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Recorded accompaniment??

AZKMomAZKMom Registered User Posts: 362 Junior Member
edited October 2007 in Musical Theater Major
For those auditions that require your accompaniment on a CD (Unifieds), how does one go about getting that done? I am not very technologically savvy and don't know the process for getting someone to play the accompaniment for my son's audition pieces and getting that on a CD. Is it necessary to have a digital piano that has that capability? Also, I read on here somewhere the suggestion of putting your warmups on your Ipod and warming up in the car, hotel room, remote hallway, etc. How is that accomplished?

Thanks!!
Post edited by AZKMom on

Replies to: Recorded accompaniment??

  • Georgia30720Georgia30720 Registered User Posts: 230 Junior Member
    We had to do this last year for an audition. The choral director at our school had a recording device that could be hooked up to the digital piano to make a CD, but had never been able to figure out how to use it. Luckily, my husband knows a little about electronics and was able to set it all up. We still had a background hiss on the CD, which required a bit more fixing on the computer with the aid of a recording studio program. It wasn't easy.

    Sometimes you can find piano backing tracks for your selections already available. For example, the Singer's Anthology series of books also makes CDs of all the piano arrangements for the songs. There are also businesses online that will make you an accompaniment recording. You can sometimes find vocal warm-up CDs, which you can then put in your ipod. My son's vocal teacher actually records these on CD for him.
  • gemgem Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    My son actually did this a couple of days ago. We purchased a digital voice recorder (Olympus) that has a good stereo microphone (about $100...I've seen references to ones others from CC have used for less). He recorded his audition tracks played by an accompanist (free-field). The recorder has the capability to plug into our computer and then he was able to burn a CD of the tracks recorded. My S was very happy with the quality and it didn't require having a digital piano involved. I'm a computer-challenged person myself and my S and I were able to figure it out....it was like magic! I'm sorry we hadn't purchased one of these before (he had used tape recorders before).
  • MichaelNKatMichaelNKat Registered User Posts: 4,293 Senior Member
    You can get microphone attachments for IPods that work pretty well. Look for the microphone on a mini-boom for greatest versatility. Warmups, as well as piano accompaniment can be recorded. Once recorded, the files can be imported onto a PC or Mac using ITunes. From there, a CD can be burned. Also, many electronic pianos have built in software and USB ports that can be used to copy files directly to a USB drive. Those files can then be imported onto a PC or Mac and CD's burned. Also, as suggested by the last poster, you can purchase accompaniment CD's or a volume of the Singer's Anthology (comes with CD) that has the songs you want.
  • gemgem Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    adding to above^^: My S hasn't worked through getting these tracks on his iPod yet but I think it can be handled through iTunes...(downloading the CD that he created to iTunes) and then he would have them on his iPod to practice along with anything else (recorded warm-ups) he chose to download. This has certainly forced me/S to jump into the digital age :)
  • CoachCCoachC Registered User Posts: 813 Member
    I love my Olympus digital voice recorder!!! I have a WS310 model - it's tiny and plus right into the USB port of a computer to upload files. :)

    Another way of making accompaniment tracks: my teaching partner/music director uses the MAC program Garage Band and hooks his MAC up directly to his keyboard when making our students' accompaniment recordings - no MIDI capability is necessary (although he has that, too - makes transpositions a lot easier). And because he plugs directly into the keyboard, there is no background noise.
  • MichaelNKatMichaelNKat Registered User Posts: 4,293 Senior Member
    Veering a little from the OP, you got to loves those MACS. Set up right out of the box to handle just this kind of need. At UArts (and probably other MT schools), the voice teachers use electronic pianos to upload accompaniments onto the school's electronic music library and students, anywhere on campus, can use their MAC laptops to down load the music. They then have the music to use as they desire. Download onto an IPod, plug auxiliary speakers into the MAC back at the dorm room etc.

    As to the Olympus recorders, don't they record as a DSS file? Do you have to convert the file to an mp3 or wmv file to use on anything other than the computer that has the Olympus software on it?
  • gemgem Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    Yes, the Olympus records to a dss file and then uploads to the computer using the computer's media software. I'm not sure if it was mp3 or something else (I'm not near that computer right now so I can't check to be sure)...in other words, you don't have to install additional Olympus software other than plugging in the recorder to the usb port. When we did this for the first time our computer gave us prompts on how to proceed...super easy.
  • freedom_fri911freedom_fri911 Registered User Posts: 321 Member
    I found a website where this guy puts together ochestral arrangements in the form of a MIDI file, and they were phenomenal. I would have thought they were actual karaoke CDs. He does these for a bunch of musicals, including Footloose, Jekyll and Hyde and many others. They are actually intended to be bought for use in actual performances of the shows.

    So, I inquired about the price for one song (I Can't Stand Still) and it would be $25. It's kinda expensive, but if you are positive you want the song, it is definately worth it.

    You also might try www.hamienet.com . They have tons of MIDI files. Some are good, some, not so much...

    Or Limewire

    What songs are you looking for in particular?

    I'm going to try to re-find the website of that guy. I'll post it if I do
  • tashmutashmu Registered User Posts: 281 Junior Member
    Hi AZK mom. In this world of Ipods, I too, am technically challenged, but I have a low tech suggestion. If you want to pm me, I can send the e-mail address of a former music director for a respected education dept of a local equity theater. He is very quick and responsive, unless he happens to be out of town, and his CD product and turn around time are both reliable and reasonable.
    I recommend asking your student to make the 16 and 32 bar cuts, as well as the whole song, so the CD is more useful for the audition.
  • AZKMomAZKMom Registered User Posts: 362 Junior Member
    I can't thank all of you enough for all your help and suggestions!! I can not even begin to imagine what this journey would be like had my husband not discovered this forum when we began researching BFA schools for our son.

    Thank you again!!!!
  • impalanutimpalanut Registered User Posts: 61 Junior Member
    If you have a digital video recorder you can film with that, either using the built in mic or an accesory mic. You can then use microsoft moviemaker or any other cd/dvd burning software to make the cd. There is a lot of freeware for this. I recorded a number of my sons productions, and made soundtracks from the recordings.
  • kyle stylekyle style Registered User Posts: 145 Junior Member
    Don't forget, if you really are technologically challenged, a simple cassette recorder would suffice. We used this for my NYU audition; it was easy. Of course, sound quality isn't superb, but it worked fine!

    Other suggestions include digital sound recorders and ipod microphone attachments.
    good luck!
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