Congratulations on taking the first steps to audition for the Cat Scouts Choir! We will be having a workshop at the Jamboree to walk you through the steps to make your audition tape, but you can benefit greatly by being PURRpared and trying it out beforehand.

Please note, we are a little overwhelmed at CSWHQ right now, so won’t be able to purrvide individual help at this time. A group has been set up to crowdsource support. And, most of your questions will be answered in the workshop.


There are a couple of things you’ll need to make this happen:

  1. Audacity software (it’s free!). Click here to download.
  2. When you click the link, it will display the page with the music file. Click the three dots on the bar and you’ll be prompted to download.

  3. Earphones/microphone. It’s easiest if you get a headset that comes with a microphone, but you can also use a standalone mic with separate earphones. Here’s a link to the sort of rig you need.
  4. The background music track. Download it here.
  5. Optional: A voice track to sing along with. Download it here.

How to Record

(Click to biggify any of the screenshots below.)

When you first open the Audacity program, you’ll see a workspace that looks something like this:

There are two volume settings. The first (the one you see below on the left circled in red) controls the volume at which you record.  The one on the right (circled in yellow) is the playback volume. Start by setting both of them at the halfway points, then adjust as needed. Usually, you want to keep the playback volume (the one circled in yellow) at the halfway point, and adjust the recording volume.

STEP 1: IMPORT THE MUSIC TRACK

You will need to import the music track. Optionally, you can import the track that contains vocals (it helps if you hear cues on when to sing). From the File menu, select File->Import->Audio and navigate to the place where you have downloaded the music track from the links above.

You can see in the example below what the tracks will look like when imported. Each track has two parts that look identical — they are in stereo. To the right of each track you can Mute and Solo each track. Muting mutes just the selected track and greys it out. Clicking Solo automatically mutes all tracks EXCEPT the selected track.

STEP 2: Add blank track

You’ll need to add the blank track onto which you will record. From the Tracks menu, select Tracks–>Add New–>Stereo Track

STEP 3: Set up mic

When you record, you must record your voice ONLY. That’s why you need to listen to the music through the headphones. That way, the microphone will not pick up the background music. The music track will be added later when the whole choir sings together. The file you produce for your audition must be a voicetrack only.

WARNING! TRICKY PART!

This is where it’s easy to mess up. You have to make sure your are recording your voice through the microphone and not through your computer’s default speakers. Recording through your computer’s speakers results in a tinny-sounding, echo-y sound.

So, you have to make sure that Audacity recognizes the plugged in microphone. To do this, from the Transport menu select Transport–>Rescan Audio Devices.

Once you’ve rescanned, you should see your microphone listed in the microphone array. Select it. (Usually, the brand of the mic is listed in parentheses).

STEP 4: Record

Press the red circle under the Generate Menu. It will probably take eleventy tries to get it right.,.

For the audition, you’ll sing a song with which you are already familiar: The Cat Scouts Anthem. You can sing just the chorus, the chorus and a solo part, or the whole thing. Here are the lyrics:

I grew up a stray.

I lived on the streets.

I never ate Friskies

or got any treats.

But when I joined Cat Scouts

My life was transformed.

Now I fly a red helo and lead my own troop

in my scout unform!

————–

CHORUS

————–

We are the Cat Scouts, my friends,

and we’ll keep on scouting till the end.

We are the Cat Scouts.

We love the Cat Scouts!

No place for snoozers cuz we are the best cats

in the world!

————–

At school I was bullied.

I didn’t fit in.

I was beat up at recess,

‘n’ made fun of in gym.

But then I joined Cat Scouts

at CatScouts.com,

Where I learned to tie knots and go hiking and camp

Oh my life is da bomb!

————–

CHORUS

————–

We are the Cat Scouts, my friends,

and we’ll keep on scouting till the end.

We are the Cat Scouts.

We love the Cat Scouts!

Hooligans are losers cuz we are the best cats!

We are the Cat Scouts, my friends,

and we’ll keep on scouting till the end.

We are the Cat Scouts.

We love the Cat Scouts!

Hooligans are losers cuz we are the best cats!

 

STEP 5 (Optional): Delete Track

If you know the track is a klinker, you can delete it by clicking the X in the menu at the left of the track:

You can add many tracks and record them, then select the one you like the best. To listen to only a selected track, click “Solo” on the menu on the left side of the voice track.

STEP 6: Export Voice Track

When you are satisfied with your recording, you’ll need to export it as an MP3. ONLY EXPORT THE VOICE TRACK. Click the Solo button for the selected voice track, then select File–>Export–>Export as MP3 from the File menu.

 

STEP 7: Upload

Upload your audition recording AND a full face photo in a form that will be purrvided (don’t have that ready quite yet; will post in the choir group).