Happy Anniversary to Me!

anniversary_cheer

4 balloons… how perfect!

Well, sort of… I just realized that it was the beginning of February of last year that I decided to jump back into doing learning tracks full-time. In that time, a lot of stuff has happened: this web site was totally overhauled, bringing it into the new millennium; I travelled to Las Vegas to compete with my new quartet Supertonic and sing with Toronto Northern Lights on their swan song set; and, I jumped into giving private vocal lessons in addition to my recording business, probably something I should have been doing for a long time.

In the last year, I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of really fun tracks. I collaborated with the Barbershop Harmony Society on Sweet Caroline, the classic Neil Diamond song, along with some others that will be released in the near future. I recorded Kyrie, a classic song from the 80’s by Mr. Mister and arranged into a very cool contemporary male 7-part chart by Mark Stevens and Will Makra. Plus, I’ve had the chance to do some great songs from TNL’s repertoire; one that is particularly memorable is their song For Good, originally from the musical “Wicked”, rearranged and customized for the chorus to sing in their swan song set in Vegas. You can currently hear short clips for all of these songs in the Recent Tracks window, and full stereo tracks are available in the library.

A lot of things changed during my hiatus from the industry. One of the big game changers is Melodyne. A lot of people got into the business relying on the help of this software package. This has created a big opportunity for me and, therefore, my customers. While I am not a fan of using pitch correction as a crutch and therefore don’t use it with my men’s recordings, I am now able to do women’s tracks again, at a much better quality than I was able to do before, without the harmful effects of singing outside of my natural range. For examples, check out Why Do Fools Fall In Love or Hooked On A Feeling. Also, the increase in the number of providers means that turnaround times are much more manageable. What used to take months for custom tracks now only takes weeks.

The other game changer is automatic download systems for the internet. This has been huge! I can offer samples on all of my tracks, and they are available instantly for every song in my library. This gives me a lot more time to work on tracks instead of manually sending out samples and library tracks, which again translates to shorter turnaround times.

All of this is to say… it’s been a great year! With everything back on track, and new possibilities always on the horizon, I am looking forward to another year with Quick Start Vocal Productions. I am also very confident in saying, “If you haven’t checked us out in a while, do it; you won’t regret it!” Take advantage of our immediate downloads; take advantage of fast turnaround times; take advantage of favourable exchange rates for all of my American customers; and take advantage of the opportunity to come work with me one-on-one in our newly refurbished private studio. I look forward to working with you all in the coming year!

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Future History of Barbershop

NewOrleansLogoDr. David Wright is one of the foremost experts on the history of barbershop music. On January 8, 2015 at the Midwinter convention of the Barbershop Harmony Society, he gave a talk about the origins of the style and the future of the style as he sees it. This is a wonderful and enlightening speech; anyone with an interest in barbershop harmony should watch it. It is available on YouTube in six parts; here are the links:

Part 1 – origins
Part 2 – evolution
Part 3 – characterizing
Part 4 – the future
Part 5 – future history
Part 6 – harmony

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I’m Certified!

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Chris with The Buzz, 2004 SAI champs, at Region 2 education weekend, Sept 2014

That’s certified, not certifiable (although that may be true as well…). I just received news that I have earned the designation of Certified Director through the Sweet Adelines International organization. That’s pretty cool! I will be celebrating one year of directing the Grand Harmony Chorus in November… what a way to finish off my inaugural year.

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Tags… not what you think, but still very cool

tagcloud-text-sampleNo, this is not about the barbershop tags that we all know and love. It is about the tag cloud that you can see on the right panel of our library pages. Tags are a quick and easy way to find the kind of music that you are looking for, and this post will help you to narrow your searches even further.

When you click on one of the tags in our tag cloud (the panel at the side of our library pages that has descriptive words such as “Ballad” or “Easy Beat”, in various sizes of font), our system automatically creates a list of all the songs in our database that matches that one criterium. But what if you want to do a more specific search, such as contest ballads, or Christmas comedy numbers? As it turns out, this is very simple, with a little help from the address bar at the top of your browser.

If you click on one of the tags—Contest, for example—you can see that it sends you to a page with the URL http://qsvp.com/tag/contest/ in the address bar. To choose a more specific search, you simply need to change the part of the URL after “/tag/”. To search for contest ballads, for example, simply adjust the URL to read http://qsvp.com/tag/contest+ballad/. This will give you a more targeted search, only returning results that have both the contest and ballad tags attached to them. You can add as many search items as you like, such as http://qsvp.com/tag/contest+uptune+comedy/. However, it is very possible that if you get too specific, you will get a message stating that there were no items found matching your criteria.

You should also note that no matter where you start your search (in the men’s, women’s or mixed libraries, or as a direct search anywhere), tag search results will return all songs that match the tag, regardless of voicing, so make sure you check whether the recording is for men, women, or mixed voices.

I hope this helps you find the songs that you want to sing. Happy searching!

Posted in Admin

Christmas Time Is Here!

christmas_snowman_211224Well, not really. Christmas is still four months away, but musicians know that we have the dubious joy of diving into those holiday tunes while the final months of summer are still lingering, to have enough time to prepare music for the season.

If you haven’t yet started to look at Christmas tunes for your group, it’s not too late! With many songs available for immediate download here, you can get on top of your new holiday favourites with time to spare. And it’s simple to find your favourite tunes here; simply select “Christmas” from the Tag Cloud on any library page and all of our holiday tunes will be listed for you to browse.

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Welcome to Quick Start’s new web site!

chris-arnoldHello, and welcome to the new web site for Quick Start Vocal Productions! We are thrilled to be able to offer instant downloads for our entire library of learning tracks. We are also actively taking on new orders. Please have a look around the new site and let us know what you think.

Posted in Admin