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Thread: Calling all aspiring video producers!

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    Forum Member dirtdog's Avatar
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    Calling all aspiring video producers!

    Picking up where this thread left off and inspired by what our own @pc has been producing (see below), this thread is intended to share wisdom and experience for those of us just delving into the production of home-based music videos featuring (more often than not) Fender guitars!

    Even before the pandemic struck, my original hard rock three piece had decided to start producing videos of our music. This band has recorded 3 full length albums in the last 15 years so we know a bit about what is required to produce audio. No so much for video although I spent a year after high school at broadcasting school where I learned the basic principles of video production. So, the band set up a “YouTube Studio” and were just about to head into our first video recording session as the lockdown hit. We spent a bunch of time trying to figure out how to rehearse and record remotely and synchronously. Never found a workable solution. So, finally our drummer initiated the idea that we do this asynchronously. With him bought into the idea, we launched back into it this week. We’ve messed around with lighting, camera and staging and now have started to generate footage and high quality audio. We are stumbling around blindly in the dark trying to figure out how to do something like what @pc did below with his group.


    video credit: Pete Chimbidis/Youtube

    Perhaps we can share tips and tricks in the thread and in this subforum?
    Last edited by dirtdog; 11-27-2020 at 06:55 AM.

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    Forum Member dirtdog's Avatar
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    Re: Calling all aspiring video producers!

    First things first:

    I asked @pc what he used for video and audio editing. He's on Apple's Final Cut Pro and uses Pro Tools for audio.

    I'll add a bit about what I've learned from a variety of sources.

    Obviously that's just the software side of things and there's a ton of viable options out there for non-linear video editing (Adobe Premiere, DaVinci Resolve, Olive, etc etc etc). Depends on your OS and your budget but all have very similar architectures, functions and features. If you've used a DAW for audio recording, the architecture behind video editing will not be too foreign a concept.

    As for hardware, a camera is necessary (obviously). I've seen decent (and not so decent results) with a simple smart phone cam. Good results can be obtained using one or many cameras (smartphones, point and shoot, DLSR, dedicated video cams and the like). What you need depends on what kind of video you are trying to produce - one camera shot? Multiple camera shot? Record band as a whole synchronously (assuming in person/no lock down, etc) or each musician asynchronously. Personally, I'm using a single camera setup; Canon EOS Rebel T7 with the 18-55mm lens kits. 1080p resolution at 30FPS. ISO800, 1/200 shutter speed, f 1.8. That was after a ton of experimentation!

    Want to see how the 50mm fixed lens works in a light different spatial configuration. Field of view is pretty tight but you can do some creative stuff with it....apparently.

    Staging and lighting is important and depends again on the look and feel you're going for. Uncluttered background works best, with maybe some simple staging or subtle lighting effects. There are a huge number of tutorial videos on this on the YT. I've started with a simple black hanging photo studio backdrop I picked up on amazon for $50.

    My lighting rig is a "smart LED bulb" as the "key light" where I can control the colour temperature and lighting intensity using my phone. I have that bulb installed into a $10 HD work light fixture and clamped to a mic stand. That means I can adjust the position and height of this light at will. This is the main light. I supplement with a pair cheap LED battery powered light as the "hair light". Maybe not ideal, but very portable and flexible. This is something I probably need to tweak.

    The staging and lighting you use will largely be dependent on the space you use. I'm in a basement and have repurposed my audio recording "space" as a video recording "space". I have a lot jammed into the corner of a 20'x40' man cave space and I really only use about 8'x12’ of that for video and/or video. hence, I don't have the space or need for elaborate complex lighting.

    Like anything, its not just the tools, but knowing how to use the tools. "Pro" composition with the camera, effective use of lighting techniques, creative staging, etc etc etc. are all goals of mine. I'm personally inspired by the videos that Rhett Shull produces (here's one that has some Fender content: link) and his cinematic use of lighting, his effective use of depth of field and so on. I'm going for a slightly more "dramatic" cinematic effect but you can figure out a lot of stuff by closely looking at the videos that catch your eye.

    For visual reference, this is what I've got so far:



    That image capture was from video from my Canon EOS Rebel T7, 18-55mm lens, with the one smart LED light, one cheapo LED hair light and the $50 black backdrop. I was about 3' from the back wall, camera on tripod about 8' in front of me, smart LED at eye level, about 6' from my face and 45 degees to the subject (me). Smart LED was set for about 3500K colour temp and was about 7% brightness. Working on backtracking what the camera exposure and f-stop was set at, but suffice it to say that it was set for low light/moderate exposure.
    Last edited by dirtdog; 11-26-2020 at 09:54 AM.

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    Re: Calling all aspiring video producers!

    That is a really sharp look!

    That type of backdrop and lighting considerations are on my radar for 2021; love that look.

    I've been using three GoPro 8s for all my video. The basic track of drums, bass, and rhythm guitar for my Bonamassa cover were done as a Multicam shoot. The same video also uses a two-camera shot of me playing the lead lines in the intro and interludes--one closer on the strings, one a bit farther away.

    I just got a Canon 80D, and I'm hoping to give it a try as a video source on an upcoming project.


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    Forum Member dirtdog's Avatar
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    Re: Calling all aspiring video producers!

    Here's the concept we're going for - mocked up in PPT for now. That the actual video for me (bass) and drums. Drummer's video quality needs tweaking*...not cinematic enough. Guitar image is just a placeholder for now as I wait for video. Will switch in closeups of guitar during solos, closeup of faces during choruses, etc. Song is like 7 minutes long (its a beast). I figure I'll have dozens of edits to make, at the least!



    * Drummer video captured using a Zoom Q4N in HD. Some pretty bright soft boxes providing lighting in that room (room is also larger than mine by double). Going to have to coach them on more subtle approaches - use one soft box, tame it with a less bright bulb. Hard when I can't be in the room there with them too see what's going on.

    also not a ton that can be done with Q4n in terms of shutter speed, ISO and aperture. Aperture fixed at 2.0. 1080p at 30fps. Bass video in from Canon: HD 1080p, 30FPS, ISO800, aperture 1.8, shutter speed 1/200. Makes a huge difference compared to basic presets, IMO.
    Last edited by dirtdog; 11-26-2020 at 01:48 PM.

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    Forum Member dirtdog's Avatar
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    Re: Calling all aspiring video producers!

    Quote Originally Posted by pc View Post
    That is a really sharp look!

    That type of backdrop and lighting considerations are on my radar for 2021; love that look.

    I've been using three GoPro 8s for all my video. The basic track of drums, bass, and rhythm guitar for my Bonamassa cover were done as a Multicam shoot. The same video also uses a two-camera shot of me playing the lead lines in the intro and interludes--one closer on the strings, one a bit farther away.

    I just got a Canon 80D, and I'm hoping to give it a try as a video source on an upcoming project.

    Excellent! I was looking at GoPro as well. What I didn't like was the fisheye artifacts present in those lenses - great for outdoor action but kind of a strong effect for indoors/close up.. I'm in no way a videographer or photographer, but I knew I wanted to avoid that effect. That said, I barely notice this effect in your videos, pc. I suppose smart camera placement can overcome those effects.

    The 80D should be killer!!!! What sorts of lenses do you have for that?

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    Forum Member dirtdog's Avatar
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    Re: Calling all aspiring video producers!

    Quote Originally Posted by pc View Post
    That is a really sharp look!

    That type of backdrop and lighting considerations are on my radar for 2021; love that look.

    I've been using three GoPro 8s for all my video. The basic track of drums, bass, and rhythm guitar for my Bonamassa cover were done as a Multicam shoot. The same video also uses a two-camera shot of me playing the lead lines in the intro and interludes--one closer on the strings, one a bit farther away.

    I just got a Canon 80D, and I'm hoping to give it a try as a video source on an upcoming project.

    Two questions for you pc -

    1. How are you syncing the video when you get it back from all your players?
    2. How time consuming is the split screen editing?

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    Re: Calling all aspiring video producers!

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtdog View Post
    Two questions for you pc -

    1. How are you syncing the video when you get it back from all your players?
    2. How time consuming is the split screen editing?
    1. I drag all the video into stacked "lanes" in FCPX, with the bottom lane being the audio .wav file of the final mix. I do each video track one at a time, making the "lanes" as tall as possible (and almost all the way wide, left to right) so I can see the peaks and valleys of the waveform on my audio track and the audio that was captured on the camera itself. Drag the video so everything lines up, then turn off the audio from that video track and repeat the process with the next video track. On a tune like the Bonamassa, it was easy, because it starts with those big drum hits.

    This is actually far easier than I thought it would be. When we do distanced videos nowadays, I remind the bass player to leave the audio that he's playing along with on (rather than wearing headphones) so I can accomplish this easier. It's a little trickier with my vocalist, since he is wearing cans while recording his distanced parts, but still not that tough.

    2. VERY. Lol. The Bonamassa, my first, took probably 20+ hours, while I painstakingly figured FCPX out, bit by bit. By the time I got to Footloose, I'd say it was more like five hours total to bring in all the split screen stuff, even with all the cutaway shots and b-roll. I was more adept with the software by then.

    The lens on my 80D is an EFS 18-135.

    You can set the GoPro cameras to not do the extreme wide-angle shot they default to, which I've done on some of the video. Wide worked well for the drummer, so more of the kit made it into the frame (although I then moved the right edge of his frame in to accommodate the center frame), but I try to use a narrower setting for singles of me playing guitar, etc.

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    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: Calling all aspiring video producers!

    I've long thought about (and did nothing ) doing video and audio recording. Originally I was hoping to use video to capture my playing with the idea that I might get one of those magic moments on tape. Then I realize those moments are few and far between and that it takes a lot of work to get so you can make it happen on a more regular basis.

    I would probably say I'd be doing asynchronous since I'd be playing multiple parts, much like I do now with Logic. I have a couple of digital cameras (I think, they may have gone to recycling from the packing and sorting of the move) and if nothing else, I have my iPhone. In fact, there's a nice rig that can act as both a stand and a hand carry whatever they call it. I'll probably find a deal on Black Friday for one.
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

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    Forum Member dirtdog's Avatar
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    Re: Calling all aspiring video producers!

    Here's my small physical setup. As you can see, pretty tight, but I make it work. I've got a few more feet behind me from where this picture was taken and about twice the space to the left of the white book case. But that's lounge/TV space! Very important!

    As you can see, though, very simple lighting setup. One key light to the left on the white shelf, two el cheapo LED lights at the top of the backdrop. The backdrop is 5' by 8'. I wish it was 7' x 8' so it would stretch to the floor but my framing is such that my shots are well above the bottom of the backdrop. I originally had it mounted the other way, but then it wasn't wide enough to get me and the long scale of bass backdropped properly. I monitor and control the video recording with the MBP while I do the audio recording on the iMac. Then knit it all together.

    My Gretsch video was done in a similar fashion, but I'm seated in the frame, have the light in tighter on me and have the camera in position off centre and closer to me.

    The pics were taken with ambient lighting ON and with daylight pouring through the window. I have only a fraction of the light when I record video (and the camera's setting enabling the cinematic effect).



    And here's my little studio nook.


    Last edited by dirtdog; 11-26-2020 at 04:31 PM.

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    Forum Member dirtdog's Avatar
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    Re: Calling all aspiring video producers!

    Quote Originally Posted by DanTheBluesMan View Post
    I've long thought about (and did nothing ) doing video and audio recording. Originally I was hoping to use video to capture my playing with the idea that I might get one of those magic moments on tape. Then I realize those moments are few and far between and that it takes a lot of work to get so you can make it happen on a more regular basis.

    I would probably say I'd be doing asynchronous since I'd be playing multiple parts, much like I do now with Logic. I have a couple of digital cameras (I think, they may have gone to recycling from the packing and sorting of the move) and if nothing else, I have my iPhone. In fact, there's a nice rig that can act as both a stand and a hand carry whatever they call it. I'll probably find a deal on Black Friday for one.
    There's certainly a lot you can do with an iPhone! And you don't need a ton of post-production when it comes to single player videos.

    I'm working up a little series of videos where I *attempt* to play (and record) some tunes that I've always liked but never would play in a band, nor get my band to cover...I have, in various stages of completion, a few on the go:

    Dreadlock Holiday (10cc)
    London Calling (The Clash)
    Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division)
    Sour Times (Portishead)

    I had visions of doing something like Frog Leap Studios does, but I think that might be overly ambitious. I tried out his production methodology (he spends a week on a tune), it works but is very involved when it comes to the video. I may just stick to video of me playing bass (close in like the Grestch video) to start with, at least.

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    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: Calling all aspiring video producers!

    gimbal was the word I was looking for.

    something like this

    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...bal-stabilizer
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

  12. #12
    Forum Member dirtdog's Avatar
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    Re: Calling all aspiring video producers!

    Quote Originally Posted by pc View Post
    1. I drag all the video into stacked "lanes" in FCPX, with the bottom lane being the audio .wav file of the final mix. I do each video track one at a time, making the "lanes" as tall as possible (and almost all the way wide, left to right) so I can see the peaks and valleys of the waveform on my audio track and the audio that was captured on the camera itself. Drag the video so everything lines up, then turn off the audio from that video track and repeat the process with the next video track. On a tune like the Bonamassa, it was easy, because it starts with those big drum hits.

    This is actually far easier than I thought it would be. When we do distanced videos nowadays, I remind the bass player to leave the audio that he's playing along with on (rather than wearing headphones) so I can accomplish this easier. It's a little trickier with my vocalist, since he is wearing cans while recording his distanced parts, but still not that tough.

    2. VERY. Lol. The Bonamassa, my first, took probably 20+ hours, while I painstakingly figured FCPX out, bit by bit. By the time I got to Footloose, I'd say it was more like five hours total to bring in all the split screen stuff, even with all the cutaway shots and b-roll. I was more adept with the software by then.

    The lens on my 80D is an EFS 18-135.

    You can set the GoPro cameras to not do the extreme wide-angle shot they default to, which I've done on some of the video. Wide worked well for the drummer, so more of the kit made it into the frame (although I then moved the right edge of his frame in to accommodate the center frame), but I try to use a narrower setting for singles of me playing guitar, etc.
    Thanks for the detail, pc. Definitely going be to spending some long winter nights messing around with FCPX! I’ve managed to do a simple dual split screen thingy. I think I’d better start with more effective media management strategies!

  13. #13
    Forum Member dirtdog's Avatar
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    Re: Calling all aspiring video producers!

    Quote Originally Posted by DanTheBluesMan View Post
    gimbal was the word I was looking for.

    something like this

    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...bal-stabilizer

    Oh yeah! Definitely useful if you’re on the move and want to stabilize shots.

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    Re: Calling all aspiring video producers!

    Speaking of upcoming projects, I just started pre-production on our latest video-song, by doing some deep-dive synth programming on the Prophet 6.

    Any guesses on the next song?


  15. #15
    Forum Member dirtdog's Avatar
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    Re: Calling all aspiring video producers!

    Quote Originally Posted by pc View Post
    Speaking of upcoming projects, I just started pre-production on our latest video-song, by doing some deep-dive synth programming on the Prophet 6.

    Any guesses on the next song?

    Instantly recognized that one - even without the drums backing it!

  16. #16
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    Re: Calling all aspiring video producers!

    I hope you were trying to hurrying us into making a hasty response to that fleeting example

    Hey, has anybody seen Tom? Last name Sawyer
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

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    Re: Calling all aspiring video producers!

    Quote Originally Posted by DanTheBluesMan View Post
    I hope you were trying to hurrying us into making a hasty response to that fleeting example

    Hey, has anybody seen Tom? Last name Sawyer

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