Audio and Video recording

Edited: June 3, 2018, 5:09 PM · It is time for me to make my legacy keepsake before the arms, ears, hands and fingers shut down. I want to record myself (video and audio) and be able to splice together sections to make a whole. I will be recording a movement from the Bach S&P's

I have a Macbook. I have a decent microphone but no camera.

I am looking for recommendations on equipment and software. I know that I can use tools like Audacity (which I own) to record sound and use a move editor to put it together but I need as simple as possible. I expect that I will be managing many takes so workflow is important.

Please offer suggestions. The guideline on cost is it should be cheaper than hiring someone to do it all for me.

Replies (12)

June 3, 2018, 5:11 PM · Splicing video smoothly is extremely difficult. That's one of the reasons that competitions and the like request video recordings, not just audio ones.
June 3, 2018, 9:09 PM · Do you have an iDevice (iPad, iPhone) or Android? Maybe they'll be decent enough to record your stuff.
June 4, 2018, 6:27 AM · You could buy an inexpensive webcam for the video. I have a Logitech C920 that has a built in mic.That model has been proven over time to be a good one. Records in 1080p. The mic in it isn't great. In a pinch I have seen others use one of these for video/audio and get amazingly good results because they were good players and were the right distances from the mic.They had the proper levels set and so forth.

What I generally do when making a video where the music is important is run two programs together at the same time. I'll run video software with a cheap mic capture of the audio. Then at the same time I'll run dedicated audio recording software picking up audio with better mics. Then I import the video into my audio program and line up the audio track in the video with my better audio eventually deleting the inferior scratch track.
I'm not a mac user, so I'm not as familiar with them. Logic likely imports video that you could do a similar thing with.

For PC there are many programs out there that can do this. Vegas pro comes to mind.

Edited: June 4, 2018, 7:20 AM · I have a clip-on MS webcam for Skype (€35) but I have seen better ones for €240 with twin mics, high resolution etc.

I use a Zoom Q3-HD for rehearsals: the video is worthy of a smartphone, but the stereo sound is heaps better, with a choice of wave or mp3 formats. Around €200. I have to put a mirror behind it to make "selfies", though.

The newer Q4 has a swivelling screen, but the video demos have a horrible "fish-eye" look, which wouldn't flatter my waistline.

I too am planning a few home recordings for family and friends while I still can!

June 4, 2018, 7:19 AM · I use studio one 3 for recording, It's simple and easy to use. I then use shot-cut video editor to put the video to the music :D Both programs are free and really really good!!

Like Timothy Smith has said I would recommend videoing yourself at the same time as recording the audio with the microphone (so actually video yourself playing into the microphone) so as to save having to spend ages syncing them up, but obviously don't forget to mute the audio that the camera records because otherwise you have 2 audio files at the same time.:D

Edited: June 4, 2018, 7:31 AM · ACtually splicing videos is easy nowadays with modern software :-)

I run a studio so this is my area of expertise :-)

A lot of modern affordable gadgets rival the advanced technology of 20 years ago, so there's never been a better time to record yourself with decent quality!

Recording with a modern smartphone works quite well , as do the Zoom gadgets that some have recommended.

Here's an affordable recommendation that I would make for someone who wants to learn more about recording:

-get a device like Apogee One that has very high quality converters. This is called an interface, and it s what allows you to plug in a good mic and connect it to your computer
-get a very affordable mic. Ribbon mics are nice for violin as they often smoothen the high end frequencies. I know some violinists who use the Golden R1 MK2 ribbon mic. It's under 200$
-get Logic Pro for your mac (very affordable)
-get Final Cut Pro X (also very affordable)
-film with your smartphone. Record the audio and video separately , and put everythning together with the above

THis will cost you less than 1000$ , and you'll be set for a very very longtime. All this is at the entry level of professional quality, and again it already rivals if not surpasses technology of 20 years ago!

Edited: June 4, 2018, 11:05 AM · @ Elliot- They just came out with Studio One 4 :)Has a nice chord arranger in it.I haven't bought it yet because I'm contemplating Acid Pro 8 to use as a fast idea arranger. SO3 is cross platform making it a nice go between from PC to Mac.

@Dennis- I agree the Apogee is an excellent choice.I have the Golden Age MKIII active ribbon.Mine is the model with the internal preamp.
I'm becoming more familiar with it. Not a Royer, however in the hands of an experienced player it's probably all that is needed. I would agree with this description- Notice he uses an external pre amp.

Golden Age just introduced a stereo ribbon. Not sure if applicable to violin recording though.The pre amp makes a huge difference in using a ribbon. In fact using a basic ribbon mic with a basic interface might not be enough amplification.Golden Age offers a pre amp. Warm Audio and others make reasonably priced pre amps. You still need an interface.

June 4, 2018, 11:42 AM · Thanks all! This is all very helpful.
Edited: June 4, 2018, 12:29 PM · Denis, I'm curious how the home/office user can do video-with-audio splicing without it being noticeable.

I can't imagine how, in a a violin performance, for instance, you'd match shots from multiple takes. You'd have to switch camera angles to mask a splice, wouldn't you?

For the professionally-filmed "talking head" videos that I do at work, I believe that the film crew and editors always splice between sentences and have to change camera angles to make it look natural.

Edited: June 4, 2018, 7:00 PM · Yes you would indeed have to use different camera angles or other kinds of trickery along those lines.

Basically, if you can put together takes with just the audio and make it sound perfect, then the video shouldn't be tough either.

There are other tricks too if you don't want to do multi-cam.

You shoot a video with the best possible take you can get, and if there are passages that are not perfect, you can redo the audio, and replace those passages.

Let's say one phrase is particularly out of tune, but the rest of the performance was good. While still standing in the same position, you rerecord just that passage by playing along to the recorded audio, and do your best to match the rhythm/phrasing. Then you replace the audio.

I've had to do that for some artists as part of my job ;-) . No one can tell the difference!

Edited: June 5, 2018, 5:18 AM · For syncing audio and video, do what the movie makers do and use a clapperboard, or just clap your hands. This gives you a visual spike in the waveform that you can line up. I use Logic to record the audio and then add that to the video in Final Cut Pro. I can see the two audio waveforms from the video and the audio and line up the spike from the clap. The audio from the video camera is then silenced and the beginning with the clap is chopped off.

Golden Age is a good company and well priced. Do check out their pre 73 line of preamps.
I've mentioned them before but these Russian handmade ribbon microphones have been creating a buzz in the audio world. They are still cheap for the time being. I bought 3 and I'm very happy:
Just don't turn on your phantom power with ribbon microphones unless you have a cloud lifter or some such device.

June 5, 2018, 6:35 PM · Thanks for the heads up on the Russian mics Christopher.

I do as you describe when I double track the audio.I don't typically use multiple shots although it wouldn't be difficult to do.

For the benefit of anyone who is interested.In a nutshell this is one way it can be done:

I run both the video and the audio programs at the same time on the same computer.
I launch the video recording program a few seconds before I launch the audio program.After recording, import video into audio program. Loading the video will split the audio and video tracks.As Christopher mentioned, Line up the visual waveforms of recording app audio to the audio that recorded with the video. In some software you may need to select a fine resolution to match it. If the default is 1/4 note, you may need to set it to 1/32 or 1/64.
This can be accomplished without keystrokes most of the time. You simply grab the waveform with your mouse and drag it to the new location.

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