The Big, Fat List of Recording Notes


Lessons learned from our first online semester

  • 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!

  • LEAVE ROOM around your head and torso (and full body for cellists) so I can properly crop. Better too much extra than not enough.

  • If you’re an instrumentalist, please film such that we can see your hands and, if practical to do so, in portrait (vertical).

  • Try to video at face-level, rather than with a camera far lower than your face (a little higher or lower is fine).

  • Well-lit and, if you’re in A or B Musicum or are in my SFBC Intermediate group, in front of a solid white wall or sheet. For our early draft recordings, please wear a SOLID colored shirt, if you can. We might wear white or black later.

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

  • 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. But if handheld is 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!

  • 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.

  • When recording, KEEP YOUR EYES UP as much as possible. 👀 Quickly glance down, if need be, but singers shouldn't be looking down or sideways, and instrumentalists look even more awesome if it's not obvious you're on-book. If you are using a scrolling or conducting video, place the screen fairly high and, if recording from behind the screen, video from just above, so that we don't see the screen. Absolutely 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, 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.

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!

© 2019 Young Musicians Chorus