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Junior Quartet Challenge: how to make a quartet video in 5 easy steps

How to make a quartet video in 5 easy steps

Music has been selected. Parts have been rehearsed. Now it is time to make a video to submit to the 2021 Virtual Junior Quartet Challenge!

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There are loads of videos, blogs, and guides out there and it can be daunting to know where to start. Especially on a time and money budget. Below are a few options from simple apps to more complex software to open the creative landscape to make an awesome virtual quartet video.

1. Visualize and Note your Final Product

This is the foundation to the success of your video. Knowing the who, what, when, where, and how each quartet member will act and sing in the video will make the rest of the process much easier to accomplish. Maybe you want to begin with each person entering into the video from the left, start with a soloist, or have the baritone add a 10 gallon hat in the second verse.

Whatever your quartet chooses to do, make sure you document it so no one forgets those moments of pure genius.

2. Create a guide track

A metronome, ‘click track’, or guide track is going to be needed to ensure the singers stay in time with one another. Choosing a song that does not include much tempo fluctuation can help minimize the guesswork and a metronome or ‘click track’ may be most beneficial and easiest to use to get a video together quickly.

For singing barbershop, a guide track is likely a better choice and can be done a couple of ways:

  • One of the quartet members, coach, or music educator creates a video which begins with a clap count off that everyone will match on both the video and audio recording. This reference point helps align and match up all the individual tracks when merging them together. For quality results, there needs to be a clear direction about each syllable, note move, hard consonant start or end, and tempo change in this guide track to anticipate where singers will need direction. Pending equipment availability, you can dub over the guide to create a lead pitch and individual part audio recordings using keyboard and/or voice. This gives singers something to match timing and pitch as they listen while recording.
  • OR keep it simple. Another option for a guide track is to have the lead play the lead pitch, clap the count off, and sing their part for the other three quartet members to use as a guide track.
  • You can edit out the pitch and countoff at the end of your compiled videos if needed.

3. Create the video

Pending the level of complexity on how outlandish the desire is to create an entertaining quartet video, selecting the right app or software is key to your success. The simplest way to set up a quad-screen video is through an app on a phone. Acapella Maker - Video Collage for Android and Acapella for iPhone and iPad are both excellent phone apps for putting together a video collage.

If you want to do more than a four-frame screen, using iMovie or OpenShot are great free video editing tools. Take a look at this guide on Selecting an App for more information.

4. Render and Upload to YouTube

Your video is finished and all your quartet mates are overwhelmed with excitement to share with the world. Now it’s time to upload your work to YouTube. Depending on what software you used, will depend on this process. Make sure the video is available to the public. Take a look at this guide on Selecting an App for more information.

5. Register your Video

The most important part to participate in the 2021 Virtual Junior Quartet Challenge is to register your video with your public YouTube link. Voting will be available January 1 - 15, 2021 and your quartet will have an opportunity to share with your friends and family to get votes!

There are a variety of ways to create a virtual quartet video from a basic app on your phone to video studio tools on your desktop. Choose the one that best suits what your quartet desires!

Questions? Contact outreach@barbershop.org.