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So How Did They do That International Choir Thing at the End of Conference?


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Each of the remote choirs would have to be  singing at precisely the same tempo and precisely on the same pitch so that the whole could be seamlessly edited together. 
 

Here’s my guess. Each remote choir probably was led by an off-camera director who was listening with headphones to a click track set at a uniform tempo as he led them with a standard 4/4 beat pattern. It would be a simple matter to start them all off at a uniform pitch. It looked like they were all singing the hymn in unison. That would obviate any challenge with blending vocal parts. 

Last week, as my daughter has been sheltering at home while the schools in the district have been providing online instruction, her band teacher gave them an assignment to do a virtual band. He had them each download sheet music and a click track. I helped her learn the flute music, then my wife shot a video of her playing the piece on her flute while she listened to the click track on headphones to keep in time with the music at a uniform tempo. She then submitted the video digitally to her teacher. Presumably, he will now take all the submissions from his students and blend them together into a “virtual band” that will be showcased on YouTube. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Each of the remote choirs would have to be  singing at precisely the same tempo and precisely on the same pitch so that the whole could be seamlessly edited together. 
 

Here’s my guess. Each remote choir probably was led by an off-camera director who was listening with headphones to a click track set at a uniform tempo as he led them with a standard 4/4 beat pattern. It would be a simple matter to start them all off at a uniform pitch. It looked like they were all singing the hymn in unison. That would obviate any challenge with blending vocal parts. 

Last week, as my daughter has been sheltering at home while the schools in the district have been providing online learning, her band teacher gave them an assignment to do a virtual band. He had them each download sheet music and a click track. I helped her learn the flute music, then my wife shot a video of her playing the piece on her flute while she listened to the click track on headphones to keep in time with the music at a uniform tempo. She then submitted the video digitally to her teacher. Presumably, he will now take all the submissions from his students and blend them together into a “virtual band” that will be showcased on YouTube. 

With today’s highly sophisticated recording technology it would be a snap. Today they can even make rhythmless, tone deaf, zero talent “celebrities”:sound good.

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6 hours ago, teddyaware said:

With today’s highly sophisticated recording technology it would be a snap. Today they can even make rhythmless, tone deaf, zero talent “celebrities”:sound good.

Yeah. 
 

Hopefully, a typical, good-sized ward or branch can field enough singers with decent ears that they don’t have to resort to Auto-tune. 

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7 hours ago, teddyaware said:

With today’s highly sophisticated recording technology it would be a snap. Today they can even make rhythmless, tone deaf, zero talent “celebrities”:sound good.

 

3 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Yeah. 
 

Hopefully, a typical, good-sized ward or branch can field enough singers with decent ears that they don’t have to resort to Auto-tune. 

I would never lie to you, Brother Lloyd, and I promise you, my first thought when I read teddyaware's post (but before I read yours), was, "Thank goodness for Autotune!"

:D:rofl::D

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I am hearing impaired so I was wondering as I watched if they switched sound track "feeds" suddenly or gradually.  I am assuming that they used a computer algorithm to slowly switch feeds during the long notes.  Like steadily decreasing the previous feed, at the same time steadily increasing the next feed.  The remote choirs sang accapella so it was a simple matter for the Tabernacle organ to be mixed in throughout.

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8 hours ago, Anijen said:

I thought all that was prerecorded. Was it not?

Of course it was pre-recorded. But you’re missing my point. 
 

In order for those disparate choirs at far flung locales to sing the hymn at a uniform tempo, there would have to be some technical means to make that happen so that the portions of  the several choir performances could be edited together without it seeming awkward. 
 

I’m suggesting one way that could have been accomplished: Have each choir led by an off-camera director who, as he/she leads, listens to a click track set at one uniform tempo. 
 

Apparently, some here are less amazed than I by the technical accomplishment. Maybe I’m a nerd or a wonk, but I’m fascinated by things like this. 

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6 hours ago, longview said:

I am hearing impaired so I was wondering as I watched if they switched sound track "feeds" suddenly or gradually.  I am assuming that they used a computer algorithm to slowly switch feeds during the long notes.  Like steadily decreasing the previous feed, at the same time steadily increasing the next feed.  The remote choirs sang accapella so it was a simple matter for the Tabernacle organ to be mixed in throughout.

I’d have to watch again to note how smooth or abrupt the transitions were. 
 

You might be right. But I think it would be technically simpler to take steps such as I have suggested to see that the individual choirs were pre-recorded performing at a uniform tempo. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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46 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Of course it was pre-recorded. But you’re missing my point. 
 

In order for those disparate choirs at far flung locales to sing the hymn at a uniform tempo, there would have to be some technical means to make that happen so that the portions of  the several choir performances could be edited together without it seeming awkward. 
 

I’m suggesting one way that could have been accomplished: Have each choir led by an off-camera director who, as he/she leads, listens to a click track set at one uniform tempo. 
 

Apparently, some here are less amazed than I by the technical accomplishment. Maybe I’m a nerd or a wonk, but I’m fascinated by things like this. 

 

41 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I’d have to watch again to note how smooth or abrupt the transitions were. 
 

You might be right. But I think it would be technically simpler to take steps such as I have suggested to see that the individual choirs were pre-recorded performing at a uniform tempo. 

It’s fairly simple. The background organ is still from the original track that was played in conference. All they have to do is isolate the organ track and have each of those choirs sing along with the organ for the full song. To transition, you could have a sound taper on each side where there’s brief overlap of sound that’s decreasing in volume in one while increasing on the other, thus appearing seamless. 

Edited by Judd
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10 hours ago, Judd said:

 

It’s fairly simple. The background organ is still from the original track that was played in conference. All they have to do is isolate the organ track and have each of those choirs sing along with the organ for the full song. To transition, you could have a sound taper on each side where there’s brief overlap of sound that’s decreasing in volume in one while increasing on the other, thus appearing seamless. 

But for them to sing with an organ track, it would have to be piped over one or more loudspeakers at each location for the singers to hear it. I saw no evidence of that at the remote locations. And it seems to me it would interfere with the recording at the locations 
 

I still think the cleanest, simplest solution would be for each choir to sing the entire song a cappella as directed by a conductor listening to a click track as he conducts and then edit portions of the remote performances together with the organ providing the accompaniment for the entire hymn. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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1 minute ago, Scott Lloyd said:

But for them to sing with an organ track, it would have to be piped over one of more loudspeakers at each location for the singers to hear it. I saw no evidence of that at the remote locations. And it seems to me it would interfere with the recording at the locations 
 

I still think the cleanest, simplest solution would be for each choir to sing te entire song a cappella as directed by a conductor listening to a click track as he conducts and then edit portions of the remote performances together with the organ providing the accompaniment for the entire hymn. 

Why would it interfere with the recording? It’s like listening to just a drum track to a song. Yeah, you can faintly hear everything else in the background, but it gets lost in the mix.

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Also, the click track may not perfectly line up with the timing of the original recording.

Edited by Judd
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30 minutes ago, Judd said:

Also, the click track may not perfectly line up with the timing of the original recording.

If it’s the same click track (or an identical copy) at each location, the tempo would be perfectly the same and the segments could thus be edited together. That’s the purpose of a click track. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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28 minutes ago, Judd said:

Why would it interfere with the recording? It’s like listening to just a drum track to a song. Yeah, you can faintly hear everything else in the background, but it gets lost in the mix.

It would be a cleaner  and technically simpler operation to isolate the choir on the recording without extraneous noise. They wouldn’t need an organ track to listen to, so long as they had a conductor to watch who himself was staying on tempo by means of the click track. 

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1 hour ago, Judd said:

Why would it interfere with the recording? It’s like listening to just a drum track to a song. Yeah, you can faintly hear everything else in the background, but it gets lost in the mix.

If it's loud enough for the singers to hear, it's loud enough for the microphone to pick up.  Although if they were all outside, there wouldn't be any reverberation so you might be able to play the original track over it and have it not be too noticeable.

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2 minutes ago, cinepro said:

If it's loud enough for the singers to hear, it's loud enough for the microphone to pick up.  Although if they were all outside, there wouldn't be any reverberation so you might be able to play the original track over it and have it not be too noticeable.

It’s like when you’re watching a live speaker and the mic on the audience cuts out. It sounds flat. Yes, you can still hear the audience, but not a lot. They obviously did some level of professional audio with it. You mic the choir and not the playback.

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20 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Each of the remote choirs would have to be  singing at precisely the same tempo and precisely on the same pitch so that the whole could be seamlessly edited together. 
 

Here’s my guess. Each remote choir probably was led by an off-camera director who was listening with headphones to a click track set at a uniform tempo as he led them with a standard 4/4 beat pattern. It would be a simple matter to start them all off at a uniform pitch. It looked like they were all singing the hymn in unison. That would obviate any challenge with blending vocal parts. 

Last week, as my daughter has been sheltering at home while the schools in the district have been providing online instruction, her band teacher gave them an assignment to do a virtual band. He had them each download sheet music and a click track. I helped her learn the flute music, then my wife shot a video of her playing the piece on her flute while she listened to the click track on headphones to keep in time with the music at a uniform tempo. She then submitted the video digitally to her teacher. Presumably, he will now take all the submissions from his students and blend them together into a “virtual band” that will be showcased on YouTube. 

My question is how did they practice social distancing while making it look like they weren’t?  

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1 hour ago, pogi said:

My question is how did they practice social distancing while making it look like they weren’t?  

I’m guessing this thing was put together quite a while ago, perhaps before social distancing came to be. 

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1 hour ago, Judd said:

It’s like when you’re watching a live speaker and the mic on the audience cuts out. It sounds flat. Yes, you can still hear the audience, but not a lot. They obviously did some level of professional audio with it. You mic the choir and not the playback.

But why grapple with the problem at all if there’s a way to get clean audio of the choir by doing something like I suggested? Cinepro is right. If the audio track is loud enough for the choir to hear, it’s loud enough for the microphones to pick up and be carried on the recording. 

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1 hour ago, pogi said:

My question is how did they practice social distancing while making it look like they weren’t?  

I’d imagine as soon they announced that conference would be done without an audience, they started prepping this. I believe that was over a month ago. 

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2 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

But why grapple with the problem at all if there’s a way to get clean audio of the choir by doing something like I suggested? Cinepro is right. If the audio track is loud enough for the choir to hear, it’s loud enough for the microphones to pick up and be carried on the recording. 

I don’t know. Don’t we have a member here that’s in the choir? Perhaps they could point you in the direction of who may have arranged this and you could ask the question. You still have some reporter connections, no? I’d be interested to know, now that this discussion has unfolded.

Edited by Judd
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42 minutes ago, Judd said:

I don’t know. Don’t we have a member here that’s in the choir? Perhaps they could point you in the direction of who may have arranged this and you could ask the question. You still have some reporter connections, no? I’d be interested to know, now that this discussion has unfolded.

I do have a highly placed source in the Tabernacle Choir organization whom I’ll reach out to. But I can’t guarantee I’ll get a response, as I don’t have a professional relationship with him anymore.  

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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42 minutes ago, Judd said:

I’d imagine as soon they announced that conference would be done without an audience, they started prepping this. I believe that was over a month ago. 

They could have started even earlier. President Nelson was hyping this conference clear last October. 

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With any reasonably good software, it's pretty trivial while editing video to speed up or slow down the video without affecting the pitch of the audio. The pitch can also be adjusted easily. An editor can change the tempo every frame, if necessary.


My guess is they just had the choirs sing and fixed any issues with tempo, etc. in the editing process. If you have good editors, which the church does, it's easier and probably cheaper to fix it that way than to get all the choirs to match up in the raw video.

 

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