TMC-TLC Virtual Choir Instructions

Thank you so much for participating in the Virtual Choir Project for the TN Ladies Chorus and the TN Men’s Chorale! I am so excited to join with you in this momentous endeavor. 


The detailed instructions below should help prepare you to record and submit your video for this project. If, after reading these instructions, you still have questions, feel free to reach out to me anytime. I want to do all I can to encourage 100% participation by the members of TMC and TLC.


Song

We will record, “I Will Make All Things New,” an anthem by our own Mary McDonald. The anthem’s text is especially fitting in light of COVID-19, and it also matches the theme for this year’s Virtual Summit, “I Will Do a New Thing,” based on Isaiah 43:19. 


Debut

The virtual choir project will be debuted at the Virtual Summit on Tuesday, November 10, 2020. Following the online Summit, we will have a sharable version of the Virtual Choir video ready for you to share on social media. 

Learn Your Music Well

Take a few moments to ensure you know your music well. I suggest you use the video guides below to rehearse so you know exactly what to expect. (You may also, of course, consult your own copy of “I Will Make All Things New” or access a PDF HERE.)


Video Guides 

While you sing, you will watch and listen to your voice part’s Guide Video (see links below). In each video, you will see the music and my conducting. You will hear the piano accompaniment, a click-track, and your voice part (played by a poor sounding synthesized string section). If you prefer not hearing your voice part as you sing, you may choose to use the “piano-only” guide video. 



Headphones (required)

Please use headphones as you watch and listen to your video guide. This is essential to ensure that the video I receive from you only has the audio of your voice (not the piano, click, and part from the video track). I want to capture your voice only, not what you are singing along to.


Rhythmic and Pitch Accuracy

Work for rhythmic and pitch accuracy by closely following the click, the piano, and my conducting. (This will help avoid lots of editing as I prepare the final project.)


Attire

Please wear your concert black attire…at least from the waist up. This is not to be overly “formal,” but, rather, it will give us more uniformity and translate better for the final project. If you don’t have our official attire, women, you may wear any long-sleeved black blouse. 

Three Recording Options

Option 1: Recording with an iMac or MacBook
You can use the Photo Booth app on your iMac or MacBook to record your video. Open the Photo Booth app and switch from “photo mode” to “video mode” within the app. (The video mode button is at the bottom left of your screen and looks like a video reel.) Press the big red “record” button. Next, press play on your Guide Video. When the video begins, you will hear four clicks, followed by the start of the piano intro. Please clap on beat one as the piano part begins. (This will help me line up your recording with everyone else’s.) Sing along to the Guide Video, as if you are singing live with TLC or TMC. When the anthem is over, stop the recording in Photo Booth. Save your video somewhere you can easily find it, such as your desktop. (You should be able to simply drag your video from Photo Booth onto your desktop or into any folder of your choosing.) Watch your video to ensure it recorded well and you are pleased with its quality. When you feel satisfied with your recording, drag and drop your video into this Virtual Choir Video Uploads Folder.


Option 2: Recording with a Windows Computer: 
You can use the Camera program on your computer to record a video. Go to the Camera program and switch from “photo mode” to “video mode.” Press “record.” Next, press play on your part’s Guide Video. When the Guide Video begins, you will hear four clicks, followed by the start of the piano intro. Please clap on beat one as the piano part begins. (This will help me line up your recording with everyone else’s.) Next, sing along to the Guide Video, as if you are singing live with TLC or TMC. When the anthem is over, stop the recording in your Camera program. Save your video somewhere you can easily find it, such as your desktop. Watch your video to ensure it recorded well and you are pleased with its quality. When you feel satisfied with your recording, drag and drop your video into this Virtual Choir Video Uploads Folder.

Option 3: Recording on Smartphone/Tablet while Playing Guide Video on Separate Computer/Tablet 
You can use the camera on your phone or tablet to record your video as you watch the Guide Video on a separate computer or tablet. Go to the camera app on your phone or tablet, as if you were going to take a photo, and switch from “photo mode” to “video mode.” Ensure your phone or tablet is in a stable position recording you from the proper angle. Press “record” to begin recording. Next, press play on your part’s Guide Video on your computer or tablet. When the Guide Video begins, you will hear four clicks, followed by the start of the piano intro. Please clap on beat one as the piano part begins. (This will help me line up your recording with everyone else’s.) Sing along to the Guide Video for your part, as if you are singing live with TLC or TMC. After the song is over, stop your recording in your camera app. Watch your video to ensure it recorded well and you are pleased with its quality. When you feel satisfied with your recording, use one of the following methods to get the video from your smartphone or iPad into the Virtual Choir Video Uploads Folder.


Lighting

The lighting in front of you should be brighter than the lighting behind you. Otherwise, your face will be very dark. (So, for example, it is usually best to not have a window behind you as you record. You may even choose to put a lamp in front of you to ensure you a well-lit.)


Background

Ideally, the background behind you should be clean and relatively plain. (For example, a blank wall is preferable over your unmade bed.)  


Your Sound

You may not like the way you sound once you hear your video. Very few folks like to hear themselves singing a cappella into a cell phone or computer! That’s okay. Do your very best, and when I blend your voice with the full choir, it will be wonderful. 


Smile/Emote/Be Engaging

Remember, this is a video recording, not just audio. So, make sure you “look the part” as you express the truth of the text you sing. I know it’s hard to “emote” to your computer! (Look at the bright side: at least you didn’t have to conduct to the computer like me.)


How Should My Video Look?

Ideally, I want your face and upper body in the shot. Horizontal and vertical videos are both fine.


How to Get the Video to Me

The best option is for you to upload your video to this Dropbox folder.

        Virtual Choir Video Uploads

If you can’t figure out the Dropbox folder, you can try emailing it to me at sshepherd@tnbaptist.org or using a third-party website like www.wetransfer.com. If you have trouble, send me an email and we’ll figure it out! 

Do I Have Your Video?

You may look at this document to know whether I have received your video.

        Virtual Choir - Videos Received List


Problems? Questions?

If you have technical issues, consider asking someone younger than you (even your child or grandchild). My kids amaze me with their technological savvy! You can also, of course, reach out to me anytime. My cell is 731.336.7235.


Deadline

Please submit your videos no later than Monday, October 5—the earlier the better.

 

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