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The Big, Fat List of Recording Notes


Lessons learned from our two online semesters

  • Video, not just audio!

  • You must sing (and for those on insts, play) WITH THE RECORDINGS, or you’ll be out of sync. But wear headphones (or for style points, an ear bud w/wire hidden) so your video recording doesn’t include the learning recording. Uncover one ear so that you can also hear yourself and sing in tune.

  • Minimize background noise eg use a laptop that is cool enough not to be blasting the fan, ask your siblings to shush, make sure the laundry isn't running.

  • Keep your camera absolutely fixed in one place, and definitely don’t zoom in or out! Best not to handhold a phone to record, as it is very difficult to be absolutely still. Even a small movement means that, when I crop, the face will drift in and out of the frame. If handheld is absolutely your only option, use a wall, chair, etc. to brace as firmly as possible, and be careful not to cover the mic with your thumb!

  • Singers please record in landscape (longer left to right, shorter top to bottom). LEAVE ROOM around the head and FULL torso so I can properly crop. There needs to be at least a good 9” ALL THE WAY AROUND, meaning extra above the head and also beyond the sides of the elbows. Better too much extra than not enough.

  • Instrumentalists: please film such that we can see your hands and, if practical to do so, full body in portrait (vertical). It will be even more awesome if it's not obvious you're on-book. (I can crop if your music is far enough away.)

  • SINGERS SHOULD BE LOOKING AT THE EYE-LEVEL CAMERA.  👀 – never down or sideways. If you are using a scrolling or conducting video, place the screen centered and eye-level and, if recording from behind the screen, video from just above, so that we don't see the screen.

  • Well-lit and, unless instructed otherwise, in front of a solid white wall or sheet. I'll send an email with the correct "concert dress" for each song.

  • If you record using Zoom, be sure to set up correctly, or you’ll get dropouts.

  • For YMC: all recordings (and copies of the music, if you'd like) are at Your kids know the password. :-) 

  • Leave me a couple of seconds lead time at the beginning and end so I can fade the video in/out of the compilation.

  • For the love of all that's holy, no screens reflecting in glasses!!!

  • Sing with mouth OPEN. Open, open, open, open, open. :-D

  • Practice with the learning recording several times until you feel confident – do not skip this step!!! The process will be much faster in the long run and higher quality than if you try to video too early! You don't want to sound like someone who is just 'singing along.'

  • Lastly, LISTEN TO YOUR RECORDING before you send it – don't skip this step, either! If you think you can improve on it – do! :-) Remember: we're not just making videos; we're making stronger musicians.

  • Put it in Google Drive (by far my preference  click this link for directions), Dropbox, iCloud photos, WeTransfer, or the like, and send me a link. (Set permissions to "Anyone with the link can download.") Attaching is ok, too, but sometimes difficult with large files. (Please don't send a file to me in such a way that I have to sign up for something to access it.)

Thank you, everyone! I know this is more effort than simply singing together. That said, I’m excited that, despite the circumstances, we’ll find a way to share your talents with the world and with each other!

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