Cheerleading music is getting more exciting and intense every year and can really make some routines stand out more than others. This article will go through software and tips to help you make great cheer music but before we continue I want to point out that it is always best to get a professional when making competition music.
Probably the most important thing with cheer music is the song choice. Over the years we have encounted teams that may have had poor song choice and this has brought the quality of their routines down. So what are good songs? Well firstly you have to look at the age group of your team and determine if the song and lyrics are appropriate. There is nothing to say what music you have to use for age groups as long as it doesn’t have any ‘foul language’. But seriously, no one likes seeing 6 year olds crumping to Lil Jon so have some taste. The next thing you want to look at the beat and speed of the song. Yes, its good to have a variety of speeds in your routine but its to often you see routines that the music is not quite fast enough and this makes it harder for the crowd to get involved. Ultimately you want to eliminate as many low/slow points in the music as possible. You really want catchy songs that either people know or that they will remember after seeing your team compete. In saying this try and pick songs that are original and aren’t used by every other team. Stand out and be different. I find that a good mix of songs that are currently on the charts and others that people wouldn’t have heard for years is a good combination. It’s important to have a strong start and finish with your music but try and leave your best song for last as this is what the crowd will remember above all the rest.
Without software there would be no mixing, which means you would be stuck with a single track song and we all know how unentertaining that is. Now audio editing software can be expensive but there are also a lot of alternatives that are cheap and sometimes free. However the free or cheaper ones do often lack a lot of the tools that are capable of some pretty awesome effects. Here is a list of some free and commercial products.
Audacity – (free) Simple multitrack editor which allows you to trim, cut and edit many pieces of music, sounds and save them as a single audio file. You can download it from the Audacity website.
Sony Soundforge – (U$ 54.99) This commercial software is entry level in regards to editing software. It lets you mix audio tracks, apply effects, restore damaged recordings, remove vocals, and synchronise audio with video. You can find it on the Sony website.
Adobe Audition – (A$ 19.99 per month) Adobe Audition is a personal recording studio. Record, Mix, edit and master audio faster with lots of control. With Audition you can create your own music and create huge multi track projects. Watch lots of videos and find more information out at Adobe.com.
Ableton Live – (U$ 449) Ableton Live is about making music; for composition, songwriting, recording, production, remixing and live performance. Live’s nonlinear, intuitive flow, alongside powerful real-time editing and flexible performance options, make it a unique studio tool. Ableton also has a great beat-mapping system to make it easier to mix multiple songs together with simplicity. You can learn more from the Ableton website.
Apple Logic Pro x – (A$ 249) For Mac uses there is also the option of using Logic Pro X. Similar to Ableton, Logic Pro is an all in one for music creation, multi track editing, mixing, effects and use helpful tools like drum machines etc. Logic Pro is a powerful program yet simple to use with its intuitive interface. You can find more information on Logic Pro on the Apple site.
There are a lot of other software out there but this is just a small list of some that I find easy to use.
Effects make your cheer music exciting and over the years the use of effects have increased through the roof. From seeing different international teams it seems that some countries love them more than others (Thai teams cant get enough of them). Effects are great way to highlight a skill, for example, a whip sound on a Toss or bell sound when you hit a Toe Touch. Also background sound effects and build-ups are a good way to change the feel of your songs and really give the impression that they have been remixed. Decent sound effects can some times be hard to come by but the guys at cheerleadingsoundeffects.com have some great packs at good prices. Also check out AudioJungle.
For backbeats also check out www.cheerloops.com. Backbeats add depth to your music and makes joining multiple tracks easier as it can musk difficult cuts.
Have you ever made music and got confused what settings to save it as? Well its not uncommon, there a lot of confusing numbers in those settings panels but I am going to tell you what is good and what is not. The most popular format for saving music is mp3 as it has nice small file size that can easily be put onto a iPod or memory stick. When you save as mp3 though, you will be ask to select things like Kbps, Hz and if you would like it to be stereo or mono.The general rule is the bigger the numbers the bigger file size and better the quality. Most speaker systems at competitions wont be able to pick up really high frequencies that would normally be saved in very high quality mp3’s but it still doesn’t hurt to use these settings just in case. Here are are some good settings to use for your music;
- MP3 format
- Save 320 Kbps, 44100 Hz
By using these settings you will get great audio quality on all systems, big and small.
There are of course companies that do sell pre-made cheer music however then you can run the risk of other teams having them also. Here are a list of some popular ones.
Here are some websites if you would like to do some tutorials on how to create and mix/edit music
Creating cheer music isn’t an easy task and does take practice. Unfortunately there isn’t to many resources on the internet that goes through the process step by step so stay tuned.