We want to create a virtual choir and allow as many people as possible to get involved. Bob Shatwell explains what to do:
The parish musicians have been collaborating over the past few weeks by playing together remotely, using an app designed for iPhones and iPads called Acapella. As far as I’m aware, at the present time only Margaret and I have the app, which limits participation somewhat. The following are basic instructions on what to do if you would like to record a video of yourself singing or playing an instrument along with one or both of us. It should also be possible to play along with someone who doesn’t have the app (Frances, for example).
These instructions are tentative and untried at the moment. There are likely to be glitches! For this reason, I’ve given them a version number and date. I suspect we’ll modify them after we gain experience.
If you are singing along with someone, it’s essential that you can hear them, so you can sing in time and in tune. Basically you need an audio track playing to you through earphones whilst you record a video of yourself using your device’s microphone and camera. It is also important that the track you are singing along to is not picked up by the microphone. This will lead to funny audio effects, typically an echo or positive feedback (whistling).
If you have the Acapella app on an iPhone or iPad
There will be a link on this website that you can click on. This will open up in the Acapella app and you should see a composite image with a few blank partitions. Ask to edit and click on one of these partitions. Record yourself, if necessary several times until you are happy with it, and then click “Save and Share”. Use the collaboration option that comes up to email a link to Margaret and me. I can download the video as a file and send it to Alan for incorporation in the service.
If you have this app and are intending to use it, we need to know early in the week. When we start a collaboration project (i.e. record a hymn) using Acapella, we have to make a choice about how many boxes to display, corresponding to how many different tracks there will be. We can’t change this retrospectively, although we can always leave some spaces unused. It might look a bit odd in the finished product, though.
If you have a PC
To use it on a PC you have to install an Android simulator. If you do not know what I am talking about then it is probably beyond you! If you search for “Acapella PC download” you will get the following option (if you search on Google it will probably be the top one):
This will tell you what to do.
The easiest approach is to select one of the Acapella hymns linked to above and click on the Get App button. You will need quite a recent version of Android, as when Alan tried he was told his hardware wasn’t compatible with the version of the App that was attempting to load.