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Get it right first time

So yesterday evening I set about trying to video an ambient-esque guitar piece I’ve had on my list…

To cut a long story short it took me over an hour to get things setup “right” (and by that I mean wrong, but we’ll come to that later). Once the cameras were in place, the PC running and the guitar rig setup I was ready to hit record on the 2 cameras and in my DAW. Needless to say half an hour later and I’d done this over 10 times, each time something not being quite right. Nonetheless I carried on.

I finally managed an end to end recording that was bearable – not good, not what I wanted, just bearable. I had a quick play with EQs etc and reached the point where I was so unhappy with it I just thought that’ll do and moved on to editing the video… or trying to.

I’m cheap, so using free versions of software – that I’ve used successfully in the past might I add. This time round however, it felt unintuitive and got in the way of my creative flow. I knew what I wanted, but I couldn’t get working. Google helped as always, but again I reached a point where no amount of swearing at the PC was going to help – after all, it was only following my instructions.

I threw the audio track in, synced it up and exported, already knowing I wasn’t going to be happy… and I wasn’t, and I’m still not. In fact, I’ll be doing the whole thing again, but with a few somewhat obvious learning points….

1) Get the sound right first. I already know it can’t be fixed in the mix, but my stubbornness got the better of me. It will take longer, but it’s worth it.
2) Try to set the cameras up recording at the same frame rate so there’s less faffing around trying to get the editing software to like them.
3) Set up a space that looks how you want. I like things to be ‘clean’, but my desk and so on in the background of the video got on my nerves.
4) Cream carpet is hard to edit colour wise – shadows, mids, highs etc no matter what I did the patch of cream carpet between my feet and the pedals just lit up like a Christmas tree every time. Darker colours for background, or not so much uninterrupted cream would be ok I guess.

So hopefully this weekend, I’m going to try again… there’ll still be cream carpet, but hopefully more bearable… wish me luck!

Dom Whittard

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