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FromTheWayside
11-28-2009, 07:23 PM
Hey UU'ers -

I have a tech question I was hoping someone on the forum could help me answer. This question isn't stictly a uke technical issue, so if this thread needs to be moved, by all means. Anyway, here's the actual question:

I have recorded a few videos and put them up onto YouTube. In general, these have been done using a "FlipVideo" camera or from the iSight camera I have (the old-school external kind, not the ones that are built into newer macs). I also have a MIDI keyboard / recording device (a Line6 KB37). I thought it would be cracker-jack to be able to record reasonably high quality video from the iSight, and great quality uke / guitar and vocals through the KB37. Initial tests with my guitar were very promising - it sounded good and there was no background noise because it was feeding directly into the computer. When I tried to record vocals as well, though, things went down hill. The KB37 was obviously receiving input (I could tell because the levels were changing as they would if I was recording normally), but no vocals appeared in the video. Has anyone else run into this problem? Does anyone have a solution handy? I would love to be able to more high quality videos of me playing and singing (especially with an acoustic electric uke, once that arrives) using something more than a FlipVideo, but if there's no work around for this, I'll do what I have to do.

I hope that made at least some sense...if anyone has any questions / tips / recommendations, I'm all ears. I'm going to go and tool around on YT again to see if I can come up with something.

Thanks everyone!

Lori
11-28-2009, 07:42 PM
What are you using for a microphone? The mic in the iSight? The Line6 KB37 looks like it has inputs for XLR, which would be a good place to plug in a nice microphone.

If you are using iMovie, make sure you are setting your iMovie sound and video preferences to whatever devices you are using for audio and video. Also go to the main Mac System preferences (in the dock) and set the input and output for the sound. Both the application and the main computer preferences need to be set to the proper input and output for it to all work properly. I don't know it that will fix it, but it's a thought.

Good Luck.
–Lori

FromTheWayside
11-29-2009, 03:30 PM
Heyo Lori -

I am using an external mic (not a very good one, mind you) that I plug directly into the KB37. I've long thought about getting a condenser mic, but that's sort of a pipe dream at this point.

I didn't even think to use iMovie before you mentioned it! I was playing around with it this morning, though, and I couldn't get it to work the way I wanted. First, I couldn't find a way to change the audio input. After I changed the settings like you recommended, I didn't really get the results I was looking for, but I will continue tinkering. Dunno why it is so hard to get synchronized music and sound...but hopefully soon.

Thanks again!

seeso
11-29-2009, 04:01 PM
I don't know what your problem may be. Are you sure that your audio preferences are set correctly? I know they don't make that KB37 anymore. Maybe the drivers are outdated?

You should check your audio settings in your system preferences. Make sure that the KB37 is selected as your input. If you don't see it there, you should download the drivers. Here's the link:

http://line6.com/getrelease?rid=2884

I don't know what application are you using to record into, but what I would do is record the audio straight into GarageBand while simultaneously filming the process in iMovie.

I would then tweak the takes in GB until I'm satisfied, then import the finished stereo mix into iMovie. Once it's there, I would synch the video up.


Heyo Lori -

I am using an external mic (not a very good one, mind you) that I plug directly into the KB37. I've long thought about getting a condenser mic, but that's sort of a pipe dream at this point.

There are good affordable condenser mics out there. Check out the Behringer C-1 (http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/C-1.aspx).

FromTheWayside
12-01-2009, 02:29 PM
I don't know what your problem may be. Are you sure that your audio preferences are set correctly? I know they don't make that KB37 anymore. Maybe the drivers are outdated?

You should check your audio settings in your system preferences. Make sure that the KB37 is selected as your input. If you don't see it there, you should download the drivers. Here's the link:

http://line6.com/getrelease?rid=2884

I don't know what application are you using to record into, but what I would do is record the audio straight into GarageBand while simultaneously filming the process in iMovie.

I would then tweak the takes in GB until I'm satisfied, then import the finished stereo mix into iMovie. Once it's there, I would synch the video up.



There are good affordable condenser mics out there. Check out the Behringer C-1 (http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/C-1.aspx).

Hey Seeso -

Thanks for the response. I am sure I am using the correct audio settings...the KB37 is set as the input device. As far as what I am trying to record into...well, that's a bit more murky. I originally wanted to record directly into YouTube (there are options that allow you to record directly from a web-cam; you can choose the audio settings as well. I chose the KB37 as my input, but as I mentioned, I only seem to get either uke or voice, never both).

Also, I'm not opposed to the idea of recording in GB and syncing with iMovie, but I have to wonder...what's the point of doing it live if I'm just going to cut / sync later? That, and perhaps more to the point...is that fact that it seems like a lot of work! :p If there's a trick to make it easier, I'd love to hear it. I think it would be about 10 times better to record using my KB37 than the internal mic of my camera.

I didn't know you could get a condenser mic for such a low price. I've heard some bad things about Behringer, though. I'll give it a look and see if I like it. I'm not opposed to spending more on a mic, I just need to get my uke spending out of the way first. :D

Thanks again!

PS - Out of curiosity, how do you record your videos? What software / hardware do you prefer?

seeso
12-01-2009, 05:04 PM
Hey Seeso -

Thanks for the response. I am sure I am using the correct audio settings...the KB37 is set as the input device. As far as what I am trying to record into...well, that's a bit more murky. I originally wanted to record directly into YouTube (there are options that allow you to record directly from a web-cam; you can choose the audio settings as well. I chose the KB37 as my input, but as I mentioned, I only seem to get either uke or voice, never both).

I have never heard of a pain-free direct-to-YouTube video recording. That would be the first thing I'd change in your process.


Also, I'm not opposed to the idea of recording in GB and syncing with iMovie, but I have to wonder...what's the point of doing it live if I'm just going to cut / sync later? That, and perhaps more to the point...is that fact that it seems like a lot of work! :p If there's a trick to make it easier, I'd love to hear it. I think it would be about 10 times better to record using my KB37 than the internal mic of my camera.

The point of recording it into GarageBand is to achieve superior audio quality. Once your audio is in GarageBand, you can add compression, reverb, etc.

It's not a lot of work. Once you're done with you audio tweaks, just import the audio into iMovie. Your video take should have the un-tweaked audio on there already, so just synch both tracks together by listening and nudging. Then just erase the audio take from your video, so only the tweaked GarageBand audio is left. Lickety-split.


I didn't know you could get a condenser mic for such a low price. I've heard some bad things about Behringer, though. I'll give it a look and see if I like it. I'm not opposed to spending more on a mic, I just need to get my uke spending out of the way first. :D

Thanks again!

I have never tried the Behringer C-1. I haven't heard anything great about it, nor have I heard anything terrible. Depending on where you buy it from, you can always return it if you don't like it.


PS - Out of curiosity, how do you record your videos? What software / hardware do you prefer?

My usual method is to record directly into GarageBand while filming the process in iMovie.

I have an M-Audio MobilePre preamp. It has two inputs, both equipped with XLR and 1/4" inputs. If it's a "live" take video, I'll just run cables from my ukulele and my Shure SM58 to the MobilePre, and record into GarageBand and iMovie. My "War Pigs" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nzy6XKtB-bA) video is an example of this method.

If it's a multi-track style video, I'll record all the instruments first, one at a time into GarageBand, usually leaving the vocals for last. Again, I film into iMovie simultaneously.

I don't use the iSight camera anymore. Now I hook up my camcorder to iMovie via FireWire. I get better video quality, and I don't waste any tape.

FromTheWayside
12-03-2009, 01:57 PM
...lots of useful information...

Thanks Sesso! I'm kind of disappointed there isn't an easy way to record directly into YT, but at least now I know what I have to do. I haven't had the chance to try this for myself, but as soon as I do, I'll get back to you.

By the way, are there any other mics, in the ~100-200 (closer to 100) dollar range that are good for vocals and uke? I've heard good things about the Shure SM57, but as I recall that's a dynamic mic. I know a little bit about the difference, but if someone has practical experience and preferences, I'd like to hear about them.

Hooking your camera up to your computer seems like a cool idea, but I seriously doubt my camera has fire-wire connections (haven't had a new camcorder in at least 5 years). If I upgrade that's definitely an option that I will keep in mind.

Thanks again for all your help. :D

seeso
12-04-2009, 09:04 AM
By the way, are there any other mics, in the ~100-200 (closer to 100) dollar range that are good for vocals and uke? I've heard good things about the Shure SM57, but as I recall that's a dynamic mic. I know a little bit about the difference, but if someone has practical experience and preferences, I'd like to hear about them.

Generally, you want to use an SM58 for vocals and an SM57 for everything else. If you're only getting one mic, get the SM57. I don't understand why you're hesitant to get a dynamic mic.


Hooking your camera up to your computer seems like a cool idea, but I seriously doubt my camera has fire-wire connections (haven't had a new camcorder in at least 5 years). If I upgrade that's definitely an option that I will keep in mind.

You might be surprised. The camera I'm using is also about 5 years old, and it has a FireWire connection. What kind of camera do you have?

Lori
12-04-2009, 11:08 AM
Firewire is pretty old really. I have some camcorders that are way over 5 years old and they have it. Sometimes it is called something else. Look for IEEE 1394, or on Sony i.Link, or of course Firewire (400). Often the connector port is smaller than the normal Firewire connector. As always Wikipedia is a good spot to see what's going on with the connector shapes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_1394_interface

If you can use a camcorder for the video, and an external mic (either connected to the computer or the camcorder), you should get some really nice results. I know my camcorder has a mini jack that can be used for external mics. And, you can get adaptors for XLR to 1/4 inch mini jack.

I have used the Samson C01U mic, which is a USB mic. They have the XLR one too (C01) and they are identical sound wise. I got mine for around $80 US.

–Lori

bazmaz
12-04-2009, 11:26 AM
i havent read all the techie stuff in this thread in detail - so forgive me if i repeat myself - but felt compelled to post, as over last 4 years, I have been through this whole process.

the thing is - you can buy lots of portable solutions to recording and introduce them to your PC or MAC. People think the alternative means very expensive set up and Cubase - it doesnt

I have been through 4 tracks, mini studios and many many mics.

In the end, most has been sold - have a 12 channel mixer now (v cheap) connected to my PC via a M-Audio Soundcard (relatively decent one). I record all through that. For amplification, I have a marshall soloist acoustic amp that I can mic if needed.. I also use a Shure 57 and 58 as above.

It all works flawlessly and quietly.

All of that said, I have just ordered a Zoom H2 for recording, but that is more for practice or recording on the go...

Im my view though, for PC recording---

1. Get a decent sound card with lots of inputs
2. Get a mixer and hook that to sound card
3. Either record through mixer, or use an amp set up and mic that.

FromTheWayside
12-07-2009, 09:40 AM
Generally, you want to use an SM58 for vocals and an SM57 for everything else. If you're only getting one mic, get the SM57. I don't understand why you're hesitant to get a dynamic mic.

You might be surprised. The camera I'm using is also about 5 years old, and it has a FireWire connection. What kind of camera do you have?

First, I'm not hesitant, my wallet is though! :P Thanks for the tip though. I will have to start trolling ebay / Amazon to get a good deal.

As far as the camera...gotta dig it out of the nook under the stairs. That will be an all-day project, lol. Wish me luck! If I don't post again for a few days send in a search party after me... ;)

FromTheWayside
12-07-2009, 09:42 AM
Firewire is pretty old really. I have some camcorders that are way over 5 years old and they have it. Sometimes it is called something else. Look for IEEE 1394, or on Sony i.Link, or of course Firewire (400). Often the connector port is smaller than the normal Firewire connector. As always Wikipedia is a good spot to see what's going on with the connector shapes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_1394_interface

If you can use a camcorder for the video, and an external mic (either connected to the computer or the camcorder), you should get some really nice results. I know my camcorder has a mini jack that can be used for external mics. And, you can get adaptors for XLR to 1/4 inch mini jack.

I have used the Samson C01U mic, which is a USB mic. They have the XLR one too (C01) and they are identical sound wise. I got mine for around $80 US.

–Lori

Thanks for the info! As I said with Seeso, now it's just a matter of finding the darn camera. As soon as I start posting really high quality videos, you'll all know I was able to get something working... ;)

FromTheWayside
12-07-2009, 09:55 AM
i havent read all the techie stuff in this thread in detail - so forgive me if i repeat myself - but felt compelled to post, as over last 4 years, I have been through this whole process.

the thing is - you can buy lots of portable solutions to recording and introduce them to your PC or MAC. People think the alternative means very expensive set up and Cubase - it doesnt

I have been through 4 tracks, mini studios and many many mics.

In the end, most has been sold - have a 12 channel mixer now (v cheap) connected to my PC via a M-Audio Soundcard (relatively decent one). I record all through that. For amplification, I have a marshall soloist acoustic amp that I can mic if needed.. I also use a Shure 57 and 58 as above.

It all works flawlessly and quietly.

All of that said, I have just ordered a Zoom H2 for recording, but that is more for practice or recording on the go...

Im my view though, for PC recording---

1. Get a decent sound card with lots of inputs
2. Get a mixer and hook that to sound card
3. Either record through mixer, or use an amp set up and mic that.

Hmm...well, first let me say thanks for the input! I actually use a Mac, but I know a lot of this still applies. I'm lucky in that I haven't had a noise problem when recording, so I don't have a need for external, independent recoding devices. It would certainly be fun to have, though! It seems like a lot of people have a positive impression of the SM57, so that's now on the "hit-list." Too bad the holidays are expensive enough, already. XD

I'm wondering, though, what does a mixer actually do? I've heard about plenty of people doing them, but I really don't understand why I would need one. Perhaps you could enlighten me? I probably don't need a 16-channel professional quality studio mixer of doom, but...who knows? Let me know what you think! :)