3. TEMPO AND LENGTH
If your band director asks you, "how fast", you no longer need to shrug your shoulders and answer, "oh, just medium." Band directors and recording specialists measure tempo in beats per minute
(BPM) and you should learn to communicate to them on their terms in order to get your best results. Using a variable speed tape recorder, determine the right speed and count how many beats occur in 15 seconds, then multiply times 4. This will give you a close determination. Repeat this step
at least twice to insure accuracy. Now you can answer with, "132
Band directors and flag/rifle squads utilize a different terminology than drill teams in that music is in "bars" instead of "8 counts". For the sake of translation:
If the piece is in 4/4, 1 eight count = 2 bars.
If the piece is in 2/4, 1 eight count = 4 bars
If the piece is in 6/8, 1 eight count = 4 bars
Try to compliment the band show in your charting and routine selection. In charting show, be sure everybody can hear the beat and do not separate team members at
different distances from the drums or primary source of rhythm. Sound takes over ˝ second to travel the length of a football field.
5. MUSIC REPRODUCTION
Your cassette tape quality can be the key to any performance with pre-recorded music. Make sure to start with a high quality cassette that has been designed for the best music recording. Next, make sure that the recording equipment that is used is the best. Ideally, you should put the recording in the hands of a professional to obtain the best sound for your performance.
If possible, you should always make the effort to have the best sound system possible for your performance. A good sound that makes the audience feel like moving or clapping will give your performance a boost. Generally, good speakers are more important than the tape player or power source. Horns are good for projecting sound over a long distance, but they will sound "tinny" and lack bass. For better
quality, use "full range" speakers with bass, mid-range and high frequency speakers. If you use a "house system", the sound is
directed towards the audience and you may not be able to hear well on the actual performing area. In this case, you may need additional monitor speakers aimed at the performance area. Whenever possible, check the sound system and your tape level before a performance. Sound check should be made before the audience arrives, otherwise, you may give away an important aspect of your showmanship. Always bring a back-up tape of equal quality or your performance in case something happens to the first one.