NOTE! Admissions guides for each main subject and instrument may provide more specific, overriding instructions. If the instructions given in the admissions guides contradict the instructions given here, you are to follow the instructions given in the admissions guides for each main subject and instrument.
It is important that your electronic entrance examination assignments meet the requirements outlined for submission. If you submit assignments that do not conform to the given instructions, your assignments will unfortunately be disqualified.
Electronic entrance examination assignments must be submitted online through the OneDrive system. Physical copies or files submitted via e-mail will not be accepted. Submit your entrance examination assignments by the given deadline.
NOTE! Applications with incomplete electronic entrance examination assignments will be automatically rejected. Please check the functionality of all your files before uploading them.
Name all your attachments in accordance with the following instructions before submission: degreeprogramme-lastname-firstname-attachmenttitle (e.g. composition-applicant-ally-videorecording.mp4). You can only use letters a-z, numbers 0-9 and the hyphen -.
NOTE! Please submit your materials via the OneDrive system as early as possible! All applicants should begin uploading their material to the system no later than 24 hours before the given deadline. If you encounter any problems while uploading your files, you must contact the Sibelius Academy Admissions Office no later than two hours before the given deadline for submitting your assignments, so that we can begin to solve the problem at hand in time. In principle, all material submitted after the deadline will be rejected.
The system accepts the following audio / video / document / image formats:
- Audio – the recommended format is mp3 (also the following formats are accepted: m4a, aiff, wma, wav, aac)
- Video – the recommended format is mp4 (also the following formats are accepted: mpeg, mpg, mov, avi, wmv, m4v, qt)
- Documents – the format for all text documents is pdf
- Images – jpeg, png, gif, jpg
Instructions on making a video recording
Recording the video
The video can be recorded on a smartphone, tablet, video recorder or a computer.
The technical recommendations are stated below. More information is available in the sections Storage space and Recording settings.
- Format: MP4
- Resolution: 720p
- Frame rate: 25-30 fps
Your video recording will be evaluated only if the Entrance Examination Board has no doubts about the authenticity of your recording and the technical quality of your recording is sufficient for evaluation. The technical quality of the recording does not define applicant’s success in the entrance examinations if it is sufficient for the grading of the assignment.
You are not allowed to edit or process the audio or the video of the recording. Exceptions:
- If there is some unnecessary content in the beginning or end of the video recording, you can edit it out.
- If your recording device splits up the recording into separate files, you can edit them together and make one consistent file without changing the content.
- You may change the format of the video file in order to adhere to the accepted file formats
- Please note that the programme-specific admissions guides may provide instructions on recording separate pieces and possibly merging them
How can I maximise video quality?
Before starting the recording, make sure that the settings of the camera are correct. More information is available in the sections Storage space and Recording settings.
- When using a smartphone or a tablet, place the device horizontally.
- Support the camera well. The best result is achieved by using a tripod.
- Aim enough light towards the subject of the video.
- Avoid recording with a bright window or a lamp behind the person.
- Make sure that there is no distracting movement in the background.
- Do a screen test. Assess the image quality by watching the recording a few times.
Recording a presentation/speech etc.: Place the camera at eye level 0.5-1 metres away from the speaker so that the person’s face and upper body can be seen on camera.
How can I maximise audio quality?
The microphone sound quality in smartphones, tablets and laptops is sufficient, but when recording a person playing an instrument or singing, it is recommended to use an external microphone suitable for the instrument in question or a video recorder with a suitable built-in microphone.
Before recording the assignments, find the optimal placement for the microphone by testing different distances from the instrument or speaker. Start at 0.5-1 metres. Do not place the microphone too close to the sound source.
The room you use will influence the audio quality. A room that echoes may improve the sound of instruments but make it harder to understand speech. Make sure that there is no background noise.
Do a screen test. Assess the audio quality of the recording using as high-quality headphones or speakers as possible.
Before uploading a video, check that the audio and video are synchronised. If you use QuickTime, the video must be saved via the “export as” command, so that the video and audio run simultaneously.
Which application can I use for recording videos?
When it comes to smartphones and tablets, videos are recorded using the device’s camera application.
As for computers, videos can be recorded using the computer’s pre-installed video application or a video application downloaded for free or for a fee. Instructions on how to use these applications can be found in the application’s manual. Pre-installed video applications include for example Windows Camera and Apple QuickTime Player.
Sending the video
The video is submitted via the OneDrive system as a video file or alternatively as a PDF document that contains a YouTube or Vimeo link to a private or public video. It is the applicant’s responsibility to make sure that the link works. The applicants are asked to keep the material available online at least until 31.12.2021.
Reserve enough time for sending the video so that it is delivered on time. It may take a long time to send the file if the video is long, there are multiple files to send or if the Internet connection is slow. You can speed up the delivery by zipping the file. If you decide to do so, make sure that the video and audio quality is sufficient even after the zipping. Read more in the sections Storage space, Recording settings and Connection speed.
Make sure that you have enough storage space in your device, especially if you are using a smartphone or a tablet. You may have to delete some unnecessary files. Read the manufacturer’s instructions to do so.
If the size of the video file is as small as possible, it can be sent faster and it will take up less storage space. The size of the file is determined by the recording settings and the length of the video. The storage space that videos take up typically varies from hundreds of megabytes (MB) to several gigabytes (GB); 1 GB = around 1000 MB. For example, when you record a 10-minute video using the default settings on a smartphone, the video file will typically take up 600-900 MB of space.
After recording the video, you can convert the file to MP4 to make it smaller so that it takes up less space. This can be done by using e.g. HandBrake, which is available for computers for free online.
Adjust the recording settings before you start recording.
The recommended image resolution for a video is 720p, but 1080p is also possible. Do not use 4K resolution.
If you can change the frame rate, the recommendation is 25-30 fps. If there is a lot of rapid movement going on in the video and it is essential to see it clearly, select 50-60 fps.
The recommended format for video files is MP4 (H.264). In principle, any of the video file formats used in smartphones and tablets are acceptable. If necessary, you can convert the file to MP4 using the HandBrake application, for example.
Adjusting audio level
Find out what the audio level settings are before you start recording.
Smartphones and tablets have an automatic audio level control (Automatic Gain Control / AGC or Auto Level Adjust). It reduces the dynamic range, meaning the differences between loud and quiet sounds, making sudden hits and the strong increase in volume seem more quiet than they actually were.
It may be possible to bypass the automatic audio level control for example by using an external microphone, in which case you can manually adjust the microphone settings for example using the physical controller or by an application installed on the device. Read the manufacturer’s or the application’s instructions to do so. When recording a person playing an instrument or singing, it is recommended that you adjust the settings manually.
Tips for recording on a mobile device
Turn off the device and then turn it on again before starting your recording session. This way, the device will work more reliably.
Put your smartphone on flight mode if you use it for recording the video.
Close all applications that are not necessary for the recording.
In households using broadband Internet, the upload speed is usually much slower than the download speed. The theoretical maximum speeds of a broadband Internet connection depend on your Internet service provider.
Connecting the computer or a mobile device to the Internet with an Ethernet cable will usually speed up the connection compared to a WiFi network. The connection is usually also more reliable. If your device does not have an Ethernet port, you can use an adapter that is compatible with a USB or a Thunderbolt port.
Avoid unnecessary load on the broadband connection by closing all video streaming services etc. for the duration of the delivery.
The Wifi network you use may slow down the delivery if the modem or base station is far away. Make sure that you can see the modem or base station during the delivery.
When using a mobile network (e.g. 4G network), temporary heavy traffic in your neighbourhood’s network may slow down your connection. It may be smart to deliver the file outside of peak hours when there are probably fewer users online and less network congestion.
If you encounter problems, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.