Cees Slings Seeks Global File Standard for Freestyle Music

9 years ago StraightArrow Comments Off on Cees Slings Seeks Global File Standard for Freestyle Music
Cees Slings conferring with Sweden's Tinne Vilhelmsson-Silfvén on her new freestyle at the World Cup Final in April. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Cees Slings, one of the world’s leading creators of musical freestyles, has proposed standardizing professional file formats for musical freestyles to improve the experience for spectators.

The Dutch professional who has created freestyles for some of the world’s top rider and horse combinations proposed using AIFF and WAV musical files, both of which are digital studio master quality formats. He came out against MP3, the consumer format that is popular for home music systems and iPods and that he described as “amateurish” and “harsh and poor.”

The comments by Cees were contained in an email to judges and officials of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) and prompted by decisions by the U.S. Equestrian Federation that initially ruled that freestyles should be in MP3 format but then was reversed to require WAV and WMA files.

“It seems that the USEF still does not understand about quality and difference between all kind of audio-formats,” he wrote. “The use of MP3s is now overruled; and riders should make their CDs now using WAV or WMA files.

“WMA files. however, do also NOT meet the standard quality that needs to be required; only WAV or AIFF files have professional audio quality (and please remember again, we’re NOT talking about MP3s, WMAs or AAC files converted into WAV or AIFF format).”
The FEI, USEF and local federations, including many show organizers, he said, “should understand that the musical department in Freestyle dressage needs to be handled by professionals; and these music professionals should be consulted regarding the rules and protocols about this subject.”
He said that the USEF is ahead of the FEI and European organizers–“at least they understand the nessecity of standardization of music file-formats use for dressage freestyles; a thing what never occurred to the FEI and European organizers.”
“What I’ve been trying over the past years, is to establish an accurate connection between the FEI and their responsible delegates, and all the freestyle producers involved. In order to improve all levels possible in dressage freestyle.
“I’m pretty sure that on the most attractive and dramatical event of the London Olympics, the program of dressage Freestyle to Music, the music/PA (public address) department has to deal with damaged and faltering CDs, poor WMA files, horrible MP3s or with poorly converted AIFF or WAV files.
“We all know what the outcome of such a disaster will be, at least we, the professionals, know!”