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Video Production tips?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques  
Author Video Production tips?
Hi folks,

I've been trying to make videos of some of my sessions, both improvised sessions as well as tutorial/technical videos.

It's been kind of a nightmare! I have a Nikon D3200 that shoots very nice video, but requires a lot of space to get set up on a tripod, and it won't record longer than 20 minutes, which is a huge hassle!

I tried to do a session today with the Nikon trained on the Push and synths, and a gopro dangling off a mic stand looking down on the Push surface, and screen recording my ableton session. My hope was to capture the audio and screen video during a beatmaking session, and then cut it together with video from the cameras to show how the push reacts with max devices and the hardware synths.

The gopro died about 50 minutes into the session, the nikon of course lasted 20. To top it off, the audio on the screen capture clips to hell :(

Does anyone have any tips on making good multi-angle videos of sessions, capturing the master audio, keeping everything in sync, etc? And do you have any tips on reasonably inexpensive video cameras that are good for this kind of work, ie can record continuously for 2+ hours, small and easy to setup on tabletop tripods or whatever so they capture a lot without being obtrusive? Gopros are great for mounting, but they're so wide angle that they have to be on top of everything to be useful

I've hardly done any multi cam videos, partly because it's a lot of effort and partly because I want to have multiple camera that are the same to make post editing easier but, I think this year I'll give some multi cam videos a try with what gear I already have. spinning

I do have a lot of YouTube videos and in the following thread I go over the gear I've used to make them, from 2009 to present (a couple recent live things were recorded with a Canon M5 not listed in this thread):

Lighting is pretty critical although less so these days with modern cameras that work well in low light. I've gone through several types of lighting, from hardware store flood lights (too dim, hot, harsh and bad color), to high wattage incandescent photo/video bulbs in big soft boxes (very nice color but they were bulky, tripping circuit breakers was a concern and they were so hot I almost couldn't shoot on hot summer days!), to big florescent photo/video bulbs in the same soft boxes (color wasn't as nice but they used a lot less power and didn't give off significant heat), to present with all LED lighting (color is nicer than the florescent but maybe not as nice as the high power incandescent bulbs, some fixtures have adjustable color temp, they just sip on the electricity compared to the others and they are very thin so take up little space.

One thing I did that made my shoots 100% more enjoyable was to get the lights ceiling mounted. I have a very small studio and trying to move around with three lighting tripods and a camera tripod crowded around the gear was a nightmare, especially when I was still using the big soft boxes. Here's a pic of the studio ceiling as it is today:

With multiple cameras make sure you do a "slate" at the beginning of the recordings, which is a short sharp sound and with optional visual cue that will make it easy to line up your different tracks in your NLE (Non Linear Editor which are the DAWs of the video world) Before I had my current camera setup that records high quality audio along with the video, I recorded audio to a stereo flash recorder and let the camera record audio via it's mic and I'd often "slate" by just pulling a patch cord in and out to make a few pops.

I'd recommend getting a consumer or prosumer camcorder for video and a flash recorder for audio and line them up in post production. While flash recorders are good and cheap these days (like only $100) I always found it a bit fiddly trying to find someplace for it to sit. Tascam makes some slick looking recorders designed to attach between your camera and tripod than might make things easier. This one is only $200

For cameras . . I haven't shopped for them in years but I'd give one of the inexpensive Sony, Panasonic or Canon ones a try. Something under $300 maybe?

Another way to get a multi cam video look it to just use one camera and then do several takes and edit them together. Shoot your main camera-A first as one long take with good audio. Then go back and shot several more partial takes at different angles, wide and closeups etc, and don't worry too much about the audio since you will only use it for reference during editing. The B and C takes etc often don't need the audio to match up exactly , they just need to look like they do. Maybe you'll want a closeup of the big filter knob during a sweep or a closeup of the sequencer lights etc.
imcmahon wrote:
Does anyone have any tips on making good multi-angle videos of sessions, capturing the master audio, keeping everything in sync, etc?

It's really a pain right? Tripping over cables, camera battery dying, lighting, sync. I've been working out a new system as I'm going to start a Youtube channel on audio production and synthing. Here's what I've come up with...

Got a Cannon 35mm L coming, wide enough view, good in various light, and a wall charger so the camera doesn't die. I set the camera up permanently on a tripod and made a spot for it in the corner when not in use. Using a cable into the laptop to get a bigger view, and a remote to start/stop. The room has 3 long overhead fluorescent bulbs, and I did 2 6500k + 1 4000k (before I learned about colors my videos were muddy 3500k orange)....that gives a fairly neutral white light, very slightly to the yellow side, not blue...tolerable for working and video. Thought about changing the ceiling lights to LED for more accurate color, and might still do that. But definitely don't want to mess with additional lights sitting around the studio, gotta draw the line somewhere!

For audio/sync I record thru an interface into Nuendo (and also the mono camera mic). I put 4 clicks at the start of my sequencer template (which is feeding a beat to Nuendo, and also playing thru the speakers so gets recorded by the camera mic), later I use those clicks to zoom in Nuendo and sync the audio tracks to the video clips, then do an analog mix and export the stereo mixes (the exact length of the video clips). Then in iMovie make cuts and arrange (sync is easy as this point, since the audio/video clips are all the same length), add frames, overlay some text. iMovie isn't exactly pro stuff, and the filter effects suck, but handles basic editing.

Hopefully this will make shoots easier, but it's still a lot of work.

JohnLRice wrote:

Another way to get a multi cam video look it to just use one camera and then do several takes and edit them together.

Been thinking about trying that. For live patches I just shoot all the way thru, as I'm not about to go down the multi-camera route. But for overdubbed songs I'm thinking it might be neat to do footage of various angles and parts in the process...keyboard playing, knob tweaking, effect tweaking, a foot pedal shot, mixing shots. I don't like "music videos," but this sort of thing maybe. It's just hard to want to do that, when I'm busy recording!
I put a video together last night; had some editing woes but I think it's ok now, exporting now.

The photography isn't great, but I'm climbing one hill at a time smile

What I think I really want is something like this:

An audio recorder runs constantly, and it has its own timecode on it. All the video cameras get that timecode striped on them, so I can always line up a video clip to exactly when it happened on the audio recording. It records the master bus of my session, so it hears everything I do. It also records another timecode channel, which contains the transport clock and song position data from ableton.

Then, I would like to be able to use all that source material with something like a tricaster, so all the videos are always synced to what happened live, and I'm just choosing which views to assemble into the final edit.
I have to shoot videos with multiple cameras and an audio recorder a few days a week, so I have had to find a way to do it that is fast and easy but still pretty reliable. The technique that has worked the best for me is to have the cameras built in microphone turned on and then I record on a computer with record monitoring on and going to a pair of speakers, then the camera mics will pick up this audio for sync. It also helps to make sure all cameras and the sound recording are rolling before you start your sequencer or make any sounds, this just makes it easier to sync. Then I just drop the video files with their sounds and the recorded audio into a adobe premiere timeline, select them all and tell them to synchronize with audio, works 99% or more of the time. Then just mute the bad camera audio or unlink it from the video and delete them.

Of course when your DSLR stops recording you will have to stop everything and resync, so not the best for long recordings, but it works well for anything less than the record time on the camera.

Black Magic makes a few cameras in the DSLR price range that use micro 4/3rds lenses and don't have the record time limit of DSLRs, might be worth checking out.
What noise hack has suggested would be the quickest and easiest way.

Sync the internal mics to the master record, another one I would do is to download an app that shows the TIME OF DAY and everytime you hit record hold the phone up to the camera and record the time of day clock. This is how you could get around your issue of the DLSR being limited to 20mins. Though you would need to have your other camera recording for the cutaway while you restarted the record on the dslr with the time of day at the start.

Another way you could do it, but would require extra equipment, is to do it live and record the Video Cut. Using a good pc, some software and capture cards. Though this could be tricky if youre focusing on performing as well or you get could get a friend cut the cameras for you. But that process is like a mini tv studio. You could also add graphics, and marry the audio to pictures and then stream to youtube etc.

I`m not sure what editor youre using, but FCP and PP both support multi-angle projects, where you sync the sources and then do a "cut" while they all play and it marks all the cuts.

The only tip I can leave you with, and you see it all the time online, is if the camera has auto focus, leave it off.
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