Have you ever wondered how the online services produced by the King’s Cliffe Benefice are put together?
Revd Canon Philip Davies, who leads the services, records his pieces either inside his study at the Rectory in King’s Cliffe or in his back garden over-looking the millstream on Willow Brook or in one of the Benefice churches. His recordings (mp4 video files) are uploaded to the Cloud from where they are later downloaded by Benefice Reader David Teall who adds them to the final ‘broadcast’ service (see below).
Choirmaster Stephen Barber produces all the music at his home in King’s Cliffe and sends his recordings (mp3 audio files) to David. Stephen takes up the story:
“Initially I send out a recording of the organ accompaniment with just Mandy and me singing. The other choir members listen to this on headphones while recording their own singing on their mobile phones. This is not as easy as it seems: because there is no conductor to watch and the singers can’t see each other or hear each other breathe, it’s very difficult to sing together. However, when edited together, the results are pretty good. I add a bit of artificial reverberation so that it doesn’t sound as if the organ and singers are in their sitting rooms – though they are! When I’ve completed the editing I send the recording to David.”
For some services, there have been up to six different voices for the readings, all experienced readers but all needing to learn the skills of recording a video and transferring it through the Cloud. A variety of technical problems have been encountered but they have all been overcome enabling viewers to enjoy a rich variety of talent from across the Benefice.
Once all the individual recordings have been received, David pieces them together using open-source software designed for the purpose – Shotcut. In the process, he adds titles and words for the hymns and anthems and finally uploads the completed video to the Benefice’s YouTube Channel, embeds it on this website and issues invitations to view via email and Facebook.
The process has been a steep learning curve for all those involved but the number of ‘views’ has made it very worthwhile.