Singing together on Zoom/virtually?

Has anyone experimented with singing together on Zoom or other real-time platforms/tools? I was just on a call where we tried to sing the Doxology together and it was a fun experiment (though obviously very imperfect sound-wise).

I found myself lip-reading to stay in sync rather than listening as I would do in an in-person gathering. It made me wonder if there could be a solution that provides a low-latency virtual “metronome” that would enable us to successfully sing acapella over Zoom. Or maybe a karaoke-like solution?

This would be so cool. I’ve seen layered recordings that achieve this but I’m not sure about real-time. I don’t know too much about how different video services prioritize their dataflow, but it seems likely one could be developed to prioritize that function.

My suspicion is that having a unifying track would be the easiest implementation, at least short term-- a sample acapella track of maybe 5-10 voices that everyone on the call could sing along to together. I imagine musical education software has options like this?

Hehe to overcome the synchronization problems in real time, I was thinking that you need exceptionally low latency connections (like 5G wireless) or a sophisticated AI that could predictively mimic the sound it thinks you should be hearing if you were next to each other and then mix that and send it out to all recipients…

1 Like

I agree with you Chris - until 5g is made available, syncing up seems to be an almost impossible task! During lockdown, church service worship sessions were pre-recorded from homes and individually edited to be synced up. (Now that people can meet again here, they can go back to live band sessions.)

I would attend virtual service on zoom with my friends and as you can imagine it is a bit of a mess with audio, so we went with either the options of muting ourselves and having only the service recording audible, or accepting the overlapping sounds and treating them as some sort of artistic reverb… I understand AI has helped with ‘high resolution’ videos, but has there been similar work available for sounds? :open_mouth:

I can’t really speak to the technical side of things, so I will be curious to hear what you both think :slight_smile:

However, while we are talking about digital solutions to this, I think we could also be talking about musical solutions to this. Choosing programming that was more call-and-response oriented, and/or had singing interspersed with spoken text for those who aren’t comfortable singing, might provide a more natural hybrid in the meantime.

That’s a good perspective! I think the challenging part is being able to hear others even in a call and response–if you’re by yourself in your room you lose the social presence. I suppose it’s possible to playback a background track for the “response” portions that give the sense of being in a room full of others…this would be similar to a sitcom playing a laugh track–it gives the social presence that is otherwise lacking.