The NHL, AHL, ECHL and pretty much every other ice hockey league has started for the 2015-2016 season. We know this by the number of times the playlists for hockey are hit up, that our kids are in their second month of practice, and we’ve announced a few games already. A simple check of SportsAnnouning.com
The NHL, AHL, ECHL and pretty much every other ice hockey league has started for the 2015-2016 season. We know this by the number of times the playlists for hockey are hit up, that our kids are in their second month of practice, and we’ve announced a few games already.
A simple check of SportsAnnouning.com and you will find some good hockey music playlists. Click on Playlists above and then click on “Ice Hockey Music” to find 10 playlists for various situations.
Once you’ve had a chance to look at all the playlists, you realize that you still need to fill in the rest of the stoppages with music. But how do you choose the music? Hockey is an eclectic sport and a wide range of music is necessary.
For warm-ups, ask the players what they want to hear. The Washington Capitals have a primarily EDM-based warm-up before their games, with input from the players. Some of the more classic songs for warm-up are in the rock genre and include songs like Enter Sandman, Eye of the Tiger or Back in Black. Modern rock also appears during warm-up in some forms. The general consensus among hockey fans, is rock music, both classic and modern.
The screen shot is one of our warm-up screens (we have three) that we use primarily for high school, youth and adult hockey games. We can also use it for college or junior hockey and gives you an idea of the mix of songs that you should have available to you for warm-ups.
For youth and adult games with a 3-5 minute warm-up, all you need are 1-2 songs. If you have a 15-minute warm-up, 5-7 songs are needed per game. If you’re going to be doing several games, have at least 10 choices for the former, and 30 songs for the latter, giving you a chance to mix it up as the season goes along.
Walk-in music refers to the music people hear when they are walking into the arena. Whether you’re playing music for a youth hockey game and only have a couple of songs to choose from, or you’ve got 30 minutes to fill, you want to have a variety of general listening music available. We’ve heard a lot of parents play warm-up music during this time, but it doesn’t get anybody pumped up because the players can’t hear the music in the locker room.
This music can also be used between periods while the ice is being resurfaced to fill time. The style of music you want to us is more of music that you wouldn’t typically play during the game, but not quiet music. You want something with a beat that keeps the mood up, without being overbearing. This is where music you’d typically hear on a Top-40 station would be played. Feel free to cross a lot of genres in this area. We’ll play music from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and today, with some country, hip hop, pop and rock mixed in. This music should be targeted toward those in the stands. You can also play line dances to encourage the crowd to dance or to lighten the mood a little. Even if you have sponsored elements during intermissions, there will still be some down time.
For games with a one-minute intermission, you can use an in-game song or choose something off your walk-in list. For longer intermissions, rely mainly on your walk-in music as long as it’s upbeat.
Once the game has begun, the music you choose affects both the players and fans. And truthfully, the fans are the ones who need a little added entertainment. Over the last 13 years of announcing and doing music for hockey games and tournaments, we’ve found a lot of parents are appreciative of the music because most games are played in silence. The music cuts out the quiet during stoppages. You want to aim your music more toward the crowd but can include songs that are aimed at the players too.
In-game music can skew toward a lot of genres, but keeping it simple, top-40, classic rock, 80’s and 90’s are a good place to start, but you don’t have to stop there. You can use a wide range of songs. If you have an older crowd, break out some 70’s. Add organ music, several collections are available on the front page of SportsAnnouncing.com.
Over the years, we’ve grown our playlists from nine in-game, to nearly 30 in-game in addition to the ones you see linked here. We’ll use different playlists for each period or just jump around and choose songs at random. How you use it is up to you.
Edit your songs
This is very important, especially for in-game music, to edit the songs to the point of relevance. That’s a term we use a lot and it means the part of the song that makes the most sense. Typically the chorus, or a good beat drop. This can be 3 seconds into the song, 30 seconds in, two minutes in, or right at the end. Make sure you use software like Sports Sounds Pro, Sound Director or Click Effects that allows you to edit the starting point of a track, or you can sit down and create them yourself with Audacity. The only drawback to using Audacity, is that you don’t have the full song if you need it, unless you decide to load that as well into your playback device.
In the screen grab above, you’ll notice a lot of black boxes with a “C” in them. That indicates each song is cued to start at a certain point. With older music, you don’t need to cue so much, with new music, well look at the screen grab. Sports Sounds Pro is the only of the three software mentioned above that shows whether a song is cued.
We’re also working on organizing our music and during World Team Tennis season came up with this format. We have fast, mid and slow depending on the situation.
Organize Your Playlists
Always have your songs sorted in such a way you can access songs quickly. In the software mentioned above, all offer hotkeys which really opens up the ability to have songs ready. Use one hotkey for your goal song, while others are available for penalties, visitor goals, crowd prompts, etc. Organize so you know where everything is, but make sure you still have quick access to everything necessary without too much lag.