Guide for Teachers
Here is some getting started information for instructors as you get started with performers on Upbeat Perform. Thank you to Jonathan Glawe for putting these together and sharing.
- If you're using backing tracks, make sure all of your backing tracks are very clearly lined up to start on the first beat after calibration. The larger the group, the more important this is.
- Conductors' downbeats must clearly line up with beat 1 of calibration, and having them make a small sound on the downbeat on their recording will help the calibration process for everyone.
- Everyone MUST be using headphones. After confirming that all performers have and are using headphones, encourage them to switch to a different metronome sound, as the default sound sometimes bleeds into the recording. We recommend drumstick, snap, or woodblock.
- Label your Upbeat Perform pieces clearly and in an orderly fashion, so that it is easy to find them later using the sorting function.
- If you have the time, mute everyone and unmute the instrument by instrument to create "sectionals". Save these previews for coaches and section leaders to guide lessons.
- Train the students to have the music and camera close to each other, so that it appears as if they are looking at the camera. This takes a lot of time to get right for some students.
- Pitch is, and always will be fluid - live setting or otherwise. Let go of your instinct to be too critical of these things in this environment. Encourage the students to tune before starting to record. Focus on alignment, musical shapes, etc.
- The temptation to edit out the 30, 40, 50, 75% of the orchestra that doesn't sound good after the first hearing is there, but remember - they don't play to be muted and for a lot of the students, it is not their fault that this is a challenge. Applaud effort when you see it. Fill out the sound with instructors, a backing track, or pros, turn the volume down a bit, but work ALWAYS toward inclusion. Embrace the chaos as much as your ears can take!
- Less is more. The beauty of the app is the simplicity of editing. Try not to spend too much time on post edits. If you do, you might as well hire a big time recording engineer. Raw sound is not all bad. It shows we are human, just like on a stage.