Equipment for recording yourself

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  1. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    I was just wondering what everyone uses to record themselves. I have a basic set up of a Logitech 9000 webcam and Windows XP. My mates are egging me on to get a Macbook pro and Logic, which given the expense will have to wait a while. I use a Zoom H2 for mp3 recordings which is great and I use Audacity if I want to double track myself.
    I have tried using the Zoom as the mic for the Logitech for better audio quality but it doesn't like it for some reason. Also does anyone use a Portastudio and what do they think of them? Any help would be much appreciated.
  2. Susanne
    Susanne
    I usually just use the Macbook with the built-in mic and iSight camera. I've found that the Macbook mic is better than on the iMac, but I'm not sure if I'm just imagining that???
    For no-video recordings I either use a Zoom H4 or the built-in mic with Garage Band.

    Talking about Zoom, it seems that the mp3 files made with the Zoom are never accepted on Onmvoice! I didn't have problems with the Garage Band made tunes. That's weird.
  3. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Tosh, I have used the Zoom H2 for all my recordings with my Logitech QuickCam Fusion.
    The H2 is recognised by the Logitech Webcam software and shows up in the settings as an additional mike.

    Maybe there is a new software version for your WebCam available on the net? I got their new version just a few weeks ago.

    By the way, the Zoom is also recognised in the Windows settings, and all other video or audio software I have. So maybe you should look into that again. The quality I get with the Zoom is infinitely better than what I get with the Webcam's own microphone.
    It think it would be absurd to get an Apple Computer JUST for this purpose - unless you are in the market for a new computer anyway.
    Just my two cents worth
  4. BlueMt.
    BlueMt.
    For the videos here ,I just use the built in camera and mic on my iMac and record direct to iMovie. For mp3's I have a Zoom H4.

    Eric
  5. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    I record with a Logitech C300 webcam, with an external old Philips dynamic mic through a basic BTech microphone preamp into the line-in socket of a Dell Latitude XPS M1210 laptop. No problems with the microphone appearing in the control panel of the Logitech webcam software. I don't bother with editing the clips: I post them from my turning on the webcam to my turning it off, except for one clip where I cut out a false start using Windows Movie Maker.

    Martin
  6. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    I record vids using an iSight webcam and the iMovie program on my aging Powerbook. For mp3's I use a Zoom H2.
  7. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Thanks for the responses. Manfred, I'll have to look into that issue with the Logitech and Zoom because when I try to do it I get a sound like the volume is too high and then when I lower the volume I get barely audible audio. I did install a Creative Sound Card a while back and there may be issues with that. But when I get some time, I'll investigate and I'll go to Logitech's site to look for the downloads......Many thanks.
  8. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Hi Tosh, I use Reaper for recording (into my laptop). It allows very straightforward recording and mixing of both audio and midi files, which is not always the case with other DAWs. It is very competitively priced and can be downloaded and tried out free and with no restrictions from their website - www.reaper.fm. Regular updates available if you pay for the program - about $60 at present for the discounted licence.
    For video I am experimenting with a Sanyo Xacti camcorder and it seems a great wee camera. Still to post to the group with it as I have been involved in other projects recently and not been producing video stuff. I still use at times a simple Sharp minidisc recorder with two small mics which plug in via an adapter and give a stereo effect - good for live work with band members though not a patch on the Zoom and other more modern portables.
  9. Rob Gerety
    Rob Gerety
    I once had a Zoom H4 and used that for audio - very nice unit. Just last week I got an amazing little digital multitrack recorder by Tascam - Tascam dp-008 digital pocketstudio. http://www.tascam.com/products/dp-008.html. Quite a cool little gizmo - I'm just learning how to use it but it seems very easy and quite good quality. You can use the excellent built in condenser mics or you can plug in an instrument with a pick up or use an external mic. It has phantom power available for external condenser mics. It has reverb and eq. The one I have is an 8 track model, they also make a 4 track model. The 4 track model is around $150 or so street price. This 8 track was $230. The files that it creates can be mixed down to a wav. The individual track files, or the wav, or both can be exported to your computer and manipulated with your favorite DAW (like Reaper or pro tools or cubase or audacity or whatever) although for my purposes it is unnecessary to do anything with the files - they sound fine as is off the Tascam. I got real frustrated a few years ago when I tried to do this with a computer interface, a mic, and my lap top. I ran into all sorts of problems and it was unduly complex for my pea brain. I never managed to get good fast and easy recordings. I know many people go this route but for me the learning curve was too steep. But this Tascam thing just works - no problems. Even I can figure it out quickly and easily and it really is nice to be able to lay down multiple tracks with ease. I hope to be posting a few tunes recorded with this soon.

    When I screw up my courage I will make video with a little Flip camera that my wife has.

    The one thing I don't yet know how to do is combining the wav or mp3 that I make using the TASCAM recorder with the video of myself laying down the mandolin track. If anyone could help me with how to do that I sure would be grateful! That is one big piece of the puzzle I am missing.
  10. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Rob, I'm sure others more knowledgeable than I will answer your question. Do you use a PC or a Mac? My PC's 'Windows Movie Maker' had some kind of bug, and wouldn't work, but then I got a Mac, and combine audio and video in iMovie.
  11. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    I just use the built in camera/mics on my MacBook Pro. By the time youtube gets through with it, it sounds bad anyway. For multitracking I use Logic Express. Great sounding plugins on that program.
  12. CelticDude
    CelticDude
    Hello Tosh,

    For basic videos to put on YouTube, I use my Canon Powershot camera. The videos are fine, although the sound quality is not the best. I then use Windows MovieMaker to edit out extra stuff at the beginning and end.

    I have a Zoom H2, which I like AFA sound quality. I've occasionally recorded myself with the H2 at the same time as I video, then replaced the video's audio track with the H2 recording. Works well for a single track. Like you, I tried to use the H2 with my PC and Audacity, but the latency was too bad. I ended up getting a PortaStudio, which I like. A lot.

    The PortaStudio has probably been my best purchase for this kind of stuff. Multitracking is totally intuitive, and it also mixes and masters. You can also export the tracks and bring them into Audacity, although I haven't tried this yet. Seems easier to just master on the PortaStudio and export the master as a wave.

    Recently I've been experimenting with doing a multitrack with the PortaStudio, then videoing myself playing one of the tracks (usually mando), and then replacing the video's audio track with the multi-track. This is a lot of work though; I need to go thru a couple of edits of the video to get a final. But it does work well. Easier is to just post the mp3, although most people here like to see videos (me too).

    Hope this helps. - DWP
  13. Rob Gerety
    Rob Gerety
    So do I understand that if I video myself playing one of the tracks I lay down with my portastudio I can some how replace the sound that the video camera records with the wav or mp3 from the portastudio? Can you explain how you do that - just in a general way?
  14. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    CelticDude, the Zoom H2, plugged in via USB, works perfectly as a super microphone with many video or audio programs. ( see my post above).
    This saves A LOT of time.

    I have sent Tosh a detailed PM on how that works. Let me know if you are interested to get that, too.
  15. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Many thanks to everyone, you have been so helpful. I am having issues with my logitech webcam at the moment, so I am temporarily down. I'll get it fixed though and I will think about what I will go for. The H2 is great, and hopefully I'll get it to work the Logitech once I have it working again. I will consult a friend who is a bit more knowledgeable about it than I am.....
  16. Eddie Sheehy
    I use a Sony Handycam and offload the video to my PC. I then use FLV Converter to convert the MPEG to FLV and upload it to Youtube - much faster than having Youtube convert your MPEG on the fly... Now if I could only find the "increase skill" button...
  17. Chris Hasty
    Chris Hasty
    For Video I usually use the Mac, like most others. It does it's job well. I will sometimes do a mix in garageband, but it can be hard to sync... mainly because I haven't done audio and video together too many times.

    For audio I love my Tascam DR-1, it is a fantastic piece of equipment. However, I like the looks of that little DP-008.
  18. CelticDude
    CelticDude
    Rob: Windows MovieMaker lets you add audio (mp3's) to your video. There is also a setting that lets you turn off the audio track of the video and just use the mp3 (I think you can in theory mix the 2, so that you could use both). So the real trick is coordinating the mp3 with the video. One way is to video yourself playing to the completed mp3, then move the mp3 around (MovieMaker lets you drag it into position) until its beginning matches that on the video. Then turn off the video soundtrack. The other is to video yourself as you play one of the tracks of the multitrack. This means you probably have headphones on. Also, if you do this, it helps if you sort of fake a clapboard. I do this by a single loud cord on the mando, with an exaggerated strum. That makes it easy to coordinate the mp3 and video.

    The problem with either of these is that you don't want to edit the video until after you've added the mp3, but cutting chunks from the video does NOT cut similar chunks from the mp3. So once the mp3 is coordinated with the video, and the video soundtrack is gone, I save that video in its original format (usually .avi for me), then edit that video to eliminate extra stuff at beginning and end. Ie. I go thru a temp video. I usually save this as some other format for YouTube.

    There may be a more elegant way to do this, but I haven't found it. My goal is to video myself playing all the tracks, and mixing the videos so that it shows snippets of me playing each instruments, but coordinated to the mp3. I suspect this is beyond MovieMakers abilities, however, and I'm not so motivated as to pay for a fancier video software package.

    Manfred: I have gotten the H2 to work on my computer for a single track. My problem comes when I try to add a second track. There is a delay between where Audacity really is and what I hear in headphones, so that my 2nd track is off from the first. If you know a way to do multiple tracks that doesn't have this problem, I'd love to hear it. I couldn't figure it out.
  19. harrywhohaa
    harrywhohaa
    Tosh,

    I'm using an H2 with Vista and the key was in windows setting it as the "default" recording device and adjusting levels appropriately. (Should work with XP as well under "Sounds and Audio Devices" control panel)
  20. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Hi Harry,
    I have re-installed the software for the Logitech but it still won't have it. I changed the audio priorities in the Sound & Audio devices like you said but it isn't having it. At least I have the webcam back, even if it does sound like an old dishwasher!!! Manfred also gave me some advice with the set up but it doesn't seem to want to know. It's probably something miniscule that I have overlooked so I'm going through manuals to see if I'm missing anything. I'm thinking of getting an AKG CS1000 mic and a preamp and having a go with that. I have an SM58 so I may get the preamp first to see what happens.....
    DWP I had that problem with Audacity and I solved it, but can't remember what it was! The other thing with Audacity is when I use the built in click track, I can't seem to remove it afterwards, so I record the first track on the H2, then run through it a couple of times in Audacity. The problem being you have to anticipate the first note...not ideal which is why I have been looking at alternatives. I'm very tempted to go Don's route I must say, but I have to watch the pennies. Maybe a cheaper option would be the Zoom R16 Portastudio and the AKG.
  21. Rob Gerety
    Rob Gerety
    Barb - I use a PC - Windows OS. I have move maker but I have never used it - guess 5'll just have to dive in.

    Celtic Dude - thanks for that explanation re syncing up the mp3 and the video. I'll give it it a try as soon as a get a bit of time.

    Manfred - I like the H2 also. But - I like the Tascam porta studio even more. It is a wonderful little device and not terribly expensive. I have none of the technical problems and learning curve problems I experienced in the past when I tried to do record with an audio interface and a mic. All that stuff with drivers and latency etc. was driving me nuts and I lost interest and sold all the stuff. Maybe its just me but I could never get it to work in a satisfactory way. The Tascam, on the other hand, works like a charm and is very intuitive - not a long learning curve at all - and the built in mics are quite good.
  22. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Haha, for the first 6 months, whenever I posted a plea for help with my old PC and Windows OS... the reply was Get A Mac. Ten years of PC use, but, last December, I did get a Mac and things have been smooth sailing ever since! With the Mac, the simplest way to video, is to video using my built in webcam, and video it through iMovie. There's another way (maybe Photobooth, but I'm not home and can't remember), but it videoed in mirror image. Susie turned me on to doing it through iMovie. Anyway, then you can edit it as you want.

    My attempts at mulit-tracking, are using Garage Band, and a separate mic, a Blue Microphones Snowball USB mic.

    We have several members who have managed to figure out how to create great sounding (almost CD quality) multi-track recording and expert video syncing....
  23. mculliton123
    mculliton123
    I'm using PC/Windows on 3 different boxes. Logitech web-cam w/Logitech s/w & Samson condenser Mic.for just a standard video. If i want to get fancy i use Audacity for multi-track and MovieMaker.
    Rob, try out MM, it's basically drag-n-drop. if an old f@rt like me can figure it out, so can you

    michael
  24. Tom Tax
    Tom Tax
    I use a Sony HDD Handycam, keep playing until I get something usable and then delete the rest with the Sony Imagemixer software. I recently bought an inexpensive microphone and plan to try recording some guitar backup on an older tape player and then playing the mandolin along with it on camera. We'll see how that goes.
  25. Rob Gerety
    Rob Gerety
    I tried doing that same thing Tom - its hard. I don't want to be doing a lot of that. I found myself doing multiple takes and having to stop and start the camera and the back up recording on separate machines was not fun. Wires all over the place. Tough sledding.

    I'm definitely in the old f@rt category but - maybe there is hope, eh Michael? I just need to trim the video and then get the mp3 substituted for the video sound - and sync it up. I really don't want to give up this multi tracking - too much fun. And I don't want to go back to using a computer based program like Audacity to actually do the recording. I'll figure it out. Worse comes to worse I'll just post mp3s.
  26. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    For simple videos I use a Logitech webcam and record directly to Quicktime and then upload to YouTube. For my multitrack/multimedia videos I record the audio through a MOTU828 directly to my hard drive and then mix it down to a WAV which I export to iMovie HD where I add video or photos. Once that is complete I convert that file to MOV format and then upload that to YouTube.
  27. Rob Gerety
    Rob Gerety
    I just figured out one problem I was having - the video from my flip camera would not import to Windows Movie Maker. Turns out the format - mp4 - is not recognized by WMM. So I downloaded a conversion program and I think I'm off to the races. Just need to fool around with it a bit.
  28. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Back in March I uploaded an mp3 of this tune played on my mandolin, tenor banjo and guitar, and have now added some video footage using the new Xacti camcorder.

    Sound track done in Reaper, rendered to mp3 and added to the video footage using Sony Vegas Movie Studio software. The sound track from the video camera was deleted and the film clips arranged to try to fit in with the music - not totally successfully as I am still very much in learning mode with the software.

    .
    Sound track done in Reaper, rendered to mp3 and added to the video footage using Sony Vegas Studio software.
  29. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    I like the way John and David use video and mix their recordings in with it. I also admire you guys who play along with a backing track. I'm learning a lot here. I solved the problem with the Zoom and Logitech, I was missing a driver. I need to consult a mate who does video shoots for a living, he's a pro musician and knows a thing or two. I think I am slowly being tempted down the Mac route, maybe!
  30. Daci
    Daci
    I have Linux so I use Audasity.
  31. dave17120
    dave17120
    OK... here we go............. I hope you are sitting comfortably....... then I'll begin.

    My baseline.......... I like acoustic music, but use amplification with the group under sufferance. I think this group is a nice idea, and I would like to take part..... so I am prepared to go some way to do that, but electronics is not my forte.

    So, when my old webcam refused to play, or vista refused to recognise it..... whichever, I ordered another. The new webcam arrived (Sogatel ball camera with built in mic) and wonder of wonders.... Vista accepted it! It seems to work fine, except fot the fact that when I try to record myself using it, I get no sound. (Yes, I checked, according to the computer everything is working properly.) AND I should add, there seems to be a delay between what I do and the camera registering it...... maybe a second or so...... maybe I have got it set up to its optimum yet?!?

    Never mind I thought, lets see what options I have for Youtube...... and apparently YES...... you can upload a video of oneself playing a tune on the mandolin with just a webcam!! Great.... I thought..... (Perhaps I should add at this point, that I have read what is above, and the contents of several other related threads, but finished feeling quite de-skilled.... I don't have any flash equipment, or the knowledge to know what is the best solution.... at least not without a lot of false starts that could quite likely cost me a fair amount of money...)

    So..... great, I can use the webcam to upload to Youtube direct. SIMPLE!! That's what I like.

    Well, we had a couple of practice bursts of 'Young Thomas Ennis' (a very nice little jig..) and then pressed the go button on Youtubes uplaod page. Even better.... I got to the end with out making any silly mistakes, so pressed the preview button.... best to be safe than sorry.

    Well the sound was not too bad I guess, it was clear enough, and loud enough, but the picture just wasn't keeping up at all..... even worse than my try at recoding myself on the computer with the webcam. Not to worry, perhaps its just that I don't have a super-whizzy graphics card...... maybe on Youtube it will look better. One can always hope!! So, I published it...... you know, did the titles and so forth whilst Youtube was processing it.

    When it popped up as processed, far from being better.... it was worse. The picture was not as good, poor quality, and well behind the sound, and the 1 minute video was truncated to about 25 seconds..... it finished before I'd even got to the end of the 'A section' repeat!! Needless to say...... I deleted it!!

    So that is where I am currently........ no idea what to do next. All I have are questions......

    Why is the picture behind the sound? and what can I do about it?
    Does Youtube always chop videos down like that?? Surely not!!
    Why does everyone else make it look easy to post a video??
    Do I have to record my own videos to get a decent result?
    What would be the simplest way to do that?
    Does anyone else use the Youtube upload, or am I barking up the wrong tree?

    I now throw myself upon the mercy of those kind souls amongst you who are more IT literate than I am.... (and there seem to be many, judging by the number and quality of the vids posted!!)

    Any ideas?? Dave
  32. dave17120
    dave17120
    On second thoughts, I put the video back, it might help someone figure out my problem... its here...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnrMhQoxdE4
    Dave
  33. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Let's see how far I can help...
    I am also using just a webcam, although this is clearly not the best option to start with, because:
    1 - a webcam is originally made to transfer a picture of you every now and then when doing messenger chatting with your friends, i.e. recording a video with it already means pushing it beyond its limits - any results you get are optional and never guaranteed.
    2 - while recording, your poor computer has to to store away two streams of data (audio and video) and since the video stream is the bigger one by far it might take the computer just a bit longer to deal with that, hence the delay.
    3 - webcams are not made for high definition pics in dark rooms - you need daylight for reasonable results, and even then the pics are grainy.
    4 - webcams typically plug into the computer via USB, which is not necessarily the fastest connection for real-time requirements.

    If you have to do with a webcam, however, try to optimize the following points:
    - during recording, let the computer do nothing else but store the data, i.e. no other applications running, no video compression (takes a lot more disk space but is faster)
    - make the camera connection as direct as possible - use an USB 2.0 port directly at the computer, not some slow USB 1 hub
    - bright light is essential
    - do all the compression and other computing stuff only after the recording. Compress to a format Youtube can deal with well, i.e. FLV or AVI
    - Youtube never improves a video - if it is bad, it will possibly get worse with the compression they apply to it.

    If all that discourages you, that's quite right, because it all means turning low-quality multi-purpose tech into something it never was made for. If you want good results, get yourself an independent camera that was designed for the job, like a Flip mino or a Zoom. I am on the verge of switching to one of those some time soon.
  34. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    dave, do you have a digital camera? Most these days have a video function, and work quite well for what you need. I have done my videos several different ways, but the best way to start is seeing if what you have, will work. My computer has a card reader built into it, and if I do a video on my digital camera, I pop the SD card out of the camera, and pop it into the computer, which downloads the video onto the computer. I would think if you have Windows Vista, your computer is 'new' enough to do what you are wanting it to do. That way, the computer doesn't have anything to do with the recording itself.
  35. jamann
    jamann
    I use a simple webcam (Microsoft) and a Samson USB mic for my recordings. I use windows movie maker to record videos. I keep it simple. In my opinion this group should be about learning mandolin tunes and not about our video making skills. I prefer seeing videos of just mandolin so I can watch and learn from them. I personally don't care for all the fancy scenery and mutli tracked videos. I can't learn from those. I would much rather spend my time and energy on learning and playing mandolin. No offense to anyone, I just thought this group was created to learn mandolin tunes.
  36. Jim Baker
    Jim Baker
    Well said.
  37. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Well, before this gets to be a discussion on just what this group is meant to be, or not meant to be, and what kind of videos are the best, let me say that this group was created for many reasons, and learning tunes is just one. Social interaction is another. I would NOT like to see all videos made the same way, just focused on the mandolin being played. I enjoy ALL the videos, ranging from the simplest to the most complex. People learn tunes MANY ways, some want to see and hear the tune being played slowly, and learn from that. Others learn from reading the notation, and can certainly learn from a 'finished product' video, listening to how the mandolin part fits into the bigger picture. And, this isn't all about mandolins, either. We have, and I encourage it to continue, videos of tunes being played on a number of different instruments. I also feel that in addition to learning tunes, we are learning how to record, audio and video, and all sorts of other related techie-issues. If you aren't interested in those discussions, or those videos, you don't have to watch or read them. And, you would be surprised just how much you learn about playing music, when you start trying to multitrack, and stuff like that. What you thought sounded really good, you all alone, you discover, has to be tweaked to sound good with other instruments. And, I believe that most of us would eventually like to be able to play music with other people.

    I can certainly learn from the fancy videos... I can learn from listening to a CD, where there is NO video, so what's the difference?

    Keep all the videos coming.... from the most simple, to those worthy of being on a documentary tv show!
  38. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Second that Barb! A musician affects people with everything: playing technique, character appearance, ways of understanding, hearing and arranging a tune - all that should be conveyed through videos and audios, whatever it takes. Nothing is dispensable.
  39. dave17120
    dave17120
    Thanks for the responses.........

    Barbara, I DO have a digital camera, which has a limited video function. Its about 8 years old, runs off AA batteries, and dies after about 10 seconds of video. So no joy there I'm afraid...... if I have to buy a new camera, it may as well be a camcorder of some sort....

    Jamann, I entirely agree..... as far as keeping it simple goes.....I want to keep it simple..... I'm trying to find out how.... presumably you do not record straight to Youtube?? I'll have to see if I have movie maker..... but even then, i'm not sure I can overcome the time lapse between picture and sound...

    Thanks for your input Bertram.......
    if you saw the short clip..... the picture was terrible I thought, and drastically cut short (perhaps a mercy!?) by Youtube.... but with reference to your tips above...
    1. the computer was doing nothing else, and I was using no compression....
    2. yes its plugged into a USB port... (no alternative there...)
    3. the light was good
    4. you are correct, Youtube made it worse....

    I'll have a look at the possibilities of 'movie maker' before I think any further.......... I'm sure there are folks out there who just use use a webcam (limited though it may be..) I just need to find out how best to maximise its performance. Any tips welcome.
    Thanks to all, Dave
  40. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Dave, get a Zoom Q3, it's a great bit of kit and also you can use it to record yourself even if your not doing a video. The Handyshare that comes pre-loaded takes a bit of getting used to but it's the easiest way I know of and better pic and sound than any webcam.
    I have to agree with Barbara on the video techniques front, I find them all interesting and I love Dave Hansen's and John Kelly's work with the slideshow images, which in my opinion, add to the atmosphere of the tune being played. If you want to study people playing tunes there a loads of tutorial DVD's on the market, but you can also find them here. What we probably want is one of OS in slo-mo !!!!!!! It is a place where ideas can be shared in a number of ways where users can advise on recording, video-ing, equipment, formats and anything socially interactive.
    From my point of view I'm challenging myself everytime I do a tune, because my immediate thought is I can't do that, but I do churn out something, which may not be great to others, but for me it's stretching myself to play things I thought I couldn't possibly do. I've learnt a lot from here and lot about my playing thanks to the advice and videos from people here....
  41. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    My first bunch of videos were made with a Logitech webcam (mid range, maybe $50), used with my aging PC (Windows XP)
    Here's an example of one:



    I thought I needed something better, and bought a Best Buy version of a Flip Video camera. I don't use that any more, but here is a video done with that one.



    Last December, I ended up getting a new computer, and got a Mac, and have been using the built in webcam. Here's one made on the Mac:



    and I've made videos with my Canon digital camera. Only one I know for sure is my digital camera is this one (no mandolin content, but if you like singing Chihuahua's, be sure to watch!)



    All depending on what you want to spend, what you want to do with it, here's my take on the various cameras:

    The Logitech webcam was easy to use alone. No tripod necessary, and you can easily record, delete, record, delete, etc., then upload, all while sitting at your computer. It had settings where you could zoom in and out, move it side to side. I think you can get one for about $50.00

    The little video recorder made good movies, but if you are doing it alone, you need a tripod, and have to push the (tiny) button to record, then sit down in front of the camera and play, then get up and go stop the recording. Once I got my Mac, and tried to use it, my Mac for some reason, couldn't read the file. It did work fine with my PC. You can buy a Flip Digital Video camera for about $150.00

    My built in Mac camera. I had to learn which program on the Mac to use, and one produced mirror image video, which was disconcerting to watch me playing left handed. It is built into the computer itself, and and doesn't have a zoom or controls, so you have to move yourself to where it looks best. However, it's very easy to use alone, and makes decent video. You have to buy a Mac to get it, but if you are looking for a new computer, TOO, this is a good option!!!!

    Digital camera. I just bought me a new one yesterday, but haven't made a video with it yet. However, I think your best all around bang for your buck, is a new digital camera. You can get a decent one in the $100 range, and you can take stills and make decent videos. I find the digital camera easier to use than the little digital video recorder, but that may be just me!

    Windows Movie maker is the program you get with Windows to edit your videos. Mine was corrupted somehow, on my aging PC, and I couldn't get it to work. My videos were for the most part unedited on that computer.

    I'm not sure, but I think that your computer, and your internet connection, also affect your video/youtube experience.
  42. agundrum
    agundrum
    I haven't read through every single post here. When I saw the subject I was only thinking about audio recording - not video as it seems the post has leaned toward mostly.

    Everyone might be interested in the Acoustic Guitar Mag article "Recording YouTube Videos" which has some great advice including syncing separately recorded audio and video. This basically involves a single clap at the very beginning and then you use software to line up the recorded audio and video clap to get it all in sync. There is a similar thread on this topic, "Video recorder advice?", on the Acoustic Guitar Community. I'm going to cross-reference this thread there as well.

    Like Tosh, who started this thread, I have a Logitech Webcam Pro 9000. But I haven't used it yet. My other equipment includes a Zoom H2 portable recorder which has basically been for on the road performances. I'll plug it directly into the mixer which produces a pretty clean recording. Clean meaning less audience noise than if I were using the built-in mics.

    In the studio I have an Intel Core 2 Quad with SONAR 8 Producer and a E-MU 1820m audio interface. Mics are the standard Shure SM-57's and SM-58's, Karma matched pair K-10s (small condensers), Samson Q7, and a Sterling Audio ST55 large condenser. Most of the time I will plug my acoustic/electrics directly into the audio interface or through a Line 6 POD X3 Pro (rack guitar amp/effect modeler).

    I hope to try some video soon. In the case of audio with video, and I recommend this to anyone, my preference is to record the audio separately using mics or plugged directly. The reason for this is in order to really get good quality audio. To get good quality audio and video in the same unit you will have to spend quite a bit of money ($2000+) on the video equipment. This just isn't possible for most everyone out there. So the next best thing to do is to use mics you already own to record the audio at the same time the video is being recorded. The key to syncing the two is the single clap in the beginning.

    It is very possible to use the Zoom H2 (or any portable recorder with a mic or direct input) to record the audio. It's just a matter of downloading the audio from the portable device to the computer and then syncing the audio and video tracks' clap. When synced, the video audio track can be muted. Muting the video audio track is a must because if it isn't you run the risk of comb-filtering issues.

    John
  43. bratsche
    bratsche
    I've only made one video, but I tried everything I have on hand (can't afford any more equipment) and I found the best solution for me is to use the video mode on my old Canon Powershot digital camera. I also have a Flip Mino, but both the picture and sound quality are noticeably better on the Canon. I couldn't record from my computer even if I wanted to (I get no input signal with a mic and have no idea why, and my webcam is about 13 years old and doesn't record, but only transmits - and has a lousy picture anyway) - but that is all just as well, since the computer room is the worst place in the house for recording, with all the loud fans going in here. The biggest problem with my setup is that it's not spontaneous at all - it takes me about 20 minutes to get things ready, and another 10 to take them apart afterward. So often, by the time I manage to set up when I'm really on a roll playing, the mood is gone, and I can't record **** worth keeping!

    bratsche
  44. Eddie Sheehy
    I usea Zoom Q3 for both video and audio (it has an Audio Only) setting... now if it only had a Talent Enhancer...
  45. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    Eddie I'm looking at getting one of these:

  46. Gerard Dick
    Gerard Dick
    I WANTone of those.
  47. Tavy
    Tavy
    Dave, all I can do is give you my setup: builtin webcam on acer laptop (good large images in good light, terrible built in sound), external Samson USB mic (great for instruments IMO, maybe not so great at capturing vocals). For recording and editing software I use all free downloads:

    * Audacity for audio only - use the latest beta it's so much better than the aging "last stable release".
    * Debut Video Capture for Video + Audio. Selecting different sources for audio/video input is trivial and so is the actual recording. Bad points: playback in Debut's own viewer puts the audio and video completely out of synch, and I haven't found recording options yet that allow Windows media player to see the video part :-( Playback in VLC works a treat though, and Youtube handles the files just fine.
    * For editing video I use "AVI Demux" - quite simple to use in spite of having more options than you could possibly use. I really just use this to "top and tail" the ends of the video.
    * VLC for media playback - handles everything you could want more reliably than Windows media player.

    BTW Windows movie maker is a separate download for Vista these days, I grabbed it fairly recently (might have been an optional download on windows update, not sure about that... haven't got around to trying it yet though).

    Basically fiddle around till you get decent videos - don't even bother playing complete tunes, just record a phrase or two, play it back and see how it looks/sounds. It's a good idea to do this anyway just to get the level right. Oh levels.... right click on the speaker on the taskbar and select "recording devices". Double click on a device to view it's properties and set recording levels... with some recording software you have to do this before you load the recording app up (you shouldn't have to!), sometimes I've also had to make the recording device you want to use the default before the recording app will record anything from it (again it shouldn't be necessary... but it's software you know...!) If all's working well you should be able to see the levels meter going up and down for that device in the recording devices dialog. If you don't try a reboot, swearing very loudly, defenestration etc etc...

    HTH, John.
  48. dave17120
    dave17120
    Thanks John for that, and thanks other John, the guitar article I found quite useful.

    Following the comments here, the article and some research on the internet, I have a Zoom H2 and an Aiptek 720 on the way...... if you are going to get into things, you have to put a bit of effort in to it, and it didn't break the bank too much!!

    Now I have to await arrival and then play around a bit with the technology... lets wait and see. Many thanks all, Dave
  49. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    I'm reviving this thread, as the discussion of multi-tracking and multi-videoing came up recently in another discussion thread. Lots of good input (from last year); please let us know how YOU make your videos!
  50. Bernie Daniel
    Bernie Daniel
    Thanks for the revision Barbara -- I agree lots of good information here.

    I noticed a lot of reference to Windows Movie Maker (WMM) and I'll just mention that about a year ago I played around with WMM trying to make PIP videos and discovered to my dismay that the program crashed every time I loaded the second video onto the time line (I was using WinXP-pro at the time).

    After playing around with it for a while and reading the blogs and help posting on it I find many others had the same or similar problems with WMM. Microsoft strikes again. Some managed to find a fix. I tried all the fixes mentioned and none worked for me so I dropped the idea - but now I am inspired to try again.

    But I think I will buy some good commercial software -- I'll be interested to hear what all are using these days.
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