With lockdown still in full force across the UK we are having to be innovative about our product offering
As our core business is recording Choirs and Schools on location, there are 2 main pre-requisites for this to work. Firstly we need to be able to travel around in order to ‘get on location’ and secondly we need Schools and Choirs to be operational.
Currently in the UK (9 April 2020) neither of these factors are being met and therefore, like so many organisations around the country, our business is currently on hold.
But this doesn’t mean we aren’t doing anything productive. Whilst we may not be able to record large groups on location, there are still plenty of things we can use our studio for. So most importantly, whilst our team are all staying safe and working from home, we are still open and responding to enquiries.
Studio Work – Backing Tracks
With choirs all around the world turning to ‘Zoom’ for their rehearsals, choir leaders are looking for new ways to work with their choirs in these difficult times. Having tried ‘zoom’ for my own choirs, we rapidly concluded that it is far from an ideal solution. Yes it does mean you can ‘meet’ together, which of course at the moment is a huge positive for many. However, the singing aspect doesn’t really work that well. Ultimately everyone other than the choir leader, or accompanist, has to be muted in order to ‘sing along’.
I have experienced mixed results with my choirs. Some love it and relish in the chance to just see the rest of the choir on screen singing along. Others find it more challenging and, naturally, question the musicality of such a scheme. Musically speaking, yes it is limited and trying to run any sort of ‘rehearsal’ is certainly not easy. We have tried running sectional rehearsals, but the trouble is when you don’t know what your choir are singing back to you it’s impossible to provide any sort of useful feedback.
Consequently offline resources such as backing tracks are proving more useful. These can be sent out to your choir in order for them to practice at home. As well as that backing tracks can also help your choir to create a Virtual Choir Video.
Here is a small selection of backing tracks which we have successfully created for other groups.
This idea was originally bought to fame by Eric Whitacre who gathered thousands of people to sing together in a virtual choir. With the right technology this can work for your choir. Basically each choir member is sent a backing track and they have to video themselves singing along to the backing track (playing the track through headphones). The end result is that each choir member submits a video of just themselves singing their part and then all the choir are put back together ‘virtually’.
Obviously this is still nothing like a choir singing together – but done correctly it will sound fairly accurate. Whilst not a perfect solution, this is one way in which your choir can at least hear themselves singing together.
If you need any help creating a virtual choir then we can also help you put together the video element of this. Please contact us for more details.