As part of our 10th Anniversary celebrations, we are putting together another virtual chorus project, this one around the song “When You Believe,” arranged by Gary Lewis for the AIC in 2014. The song will feature members from around the district as part of the virtual chorus (EVERYONE is invited to participate — all genders, all voice parts, all chapters), as well as honoring as many of our past champion quartets as possible. The score calls for two quartets (originally Masterpiece and Vocal Spectrum) and chorus. The following quartets are all confirmed for the project (with their quartet assignment):
Quartet I (the Masterpiece part)
- Let’s Sing (2010 Men / 2018 Senior)
- Harmony Grits (2013 Senior)
- The Hardly Boys (2014 Senior)
- Supersonic (2015 Men)
- Sound Counsel (2017 Senior)
- Infinity (2018 Men)
- Second Chance (2019 Senior)
Quuartet II (the Vocal Spectrum part)
- Zero Hour (2013 Men)
- The Oneders (2016 Men)
- No Strings Attached (2016 Youth)
- Mélange (2017 Mixed)
- Quadrophonic (2018 & 2019 Mixed)
- Wordplay (2019 Men)
- Lämp (2019 Youth)
Go HERE to find everything you need to get started:
These are individualized conducting videos. There is a video for the Chorus and videos specific to both quartet parts. You only need to view the video that directly pertains to how you are participating in the project.
There are quartet specific scores, a chorus only score, and a full score. You may download any of these that you wish. I recommend downloading at least the specific score to your role in the project AND the full score so that you can also see how everything fits together.
There are FOUR different folders with learning tracks:
- When You Believe MP MIXES
- These are for QUARTET 1
- When You Believe VS MIXES
- These are for QUARTET 2
- When You Believe CHORUS MIXES
- These are specific to the chorus but they also contain the quartet parts in the mix so that you can hear them.
- When You Believe Chorus Only
- As the name implies, the quartet parts are NOT in these tracks. If hearing the quartets throws you, use these tracks instead.
MAKING YOUR RECORDINGS
You have three options as to how you proceed to make your recordings. To be clear, since this is asked a lot, you do not need special equipment to make a recording. A current generation smartphone will be more than enough to capture your video and audio at a decent level. If you have access to extra gear, great, but it is not necessary.
VIDEO AND AUDIO RECORDED SEPARATELY
If you wish, you can record your audio track first, using the best quality microphone at your disposal (see below for recommendations). Record the track in the highest quality possible and upload the full-size file (either WAV or AIFF formats).
Once you have recorded your audio, you can record your video separately (video format notes are below), performing to the learning track. Sing out on the video — do not lip sync — it will be a more natural performance. Don’t worry if the audio quality isn’t terrific or if you make a note error, the audio won’t be used. If you sing wrong words, etc. re-record until you have a video that will look good.
VIDEO AND AUDIO RECORDED SIMULTANEOUSLY
If you wish, you can attempt to record your audio and video files simultaneously. The trick here, of course, is getting a complete performance in a single take, without errors.
You can set up to have a separate microphone capture audio while your phone (or HD camera) captures video. It ultimately doesn’t matter if the microphone is in the shot or not — that is up to you. Again, upload the audio in the highest possible format (AIFF or WAV).
VIDEO AND AUDIO RECORDED ON ONE DEVICE
If you don’t have access to a separate microphone, you can use your phone to capture audio and video in a single take. I don’t recommend trying to record audio only on your phone unless you have some kind of recording app that allows you to edit. Without that, you’re still relegated to making a clean single take.
If you have access to higher end recording software, please use compressors, if you can, but DO NOT add any special EQ or reverb effects to the audio. (If that sentence didn’t mean anything to you, don’t worry about it) Keep it as simple as you can so that all of the files can be worked with evenly. Remember: I can add effects to your files, I can’t take them away.
You can make solid recordings using free software like Audacity (for both PC and Mac) or GarageBand on the Mac.
Ideally, you would use a large diaphragm condenser microphone (studio mic as opposed to a handheld dynamic mic like you might use on a stage). The Behringer C1 (which requires an additional audio interface) or the C1U (which is USB) are excellent microphones that are very inexpensive.
- The file should be in 1080p and 30fps. These settings should be easy to find in the Camera settings on your phone.
- Film in LANDSCAPE mode (phone turned sideways).
- Make sure there is NOT a light source (lamp, open window, etc) BEHIND you. Be well lit from the front.
- Avoid other visual distractions (ceiling fans, a TV on behind you, etc).
- Ideally, film yourself in front of a wall.
- You do not need to find a blank wall, but be mindful of where you are standing. Is something on the wall now coming out of your head?
- Center yourself in the middle of the shot and back up enough that you are filmed from about the bottom of your sternum. Some space above your head is good.
- The camera should be AT LEAST at eye level. A few inches ABOVE eye level and angled slightly forward so that it is facing you is preferred (hides the double chins)
- DO NOT HOLD THE PHONE! Use a tripod, or rest it against something. Tape it to a wall. Be creative — but do your best to get the camera at eye level or above.
To make organizing and sorting all of the files easier, please follow this format in naming your file(s):
Please use “Chorus” — “QT1” — “QT2” — for the roles
UPLOADING YOUR FILES – When you have your files ready, upload them HERE.
DEADLINE: ALL files must be received NO LATER than 9:00PM EDT, on SATURDAY, September 12, 2020.