Mamma Mia

A socially distanced audio recording August - September 2020

Recording submission deadline: 6th September 2020

For our next social distancing recording project the NVB committee decided that Mamma Mia would be a good choice, partly to encourage practice of this newer piece. To save the difficulty of video editing we thought we should do this project as audio only. The intention will be to still upload a video to YouTube, with links in our Facebook page but perhaps only with a photo montage.

I hope you can all join in. As everyone almost universally did on the previous recording projects, this time can I ask that you contact me if you do not intend to submit a recording.

I've re-recorded the audio for Mamma Mia, with slightly better audio quality. You can listen to the full band recording on YouTube:

Instructions

Each person will make a recording of themselves playing. Each recording needs to be at the same tempo, and so you will use the audio of the song we have created to play along with. It is important that this backing track cannot be heard in your final recording, so you will need to wear headphones and have a different device to playback the recording. For instance a laptop or a tablet to listen back, and a mobile phone to record either a video or audio.

For instruments with more than one part (clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet) please discuss in your sections which part you would like to record or for added fun play them all!

You may want to experiment with the recording. Smaller rooms normally result in a shorter room reverberance, and carpets and curtains can help to absorb and dampen some of the sound which may help with overall audio quality. Do not worry too much, the important thing is to join in and have fun!

Most phones and tablets will have an app to record audio, on the iPhone there is the Voice Memos app and presumably an equivalent on Android phones. If you find it easier to record a video as before then please do, I can extract the audio track from the video.

It is not necessary to crop the audio or video, if there is a gap at the beginning or the end I can crop it out at the editing stage.

If you have any questions then of course let me know.

Tuning

Please tune!

I've put a tuning video on YouTube. This is a B♭ note in concert pitch, G for Altos, and C for everyone else. I’ve also included this as a major scale, which is our normal scale when tuning at band practice. A tuner is good choice!

Please make sure you tune, warm up your instrument a bit, and then re-tune before recording. If you are anything like me and took over three hundred takes of the previous videos, then re-check your tuning again periodically.

Whilst I can correct tuning mistakes when editing the audio, the further out the note the more unnatural the correction.

Uploading

If you are recording audio, the file sizes are much smaller and you will likely be able to message me in WhatsApp or email me (richard@sunsetandlabrea.com) directly.

As before I think we found that the easiest option for transferring video is www.wetransfer.com, you don't need an account just my email address. If you do this on your phone or tablet it allows you to select the video directly from your library.

Transferring video via WhatsApp is not the best option as it downgrades the quality of both video and audio significantly, for example in We'll Meet Again a typical video size was around 150MB, vs 35MB once transferred in WhatsApp.

Video and Audio

I have created a YouTube playlist of the full band, along with a version with a metronome (2 bar count in), and each individual instrument for you to listen and / or practice with.

You can use the YouTube videos to play along with for your final recording, or there are links to audio files below if you find that easier. For the final recording I suggest you use the Full Band with Metronome, as playing along with the full band helps with relative tuning.

Note that this piece has several tempo changes, you will need to practice these a few times to get the hang of them.

Audio Files

Score

Below is the score for each instrument. You should already have the original version of this, it is possible there are typos in the version below which can be avoided by using the original. However if you've lost it, burnt it, or the dog ate it you can use these.

Questions?