Ice Cut Music started because when my daughter started skating one January and was in her first competition by that March, we had very little time to get music (or actually anything else) together for her. But as a pro-musician by trade, the one thing in this strange new world of figure skating that I assumed would be a doddle, was cutting her a 1 minute beginner's track. Man, oh man was I wrong.
Here is what I quickly discovered:
1) It was easy to find free software, but none of the free ones gave me the flexibility to cut with musical precision.
2) It was REALLY hard to cut music down into 90 seconds or so and still keep a great 'beginning, middle and end' structure for a skating program.
3) Arena sound systems were mostly built for hockey, not for the nuances of skating music! Quiet passages can leave you skating in near silence, and most systems are mono so they play the LEFT or RIGHT channel, rarely both.
This means chunks of your track can disappear (often vocals) and you may not know it's going to happen until you are at the competition arena and it's too late.
4) Its hard to compensate for iffy arena sound quality with free programs like audacity.
Here's why the edits at many competitions were so awful:
a) Kids chose songs they like, not songs that would serve them in a skating performance.
b) Kids only skated to the intro/verse because by the time the chorus came around (usually the part they actually liked) their time was up.
c) Parents were doing their best by choosing a convenient 'chunk' to fit the time requirement but it wasn't a good part to skate to.
d) Well-meaning cutters couldnt hear the differences in tempos (or worse, keys!) and happily spliced bits together to their heart's content. OWCH!
d) Oh, those fade endings! A fade is ALWAYS a damp squib to end any skater's performance.
So as a dutiful skater mom, I bought good software and started cutting - first for my own skater, then for her friends, then for all the skaters in her club . . . then the word spread :) Now I cut for skaters across the state, nationally and internationally.
I have found that cutting music for skaters is a strange but beautiful creative process. Sometimes a cut requires extra instrumentation, or sound effects to make it work, and of course tempo alterations and pitch changes are commonly necessary. But whatever the style of music (and I have worked on every style/genre of music you could imagine; Bach, Bollywood, Broadway, Disney, jazz, country, rock, hiphop and classical; even metal, gospel and polka) some cuts are instantly obvious, others take a lot of time and thought.
There's really only one track I am not willing to attempt for you - so please DON'T ask me to condense Bohemian Rhapsody into 1:30 mins. And if you ever hear anyone who has done it successfully, please let me know!
My standards are HIGH. And here's my guarantee - if I wouldn't let MY skater skate to it, I won't let yours either. Whatever my clients ask me to do (except BoRhaps!) they all trust that no track leaves my studio cutting room until I'm sure its perfect.