Resist the urge to just do it. PRACTISE FIRST, ideally, until you can sing the song three consecutive times without mistake!
- You will experience greater pleasure in performing and will be uplifted as a result (which is why we run the choir).
- You will make a more valuable contribution to the whole, which will intensify the inspiration and joy experienced by your viewers from around the world (which is also why we run the choir).
- Register your participation (so that we can communicate important information to you and help you with the sending of your recording to us. NOTE: this does not apply to participating students of John Tonkin College).
- Set up of your recording environment:
Ensure you have sufficient and appropriate lighting where you'll be recording (lighting your 3/4 front profile is ideal).
Set your position so that your head(s) and upper torso(s) are well framed (at your discretion, you may also wish to tidy up the background seen by your camera and dress as you see fit).
Record in a place and at a time when background noise is likely to be low.
- Set the microphone sensitivity in your computer's 'webcam' recording software (or equivalent), such that it does not overload because it is set too high (distorts audio) or requires excessive volume control on playback because it is set too low (amplifies noise).
- Wear a single ear phone to listen to the practice music (we only want your voice recorded, not the practice music to which you will be listening AND using only one earpiece may assist you in 'pitching' your notes AND may look a little less clunky!).
- Configure your audio cables according to how many of you will be performing (maximum of 4 singers please).
- One singer: use one ear piece of a single set of earphones.
- Two singers: share the ear pieces of a single set of earphones.
- Three singers: share the ear pieces of two sets of earphones (joined using a splitter & cable).
- Four singers: As for three.
For example: Rather than record a solo performance, you may wish to team up with as many as three others to perform together:
Computer ======= splitter
CAUTION: If you do team-up to sing, you may need to do more practice and record more 'takes' to ensure your performance does not have too many errors. The chance of an error being made when a group of people sing is greater than when singing solo. If we edit out an error by one singer in a group the good work of the others will be lost as well!
- When all is ready, start the recording session (don't start the practice audio at this time!).
TIP: Use the video files provided for recording, as you can follow the music, lyrics and audio without having to avert you eyes. Position the video on your screen as close to the webcam as possible, your viewers can enjoy your smile! If you are to sing solo or teaming-up to sing a single part, then use the 'Female Part' or 'Male Part' video file. If teaming-up to sing both parts, then use the 'Both Parts' video file.
- AFTER you've started your webcam recorder, play the audio and get ready to sing like there's no tomorrow!
- When listening to the opening four bars of the practice audio, 'clap' in time with the beat in Bar 3 as accurately as you can. IMPORTANT, as we will use this signature to synchronise your track with those of the piano and other singers.
- Try to sing accurately throughout in terms of timing (follow the 'click track'), pitch and diction.
- At the conclusion of the song STAY STILL and smile for at least 3 seconds BEFORE turning off the recording.
- Save your video recording in a medium resolution (no more than 720p, no less than 480p) and in a common format (e.g. avi, wmv, mov, mpg). Note: Depending on what software application you are running, you may need to set these parameters before you record, rather than after.
- If you are not happy with your first attempt, then try, try, try again! Note: like all of us, you may find the quality of singing in your best effort to be less acceptable to yourself than you would prefer. DON'T worry! once we blend your voice with everybody else's, the same magical smoothing will occur as with live choir performances.
- When you are happy with a 'take', drop it into the 'drop box' we will be setting up for you.
NOTE 1: In due course we will provide more information on this Internet facility that allows large files to be sent to us.
NOTE 2: This does not apply to JTC singers or other locals who have the option of physically giving or posting to us their video file on USB memory stick, CD/ROM or DVD/ROM.
- Sit back and take a well earned rest. We'll do all the hard work from here on!