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Video Help Please

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  • Video Help Please

    I'm in the process of putting together a social media package for my one man acoustic show. I'd really appreciate any tips, suggestions or examples you can provide. Everything from cameras (iPhone to pro), audio, lighting, backgrounds or anything else you've picked up. Bearing in mind most of the viewers will be watching on phones/iPads.
    Last edited by mr3lions; 03-03-2018, 12:18 PM.

  • #2
    I've seen some good vids shot on iPhones, but the audio was, well, meh...
    Lighting and set will obviously depend on a number of issues, like where you are shooting, the song you are recording, how much editing you intend to do, and so on.

    I really like the outcome using my little Zoom camera, because the audio comes out as good as the video without external mics or a feed from the mixer. [But I've done all 3 with good results; I like the 'set and shoot' simplicity for static camera]

    Please, no brick walls or railroad tracks...

    It is best to make a promo video intended to get you gigs on an actual live gig.
    That said, I know plenty of guys who 'fake' that, arranging to record the video in a club during daylight hours with their own 'audience' crickets between songs, good audience interaction, 'patter', etc .[we are of course living in LA, so many clubs are very open to allowing this for a small fee]
    "We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminate period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

    Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally used up and worn out, shouting ', what a ride!'

    "The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively" ~Bob Marley

    Solipsism is the new empiricism. -Alan Burdick


    • #3
      For stills, find a local wedding photographer, they will have the requisite lighting equipment and skills to capture dynamic images on the fly. Whereas studio photographers tend produce well... studio types shots.
      Choose a midweek time for the shoot when it won't be busy for them and you should get a good price.
      Of course I am generalising with regards skills but it is my experience. I should imagine that a wedding photographer would be able to get you a very decent deal on a videographer as well. You might even get it done for just their expenses if they are trying to branch out into their areas.
      Cheers Steve


      • #4
        I've been putting together videos with snips (~30-90 seconds each) of different songs. People don't have the patience to listen to (or watch) entire songs. And it's a good idea to start and end with the best performance segments. I make the videos less than 10 minutes long, more like 7 minutes.

        What I think would be ideal is to include footage of talking to the audience a little and any audience interaction that looks good. That will separate you from those that just sing and play songs. I've included a little bit of talking in some of my videos - it helps to get some personality across.

        One band I've been working with hired a team of two videographers. It's nice have that second view and they also edit the footage to show those different views including close ups of singers or soloists.


        • #5
          Here's one I did a couple of years ago. Used a Panasonic camera on a tripod and moved it to a different position half way through each set. Did three gigs, picked segments I liked, and edited in imovie. Rearranged the samples a year later.

          What I didn't expect was audience reactions. . . . the owner coming in to hear her favorite song, the waitress shakin' it to Steely Dan, applause for a song that somebody actually recognized, etc . . . .

          A lot depends on your market and what the expectations are. Up here a lot of guys have nothing to show. Worse, some have only poor 15-second iphone footage taken by a friend. . . . or by the venue!!

          Recently I've been concentrating on audio instead. Different genres for different venues. Better sound and much easier to put together.


          • #6
            Thanks for the input everyone. I've been checking YouTube videos and I can definately see what I don't want and I have a pretty good idea of what I do. My big concern is the sound quality. I have a fried with some high end equipment who's going to be getting a call soon.


            • #7
              Originally posted by daddymack View Post
              I've seen some good vids shot on iPhones, but the audio was, well, meh...
              The problem is not only with the relatively low quality of the onboard mics in iOS devices, but also the fact that the ideal location for the camera is rarely the best location for the microphone(s). The same thing holds true IMO for things like the Zoom cameras or anything else where the camera and mic are bundled together in the same unit and therefore have to be located in the same position. Using a dedicated external mixing board (or dedicated pre-fader aux send[s]* from the FOH board) and a multi-mic setup and feeding that into the iPhone / iPad's input is probably the best way around that for a live shoot, or if it's a solo instrumental performer, you can use a iOS compatible USB mic (such as Apogee's MiC) to get the audio into the iOS device.

              Once you go beyond a single audio source, IMO the mixer / multi-mic setup is really the only way to go if you are looking to optimize the visual and sonic elements of the video.

              * The reason I suggest using pre-fader aux sends is so you can dial up a separate mix specifically for the video to get the right audio balance for it, since the mix for FOH is going to be idealized for the live listening audience and may not represent exactly the mix you want to record for the video - usually due to the acoustical contributions of the instruments in the room, as well as the amplifiers, etc. For example, the FOH soundperson may not feel they need to mix a lot of drums into the FOH mix because they're already loud enough in the room acoustically, but if they do that and you're taking a direct feed from the main FOH stereo mix, the drums probably won't be loud enough on the video.

              "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
              - George Carlin

              "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
              - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

              "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
              - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter


              • daddymack
                daddymack commented
                Editing a comment
                Which I agree with, but, in this particular instance, it is a solo, so if they are using a mixer which they can take an aux or monitor feed to the video recorder, that is typically the best....but not always the cleanest for set-up in a room full of paying patrons...hence my suggestion of 'faking it', where you can operate in a controlled environment, where having cables strung around the venue are not an issue.
                Last edited by daddymack; 03-12-2018, 10:55 AM.

            • #8
              If I was considering doing a page with a video for promotion (as opposed to simply amuse my friends) I'd hire a recommended professional. Do-it-yourself video costs for equipment and the results are likely to be similar to do-it-yourself music for non-musicians.
              There is more than one way to do this. Notes Norton


              • #9
                I'm still trying to wrap my head around the need for the highest quality audio on the one hand, and the recognition that it will be listened to on an iphone on the other. I would also add that since most of us, and I assume the OP, are solo acts that don't have much visual appeal and certainly not much visual variety, you might conclude, as I did, that clips from a variety of venues is going to be a point of emphasis. I've looked for videos on youtube that might enlighten us, and the only ones I can find aren't what I would call professional. I'm a better photographer than a singer/piano player, but unless you expect to be booked several times a week as a result of circulating this promo video, I'm not sure that a professional videographer will make that much of a difference. I have three cameras that will shoot video, including one I just got that apparently will accept content from my ZoomH4N with a condenser mic plugged in, but even if you don't have that, a simple video synced to an audio track off your board will separate you from the competition in most markets.


                • #10
                  I guess I should have been more clear in my original post. Perhaps I should have said best "reasonably" priced audio/ video. Luckily my friend is going to handle all the AV stuff. My other research and discussions with friends has provided me with some very useful info. From little things like reflections, choice of clothing, distractions in the background to light make up for my pastey English skin lol.
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