Help! I want to make a tuition video.

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    • #44349

      As will become apparant I’m new to this video production thing.

      I’m used to working in music production (it’s part of my job). But I would like to make a series of guitar tuition videos.

      Unfortunately I don’t know how to do this, I want to sync up two cameras (one for the full image and another for close up of the guitar neck, and a couple of microphones (one for my voice and the other for the guitar amp). I’d like to also do picture in picture.

      Im not sure quite what equipment (Hardware/software) would be suitable. As with any business the budget is tight. Could anyone explain how to do this or reccomend suitable kit. The output is intended for the internet.


    • #185715

      I should maybe mention that I use a PC as I can’t stretch to the Mac.

    • #185716

      Hi Stoogie,

      This sounds like an interesting project. I am assuming by “tuition” you mean instructional videos that are intended to teach the view how to play something on the guitar.

      First, plan out your video. Write down, story board fashion is best, exactly what each scene is to look like as far as camera angles, sound, background etc are concerned. Keep these very simple as flashy video effects usually distract the viewer who is trying to learn what you are teaching.

      After you have exactly outlined your video, make a list of the minimum equipment necessary to execute it. Since you are in the sound business, you will know what mics to use. I would recommend that you record each mic on a separate camera audio channel (cameras have 2 separate audio channels sometimes labeled left and right stereo) and mix them later.

      Besides two cameras, you will need tripods for the cameras and as many as three lights, main, fill and background. Lighting will be the most difficult part (after sound, but you are already good at that) as it is critical to getting a very clear picture. Most web video sucks because of poor lighting and jerky camera motion. That’s why you need a good tripod under each camera, especially the one focused on the fingerboard.

      Lighting is not real complicated, but there is more to it than I can describe here, but this magazine does publish very informative articles that are easy to follow.

      Since you are on a limited budget, I suggest you try to borrow as much equipment as possible. Remember, beggers can’t be choosers, so be flexible. A good way is to enlist the owner of the equipment in the project. That way you not only get the use of the equipment, but you get an operator, too. Your next best bet is to rent equipment.

      When renting video equipment, read the agreement very closely and don’t assume you know what the terms mean. Weekend rentals are sometimes cheaper than business day rentals, but be sure you know what the rental company means by a weekend. Also, be sure you get everything you need. For example, a light needs a light stand, tripods need a pan head, cameras need extra batteries as well as cables for connecting the camera to your PC so you can capture the footage to your hard drive. My point is be sure you know exactly what you are getting and don’t rent more than you need.

      Finally, if all else fails, buy equipment. To save money, I have found that construction lights from Lowe’s or Home Depot make darn good video lights and are a lot cheaper. On the other hand, the cheap, flimsy tripods sold in department stores for under $100 will disappoint. They vibrate and their plastic heads don’t pan smoothly. However, the best ones might be suitable if you just let them stand and don’t try to pan. You can find some good tripod/pan head tripod combos at BH for a few hundred dollars, but that may be out of your budget.

      The cameras are important, but fairly easy to find. You probably have friends with suitable cameras. Just be sure they are current design (avoid all VHS, Hi8, D8 and other obsolete formats) and have connectors for external microphones.

      Finally, the editing software. is where pic in pic, cuts, fades, transitions, titling, sound mixing is done. I have seen some low cost PC programs advertised, but I have no experience with them. Personally, I use the Adobe Production Suite which is not low cost. A lot of people have PCs with some sort of video editing software so you may be able to find someone who can edit your video for you. If not, some other bloggers here may have some suggestions.

      Good luck,


    • #185717

      And to add to what Jamie said, you’ll need a budget and two cameras – options will vary, but if you’re getting two of them, remember that the quality you decide on (for the price) is going to double. Make sure that at least one of them has a mic input.

      As for microphones, you’ll want to use XLR for long cables. The guitar mic should be a cardioid condenser that will require phantom power. As for voice, there’s more options – lavaliere, shotgun on boom bole, camera-mounted shotgun, or second cardioid condenser (which will take more power). As long as it’s not going live through a sound system, this will all work fine.

      I also recommend on getting an XLR preamp box – Juicedlink‘s a really good one. If the condenser’s not powered, then you’ll need one that supplies it with phantom power.

    • #185718

      I still use my Panasonic MX12 mixer using the Svideo feeds from my XL1 Canons to record the split setup to hard drive and DVD backup. I use three NRG lights with a total of 1800 watts for lighting, and place mics on the sweet spots of the speakers for plugged, and on a stand near the guitar for unplugged, as well as a wireless on the talent or instructor. I use an audio mixer to record each of the channels dry, mixing the channels as needed in post. I use monitors to set my split visuals and frame them the way I or the producer wants.

      Setup time and audio checks run about 30 minutes, give or take, then it’s down to business. The music instructional videos I’ve produced for clients and producers have been between 45 mins and one hour in length and usually accompany an instructional book or booklet as well.

      The intro and exit are usually comprised of the instructor doing a straight run musically on the instrument to illustrate what the student can expect to learn or appreciate, followed at the intro by the instructor verbally stating the intent and purpose of the lesson contents.

      In my experience we usually fade to black and back up between segments of the lesson(s) and cap the session with an overview, encouragement and credits.

      So, good lighting without harsh shadows, better than average audio quality, decent visuals and splits on instruments, closeups for specific points of issue are what’s needed for a successful music instructional video. None of this has to involve ultra-expensive professional-rated equipment or even a crew. I do it all by myself most times, or occasionally with an assistant for setting up, micing, etc.

    • #185719

      Wow! theres alot of advice here! Thanks guys. I already have the mics in my studio but may borrow a couple of others just to experiment with things like the lavalier or shotgun mic. Whats the best way to record the video? Do I need a video card and mixer for this? For audio I already have a fairly decent soundcard.

      I really am a total newbie to video editing. I understand i need about 3 lights for this and I’m considering using the worklights available at the builders suppliers, aside from that I know nothing about wattage etc.

    • #185720


      By now you’ve had some time to work (and learn the ropes). Hopefully, you’re well on your way to completion. I would have also included a lesson plan in pre-production. This would help you direct yourefforts to your intended audience, what their lowest level of comprehension is estimated at (so more people can utilize what you’re producing) and maybealso include an end of course test.

      I use two Sony FX1000s, tripods (crappy), shotgun mics, Sony Bluetooth wireless mic (I’m very pleased with), Adobe CS5 Master Collection and Multimedia Fusion (tocreate computer-based training programs.)

      It sounds like you have the computer end taken care of. I’d like to hear how you’re progressing. Good luck!!

    • #185721


      To test production quality and your system:

      1) Rent2 identical DV camcoder or HDto obtain same color shoot, 1 good tripod, 1 cheap tripod

      For light DIY using fluorescent Daylight new bulb type or work near a large window.

      To build your training course use Camtaia Studio you can download a full working demo version from website http://www.camtasia.comand learn using training on the website.

      Sound can be only from the camera mic or more equipment like a suspended mic for quitar and a lav mic for you.

      You can shoot as you need short sequences like lesson 1, lesson 2 etc… Naturally if you shoot final lesson you need a good

      You need a presentation software like Power Point or Indigo Rose Autoplay or DemoShield

      1) First page a good background and picture plus fewbuttons:

      Example button 1display a page for the table of contents

      Button2 display a pageintroduction to the first course and naturally Lesson 1

      Button3display Manual or chaptersPDF orDoc files

      Button4 display info on you and your work plus past experience.

      Button5 display product to sell, web link

      This just few ideas but before to invest check your material and the way to build your product try to do using less technology to release a product in only few weeks after you can add on if your project work that means sale. In the beginning your product look good with time you can add quality.

      Naturally if you have a big budget is not the same story…

      Good Luck,


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