Part 2: Video Best Practices and Audio-Video Synchronization
In this three part series, we guide you to do an effective video audition for post secondary music programs, on a budget. We’ll dive in to the differences in sound quality between premium recording equipment, dirt cheap audio recording, and the mic that’s on your iPhone. You will be guided through the step by step procedures of how to set up this equipment, buy it cheaply, and edit it with speed.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to record your audio and video simultaneously through separate equipment. We’ll show you how to set up and record various audio equipment (see Part One), how to maximize your phone’s video camera (Part Two), and demonstrate the difference in fidelity between different gear (Part Three).
THINGS YOU WILL NEED
iPhone (or Android, or whatever other device you have for video).
Clean Room With a Window
Clutter will look unprofessional and could affect the room’s acoustics, colouring your tone in unpleasant ways.
Natural light beats artificial light when you’re on a shoestring budget so try to shoot in a room with a window.
Lamps and/or Daylight
Try to choose only white or yellow light and avoid blue light sources. When combined with daylight, white and/or yellow lights can give off a very professional and pleasant look.
Try to stagger your light sources height and length wise. For instance, combine your window with a lamp on a desk and a flood light on the floor.
Face towards your light sources and have the camera face away from them. You never want light coming from behind you in these videos.
Most music schools require you to wear a full black suit to performances so dress business casual at least.
Something to Hold your Phone
Under no circumstances should you have another person holding your phone or even a good camera. The device MUST be stable. Everyone should have a mini flexible tripod for their phone, especially musicians. Here’s the Amazon.com search for “phone tripod”. They’re not indestructable, but they’re pretty good value for 12 dollars!
If you have a good camera and a real tripod, that’s a great alternative to the phone for the video.
COMBINING YOUR AUDIO AND VIDEO
You’ve already read about how to get good quality audio recordings on the cheap in Part 1 of this series.
Import your audio and video both to iMovie. Leave the volume on your video untouched for the time being.
Line up the wavelengths from your video audio and your exported mp3/WAV audio that you recorded using your DAW. You’re basically just matching the pictures of the sound here so that they’re in sync.
Slide down your the video’s audio until it’s muted.
Watch through the whole video to see that your video is perfectly lined up with the audio from your DAW.
Finally, export your video as MP4 or .MOV to 720p or 1080p if possible. Some newer phones shoot in 4k- this won’t make your performance better and will make it exponentially longer to export.
Then, if you want to share your video in a secure way for others to comment on, sign up for your own private audition video hosting site at WeVu.video!
Click here for part 1 of this series to learn best practices on recording audio
We’re working on part 3, where we will compare the audio fidelity of cheap, mid-level, and premium recording setups.