Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › Filming a Band Session
- July 5, 2013 at 11:36 AM #68431herestotheatombombParticipant
I'm looking to try and start filming band sessions in the near future, basically just having a band come and play three or four songs and record it all. I have very limited experience with video production but can edit on Avid, Final Cut, etc.
Has anyone done this, or would anyone know the best way to go about this? I have pretty much no equipment (still in school), but I would be able to get my hands on two (maybe three) Canon XF-100's and have access to Avid. Do you think this would be enough? Do the camera operators tend to move around during a session or is it mostly stationary?
Also, what do you think would be the best way to go about recording the audio, just completely separately with a mixer?
Nice screen name by the way. This is a big question! There are a lot of factors to consider when getting equipment. However, some of your questions are definitely answerable so I'll take a crack at those here.
First, I want to address your audio capture. Basically, you're on the right track. I definitely think that recording the bands that come in to play with a mixer is the way to go. This way you get echo-free and clean sounding audio. Better yet, in the most ideal situation, you would want to record each band member with a separate recording device so that you could do the mix on your own later and have full control over each voice and instrument. This would certainly cost more and requre more equipment and constant awareness of each recorder, but would definitely give you the most flexibility. Again, the more realistic situation is to record the band from a "house" or combined mix from a mixer. Another idea is to have the artists play with a click track that can keep them on beat to thier original recorded song. In this way, you can just ask for their produced album and use the professionally mixed song straight from the CD.
Going on to the cameras and editing system, I think you're all set to go with the three XF-100s and the Avid editing system that you mentioned. These tools should be able to get the job done in most situations. If you have three cameras and are still not finding the kind of shots you need after the shoot is over, you may have bigger problems on your hands! You'll need to speak with your cinematographers before the session starts and assign certain shots to them in order to be the most efficient. Even better yet would be to have a headset on so that you can talk with your other filmmakers over the noise of the band. This way you can give directions to them in order to avoid doubling up shots. Also, you'll want to speak to the band members ahead of time to see what kind of music they'll be playing and to familiarize yourself with it. Doing so will allow you to anticipate the beats.
Lastly, you definitely want to make sure that the band is comfortable having your shooters moving about the room. There's no way to get a variety of great shots unless you move the camera around the room so let your shooters be as mobile as they want to be!
Hopefully that helps!
P.S. Many editing systems come with software that automatically syncs your video with your audio in post. However, you'll want to make sure each camera is picking up natural, or NAT, sound during each session. Otherwise, the software won't be able to pair up your audio and video.
I don't think that separate recorders are the way to go. Rather, some sort of multi-track audio recording device would be far better.
I guess it really depends on how much the music matters to your video. Double system is definitely the way to go, but unless you really know what you are doing on the audio side, a good capture of a band playing live is not for the faint of heart, and this is coming from a guy who does exactly that for a living.
You will need at least one, but preferably three camera operators, and you'll need someone to focus on the audio if you really want to do it right – especially if you decide to mix it live-to-2 as opposed to multi-tracking. IMHO and YMMV
watch videos of bands that you like, and then ask yourself "what shots will I need? What angles? How did they get those shots? How is it lit?" You can learn a lot just by stealing with your eyes.
AndersonSoundRecording is right. A multitrack recorder would be best for capturing multiple instruments that you can edit individually later. I got a little too focused on the equipment that I often used in my last post. His idea is much more efiicient and practical.
He's also got a great point about watching other music videos for ideas and inspiration. I do it all the time and would definitely recommend doing the same. Thanks for the post and good luck!
Thanks for the advice, guys.
After thinking about it over the weekend, and reading your responses, I think it will be easier to use my school's recording studio. That way we have an engineer who will know how to get it sounding proper.
Daniels sez, " . Better yet, in the most ideal situation, you would want to record each band member with a separate recording device so that you could do the mix on your own later and have full control over each voice and instrument." I have reservations about this. Acoustic bleed between recorders ( audio tracks ) will be a problem. No two devices will run at the exact same speed due to minute differences in digital time base. Drifting errors will cause a phasing, " swishing " sound when the tracks are mixed together. The only way to eliminate this effect is to record all live audio tracks to a single recorder such as a MOTU or Metric Halo 8 track ( or more ) computer interface.