor music editing can completely frustrate a dancer, and in extreme cases, may even lead a student to quit dance entirely!

There are two kinds of poorly executed music edits that can lead dancers to quit: Awkward fade-outs and too much repetition

The first kind of poor music edit is one that robs the dancer of the applause that he or she so very much deserves after performing a routine. This poor choice is when a dance group or soloist’s song is simply faded out without any thought as to how the music should flow from start to finish. These type of fade-outs usually have the performer(s) dancing off the stage at an awkward point in the song; at a point where the audience isn’t expecting the routine to end because the music does not sound like it’s supposed to end. So the dancer is all the way off stage before the audience realizes that the routine is over, and there is a hesitation before they start to applaud. AND, the dancer is now not on the stage to properly feel, and fully receive, the audience’s applause. In extreme cases, this leaves a young, fledgling dancer who is timid, or a little bit uncertain of their dancing abilities, feeling like the audience may not have really appreciated their routine after all. Instead, always put a button on the music to ensure the dancer(s) receive the applause they deserve while on stage!

The second, and even more direct route where a bad music edit can lead to a dancer quitting entirely is when there is too much repeating left in the music edit for a young soloist. This can happen no matter whether it’s a competition solo or a recital solo. When too much repetition is left in the music, it is extremely easy for a dancer to lose track of where they are in the song and thus where they are in the choreography. When the music repeats over and over (especially choruses that repeat and verses that repeat), the dancer doesn’t have the “help” of the music or lyrics to serve as auditory cues as to where they are in their choreo and what comes next.

Properly edited music for dance has all possible repetition removed. This is an aspect that the vast majority of DIY music editors (and even many audio professionals who have not studied the intersection of dance and music) fail to realize. Music with too much repetition retained leads to students who more easily lose track of where exactly they are in their choreo, an especially big problem in solos where you can’t cue off of another dancer. In these cases, the person creating the music edit doesn’t even realize that the repetition in the music is a big contributor to the problem. And if a student doesn’t not have the “help” of the music to help them remember their choreo, then that leads to frustration, which can lead to quitting dance entirely.

I’m sure you have viewed hundreds and hundreds of solo routines in competition as I have, and therefore you know that at a large comp, there will ALWAYS be at least one young soloist who runs off the stage sobbing because they forgot their choreo under the bright lights of the stage. I have come to the conclusion that poorly edited music containing too much repetition is a major contributing factor to these breakdowns.

Of course, sometimes a dancer who forgets their choreo returns later to the stage and performs triumphantly, but some of these dancers decide to quit dance forever right then and there. Why risk it? Why lose young dancers forever due to poorly thought-out music edits? Sure, there are sometimes when a student forgets their choreo, even with perfectly edited music. But no one wants their students to experience these kind of choreo-forgetting melt-downs.

You, as choreographer and teacher, pour your heart and soul into your choreo, into teaching your students, and cleaning their routines. You spend hours picking out the perfect costume to match your choreo. You deserve to have perfect, optimized music to match the effort you put into every other aspect of the dance, and you deserve to have music that actively helps your dancers remember their choreo instead of being a stumbling block.

This is why Squirrel Trench Audio music is created with the UTMOST care and precision — with song structure analysis to eliminate all possible repetition, ensuring that each music edit is a complete soundtrack, start to finish, that is ideal for choreography. Squirrel Trench Audio even has more than 1,000 clean song edits and remixes available in our archives. Check the listing for the songs that you want and email me or use this form to send me your music requests or for more information.

Welcome Dance Studio Life readers

I am pleased to welcome readers of Rhee Gold’s fabulous magazine Dance Studio Life. If you opened up to the inside back page (the Dance bag) section, you may have seen Squirrel Trench’s very first print ad, reproduced here.

Welcome and thank you for taking the time to find this web site! Squirrel Trench Audio has been serving dance studios in North America and worldwide since 2011. (more background here.) We create lyrically cleaned-edits and edits crafted specifically for choreography, of your favorite songs, as well as custom mixes for dance studios, pom teams, gymnasts, figure skaters, fitness competitors, pole athletes, and vocal competitors.

We have an archive of more than 1,000 song edits and remixes, of which 400 are listed here: Squirrel Trench Archives.

We also take custom edit and mix requests; however, due to popularity, we currently have a large backlog of music work. Requests from the archives are fulfilled immediately however. For more information, please email me: morriss@squirreltrenchaudio.com.

 

Edited songs for your dance recital

It’s that time of year again; time to select music for your dance studio’s recital. The good news is that Squirrel Trench is here to save you the time and frustration of aligning waveforms. Instead, browse the Squirrel Trench Audio archives of clean edits and remixes. Every edit and remix is created with recording-studio standards of quality, optimized for choreography. The archive now shows about 400 out of a total of more than 1,000. Special consideration if you’re interested in more than one song:
Squirrel Trench Audio archives

Legitmix has shut down; Squirrel Trench continues

It is with great sadness that the music web site Legitmix has ceased operations. Squirrel Trench Audio had a terrific two-year relationship with that company. We hope all of the fine professionals working there have a very productive future ahead of them.

In the meantime, Squirrel Trench Audio will continue to supply you with the clean song edits and remixes that you have come to expect and love. We are still in business, and have been fulfilling dozens upon dozens of orders directly. We are working to find alternatives ways to present you with our catalog of clean edits and remixes, which at this point may be well over 1,000 edits and remixes.

I have begun work on a Google Spreadsheet listing just a few of the clean song edits and mixes created. As always, all music prepared by Squirrel Trench Audio is designed expressly for the needs of choreographers and dancers, and is musically seamless.

View the Google Spreadsheet of completed clean song edits and mixes here.

Three common problems and fixes when editing or mixing music

clean_music_by_fatihakgungorI love helping dance teachers and choreographers have the most outstanding, powerful, and impactful music possible. It’s an honor that so many dance teachers and studio owners entrust me to fix and clean the mixes they create. When DTs send me mixes, I hear three problems most often. They are relatively easily avoided. Here they are with their easy fixes:

  1. Problem — Timing hiccups
  2. Problem — Volume drops
  3. Problem — Poor audio quality

 

  1. Fix for Timing Hiccups — Determine the tempo of every song and align your work to the tempo grid. That means all cutting, moving, etc, is done precisely rather than via guesswork
  2. Fix for Volume Drops — One reason I receive many song edits or mixes with a reduced volume is that when the audio file is created during the Export process, the “Normalize” option is turned on by default. When there are internal peaks in a song that is bounced down with the Normalize option turned on, this results in the ENTIRE mix being reduced in volume. Do not leave the Normalize option turned on! Instead, make sure Normalize is turned off. To avoid digital distortion in these cases, put a peak limiter on your output bus. If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry, because in most cases, a short digital over will not be very noticeable on most sound systems.
  3. Fix for Poor Audio Quality — Use only original sources. Never import an mp3 into your audio program since an mp3 is a reduction in quality. Always save your mixes at at least 256k bit rate mp3, because to go less than that also results in an audible drop off in quality.

Hope these tips and fixes help you as you put together your edits and mixes! Please feel free to ask me any question about any of this since I truly love to help you have the best music you can possibly have for your amazing choreo!

The Sound of Silence gets an emotional new treatment

disturbed-sound-of-silenceThe classic Simon and Garfunkel song Sound of Silence gets a brand new, emotionally powerful treatment by the band Disturbed. Click the Play button below to hear it, or the Buy button to get the edited 2:25 length version, designed expressly for a lyrical or contemporary competition or recital dance routine. As always, Squirrel Trench Audio delivers seamless and ultra smooth edits.

Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

Castle by Halsey

halsey castleHalsey has a haunting and beautiful song out called Castle. Get the official Squirrel Trench 2:51 or 2:21 edited version, for your next jazz or contemporary routine. Editing has been carefully done to provide the best possible foundation for your choreography. Squirrel Trench Audio is your source for clean edits and remixes created specifically for dance routines.

Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

Meghan Trainor debuts NO

Meghan-Trainor-No-2016Meghan Trainor is following up her previous breakout hit album Title, with Thank You, and the first single currently in pre-release is the catchy song NO.

Squirrel Trench Audio is first on the scene with a 2:29 edit of this song, perfect for your next jazz or tap dance routine.

Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix