Virtual Choir

Thanks for being willing to participate in our first virtual choir! This will be a fun experiment for all of us. The following instructions will help to ensure that this goes as well as we could hope.


I. Required Equipment

Please make sure you have access to the following equipment for capturing your virtual performance:

  • MP3 player / tablet / smartphone / computer - you need a device capable of playing MP3 audio files so you can sing along with your rehearsal track
  • Headphones - Headphones are REQUIRED during recording - we want your voice, not the rehearsal track. In-ear headphones (i.e. earbuds) are preferable but use whatever you have.
  • Video Recording Device - Use any device capable of recording video into a digital format. A smartphone or tablet is best. Laptop webcams are NOT preferred but would be accepted. NOTE: separate devices must be used for MP3 playback and video recording.
  • Tripod or other stabilizing device - Tripod adapter are available for smartphones/tablets. Consider camera placement alternatives such as shelves, tables, boxes, etc. Handheld recordings will not accepted.
  • Music Stand (or alternative) - Memorization is the best option for making a visually engaging performance. If not memorized, make sure you have something to put your sheet music or tablet device on (visible to you but off camera). Consider creative alternatives to music stands - whatever works!


II. Preparation / Practice

  1. Choose your vocal part
  2. Download your anthem PDF and rehearsal track to the devices you will use. Hard copies are available for pickup outside the church office.
  3. Practice Tips - Practice singing while listening to the rehearsal track with one or both side of the headphones. Experiment to get your best performance.


III. Recording

      1.  Set up your recording space.

    • Find a quiet space with minimal ambient noise and echoes.
    • Silence/remove intermittent noise sources (air conditioning, phones, fans, desktop computers, pets, children, etc.).
    • Use an uncluttered dark background if possible.
    • Ensure bright lighting on your face (Natural lighting is best. It can be helpful to face a window.).
    • Avoid backlighting (bright windows and lights behind you will distort the picture)
    • Place your sheet music so you don't have to look too far down while recording.
      2.  Set up your camera.
    • Set up your camera to record in a landscape (wide) orientation.
    • Place all devices in airplane mode.
    • Frame your video so we can see you from the shoulders up. Make sure your head is near the top edge of the video.
    • If possible, change your recording mode to the lowest HD setting (720p).
      3.  Dress for your performance.
    • Make sure your clothing contrasts the background in your shot.
      4.  Record your performance.
    1. Put on your headphones. If using only one earbud, tuck the other into back of shirt.
    2. Press 'record' on your video camera.
    3. Press 'play' on your MP3 player/device.
    4. Sing your part. If you make a mistake, stop your camera and MP3 player. Start again at recording step 2.
    5. While dynamics are important, resist the urge to over-sing or push too much.  
IV. Reviewing and Submitting
      1.  Review your video recording using headphones.
    • Listen for audible noises you may not have noticed during recording.
    • Listen for sound level - too loud (distorting) or soft (hard to heard over background noise)
    • Look for proper visual framing and adequate lighting
    • Adjust camera settings and position and re-record if necessary.
    • Try a different device if you are unable to achieve good results.
      2.   Submit your video file using Dropbox by Sunday, May 17th at 11pm.
    • Smartphone/tablet/webcam videos upload directly from your device.
    • Video cameras: transfer the video file to a computer by USB cable/SD card, etc. and upload from your browser.
    • Submit your video on dropbox <-- Follow this link, no dropbox account required.

V. A Final Word
This is project may not be for everyone. I have attempted to be as detailed as possible because I want as many people to participate as possible, but please don't worry if you can't get it to work. If you have audio problems, but your video is fine, I will just the use your video portion (and vice versa). This should be fun and not stressful. Feel free to call (803)767-6300 or email me at will@versailllesbaptist.org if you have any questions.