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Hi, I'm Dan-O. I am a singer songwriter and I also like making instrumental music which you can use royalty free. Click here for info on licensing my music and songs for your video, photo slideshow, film, app or other media. For questions about my music see the FAQ.

The Best Online Music Production College: Berklee Review

Patrick is a US Armed Forces veteran who received his certificate in Studio Music Production from the Berklee Online College of Music. Before receiving his formal music education, Patrick began experimenting with different beats and making electronic hip-hop using Fruity Loops Studio for several years.

His dedication to making good music brought Patrick to the idea of formally studying it, and so he began learning it on his own and exploring different schools before he took the leap and went with Berklee Online College. Going there turned out to be an incredibly rewarding experience for him: the classes were engaging and challenging, the instructors top-notch, and he got a tremendous educational value from it, as he is now a professional musician and he works with soft water. He thinks he choose the best online music production college:

Aside from the quality education, Patrick is especially grateful to Berklee Online College for the support that they gave him when his post-9/11 GI Bill ran out during the middle of his studies. Patrick needed one more course in order to complete his certificate, and there was a balance on his student account that his defunct GI Bill wouldn’t be able to cover. In the end, Berklee waived the balance for Patrick and allowed him to successfully finish his course and receive his music certificate.

After all of this, Patrick wants to reach out and thank the Berklee Online College of Music not only for helping an army veteran such as himself, but for providing an education that help Americans become better musicians and composers. It is because of their generosity, quality program and faculty that Patrick highly recommends both the Berklee Online College of Music and the Berklee College of Music. He gives his testimonial of Berklee in the hopes of helping others like him make a better decision as to where they want to pursue their music education.



iPhone Video Production Equipment and Costs

If you want a basic set up for iPhone video production, here is the equipment you can use and costs:

• You can start with a utility light with daylight bulb about $20

• The next step up is a soft box light kit about $120

• Tripods start at $20. Make sure it can extend to 5-6 feet.

• Mount for the iPhone or your particular smartphone

• Consider an external lavaliere or shotgun microphone – approx. $25-50

• Mic connector for you particular smartphone – $20

• Simple plain taught backdrop or white wall.

This video explains in complete detail:



Video Content Production: 4 Easy Tips for a Professional Look

Here are a few great tips on video content production that will give you a more professional look and make editing easier.

All the details are in the video below, here are the basics:

No stripes or patterns in cloths, use basic solid colors. Make sure you have a tripod so your film looks steady.

Shoot the video twice – once with a wide shot and once with close ups. This way you have plenty of editing options.

Give a few seconds from hitting record and starting the scene. This is called pre roll which also helps with editing.



10 Best Video Editing Software Programs

I jotted down some notes on the 10 best video editing software programs. I ended up buying Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum because I think it had the best features for the price.

CyberLink PowerDirector – All the features of other programs and great for beginning through advanced users.

Corel Video Studio – Stop motion and time lapse effects are included which is cool. But very learning-intensive.

Adobe Premier Elements 9 – Expert looking results with only basic skills. But there are several apps within the software and that can be confusing.

Magix Movie Edit Pro HD – Killer program with 3D functionality but requires lots of RAM and processing power.

Video Pad Masters Edition – Easy to use drag and drop features but not many effects.

Pinnacle Studio HD 14 – Flexible and versatile but takes time and patience to learn.

Roxio Creator – Generally easy to use with tons of features.

Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 10 – The most features for the price but not easy to learn.

Roxio Video Lab HD – Great for converting  2d to 3d. But no ability to create menus.

Showbiz DVD 2 – Very basic but good for amateur videos for sharing with friends and family

This video from Top Ten Reviews has complete details:



Highschool Film Course: Top 10 Tips for Getting Started

Are you a highschool kid who wants to be a filmmaker and you want to know what you should do?

Well no need to rush into it! First take your time and learn some skills and get to know your strengths.

Start with some small projects where you learn how to work with a team. If you don’t have a team you will need to learn how to network. Check Craigslist, go to meetups or start a club.

You don’t need much to get started, get any video camera and an idea for a story. All you need is a couple of hundred dollars.

Start making something and like this course says, you are already a filmmaker!

Just dive in and begin practicing. It can take years to get good, but its allot of really fun years. Keep making short films and learn from the process and constructive criticism from others like this handheld showerhead reviews here.

Check out this film course for kids in highschool who want to get started on their education in film production:



Careers in Music That Need a College Degree

Is a college degree in music important? Its depends on which careers in music you are considering.

If you want to get into teaching music at a college, sure it is usually a requirement.

If you want to teach lessons or perhaps be a conductor in an orchestra its also necessary so you know what you are doing and have some credibility.

But if you want to be a performer you just need to be great, be in good fit ( so buy a jogging stroller ) and be able to sell records and book gigs!

Watch this video by Ryan Michael Galloway for more details:



5 TV Theme Medleys You Can’t Miss

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Just the simple act of hearing the opening music to a particular TV show can take you back-to watching it over dinner with your family, marathoning it with a drinking game with your college roommate, or curling up on a Sunday evening to relax with a glass of wine.

With good reason: from The Rembrandts crooning about how they’ll be there for you to Frasier singing about scrambled eggs, the TV show theme usually dictates the general feel of the whole program, giving you the gist, whether it’s a deadly serious costume drama or a rollicking, sour-hearted sitcom.

Some TV themes have gone on to be hugely popular and iconic in their own right- from The Wonder Years to The Big Bang Theory, they’ve become intrinsically linked to the time, place and feeling of the show. Like any other big musical phenomena, they’ve been prime fodder for the remixing masses of the internet to get their hands on, play with, and generally mash together in a rather pleasing way, as you’ll soon see…

FreddeGredde

FreddeGredde is a Swedish musician who does more mash-ups than one could comfortably shake a stick at, and here he sticks no less than twenty-four theme songs together with nothing more than a guitar and a piano (and a few bonus instruments) in under seven minutes. His saccharine-sweet renditions are adorably accurate, mashing up oldies-but-goodies like Charles in Charge and Fresh Prince with modern superhits like How I Met Your Mother and Friends. His blinding talent and hypnotic smile bring the six minutes and forty-four seconds to the level of acoustic excellence.

This time FreddgeGredde is sticking scores of cartoon theme tunes into another guitar-driven video that got even my stricken, ill roommate peering over the sofa to sing along. It’s another very enthusiactic, extremely good-natured and wildly fun—a particular nod to the mind-bending way he’s harmonising with himself on-screen wearing amusing disguises. It’s another fun take on the theme by a sickeningly talented young man with a penchant for TV shows vastly before his time-including a few very catchy Swedish numbers.

Carrisa Rae and Micheal Alvarado

These two singer-songwriters, Carrisa Rae and Micheal Alvarado, decided to mix up their talents and form the duo Us, who have released their first album and also whacked out a few modestly successful Youtube collabs in the process, such as this very one. In this video, they show off some real vocal acrobatics with their mash-up of older sitcom themes, with some neat beatboxing thrown in for good measure. It’s sweet, fun, and they look like they’re having a ball-even if it does verge on the tooth-achingly adorable by the end.

Roomie

Roomie is made up of super-sweet Swede Joel Berghult, here joined by a bunch of other musicians in order to appropriately mash together Ducktales, Friends, and Pokemon. What stands about particularly about this video is, for one, the effort gone into making an actual video as opposed to having the performers plonked in front of the camera like musical bricks, but also that they’ve added something gratifyingly new to each song-in particular, their toe-tapping cover of I’ll Be There For You is a real cracker-as opposed to just cramming the songs into a few minutes and going “HEY LOOK AT WHAT I DID!”. That, and he’s got almost inappropriately good hair.

Terry He

Terry He, a nineteen-year-old Youtube electro-music prodigy, is joined here by a bunch of other artists to get stuck into some (notably anime heavy) themes of the nineties. From seminal anime classic like Pokemon and Sailor Moon to Arthur and the giant genre-defining classic Bill Nye the Science Guy. It’s another one that’s a lot of fun, with the video being thrown together by what they had kicking around at the time and none the worse for it. It doesn’t have the flow of some of the others, but it does have the applicable sense of silliness for the occasion.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg of Youtube TV mashups- from 60s specials to CBS spectaculars on offer, there’s everything you could want. So, what do you think of these genre-bending TV show mashups? Should the artists have left well alone? Or do the songs complement each other placed in one mashup? Well, even if you’ve not found your nostalgic nirvana here, let us know in the comments what your dream mashup is…

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Top 3 Must See Epic Beatboxing Battles

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Over the last few decades, beatboxers have refined their skills by going head-to-head in elaborate multistage competitions, or “battles,” during which each performer demonstrates his or her vocal ingenuity and vies for the audience’s favor. And though beatboxing is musical in nature, once you step into the burgeoning world of international battles, it becomes apparent that mental and physical athleticism is the key to victory. Replace the powerful jabs and uppercuts of sport boxing with imaginative rhythms and beats and you have the idea.

Beatboxing has grown so popular that an official international league was recently founded that hosts battles around the world to determine who is the best of the best. Battles are fierce and aggressive and always mesmerizing. Sound is the weapon of choice and participants give their all to prove their beatboxing supremacy. Check out below some of the most intense, entertaining, and incredible battles from the last several years.

2012 Beatbox Battle World Championship 2012 Final – Skiller VS Alem

One of the most entertaining and impressive aspects of this quintessential battle is how each performer reacts and adapts to the other’s rhythms, humorous jabs, and physical presence. Skiller, Bulgaria’s 2007 National Champion and the 2012 World Champion, launches one high-speed salvo after another of increasingly complex drum and bass rhythms, often stepping into his opponent’s space to drive each beat home like a jackhammer. Alem, an up-and-comer and France’s 2013 National Champion, responds in kind with a sarcastic counterattack that apes Skiller’s arguably overwrought performance while segueing into a frenzied, more aggressive rhythm.

The two trade attacks like this for the remainder of the battle and their time on stage is punctuated by some truly amusing moments that get the crowd cheering. But in the end, Skiller’s precise control and obvious authority overwhelm Alem and though the young Frenchman puts up a valiant fight, this battle belongs to the Bulgarian.

2012 Female Beatbox Battle World Championship – Pe4enkata VS Flashbox

Beatbox battles are more than just sound. Beyond creating interesting music, the primary obstacle beatboxers face is the mental challenge of simultaneously undermining an opponent’s performance while maintaining the superiority of one’s own. In this battle, each performer demonstrates an aggressive physical presence, with every movement seemingly made to throw the opponent off her game.

Pe4enkata, another Bulgarian National Champion, lays down the gauntlet, cutting new beats into a fast rhythm to change things up again and again, all the while moving closer and closer to her opponent. Flashbox, another French National Champion, responds with a more traditional dance beat that captures the attention of the audience. But though the crowd is cheering, Pe4enkata moves across the stage and halts Flashbox’s momentum by mockingly dancing and making it clear how little she thinks of the Frenchwoman’s performance. Flashbox seems shaken by the physicality and attempts to repay her Bulgarian opponent in kind with a glower, but to no avail. Pe4enkata, having employed it herself, is familiar with the tactic, has the upper hand and walks away with the title.

2011 Ground Scratch Party – Big Road VS Two.H

More than anything else, every beatbox battle is at its heart about the musical versatility of the performer. Being able to adapt to your opponents or prey upon their weaknesses is meaningless without solid beatbox skills. The sonic ingenuity apparent in this battle between the South Korean masters Big Road and Two.H is at times breathtaking and always fun.

Where their European counterparts aggressively layer complex rhythms to demonstrate technical prowess, these two go about their battle in an entirely different and creative manner. Two.H’s performance is based almost entirely on traditional hip hop and dance rhythms, but he modifies them throughout the battle in subtle, satisfying ways to create a wholly listenable song. Big Road responds by taking a similar route and focusing on musicality, but employs a varied slate of comical sound effects to add a thread of much-appreciated levity to his performance. Regardless of the official victor, the real winner of this battle is the head-nodding, smiling audience.

From just this handful of examples, it’s easy to see how beatboxing has risen to such high levels of international acclaim. The musical sport is an energetic competition in which the participants are always adapting to create in each moment a truly unique, almost primal sonic experiences that can’t be found outside their performances. To learn more, check out Beatbox Battle TV (www.youtube.com/user/c4mc4st) for a complete archive of impressive talent. The 2013 American Championships (www.americanbeatboxchampionships.com) are currently underway.

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6 Unbelievable Beatles Covers by Kids

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It is really incredible how talented some kids are. One of the tried and true methods of showing off your musical skills is doing cover tune videos on YouTube. Lots of people love the Beatles and there is no better way to get discovered than performing one of their timeless songs!

Emily and Fiona

This is Emily and Fiona and they are sisters. They have been posting their videos since 2009 and now they have had over 17,000,000 views and 30,000 subscribers. The kids have over 60 videos on their channel. In this version of “Help” they are right on pitch, have a great vocal tone, and their harmonies are excellent.

Children Medieval Band

In only a couple of years the Children Medieval Band have almost 6 million videos views combined. They started out for fun and then their Dad urged them to get together and practice regularly. They got excited about YouTube after posting some medieval classical music and getting subscribers. After that initial popularity the kids decided to try out some rock songs. One of their favorite groups is the Beatles. The children really keep the beat well and can rock out “There’s a Place” which is a complex song.

Beatles Guitar Kid

Stunning guitar tapping instrumental version of “Come Together”. Who is this kid and why does this video not have more views? This really is unbelievable. No description, no name, nothing. Well wherever and whoever he is, this little guy has a future in playing the guitar. Hopefully we will see more videos from him.

Josie Nelson

Josie is 13 and also writes her own songs. Her version of “Blackbird” has a poignant vocal and very tasteful guitar playing. She has been posting her videos since 2009 and has a CD with great reviews on iTunes. Josie performs live allot and has even been interviewed on her local TV station.

Castillo Kids

The Castillo Kids videos have actually been shown on Oprah, Rachel Ray and the CBS The Early Show. They are multi-talented and multi-lingual. They play everything from Guitar to Saxophone and can sing in Arabic, Japanese and even Hindi (and much more). They are a professional act that you can hire if you go to the Gig Salad entertainment booking site. In concert they actually get all dressed up like a mariachi band. The enthusiastic backing harmonies are great in this version of “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”.

Barbershopette Quartet

The Barbershopette Quartet got together as high school freshman in order to do some Christmas caroling. When they realized they had something they started doing videos and performing locally. They even do their own vocal arrangements. This version of “Because” is really beautiful. The harmonies are crisp and give you a haunting feeling.

YouTube is still the place to share your talents at any age. It’s clear that allot of these kids have gained a world-wide audience from their videos. When views turns into CD sales and getting hired for gigs that becomes inspiration for millions of more hopefuls. So what do you think and which video is your favorite?

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Best and Worst Robot Music Videos & Story Behind My Next Song

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I’m writing my next song based on the short film “Tears of Steal” (watch 12 minute film below). Its about a woman with bionic implants that gets her heart hurt when she is rejected by her boyfriend because of her “handicap”. Her pain turns to anger and revenge. She builds a robot army over a 40 year period and takes out her suffering on the earth. Then there is a moment of impromptu love and kindness that brings some resolution, but I wont spoil it : )

So while doing research for this song I came upon the “best and worst” videos about robots. I hope you enjoy the fun of discovering these as much as I did!

Robots are very popular in science fiction books and films and inevitably make their way into music videos. Despite the fact that movies like The Terminator and The Matrix foretell a time when machines overrun humans, people love them. Robots are fun and interesting creations that can be as fascinating as they are scary. Given the sheer robotic entertainment value, even the worst videos mentioned here are still amusing. The best have high production quality and real innovative artistry.

The Best


All Is Full of Love” by Björk

This is an award winning and Grammy nominated music video. The special effects are stunning. For a robot video it is very risque! The lyrics are beautiful and meaningful too. Leave it to Björk to push the boundaries on many fronts in one work of art. Even though they look like the androids from the film I, Robot there is supposedly no connection.

Amethyst Caverns Soundtrack

This one is for a tune on the soundtrack of a video game called Shatter. The high quality filming, cute robots and clever special effects make this one of the best robot music videos on YouTube. Oh and let’s not forget the cool factor of the massive boom box. The story here is that the little robots are searching the city for their power source, which is sound. This track by Jeramiah “Module” Ross is available on iTunes.

The Worst


Daft Punk Fan Video for  “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

The robotic vocal on this song must have been the inspiration for this fan-made video. Despite the amateurish filming and costume, plenty of people like this. Sure, it’s bad but the home-made robot is endearing. Plus this is an awesome tune. Watch until the end when the robot starts to boogie.

Flight of the Conchords: Robot Song

This video shows that Robots are so cool—even one of the worst videos like this are still entertaining. The guys from HBO’s Flight of the Conchords are in terrible costumes singing lyrics with a Terminator man vs. machine theme. Let’s not be too hard on them as this is really meant to be a comedy skit.

There aren’t all that many music videos with robots on YouTube worth mentioning. Sure, many have a robot in them somewhere, but the aim was to find videos that feature them. Were there any missed here? Are these four videos all that good or bad?

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