Get-It Gear

Get-It Gear: Sweet Beats

Mix your own cheer music with these DIY editing programs.

Footloose and free: 
Available for both Windows and Mac, Audacity is a free, open-source download that can be used to edit different types of sound files; copy, splice or mix sound effects; and alter the speed or pitch of a recording. Newbies rave that Audacity is user-friendly and easy to learn—translation: great for putting together cheer music in a pinch. (Free;


Beats on ACID: Combine DIY convenience and powerful pro capability with Sony’s ACID Music Studio. The software’s Beatmapper tool allows you to import your songs and MP3s of choice for easy remixing; you’ll also get free access to the Sony Sounds Series loop library. For those looking to experiment, a free trial is available for download. FYI: for PC only. ($64.95 and up;


Just add turntable: Easy-to-follow visuals and simplicity of editing make DJ Audio Editor a beginner’s friend. Windows users will appreciate the ability to mix and match effects to create entirely original sounds; plus, effortlessly save files in an array of audio formats so that they can be compatible with any sound system. ($39.95;


Totally effect-ive: Mac users, take heed—though some music editing programs are PC-only, plenty of great options exist for Apple aficionados. If you’re a sucker for sound effects, look no further than Logic Pro 9. With more than 15,000 loops, 1,700 sampled instruments and 4,500 presets for plug-ins, you’ll have a deep library of resources to create one-of-a-kind cheer music. ($199.99;

Other programs we like:

FL Studio ($49 and up;

Acoustica Mixcraft 6 ($74.95;

Magix Music Maker 2013 ($59.99;

Adobe Audition CS6 ($349;


Get-It Gear: Get Amped

Get-It Gear: Get Amped

Stay in tune with our top sound system picks! Four of our favorites include:


Great for large crowds: Plug your iPod into this wireless, battery-powered portable PA system and you’ll be ready to roll. The SW720 by Amplivox features a handheld wireless mic, built-in DVD/CD/MP3 disc player, tone and echo controls, and a built-in 8-inch speaker. Hook it up and reach an audience of up to 500! ($1,259;

Light and easy: How about a sound system you can sling over your shoulder and carry around with ease? Despite being just three pounds, the battery-operated Anchor Audio Minivox Lite delivers an impressive 109 decibels of sound. Plug in your iPod, MP3, or CD player and you’ll be ready for audiences of up to 100 or more, with sound clarity both indoors and outdoors. ($329;

Bose Acoustic Wave

All-purpose elegance: Not too large or complicated, The Bose Acoustic Wave Music System II is a sleek, all-in-one system. It’s great for large spaces—indoors and outdoors—and provides clear, rich sound. Plug it into a standard outlet and play selections from your iPod or tablet (or use the CD player and/or AM/FM tuner). You can also purchase the travel case and power pack for on-the-go needs. ($1,079;

The price is right: Deliver big and powerful sound using Ion’s Center Stage, a complete sound system consisting of two easy-to-transport, self-powered 50W speakers with stands, a built-in mixer, microphone, and cables. Mic, guitar, other instruments and an iPod plug right into the speakers. Sweet beats, indeed! ($199.99;

-Jackie Pilossoph