As you know, COVID has shut down many facilities to keep people safe. As such, we have had to resort to virtual choir and other ensembles. And performing together is not possible because of the high latency involved in the transmission. Fortunately, we are mixing virtual choir recordings, which seems to be a pretty good workaround for now.

But I'm wondering, whether this would work in theory or in practice, if a choir could enter a recording studio with multiple booths that are small enough for one table or desk, a chair, and one or two people (preferably from the same household, of course). The choir or other ensemble would enter one by one to minimise exposure, so there would be almost no contact with anyone.

Once everyone is inside, they would put on a headset connected to a wall box, so that the soundboard is controlled in the main booth. The artistic director would then lead rehearsals like usual, and the soundboard operator would mute and unmute people as desired, balancing out their voices.

Since everything would be done in the same place, there should be almost no latency, and people should be able to perform together.

Could something like that be done if we somehow overcame the logistics of setting up the facility?


1 Answer 1


Turning my rambling comments into an actual answer…

It would probably be simpler & safer to run fast covid testing on-site. Keep everybody outside & separated until they get the all-clear. Extra-safe, make everybody take tests 2 & 4 days before production, then again on the day. Self-isolate in between. That's how the movie industry is staying open… I'm off for my next covid test in 10 minutes ;) Late edit Still clean ;)

Additional logistics (based on what the film industry is doing) would be that each booth would have to be about 3m square & almost that high. Booths, of course, then need a one-way corridor structure to access - in one way, out the other, also with 3m between booth rows. You will end up with a space originally supporting 60 singers now only with room for 12. The spaces we are using in the film industry are huge - & are not acoustic spaces, merely holding areas, including costume, makeup etc. The studios themselves have different rules… but everyone has had a clean covid test in the past 2 days. The booth setup is in addition to covid testing of all personnel on site 3 times a week.

Every piece of equipment, as well as each booth, must be sanitised before & after each session. No-one else is permitted to enter another's booth for any reason whilst it is occupied by the talent. Exceptions are made for some technicians, who are fully PPE-equipped including visors/gloves. All talent & crew wear PPE masks at all times except for the take & must replace immediately afterwards. Foot- or electronically-operated (no touch) hand sanitisers are in every doorway & booth & must be used whenever moving from any space to another.

The booths would also need some kind of acoustic facing or they'd sound like what they are - cupboards;) That would probably preclude using any type of (plexi)glass so you'd have to install TV monitors in each booth, as well as mics & cans.

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