How to Use DM
    Hook-Ups to Record
    Hook-Ups to Playback
    Player On-line Manual
    Player Downloadable Manual
    Librarian On-line Manual
    Librarian Printable Manual
  Recording Music & Cues


Methods of Recording
    Using Separate Files
    Windows Mixer
  Setting Up At a Dance
  Remote Control
    Setting it Up
    Using it
    Training the Player
  Karaoke Cue Cards
    Synchronize Music & Voice
    Time a Dance
Recording Music and Cues

There are two ways to record a dance with cues. The first is similar to the way it is usually done with minidisk using a single sound file. The second way is to record music and cues in separate files.

Use a Single Sound File

  1. Connect your music source to the left channel of the stereo line-input of your computer, and your voice source (amplified microphone) to the right channel. This will usually mean using a cable with a 1/8" stereo phono plug on one end (the computer end) and 2 RCA plugs on the other. The Left RCA plug connects to your Music-Out jack on your turntable and the Right RCA plug connects to the Voice-out jack.

  2. Play the music and speak the cues as you use your sound editor to record both into a stereo sound file. Here's how to do that using Audacity.)

  3. Compress the sound file into MP3 format

  4. Attach the sound file to the dance.

Record Music and Cues.

This works well enough, and is the method we used for the first few years of DanceMaster. But I noticed that when we played back just the music channel of a stereo recording, it didn't sound as good as a mono recording of the same material. In fact, some music sounded pretty bad.

This probably has to do with the compression. Usually the left and right channels of a stereo music recording are very, very similar. A lot of that duplicate information can be discarded in compressing the file. In our case, however, the two channels are very different. When just one channel (the music) is played back, it is influenced by the other (voice) channel, and a certain amount of distortion results. In some cases, a lot of distortion.

Now there is a better way to do it.

Use Separate Sound Files

The best way to record cues is to put them into a separate file altogether. That is record the music in mono (or stereo, for that matter) in one file, edit it as necessary, and save it. Then listen to that file as you record your cues into another file.

DanceMaster can play the two files together, and you can even adjust the timing of the cues as you are playing them at the dance.

Advantages of this approach include:

  • The result sounds better, whether you are playing it with or without cues.

  • You get better control over the voice / music balance.

  • You can adjust the timing of the cues after they are recorded.

  • You only have to record the music once. Then you can re-record the cues as often as necessary. This can be a blessing if you are working with a difficult record (one that skips or has a lot of noise, for instance).

  • You don't need a separate amplifier for your microphone - you can use your Hilton (or whatever.)

  • You can use the same music file for multiple dances (i.e. Paper Moon II and Paper Moon IV)

  • Once you get the hang of it, it is actually easier than doing it the other way.

Here is how to do it