What I can do for you and your music

Why should I send my music to you? Can you really help to improve my sporting performance?
I think there are several ways that properly edited music helps you to perform better and to achieve higher results. It’s a complicated answer, though, so I’ve given it its own page here.

What sports do you work with?
My main expertise is with solo figure skating, synchronized skating and ice dance, but I’m also happy to work on music for roller skating, TeamGym, cheerleading, cheerdance, gymnastics, synchronised swimming and all forms of dance. Whatever your sport, if it needs music, I can help you with it.

I love this piece of music, but it’s too long/short/fast/slow. Can I still use it?
Yes! I can shorten or lengthen your music to the right duration, by a combination of editing and changing the speed. If a piece of music has the right feel for you, please don’t abandon it just because the speed or tempo are wrong. If you like it, we can use it, simple as that. Leave the details to me.

I want to hit a strong finishing position at the end of my routine, but it doesn’t work very well with the fade-out at the end of my music. Can you help?
Yes. I can usually find a way to make a more definite ending, by using stronger “hits” from elsewhere in the music or by getting creative with reverbs and effects.

I want to edit together two/three/eighteen different pieces of music. Is that possible?
Absolutely, it happens all the time. Send me all the source files and I can edit them together. If the pieces are radically different it might not be possible for me to make the joins invisible, the way I often can with a single piece of music. But I can usually still find a way for the pieces to flow fairly naturally and comfortably from one to the other.

Sending your music files to me

What file formats should I send to you?
The better the quality of your source music, the better the quality of the finished edit. A .wav file imported from a CD (44.1kHz, 16 bit) is ideal, but a high-quality MP3 usually sounds pretty good too. Try and aim for a minimum bit rate of about 220kbps – higher is better. iTunes and Amazon downloads are fine. Please feel free to send me higher-quality formats if you like (I’ve worked with vinyl and FLAC in the past). But please don’t send me music you’ve ripped from YouTube – not only will the audio quality be terrible but you’ll also be denying the musicians any kind of reward for their work.

How do I send my music source files to you?
If you’re sending files smaller than about 10MB, feel free to email them to me. If the files are bigger you’ll need to use a dedicated file transfer service. There are lots of good free ones; I recommend WeTransfer.

Whichever option you use, please send files to info@theskatingmusicguy.com. And if you use a file transfer service it would be helpful if you could let me know in the message box whose music it is. At some times of year I get many files each day, and it’s difficult to keep accurate records if I don’t know who those files belong to!

I imported a .wav file from a CD or downloaded an mp3 onto my computer, and now it’s in my iTunes library. How do I send it to you?
Unfortunately this isn’t something you can do from within iTunes. If you try to share the music with me, iTunes will just send me a link to buy the track rather than sending the track itself. So you need to find the file on the hard drive of your computer – the trick is knowing where to look.

Whether Mac or PC, your computer is likely to have a default folder on the data drive named “Music”. Within that folder, navigate to iTunes/iTunes Media/Music and you’ll find folders containing all your music. Depending on your iTunes preferences the folders will be organised by either artist or album. You just find the right one and the file you need should be inside it. Once you have found the file, you can attach it to an email or (if it’s bigger than about 10MB) use a service like wetransfer.com to send the file to me.

If all else fails, you could just perform a search of your computer, copying the name of the file from your iTunes song list and pasting it into the search box.

Do you sell music?
No. I provide a service, not a product. I edit and remix the music you provide. That means you send me the source files, from a CD or iTunes or whatever. I will edit the music and send a finished file back to you. I don’t sell you the source files, you have to find them yourself. (That being said, I can offer advice on good music to use if you’re short of ideas!)

Will I run into copyright problems if I use this piece of music?
I have to leave that side of things to you, I’m afraid. Generally speaking you’ll be fine, but this is a complicated area, and one of the reasons I only work from music files you provide is that I don’t want the copyright and royalty complications involved in selling other people’s music. One thing I would say is that if a piece of music means enough to you that you’d perform with it, the artist who worked hard to create it should be rewarded. Buy CDs or downloads honourably and legally if you can, and take care to accurately complete any music selection forms for competitions so that the royalties go to the right people!

Money matters

How much does it cost?
I offer four categories of program, each with its own flat fee. The details are on this page.

The fees are given in euros and in US dollars. The dollar fees are based on PayPal’s currency conversion rates, and I may change them occasionally if the exchange rate alters significantly. I try to keep the rates as fair as I can.

My flat fees cover a certain amount of my time. I’m anticipating a beginner program will take me around 2-3 hours, a short program 3-4 hours, a long program 4-5 hours and a rhythm dance or free dance around 5-6 hours. These estimates are based on experience and 99% of the time they’re about right. If you want something unusual that is likely to take significantly longer, you can pay me for the extra time at my hourly rate, currently 25€/hour. Examples of unusual requirements might be if you want me to find music or sound effects for you, create several different program ideas for you to choose from, make field recordings, or something else similarly ambitious.

Do you offer club discounts?
Yes, I do. For every six normal programs you pay for within a period of one year, I’ll edit the seventh for free. In return I’d ask you to mention me on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram etc. and put my link (I can supply an image) on your club website amongst your display ads or sponsor logos.

Your fee seems cheap compared to other well-known music editors like Hugo Chouinard or Keiichi Yano. Does that mean you’re not as good as them?
No. At least I hope not! Obviously there are music editors in the world who have more experience than I do, and so you’d expect them to charge a higher fee. But some of my clients have previously had their music edited by well-known skating music editors and they tell me my work is just as good, despite costing less. I have more than 25 years of experience as a musician and sound engineer so I understand music at a very deep level. I also have a degree in physics and many hundreds of hours of experience mixing in ice rinks, so I’m pretty knowledgeable about the technical acoustics-related side of things, although I’m still learning every day. I regularly edit for world championship competitors, national champions and Olympians, I’ve edited around 200 programs in the last year, and many of my customers are now ordering their sixth, seventh or eighth program from me, so I must be doing something right!

So why is my fee so low? Well, I love my work and I love helping people to win things. I also want to raise the quality of music used in ice sports, I think it’s not good enough, and we’re never going to raise standards on a large scale by charging elitist prices. I think everyone should have access to high-quality music editing, and so I’ve priced my services as low as I can.

What to expect

What kind of file will I get back from you? What if I don’t like it?
Once I’ve edited the music I’ll email you an MP3 for evaluation. If there’s anything about it that you don’t like I’ll fix it and send you a revised file. Once you’re totally happy with the finished edit I’ll send you a link to download a higher-resolution .wav file that you can burn to CD.

How long will it take?
If I’m not busy, I can sometimes get a project edited and sent back to you within a day or two of receiving the payment and source files. Conversely, at certain times of year my schedule does fill up, and at those times you might have to wait 2-3 weeks for your edited file. Usually the turnaround time is somewhere in between; 3-5 working days is fairly typical. If you need a file urgently for some reason (an upcoming competition, a session with a choreographer etc.) let me know and I’ll do what I can to move you to the front of the queue.

I use Izotope Ozone (and my friendly local ice arena) to make sure your programs sound perfect on the ice.

I use Izotope Ozone (and my friendly local ice arena) to make sure your programs sound perfect on the ice.

The files I sent you were in stereo, but the one I got back from you is mono! Stereo is better, right?
If you’re listening in your living room, yes, stereo is better. But ice rinks and sports arenas are acoustically very different from your living room. Almost all ice rinks have mono sound systems, many of them incorrectly wired, and if you played a stereo recording on them some of the instruments would seem too quiet or too loud or could even vanish completely. There would be no point in having stereo speakers in an ice rink anyway: the music would sound different at different locations within the rink, which would be inconvenient for the audience and almost impossible for the skater!

I spend a lot of time optimising your mix for sports venues using specialist mastering software and a calibrated studio. I check my finished programs in my local ice arena to make sure the mix sounds 100% right on the ice. And yes, the final program I send you is almost always mono rather than stereo. All of this ensures that your music is resilient and will sound loud and clear even in the most challenging of ice rinks.

The upshot of all that is that the file you get from me will be sonically different from the original. In your living room, it may even sound worse. But in an ice hall or sports arena it will sound clear and loud, with a real “wow” factor that the original didn’t have.

Other FAQs

My coach/parent/friend has edited my music already. Why would I come to you?
Coaches do a great job of selecting and editing music – they know better than anyone what will suit a particular athlete or team. On the other hand they usually aren’t musicians and haven’t spent thousands of hours working with music production tools as I have. Most coaches realise this, and in fact a lot of my work comes from coaches who want me to improve their rough edits. I find it very helpful to receive edited music from coaches alongside the original source files, because it gives me a clear idea of what’s needed, but I have yet to find a coach’s music edit I couldn’t improve.

I have (or my friend or family member has) some music editing software. Why can’t I just edit my own music?
You can! If you have a deep understanding of music and you take the time to learn how to use your tools, you can achieve great results. There are lots of free programs out there to get you started – I’d recommend Reaper on a PC or Garageband on a Mac for editing, Tokyo Dawn Labs’ Kotelnikov is a great mastering compressor, and for limiting I love Vladg’s Limiter No.6. Of course, when you’re ready to trade up to a more professional result than you can achieve on your own, you know where to find me!

I want something really tricky and unusual. Can you help?
Yes. I don’t just edit, I’m a fairly experimental musician too, and if you need something crazy I have lots of equally crazy techniques for realising it. I love stuff like this. Bring it on!