3 months on from the introduction of Lockdown in the UK and the online choir has rapidly become the norm with singers appearing on our screens from their homes
At the time of writing this post (27 June 2020), singing is still frowned upon, even as a socially distanced activity. The current rules state that 6 people can meet in a garden & 500,000 can meet on a beach. However, a choir of 8 cannot meet 5 metres apart from each other in a field. And so, to deal with this choirs are heading online to see if there are ways they can sing together. At 4 Part Music we can now help you create your online choir video.
This week we did just that for Pause, a charitable company which works with women who have experienced, or are at risk of, repeat removals of children from their care.
Singing on Zoom
Once rehearsing together was no longer an option, choirs looked for ways of meeting in the virtual world. As a result ‘Zoom’ if you are in a choir has become almost a household name. Other options such as ‘Microsoft Teams’ are also available. However it was rapidly discovered, regardless of which platform you use, that using videoconferencing type solutions for singing online didn’t really work. Choir members now spend their evenings singing ‘muted’ whilst the choir leader sings to them or plays a pre recorded backing / choral track.
Obviously this can be a lot of fun and it’s certainly far better than not doing anything. But it is a long way from singing together as no matter what, it all comes down to singing to yourself whilst listening to usually a backing track or one other person.
Choirs singing together online
Whilst it may not be possible for choirs to sing together ‘live’ using the current available technology, it is possible to bring choirs together virtually. Since the start of lockdown we have been helping choirs to do this through the available technology. You can read about this in another blog post about virtual choirs.
Working with Pause
In July this year I had a choir workshop planned with Pause to take place as part of their annual conference. With the introduction of lockdown and everything else associated with the Covid-19 pandemic this, like pretty much everything else involving large groups of people, was postponed until 2021.
However, rather than just abandon the idea for 12 months, it was decided we should try and form a virtual choir in place of the choir workshop which was planned.
Recording a Virtual Choir
After much discussion it was decided to record the song – With a Little Help from My friends. We prepared a simple 2 part arrangement and recorded a backing track with a click track on. This was then sent to the ladies at Pause for them to record their singing. When recording for a virtual choir the important thing is to listen to the backing track on headphones whilst you sing along and make your video.
This means the submitted video (usually sent in via we transfer or similar) can then be blended together to create the ‘virtual’ choir before being dubbed back over the backing track. In essence this is the principle of studio recording.
Bearing in mind the singers in this video are not a ‘choir’ and never had any rehearsals and never sang together the results are absolutely fantastic. It is a very daunting thing to record yourself singing and then send it to someone you don’t know, in the hope they will blend you together as a choir. Whilst we cannot take credit for the ‘recording’ element of this choir we do take a lot of time to blend the choirs in our studio before creating the videos. We hope you enjoy listening to the staff of Pause singing With a Little Help from my Friends.
Watch the Video
Pause works with women who have experienced, or are at risk of, repeat removals of children from their care.
Through an intense programme of support, it aims to break this cycle and give women the opportunity to reflect, tackle destructive patterns of behaviour, and to develop new skills and responses that can help them create a more positive future. In doing so, they aim to prevent the damaging consequences of thousands more children being taken into care.
What does the Customer Think?
Thank you so much this looks great!
If you would like to find out more about recording an online choir with your group or work colleagues then please give us a call on 01225 302143 or click here to contact us