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robigd

Newbie struggling with first song decision

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I am a newbie and have my software, controllers, and have been playing with non-musical sequences for weeks trying to get the hang of it and am ready to hit the ground running. Problem is, I don't know what song to do. The Christmas Vacation theme comes to mind since it is my favorite Christmas movie of all time, but I am not sure if that is a good first song. I am overwhelming myself with song ideas and don't want to do anything totally off the wall until I establish myself as "that is the house that does Christmas light shows".

 

What do people typically do for their first songs, and what is a realistic song count for someone doing this for their first year?

 

Thanks!

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I'm pretty sure everyone and anyone one time or another have started with a TSO song. Very easy to get WiW sequenced up.

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You will have to pick a song that you don't mind hearing a thousand times without going bonkers.  For a first song you should choose something with a strong steady beat, because it will be easier to sequence to.   I think 5 or 6 songs is a good minimum for a first year.  If you have time for more then that's not a bad thing, but think quality over quantity.

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Last year was our first year with just 16 channels.  I started with two TSO songs.  I sequenced "Christmas Eve Sarajevo" and "Wizards in Winter" first.  Both have pretty easy to sequence beats.  They are a little fast, but still a good, easy beat to sequence to.  The third song I sequenced was Christmas Vacation.  I done a little intro with a couple of clips from the movie followed by the theme song.  I agree with Brian though, 5 or 6 for your first year is a good starting point.  I sequenced 6 songs to start the season the day after Thanksgiving and added one more into the show before Christmas.  When it's all said and done, make sure it is music you don't mind listening to over and over and over!!  I had one song that I didn't care for all that much from the start.  It wasn't that the sequencing was bad.  I just all around didn't like it, so this year it won't make it back into the mix to be re-sequenced for our now 64 channels and CCR's (thanks to the mad grab sale!!)

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I tend to use one that is memorable because that way I know that my song list has cycled thru (usually if I am in my living room and I hear Charlie Browns Christmas time then I know I am at the beginning of my show), I tend to change up the rest from time to time.

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all very helpful information.  try and stay away from songs with singing at first(one less thing to think about). try to do a song that you already know but again try and do an instrumental. most of all you will struggle at first but you will get better don't give up. have fun and remember most folks will be amazed with you display anyway

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I started out with something shirt and easy. At least I thought it was easy. Holidays are coming, Coke commercial.

I would think a short easy song is good and not too overwhelming.

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Make sure you pick something you can tolerate hearing over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again and again.  You'll need to.

 

My wife tripped across a Judy Pancoast  "House on Christmas Street" display video.   Not only did I have to sequence it (first song I sequenced) I also had to use it as a display layout.  You know how hard it is to get those wire frame "Dasher and Dancer Up On the Rooftop" with Rudolph and Olive?  The wire frame sled is up there too, with a blow mold Santa.  The angels, choir, and snowmen are placed appropriately for the song as well is the manger scene......

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I agree.  Pick a TSO song with a good beat.  Shorten it down to 2 to 2.5 minutes (I personally  think all sequences should be between 2 and 3 minutes).  This will allow you to use the beat wizard.  With the many times I have heard the Christmas vacation song I would think it would be a difficult one to sequence...for my display at least.

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And for my opinion on song count.  5...no more than 7.

I have been to shows that were 15 songs long or more.  I like to allow my patrons to enjoy 5 or 6 songs then have a pause in the action and re start the show.  This allows them to see all the songs but not spend 45 minutes there.  Remember.  Most will have children and their attention spans are short..as is mine.

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Last year was my first year and I had 9 songs. With the various song lengths, the show lasted 20 minutes. Most all the cars that stopped stayed the whole time.

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I try to use songs no longer than 2 minutes.  If they are much longer that that, I will shorten them with audacity. It's easier to sequence a shorter song, and the audience doesn't get bored.

 

My first song was Joy to the World by Bob Rivers. It's got a really strong beat and is only 1:22

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Why pick one? Is that all you are going to have in your show? Figure out how many you are going to have, pick all your songs then start with the one with the strongest beat...

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I agree just go for it that how i did it made lots of mistakes you learn from them

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Great advice. Thank you everybody!

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Easiest song I ever sequenced...  The barking dogs singing jingle bells.   Yes the one where they go Wooof Wooof Wooof, Woof Woof  Woof, woof WOOOF.... ah you get the idea.  It drove me nuts, but it was done in just a few hours.  AND it was a favorite of little kids who watched the show.  You don't need a lot of channels for it, and you can keep the animation pretty basic.  I'd say it's a good starting song. 

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