Tag Archives: dance parents

Another happy dance music customer

I had the great pleasure of editing the music of a number of soloists at Cedar City, Utah’s On Stage Dance Studios last year in the January to March time frame. I’m happy to report that dance parents at On Stage Dance Studios have already begun having their music edited by Squirrel Trench Audio again this year, and I am happy that they are loving the results that we deliver. Here’s what another satisfied dance parent had to say today:

“Hi Morriss! Thank you so much! It’s perfect! You are definitely the best at what you do! The choreographer said you are amazing and that she can’t believe you were able to do it so that it blended so well and didn’t even sound like it had been cut. Not to mention how fast you are at getting it done too. Talk to you again the next time we need some music cut. 🙂 Have a great New Year! Thanks again”

— Andria, dance parent
at On Stage Dance Studio, Cedar City, UT
January 1, 2013

Making sure your dance music sounds great

In the process of re-editing a custom music remix for one of my clients, I realized that many things that are common knowledge in the audio and music world are not common knowledge for dance parents and others who don’t have an extensive music background. So here are a few tidbits about making sure your music sounds the best it can be, and factors that do or don’t contribute to degrading the music quality.

As always, garbage in equals garbage out.

When working with music, you need to start with (obviously) great sounding music. Once audio has been degraded, you can never really get it back to how it sounded before. You can use a few tricks to try to repair damage, but it will never be as good as the original. It’s kind of like trying to repair a painting that has been faded, ripped and torn. You can try to patch it up, but it won’t be the same.

How this applies to your dance music: Nearly all the music you can get for free has been degraded or compressed. Mp3s can be high quality, medium quality, or low quality. Music obtained by scraping a YouTube video is always medium-to-low quality. If you want your music to sound the best it can be, always start with a high quality version of your song. Buy the CD or purchase it from iTunes or Amazon. If you edit your song and save it as an mp3, always save it with a bit rate of at least 256k/sec, and if the software you are using has a Quality option, make sure it is set on “Highest”.

Burn your music on a name-brand CD-R.

Some people might think that different brands of Recordable CDs (CD-Rs) have a different quality of sound on them. This thinking is a holdover from the days of cassettes, where there existed varying qualities of cassettes, and the music would be affected accordingly. In today’s digital world, the brand of CD does not affect the sound quality of the music that is encoded. Either the bits and bytes are encoded, or they are not, and that is where the brand of CD makes a difference. A generic or no-name brand will sound identical to a name-brand CD, IF the bits are encoded properly, and the CD player you are putting it in can read it.

The difference between generic-brand CD-Rs and high quality CD-Rs is not in the sound quality of music, but the robustness of the data stored on them. Name-brand CD-Rs will almost never have a bad disc, or a bad batch of discs, whereas you will sometimes encounter a run of unwritable CD-Rs with a generic brand. Also, with the high quality CD-Rs, because the data is etched in a better layer of material, it will play in nearly all CD-players. So with the name brand CD-Rs, you don’t have to worry if your CD will play at competition, or perhaps even cut out half way through the song.

This is also where we go back to the Garbage In Equals Garbage Out rule of audio. If you start with a bad sounding song downloaded from a YouTube video, then it will still sound bad even though you burn it onto a CD. If you start with beautiful sounding music, but save it as a low-quality, low-bit rate mp3, then you will have a low quality song when you put it on CD.

Hope this helps clear up a few things about making sure your dance music sounds the best it can be! If you have any other questions about dance music, please post it in the comments below, and I’ll try to answer it as best as I can!

Welcome to Squirrel Trench Audio!

Welcome! Squirrel Trench Audio is proud and honored to be the official sponsor this week of DanceMom.com’s Dance Mom of the Year Contest! It’s only fitting, since this week, the contest is all about the music used in dance. Break a leg to all of the Dance Moms competing! And we are also excited that we will be giving the winner a FREE music edit!

The mission of Squirrel Trench Audio is to ensure that all dancers have gorgeous, beautiful, funky, grooving, and/or soulful music to dance to. Towards that end, there are many things you may find valuable on this site. We have:

• Tips for all you music editors out there, including how to Avoid Awkward Fade-Outs, Understanding Song Structure, and CD Care Tips

• Songs that are a little off the beaten path in the categories of Jazz, Tap, and Lyrical

• For those of you looking for a professional music editing service, we also offer song edits for $39, or custom remixes starting at $74. Some samples are here, and Testimonials are here. We can also fix music that has already been edited, but that still have jumps, clicks, or glitches in it, as well as master music for proper volume, if it has sections that sound too soft in competition halls.

Feel free to browse this site, and ask me any questions at any time. I can be reached via email at: morriss@squirreltrenchaudio.com.

Break a leg, all you Dance Mom of the Year contestants, and break a leg to all the other dance parents and dancers as you enter another year of exciting competitions!

Testimonials for Squirrel Trench Audio

Normally I like to contribute many ideas and techniques for how YOU can edit your own dance routine music better, but I would be remiss if I didn’t occasionally post some of the glowing testimonials that are coming in for my Squirrel Trench Audio music editing and remixing work. It is truly a pleasure to make so many dance parents, dance teachers, and dance studio owners happy by providing solid, click-free, glitch-free, well-structured music for their superlative choreography.

Here are a couple testimonials; more can be found on the Testimonial page:

“You are a rock star! This is amazing! I can not wait to see her rock out on stage to this version!”

— a dance mom in Texas,
December 17, 2011

“Oh my goodness!  This is great! I can’t wait to have her listen when she gets home from school today.  I will have her bring it to gym and see what the coach thinks about timing.  I’m sure it will be great.  Thanks so very much! That was fast!”

— parent of a gymnastic student in Ohio,
who needed a music edit/remix for a floor routine
October 11, 2011

“It sounds great; I love your work!”

— Miss Daysha, dance teacher at
OnStage Dance Studios, Cedar City Utah
February 21, 2012

“Thank you! It’s perfect….I’ll be sending some more requests soon.”

— Miss Kimberly, dance studio owner at
Dance for Joy, Brielle, New Jersey
November 2, 2011