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Video Media

When Sound On Sound was first conceived, some 25 years ago, music recordings could be judged mainly on their own merits, but today recorded music is often part of a larger audio/video experience. Pop videos have been around for years, of course, some costing nearly as much to make as feature films, but video equipment is now relatively inexpensive, and this has enabled a huge number of musicians to increase their exposure via the likes of YouTube and MySpace. However, even though we live in a time when even the humble mobile phone can shoot passable video, the final product still needs to be properly edited and to have acceptable audio quality if anybody is going to want to watch it. That's why we've taken the decision to add a dedicated video section to Sound On Sound.

Unlike consumer magazines dealing with video, we're more concerned with using affordable equipment to produce music videos. And, as you'll discover, knowledge of technique is more important than having expensive equipment if your main aim is to produce videos for viewing over the Internet, where data-compression artifacts tend to limit the video quality rather more than the camera being used to produce the original footage (or is that now bitage?). In this respect, the prospective music-video producer is now in a similar position to the early Sound On Sound reader. The technology is already in place and at very attractive prices, but there's very little practical guidance on how to use it effectively, especially in the context of producing music videos. You only have to look at the different video-recording formats to see a close parallel with audio: you record to flash memory, hard drive or tape, and then you edit the end result on your Mac or PC. But don't worry if you're not interested in video: we've increased the size of the magazine to accommodate the video section, so there will be just as much audio content as ever.

How our video section develops is up to you and the feedback you provide, but as a newcomer to video myself, I can't wait to have my basic questions answered. What type of camera do I need? Do I need to shoot with two cameras, or can I get away with one? How do I edit this all together, and how do I get good-quality audio when most cameras seem to treat audio as an afterthought? Can I do a four-camera shoot using iPhones? What is the best editing software, and do I need to buy additional computer hardware? What editing and filming techniques are needed to ensure that the end result looks and sounds like a polished production? Fortunately, we now have a team of video experts on‑board, headed up by Julian Harding, who will be presiding over the video section and who will deliver the answers in Sound On Sound style. One thing is for certain: video and audio are now inextricably linked, so whether you are working on music as a hobby or as an avenue to a career, a basic knowledge of video capture and editing could be essential.

Paul White Editor In Chief