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JohnMoncton

What Do I Need To Know About Making Music Videos?

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I just started learning to take video of myself playing the concertina, and I was wondering if anyone has any tips?

 

Video Cameras

  • Is a webcam sufficient, or do I need something high end?

 

Microphones

  • Is my computer's built-in microphone sufficient?
  • I rock out on a baritone English concertina, and it can sound distorted when I record too close to the mic. How do I fix this?
  • Some notes come out of the right side and others from the left. How do I record both sides at the same time?

 

Special Effects

  • How much work is it to set up special effects, and is it worth it?
  • Are blue screens that expensive?

 

Trained Animals

  • I've noticed very few trained animals in Youtube concertina videos. Is there a technical reason for this, some nuance in animal behavior I'm not aware of, or did the trend of animals in music videos simply fail to coincide with the folk revival?

 

What are some things you've noticed about exceptional Youtube videos, whether awesome or awful?

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1. Webcam always worked for me. Something high-end may make the video prettier, though.

 

2. Without knowing a lot about your computer or your webcam, I expect the microphone built in is sufficient to capture an awful lot of the artistry that you put into the music. No fancy microphone setup is going to exactly replicate the experience of live listening, but the simplest microphone setup is likely to be serviceable. That said, there are folks here with knowledge about how to improve your microphone setup.

3. A: Don't record too close to the mic. B: the mic might have a volume adjustment that you can turn down to reduce distortion.

4. With a single microphone, your best bet is to shoot for the middle.

 

5. Depends on the effect, doesn't it! Some are no work at all, and others require a large team and budget. When I watch people play the concertina, I'm usually interested in seeing and hearing how they play the concertina, and consider fancy effects a distraction.

6. You should be able to find or make a green or blue screen more cheaply than you can buy or build a concertina.

 

7. Wait, there was a trend of animals in music videos? I missed it entirely, and now I'm afraid to ask about it...

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Petro Vlahos, the guy who invented the Blue Screen technology, died last week (his obituary is in today's New York Times). He was 96. I hope this doesn't upset your plans.

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I started out using a standard computer mic for practice purposes. I was disappointed with the results and switched to a blue yeti. Does a nice job for my purposes, and I find having the adjustments like the gain on the mic to be an advantage. When I playback to critique my (poor) playing, my wife can't tell if I'm playing or if it's the recording unless she's in the room. The downsides of the blue yeti are that it is big, heavy, and not cheap.

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I haven't thought about this before but perhaps it's time i did.

 

What about mounting the ol' H2 zoom and yesterday's webcam on the back of the music stand (a bit of wood and some rubber bands would do it) so you are reading the music and looking towards the camera at the same time and using the better mic'? And set up next to and plugged into the computer?

 

After all it's only the sound that needs to be decent quality really isn't it?

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Could also be nice to use two cameras so that fingering of both side of the Concertina can be seen. I was watching several videos of pieces played on large Organs and some that had a second camera for the foot pedal keyboard made nice viewing.

 

Generally though, Videos on the web that have poor picture quality do allow non stop viewing... for ( I guess) those of us who are too mean to pay for a really high speed connection. ;)

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You really need to get a trained monkey. There is no animal better suited for the concertina. And they look so perfect for the part in either pirate or onrgan grinder/gypsy costumery. Most trained monkeys also know how to run audio and video equipment (it IS less complicated than the concertina, after all. at least--than the anglo.) and they'll have editing and mixing skills to boot. A monkey directed the last 3 star Wars films, as well as everything Mel Gibson has ever directed. Which means...yes...he's a monkey. Home-trained, I should think.

 

A monkey can make even a low res webcam work like an HD model.

 

Get a monkey.

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The Zoom that Dirge mentioned is a good idea. I know some people who shoot with a DSLR in video mode and actually have a Zoom mounted in the hot shoe... apparently they make a bracket to do that...

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Actually Zoom make a video recorder now. This would be pretty simple.

 

... here is the least expensive version on Amazon.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Samson-Technologies-Zoom-Q2HD-Batteries/dp/B008TVGUJC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361496502&sr=8-1&keywords=zoom+video+recorder

 

I haven't used one, but if it's anything like the Zoom audio recorders then it's probably pretty good.

Edited by John Mock

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Thanks Mike...

 

I have a recording studio at home, so I mic the concertina just like I do when doing a record. Then I use my still camera (that also records video) to do the video. I then bring the audio and video into a software program (Adobe Premiere) to line them up correctly and spit out the video.

 

I've been doing audio recording for a long time, but I only started doing videos very recently, so I had a bit of a learning curve on the video and movie side of things. I still need to do a bit of work on that :)

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What about when you do a much of takes, and record an awesome version of a particular song. Then a few months of practice later, you record an even awesomer version, and another a few months later. Do you delete the old ones? Or do you just put a date on it each time you upload a video? I expect that over the next seventy years I may put over a hundred versions of Danny Boy on my Youtube account, and I was just wondering if anyone has any advice?

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What about when you do a much of takes, and record an awesome version of a particular song. Then a few months of practice later, you record an even awesomer version, and another a few months later. Do you delete the old ones? Or do you just put a date on it each time you upload a video? I expect that over the next seventy years I may put over a hundred versions of Danny Boy on my Youtube account, and I was just wondering if anyone has any advice?

I delete when I can, but there are exceptions... If you delete an old youtube video then you'll lose any comments, etc that people made on the video, as well as that exact link. So if you sent that link out there to people, it wouldn't work anymore. I wish youtube would let you "replace" a video so the link and comments could stay the same, but they don't.

Personally, for me, if I had a better version, then I'd want that to be what people are seeing, and not the old ones.

BUT... recently I did a new promotional video for my concerts, but I still had to keep the old one up because the link to that one was sent to a bunch of venues that were interested in booking me. So... I have both versions up. Sometimes youtube is just messy that way... but that was all I could do.

- John

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Well, you could make the old ones unlisted so that new traffic would tend over towards the new version, but the old version would still be available to people who had the link.

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Oh... I didn't realize you could do that. :)

Thanks!

Edited by John Mock

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How difficult would it be to set up two cameras?

I imagine there'd be issues with timing or syncing them up, and merging the output might be tricky.

 

Could also be nice to use two cameras so that fingering of both side of the Concertina can be seen. I was watching several videos of pieces played on large Organs and some that had a second camera for the foot pedal keyboard made nice viewing.

 

Generally though, Videos on the web that have poor picture quality do allow non stop viewing... for ( I guess) those of us who are too mean to pay for a really high speed connection. ;)

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Hi John... I'm fairly new at the video end of things, but you would need a program like Adobe Premiere or iMovie to start.

 

Then, you would set up both cameras, turn them both on, and start by clapping your hands once or twice.

 

Then, when you put it all in the program, you would use the clapping to line them up.

 

After that you'd be able to make the choices of which camera footage to use when.

 

You can use the audio from one camera or the other or both and just switch the video shots from camera to camera while keeping the audio consistent.

 

The main thing to realize is that once they are lined up in the program, you can switch around and the "timeline" is still always in sync.

 

Each program does these things differently, but I prefer Abode Premiere Elements (Elements is the lighter/cheaper version) :)

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