Instructions for recording recitals for the contest first stage

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Instructions for recording recitals for the contest first stage

 

  • Recording the recital should be done at the best available means, and it is up to the artist to make best use of the available resources.
  • In this text we would like to address the simplest of methods, assuming no better or more professional options are available, ensuring that your recording is good enough for the jury to be able to judge correctly and for the audience to enjoy.
  • It is not meant to limit you, if better quality recording is possible. In any case – whether you follow these recommendations or take a better, higher-quality route, you must abide by these mandatory rules:
    • No editing or post-processing of the content is allowed for the audio and/or video content.
    • Full view of the instrument and artist is required, including hands and pedals.
    • Always use landscape orientation and not portrait.

 

  • Basic recording setup recommendations:
    • Room
      • The sound of the room should be very dry – with as little reverb and reflections as possible. Rooms with tapestries and carpets, or sound-absorbing walls are good examples.
      • The room should be quiet – no wind noise or outside noise. A/C units and fans should be switched off. Windows should be closed.
      • The visual background should – as much as possible – not compete with the performance, so pleasant but simple and not too flashy, so as not to create distraction.
      • Lighting should be adequate (i.e., fairly strong) and well balanced. Usually, light reflected from surfaces is better than direct lighting. Ensure there is no light source behind the artist and towards the camera, which may lead to dark subjects – for example, do not film in front of windows.

 

  • Equipment
    • The most commonly available recording device is a smart phone; those can offer a fairly good result under proper use. If using a smartphone or tablet we recommend that you:
      • Use a high-quality unit (a good choice is top- or middle-range device from a leading brand such as Apple, Google, Samsung, LG, Huawei), even if not the latest model.
      • Set the camera to 1920*1080 resolution (also called “FULL HD” or “1080p”) and 30 frames per second (30FPS),
      • Quality setting should be “best”, or highest bitrate the phone allows.
      • If using iPhone devices, choose “Most Compatible” instead of “High Efficiency”.
      • Use the back-facing camera as these are usually higher-quality than the front-facing camera.
      • While recording switch the phone to “flight mode” to avoid interruptions to the video recording.
      • Make sure your battery is sufficiently charged.
      • If you are comfortable with using better technical solution, this is the file format we expect:
        • MPEG4 AVC
        • High Profile
        • 1920X1080 resolution
        • Progressive, 30 FPS
        • Audio: stereo AAC 320Kbps, 48Khz sample rate
      • Framing
        • The recording device should be as close as possible to the artist, while making sure the artist and the instrument are fully visible with some headroom. Specifically, the lower part of the instrument should be visible to make sure leg work can be seen, and the top part of the artist head should be far away from the top of the frame to ensure it is not outside the frame at any time.
        • Camera/phone should be position on a stable, aligned surface
        • Instrument should be at an angle to the lens – about 45° – to ensure both hands are visible.
  • Example frame:

Example frame

 

  • File transfer
    • Files should not be sent by an instant messenger such as WhatsApp as it dramatically reduces the quality; they should also not be sent via email as the file size can become an issue.
    • We recommend you use WETRANSFER (com) or PCLOUD (transfer.pcloud.com) and send the files to harps@bzdv.net. If using a mobile phone/tablet for the recording you can do that directly from the mobile device.