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Suggestion to make your videos have the professional touch

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Suggestion to make your videos have the professional touch

Post by JohnA on Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:31 am

So I have done a bit of video editing in the past and I have some suggestions for you if you can make this happen in the future. I'm sure you already have thoughts of a professional video production team taking videos of you making piano lessons, but if not, this might be an option for next year. Perhaps someone in your area would like to help you with this too. This might be wishful thinking at the mo but here goes....

Ideally you need 2 if not 3 cameras rolling. You might see if you can get some sponsorship from a video camera company in return for putting a mini 5 second advert at the beginning or end of your videos. You need one Camera to your side showing a wide view of you and the piano. Mount it on a tripod so that it is stable. Next have a camera that is mounted about 6-8 feet behind the piano (out of site of the first camera view) zoomed in so that when you face the camera you fill about half the screen. Have the piano showing in the bottom 1/4 of the screen. Next get a ceiling mount and have a camera pointed directly down at the keyboard. There is a guy on youtube who does his lessons like this. You might like to ask him how he did it.

You also must get a separate mic to pick up the sound correctly. Ideally you'll have a picup mic for the piano (I'm sure there is a specific way to setup to pickup piano music) and a lapel mic for you. Having two separate audio channels gives you a lot more freedom to play around in editing. Plus camcorder mics are omni-directional and lack focus and definition so they always sound lack-lustre.

A final point, if you can, use HD cameras and ideally Pro-consumer cameras like the Sony HDR-FX1e (That would be great if Sony gave you a couple of those!).

Now that you have all the equipment, you need to get properly setup:

1) Ensure that you have all the cameras in their fixed position. Set the zoom as it should be.
2) Important: Turn off automatic adjustment and set it so that it looks right. Make sure you get the lighting setting right (it'll be in the manual). You only need to set it once if you always use the same lighting.
3) Get bright lighting for the room! Use a couple of 100W bulbs without shades in two or three high locations. This should give a nice ambient lighting.
4) Test the sound, set to record and go!

Suggestions for direction: Use the first camera for your introduction, making key points and closing. Use the second camera to discuss small points and specific lesson notes. And of course use the third camera to demonstrate the keys.

Suggestions for scripting: Have it clearly defined what will be achieved for the lesson. Have everything prepared including your slides and have some basic direction notes so that you don't get lost in your own training session. Keep as much consistency as possible from lesson to lesson so that it avoids any confusion or discrepancy. Have a clear path from lesson 1 to lesson X. Be sure to mention at the end of the lesson what you want your students to now practice, how long for, any other assignments you want to give them and to mention what will be learned in the next lesson. Think about any download-able material you want to create for your students to help them on there course.

Putting it all together in the edit suite:
Personally I use a Mac with the iMovie software which is great, but if you're not using a Mac see if you can get some decent cheap editing software. Since you have the two separate sound tracks, you can just drop those in. And with the 3 separate video tracks, you'll be able to just flip between the tracks as required. The sound should all be matched up without much issue. You'll want to drop in any slides that demonstrate key information such as circle of 5ths etc... Make them consistent, clean and uncluttered. Of course if you want to edit video bits out or take second cuts then it might get a bit more complicated but it will be worth it in the end. A bit of frustration now will pay dividends later.

Put this all together, and I think you'll eventually have a suite of training videos that you could probably put together as a sellable package! If you get this right, I believe that you could give the first 5 more professionally put together videos for free and have the rest in a premium section of your site with the download-able content. Charge a nominal fee for your hard work.

If you haven't noticed, I get a bit carried away with ideas sometimes!
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Nooooooo!! this is no time for professionalism!

Post by CaptainAhabNZ on Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:55 am

eeek!, it's only my opinion but it's the "homemade" approach that makes it accessable and interesting to watch!, besides Andrew is doing this for free, I'd hate to think he is spending money doing it, it is amazing that he so generously gives his time........especially considering he has a babe for a girlfriend queen it is amazing he gives us his time at all ! Cool
I think he is doing a fine effort just as it is cheers but that's just my opinion....end of rant!

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Re: Suggestion to make your videos have the professional touch

Post by Thomandy on Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:02 pm

CaptainAhabNZ wrote:eeek!, it's only my opinion but it's the "homemade" approach that makes it accessable and interesting to watch!, besides Andrew is doing this for free, I'd hate to think he is spending money doing it, it is amazing that he so generously gives his time........especially considering he has a babe for a girlfriend queen it is amazing he gives us his time at all ! Cool
I think he is doing a fine effort just as it is cheers but that's just my opinion....end of rant!

I agree! I feel Andrews New REcordings are at a VERY high level!!! Feels very professional, and interesting!!
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Re: Suggestion to make your videos have the professional touch

Post by VictorCS on Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:54 pm

If he should spend that much money I think we wouldnt get this for free. Remember, he does it for free, and I dont think it's to bad.

I think his recordings are at a high level compared to most of the lessons out there.
I'll agree that the sound could be better to really kick ass, but....

I like it free, and I like it how it is right now Smile
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Re: Suggestion to make your videos have the professional touch

Post by JohnA on Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:20 pm

I agree wholeheartedly that he does an excellent job with his teaching and that the free time he gives up is so incredibly valuable. It's incredibly admirable and why I am so fond of his teachings. My suggestion is simply to take it to 'the next level' if he should so wish. I'm sure that he would like to be the best at what he does. Plus, he shouldn't have to spend any money if he gets sponsored for it.
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Re: Suggestion to make your videos have the professional touch

Post by Thomandy on Mon Sep 01, 2008 3:59 pm

VictorCS wrote:If he should spend that much money I think we wouldnt get this for free. Remember, he does it for free, and I dont think it's to bad.

I think his recordings are at a high level compared to most of the lessons out there.
I'll agree that the sound could be better to really kick ass, but....

I like it free, and I like it how it is right now Smile

Havnt you heard the new sound?? He got a new mic Smile That audio atm is Perfect. Just listen to Angelas Fantasi. Audio is Great! Smile
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Re: Suggestion to make your videos have the professional touch

Post by JohnA on Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:21 pm

cool. I've only got to lesson 9 with the old videos. I noticed he upgraded the camera at one point..vid on youtube. not sure where it is here though. Great stuff.
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Re: Suggestion to make your videos have the professional touch

Post by Thomandy on Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:25 pm

johnadurcan wrote:cool. I've only got to lesson 9 with the old videos. I noticed he upgraded the camera at one point..vid on youtube. not sure where it is here though. Great stuff.

The new videos is alot better in quality!! Just check them out instead Smile They are remakes of the old ones Just to improve the quality!!! Wink Got to his channel and they are all there if you press the Number obov where its videos! Ten the videos is arranged by date added!!! Smile
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Re: Suggestion to make your videos have the professional touch

Post by Admin Andrew on Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:26 pm

Thomandy wrote:
VictorCS wrote:If he should spend that much money I think we wouldnt get this for free. Remember, he does it for free, and I dont think it's to bad.

I think his recordings are at a high level compared to most of the lessons out there.
I'll agree that the sound could be better to really kick ass, but....

I like it free, and I like it how it is right now Smile

Havnt you heard the new sound?? He got a new mic Smile That audio atm is Perfect. Just listen to Angelas Fantasi. Audio is Great! Smile

The main problem with my audio in the lessons is sometimes I'll be filming piano performance so I turn the mic volume down so that It won't clip any of the loud sounds. But then When i started to shoot a new lesson I'd forget to a just the sound to a higher level so that my voice would be loud and clear, and sometimes I'd record all three lessons like this not realizing it until I imported it into the computer. By then I just said something like "Oh well I'll just boost the sound with some gain" which doesn't really fix the problem completely but it does help it. That's why some lessons the sound is PERFECT and others it's hard to hear.


Yea, i've thought about going really professional, but I don't want to have to start charging people at all. The whole point of doing these lessons is to reach out to the people who can't afford it. Plus, when you do something for free, you get a warm fuzzy feeling inside. When you do it for money, that warm fuzzy feeling becomes a cold empty one. I think giving away is more importaint than taking from people. I NEVER NEVER EVER want to be like those other piano teaching scam artists on the internet. NEVER.

So yea ^_^ I'll probably be keeping things the way they are for awhile. My lessons actually ARE in HD right now, all my RAW files are 1920 X 1080 (which obviously YouTube can't handle)

I like the idea about setting the camera on manual setting, I think that's a good idea because sometimes it will start changing my colouring etc during the lesson which bugs me a lot.

Anyway... for now I don't have the money to hire a professional crew. Maybe in the future ^_^ I'm looking into selling my videos in a high resolution, while still keeping the low quality lessons on youtube for free. You'd pretty much only pay for the lesson if you wanted to get a high resolution version. I still don't know if that's going to work out or not. We'll see.

Anyway Smile I'm done filming for a while now. Releasing all those videos so quickly was soooo much work! There were MANY nights of staying up until 6 am or later just trying to get stuff done as quickly as possible

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Re: Suggestion to make your videos have the professional touch

Post by VictorCS on Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:36 pm

I would really benefit from those 1920x1080 files on my 24" monitor, but since youtube isnt supporting,
and streaming 15-20mbit is beyond my 3.5mbit internet....

Ya, you get it Cool

You should release them on Blu-ray with LPCM and 7.1 surround... Razz
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Re: Suggestion to make your videos have the professional touch

Post by Storm1822 on Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:12 am

one of the simplest things you could do for improved sound quality is 2 things
Acoustics
and, micing.
sound panelling can kill al ot of reverb in the room which is a lot more pleasnt listening experience.
as for micing the 'SHURE 57 mic is industry and is omni directional mic (good for room micing) and the shure 57 is an all rounder.
as for youtube videos,, if you get the free program 'AUDACITY' load the videos sound into and put a 19khz sine wave on it, making sure the volume of the 19k wave is louder than the videos volume, this way the dynamic range of the videos sound is preserved when youtubes compressor activates,, also since youtube takes the bit rate down it cuts out from around 18k up ,,so it essentially removes the 19k hertz after it has been compressed

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Re: Suggestion to make your videos have the professional touch

Post by JohnA on Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:49 pm

WOW! I've just gone onto the new and improved HD videos and they are WAY better. Great stuff! I see that you've already done some of the suggestions I made anyhow such as better lighting and a steady/consistent camera position for lead in and out. Cool!
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Re: Suggestion to make your videos have the professional touch

Post by Biko on Wed Sep 03, 2008 5:14 pm

I've always thought it sounds good.
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Re: Suggestion to make your videos have the professional touch

Post by The Royal Nobody on Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:56 am

I came across andrews videos around lesson #5 I think. At that point I was really happy with such a teacher and didnt care about the quality. From there on the videos only got better lookiing so that's great. What I'm trying to say is that even if your videos were like 16 pixels, I would still watch them because they are just very usefull. Plus sometimes you are very funny Smile
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Re: Suggestion to make your videos have the professional touch

Post by Amro on Sat Sep 27, 2008 11:57 am

The Royal Nobody wrote:I came across andrews videos around lesson #5 I think. At that point I was really happy with such a teacher and didnt care about the quality. From there on the videos only got better lookiing so that's great. What I'm trying to say is that even if your videos were like 16 pixels, I would still watch them because they are just very usefull. Plus sometimes you are very funny Smile

100 % Agreed ..
Even If they are Audio Only .. Very Happy
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Re: Suggestion to make your videos have the professional touch

Post by Admin Andrew on Sun Sep 28, 2008 10:28 am

Amro wrote:
The Royal Nobody wrote:I came across andrews videos around lesson #5 I think. At that point I was really happy with such a teacher and didnt care about the quality. From there on the videos only got better lookiing so that's great. What I'm trying to say is that even if your videos were like 16 pixels, I would still watch them because they are just very usefull. Plus sometimes you are very funny Smile

100 % Agreed ..
Even If they are Audio Only .. Very Happy

Awww well thanks guys Very Happy

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Re: Suggestion to make your videos have the professional touch

Post by chockablocka on Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:22 am

I like the feel of the videos as they are.... Laughing dont change them. Laughing

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