So – it’s about time I had a YouTube (or similar media site) presence ! Or even just the ability to produce a few videos for the website showing what a C-Melody, or a C-Soprano, can do. But then, we all know that C Saxophones can do exactly what the Bb and Eb saxes can do – and some things even better – given a fair wind, a decent mouthpiece and a sympathetic player.
This is just a record of how to achieve sensible results without costing a fortune, and (more to the point) without using complex ‘bells and whistles’ software with a learning curve possibly longer than my remaining decades 😀
Hopefully, in the process I may be able to pass on some technical wisdom, and save others some time and effort – plus other musicians may just pop in and say "no, there’s an easier way…" Yes please, tell me ! This post will have a very discrete " …more… " in a little while, so that, as I add to the saga, it won’t all clutter up the desktop.
Sample interim videos will be added as comments, hopefully interleaved with real comments ? See, said it would have a "…more…" soon , click on (more…) below to investigate further…
A little history… When I first recorded the sound tracks on my ‘Sounds’ page (years back…) , I used whatever microphone was to hand, direct into the sound card, adding a little reverb afterwards with programs like Cool Edit. However, with the new PC I found it difficult to get enough volume that way, and using an audio pre-amp seemed to add unwanted background noise…
So, I’ve now gone recently down the route of USB connectivity, either with a direct-in USB microphone like the Samson Q1U ( a a load of mic for only $70 ) and, to allow me to use all my other microphones, a very flexible M-AUDIO MobilePre USB Preamp – which also works great with my little laptop – so I’m now also a little portable studio…
I’ve also acquired a VERY cheap ( $25) webcam, the Mikomi AP7171, which, although great for ‘head and shoulders’ video, may not be up to distance work… Which is why I’m trawling around looking for info on the best (at a reasonable price) video camera – be it webcam, or hand/stand-held.
Software ? Well, for the test video snippets in the "Recent changes to the blog…" posting, I started off using the very basic (bundled) AMCap package, but for the last test (Comment 12) I used the free Microsoft Windows Movie Maker – which allows some editing and the adding of quite basic start and end graphics. Those clips also used the Samson Q1U USB microphone, in preference to the rather pathetic webcam microphone.
Plus AMCap only produces horrendously huge AVI files – I wasted some time looking for a Flash converter, only to find that YouTube doesn’t accept Flash (.flv) files, and likes to do it’s own compression and conversion…grrr… So I’ll stick with Movie Maker ! Much more flexible. And a very useful sound/video editing package called Multiquence – which I’ve already found useful as it allows me to correct the traditional slightly-out-of-sync video and audio !
(continuing, more later…)