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Thread: Invention in C Major BWV 772 Nugget F5 and Northfield Octave

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    Registered User Jake Howard's Avatar
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    Default Invention in C Major BWV 772 Nugget F5 and Northfield Octave

    Just got done listening to Caterina Lichtenberg and Mike Marshall's CD of Bach inventions and felt inspired to play one. You can even watch it in 4k!



    Enjoy and keep on picking!

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    Default Re: Invention in C Major BWV 772⎜Nugget F5 and Northfield Octave

    Great stuff, Jake. More please.

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    Registered User Jake Howard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Invention in C Major BWV 772⎜Nugget F5 and Northfield Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_W View Post
    Great stuff, Jake. More please.
    I plan on doing all of them, though a mandocello would be really nice for these... Oh to dream... Hoping next week I can film the Invention in D minor.

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    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Invention in C Major BWV 772 Nugget F5 and Northfield Octave

    Jake can you please share with this techno dummy how you made such a great video? Software? Mistakes to avoid? Equipment? Thank you.

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    Registered User Jake Howard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Invention in C Major BWV 772 Nugget F5 and Northfield Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Logan View Post
    Jake can you please share with this techno dummy how you made such a great video? Software? Mistakes to avoid? Equipment? Thank you.
    Absolutely!

    I really start off with good lighting. It can be something as simple as a strong reflector shop light (I am using a Godox SL-150 as my key light meaning it is my main light source). On top of a good light you will need to diffuse the light with either a softbox or a sheet so the light doesn't look harsh on your skin. Too bright of light will make any face washed out. If you don't want to buy any of this then a simple ring light will do wonders (google ring light if you want to know what these are. Usually cheaper and a simpler setup). I also have a light behind me on the desk, lights up the background a bit. This can be a simple desk light. If you want to go even further I have a light behind me pointing on the back of my left shoulder, this light helps outline my body and mandolin against the background so it 'pops.' Basically my head, shoulder, and mandolin lines are more defined. If you check out the video you can see I failed with lighting. When I am playing the octave you can see the backlight on the desk shining directly into the camera (usually don't want to do this with your background light). I thought my body was blocking it, oh the joys of recording yourself. If you need more help I can send some useful YouTube videos that show you how to do all the lighting.

    Next thing is the camera, and while having a nice mirrorless/DSLR camera can make it look nicer, you would be surprised how good of a video you can get out of a new smartphone (some even record in 4k, which is crazy). I have a Sony a6400 which is a great camera to work with for its good video quality and excellent autofocus. But it truly comes down to lighting again no matter what the camera. My one piece of advice for filming something like this is leaving some space behind you so your video has a nice depth to it. If you record against a wall the video will appear flat compared to being more dynamic with some background behind you. Let me say though, there isn't anything wrong with being against a wall, it just gives an effect to a video that I'm not looking for. Try and keep yourself and the instrument (which are the main subjects) in the frame so we can see what you are doing with your hands and body! I love seeing other players techniques in videos, that's why I say that.

    Another area to think about is audio. I have a Shure KSM32 running into a Scarlett interface. Scarlett preamps are decent and are reasonably priced for entry level interfaces. I have the mic about a foot and a half away from me out of frame. I just moved all my music stuff into an empty room which has hardware floors so the sound bounces a bit more than I want. If you listen closely with headphones you can hear some natural reverb of the room (which actually works out for Bach stuff). If you don't have any audio equipment, an iPhone mic isn't terrible (just be mindful you are overdriving the mic here). I run all of my audio stuff through Logic (apple software) but you can use Audacity, which is a free program. We love free.

    Now for the fun part, the video editing. I am running my videos through Final Cut Pro (another apple software). The other main video softwares out there are Davinci and Adobe Premiere Pro. If you have any apple product you have iMovie which can work too. As far as editing goes I use multiple tricks for something like this. The first thing is to get the good takes (there are bad takes, there are always bad takes) and put the two together. One video takes up one side of the screen and the other video takes the other half. I usually trim the video corners so that the video will fit in that half space. This is my base that I work off of. Final Cut has this cool feature that will automatically sync audio and video. So that means I'll sync my video and audio files together using this button.

    On top of that I add the individual parts you see pop up once in a while (these are the shots of me by myself fullscreen). This is just simply lining them up on my software timeline (timeline is our workflow in Final Cut Pro) so the audio matches what I am doing in the video, pretty straightforward. Now, sometimes videos can be stale without some type of movement for the viewers eyes. This is where I add the fade in and fade outs to the fullscreen shots. These fade in and fade outs are used often in video work and they actually have a name! They are called the 'Ken Burns' effect. A quick google search can describe it better if you need to see it.

    An extra process I go through (that no one really needs to do with my setup but it's fun) is color grading my video. I shoot my videos in something called a flat picture profile, basically a camera mode that makes the video super flat (color wise). This allows me to alter the color more in post production. It's just fun to do my own coloring, I digress from this nerdy topic. The last step are the little titles in the beginning which are specific plug ins I have for Final Cut (though they do provide some free ones).

    My big piece of advice is that content matters more than quality (at least to me). If a video has the content I want to see I will watch no matter how poor the quality. There are deff some bootleg videos of some of my mandolin heroes in various settings on YouTube that look like they were filmed with a potato but I watch them because of what is in the video.

    I hope this helps, sorry if it seems like blabbering!

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    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Invention in C Major BWV 772 Nugget F5 and Northfield Octave

    Jake thank you so much for such a thorough answer. I have been trying to experiment with this type of thing and in particular your comments about lighting are most helpful. One thing that I do get confused about is making the two separate videos: Are you making one video; playing it back in headphones; and making the accompaniment video while you're listening to the first video on headphones? Does the syncing process become obvious once you get the software? Because right now for this techno dummy it seems rather confusing. Thanks so much again for your really helpful answer.

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

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    Registered User Jake Howard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Invention in C Major BWV 772 Nugget F5 and Northfield Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Logan View Post
    Jake thank you so much for such a thorough answer. I have been trying to experiment with this type of thing and in particular your comments about lighting are most helpful. One thing that I do get confused about is making the two separate videos: Are you making one video; playing it back in headphones; and making the accompaniment video while you're listening to the first video on headphones? Does the syncing process become obvious once you get the software? Because right now for this techno dummy it seems rather confusing. Thanks so much again for your really helpful answer.
    Good questions, things I overlooked in the explanation! I am indeed playing the mandolin part first then recording the octave mandolin part afterwards, listening to the mandolin part as reference. I'm not playing with a click so there is some natural tempo changes in the mandolin part. You can't really see but I have in ear monitors in when I am playing the octave part. The syncing process can be tricky depending on how you do it. But once you do it once you get the hang of it and it becomes really quick. I think this video was recorded and finished in 2 hours or so? So once you got it it goes by quick. If you need more help send me a DM and we can chat about what software you are using and if I can be of any help haha

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    Default Re: Invention in C Major BWV 772 Nugget F5 and Northfield Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Howard View Post
    Good questions, things I overlooked in the explanation! I am indeed playing the mandolin part first then recording the octave mandolin part afterwards, listening to the mandolin part as reference. I'm not playing with a click so there is some natural tempo changes in the mandolin part. You can't really see but I have in ear monitors in when I am playing the octave part. The syncing process can be tricky depending on how you do it. But once you do it once you get the hang of it and it becomes really quick. I think this video was recorded and finished in 2 hours or so? So once you got it it goes by quick. If you need more help send me a DM and we can chat about what software you are using and if I can be of any help haha
    Thanks Jake. I will experiment and chip away at it I'll definitely send you a message if I run into a problem. Again, great video!

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

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    I may be old but I'm ugly billhay4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Invention in C Major BWV 772 Nugget F5 and Northfield Octave

    What talent and ingenuity.
    Bill
    IM(NS)HO

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    Default Re: Invention in C Major BWV 772 Nugget F5 and Northfield Octave

    Jake - I looked up the Shure KSM32 microphone and about fell over when I saw the $500+ cost LOL. I have been using a simple Zoom iQ7 microphone which plugs into my iphone 8. I cannot really tell a huge difference between the internal iphone mike and the iQ7 - although I think things maybe sound less "twangy" with the external mike. I'm pretty darn ignorant about this stuff and am wondering if you can share what benefits you see in making a substantial investment in a microphone. Does it indeed make a quite noticeable difference? Thanks again!
    Last edited by Tim Logan; Dec-26-2020 at 7:52am.

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Collings A (MT2-V)
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin

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    Default Re: Invention in C Major BWV 772 Nugget F5 and Northfield Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Howard View Post
    Just got done listening to Caterina Lichtenberg and Mike Marshall's CD of Bach inventions and felt inspired to play one. You can even watch it in 4k!



    Enjoy and keep on picking!
    Great playing !

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    Registered User Jake Howard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Invention in C Major BWV 772 Nugget F5 and Northfield Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Logan View Post
    Jake - I looked up the Shure KSM32 microphone and about fell over when I saw the $500+ cost LOL. I have been using a simple Zoom iQ7 microphone which plugs into my iphone 8. I cannot really tell a huge difference between the internal iphone mike and the iQ7 - although I think things maybe sound less "twangy" with the external mike. I'm pretty darn ignorant about this stuff and am wondering if you can share what benefits you see in making a substantial investment in a microphone. Does it indeed make a quite noticeable difference? Thanks again!
    The studio engineers are just as bad about gear talk and acquisitions as us mandolin pickers . I'd say work with what you got for now. You should upgrade when it becomes apparent to you that you need something more or have a specific sound in your head!

    Think of microphones as mandolins when it comes to differences. Just like you owning a Collings A and a Lyon and Healy A which are completely different beasts, we have different microphones for different applications. For example, I wouldn't want to use a dynamic mic to try and pick up a whole band on stage because it has a tight pickup pattern. Meaning you have to be close to it for it to pick up any noise (which also means it is less likely to feedback on a stage too). I would instead use what is called a cardioid microphone, which is what the KSM32 is. It has a larger pickup pattern and is way more sensitive to noise coming its way (meaning it can feedback on stage quickly too). Plus all microphones have different characteristics. Some mics sound dark and smooth, some mics are really balanced in sound through all frequencies, some mics are harsh and have some high end sizzle (pardon my sound descriptions, I find describing sounds to be so hard. Truly, what does high end sizzle even mean?!).

    So in short here, use your iQ7 and try moving it around your mandolin as you play to find where you like the sound the most. You'd be surprised how many different sounds you can get with just moving the mic a little bit. You can make a great sounding video with one of those. Plus most people are watching YouTube videos with phone speakers so barely anyone will know the difference

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    Default Re: Invention in C Major BWV 772 Nugget F5 and Northfield Octave

    Jake you're terrific- thanks so much for your patience and explanations. This is really helpful!

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
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    Default Re: Invention in C Major BWV 772 Nugget F5 and Northfield Octave

    Jake,
    Thank you very much for all the feedback in relation to the video. And, primarily of course, for the video. Such a pleasant one to hear on a cold December evening.
    May the rest of your recordings bring you joy as the definitely do so for us out here in the ether.
    Eric Hanson
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    Default Re: Invention in C Major BWV 772⎜Nugget F5 and Northfield Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_W View Post
    Great stuff, Jake. More please.
    I agree. I’d like to hear The Hogan next!
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    Registered User Jake Howard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Invention in C Major BWV 772 Nugget F5 and Northfield Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Hanson View Post
    Jake,
    Thank you very much for all the feedback in relation to the video. And, primarily of course, for the video. Such a pleasant one to hear on a cold December evening.
    May the rest of your recordings bring you joy as the definitely do so for us out here in the ether.
    Thanks for the kind message Eric. I plan on having a new video here in the very near future (Invention in D Minor)!

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    I agree. I’d like to hear The Hogan next!
    I actually am planning on selling the Hogan Not because it isn't a killer instrument but because I had the opportunity to buy another dream mandolin... Can't keep them all sadly!

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    Default Re: Invention in C Major BWV 772 Nugget F5 and Northfield Octave

    I've been learning a lot about video streaming and audio mixing this year. I'm amazed at the tools we have to work with. When it comes to audio, there seems to be no end to the price of the microphones, mixers and gear. As you say, most people are just watching on their phone or tablet. So how good is 'good enough'?

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    Registered User Jake Howard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Invention in C Major BWV 772 Nugget F5 and Northfield Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by JH Murray View Post
    I've been learning a lot about video streaming and audio mixing this year. I'm amazed at the tools we have to work with. When it comes to audio, there seems to be no end to the price of the microphones, mixers and gear. As you say, most people are just watching on their phone or tablet. So how good is 'good enough'?
    Well... how does this look/sound to you? This is a video recorded by my phone (both audio/video) then uploaded straight to YouTube. No processing on the audio or video. I would reckon most people would enjoy the quality, and I would go as far as saying some people might prefer the tone of the mandolin with the phone mic! To live in an era with great technology at our fingertips...


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    Default Re: Invention in C Major BWV 772 Nugget F5 and Northfield Octave

    Nine months ago I might not have noticed the difference. My laptop speakers don't do the first recording justice. With decent headphones the difference is remarkable. Even recognizing the difference, the iphone recording is not bad. Amazing.

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    Default Re: Invention in C Major BWV 772 Nugget F5 and Northfield Octave

    Jake, a sterling job on your playing, video-making and especially all the advice you have handed out in this thread. I think the pandemic has driven so many of us to do much more with the technology than previously. I know my own YouTube output has risen quite a bit during this time, and it is great to read all the tips you have passed on here. Thanks for your time and patience - and the excellent playing!
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    Default Re: Invention in C Major BWV 772 Nugget F5 and Northfield Octave

    Exciting! Beautiful tone.

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    Default Re: Invention in C Major BWV 772 Nugget F5 and Northfield Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Howard View Post
    You should upgrade when it becomes apparent to you that you need something more or have a specific sound in your head!
    I nominate this as the Cafe's most useful, clear, accurate, and all-encompassing statement ... EVER!

    Jake: As if your playing wasn't impressive enough, the thoughtfullness and detail of your explaination & responses are pretty darn close to inspirational!
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