Virtual Choir 4 will perform Bliss, composed by Eric Whitacre from his musical Paradise Lost.
We welcome back existing Virtual Choir members and encourage singers from around the world to come and join together in this online community to create a new and exciting performance. We are especially thrilled that VC4 will feature as part of the Coronation Festival’s Gala performances in the gardens of Buckingham Palace in July this year.
This time, we are looking to push the boundaries even further. The submitted choral parts will be compiled and incorporated with solo lines for soprano and alto and in keeping with the style of Paradise Lost, mixed with an electronic soundbed to give VC4 Bliss an organic element, enabling the music to evolve across genres through remixes by DJs and producers.
We’re using some new technologies to better capture and synchronize your performances and make the whole recording process seamless, so it’s all about beautiful singing, advanced technology and building a community from all over the world.
Welcome To Virtual Choir 4: Bliss
We have developed an innovative set of tools that will help you rehearse Bliss with Eric and later, perform it with him so you can submit your part to the project. Whether you plan to use the streaming webcam video capture tool, or record a file with your camera, tablet or phone and upload it directly on our site, everything you need to prepare and submit is right here.
The deadline for submissions is 10th June, so don’t delay. Have courage and give it a go!
Follow these steps to become a part of the Community and submit your video(s). Woo hoo!
Join the Community
Signing up to the Eric Whitacre Community is required before you can take part in the Virtual Choir.
- Click on SIGN UP in the header of the Virtual Choir site
- Make sure you provide a valid email address so that you are properly authorized
- City/Town and Country details will be used to place your pin on the Map
- Read and then check the box to agree to the Terms & Conditions
- Click the SIGN UP button to submit your complete information
- Check your email to verify your account (we send from [email protected])
- Once we’ve authenticated you’re account, you can proceed to SIGN IN!
- On the Virtual Choir page, select LEARN from the icon pallet
- Print or download the music
- Review the music as the Learning Tool loads, which could take a few minutes depending on your connection
- When the video and all audio tracks are downloaded, the PLAY button will activate.
- Green lines under each audio track indicate the track has been downloaded
- Use the checkboxes on the audio tracks to turn off tracks or turn on the CLICK TRACK
- Use the gray sliders to adjust the volume of individual tracks
- The checkboxes and sliders are dynamic, so they can be adjusted while the conductor video is playing
- Click PLAY to start the conductor video and the selected audio tracks will play too. You also have buttons to STOP, MUTE the audio and REWIND to the beginning.
- The blue slider bar above the conductor video can be used to dynamically rewind and fast-forward the video and audio
- Make adjustments as needed to rehearse with Eric until you’re ready to perform
- For offline rehearsing you also can download mp3 files of the individual parts, all voices, the piano track and the click track
- Additionally, you can download the offline version of the Learning Tool for use on a Mac or PC
Record Your Part(s) Using the Streaming Video Tool
- On the Virtual Choir home page choose the RECORD A VIDEO button
- In the video recorder window the Adobe Flash Player Settings will appear, asking for permission to access your webcam and microphone. Click the ALLOW button
- From the three menus above the video window, choose your microphone under AUDIO, camera under VIDEO and select a QUALITY for your video. If you have a slower connection choose a lesser quality
- Under the CONDUCTOR VIDEO select your part and also select the PIANO and CLICK tracks if you wish to hear those tracks while recording
- BEFORE recording, check the audio level of your microphone. On a PC right-click on the video window. On a Mac use control-click. Choose Settings and the Adobe Flash Player Settings window will appear
- Click on the FOLDER ICON and move the LOCAL STORAGE slider all the way to the right, to UNLIMITED
- Click on the MICROPHONE ICON. Now sing the loudest part of BLISS and adjust the VOLUME SLIDER so the meter on the left is not showing red
- Select CLOSE to close the Settings window
- Now plug in your headphones, check your lighting and external noise levels then click START RECORDING when you’re ready to perform with Eric
- Center yourself in the record window, look into the camera and smile while waiting for the downbeat
- The part you selected will play dominantly while recording, along with the other parts playing faintly. The click track and piano track also will play if you selected them
- If you make a mistake or if the conductor track appears to be out of sync with the audio, click STOP RECORDING, then click RESTART to begin again
- If you complete the piece and want to save your recording, click STOP RECORDING, then wait for the video to buffer and play back for review. If you like your video, click the SAVE VIDEO button after review and it will be saved in your account
Upload Your Part(s) After Recording to a File
- If you use a regular video camera, smartphone, tablet or other device to record your video to a file
- on the Virtual Choir home page choose the SUBMIT A VIDEO button
- On right side of the window, use the UPLOAD A VIDEO tool to send your file(s)
- The file size of your video may not exceed 50MB, and must be in one of the following formats: MOV, WMV, AVI, MP4, M4V, DIVX, MPG and MPEG
- Before uploading, select you part from the menu then click on CHOOSE FILE to find the file for upload. Click on UPLOAD VIDEO to send. You can only send one file at a time
- A progress bar will verify the success of your upload
Submit your video(s)
- Once your video(s) are saved using either the streaming record or file upload methods, you will see them under YOUR SAVED VIDEOS on the SUBMIT PAGE. You now have one more step to submit each video for the VC4 project
- You can play and review your videos before submitting them, and you can see the record date and time on each one by hovering your cursor over each thumbnail.
- To play each saved video, simply click on it
- Now check the box under each video you want to submit, check the box to agree to the Terms & Conditions, then click SUBMIT SELECTED VIDEOS
- NOTE: Once you’ve submitted a video, you can’t go back! Make absolutely sure that you’re submitting your final recordings. You can submit a maximum of eight videos, one for each part
- When your videos appear in YOUR SUBMITTED VIDEOS, you can choose to make them public in the VIDEO GALLERY and allow COMMENTS on them. Click UPDATE VIDEOS to save your changes
- With your video(s) submitted you now can celebrate and head on over to the map page, where you will see your marker on the map indicating that you’re officially submitted for VC4.
- For those who intend to use a smartphone or tablet as their video recording device, we have provided similar tools for learning Bliss on the mobile version of the site. The Learning Tool is there and you also will find a link to a downloadable conductor file, with all voices for offline learning and rehearsing. Most mobile devices will not allow for recording with the video app while playing music or another video, so to record you will need a second device to play either the audio track with click (for pitch and tempo) or the conductor video mentioned above. Here are some simple instructions, intended as general guidelines for all mobile users.
- Follow the instructions to JOIN THE COMMUNITY above
- Follow the instructions to download the music and LEARN BLISS above
- On the LEARN page, download the mp3 file for your part(s) to rehearse in the car and on the go. MP3 files are available for individual voices, piano, click track, all voices and ALL VOICES W/ CLICK TRACK You also will find a DOWNLOADABLE CONDUCTOR TRACK VIDEO (30MB) with all voices that you can use for offline learning and recording
- To record you need to be able to hear pitch and tempo, and you must plug in headphones to prevent your microphone from recording the conductor track audio
- Set up your mobile device on a tripod or other support, and please DO NOT RECORD IN THE VERTICAL FORMAT
- Get in front of your video recorder and press record. Using your second device (another smartphone, iPod, laptop, etc.), plug in your headphones, start the audio file or the conductor video, get in front of the camera and get ready to sing with Eric
- The audio file with click track has EIGHT BARS OF SILENCE at the beginning of the track so you’ll have time to get ready in front of the camera, The conductor video has only two bars until the downbeat
- When done, save your video on your mobile device. The resulting video file will be too large to submit to us from your device, so you will need to extract the file and compress it on a PC or Mac. You should be able to extract the video using the USB cable that came with your device
- Compression instructions can be found in the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – TECHNICAL document in the VIRTUAL CHOIR COMMUNITY FORUM
- When your file is compressed and ready, you can upload it using the UPLOAD YOUR PART(S) AFTER RECORDING TO A FILE instructions above
Need some help? Got a question? Visit the Community Forum where you can get assistance from the Virtual Choir Team and Community.
These singers have selected to share their videos with the Community. Click on a thumbnail to watch their recording, add a comment, or share with your social networks.