Virtual Choirs

Over the last year, lots of choirs have had a go at producing a virtual performance, with singers recording their track at home and their choir's resident technical wizard producing a video to share with family, friends and audiences. But how do you ensure that your singers produce the best recording they can? Conductor and abcd tutor James Davey shares some hints and tips on getting the best out of your virtual choir

Whether you're new to Virtual Choirs or experienced, there is no shortage of online tutorials explaining every aspect of the process, from how to make a Guide Track to editing a fully animated grid of videos, forming a synchronised video collage of faces and voices.

With the availability of such powerful software these days, it can be tempting to think that any recording can be made to sound and look beautiful. Indeed it can, but the quality of the raw material will determine the eventual cost (in time and money) of this process, and often the quality of the final result.

A poor quality recording can take hours longer to edit than a really good one, and I'm not talking about the quality of the singing. It's the little details like noise from page-turns, being too close to the microphone, getting interference from your phone, filming with shadows across your face or with dust on your lens, and a host of other seemingly minor things that all add up to make extra work for the editors.

Imagine turning up to a recording studio and the microphones have been set up facing the wrong way, or the video camera has the lens cap on during the first 'Take'. Now imagine all the money you could have saved on your studio hire fee.

I'm sure you get the picture.

Making sure your singers can provide the best possible recordings is, therefore, of vital importance.

To help you get the best recordings from your singers, here are instructions that you can use as a template.

The template includes everything from set-up to submission, including handy tips about using your devices effectively. There is also an 'ADVANCED' version, which conductors may find particularly useful for fielding questions from their singers.

It includes places to insert your own information too [marked in red], such as links to a Guide Track and score you might be providing, or information about what the singers should wear for their recording.

Click here to download the template

Click here to download the advanced template

I hope you find them useful, and I look forward to seeing your fabulous Virtual Choir videos online soon!

James Davey

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