Tag Archives: editing

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.

 

Importing songs from iTunes into Audacity

audacity imageFor dance teachers who need to edit their songs for length, it’s not always clear how to get songs from iTunes into Audacity. There are several ways you can do it:

  • You can drag-and-drop the song file from where it’s located in your iTunes folder onto the Audacity program icon.
  • You can choose File -> Import and then select the song you want to edit
  • You can drag-and-drop the song file icon from where it’s located in your iTunes folder straight onto the open blank Audacity edit window.

If you haven’t done so before, you will also need to download and enable the FFmpeg import/export library in order to convert the m4a file. There is no cost to do so, and it can be done quickly and easily by going to Preferences -> Libraries and clicking “Download” under the FFmpeg library listing.

If you want to export your edit as an MP3 file, you will have to download and enable the MP3 library, which can be done from the same place as mentioned in the previous paragraph, namely Preferences -> Libraries, and then click Download under the MP3 library option.

For more information, check out this Audacity Importing help page.

If you want to save the time and hassle of editing songs yourself, be sure to check out the Squirrel Trench Audio library of more than 300 edited songs and remixes (almost all of which have been cleaned of objectionable lyrics), ready for purchase and instant download on Legitmix. Below is a small sampling of what is available. Click through to the Squirrel Trench catalog on Legitmix to see more selections:

Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

Congrats to Kaelyn Gray’s Code Name Vivaldi tap routine!

The GiantRenowned tap choreographer extraordinaire Kaelyn Gray recently had her Code Name Vivaldi tap routine win StarSystems’ 2016 Louisville Regional’s best routine in the 13 & over category.

After receiving the award, Kaelyn knew that, while it had a great soundtrack, it really needed a better ending. In order to deliver the ending she wanted (normally not possible, since this song, by The Piano Guys, fades out instead of ending strong), I employed virtual software instruments to re-create an entire orchestral string section consisting of violins, violas, cellos, and double-basses, along with a squadron of drummers on marching toms, a two-story tall upright piano installed in a Manhattan skyscraper, and a Concert Grand piano in an Austrian concert hall.

Here’s what Kaelyn had to say after she got the result back:

“Throwing a shout-out to THE Morriss Partee…..dang he is amazing at his job.

Yesterday I had a piece debut for the first time, a dark tap piece that I had never seen in costume (or even began the cleaning process for that matter) so I was a little worried it would blow up in my face…..Plus, I edited it myself and it was an original fade-out song which I really hate for tap, so I put a very lack-luster ending note on there that was just displaced and boring.

The kids ending up smashing it and it ended up the top scoring 13 and over routine of the weekend (Happy surprise!) I thought if it was going to be that good it definitely deserved a stronger ending…..so I messaged Morriss Partee and not even an hour later my email had a new edit ….. GUYS. Holy cwap. He literally manufactured the same instruments in the song, using 3 different grand pianos, an orchestra of violins……he went ahead an “polished” the entire track for me to make it sound sparkly and new again, since I had sped up the music tremendously to fit the speed of my taps. The new ending is perfection and intense!!!!

I love people who are passionate at what they do and share it! Thanks so much Morriss for being there for me and for delivering nothing but the best!!! GOOOO MORRISSSSSS!!!! ‪#‎kickballchangejazzhand‬ “

— Kaelyn Gray, tap choreographer
Expressions Dance Theatre, Crescent Springs KY
& founder Tap Dance Tutorials/#bringtaptothepeople
February 8, 2016

Removal of embedded tap sounds

(L to R) Richard Vida and Mark Ledbetter in “The Drowsy Chaperone,” a witty love letter to the madcap musicals of the 1920s with music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison and book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar. Directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, “The Drowsy Chaperone” is presented in a limited engagement July 8 - 20, 2008 (opening on July 9), at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre (135 N. Grand Ave. in Los Angeles). For tickets and information, call (213) 628-2772 or go to www.CenterTheatreGroup.org. Photo by Joan Marcus Press contact: CTG Press (213) 972-7376

(L to R) Richard Vida and Mark Ledbetter in “The Drowsy Chaperone. Photo by Joan Marcus Press.

Did you pick out a song that has taps in it, but now you need them removed for competition or any other performance? You are in luck. Squirrel Trench Audio now has the capability to remove embedded tap sounds in music. Click to hear a before and after sample (with taps and with taps removed) from the Drowsy Chaperone. Click here to contact us about removing embedded tap sounds from your audio.

Update: Now available is the original Broadway Cast version of 42nd Street, with taps suppressed:

Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

DIY’ers: You should be charging for editing music

It’s a fact, dance teachers and choreographers need to use edited music in their routines. Some choreographers edit their music themselves, others ask a friend or family member to do it, and others send it out to a professional. No matter how you do it, whether it’s yourself, or hiring out a professional to get it done, you should be charging your students (or your studio) when you edit or remix music for the routines that you choreograph.

music-moneyMusic editing and remixing is not free. It takes time, effort and skill. Your dance studio wouldn’t dream of giving away choreography or costumes for free, why would the time and energy to work music into shape for a routine be any different?

Your time as a dance teacher/choreographer is valuable. You charge students (or your studio) for your time in developing choreography and then teaching it to your students. You are paid for that service. When you devote time to creating or editing your music, that’s valuable time you are taking away from other activities, no matter whether that’s family time, time at another job, or time you could be spending creating even more choreography.

If you hire a professional to have your music edited, normally you would not absorb that cost; you should be passing it on to your customers, which in the case of a dance studio, are your students. Therefore, when you do the music yourself, you should still be charging appropriately for the service. If you don’t, you are short-changing yourself.

A good starting point for determining how much you should charge is to take note of the average time it takes you to edit a song. Say it takes half an hour to edit a song, and you charge your studio $50 an hour for teaching dance or creating choreography. In that case, you should charge the studio $25 for the song editing service. If you spend, say, two hours creating a complex song medley for a competitive group routine, then it would be appropriate to charge $100 for the music for that group.

If you are also the studio owner, you should be charging a music fee to cover not only the costs of getting the music into shape for the routines, but also to cover your ASCAP/BMI/SESAC fees. Smart business owners charge a mark-up on services purchased on behalf of their customers to cover the employee time and expense involved in procuring the goods. Studios do this as normal business practice for procuring costumes.  The same should be true for procuring quality music. Say your studio has 100 students, and you pay $600/year in ASCAP, BMI and SESAC fees. This means that the base cost of providing the music licenses to your studio is $6 per student per year. If the studio then charges $9 per student per year as a music usage rights fee, then the studio is covering the cost, plus making a few extra dollars as well.

The same concept applies no matter if you edit your own music or send out a remix to a professional. If you spend $199 to create an exciting and original remix for a group routine with 15 students in it, that works out to $13.33 per student. If the studio charges $15 per student as a music remix fee for the routine, then not only does the studio cover the cost of the exciting remix, the studio is also making a small profit. Here’s an article explaining how to cover all your music costs.

The bottom line is: Don’t sell yourself short.

And when you need a professional to get your music right, Squirrel Trench Audio is at your service. We are thrilled to have helped hundreds of dancers around the US and all over the world, have spectacular music for their routines. And since we understand that cost is often an issue, and costs need to be kept to a minimum in most situations, we have a catalog of music that has already been edited or remixed, and is available for immediate purchase at a price far less than custom editing or remixing.

Savannah Ballet’s Little Mermaid

IMG_1624I am extremely honored to have helped the Savannah Ballet with the music and sound design for their production of The Little Mermaid. The premier performances were this past weekend (April 24 & 25, 2015), and received rave reviews from those that attended. Managing Director Abby McCuen asked for my assistance in assembling a collection of about a dozen songs into a cohesive 45-minute set for Act I of the ballet. It was an exciting and challenging project, and Abby received several compliments on it. Here are a couple of photos from this beautiful performance. Click on either one to enlarge it.

For more photos, view Savannah Ballet’s photo album on Facebook.IMG_1780

 

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!

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.

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