Tips For Online Choir Training 4: Virtual Choir Projects

Which choir wouldn’t want to make and publish a mind-blowing virtual choir video that is spread widely in social media bringing fame and fortune to the choir? However a lot of time, skills and knowledge is needed to do that. Not just recording but editing takes a lot of time. And without experience it will take even more time.

Nevertheless virtual choir projects can be done with less skills if the goal of the project is not just a YouTube video but a way to practice online with singers. We introduce here in this article how to use virtual choir projects as online training for choirs.

Ways To Accomplish Virtual Choir Projects

If the choir conductor, singers or anyone they know can’t edit sound and videos, a virtual choir project can be started with an application. Other option – actually a very good one – is to hire a professional to do that for you and your choir.

Preparations For A Virtual Choir Project

A virtual choir projects start by engaging and motivating the singers and by choosing the piece you are going to work with. After the song has been chosen it’s time to make choral tracks or other recording that helps singers to record their parts. It can also be done as a video in which the choral director’s gestures join to the sound.

Making The Recordings

Depending on the goal and the way to carry out the project, the singers record their parts as audio tracks or as videos. Videos can be converted into audio tracks and audio recordings can be turned into a video later for example by using Zoom.

Here are two examples of virtual choir videos. Eric Whitacre has published several of them with singers all around the world. The other one was made by the choir of Vaskivuori High School during the first days of social distancing during the pandemic.

Gathering The Recordings

The videos and audio tracks are sent to the editor for example by using Google Drive or Dropbox. If you don’t have the editor choose an application. Here are three examples:

Acappella Application

Acappella is an application that you can use to cooperate with other singers or just by yourself. You can either import a video or make it with the app and combine with other videos. The result is a video in which all the videos are seen and heard together.

However there are some limits in Acappella: the maximum number of participants is 10 which means that this is suitable for smaller ensambles or for those singers who want to sing all the parts alone.

Soundtrap

Soundtrap is a “cloud studio” in which participants can work together in different projects. Even a larger choir can work together in the edu version of Sountrap. Each singer imports his or her part the Sountrap studio or records it there.

It needs courage and safe community so that singers feel confident enough to add their parts as all the participants can here everyone’s tracks. Therefore it is advisable to create some basic rules at the beginning of the project to make sure the singers are treated with respect and confidentially.

Soundtrap creates only audio, not video.

BandLab

BandLab works like Soundtrap. All the singers of a choir can participate to the shared project and record their parts to create a virtual choir recording or just to practice with other singers.

The Goals Of Virtual Choir Projects

As mentioned in the beginning the goal of a virtual choir project doesn’t have to (only) be a stunning video for social media but a way to practice and improve together when singing physically together is not possible. These projects are a good challenge for experienced singers but also for newer chorister if a relatively easy song is chosen for the virtual project.

The Benefits Of Virtual Choir Projects

Virtual choir projects improve skills of the singers because

  • Singers have to sing their parts alone and to trust themselves more
  • Singers have to evaluate their own singing
  • Harmonies and pitches are practiced unlike when practicing alone

Other articles of this series: