10 Tips to a Better Song

10 Tips to a Better Song

If you are getting ready to step into a studio to record, make sure that you start thinking before you ever put foot close to the microphone. While recording has allowed for new wonders and expectations to be met with music, there is still the need to do some old fashioned needs to make sure that your songs are worth the extra track. Following are ten tips that you can remember to make sure you have the arrangement correct before you begin recording.

1.Balance. Is your instrumentation balanced? You should have an even amount of ranges, from low to high. If you have too much of one and not enough of another, your recording might not sound so great.

2.Harmonies. You want to make sure that there is some good support going into the melody of your song. Without the right harmonies, or alternative sounds to the melody, it will sound like your song is missing a piece of the puzzle.

3.Musical arrangement. This is based completely around the ability to organize the instrumentation in the song. Not only should it be balanced, but it should also include contrasts and similarities in how the music follows what you are trying to say. If you are stuck with creating instrumentation that fits, get into some basic theory concepts to assist you.

4.Spacing. More important than all of the melodies and harmonies, is the room that you put in between each. This means that you don’t want to rush through your song and you don’t want to take too much time. Make sure that you give some breaks with melodies and change up the harmonies enough to keep it interesting and moving correctly.

5.Tempo. Often times, it is assumed that there is a specific tempo and that is it. However, you want to make sure that your tempos are defined and everyone follows them without missing a beat. Once you get into the studio, you don’t want anything to be off by a second, as it will cause the recording to become difficult to lay down.

6.Form. The easiest way for a listener to relate to your song from the beginning is to have the right form. If you are focused on lyrics, this will be the hook that is used during the chorus. If you are experimenting with form, make sure there is always a place in the music that goes back and keeps the attention of the listener so that they can relate to the music.

7.Variety. One of the overlooked parts of arranging is the variety that is in the song. This means that, even though you are repeating choruses or verses, make sure that you have some different movement or instrumentation in your recording.

8.Movement. The movement of the song goes beyond the tempo and into the extra small things that you do with a recording. This is what will make or break a song. Things such as louds and softs, ornamentation and other small add ons will help to move the song in the right way.

9.Consistency. Along with the variety of the song should be a certain consistency that lets the song fit together. This partly is related to the form of the song and also links to things such as tying the song together with the right lyrics and musical concepts. Within each of these areas, you can have some variation, but make sure that the frame work allows the listener to follow what you are doing.

10.Creativity. Of course, this should never be left behind. All too often are musical ideas that are heard that are close to what was heard before. The first rule to a good song is always to let yourself go, follow your creativity and to let the rest fall into place.

With these simple tricks are ways that you can improve your song and get it recording ready. From this, you will be able to make sure that your songs and pieces are polished, stand out from the crowd and get your voice heard among other musicians.

PPPPP

word count: 687

So You Want To Teach As A Private Music Tutor?

So You Want To Teach As A Private Music Tutor?

An Introduction for Musicians

For many of today’s musicians, working as a private music tutor has many benefits over working within an educational establishment. Firstly, you are a lot freer to choose where, when, and depending on how well you teach, WHO your students are. This will also let you continue whatever employment or other commitments you already have. Building up your student base slowly allows you to commit time to each of them to find out their learning style and prepare for their lessons without feeling overwhelemed suddenly with 30 new students starting next week.

Starting out, the idea of being an “expert” can feel rather daunting… especially for those of us who learned by gigging, and may not be the best sight-readers. Others among us have studied music and/or education to higher levels. But no matter where you stand between these two, those first few steps into teaching music as an income is terrifying.

Two main advantages I have seen in my time working as a private music tutor are

1. You have a lot more potential to work the hours you choose, and where you choose. Allowing your other commitments time where they need it.

2. If you teach children, generally, they are far more likely to behave and be responsive to teaching when either on their own as there is no one to show off to. School music lessons – especially in junior high school can be pretty hard to control.

3. You can vary the genres and methods you use as you see fit, not as a strict school curriculum requires.

4. You can focus all your attention on one student who WANTS to learn… if they don’t, why are you teaching them – your morale will take a huge blow, and your time would be better invested in working with an interested student.

Monetary benefits will come into the equation somewhere… let’s face it; they have to in this world. However, if all you can see are pound signs and have no real interest to teach, work with others, or enjoy music… perhaps private tuition is not for you.

In my personal opinion, private teachers can make a very comfortable living, and with some commitment and effort can easily make £40 upwards per hour.

It is not unheard of for tutors to have a waiting list of students who want them as their tutor. Once you find yourself in this position, although it isn’t time to relax, it is most definitely time to congratulate yourself. You can now (within reason) charge what you REALLY feel you are worth per lesson/hour, as you have people desperately waiting for your time.

If you didn’t increase your price at this stage it would be foolish. You have developed a product (your tuition service) that is in such a need the demand out numbers the supply – the number of lessons you have available per week.

Building your “studio” into this size is an achievable target, but one not as many as could reach it actually do. Those who do are employing valuable marketing techniques whether they realise it or not.

One of these marketing techniques is so subtle, many don’t even realise they are doing it when they are advertising in their local newspaper or shop window. This is a basic example, but stick with me; this idea can be applied at any time in your teaching career. By advertising in a local newspaper, you are already targeting the first most likely people to use your tuition services… your local community. Unless you are famous for being an incredible musician, people will neither just ask if you would teach them, or travel to find you in the hope you teach music. This one simple ad is telling the local community “I live in this area, and I have spaces available to teach music lessons.” I would save the expense and time on that website until further down the line if you live in a small town, the paper would provide a far higher return on income when you are starting off.

To develop this further, think what your ads say about you? Do they say professional, or do they say “I can play a few tunes on the piano, let me teach you cos I really need the money”

Here are my top 5 mostly marketing techniques for musicians aspiring to earn a decent income from private tuition.

1. Choose a name for your “studio” this can be anything from “Maria’s Singing Tuition” to “Bass riff School”. Choose one and use it in ALL your advertising

2. Make sure you include contact details on everything – advertising is an obvious one, but what about your pupils’ notebooks in case they ever need to cancel a lesson?

3. Make at least two copies of your teaching schedule. One that stays with you (especially if you are as forgetful as me), and one that everyone else in your household can see. This allows them to know when not to disturb you, or when you’ll be home.

(A third copy is ideal to keep with your musical instrument as a reference.)

4. Make sure that the two copies in point 3 have contact names and numbers for all your students. Should you ever have an emergency, this allows all your pupils to be contacted by another person in your family should you not be able to attend.

5. Don’t be afraid to tell people that you teach music – especially if you have spaces available. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising, and when you combine this with the power of NETWORKING, you can only succeed.

Music Artist Fiona Apple Bio

Music Artist Fiona Apple Bio

Fiona’s break into the music industry came when a friend, who babysat for a record executive, handed her employer a demo. Fiona’s rich contralto voice, piano skills and lyrics got the attention of Sony Music executive Andy Slater, who signed her to a record deal.

In 1996 Fiona’s debut album, Tidal, was released by a subsidiary of Sony. The album was hugely successful, going on to sell 2.7 million copies and it was certified three times platinum in the U.S. “Criminal”, the fourth single, became Fiona’s breakthrough hit. The song reached the top forty on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and garnered a great deal of attention, in part because of the controversial Mark Romanek-directed music video.

In 1999 Fiona’s second album, When the Pawn…, was released. Its full title is When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks like a King What He Knows Throws the Blows When He Goes to the Fight and He’ll Win the Whole Thing Fore He Enters the Ring There’s No Body to Batter When Your Mind Is Your Might So When You Go Solo, You Hold Your Own Hand and Remember That Depth Is the Greatest of Heights and If You Know Where You Stand, Then You’ll Know Where to Land and If You Fall It Won’t Matter, Cuz You Know That You’re Right. The title is a poem Fiona wrote after reading the readers’ letters that appeared in Spin after an article had cast her in a negative light in an earlier issue. The title’s length earned it a spot in the Guinness Book of Records.

When the Pawn… used more expressive lyrics, experimented more with drum loops but it did not fare as well commercially as her debut. The album did go on to become RIAA-certified gold and it sold 920,000 copies in the U.S. The album’s lead single, “Fast as You Can”, reached the top twenty on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart and became Fiona’s first top forty hit in the UK .

Fiona sang with Johnny Cash on a cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge over Troubled Water” that ended up on Cash’s album American IV: The Man Comes Around and ended up being nominated for a Grammy Award for “Best Country Collaboration with Vocals”.

Fiona’s third album, Extraordinary Machine, was submitted to Sony executives in May 2003. Sony was reportedly unenthusiastic about the finished product, and the project was shelved for over two years. In 2004 and 2005 tracks were leaked on the Internet and played on U.S. and international radio; subsequently, MP3s of the entire album went online. A fan-led campaign, Free Fiona, was launched in support of the album’s official release.

In August 2005 the album was given a release date for October. Extraordinary Machine became the highest-charting album of Apple’s career in the U.S. on its release (debuting at number seven) and was nominated for a Grammy Award for “Best Pop Vocal Album”. It was eventually certified gold and sold 462,000 copies in the U.S. , though its singles failed to enter any Billboard charts.

Fiona went on a live tour to promote the album in late 2005, and from early 2006 supported Coldplay on their tour of North America .

Fiona recorded a cover of “Sally’s Song” for the special edition release of the soundtrack, released in 2006, for the Tim Burton-produced film The Nightmare Before Christmas. In May 2006 Apple paid tribute to Elvis Costello on VH1′s concert series Decades Rock Live by performing Costello’s hit “I Want You”; her version was subsequently released as a digital single.

Fiona is scheduled to tour through the U.S. with the band Nickel Creek in mid-2007, after which she will begin studio work on her fourth studio album. Fiona Apple will be going on tour soon and it is suggested that you buy Fiona Apple concert tickets from a ticket broker like BarrysTickets.com to get premium seats.

Choosing Your Mixing Board

Choosing Your Mixing Board

The realizations that have grown in the studio for mixing are ones that have also led to new applications and ideas for putting together the right mix of instruments. With this, has come a variety of technologies and options in order to ensure that every type of studio can easily change sound waves within the recording area. These options are allowing for better mixes and blends within each piece of music. Knowing the characteristics of different mixing boards can help you to decide what is your best option.

Number of input devices. Each mixing board comes with a set of number of channels. Each of these channels will allow for one instrument to be placed within the mixing board. You may have heard of concepts like the ’24 mixer’ or ’36 mixer’. The numbers that are being referred to are the channels used, each one allowing for an instrument to be in it’s place. Before you get a mixing board, you will want to think of how many channels you will need at one time, dependent on how many instruments you want or need to record at once.

Different uses for different environments. There are different innovations that are used for different areas of mixing. Because a sound board has to be able to adapt to both the software for recording and for the mix of instruments, different types of mixers will be available. Some of these will be focused on performance mixing while others will be strictly for the studio. You can determine which is being used according to the level control features and the way in which the sound board is built.

Analog or Digital. Technology innovations with mixers are constantly re-defining the best and latest types of mixers to use within recording. This has quickly made a transition from analog to digital mixers. Analog mixers are defined by wired controls that mix in changes and live sounds. Digital mixers; however, will use a digital interface in between. Typically, the mixing difference can be heard in the sound as well as the options for mixing. Because digital is using later technology, it is now moving into innovations such as audio streams, all in one editing options and more possibilities for controlling volume and input of the sound being used.

Extra effects. No matter what type of mixer you are looking into, you always want to pay attention to the little knobs that are a part of the mix. Depending on the mix and make of the sound board, you will also have different signal options as well as volume control options, dependent on the mixer. The more complex you want to make the mix, or the more instrumentation you have, will also help you to decide on what effects you want to take place in the mix and before the sound recording. You should keep in mind that, with these effects, they can not be undone if they are recorded that way as sound waves, meaning you will want to be cognizant of what is working and what doesn’t in the mix.

Interactions with software. Your mixing board not only provides you with options for pre-recording, but also should have options with how it interacts with the software. Not only does each mixing board have different features within the board itself, but can also interact with the software in certain ways in order to mix together the sound waves in a certain way. You will want to make sure that you have a mixing board that compliments your software system.

If you keep these things in mind with the right mixing board, it will save you time, money and will allow for the right sound to be developed from what you are creating. Your end option will be the ability to customize your sound and to create certain controls within your music that best fit what you want to do. By understanding the different qualities of mixing boards and how they can work for you, there will be the ability to have the perfect recipe for your instrumentation mix.

PPPPP

word count 690

History of Warner Bros

History of Warner Bros

Based in Burbank, California Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. is one of the largest producers of television programs and films. The other companies which are a part of Warner Bros. are Warner Bros. Studios, Warner Bros. Television, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Home Video, Warner Bros. Animation, The CW Television Network and DC Comics. The founders of the studio were the Warner Brothers – Harry Warner, Albert Warner, Sam Warner and Jack L. Warner. The first three brothers started with projecting movies in the Ohio and Pennsylvania. They bought their first theater the Cascade in 1903. They also founded Duquesne Amusement and Supply Company for distribution purpose in Pittsburg.

They began film production by the onset of World War I and they soon opened the Warner Bros. studio in 1918. Sam and Jack Warner were into film production and the other two brothers handled finance and distribution. Their first big success came after the creation of the character “Rin Tin Tin”. It became so popular that it was used in twenty six subsequent movies. They bought the pioneer Vitagraph Company, which had presence all over the nation, with the help of loan taken from Goldman Sachs. They also took over many radio stations and also constructed many theaters. They incorporated music and special effects in their production and were the first ones to start talking pictures.

The Warner Bros. bought the Stanley Company and gained shares and control of the First National Pictures and the merger was named as A Warner Bros. – First National Picture. After the merger their first all-talking and all-color film caused the whole industry to change overnight. They made many musicals after that and after a point of time, the audience wanted a change. The production head Darryl F. Zanuck now concentrated on making more serious and realistic productions. These productions were said to be encourage gangsters and thus faced many censorships. The studios then changed their course of direction to historic dramas, melodramas and adaptation of best sellers to avoid scissors of censor. Though the Warner Bros. were ruling the industry for a while, MGM slowly took over them after some time.

In 1930s, Warner Bros. took a plunge into cartoons with Looney Tones cartoons. They launched their own Warner Bros. Records in 1958 but by 1960s the motion pictures were on a decline. Finally they decided to sell the studio to Seven Arts Productions and the company was renamed Warner Bros.-Seven Arts. Steve Ross purchased this company later and made Ted Ashley as the head of the studio and renamed it as Warner Bros. Pictures. Warner Bros. joined with Columbia Pictures for film distributions till 1988 and then made a joint venture with Walt Disney Pictures till 1993. Along with Tribune Company of Chicago they launched The WB Network in 1995.

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Dawson’s Creek”,” Smallville”, “7th Heaven” and” Charmed” caught the eye of millions of people. 7th Heaven went for eleven seasons making it the longest running family drama and Charmed went for eight seasons making it the longest running drama with actresses in the lead. CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. replaced The WB Network with The CW Television Network. They obtained rights to produce the famous Harry Potter series in the end of 1990s and the first Harry Potter movie was released in 2001 and till date a total of four Harry Potter movies have been released.

PPPPP

Word Count 568

Look At The Who

Look At The Who

The Who is an English rock band that started in the 1960′s and minus a few hiatuses have managed to be together since. The Who tend to get overshadowed by a lot of the other big acts that were out at the time. This is a real shame because they definitely deserve their place in the annals of rock n rock history. Along with Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones, the Who were deeply influenced by America’s Southern Blues of the previous generation. The Who in comparison to the other acts were more aggressive. Their songs were short and fast and tended to be about off color subjects of a more real nature than even what the Rolling Stones were doing.

Their catalogue is littered with great albums. One of my favorite live albums of all time is Live at Leeds from 1970. While the whole album lasts less than twenty minutes it is a great example of why the Who are still remembered as one of craziest live acts of their day. This was after the point that the band was smashing the whole set up as part of their stage show.

As far as their studio releases go 1978′s Who are You remains one of their finest achievements. Two of my personal favorites are the title track Who are You and melodic and beautiful Music Must Change. This album remains a shining gem in already stellar career. Even after Keith Moon had passed on, the band managed to reinvent itself. They were making the trends instead of following them. Even towards the end of their studio career they managed to put out some great albums. One is Face Dances from 1981 feature the hits You Better You Bet and Another Tricky Day. Another one is It’s Hard from 1982 featuring the classic song Eminence Front. There are two great albums worth checking out.

The History of Recording

The History of Recording

The abilities to record may seem to be more recent, especially with the capabilities of technology and the understanding of how sounds are used within a recording studio. However, there is a longer time frame of recording that has been used in order to document audio areas and to put music on track. By understanding the progression of recording, you can also find ways to implement similar characteristics and routines within your own studio.

The beginning of recording dates back to the 1890s. During this time, most of the recording was done through acoustic means. Recording equipment consisted of a tape that would allow for the audio to be documented into the tape. This would then go through a horn which would record the sound frequencies that were being played. This would then be documented by putting grooves into the recording through the waves and how they were translated.

This type of recording also included limitations on the sound rooms and how the sound was recorded. Upper scale recording studios consisted only of a sound proof wall so that the audio noise would not bounce. The ability to mix, master and edit the audio information; however, was not available. Those who were interested in recording would also take the records outside of the studios to do things such as field recordings, where natural sounds would be placed onto audio. This became a second popular means of creating recordings to share with the public.

By the 1930s, different options and equipment began to be popular for recording. This started with amplifiers and microphones that were added to record more sound frequencies. This was followed by a mixing board and by loud speakers so that the sounds could be manipulated and changed while recording. This caused for most of the acoustic recording that was done in the past to be replaced by the new technology so that more accurate recordings could be done.

Up until the 1970s, these combined methods were the popular way of recording musicians and artists in the studio. The acoustic rooms were combined with the microphones and were recorded live through the mixing board and straight into the disc or recording tape. This left little room to re-record or edit. Most of the recording that was done would be done with complete bands, orchestras or groups that would place everything onto the disc at one time.

The change that occurred during this time combined the ability to monitor the sounds more effectively and to move into editing. It was during the late 1960s and 1970s that analog recording moved into the field, allowing for more complex machinery to be at the forefront of recording. The analog recording consisted of a magnetic tape that would carry the sound waves and read them back through the recording. This could then be written over and revised according to what was recorded.

This time period not only allowed for advancement within recording, but also created experimentation with new equipment, sounds and effects that became popular for individual recording studios, now considered to be signatures of various recording industries. Those who were working within the industry found not only new technologies for recording, but also developed sounds that were unique because of the ability to process the mixing and mastering in a different way.

It was the movement into analog recording that changed recording into an electronic and digital set of capabilities as well as industry standards that are now accepted as the normal setting among all recording studios. Because of this experimentation and new technology, those working within the industry came to certain conclusions about what worked better with recording and how the production could be effective.

This progression shows how recording has become a mainstream through innovations, creativity and experimentation. By the recording industry creating the effects of recording, it has allowed for new arenas of development in recording music to be explored.

PPPPP

word count 653

Software Options for Recording

Software Options for Recording

Once you get into the recording studio, there are several options for software that you can use in order to get your sound exactly right. Knowing what your options are for software and finding those that best fit what you need can help you to produce the CD that you want and get your sound waves in the right order. Following are options that you can use when deciding what the best software is for your recording.

1. MIDI. This is a basic software application that is used for recording needs as well as for sound fonts. It comes with the sounds and orchestration patches for the recording with a digital audio area that is built into the system. Because this is lower budgeting, it has some inabilities for editing and for the stereo sounds that you might need.

2.Adobe Audition. This is a basic application that can be used for the entire process of recording. While this specific software option also has some limitations, it is accessible with it’s ease of use and can provide accurate results for professional mixing and mastering.

3.Band in a Box. This is a Macintosh application that is known to work well for beginners or for those who are limited in what is being recorded. This is because it has the capability of creating immediate tracks once a certain chord or set of chords is entered. This allows those who have not put together arrangements to use these basic structures before progressing to the next part of the recording.

4.Cakewalk. This specific type of software was created for Macintosh, then evolved into a separate application for Windows. This is known to have the basics for mixing and mastering as well, and carries it’s audio options through MIDI.

5.Fruity Loops. If you are into DJ tracks, loops and patterns, this is the specific program to use. While this has some recording capabilities, it works better as a loop mixing area for the musical pieces you are putting together.

6.Vegas. This program is similar to Adobe Audition in the way that it pieces together separate tracks as well as the capabilities for mixing and mastering. The tracks in this program are easy to pre-mix and mix, especially with individual track options and configurations that you can use for the program.

7.Cubase. The large benefit of this particular program is the ability to have unlimited numbers of VSTs, or orchestration patches. It also offers more tracks than the programs such as Cakewalk. One of the other benefits of this program is the ability to add on other programs in order to make it more conducive to your particular music.

8.Studio Vision. This is another Macintosh program and is known to be one of the high end options in software. It’s capabilities include a variety of writing for music and allow you to control every part of your musical pieces.

9.Reason. This is another program that is built around finding rhythms, loops and specific tracks. While it offers a wide range of capabilities in placing together pieces of music, it has become more popular among Djs and those who are looking for defined back beats.

10.Pro Tools. This particular choice is one that is known among most professionals as the best software out there. It contains a wide variety of VST options as well as the ability to completely control and manipulate the music that is being worked on. If you move into Pro Tools, you can expect to go through a longer learning curve as there are a wider variety of details and choices for recording.

It can be seen that each of these options carries choices in terms of how much you control the music you are making, strengths and weaknesses, sound options and tools that work the best. By knowing the applications, you can easily begin to use the software in a way that best fits your production.

PPPPP

word count 661

How Soundproofing Material Works

How Soundproofing Material Works

Sound vibrations are transmitted through the air, causing problems with noise entering and exiting your home studio. Many materials used in home construction, such as wood and drywall, are conductors of sound. Blocking out these sound waves is the purpose of a soundproof room. This is usually done for a home music studio.

For the highest quality, most complete soundproofing, you should hire a professional. The cost of a professional can be prohibitive for many people. You can construct a soundproof room in your home with a little knowledge and the right soundproofing material.

How Soundproofing Material Works

Soundproofing material works by interrupting sound vibrations. This isolation must be complete, or you are wasting your time. One hole in the material will ruin the effect. Sound waves can travel through the smallest hole or gap in the material.

Fiberglass is the material preferred by many professionals. Lead barriers are often used in professional studios. These need to be installed by someone knowledgeable in both the material and the principles of sound waves. This understanding makes the professional the best choice if you want the job done as thoroughly as possible.

Sound Absorbing Techniques

Sound absorbing and soundproofing materials work differently. Each product has different purposes and the two are not interchangeable.

Acoustical foam is sometimes used by professionals and often used by the do it yourself person. This is not used for soundproofing, but for absorbing the sounds within the studio. Not all foam is created equal and these materials are rated for fire safety. The ratings are listed as class A, B, or C. Fatal fires have resulted from use of inferior materials. The class A material is the most expensive, but is the most fireproof. Your safety is worth the additional expense. When using foam, make sure there is a clear path out of the room in the event of a fire. Fire resistant materials release toxic fumes in a fire, which will kill you faster than the flames.

The purpose of soundproofing material is to reduce the sound waves being transmitted into your studio from the outside. This is generally done through material in the walls, ceiling, floors and windows of the studio. Most materials are rated for the number of decibels the sound is reduced. For the materials to be effective, they must be installed correctly without holes or gaps.

Using and Installing Soundproofing Materials

A double wall is the ideal sound barrier that can be built by the do it yourself handyman. When building a second wall, it’s important to use floor insulation. This prevents the sound waves from being transmitted between the two walls via the flooring. Flooring carries acoustical energy and once the vibrations start, it can be nearly impossible to stop them. Thick carpeting is used because it absorbs these vibrations. There is no sound when walking on thick carpet.

To be effective, don’t just nail sheets of drywall to the existing wall surface. Sound will travel through the wall to the drywall. You need to create two completely independent wall sections. Make sure the studs aren’t directly across from each other. For best results, studs should be staggered across the length of the wall. A concrete surface at the bottom of the wall helps prevent sound from reaching the other wall and ultimately, your room.

The space in between is filled with sound proof material. Insulation can be used and is usually sprayed or blown into the area between the sections. You could also use foam insulating material or wool. Be sure to leave several inches of space between the two walls for absorbing the noise adequately.

Disney Pictures

Disney Pictures

The Walt Disney Studios have been responsible for some of the most enduring classics from the world of animation. Disney pictures were the first to release a full-length animated movie with Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. They raised the bar on quality and dominated the genre. With the invention of video and DVD, subsequent generations can watch their favorite Disney movies over and over.

The attention to detail and color made the animation stand out but the studio realized that a good story is important too. We cry at Bambi and laugh at the antics in Jungle Book. Disney pictures ventured into live action films too but it’s the animation we fondly remember. So many characters have entertained us, such as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy. We love to hate the villains too, as in Cruella da Ville, the dog-chasing monster from 101 Dalmatians.

Fairy stories have played a large part, lifted from the old storybooks and brought to vivid life. Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella have both been given the Disney treatment. Animals too, have been a constant feature. Jungle Book had a whole jungle full of them and then there was the Lady and the Tramp, Dumbo and The Aristocats. Artists working on Disney pictures would go out to the zoo to sketch animals and study the way they moved.

A typical Disney movie would involve a good versus evil theme, a hero or heroine and some catchy songs. The studio took a courageous step when they produced Fantasia and Uncle Walt was advised against it. It features a sequence of animation matched with classical music. Mickey Mouse got a part as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Disney proved the doubters wrong, audiences loved it and it was a success. Nothing quite like it has been attempted before or since.

Times move on and the method of producing animation has improved. Today, there is very little hand drawn frames and most animators use a computer. Disney pictures have been shrewd in protecting their business by joining them instead of trying to beat them. They did a distribution deal with Pixar, the studio that produced a string of hits with Toy Story, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles. The graphics and effects produced by Pixar and others are truly impressive but there is nostalgia for the rich tones and storybook feel of the early Disney films. Uncle Walt never talked down to his audience and that’s why fans were loyal as they grew into adults.