Who's doing it?
Quite a few groups have learned how to do tech-assisted rehearsals and performances. A small community has sprung up, of musical and technical people helping each other. This is not a complete list, but hopefully it will help you to find people who have similar interests or who can answer questions.
Maybe there is one in your area already, or maybe your group will be the first?
List of groups
Benjamin Bergey - Eastern Mennonite University Chamber Singers
Location: Harrisonburg, VA
Getting started: After speaking with David Newman and others in this group, I procured equipment for us to be able to sing outside on campus for rehearsals and even concerts.
Audio system: I use 4 sets of GTD Audio 4x800 wireless microphones, hooked up into a Behringer 22 channel mixer. I can then have a few wired microphones and my electric keyboard hooked up as well. I then send the audio through two 1300W loud speakers so the singers can hear themselves outside (or if there’s a small audience). I also send the audio to my laptop to record in Logic, which works out way better than I would have expected even when there’s wind.
November 2020 update: We had two outdoor concerts, and plan to continue to rehearse outside next semester as weather allows (it’s a bit more forgiving in VA).
Bryce and Kathryn Denney
Getting started: After getting tired of virtual choirs and being muted on Zoom, we explored how to use audio equipment to sing from 4 rooms in our house, then 4 cars in our driveway. It was so much fun that we learned from David how to scale up to about 30 mics and take the equipment on the road, and we wrote everything down to help other groups do it too.
November 2020 update: We've worked with choirs of around 24 each week, and sometimes organize larger events such as the Brahms Requiem sing where additional singers can join too (who aren't on mic). You can find all our videos in the Events section.
Audio system: Usually 24 wireless, LiveTrac L-12 mixer, FM transmitter. Sometimes we add 8 wired and a Behringer x2222 mixer.
Douglas Morrisson Theater Chorus
Twenty person subset of what is normally a 60 to 70 person community chorus. Normally we rehearse with our director weekly and give three auditorium performances a year. This year we're just glad to be able to sing together from our cars.
Location: Castro Valley and Hayward, California
Getting started: It was suggested by a chorus member, I researched on the web and found the Bryce Denney connection (many thanks). Another tech minded singer and I put together the system (24 wireless mics), did a few test sings with 8 people, then got our director involved.
December 2020 update: We had 20 happy singers at our last rehearsal. Perhaps a drive-in concert later in December. Biggest challenge is finding a large enough parking lot. We're paying a church now and it's barely satisfactory for 20 cars.
Audio system: 6 GTD wireless mic sets, 8 channel mixer, 1 watt transmitter, distributed (consolidated) antenna system. Ref https://www.instructables.com/Battery-Powered-Parking-Lot-Chorus/
Contact: Dave Coleman & Bill DeVore
Gold Standard Chorus
We're a mixed voice barbershop chorus that welcomes anyone who wants to sing.
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Getting started: We joined the webinars presented by BHS and got so excited. We convinced our chorus that we could sing this way, purchased equipment and got together and sang!
December 2020 update: Once the stay-at-home orders are lifted so we can get together again, we'll meet probably twice a month, still doing Zoom the other two weeks. Hoping to grow our chorus.
Audio system: Mackie DL32S mixer with an FM transmitter; wired mics for each chorus member.
Contact: Kathy Blackwood
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GSCSantaCruz
Land of the Sky Chorus
Location: Asheville, NC
Contact: Beverly Greene
Audio system: 16 GTDaudio wireless, Behringer mixer.
David was the first to use wireless microphones and an FM transmitter to enable singing from cars. He facilitated rehearsals for groups in his area starting in May 2020. He documented it all on his blog, Setting up a realtime physically distant rehearsal. Many of us learned from his experiments and successes.
Somerset Hills Harmony
Location: New Jersey
Somerset Hills Harmony is an a cappella chorus in central/northern New Jersey. As they learned how to do drive-in rehearsals, they taught the world how to do it through a series of webinars: The Drive-In Rehearsal: Singing Safely During the Pandemic. They continue to help people through the public Facebook group Hot Rods & Harmony: Drive-In Rehearsals.
Contact: Christian Hunter, Rob France
Location: New Hampshire
Bill is a member of Vox Stars and North Country Chordsmen in New Hampshire. He built an all-wireless audio system for his groups and others in the area. He has written technical documentation on this site, and has helped several groups to choose equipment and get started.
He made this presentation in 2020: Socially distanced rehearsals using audio technology