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  • YouTube Vids--looking for feedback

    I'm setting up to record a bunch of youtube videos of my own songs and some old stuff, too. I've done about ten so far and it's getting to where I'm reasonably happy visually and sonically, but I'd appreciate some feedback from you folks on the sound and the look so I can continue to improve them. I'm aiming for "appealing" "interesting" "amusing" more than "perfect" or "astonishing."



    My YouTube channel is here : http://www.youtube.com/user/douglasgifford



    and here are a couple I put up today :






    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nfD20Ycq-g








    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5RbtBH9-xA
    Hi Mom!

  • #2
    Very nice, Man!



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    "http://www.youtube.com/user/mnewb1

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    • #3
      Thoroughly enjoyable - the world could use a bit more music like this.



      Oh, and the bird is a great touch.
      -------------------------------
      Michael
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      • #4
        The simpler the better.



        Great music, singing voice, and bird. He adds a lot of extra beauty when he sings along with you



        The audio recording quality of the piano is very good (that *is* the real, natural sound of this beautiful instrument), though a bit too panned to the left on the first vid, in my earpinion. The voice is a little dry and could use a little bit of wetness (reverb). It sounds slightly "removed" from the recorded piano.



        You can make the videos fancier by using an HD cam (vid quality will increase dramatically) and the 2 horizontal bars disappear (more will be seen). Also, experiment with different viewing angles or add ones within the same recording. For example, the camera will show your hands, the bird, and the sheet music from time to time (not to be overdone). These things are very attractive to the human eye. I know this requires more work, but you already have what it takes, so everything else is details.



        Try to frame your shots so that the microphone is either not visible or completely visible (can't explain why, but seeing a tiny part of it is a little distracting, almost like some kind of artifact above your head).



        I would also include some text at the beginning and /or end of the video (especially if it's your own work).



        Are you recording the piano and your voice on 2 separate microphones?



        You will have a lot of followers (I'm your second subscriber)



        Love how your bird chirped "yes" when you asked "What do you think, Freddy? You and me?" in the first video. Beautiful ending.



        If we were neighbors, I'd bring my Canon 600D and Zoom H4n and help you make some tasty audiovisual recordings
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        • #5






          Quote Originally Posted by Mediterranean
          View Post

          The simpler the better.



          Great music, singing voice, and bird. He adds a lot of extra beauty when he sings along with you



          The audio recording quality of the piano is very good (that *is* the real, natural sound of this beautiful instrument), though a bit too panned to the left on the first vid, in my earpinion. The voice is a little dry and could use a little bit of wetness (reverb). It sounds slightly "removed" from the recorded piano.



          You can make the videos fancier by using an HD cam (vid quality will increase dramatically) and the 2 horizontal bars disappear (more will be seen). Also, experiment with different viewing angles or add ones within the same recording. For example, the camera will show your hands, the bird, and the sheet music from time to time (not to be overdone). These things are very attractive to the human eye. I know this requires more work, but you already have what it takes, so everything else is details.



          Try to frame your shots so that the microphone is either not visible or completely visible (can't explain why, but seeing a tiny part of it is a little distracting, almost like some kind of artifact above your head).



          I would also include some text at the beginning and /or end of the video (especially if it's your own work).



          Are you recording the piano and your voice on 2 separate microphones?



          You will have a lot of followers (I'm your second subscriber)



          Love how your bird chirped "yes" when you asked "What do you think, Freddy? You and me?" in the first video. Beautiful ending.



          If we were neighbors, I'd bring my Canon 600D and Zoom H4n and help you make some tasty audiovisual recordings




          Thanks, Med. Lots of good stuff here.



          The mic showing was an accident but I liked the take so it will stand for now. Maybe I can crop it out once I'm better at iMovie. The single biggest technical challenge has been to get the vocal mic as close as possible to my voice without it showing: too close it shows and too far I lose a lot of vocal warmth and gain a lot of piano cross-talk and room. I've spent hours now, messing with camera placement to achieve a reasonable compromise but, as you saw, sometimes I miss. (Because I'm doing this on my own, framing means pressing record, sitting at the piano and playing, checking the result, adjusting..., accidentally kicking the tripod so I have to start over....)



          I'd love to use a better, higher-resolution camera, but spending money is against the rules, so my wife's Canon Powershot will have to do for now. I'm not sure what advantage the HD frame shape would be for this: the 'natural' frame of the event is probably closer to square. A wider frame would just force me to make a wider set. I'd love to have a second camera for close-ups and stuff but no money/tripod/operator. First-world problem. It would also mean learning how to work with two video streams in iMovie, which I'm completely new to.



          Freddie the budgie is a great help here. His presence gives me a visible audience and, of course, there's the cute factor. Freddie actually helped me write the lyrics on one song.



          I'm using two microphones, an AT 4033a for vocal and an AKG 451e with an omni head hanging behind the piano for the the piano and yes, I'm pretty pleased with the overall sound. The piano, especially, actually sounds better to me than it does in real life. I'll check out adding a bit more reverb to the vocal and bringing the piano a little closer to centre. [Not sure how to replace a YouTube video without disturbing its hit count and all that stuff. Can this be done?]



          Overall, though, this process seems to be working. The more of these I do, the less I get bogged down with techo-issues and the more generally relaxed I feel (and look).
          Hi Mom!

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          • #6
            these are fantastic! very well done videos, i wouldn't change a thing.
            -jason

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            • #7
              It's rare that I watch somebody's clips longer than 10 seconds. Yours made me relaxed, and I enjoyed them a lot.
              Moe---It puts the SINES in the basket, or else it gets the hose again.http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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              • #8
                Fantastic, Doug Great voice and great piano playing - I wouldn't change a thing.



                Re: the hit count: once an older version of a video is gone, so are its hits, so what people typically do is to leave the older version, but add a pop-up that says "New version - Click here!" and add a link that takes users to the newer version.



                Re: the mic closer to you: since you're doing a static shot, you could do a layering "trick" in iMovie like described at NeumannFilms (great resource for DIY video) in this video tutorial:






                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upQNo406fpE
                SynthMania.com
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                • #9
                  very enjoyable to watch-definitely has viral potential!
                  the difference between theory and practice is that in theory there is no difference
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                  • #10






                    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Wu
                    View Post

                    very enjoyable to watch-definitely has viral potential!




                    Agreed!
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                    • #11
                      Astonishing and perfect...bird!



                      Those are some very nice performances. I really enjoyed them.
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                      • #12
                        I think that your videos are wonderful! They are very entertaining and make me smile and even laugh once or twice (inspired by your budgie's "commentary").



                        You already answered the questions I had about what microphones where etc.



                        I wish that I could sing :'( Every time I try, wife tells me not to give up my daytime job



                        I subscribed to your youtube channel and am sharing these with my wife and kids. I hope you don't mind, but I am also going to share them with my former piano teacher (now in Colorado) via FaceBook.



                        Thank you!
                        Gribs

                        ...Music can be used to stimulate mass emotion, while mathematics cannot; and musical incapacity is recognized (no doubt rightly) as mildly discreditable, whereas most people are so frightened of the name of mathematics that they are ready, quite unaffectedly, to exaggerate their own mathematical stupidity.

                        G.H. Hardy in A Mathematician's Apology (London 1941).

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                        • #13
                          Really loving the videos Doug, thanks for sharing!
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                          • #14
                            I liked them too, Doug.



                            Out of interest, why are you doing this? What are you trying to achieve?
                            Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell...

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                            • #15






                              Quote Originally Posted by BonsoWonderDog
                              View Post

                              ...Out of interest, why are you doing this? What are you trying to achieve?




                              Seemed like a good idea at the time?



                              Actually, I got started on this from a little "video yourself" challenge over at the solo/duo forum. I realized that videos are much more accessible than audio-only recordings but they exist in their own terms. I can be relatively casual in the video since it gives the impression of being live. And I can leave the bird out because his chirps etc. have a visual explanation. But it also requires that I get everything pretty much right in one take unless I want to spend hours editing images and sound, too. So, it's a different medium, really.



                              I've wanted to record a bunch of standards (and pre-standards) for awhile, but I'm just coming into the chops to pull it off. And re-recording my own songs seems useful as well.



                              I dunno. Just because. I have a hunch they'll be useful sometime.



                              And you guys are being very encouraging too. My ego grew 36 cm just today.
                              Hi Mom!

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