3 :: set up / your recording space
You will record your part individually via webcam or video camera while watching a specially recorded video of Tikey conducting the piece with an accompaniment “soundtrack” of your choosing (piano, choral, or choral with part emphasis). Here are the instructions for setting up each component of your recording space:
headphones We recommend using earbuds, as they will present a cleaner look on video than headphones—but if you don’t have earbuds, headphones are absolutely acceptable. Particularly with earbuds, you’ll want to keep the volume on the conductor track LOW so that it can’t be heard in the recording (and also so that you can hear yourself sing!). If possible, you may want to tuck the cables into the back of your shirt to minimize visibility. Be sure however that you can take them on and off easily (see “conductor video,” below).
video recorder There are many ways you can record both video and audio of yourself singing: using an application like iMovie (for Mac) or Movie Maker (for Windows) on your home computer with its built-in camera; using the camera app on your smartphone or other mobile device; or using an external video camera. If you have technical questions about any of these methods, we recommend asking a friend, relative or fellow parishioner who could assist you in person. Please also feel free to contact us and we will do our best to help you!
Whichever method you choose, please position yourself so that your head and shoulders appear in the recording screen as shown (important: your video should be in LANDSCAPE orientation).
Adjust the lighting in the room so that your face is clearly visible and there is sufficient contrast between you and the background behind you.
conductor video You will record your part individually via webcam or video camera while watching this video of Tikey conducting the piece. In the background of the video you will hear an accompanying “soundtrack” (piano, choral, or choral with part emphasis, which you can choose in step 4). Note the accompaniment will play in only one channel (ear) of your headphones so that you can hear yourself sing.
The music for your selected part (or you may choose full SATB) will scroll across the bottom of the video screen so that you can see it as you sing, and also to minimize your reliance on a hard copy of the sheet music. If you must use the hard copy, please try to avoid shuffling the pages as your built-in microphone or recording device may easily pick up the sound.
As part of the conductor video, before the conducting and accompaniment begin, you will be prompted to turn your video recorder on, then return to the conductor video screen. You will then hear a “beep.” In order for our engineers to align all of the individual videos, they will need to hear it too—so you will be instructed to leave your earbuds/headphones OFF until after the beep. You will then be prompted to put your headphones ON and prepare for the music to start.
audio settings Adjust and test your device’s audio input volume to be high enough so that the your softest singing can be heard, but not so high that your loudest singing causes distortion. Most devices will allow you to test the settings by singing into the microphone and watching the response of the input level meter. In most cases the ideal setting will fall somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4 of the maximum volume level. If you have technical questions about setting your audio input level, please contact us and we will do our best to help you!
clothing If possible, please wear a black or dark shirt with no logos or images, and minimal ornamentation (buttons, visible zippers, etc.).
environment If possible, position yourself so that there is a plain, uncluttered, light-colored background behind you. Please record in a quiet room, and turn off fans, air conditioners and other appliances that might create noise in the background (even very faint hums may be easily picked up by your built-in microphone or recording device).