Tag Archives: music

How to convert a song to MP3 in iTunes

apple logo with headphonesiTunes is non-intuitive when it comes to converting a song from one format to another.

iTunes can convert audio into any of five different formats, AAC (which has an m4a extension), AIF, Apple Lossless, MP3, and WAV. But right-clicking on a song only shows you one choice to convert to, and your conversion option is only whatever you have your CD import settings set to! (It doesn’t really make a lot of sense, but it is what it is.) To change it to MP3, just go to Preferences -> General -> Import Settings, and select MP3 Encoder.

When you do, be SURE to set your MP3 import settings to:
• Stereo Bit rate: 256 kbps
• [check] Use variable bit rate encoding (yes)
• Quality: Highest
• Sample Rate: 44.100 kHz
• Channels: Stereo
• Stereo Mode: Normal
• [check] Smart Encoding Adjustments (yes)
• [check] Filter Frequencies Below 10 Hz (yes)

(Click for more information on the proper settings for MP3 files.)

If later, you need to convert music to a different format that iTunes supports, then follow the steps listed above, but select the destination format that you want to convert to. For example, if you need a WAV file, then select WAV in your Import Settings, and once you do that, Convert to WAV will be an option when you right-click on a song.

Congrats to Boca Dance Studio 1st Place Overall!

Katie Westrich of Boca Dance Studio has taken 1st Overall at Ticket to Broadway competition, with a routine that features a custom Squirrel Trench-created soundtrack! This wedding-themed production routine is quite elaborate, featuring a large gazebo prop, dancers of all ages, and a variety of music and dance styles! Congrats to Katie and all of her dancers! Enjoy this fun routine!

I Get to Love You by Ruelle

Brand new, a beautiful and moving song for a lyrical routine, the heartfelt I Get to Love You by Ruelle. Not only is this song lovely to listen and dance to, the official music video features the talented dancer, Ms. Brianna Roland, who has won numerous competition titles using Squirrel Trench Audio-created remixes. She is the first dancer seen in the video, and is featured throughout it.

Squirrel Trench Audio has three edited lengths of this routine, ready for your next competition or recital lyrical or contemporary routine, at 2:55, 2:43, and 1:57.

Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

Enjoy the official video featuring Brianna Roland:

To learn more about the titles that Ms. Roland has won with Squirrel Trench Audio-created soundtracks, here is info about her Starbound senior title (2013), Starquest title (2012), and OnStage New York title (2013).

Stand by You, Rachel Platten, Squeaky Clean

rachel platten huge smile on stageDue to popular demand, Squirrel Trench Audio is pleased to present a squeaky clean version of the new hit Stand by You by Rachel Platten. All instances of the word ‘hell’ have been replaced with the word ‘fire’. This cleaned song is available in a full-length (3:33) version as well as a 2:24 shortened version. Enjoy!

Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

Barbie Girl by Aqua – Squeaky Clean

barbie with lipstickI am honored to be on the Advisory Panel of YPAD; Leslie Scott​’s organization to educate the dance community about the dangers to impressionable young minds when they dance in inappropriate routines. To further that goal, I am pleased to offer the song “Barbie Girl” minus the words “undress me anywhere” and minus other suggestive lyrics that occur in this otherwise fun and bouncy song. And I’m offering it for FREE ($2.28 if you don’t already own both versions used to create this cleaned edit). If your studio is already using this song this season, I will match your existing edit with this squeaky clean version for FREE so that no re-choreo’ing is needed. Don’t let your routine take deductions for inappropriate lyrics. Click the graphic below to take a listen and hear for yourself how great this song can still sound when the suggestive lyrics are removed.

In addition, Squirrel Trench offers three other shorter lengths of this squeaky clean edit at $9.99 each.

Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

Wizard of Oz Production mix

wizA few years ago, I created a custom, 6-minute Wizard of Oz mix for Kimberly Houli’s Dance for Joy studio in New Jersey. This mix includes munchkins, movie dialogue, sound effects, and more. She used it as a grand opening piece for her recital, and you can see a video of it below.

Because it’s been several years since this piece was originally created, Kimberly has agreed to let this soundtrack become available for purchase by other dance studios. Take a listen and see if this is right for your next Wizard of Oz recital or competition production!

Listen to and purchase this remix here on Legitmix:

Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

Radioactive – a cappella

Imagine Dragons performing at the Made in America Festival. (Colin Kerrigan / Philly.com)

Imagine Dragons performing at the Made in America Festival. (Colin Kerrigan / Philly.com)

The song Radioactive by Imagine Dragons has been incredible popular ever since it was released. Scores of other musicians have covered it, including a collaboration between Pentatonix and violinist Lindsey Stirling which is also available in a 2:50 dance routine length. Below are links to an a cappella edit of the song from the original recording. This version is available in three lengths for your dance routine: 2:56, 2:42, and 2:07. This amazing tour de force performance could be used in a jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary, modern, or even a hip hop routine.

And here is the Pentatonix/Lindsey Stirling cover of this fantastic song:

Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

42nd Street, Minus Taps

42nd_logoHave you ever wanted to create a tap dance routine with the song from the original broadway soundtrack? Prior to today, this has not been possible, because the sounds of the original tap dancers are embedded in the audio of the song. But thanks to highly advanced audio processing software, along with skill and hard work, I am pleased to offer the Original Broadway Cast Recording of 42nd Street, MINUS TAPS. All embedded tap sounds have been removed as much as possible. Click to hear this choreography-ready version!

Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

When saving edits as mp3s, always choose 256k or higher

11882514-ear-and-sound-waves-Stock-Vector-hearingFor all of you fabulous choreographers who edit your own music: When saving your music as an mp3, NEVER save it at anything less than a 256k bit rate. Why is this important? Because when you save it at 128k or lower, you are telling your computer to throw away some of the detail in your music. You may not hear the difference on your laptop or iPad’s speakers, but when played on a good sound system (like in your studio, or at comp or recital), it won’t be as clear. And it just gets worse if you open up that same low-res file and re-edit it again.

Also worth noting: once you save an edit as a low-res mp3, re-saving it at a higher rate later does not fix it. Once you’ve saved it as a low-res file, then it will always be low res.

I know all the “export” or “save as…” options that are presented in most audio processing programs are greek if you don’t know the details or reasons behind the choices. Way too many of the music edit files I get for repair are saved as 128k mp3 files, and it makes me sad to know that dancers are not dancing with the cleanest version of their music possible, for no good reason other than the choreographer was not aware that saving at a 128k rate (or lower) degrades the audio noticeably.

Also, if you are not sure what the quality of an mp3 is, there’s a fairly easy way to tell, by checking the file’s size in Mb. A 2.5 to 3-minute edit saved as an mp3 or m4a should be roughly 5 to 6 Mb in size. If it’s only 2 to 3 Mb in size, then you know it’s low-res, and too much audio quality has been thrown away.

I can easily understand why this is such a problem. While you are working on the file, it sounds fine, because it hasn’t been saved to a low-res format yet. And when you save it as a low-res mp3, you can’t immediately HEAR that it doesn’t sound as good as what you have been working on. In other words, the quality gets reduced when you save it, but you don’t even know that that has happened. So I am very happy to help spread the word. Now you know!

Bottom line: When doing a “Save as” or “Export Audio” to an mp3 file, always choose the 256k rate or higher!

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