Music video equipment?

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    • #89226
      triscuit
      Member

      I have some questions on something very specific. I’m brand new here so please be nice. πŸ™‚

      So I’m 18 years old and I’ve always loved music and wanted to record and have a running YouTube channel. Well now I have a bit of money saved up and I have a couple friends who are in it with me, so I want to delve into this headfirst. The problem is that I don’t know the first thing about video/audio recording and/or editing and I have no Idea what camera(s), microphone(s), recording software, etc. to get. I want to put out professional level video and audio quality, but I’ve never recorded on anything more advanced than a smartphone. If some of you could point me in the right direction as far as products and software to get me off the ground I would appreciate it immensely. Thanks!

    • #213566
      paulears
      Participant

      well – first thing is that producing good professional videos is expensive, time consuming needs proper editing equipment and audio equipment, and bags of talent. It’s the video version of saying you want to become a plastic surgeon – what app do you need to get?

      This probably isn’t the place to do this – but essentially there are two basic techniques used for videos of this kind. Record them live, with multiple cameras. A singer who plays guitar is two sound sources, so vocal mic and a guitar mic. You can add the usual effects and balance them in post fairly simply. Two or three video cameras, which you then cut together and sync up. Sounds simple, but it only works with a good musician. Increase it to four band members and the microphone inputs might go up to 16 or more. The cameras will almost certainly need proper lighting and getting a good performance in one take can be tricky.

      The usual solution to many of these is to mime (lip-sync being the current terminology that doesn’t use the M word).

      You record the same track, over and over again from different angles with a single camera, or multiple cameras. In the edit you glue it all back together.

      Any attempt to use the on camera microphone won’t give good sound in anything other than the most simple acoustic song. Cheap or free editing software won’t have the ability to do this either – meaning spending money. I’ve just finished editing one song recording on stage, using multiple cameras and playback. 3 minutes took two days in the edit, and 3 hours on stage – not including the half a day of rigging.

      Youtube is great, but music videos are amazingly time consuming. Maybe you could hire the kit? Do any of you have an experience? Media studies in college? That kind of thing. The learning curve is really steep, and budgets really high! Of course you could video with mobile phones, and edit on free software – but a music channel has to have quality audio, perhaps more important than the images?

    • #213578
      paulears
      Participant

      The sweet spot works for acoustic instruments, and recording the output of a sound system always sounds pretty dreadful.

      For anybody setting up a youtube channel, audio quality is paramount. It’s music, and it needs to be the sort of quality that people hear through their highs and headphones. If not, nobody gets to the end of the recording.

      If you have the sound system, then if you stick everything through it, then record the output and use that when you edit, not the camera audio. It’s very rare for decent audio to be captured by a camera when some is amplified and some acoustic.

      Try it and see. Music recording is hard and quite complex. video is just as hard.

      Nothing turns viewers off more than wobbly cam and tinny distorted audio!

    • #213586
      paulears
      Participant

      Bass first, has the amp got a DI output? If so, feed it into the mixer, but if you don’t want it through your PA, it gets a bit more complicated. You really need an audio interface for the computer. PCs, but no so much Macs, rarely have good quality inputs, but it’s worth trying before you spend. two phonos to a 3.5mm cable, and stick that into the input on the computer – making sure you change the gain to line level, not mic. What you could do is mix to mono, and pan everything left, and the bass to the right, and just don;t let the level get high in the PA – then blend them in the edit.

      Some cameras have line in usually via the XLR sockets. Domestic cameras rarely have these features, so into the computer and then sync in the edit.

    • #213609
      Mike Biehler
      Member

      Paul, thanks again for answering my questions. I have so many more that are so elementary, but that’s where I am. I’ll ask a few:

      1. The bass amp is built into the top of a big speaker and on the back is an XLR output… I think that means that this is what you call a “DI output”. Is that correct?

      2. If that is correct, I could plug the bass into our small Samson PA system, but what then, how do I know where to set the levels on the sound board? I ask this because the main sound coming from the bass guitar is not going to be coming out of the PA system.

      3. I don’t understand how the audio interface would be used. Does it take the L and R outputs of the PA system and put them into a wire that fits a USB port on the back of my Mac?

      4. If what I have just said is correct then I wouldn’t be using any of the sound that the video camera records. I would simply delete the sound the camera records. Is that correct?

      5. All of this is getting too complicated… I just realized that if all of the voices and instruments are mixed before they go to the computer, then when editing, I have no control of these things. Do I have to record all of these things separately and then edit/mix them later?

      My head is spinning as I contemplate how complicated this is getting.

      Mike

    • #213610
      paulears
      Participant

      1. DI – yes, it’s normally used for exactly this purpose – feeding into a PA. You have to remember that you will need a pair of headphones to let you balance the real instruments against the electronic or amplified ones. Guitars are often amazingly loud or too quiet, and the drums will sound horrible – you hear them through the room, and via spill. So you do a run through and have a listen, and adjust, then do it again – this is what makes it so difficult to do properly on minimal kit.
      3.The audio interface is the device as you said – that connects to the analogue world and converts it into something the computer understand – via USB.

      The camera sound is quite useful – essential, actually because you need ti to synchronise the audio to the video – down beats on the drums are pretty visual and easy to hear. You can also use the camera sound to add in a bit of room sound – if it helps not hinders.

      5 – this is the key feature – you have little control afterwards, hence why getting it right is so hard.

      Pointing one camera at a band is boring, and the sound is rarely good. Hence why it gets complicated to do it properly, in a way that people will watch.

    • #213577
      Mike Biehler
      Member

      Like Triscuit, I have only recorded on my smart phone. It was so much fun that I’d like to go further. (you can see my son singing, at http://www.bamboozledbelievers.com) I added the visual effects using imovie and I increased the volume of his voice in one spot where it faded because the note was too high for him. I can see that I’d like to be able to control the volumes of the guitar and his voice independently. But that’s not going to happen with my iPhone. I think that I can solve the problem without all of the effort that Paul describes… I invite your comments:
      My family is a little band (three kids and mom) and we have a small sound system, so I will use the sound board to get the all of the volumes of the voices and instruments to the best levels, then I will stand in the sweet spot and record the performance. To add interest to the final video, I will have them do the song over and I will film some close-ups, then I will edit in those close-ups and maybe add some other relevant video. I can record with my phone and see what happens. I said at the beginning that I want to go further so I am considering the purchase of a good camcorder… the new Sony FDR AX53 records 5.1 sound… how will that sound? I’ve got many more questions, so I’ll ask them in a separate post.

    • #213584
      Mike Biehler
      Member

      Paul, thank you for your advice. I have a few supplementary questions: my little sound board has output jacks for two speakers and beside them are smaller jacks labeled “output rec”. I don’t know how to get those two channels into the computer. Or is there some way to connect them to the camera. That is probably a very dumb question… but that’s where I am. My other question concerns the bass guitar, it has it’s own amp, it doesn’t go through the sound board, how do I get that into the computer?

      Mike

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