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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 Aural Reject » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:48 pm

stefanaalten wrote:Understood - thanks. So the optimum spot would be as Bob has suggested, centrally somewhere behind and above the conductor. Not sure how we'll manage that in an unobtrusive manner though. :?:

Not always easy.

The single stand option I tend to use for stuff like this is a K&M round base, with a longer than usual upright (https://www.studiospares.com/Accessorie ... 2147483647). I'd probably use a single stereo mic cable with black Neutrik XLRs. If you were to go with Bob's suggestion of ORTF CM4s, then I'm fairly sure there'll be a Shapeways 3D printed mount you could use in conjunction with a Rycote In-Vision shockmount and you're good to go.
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Re: How to record (video+audio) our brass & woodwind concert band performances

Postby The Red Bladder » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:52 pm

Thoughts -

1. At £200 the Zoom Q2n-4K is a bargain and the mics on it are better than the price-tag would suggest. You'll get a good stereo image if the thing is placed centrally and the image it captures is your reference image.

2. You can add cell-phone footage, as long as the people holding them either hold them steadily or put them on stands.

3. Make sure they hold them sideways!!!

4. Get a few to record zoomed in on DSLRs. Again, they should use stands, preferably with fluid-heads for smooth moves.

5. Don't worry about synchronising the cameras - that isn't necessary any more nowadays. Programmes like DaVinci-Resolve (a FREE download from Black Magic Design) do that for you automatically by comparing the soundtracks.

6. You will need a fairly powerful PC or Mac if you go to 4K, so I would stick to HD for the time being, as hardly anyone has a TV or projector that can do 4K properly. Even those 4K TV sets are nearly all under 60" and therefore one hardly notices the difference from an uncompressed source.

7. When editing, remember to bring the audio right down from the other cameras and just use the Zoom Q2n-4K audio.

8. You will get a bit of a colour mismatch between cameras. This is easily rectified in DaVinci-Resolve.
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Re: How to record (video+audio) our brass & woodwind concert band performances

Postby wireman » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:37 pm

The Zoom Q2n-4K could be quite limiting and you already have video cameras. The other Zoom products would allow you the option to plug in good external microphones at a distance from the recorder and at the best position. It looks like your gallery location is a good one for the video camera at the Bristo church but is quite a distance to record audio from.
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Re: How to record (video+audio) our brass & woodwind concert band performances

Postby Mike Stranks » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:17 am

About a year ago I bought a 'proper' video editor: CyberLink PowerDirector.

I bought it on the basis of price/review assessment and it's serving me well.

It comes with decent audio facilities at both the general and advanced levels. It also incorporates built-in multi-camera sync facilities.

I know it's not 'industry standard' or one of the 'usually recommended' editors, but may be worth a look...

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

Postby CS70 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:18 am

Mike Stranks wrote:About a year ago I bought a 'proper' video editor: CyberLink PowerDirector.
...
I know it's not 'industry standard' or one of the 'usually recommended' editors, but may be worth a look...

That's the one I started with, many moons ago - it was bundled with my first (and only ever) camcorder! It was very well done and intuitive and a great start.

I changed only because in the end I found it crashing all the time when I was attempting a little longer and more complex work. The memory management just wasn't up to scratch.

Cheap and cheerful, nowadays nothing beats HitFilm express or Resolve (the base versions are free and you can do a lot with them) or Vegas Movie Studio which is amazing value for money for what you get (and in my experience, far more stable).

When editing video, for me, stability is by far the most important thing.
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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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