Software for editing Concert footage from many angles

Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews Forums Technique Editing Software for editing Concert footage from many angles

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    • #71668

      Howdy – well, I am brand new here and pretty new to editing vidoe footage. This weekend I will be recording a friends band with 3 cameras (nothing fancy, a gopro and two Cannon hf200's).  I would like to take the footage and make a "concert" type video out of it.  This brings me to my question, what would be the best software out there for somethign like this?  My cameras will not be timed together or anything so I will need to line up the video with an audio track (either from one of the cameras or possible a more proffesional track that will be available).  Are there programs that let you lay all the video over each other and then just cut out what you don't want, like a reverse Tetris?  What should I consider buying?  By the way, I am a bit of cheapskate, $100ish is what I am thinknig  πŸ™‚  Thanks for reading and hopefully providing some answers? 

    • #209498



      It's a pain to do but it won't cost you any money. None of the cameras you have include Timecode (not 'Time/Date) which is the numerical time count on tape or digital recording media (Hours:Minutes:Seconds:Frames = 00:00:00;00) Hours 00-99, Minutes 00-59, Seconds 00-59 and Frames 00-29. Since your cameras don't have actual timecode and your cameras don't have running counts either here's what you can do:


      1. Make one camera your 'Main'. This will be the camera that you'll point towards the stage. If you don't have anyone else working with you who knows what they're doing, then you'll put this camera on a tripod where you'll have an unobstructed view of the stage. You'll need to put some sandbags (soft leg or wrist weights work just as good) on the tripod to hold it down. Set the image frame where all you see is the stage and the band where it looks good (look at some concert videos to see what I mean) and 'lock down the tripod' so it won't move. Make sure your battery is fully charged because once you start it don't touch it until the band's set is over (including any encores.) This will be your video and audio reference footage. Make sure you bring a friend who will stay with the camera and make sure no one bumps it (including themselves), knocks it over or walks off with it. Without this footage you will have hell trying to match up your other cameras and sound during the edit. So don't mess this up!



      2. Take another camera to use as your 'cut camera'. This will be your 'roving camera' as it will move around getting different angles during the show. Use this one to get close ups of the band, their hands playing instruments and shots of the audience during the show. Save yourself from pulling your hair out when it comes to editing by following these steps;


      Cut shots last 10 seconds with a 3-5 second 'head and tail'. That means when you get your shot set up (in focus, properly exposed, etc) count of 3-5 seconds while you hold the camera steady and then count off 10 seconds while shooting whatever you're pointing at. After ten seconds, count off 3-5 more seconds then move onto the next shot. Having those 3-5 second heads and tails on your clips will make it easier to edit your cut shots with the footage your main camera gets. Unless there's something incredibly interesting happening,10 seconds per cut shot is all you need. You'll be surprised at how long 10 seconds is when trying to edit! Don't stand in one place for the whole show while trying to get cutshots. Your main camera is already doing that. Don't be afraid to move around and get close! If you want your video to be boring, just stand in one place….


      3. Use your GoPro as a 'Stage' or 'Flying' camera. If you've got mounts for it, set your GoPro right up on the stage (but out of the way of the performers) so you can get some eXtreme close-ups! If you've got somebody else working with you, mount the 'Go' on a boompole and use it as a 'flying camera' you hold over the audience or near the stage. Make sure the boom is stable and not too long so it isn't heavy or hits the ceiling, etc. The Go is a wide-angle camera and small enough you can get some crazy good shots with it. For god's sake don't use it hand-held! You won't be able to keep it steady and it will shake like mad. You'll be lucky to get any useable shots at all.


      4. If you can, see if the guy running the mixer will let you patch into the mixer to get your sound directly. It will be a whole lot cleaner than anything you'd get with your cameras even if you have good mic's. Your Canon's have an audio input (3/4" 'mini' mic input) so if you can put your main camera close to the mixing board, you'll need an XLR-Mini adapter so you can plug into the board and either a long Mini input cable to plug into the adapter and then into your camera. You'll need to tape the cable to the tripod (please don't use duct or electrical tape) so it won't get yanked out by accident. If you can use a wireless mic setup that would work much better long as there's no interference. If you can get your hands on a small digital recorder like a Zoom H1, then you can just use the same setup to connect the recorder to the mixing board and get clean sound that way.


      Okay, now there's no 'special software' that's going to make all this stuff magically line up. That's why I laid out all those steps for what you should do. If you're using a Mac you can probably do this stuff in iMovie or Quicktime. If you're using a PC Sony Music Studio or Adobe Premeire Elements are good and inexpensive choices among many.


      Whatever you get, you'll need at least two video tracks, one for your main video footage which you will layout as your refernence track and the other to lay in your titles, cutshots and GoPro shots. You'll also need at least two audio tracks. One for the main audio you got from either your main camera or your digital recorder. Whichever has the cleanest audio, use that one. The other track is for any audio voiceovers like if you're going to say something about the show at the beginning or end like an offscreen host.


      Lay down the main camera video and if you had a recorder, your main audio. Sync those up first. Once you have those synced then it things get easier. Go through your cutshots and Go shots and start piecing them over your main video footage to make the show look more dynamic. Use the audio from the cutshots with the video at first to make sure anyone talking while the music is playing or the frontman/woman/announcer is speaking matches up with your main audio.


      5. Most important, BEFORE you go to shoot the show, go to the venue and scout the place out. See where everything is going to be, where you can setup, how much room you'll have and where you can and can't go during the show. Tell the people running the show you're coming to shoot at the request of the band. Make sure your friend in the band lets them know you're coming. You may be able to get a free pass! Talk to the sound engineer and ASK if you can patch your camera/recorder into the mixing board. Bring your own adapter, cables and or wireless setup and test your gear BEFORE the show starts. Better if you can do this before the day of the show or early in the day as possible. The engineer's not going to have time or desire to fool with your the closer to showtime it gets.


      So, do these things and the odds are excellent you will have good footage to make your video with. Oh yeah, one more thing turn off your Autofocus and use the Manual Focus setting for both your canons. If it's the standard concert, it will be dark except for stage lighting and your Autofocus will make your life a living hell as it constantly goes in and out of focus. Good luck!

    • #209500

      Wow – great great info!!  Now it just brings two more questions, although probably easer ones.  If I were to get a 4th camera and set up all 4 in different locations is it difficult to pull cuts from those or is taking separate cut shots much easier? I ask because I also want to enjoy the show (first time playing together in 15+ years).


      Also, the XLR-mini, does it need to be male or female XLR and does it need to split to two XLR's?


      Thank you sooo much for this!!!!

    • #209501

      I realize I probably should be a little clearer on the first question. I know the short cuts in a mobile camera will result in better footage, but will having stationary cameras and all that footage make it any more difficult to edit?

    • #209503

      Composite1, you ROCK!!!  The depth of your contribution to ooshnew would probably have cost him thousands of dollars in training.  Let's hope he/she takes it to heart…


      ooshnew, I have only a couple of additions, since Composite1 was so thorough:


      – Have spare tape/media available in case the concert runs long.


      – Make certain your camcorders/GoPro will have enough light, whether through additional lighting or exposure setting


      – GET OUT THERE AND TEST IT OUT BEFORE THE CONCERT!!!  Your additional questions will be answered by actually shooting multiple tracks and editing the footage.  Your intentions will be just that, unless you get off your duff and prepare πŸ˜‰


      Good Luck!!!



    • #209506



      Having long cuts from running cameras is okay.


      Enjoying the show is not…


      Okay, let me explain.  You need those close-ups.  You need those angles.  You need to move that Go Pro  and  Canon to different shots.  Just intercutting a 4 camera shoot with 4 locked off cameras will make for a boring video.  Why?  Because of the genre.  Your viewers expect the video to follow the mood of the music.  Music is emotional and creative and viewers want to see interesting creative video with it. Music video shoots tend to have lots of handeld shooting and be very creative.


      I took a master class on shooting music video.  Some of the camera work is mine and the edit is mine.  Immagine this done with 4 locked off cameras.  It would be a very different creature.



      Recording a music video is different than recording a band live. I bring up music video to make my point about creativity.  Do the music justice.


      Good luck -> and maybe it is okay to enjoy yourself!



    • #209516

      To address your software question– Any high end editor, like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro, can do this work very well. But lower-end programs, like Adobe Premiere Elements, do a surprisingly good job. And GoPro makes a free editor that I just saw at CES. It was much better than I had expected. 


      If the band does an audio recording of their show, or if they mix through a board, use the bands recording as your soundtrack, or patch from their board to an audio recorder. Have the front man clap near the mic at the beginning of the filmed portion of the performance, and get that on all your cameras. You can use the clap to sync all your cameras to each other and to the audio.

    • #209520


      Up front, if you want to watch the show go watch it. If you want to shoot it go with a mind to shoot it. You'll have enough 'fun' trying to get the job done. Besides, you'll 'see the show' endlessly while you're editing.

      As for the XLR Mini adapter (my bad I had it listed as 3/4" when it's 1/8" or 3.5mm. I got the 'mini' part right though), the 'Law of Averages' clearly states that whatever you get will be the one you don't need! Best bet is to get one of each type of XLR – Mini 3.5mm adapter (1 XLR male and one female. The mini end will be female.) That way you'll have the bases covered. At the minimum get a XLR male to Mini Female. If you're in the States, one will cost about $10. Here's a link:

      Concerning your other question 'having all that footage' will make your time editing easier to deal with. If you just want a boring long ass shot of the band on stage that doesn't change, then just set up your camera and let it run. If you want to show how exciting it was to be at the show you'll do like I laid out and get that extra footage. Look at concert videos on the 'Tube (YouTube.) The boring ones just sit there and that's all. The better ones take the viewer to places the people in the audience could not have seen during the show. You want to bring the experience of being there to your viewers. The only way to do that with video is to follow the plan I laid out for you. Good luck!

      Ed, thanks!

    • #209521

      Here's a good video that gives a nice breakdown about what you'll be up against doing a multicamera shoot. They give a great suggestion about shooting the rehearsal to get closeups onstage you may not be able to get during the show. Make sure they'll be wearing the same clothes during the performance or be prepared to have those awkward questions when you show the vid! Don't sweat their gear since it's higher end than yours. The principles are the same. Also, check your manual for your canons to see if you have manual exposure and white balance (otherwise known as 'custom whitebalance') If you have custom WB use it! Set the WB on something white with the house lights or with a white spotlight shining onstage. Once you get that set for both cameras, DON'T CHANGE IT. If you leave it on Auto WB, your image colors will be all over the place as the camera tries to change everything to normal colors everytime the stage lights change. If your camera doesn't have custom WB, then set it for 'indoor' (that's the light bulb icon.) It won't be perfect, but it will be better than AWB.

    • #209752

      If you really want the easy way to sync up all your footage, get Plural Eyes.  It does it all for you.  It will save you a boat load of time.

    • #209776

      I am using the Cyberlink Power Director 12 for multi camera editing. It can handle up to 4 cameras


      Keep all cameras running from the start of the concert to the finish, recording the whole time.

      Some will be stationary, others you can move around while recording.


      Afterwards, load all videos into Power Director 12 and use the MultiCam Designer for the editing.


      First of all it will analyse the soundtracks and perfectly sync the videos by soundtrack.


      You will then be able to replay all 4 videos at the same time in different windows.


      By clicking on a window you can select a certain clip as the main clip and can switch between tracks by clicking on a window.

      Afterwards the "edited" version will be transferred to the normal editing window for finetuning.


      It really saves a lot of time and makes the editing process very easy.



    • #209783

      My opinion, to keep it "simple"…. First, find the money to spring for Final Cut Pro X!!!  Just look up how many folks will confirm there is no other easier multi-cam editor! If you are indeed new to the Biz, you should not be on the "cheapest" editor you can buy, but one that will allow for growth, which you will need…soon. FCPX is $329.00.    Since this is your first time, you probably dont want to move the cameras around too much for close ups. So I would have one on a wide shot, with a little bit of the audience included. Have a shot closer to the band maybe from one side or the other, with focus on a main instrumnet. And the third Cam can be "live", zooming in and out for close-ups and pans. After set-up, it gets simple….Start all the cameras at the close to the same time, and roll. Depending on how long the show is, you may have to change cards or tape (lets hope its cards).

      If you can roll and have just one clip from all the cameras…thast ideal! In FCPX, you simply select the clips form the cameras you want to create a multi-cam clip and tell it to synch via Audio and you have one clip tha you can cut out chuncks, edit them to the timeline, and in the Multi-Cam editor, you simply click on the angle you want, while its playing…..and there you go!!! Don't like where you made a cut, simply drag the middle of the two cuts and adjut it on the fly! No need to worry about timecode and FCPX can handle up to 64 angles at once!!!  Need to change an angle you already cut?, simply right click on the clip and choose a differnt angle! Good luck!!

    • #209515

      Nice explanation!

    • #210344

      I definitely agree, make one camera your main and the others cut back to. Also, make sure you do a clap at the beginning (or clapper but just clapping at the beginning is easier) so that editing later is a lot easier. Since each camera won't have the exact same time code this clap (or just a spike in audio) will make syncing each camera angle so much easier. As for video editing software, it really depends on what computer you have. If you have a mac you have more options but the major software out the FCP, Adobe, etc should allow you to do a free trial to test them out and see which is best for you. I dunno if there's one best for mutlicam editing, it's really about your personal preferences (which shortcuts your prefer/editing layout/ and capabilities). Hope this helps!

    • #209527

      nice video, shot all in one night? that's what I love about DSLR's, working with alexa the footage is amazing but if you have a crappy team it take FOREVER to shoot like thirty minutes of video lol



      syracuse video production

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