Technology for playing together remotely

A presentation to the Concord Band on June 15, 2020 by Bryce Denney

This covers ways for instrumental musicians to play together safely, in person and remotely. We talked about Zoom and what DOES work, applications such as JamKazam and Soundtrap that are designed for musicians, then went deep into how to organize and produce a virtual choir or virtual ensemble project. I emphasized that a virtual ensemble video is a very technology-intensive project, and there are many simpler alternatives that allow you to spend more of your time actually playing music.

Download slides in PDF format

Recording of Zoom meeting

List of topics, and the time they appear in the video:

0:58 ways to play together, in person
2:04 play in person, outdoors
3:23 play in person, indoors
4:03 in different rooms, with mic & headphones
5:14 in plastic bubbles???
6:12 video conferencing apps
11:39 band could play along with recording
13:41 music collaboration apps
13:50 jamkazam and jamulus. show what an audio interface looks like
17:58 soundtrap
22:42 soundtrap questions
26:03 virtual ensembles 
27:17 virtual ensembles: players
28:45 choosing music
29:42 guide track
32:10 example of a guide track
33:45 guide track choices, simple to complex
35:43 recording yourself
38:50 video editing demo using WeVideo
41:00 lining up the tracks
44:53 fade out a player when they have rests
47:26 split tracks and change the layout
48:30 show levels and change the volume for one section
50:45 how do you get files from my computer into wevideo
51:20 import something from google drive into wevideo
53:44 I use Cyberlink PowerDirector for some more advanced things, like masking out part of a video
55:15 can you make a video slide across the screen? not in wevideo. in more advanced video editors, you can do that
56:40 audio editing
57:28 audacity example. lining up 3 tracks
59:55 how did you extract the audio from the video? audacity can just read the video file
1:01:05 does everyone's cell phone output the same format? no.
1:02:40 cubase: tour of a 36-voice virtual choir project
1:03:30 automation track can adjust the volume
1:05:39 go edit the waveforms, to fix a final consonant
1:07:16 conclusion
1:09:25 Q&A
1:11:45 wonder how to get better quality audio
1:13:00 iRig lets you connect better microphones to a phone
1:15:13 is soundtrap free? I know it's possible to use it free
1:16:35 virtual choir recording instructions, details

During the presentation I mentioned many online resources:


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