My Own Story of Remix

Posted on November 23, 2015. Filed under: cheerleading, Eci832, Masters, remix |

I watched a couple different documentaries this week. One of them was RIP: A Remix Manifesto.

RIP : A Remix Manifesto from Laurent LaSalle on Vimeo.

It was such an interesting video that took a look at how intense our North American copyright laws are. It followed the story of the band/DJ/songwriter Girl Talk. Gregg Michael Gillis (Girl Talk) took music and remixed it to create new beats and songs. Technically, he is under a ton of copyright infringement because he is using other people’s original music. The documentary discussed the vast amount of money he would have to pay if he went through the right copyright avenues.  It also discussed that copyright infringement laws don’t benefit the artist who wrote the songs, but the companies that have signed the artists.

Speaking of companies. I was blown away when the documentary explained the media flow.  I had no idea it looked like this:

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Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 11.38.35 AM


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Photo credit: Screen shot from RIP: A Remix Manifesto

Notice the 6 companies that own all media outlets.  Two words come to mind; power and control. That’s what these copyright laws are about.  When these 6 companies have control over the entire market, it’s no wonder they also control the government and have influence over the law and how strict it is here in Canada and the USA.

In the past 10 or so years, I too have been dabbling with remixing music… (Illegally I guess!) I have been involved with the cheerleading world, and when I was in high school, I learned how to cut cheer music for my team’s cheerleading routines. It’s similar to what I did with garage band for one of my last posts: Remixing Education A Report Card Rant. The only difference is that Garage Band allows you to do a lot more original creation because they just supply you the chord and beat options, and you put them together. With cheer music, I was literally using other artist’s songs, adding voice overs, sound effects (whips, dings etc.) and layering them over each other.

My goal with making Garage Band music was to create a piece of background music to compliment the words I was speaking.  With the music editing software program GoldWave, my goal is to create music that will enhance the cheer routine.  For example, when a stunt hits, it’s neat when there is a sound effect to go with it.

The oldest piece of music I can find that I have remixed is from 2009. Take a listen. I uploaded it from my computer to SoundCloud, and then embedded it in my post. You can hear how the sound effects still feel a little awkward at some points.

When I am making the music, this is what it looks like in the Goldwave music editor. This would be what the full song you just heard looks like.

screen shot gold wave


This next video is a cheer routine I choreographed using the above music.  The choreography starting at 1:45 goes along with the music you just heard. You can see how I tried to fit the music to the routine and vice versa.

As I have continued mixing music, I feel I have improved on the technical side. I’ve learned to zoom in, splice and edit tiny sections of music. I know my own musical background has helped me to know the counts/half counts and be able to “read the music.”  Typically when someone says “reading music,” it means looking at notes and knowing what pitch to play on an instrument:


Photo Credit: Michael Summers

That isn’t actually what I meant when I said reading the music though.  Reading the music for me is this:

Grey cup routine

This is a zoomed in screen shot of one of my remixes. This pic only shows 10 seconds of the entire piece.  In fact, this screen shot isn’t just one song. It shows two pieces of music getting spliced together. The timing has to fit into the 8 count rhythm, and the little blip you see in the middle is where Kid Ink says “Kid Ink” in the song Delirious.

As I have been getting a little better at remixing, I have started to do bigger projects. While I was on the Rider Cheer Team, I edited and mixed their routine music for them. Here is a video of us at last year’s Grey Cup. (FYI I was able to download this video from my coach’s Facebook page using’s instructions. Even though she is my FB friend, I wasn’t able to download it normally because her FB page is set to private.) Using this website, I was able to download it to my computer and then upload it to YouTube.

Surprise, surprise! While I was uploading this video to Youtube to show you all, I received two emails letting me know the audio in the video is infringing upon their copyright. They kindly muted it for me. 😐

nelly copyright

Youtube copyright

Well hopefully Vimeo doesn’t catch me as fast as YouTube. When my video lost sound on YouTube, I decided to sign up for Vimeo and try it there. Here it goes!

Rider Cheerleader Performance at Grey Cup 2014 in BC. from Danielle Maley on Vimeo.

Here is one more quick splice of video from the Grey Cup the year before. (You know, the year we won the Cup!) That year the coaches sent all of my spliced pieces of music to a DJ who edited them together.

Grey Cup 2013 Rider Cheer Performance from Danielle Maley on Vimeo.

Honestly, this post might just end up being a social experiment to see how many copyrighted materials I can put into this blog post before someone asks me to take it down. Wait- should I even be posting this?! Maybe I will be the next person to get a lawsuit summons at my door. Yikes!

I don’t want to take this post down because I, like the directors of the documentary want to show how “illegally remixing music” can be beneficial. I have done all my music editing on a volunteer basis for cheer teams.

ONE MORE STORY before I conclude this post. Speaking of POWER and CONTROL…I help my own school’s cheerleading team by mixing their cheer music for them. I had downloaded Goldwave’s free trial onto my teacher laptop and mixed the music from there.  BUT since my school division just got a technology refresh and we all got new teacher laptops, guess what happened? Our IT department wants complete power and control over what teachers are allowed to download on their laptop.  Goldwave does not fit into their approved program list. Apparently because it’s a trial version, and unlicensed, our board won’t let me download it.

Unlicensed version

They want me to use another program from their approved list. They don’t quite get that it has literally taken me about 13 years to learn and master the Goldwave program. This is super frustrating for me as I am using the program for the benefit of staff and students in their division, but it is just one more way that the copyright laws of Canada have everyone’s hands tied.

What about you? Any stories of copyright infringement?

This is a story of a wedding videographer who got sued for using copyrighted music in his weddings videos.

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From Homelessness to Abandonment: Solving the World’s Problems 1 Blog Post at a Time

Posted on January 8, 2015. Filed under: cheerleading, Ed800 |

Watch this video first. This blog post is a response to the video for my Ed800 class. These were the…

Questions to ponder while watching videos

  • Are you surprised that these videos can be the outcome of “research”?

  • Which did you find touched you most?

  • What is your interest in research methods?

  • What do you fear most?

Seeing the interviews as research resonates with me more than “book/article research” because these are the types of human interactions that I am comfortable with. Talking with people and hearing their story is a way that everyone finds a place for “research” in their life. I truly believe the best part of the human experience is about connecting with people and finding a deeper moment when sharing one another’s lives. I really appreciate that these two videos were the first in our look at research.

There were two points that resonated with me in the first video.  The first one was when one of the men talked about not having a peace when he was walking the streets. My first reaction was critical.  My initial thought was that peace is a word that defines something spiritual, and that the word he was looking for was comfort; he did not have comfort when he was walking the streets.  Then, I was convicted that no, in fact his struggle with homelessness was/is spiritual. As I started to think about what it would be like to roam the streets, I imagined the distress and unsettling cloud that would follow him. To pathetically attempt to connect this to my own life, I will give you an example; I can’t watch the movie Groundhog’s Day because I feel unsettled that the movie keeps repeating itself over and over. Every damn morning, Bill Murray’s character’s alarm went off, and I hated that it felt like there was no progression or resolution happening. I actually stopped watching the movie because I was so frustrated. So let’s think about this… I am UNSETTLED over a movie about a character repeating his day over and over. My best understanding of what the homeless man from the podcast’s unsettled feeling is a COMPARISON to a movie about a holiday. My FIRST reaction was to judge the man’s spiritual outlook and critique his word choice of peace. My thoughts changed. I entirely believe that the man in the podcast did not feel peace when walking the streets, and his day to day reality is probably my worst Groundhog’s Day nightmare.

The second thing that resonated with me in the first video was when one of the people brought up the fact that the Food Bank rarely has fresh fruit.  This was yet another time where someone who is in the “other” category has brought something to my attention that hasn’t ever crossed my mind.  If you chose to interview me ANY day of my life from birth until today, and you asked me what struggles I was having, or what was one thing that sucked about my day, I guarantee you a lack of fresh fruit would have never made that list.  I struggle with my body image, and I honestly feel better on the days when I have fresh fruit for lunch or breakfast.  When I go a day without my banana, or if we don’t have any apples in the house, I start to feel a little gross about myself, and I make sure that even if it’s just a quick stop, I’m sure to pop by the grocery store so I can pick some up for the next day. What a powerful awakening it is to hear that something as routine as my banana and apple in my lunch can be a treasured commodity in the life of a man or woman who is homeless.

What do I fear most? After reading the question, I didn’t know if it was actually asking what my biggest deepest fears were, or if he was talking about my biggest research fear. My simple research fear is the academic nature of research. I have been out of the academic world for long enough that I start to get scared thinking about the journal articles and research papers.  If I am Little Red Riding Hood lost in the University of Regina forest, then journal articles and research papers are definitely my Big Bad Wolf.

BUT… I think the real question, “What do I fear most?” is actually way more fun to answer. (Yes, I have a twisted sense of fun.)  I would have to say the thing I most fear is abandonment. Deep. I know. I actually have no logical reason to fear being abandoned. I was never left at a gas station when I was little, and neither of my parents left or took off. All I know is that it is a real fear of mine.  Now that I know this, it is easier to spot in my life, and it has made for some funny after thoughts when I have come to the root of it. For example, one time I was making cheer posters in my kitchen. (I coach a couple cheerleading teams in the city.) My kind husband was helping me make the posters. I started freaking out at him because he was cutting something wrong, or placing the letters incorrectly or SOMETHING. Basically, I was having some type of irrational control freak moment. I was later talking through this situation with a friend who has some background in counselling, and she had me go to the root of my mini freak out to see where it was coming from.  Are you ready for your mind to be blown? Here we go.  This was my thought process that she helped me map out.

1) If he made a mistake on the posters, they would look crappy.

2) If the posters looked crappy while the children were performing, everyone would be looking at me sitting in front of the cheerleading mat.

3) If everyone was judging me because of the crappy posters,

(here she asked me how it would make me feel…)

4) I would feel alone and abandoned.

RIGHT? Crazy I know. Anyways, apparently abandonment is truly one of my biggest fears, even though I doubt my prof was really wanting to know THAT much about my life. But in the spirit of honesty and straight sharing too much information,

What’s YOUR biggest fear?

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How to become a professional cheerleader

Posted on April 2, 2014. Filed under: cheerleading, personal |

Warning: sarcasm ahead. This is a satire piece overdoing the regular ins and outs of cheerleading. These aspects of cheerleading are things I have personally struggled with, AND tendencies I have seen in other cheerleaders I know. I am NOT intending to make fun of any of my fellow cheerleaders, but rather to poke fun at how easily this sport can fill and consume our lives.
So you want to be a professional cheerleader? Well, I havent been one very long, but I will try to give you all the information I know. It’s a lot of work, but you will see what I mean.
Perfect Body- obviously anyone who wants to do cheerleading professionally knows that their body has to be perfect. Depending on the type of cheerleader you are, the body part that needs work will vary. If you think your legs are ok, then your flabby arms are probably the problem. If your legs and arms are great, then it could be your butt. If you are like me and have a naturally tall and lanky body type and you think no ill of your legs, butt, or arms, then it is probably your stomach. The way you can find out which body part isn’t up to par is by paying attention to your environment. When you are in the grocery store line looking at the fitness magazine, what part of the models body do you look at first? When at the beach, what part of other girls bodies do you catch yourself gazing at longingly… That’s probably your “thing.” It’s also very common to have other people tell you that this body part looks great/fine/normal. Don’t believe them. In professional cheerleading you can never really be happy with your body. That would be silly. That would mean listening to your professional trainers who are trying to help you build muscle for the sport. They will make you lift weights that are relative to the weight of the human being you are going to be lifting on game day. They claim fitness in the sport is something about safety. To follow THAT plan, you will end up looking muscular and possibly even healthy. If there’s one thing I know about the cheerleader image, it’s that it is very closely tied to the model image… And we all know that you can’t be healthy AND skinny. Those just don’t jive well together. Cheerleaders must have perfect bodies.

You will be rich-
To be a professional cheerleader you should quit your job right away so you can start making the big bucks. Did you know that once you pay your $300 deposit, $20 tryout fee, buy your $40 cheer runners, pay for your gas to get to wherever the tryout or callback interviews are, you are then ready to start ringing in the cash (or cash equivalent). This last year alone I made $20 cash (by secretly selling our calendars for more than I was supposed to to drunk people) and I received close to $500 in the football team’s retail merchandise. Now, technically we weren’t allowed to wear that merchandise around. Only for promotions and game day stuff, but as soon as that 9 month season was over, we were allowed to wear it as much as we wanted. Of course after living in the colours green, black, and white during the season, I didn’t always want to wear the football team’s stuff anymore. But you better bet your bottom dollar that it is sitting in my closet keeping its worth… Maybe even appreciating in value!

Cheer makes you valuable-
If you want to be a professional cheerleader, you have to understand cheer is what makes you worth something. You get proverbial cheer points the more you can make someone cat call you. If you can get the other girls who are prettier than you to comment on your hair, make-up, or clothing, then you have just inched up the cheerleading ladder. You also really want to make sure that other people know you are a professional cheerleader. I’m talking about people NOT in the cheerleading/football world… Surprisingly they do exist! You will need to practice casually slipping that you are a professional cheerleader into normal conversation with new people you meet. As a new cheerleader, you can be a little awkward and drop it in where it wouldn’t really make sense to mention it, but the longer you cheerlead, the easier it will get to allow people to know who you are- and that, my friend, is a BIG deal. You have to start realizing that YOU are the reason all those people come to the games! YOU are the reason they win the trophy at the end of the year! Once you start realizing that, you will really start realizing your true worth in life. Just make sure you hold onto your dream as long as possible. Once you leave cheerleading, your whole world will be flipped upside down. You will start to wonder why you exist- and you might even begin to pursue less worthy passions like a career, school, love, or faith. True professional cheerleaders pity those retired women. Some of them even come to watch us from the stands. You can see them in the stands- gazing longingly at our fit little bodies; waving at the one or two ‘lifers’ that they still know on the team. Its tragic really, but they always end up bringing up stories from when they were on the team, just loud enough so that the next few sections around them know that they too were once a cheerleader. (See beginning of paragraph on how to interject you being a cheerleader into completely random conversation. This skill is really one that should be perfected as it will be used until the day you die. I once had a 60+ year old community fitness instructor tell me that SHE was once an Ottawa Roughrider cheerleader. I smiled knowingly, knowing that my affirmation of her worth at one time probably made her feel good.) And I almost forgot to mention- you must realize that your worth is from cheer and therefore, everything else in your life that was once important- boyfriends, family, church, school, friends- has to come second. In fact maybe even third; I think cheer is allowed to take up the first AND second priorities of your life.

Last but not least, if you really want to be a professional cheerleader, you MUST get good at taking selfies. Selfies in the car, selfies at school, selfies in the changeroom, selfies in the mirror. Selfies in the kitchen, selfies at parties, selfies with your falsies, (false eyelashes for those of you who don’t know) selfies with your besties. Selfies at night, selfies in the morning, selfies at the beach, selfies at the gym, selfiesnaps, and selfiegrams. Selfies at practice, selfies at family dinner, selfies on vacation, selfies at weddings. Selfies for boys and selfies for girls, selfies with pouts, selfies with smiles. Selfies with duck lips, selfies with kissy lips, selfies with toe pops, and selfies with hands on hips. But NEVER, and I repeat NEVER are you ever to take a no make-up challenge selfie. THAT, would be an insult to cheerleading womanhood. It is our RIGHT, and our privilege to wear make-up… And to vote and stuff like that.





















(I am actually sickened by how many of those selfie pictures I actually had. But to prove my point- I had to post them. I AM one of those people! Sad part is, I probably could have posted more… Heaven help us all.)
In closing, I wish you future professional cheerleaders good luck, and may the cheerleading gods bless you with glitter sweat, strong hairspray and a good teeth whitening gel that won’t make your teeth hurt.

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