How to record In This Place

Thank you for taking part in our digital project In This Place, a co-production between Streetwise Opera and Shobana Jeyasingh Dance that explores how singing and movement come together on stage to create more powerful and expressive opera. You can read more about this project and catch up with past sessions here.

In this page we will explain how to record your voice part for this projectHere are  some things you need to know:

  • After following the steps below you will have recorded an audio file of yourself singing.
  • You need to listen to a backing track while you record, but it is very important that the recording you submit does not include any audio from the backing track. Make sure to wear headphones so we can only hear your voice.
  • The deadline to submit your recording is 12:00 noon on Wednesday 24 February.

Step 1 – Learn your part well

Here is the learning and backing track so you can practise the song before you record.

You can also watch this recording of the Zoom session with vocal leader Aga Serugo-Lugo on 17 February where we learnt the song. 

Step 2 – Set up your recording device

You may be able to record on your phone or tablet, or on your home computer. Please click the options below for instructions.

Step 3 – Choose the best location

Ideally you want a place that is quiet, where you will not be interrupted. We prefer you do this indoors, as doing it outside might also capture the sounds of other people, traffic, birds and other animals, and wind.

If possible, you want to choose a room that is not too echoey, ideally with furniture, clothes or soft surfaces that will absorb any echo. A good tip is to take a clothes hanger or rack, hang some towels or bed sheets from it, and place it in front of you while you record. Here are some photos of how people set up their home studios to get the cleanest audio.

We know it’s getting hot this summer, but you might want to close any windows while you are recording, to ensure the room is as quiet as possible, and open them again as soon as you are done.

Step 4 – Choose the best time for recording

Do the recording at a time when you know you won’t be interrupted and you won’t be in a hurry. Also, ideally when noise from outside will be minimal.

Before you start to record, pay attention to any noises in the room or coming from outside. Is there a loud appliance on, is there the noise of traffic or a passing train? Maybe wait a bit until the noise passes and then record.

Step 5 – Get your phone or tablet ready

Make sure your device has enough battery or it is plugged in to a power source. If you are using a phone, you might want to set it to Do Not Disturb or Turn Off Notifications, so that you are not interrupted by a phone call or a message. Remember to deactivate these options once you’ve finished your recording.

It would be best if you do not hold your device in your hand while you sing. Instead, rest it on a stable surface with the microphone pointing to your mouth.

Step 6 – Queue up the backing track

We’ve put together a video with a learning and backing track with composer Jessie Maryon Davies singing the Streetwise Opera vocal part. The video includes lyrics and other cues to help you while you are recording.

Make sure to practise at least a couple of times just singing along to the backing track so that you know what to expect once you are recording. 

Step 7 – Record your part

You are now ready to record yourself singing In This Place.

IMPORTANT TIP – At the beginning of the backing track you will hear 4 claps. Please clap along to them. This will help us sync all the recordings we will use. If you find it hard to clap on time with the claps, don’t worry. We will still find a way to include your recording.

Depending on the device/s you are using, click on the options below for further instructions.

Step 8 – Make sure you are happy with your recording

Have a listen to your recording. If you are not happy with it, you can try several times. You may submit up to two recordings of the song, and we will try to choose the best bits from each one.

Step 9 – Rename your audio file

We will be receiving lots of recordings over the next week. We’d be very grateful if you could rename your audio file with your full name. For example:

JaneSmith.MP3

If you are using the Voice Record Pro app, remember to have a look at the tutorial video to learn how to rename a recording.

Step 10 – Send your recording to Streetwise Opera

If you used Voice Record Pro, we would prefer you send your recording via email as a password protected link. We explain how to do this from 07:58 in this tutorial. However, if you do not see this option, please the file as an email attachment.

If you are using a home studio or a professional recorder, just forward your audio file to Streetwise Opera at info@streetwiseopera.org. if the file is too big to be attached, please upload it to Google Drive, iCloud, OneDrive, DropBox and send us the download link, or use a free file transfer service like WeTransfer or WeSendit.

You will not receive an automatic email notification confirming we have received your recording. But we will monitor emails regularly and write back confirming we have your recording as soon as possible.

Remember, if you have any questions or need additional help, please get in touch with Rey Trombetta at rt@streetwiseopera.org.