Peter's Blog

Singers Required: New Virtual Choir Piece

Written by Peter Johnston on .

Hi singers, Kevin and I have created the resources you need for another of our wonderful virtual choir pieces. This is another lovely arrangement of the 23rd Psalm, by Bob Chilcott.

It is for three voices (Sopranos, Altos and Male Voices). You will find below links to audio guide tracks and conductor tracks for each voice. Note that the conductor tracks are the same video, but there are different guide audio tracks used.

Please listen to the guide track to get a feel for this one. You will see that there is plenty of information on the score about the dynamics of the piece, so please do try to follow those.

See below for full technical information on recording and a link through which to send your submissions. It would be really helpful to have submissions in hand by the end of Monday 11 October.

Musical Score

You can download a copy of the musical score here.

Guide Tracks

Please use the audio Guide Track or Conductor tracks to listen to or watch as you record yourself.

SYNC CLAP: It is very helpful to have a nice clean clap on the audio/video to help align everything when mixing and editing. Please clap on the first beat of the third bar of the introduction. If you are using the Conductor tracks you will see it marked on the video when to clap.

ALL VOICES

 

You can also download a copy using this link.

The conductor track for all voices is available at: https://youtu.be/hd-quqMnS2s

SOPRANOS

 

You can also download a copy using this link.

The conductor track for soprano voices is available at: https://youtu.be/Eh99MXySDMo

ALTOS

 

You can also download a copy using this link.

The conductor track for alto voices is available at: https://youtu.be/lpy-StNOU6o

MALE VOICES

 

You can also download a copy using this link.

The conductor track for male voices is available at: https://youtu.be/5caTMZW8bWY

Technical Instructions

We recommend having a good few practice sing throughs before you film yourself and then when you’re ready to go, you can record yourself by playing the audio track through headphones on a device other than the one you are recording on. This way, the recording will only pick up your lovely singing! (I personally found it easier to only have one headphone in my ear so I could hear myself singing better, but that’s just personal preference!)

Do as many takes as you need – I know I have never once got it right the first time! And remember: even if it sounds a little weird to hear your voice on its own, when everything is edited together it will sound beautiful! You may want to find a spot where you can stand to sing to help your breathing.

A couple of little notes about filming: if possible, try to film somewhere quiet and well-lit (ideally with you facing a window) so that the videos look lovely! Please film in landscape orientation instead of portrait – it is so much easier to edit everything together if the videos all have similar proportions. Lastly, please keep recording until the music finishes! This just means that we don’t have some people’s videos cutting out way before others’ and means we’ll have a better finished video.

While we can absolutely have people film on their phones/tablets, recording using Zoom itself results in a much smaller file which is more manageable (both for sending the file and for editing the video together). If you are recording using Zoom on a laptop or desktop computer note that there is a new version with some enhanced features that is just now available so you may want to go back to their website (https://zoom.us/download#client_4meeting) and download the client and install it so you have the latest version.

Once you have done this, open up the Zoom programme and on the home page click on the wee gear icon in the top right corner. This takes you to "Settings". Then click on the Audio option on the left column.

  1. Under "Microphone" uncheck the "Automatically Adjust Microphone Volume" option and then sing a bit and look at the "Input Level" line and adjust the slider so that the volume peaks around 2/3rds along the line.
  2. Leave "Suppress Background Noise" on "Auto".
  3. Under "Music and Professional Audio" check the option to "Show in-meeting option to 'Turn on Original Sound'", and the option for "High fidelity music mode", you can keep the other two options unchecked.
  4. When you then go to record your session on Zoom ensure that you have clicked the link at top left hand corner that would say "Turn on original sound" so that it illuminates in blue and says "Turn off original sound" - it is a bit of awkward language, but when it is blue then you are recording the original sound from your microphone.
  5. Ignore all of this if you are using Zoom on a tablet or smartphone as these options are not available!
  6. If you film on Zoom, the files will be saved once you end the meeting and it should save an audio file and a video file – it’s helpful for our editing if you can send us both of those! These are the m4a and mp4 files.

If this is all a bit complicated, don’t worry. It’s fine to just film on your phone/tablet – just be aware the file will be much bigger and might take a while to upload (depending on how good your internet connection is!)

When you have your recording, it would be helpful if you could rename the file with your name and, if an instrument the part you are playing, then you can upload your files directly to me using this dropbox link: https://www.dropbox.com/request/hZ7xr5BIxfxtU8x30oX6

DEADLINE

As mentioned earlier it would be really appreciated to have the audio/video submissions in hand by the end of Monday 11 October.

Thank you so much!