Tuesday, August 4, 2020

A Virtual Chorus in the Making

Seventy participants from California to Connecticut, Oregon to Ohio have provided recordings 
for the Joe Biden campaign song project. Seventy virtual recordings! Can you imagine how much mixing and editing needs to be done to complete this? The amount of time is over the top and I have dived in with great enthusiasm to complete and release Countin' on Joe. Here are shots of some of the participants while recording. They were instructed to sing along with an mp3 I provided of the song with vocal through headphones or ear buds while being recorded by a cellphone, camera or webcam.

Volunteer singers include professional singers, those who sing or have sung in choirs and people who simply like to sing in the shower. Some sing melody in various octaves while others harmonize. What a thrill and challenge to assemble the virtual chorus!

I have watched countless videos on YouTube, consulted with the head of the Audio Engineering department at Washtenaw Community College and explored grids available to construct the video presentation. The YouTube education clears the path to creating the video in Final Cut Pro X. The head of the Audio Engineering department confirmed some steps which I plan to take. And the grids... It is possible to create a grid on one's own. However, there are some apps for sale in the $50 range. There is even a free grid available, which doesn't have all the bells and whistles but appears to be quite serviceable and can be embellished in Final Cut  Pro X (if I decide that makes sense). Sometimes simple but elegant is the best choice.

I plan to include subtitles. No bouncing balls but the lyrics will be there for those who want to sing along and/or learn the song. 

I've also been working on a press release and a list of media to which to send it. Once the song has been posted on YouTube I will send it to all the participants in the project along with a release they can send to local media. But this is at least a couple of weeks away. 

Right now it is nose to the grindstone. I am mixing by vocal range. I will do a mix for sopranos, another for altos, one for tenors and one for bass/baritones. Once these are completed I will mix the four groups along with the instrumental section. Sound like fun? Well, it is work with an element of fun. And when I started this project I knew there would be a lot of work involved.

What else could I do during a pandemic?


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