First Freestyle: Editing Music

This article is Part 2 of the “Building Your First Freestyle Routine” series.

As we discussed in part one of this series, there may be reasons you want to edit your freestyle music. Those reasons can include:

  • Editing the song to a suitable length.
  • Removing a long, slow introduction, or removing a piece in the middle where the pace of the music doesn’t fit your routine.
  • Remove/replace words that violate the “Mickey Rule”.
  • Fun stuff, like adding your dog’s name to the lyrics.

Before we get started, let me say I’m not an expert at editing music! In fact, I had never done it before writing this. I felt like it was important to include this article as part of the series, so I researched it. This post is the result of several days of frustrated googling and watching YouTube tutorials that were weird, hard to follow, or didn’t seem correct or based on current information. This post compiles the best information I was able to find. Since my devices are an iPhone and PC, those are the devices that are covered. I didn’t feel like I could evaluate tutorials based on devices I don’t have available to test, so I apologize to all the users of other devices!

The two most popular programs in the disc dog community are Audacity & Garage Band. This post will focus on Audacity for a couple of reasons. First, I downloaded Garage Band on my iphone, and I did not find it intuitive or easy to use. Second, I searched YouTube for Garage Band tutorials, and found them confusing and not well produced. Third, downloading Audacity to my PC was quick and easy. Fourth, I found a number of well produced Audacity tutorials on YouTube that were easy to follow. There are many disc doggers who use Garage Band and find it easy to use, so don’t let my results stop you – perhaps you will find you like it.

So, let’s get started with some tutorials!

Importing Music to audacity


The first problem you’re likely to run into is actually getting the music file into Audacity. I have an iPhone, therefore all my music is in iTunes as an .m4a file. In order to bring it into Audacity, I need to convert it to an .mp3 file. This is a good article showing the process. I was able to follow the instructions using iTunes with no problems. If you have iTunes on your PC, you should then be able to open it in Audacity.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/how-to-convert-m4a-files-to-mp3-format/

Editing Music in audacity


Once you have the music imported, you’re ready to start editing. This blog has a post with a written guide on some beginning basics to get started in Audacity.

http://disc-dogs.com/using-audacity-for-editing-freestyle-songs/

I found this tutorial very watchable & understandable. It’s geared towards adding a vocal track to music, but it covers the things you’re most likely to need to edit a freestyle song – removing part of the track, recording your own audio to replace a portion of the track, etc.


Video Link for Email Subscribers

This tutorial is also easy to follow, and it covers how to remove vocals from a track. This could be useful if your song has a lot of words that violate the Mickey rule, and you’d rather just have an instrumental version.

Video Link for Email Subscribers

Exporting Music from audacity

Finally, once you have edited your file, you’re likely to run into problems exporting it to your phone. A simple solution is to export your file to Dropbox as .wav. I tested this method, and was able to play the song from Dropbox with no issues.

I was also able to save my file as .wav into iTunes on my PC, then use these instructions to convert it to .mp3 or .m4a. (Note: This is the same article linked above under “Importing Music”.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/how-to-convert-m4a-files-to-mp3-format/

At this point the ideal next step would be to download it to your phone so it appears in your Music app.  I found a number of articles & tutorials that seemed well produced, easy to follow, and contained current information.  However, none of them worked for me. From iTunes, there is literally an option to download a song to your device, but I was unsuccessful.  Because I couldn’t get any of them to work, I didn’t want to reference an article or video here.  But if you’d like to give it a try, know that there are resources available.

I hope some people find this article helpful, because to be honest it feels like kind of a mess.  Truly, once I found the correct tutorial, none of this was very difficult to do, so please don’t be intimidated.

For the rest of this series, see: First Freestyle: Choosing MusicFirst Freestyle: Choosing ElementsFirst Freestyle: Pre-Routines and First Freestyle: Building Sets.

Featured image is (c) Marshall Smith

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