We each have a different level of technical proficiency with recording equipment. For some of us, the myriad of options is intimidating, and we’re more comfortable with something straightforward. For others, we’ve become accustomed to our fancy recording rigs, and we’re uncomfortable exposing ourselves without that security blanket! But music is about music, not recording, so let’s take tech out of the way and get gritty.
Your Prompt: Get your hands on the worst equipment that you can easily get your hands on (that’s still sufficiently connected that you’ll be able to upload your work). Tinny microphones, low bit-rates, and (optionally) noisy environments. Got a dictation recorder? Perfect! Or maybe your smart-phone in a windy field. Sing with the intention that the true heart of your song will somehow transcend (or cut through) the technical limitations of the equipment, and reach an appropriate and receptive audience.
Solo vocal (non-looped, non-layered) encouraged (but not required).
It’s good to have options. Here are ways to perhaps make the prompt a bit easier, or ways to go a bit further with it.
Option A: Okay, Use What You Know – for an easier stretch, exercise this option to use recording equipment that you’re familiar with… but use it in different ways than you usually do. If you just can’t part with your trusty condenser mic and GarageBand (besides, the studio is already set up!), let that be allowed—BUT! Do challenge yourself to limit yourself to the solo-vocal, non-looped, non-layered encouragement above, and resist the temptation to apply processing to sweeten or alter the sound.
Option B: Found Sound – for a deeper stretch, perhaps use your presumably-portable lo-fi recording device to sing with the noises you find in the sonic area where you find yourself singing. Out in the natural world? Duet with the birds and the breeze. Live in a city-scape? Sing accompanied by traffic and jackhammers, murmurate with the maddening crowd. Let the lo-fi noise be part of your performance and your artistry.
The steps are as follows:
- Step 0: Sign up for a free SoundCloud account here. Join the SSS group.
- Step 1: Record yourself singing your song, in lo-fi.
- Step 2: Upload to SoundCloud and post the track to the SSS group.
- Step 3: Listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow singers. (Play nice!)
Deadline: Your tracks should be uploaded by midnight wherever you are on Monday, July 27, 2015.
Length: The length of your finished work should be about 2 to 5 minutes, or however long you need to sing your song in lo-fi.
Description: It would be awesome to include a short description of where and when you sang your piece—and how it felt.
Title/Tag: When uploading to SoundCloud, put “[sss-lofi]” in the title of your track. Also include the term “sss-lofi” as a tag. This will help us find it.
Group: Once the track is uploaded, click on the “Add to group” button below the waveform and make sure to select the Society for Spontaneous Singing group. (This option will only appear if you have already joined the group! So do that now.)
Linking: You are welcome to include this info in your description:
This track is a reply to “Prompt 26: Lo-Fidelity!” More on the Society for Spontaneous Singing at http://singthis.org. You can join the SSS at https://soundcloud.com/groups/society-for-spontaneous-singing
Thank you, sweet singers!