Virtual Band 2021

With the current lockdown situation in New Zealand, we are sure you are all itching to get back to your community bands and continue to make amazing music. Boy, do we have a solution for you! We are putting together a New Zealand Virtual Concert Band, playing the great NZ march Invercargill by Alex Lithgow.

The deadline for sharing your video with us is as long as Auckland (or some other part of New Zealand) is in Covid Alert Level 3 or 4 so make sure you get in quick to learn the music on time!

Instructions

  1. Download Your Part

PDFs are linked at the bottom of this page – keep scrolling to download your part.  We recommend printing your part, or viewing your part on an iPad or other tablet, just like you would in a regular band rehearsal.

As a member of the band, your face will be shown in the video, and your name and band will be posted on social media, so if you are under 16 please check with your parents first!

We encourage you to wear your community band uniform in your recording, however if you choose not to please ensure all clothing is non-offensive in branding or slogans.

  1. Practice Your Part

Included in the welcome email is a video which contains a click track and a reference recording.  Once you have learned your part, we recommend practicing along with the guide video to ensure you’re playing at performance tempo. The video is below – however if you can’t access it it’s linked at https://youtu.be/qZflSv1p2ss

Want to play more than one part?  Go for it!  When you send in your recordings, make sure that all videos are separate – no need to edit them together into one clip, we’ll do that in post-production.

  1. Video Yourself

When you’re ready, take a video of yourself.  This step is a little bit involved, so make sure to read these instructions carefully.

You’ll need two devices: one to watch the guide track above with (with headphones), and one to record/video yourself with. Check out this video for details.

How-to video - click here to expand

How to set up your recording space

  • If possible, please record your video in front of plain wall or other plain background.
  • Please choose clothing without patterns or logos.
  • If you can, record in a quiet room with the door closed to reduce unnecessary noise.  Turn off fans, heaters or anything that hums or is noisy, and make sure pets are either outside or in another room.
  • Please make sure your face is brightly lit.  Use whatever lamps or natural light you have available to achieve this.
  • If you have a tripod mount for your phone/camera please use it or secure your camera in some other way to minimise movement.

How to record your video

Recording Setup

  • If you are using a smartphone, turn it to silent so your recording isn’t interrupted by a message or call.
  • If you are using a smartphone to record, we recommend using the back camera rather than the selfie camera, as the back camera is usually higher quality.
  • Please record your video horizontally, in landscape mode – so the video is wider than it is tall.
  • Make sure your face is centred in the middle of the screen.
  • If possible, please set your device to create an MP4 in 1080p or 720p.  Most smartphones create MP4s automatically and you can adjust the resolution in your settings.

Ready to Record

  • On the device you’re recording yourself with, press the record button or start recording.
  • Move into position – take your time to find a comfortable playing position with your instrument.
  • Connect your headphones to the device you’re using to watch and listen to the guide video, then press play.
  • Follow the instructions on the video:
    • Make sure you clap at exactly the same time as you hear in the audio before you start playing. This is very important as it will help us to sync your final audio and video.  Between the clap and the first beat of music there’ll be some instructions, then a two bar count-in.
    • Please wait for at least four beats (in your head!) after you finish playing before you stop recording.
  • Save your video.
  • Review your video and if you’re happy with your performance, move on to Step 4: Upload

  1. Upload

You’ve recorded your part, and are happy with how you’ve performed?  Great – it’s now time to share your part with NZCBA.  There are a couple of different options for how to do this:

Option 1 - with YouTube

  • If possible, please record your video in front of plain wall or other plain background.
  • In your Gmail account, sign in to YouTube (chances are you’ll already be signed in). 
  • To check if you’re signed in on your laptop or desktop, have a look at the top-right corner, you’ll see your  profile picture on the far right.  Check out the image to the right – in this example you can see the profile picture on the right.
  • Once you’re signed in, click on the upload button: that’s the camera icon with the plus button.
  • Then, click Upload Video.  You may receive a ‘welcome to Youtube Studio’ message – click ‘OK’ to continue.
  • Click the SELECT FILES button, and choose a file to upload.
  • In the Title field, make sure you include the hashtag #LockdownConcertBandNewZealand – this helps us to  find the video online.  Also, ensure the hashtag is spelled correctly, otherwise we might not find it!
  • In the Description field, make sure to include your name, your band, and your instrumental part. Here’s an example:
  • Title: #LockdownConcertBandNewZealand Chuck Norris
  • Description: Here’s my video for the #LockdownConcertBandNewZealand virtual band!
  • Name: Chuck Norris
  • Band: I play with the New Zealand Youth Symphonic Winds
  • Instrument: Trumpet 2
  • In the Audience field further down the page, click the button that says No, it’s not made for kids.
  • Click Next button.  The Video Elements, and Checks are optional – no need to go through those.
  • Keep pressing the Next button until you see the Visibility section.
  • In the Visibility section, where you see the Save or Publish heading, click the Public option – that will allow us to see your video and use it in the final video.
  • Once the video has finished uploading, feel free to share the URL with us directly at virtualband@nzcba.org – the URL will look something like either:
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxxxxxxxxx
  • or https://youtu.be/xxxxxxxxxx

Option 2 - with Google Drive, iCloud, or Dropbox

If you aren’t so comfortable publishing a video of yourself on YouTube, simply copy/paste your video into a Dropbox, iCloud, or Google Drive folder, and share with us at virtualband@nzcba.org.

FAQ’s

Why should we practice along with the reference recording?

The short answer is so that everybody plays in time with each other.  As we’re playing individually, everybody has slightly different speeds that they like to play at – the reference recording and click track help to ensure everybody plays on time.

What's with the #hashtag?

On YouTube there are millions upon millions of videos.  In order for us to find yours, we’ll need to be able to search for some text that nobody else in the world has used.  The #LockdownConcertBandNewZealand hashtag is unique to this project, and allows us to search and find your videos quickly and easily.

I want to play more than one part - is that ok?

Absolutely!  If you want to play more than one part, let us know when you sign up, or send us an email at virtualband@nzcba.org – that way we’ll be able to share the right music with you.

When you video yourself, make sure you take separate videos for each part, and upload them separately.

Why do you need to know which band I play with?

At NZCBA we’re keen to hear from each and every one of our bands and our wonderful players in the bands around NZ. By letting us know which band(s) you play with, we’ll be able to credit not just you, but also your band in the final video, and we’ll know to share the video with your band so they can see the cool virtual band community you’ve connected with!

What if I'm not part of a band?

All good! You’re totally welcome to be part of the virtual band – there’s no obligation to be part of NZCBA or a band after you share your music. Having said that we’d always encourage you to join a band if you haven’t already, but we may be ever so slightly biased…

The short version: “just do it”!

I'm under 16 and I want to be part of this - do I need written consent?

How fantastic that you’re keen! You do need parental consent – but they only need to write it when you post the video: we would suggest something like the following video description:

This is my video for the #LockdownConcertBandNewZealand – 
Name: FirstName LastName
Instrument: Instrument
I have parental permission to participate in the virtual band.

Things they and you should know: you will be posting a video of yourself playing your part, which you can choose to make publicly visible or private (do send us the link if you choose the latter). Your video will also be included in the final Virtual Band with everybody else’s videos, edited together.

If you have any concerns please contact us at virtualband@nzcba.org and we’ll be happy to directly answer your questions there.

Music