To check your mic levels:
On a Mac:
Go to system preferences -> Sound -> Input
At the bottom of this window, there is a bar that tells you your microphone levels. Sing loudly into the mic, and adjust the level so that at your loudest, there are three spaces left on the right.
On a PC:
Open the Control Panel and choose Ease of Access.
Choose the link Set Up Microphone, found beneath the Speech Recognition heading.
The Microphone Setup Wizard materializes.
Choose the type of microphone you’re using: the headset, cheap-o desktop microphone or the they-saw-you-coming microphone that the guy at the music store sold you.
Click the Next button, and so on.
After seeing a few meaningless screens, you eventually approach the Adjust the Microphone Volume scree.
Watch that green bar go! Basically, by seeing the visual feedback, you confirm that the microphone is working.
Continue working through the wizard or just click Cancel.
Breathing: Some of the phrases in the Rachmaninov are long — for most humans, too long to sing on one breath. You’ll need to pretend that you are in a choir, with others singing around you, and practice “stealing” breath. Try not to take abrupt breaths, or to breathe just prior to arrival points. Try to sneak in and out smoothly. Don’t worry that you’re not singing for a few beats; that’s much better than interrupting the line with an inappropriate breath.
Consonants: Don’t be too zealous with the consonants. We found that if people give a lot of force to the “t’s”, for instance, it is difficult to sync up the videos.
You’re welcome to submit multiple videos, by the way, if you feel so inclined. There will just be more versions of you on the screen!