The Perfect Scene Music Collection
I was inspired to write this article by @blkfetishguy of itshardouthereforaperv.blogspot.com. At first I thought there’s no way I can write an entire article on this alone, but, well…. read on.
Most anyone can appreciate the great importance music has in our everyday lives. It becomes a part of us and how we relate to the world around us and each other. It has been said that “The interaction with sound is unavoidable, either to make it or take pleasure in it.”1 Likewise, music during a scene can facilitate an enhanced interaction and a greater response from all parties involved.
After a great deal of time, I have made my final compilation of preferred scene music. I’ll detail how I chose the songs and the steps I took to finally call my collection complete.
When choosing scene music, I consider several factors, but especially what type of music might help me transcend into subspace versus what music might work against my concentration and focus in the scene. Here’s what I prefer:
- Vocals vs instrumental – I’ve scened to both and can do either, but I prefer instrumental pieces. Vocals tend to distract me, and if I happen to be familiar with the song playing, I can lose focus completely.
- Loud vs soft/quiet – The only time I’ve scened with loud music, it was with the dual purpose of keeping me from hearing what was happening around me and to keep the neighbors from knowing what was going on. Only the devious dom/top does this! While I can appreciate a devious dominant, I prefer music that is more for the background.
- Music that moves – I like to dance, and music in a scene that makes me want to shake it or drop it probably isn’t the best. Again, I don’t want to lose focus. If I am to move to music during a scene, I (and likely, my dom/top) would rather it be sensual moves.
Here are my recommendations for choosing the tunes that deserve a place in your scene music collection.
Here are a few techniques, methods and actions I recommend when preparing your final compilation.
Listen to each song fully.
From beginning to end, listen fully to each song to check for things like skips, cracks, breaks, weird sounds, and abrupt endings. The middle of a good scene isn’t the best time to realize your favorite tune cuts off at 2:03 instead of the expected 5:44, or that the song you recorded picked up your roommate yelling at the PS3 in the background. Some song damage can’t be corrected easily or at all, but simpler fixes can be easily tackled with a program like my long-time favorite Audacity (audacity). You can easily fade in/out a song, cut sections from the beginning/end/middle, etc. with this freeware program.
Level the volume(s).
As with the “keeping it consistent” sentiment above, jumping from one volume to a really loud or really soft volume can be distracting. We all know of TV programs that play at one level then that highly annoying commercial that comes in blaring making you curse the whole network. Yeah, that. Volume leveling is an important part of any music collection. (See my info on Audacity above.)
Keep your music organized in files/folders by the (normal accepted) standard – Artist/Album/Song, or at least Album/Song. You could just dump 20 songs into a folder and call it a day, but it would behoove you to have a neat, orderly collection that you can refer back to and understand plainly in the future. (See more about my collection below.)
This goes along with organization of your collection. Each individual song should be well tagged with it’s title and artist, and optionally it’s album, track number and year. I also make sure all my songs are tagged with the genre called “Scene” for easy searching later. I prefer two programs for tag viewing and editing: AudioShell (www.softpointer.com) allows you to edit individual files, and Mp3Tag (www.mp3tag.de) allows for easy bulk editing of files. Both are excellent (free) programs. If you want to go all out, I also recommend MusicBrainz Picard (www.musicbrainz.org/doc/MusicBrainz_Picard) for kick-ass tagging.
Use your favorite multimedia player to create playlists of your scene music collection. Having a playlist already handy saves the step of dragging files into a player manually or searching for the files on your medium. I save in M3U format, but PLS format is also an option. Because I’m lazy, I don’t even have to do this step, however. I use a small program called OneClickPlay, that with one click automatically creates a playlist of all music files it finds in it’s folder (and subfolders) and plays the playlist in your default player. (I have had this small 9kb free program since 2002! Check this link at your own risk – www.czech-ware.net/popelka)
Make it portable.
Once you’re all done and proudly the owner of a fantastic scene music collection, it’s time to pack it up and take it with you. Never know when you’ll be lucky enough to fall into the perfect scene! OK, well.. most of us plan it, but you get my point (I think). Load your music onto a flash/thumb drive or an external hard drive and you’re fully prepared for the perfect scene setting.
My collection is split into two categories – Slow and Moderate. I base the categories on tempo and rhythm. My Slow collection is now over 4 hours long and is comprised of all instrumentals. The songs are generally based on Chinese meditation, sounds of nature, and lightly tribal sounds. One example is called “Morning Calm.” The Moderate collection is about 2 hours long and is comprised of medium tempo songs with vocals. One example is Eric Benet’s “Femininity.” I have OneClickPlay in each folder for fast play. The songs are organized by album. The entire collection is on my external HDD, ’cause I’m an on-the-go kinda gal. I also have it all backed up to a remote server, just in case. Hey, I worked hard on this!
I hope these tips can be helpful in creating your own collection, and may your scene be graced with musical goodness. If I’ve forgotten anything or you have a tip or two to add, please share in the comments.
1 Quote by Gilbert Galindo from the essay The Importance of Music in Our Society (www.gilbertgalindo.com/importanceofmusic.htm)