Friend and sometimes boss mikeyd had a friend ask him to help her with her entry into a karaoke contest. Mikey suggested that I could try out the video recording on the new camera, so I hauled out some of the old sound recording gear, bought some new mics, grabbed the camera and the tripod and headed to Avalon at Mission Bay's penthouse to film.
We shot 14 takes, of which 3 were usable. Top discard reasons:
- Video exposure problems
- Artist goofs
- Background sound (other people in the room)
The internal mic on the camera is pretty much useless for anything but tourist shots, so I recorded audio on MicroTrack II, one mic into each channel. This gave pretty good (though not perfect) separation of the guitar and vocal tracks. When I got home, over several days, I cut the audio into multitrack mode with Soundtrack Pro, adding more vocal to the mix, a bit of stereo separation, fade in and fade out, and a bit of reverb to the vocals. I tried a some light auto-tune, but the guitar strumming picked up on the vocal track sounded really, really odd through the auto-tuner.
I used iMovie (I didn't have time for the Final Cut Pro learning curve) to cut the original audio off, sync the new audio track, trim the junk out of the video, normalize the audio volume, and export 720p to YouTube. Here are the 3 results:
- Shooting in front of a window? Maybe it would look nicer as a night shot.
- Leave plenty of time on either end of both sound and video; trying to sneak the last second out of the clip is lame.
- Get a board to show take number to the camera. Say it clearly on the audio track. Stop and start between each take, even if they screw up the first note.
- Think you've got 2 or 3 good takes out of 14? You probably need to shoot 30.
- Put whoever's providing rhythm on a click track, even if you don't think you'll cut multiple videos together. Write the BPM on the cue board.