Is this service / code free?
Yes. The code is open-source, available on github. The automatic service is also free as long as I can support the costs and workload here reasonably well. If the system becomes too popular and requires too much bandwidth and computing, I may need to rethink this. But I truly hope to be able to make some version of this available for free to everyone in every country.
How many voices/videos can the system handle?
The biggest choir video I have made at this time is 75 voices/videos. The 90 second piece took about an hour to sync, mix, and render.
The longest song I have made is about 4:30. With 42 voices that took about two hours to sync, mix, and render.
I want to keep this system free and available to anyone, so please don’t crush me with a 1,000 voice choir! If you are interested in something big and complicated, please contact me and let’s talk it through.
How long will it take to create my video?
A 45 second piece with 4 voices can be finished in less than 10 minutes. But the answer is highly dependent on the number of voices and the length of your song. And don’t forget this is a shared resource so their may be other songs in the queue ahead of yours still processing. All your tracks must be synced to the server and the final result needs to be uploaded to the file sharing service. So please be patient!
(Note to self: I hope to create a status page here so you can check that your job was received, see how many jobs are ahead of yours in the queue, and generally check on the progress of your request.)
What if something doesn’t work or the result is just a big mess!
First, we can fix it!
Second, visit the “Next Steps” page. No fully automatic system will be perfect. You can fix some common sync issues, fix rotated videos, and adjust gains for individual tracks yourself.
Third, let me know. If something has really broke, I need to know about it before I can look into it. Consider part of the price of using the service to be helping me fix issues and make the service better for everyone else.
Sounds great, how do I install the software? What platforms are supported?
This is the beauty of the automated cloud-based system. You can use any device, any operating system, phones, tablets, chromebooks, pc’s, macs. You don’t install any software at all. You create a shared folder on your google drive (you do need a google account for that.) You upload all your videos to the shared folder. Then fill out the online form. That’s it, just watch your email for a notice on how to download your video as soon as it is ready.
Can I use this system for choir practice?
Yes. If you have your performers check in and send their current best performance, you can put those in a shared folder and submit them. It’s not your final piece but you can hear how the voices are coming together and give feedback to your performers. This can be a way to keep your group interested and engaged.
What about bands, symphonies, instrumental pieces.
Yes. However, the automated sync strategy does really struggle with instrumental music. You will very likely need to visit the page that explains how to fix sync issues manually. It’s not hard, just an extra step. Band directors can use this same system to produce virtual band videos without needing video/audio editing experience, expensive software, lots of spare hours, etc.
Can anyone make virtual synced videos using this system?
Yes! At least for now. As long as the system isn’t abused or overwhelmed by popularity. Small groups, fun groups, church choirs, school choirs, international collaborations, professionals, home hobbyists, music schools, maybe you wish to record all your tracks yourself, it’s all good. Please be creative! Please use this a tool to connect with others! Please share your results!
What about privacy and copyrights?
When you create a google drive folder, you own the contents and are the only one who can view your tracks.
You do need to allow access to your folder by creating a view only shared link. The virtual choir software will read your tracks from your google folder. You can decide who you share that folder link with (it acts like a password.) You will need to include this link on the submission form when you place your request, but only the automated system sees your shared link and the contents of your folder. Your original content is never copied anywhere else or reshared.
When your video is finished, a download link is sent to your email address. This link acts like a password to access your finished result. You can choose if you want to share your work with others, and hopefully you do!
Your creative work remains yours throughout. You own any rights to your content. Processing your work through these tools does not change or affect your ownership.
The system worked and the video made me smile. Can I donate something to help support your site?
Stay tuned. I want to keep the system as free as possible. If popularity grows I may need to ask for support to purchase more resources.