Wednesday night choir recording

Wednesday night choir recording

Another merry evening with the choir in the church, recording masked, socially-distanced music for our Sunday and Christmas services. We’ve been doing this for weeks now, as it allows us to add relevant music, sung by our own choir, into the livestreams for those at home, and played on the screens and sound system for those in the church.

Our new AV system is pretty amazing- it allows me to record any 3 of the 9 cameras (4 remote control, 5 fixed) at once, along with a master audio mix from the rack-mounted digital mixer that is controlled by an iPad. I then upload the master angle with the audio for our choir director, Dr. Evelyn DeGraf, to review, and she will pick the takes she wants and give me the cut points. Then, once I have cut the audio together correctly I will then make some minor tweaks to it and then cut together a pleasing video from the 3 camera angles I recorded (and usually a 4th that I record separately on a camera on a tripod for close ups of things like hands playing keyboards etc.).

And this week I am trying something new… having connected the rack-mounted digital mixer to the computer that usually drives the presentation software that feeds the screens in the church and the on-screen text for the livestream, I am experimenting with multitrack recording 🙂 Using special software this allows me to record an individual feed of each microphone in the church so that they can later be used to remix the audio. Obviously the aim is to get it right “live”, and there is definitely not enough time the way we’re working to remix every piece, but this way if Evi wants a little more of the bass singers I’ll be able to take the feed of those mics and add it to the master for example.

Right now what we are doing is really “quick and dirty” recording- recording 4 complete choral pieces (some with organ or piano accompaniment) with good audio and 4 camera angles in an hour and a half (including warm up and rehearsal) is fairly unbelievable, and, not to blow my own trumpet (well, maybe just a bit), but I’m actually really impressed that it’s coming out as good as it is! Huge props to Evi and the choir as well, for the consistently great music they are producing with very little rehearsal- but down the line, when we have more time to devote to all this, we’ll be able to do some really fine recording to produce a new CD maybe 😉

But it’s a good thing I built a fast computer over the summer, and put some pretty large hard drives in it- just tonight with 4 camera angles and all the audio I’ve ended up with 18.5 GB of data to work with tomorrow!

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