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Tech recommendations

Updated Sep 26, 2020

We’re excited for our 2020–2021 season, which will begin with remote instruction. Here are our recommendations regarding technology, devices, and home rehearsal setup in order for your boy to get the most out of this season.

Main device for rehearsals:
For our Zoom rehearsals, we recommend a laptop or desktop computer (Mac or Windows). Choristers have reported challenges and inconsistencies when using Zoom on phones, tablets, and Chromebooks, so we do not recommend them as a main device.

Internet connection:
We recommend a high-speed internet connection (at least 5 Mbps), preferably fiber. Now is a great time to check your internet speed, especially if there are multiple family using your connection during evening rehearsal time.

Rehearsal space:
We recommend a quiet room free from distractions where your child can sing loudly without disrupting your family. This will be especially important for any boys using our Virtual Studio consoles. During rehearsal, your chorister should either stand, or sit at a table. He should consider the area visible behind him; a simple background or virtual background works best.

Tablet (not required):
An iPad/tablet is not necessary for our rehearsals. Paper copies of your chorister’s sheet music and theory homework will be available at our office in early September. However, if your boy chooses to view PDFs of his sheet music on a tablet, we recommend the ForScore app (for iPad) or the MobileSheets Pro app (for Android).

Printer (not required):
A printer is not necessary, for the reasons listed above. However, we will provide PDFs of music and theory materials for you to print if you wish.

Ragazzi Virtual Studio requirements

We’re working with tech leaders to test Ragazzi Virtual Studio, an experimental remote rehearsal technology that improves audio quality and reduces latency. Some members of YME and Concert Group are currently testing this cutting-edge technology. We hope to make the experience available to younger boys later in the year.

We will notify you when your boy’s group becomes eligible for the Ragazzi Virtual Studio device. At that point, a rental fee of $75 will be due. (Families who qualify for financial assistance will receive a discount.)

When your boy begins to use the Virtual Studio device, we will recommend the following:

Wired internet connection: The console does not have WiFi, so you will need to connect it directly to your modem with an ethernet cable (which we will provide).

Headphones: The console requires wired (not Bluetooth) headphones. We recommend headphones without a built-in microphone. For best results, consider on-ear, open-back headphones, which allow in sound from the room (including your chorister’s voice). Grado SR60e headphones are a relatively high-end example of open-back headphones, but you can find lower-priced ones like the Philips SHP2000 or the Koss Porta Pro. It’s also fine to try less expensive headphones (though we generally recommend on-ear headphones rather than earbuds).

Microphone stand: We will provide a mic, but we ask you to get a tripod mic stand with a boom arm. (This will allow your boy to sing directly into the mic while sitting or standing.)

Headphone extension cord (optional): So your boy can stand and move freely during rehearsal, we recommend a 6-foot (or longer) extension chord for his headphones. 

Long ethernet cable (optional): We will provide a 5-foot ethernet cable to attach the device to your modem. You may want to purchase a longer ethernet cable if necessary for your home setup.

Questions? Please email us.