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How to record (video+audio) our brass & woodwind concert band performances

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Re: How to record (video+audio) our brass & woodwind concert band performances

Postby CS70 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:43 am

stefanaalten wrote:TheElf, CS70, thanks.

I'm now looking at the Zoom Q2n-4K - "The 4K Camera for Musicians" :-) to capture the performance. I'm (slowly...) beginning to form a mental image of the kind of setup I would need. Can I just bounce this off the forum?

I dont know the Zoom - but the tech nowadays is so good that almost any DSLR camera after 2015-16 will do. I personally use MFT cameras from Panasonic, because of the weight and size of the lenses (read: light and small), but really any format does. And buy used! Camera whiz change camera bodies like normal people changes shirts, so the market is flooded with fantastic kit from the year before which is sold at peanuts, barely the top high end keeps a little value, and you don't want them for starting, they're too complicated.
There's all sorts of features in modern cameras but if videomaking is not your primary interest, you want something with good autofocus and good automatic shooting and you're set.

Good point to have the same make as the coloring of the footage will be the same or very similar.

As of 4K, I would actually not recommend it for starters: you need faster and better (and more expensive) SD cards, the file sizes are huge - just creating the proxies takes much more time - there's much more variety of formats and it requires significantly more powerful hardware to work with, not to mention time.

4K is very useful when you want to be able to cut a lot in post and you work intensely with coloring - but these aren't things that you would do much at the beginning. Much easier to familiarize yourself with an editor and find your workflow by making your first video in HD and take it from there.

That doesn't mean not getting a 4K-capable camera (that's a good idea): a used G7 for example these days goes for peanuts. It *is* gonna be wasted money (i.e. you can't resell it) but all camera bodies are wasted money, and buying used you minimize your losses and get a lot from the kit long after is no longer fashionable.

The glass (lenses) is what matters most in any case - and that's what keeps its value.

One or more devices to capture the performance. Understand that there is a wide range of combinations possible here, but I'm thinking of a couple of Zoom Q2N-4K's in fixed positions (one at the back of the hall for the wide angle view and then perhaps one on either side targeted at different sections of the orchestra), plus a "mobile cameraman" simply with their smartphone.

Yeah really anything works. The only limit of the phone is that its lens is a very wide angle so close shots of people make them look odd (big nose, small ears). To start with I'd go with the least expensive solution - couple of phones for the wide shots and cameraman manning a proper DSLR, either with a zoom lens (which reaches a portrait length, say 50 to 80mm or equivalent) or a fixed 45/50mm lens or equivalent. The zoom is good so long your cameraman friend knows that the wider the lens (i.e. lower than 45mm) the less he can get near to people (as they will look ugly).

If you can get someone to move around one of the fixed cameras in various angles a few times during the set you get even better options for free.

b) Bring it all together in a multi-track video editing software package. I'm doing some searching on this now and have two tabs open for Shotcut and OpenShot. Any others I should look at? (I'm on Windows 10)


As of above, on PC, I'd download HitFilm or Resolve - they're a bit less intuitive but if you RTFM is not that hard. Otherwise Movie Studio from Magix is a great package.

On Mac, the Adobe stuff is expensive and you need a subscription I think, but guess there's versions of HitFilm or Resolve exist there as well..
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Re: How to record (video+audio) our brass & woodwind concert band performances

Postby blinddrew » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:24 pm

So basically, almost any recent kit (video/audio/software) is good and will do the job. We've really never had it so good as consumers. :)

So pick something and crack on - you'll learn far more from doing your first few shoots than you will with any more comments on here.
Good luck. :)
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Re: How to record (video+audio) our brass & woodwind concert band performances

Postby Mike Stranks » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:48 pm

For me the DSLR limit of 29 minutes is an issue when recording concerts.

For that reason I use 'proper' camcorders.

Of course, if all you ever shoot is short/medium takes - or in our context, individual pieces - then fine, use a DSLR.
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Re: How to record (video+audio) our brass & woodwind concert band performances

Postby James Perrett » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:59 pm

I know I've mentioned this before but I find most video editing software works in a strange way to someone who is used to audio software. That's why I do most of my video editing in Reaper. I can just cut and fade in exactly the same way as I would with audio and it comes with an ever expanding collection of video effects.
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Re: How to record (video+audio) our brass & woodwind concert band performances

Postby CS70 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:20 pm

Mike Stranks wrote:For me the DSLR limit of 29 minutes is an issue when recording concerts.

For that reason I use 'proper' camcorders.

Of course, if all you ever shoot is short/medium takes - or in our context, individual pieces - then fine, use a DSLR.

Good point worth checking for a specific model. I think it's (was) an issue only with certain cameras - many recent ones don't have it anymore. For sure the Panasonic sold in Europe do not. But older Canons and Nikons had it, the technical reason being the operating temperature due to continuous use and initially the fact that some had a mirror ("DSLR" is often used also for cameras which are not, technically, "lens reflex" since they're mirrorless and have a digital viewfinder) and - in the US - that the companies feared cannibalizing sales of camcorders.

With my GH4 and GH5s (and G6 and G7 before them) I can shoot for as many hours as the battery allows (and a not so expensive Sony battery chain allows me to shoot for as much as 8-9 hrs!). In HD, I just keep them rolling all the time.

Sure a pro-level camcorder is a great tool (to set up a DSLR with rig, cage, matte box, monitor etc can be a lego-like effort) but many serious camcorders are broadcast oriented and the footage they produce is consequent to that - great for documentaries or news, not so much for filmography. There are exceptions of course, but the cost level is a bit higher than DLSRs (to get started with).

And to get a proper "filming" camcorder you often need to go up to semi-pro cine-level kit, which is very, very serious dollars. That's why the DSLRs had become so incredibly successful in filmmaking - you pretty much the same quality as cine cameras costing thousands of dollars for a much more modest amount of money.

To the OP, if you feel like you like the result and exploring video (which is an immensely satisfying art) and are ok with HD, there's lots of Pocket Cinema Cameras on the market (the original) that go for very little money these days (since the introduction of the 4K model) and still do incredibly gorgeous footage. You need to be a little committed tough, because to use that footage you need to learn the proper skills - coloring, exposure etc. But boy it's worth it!
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