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View Full Version : Multitrack Audio and Video - Taking the Plunge - Need Help



musicmonsterw
06-05-2010, 08:28 AM
I have been playing with recording Youtube videos since December. Some of my videos (all the good ones for picture) were shot by someone else. In the videos that I shot myself, I have stuck to one shot, one instrument and singer (me) and that's it. The results were pretty crappy at first but just recently, say last month, I've become comfortable with this and I am reasonably happy with the results.

So, now I'm beginning my first attempt at a multi-track. I do have experience with multi-tracking audio only. I've done some sound designs for theatre and I've been involved in recording a number of CDs, either my own or someone else's. But, I'm insecure about the Youtube medium. I'm reasonably comfortable around computers but certainly did not come by this without a lot of pain. When it comes to computers, I can learn but it always hurts, in one way or another.

I want to do a video with a ukulele and singer as the main shot. Then I want to add harmony vocals, and a soloing instrument. It would be great if I could get video and audio to match. I use a Mac and I've been using i-Movie and Garageband for my videos. Does anyone out there have advice on how to get started?

AnnaUK
06-06-2010, 09:41 AM
I don't use a Mac, so I'm sorry I won't be much help with those specific programs.

In general I've found it easier to record the audio and make one mp3 track which I then import into my video editor and add the footage I took earlier. Syncing it up can be a bit hit-and-miss, which sometimes goes further out during upload to YouTube, inexplicably.

In my experience, messing about with the video editing program takes far longer than the actual recording, due to the idiosycrasies of computers (and my errors, no doubt :uhoh: ).

I learnt mainly by trial-and-error and through searching the internet for answers when I hit a problem.

Good luck with it, I'm sure someone Apple-experienced will be more help :)

Best wishes
Anna

musicmonsterw
06-06-2010, 12:31 PM
I don't use a Mac, so I'm sorry I won't be much help with those specific programs.

In general I've found it easier to record the audio and make one mp3 track which I then import into my video editor and add the footage I took earlier. Syncing it up can be a bit hit-and-miss, which sometimes goes further out during upload to YouTube, inexplicably.

In my experience, messing about with the video editing program takes far longer than the actual recording, due to the idiosycrasies of computers (and my errors, no doubt :uhoh: ).

I learnt mainly by trial-and-error and through searching the internet for answers when I hit a problem.

Good luck with it, I'm sure someone Apple-experienced will be more help :)

Best wishes
Anna

Thanks for your input, Anna! So, let me see if I get this right. You record each part, both the audio and video at the same time. You then work on the audio until you get the sound you want. Then, you import it into the video editor. At this point, you go back over the footage and use trial and error to sync up the visuals you want with the audio that's playing. Is that it?

Cheers,

Ronin.

AnnaUK
06-08-2010, 09:53 AM
Hey Ronin,

Yeah that's pretty much it. I leave the camera going while I record the audio. (I think it's better than going back and "miming" it later, but that's just personal opinion.) I just use a normal stills camera on the video setting, I don't have a proper camcorder or anything.

I record the audio tracks straight into Audacity (I use a PC) and after each track start the camera again so in effect, I've created "takes" on the camera. Once I've finished recording, I import the finished mp3 and the various video clips into my video editor (in my case Sony Vegas) and then crop them down and line them up.

This is a massively long-winded way of doing it, I'm sure. (I usually click my fingers to make some noise at the start of the take, so I can line up the audio and video clips.) It seems to work ok for me.

If anyone knows a much easier way to do it, I'd be very happy to hear it, as I often end up spending longer messing about in the video editor that I actually do recording the music... :uhoh:

3nails4holes
06-30-2010, 08:37 PM
i just used both imovie & garageband to make my video for the kanile'a/uu contest.

here's basically my workflow.

0) get a quality mic and headphones. i don't have a decent mic yet, so i just used the one on the macbook near the camera. i used good headphones with one ear lifted up to hear myself better.

0.5) when you select new project, you should have some idea of the tempo & key. if you don't specify something, the default may be something like 120 bpm in 4/4 in the key of c major. that may not be a prob for your song, but if your song ISN"T in those requirements it could. for example, if you set those & end up laying down a track for a song that's actually 130 bpm, none of the loop backgrounds will match. let's say you want to add a "world drums 01." well, it's set up to match with 120 bpm--not what you actually ended up doing in your tempo. any global changes to the tempo after setting the initial settings will royally screw up your song. so, just be sure of your settings you'd like before recording.

1) recorded the lead vocals on a track. (listen to the orig. in your headphones/ipod whatever or just use the metronome setting via headphones to keep the tempo.)

2) while listening to that, i added the harmony vocals on separate tracks. it doesn't matter when i actually hit play or record on the track. as long as the vocals all matched up, i could then move the track left or right later to perfectly match the lead vocals track.

3) i did the exact same thing with the rhythm uke, the bass uke, the pickin' uke, shaker, etc.--all on separate tracks. if you want to mute different tracks, just select the headphones button to toggle sound/or the speaker button depending on what you need. **it's especially important to check the little box for automatic level control to the lower right when you add a new track. otherwise you'll be chasing the track volume levels if they spike.**

4) i moved all tracks left or right as needed to perfectly match. then i hit the little triangular down arrow that will allow you to adjust the track's volume either all at once or at portions of the song. for example, if you really want the bass vocals to just be quieter the whole time, you can select that and lower the volume by 9.2 dB or something. but let's say that you need the shakers to come in hot at one part of the song & then fade into the back ground later--you can adjust that here.

5) i then export as an mp3 or some other format easily read by the application audacity.

6) you can probably do this part in gb, but i was in a time crunch and was more familiar with audacity being able to trim easily. when i finished my song, there were large lead in & ending times just due to the different tracks starting/ending at different times before & after the actual song. after actually matching up all the tracks let's say there was a lead in time of 9.2 seconds before the first track--lead vocal in this case--actually began. i wasn't sure how to scoot all tracks to the left (beginning of song) all by 9.2 seconds without getting them out of sync with each other. i used audacity to trim those all up and then exported as an mp3 or some other format for itunes.

7) load song into itunes. put song into ipod/burn to disc whatever. use that final version of song for your video.

8) go shoot video with crucial portions matched to your final song version.

9) import video to imovie.

10) edit movie & import final song version from itunes.

11) match up & polish the video.

12) i found that uploading to youtube directly from imovie produced lower video quality than the following: export/share movie to desktop as largest file size you'd like. then open your youtube account page & then upload the file from the desktop via the youtube page.

13) then go make a pizza or walk around the neighborhood or something. for me a 4-5 minute vid took 10 min processing, 60 min upload, and then 10-15 processing by youtube for all to be good.

whew.

is that what you wanted to know? :)

it was my first time doing something this elaborate vs. simply recording a video of me playing the uke via the cam on the monitor. i liked the results much better, but i vow to improve. my next step will be a decent usb mic--if i can save the $ for one.

i have had gb for a long time on my macs but never really used it until this project other than just noodling with loops. i found it to be relatively easy to use, very capable and i'm really looking forward to what all i can get out of it!

please drop me a note if you have any questions!

:shaka:

Lori
07-01-2010, 06:14 AM
I would suggest keeping your audio tracks in AIF format as much as possible. MP3 format makes the file smaller, and throws away audio information. If you edit your audio in MP3, and then export another MP3 from that, you will lose quality with each generation. The result can be drop-outs or glitches in your final audio. Sometimes it will give a distorted underwater sound.
At the end, before sending to YouTube, I use the Apple TV settings for video out of Compressor (part of Final Cut Studio). MPG 4 or H264 are good formats for YouTube.
There are some good export controls in QuickTime.
–Lori

musicmonsterw
07-01-2010, 06:49 AM
thanks so much for your info! Nails and Lori. This is exactly the kinda stuff I needed to know.
:) :) :)

3nails4holes
07-01-2010, 09:16 AM
lori, great point about the loss of data with each successive generation. i was in a crunch to get the video published for the contest so i didn't have time to stop & look up what formats were compatible with gb & itunes & imovie & audacity.

after looking over apple's support documents for imovie, the following points are often recommended:

- For best results always record footage using 16-bit or higher audio. Recording with 12-bit audio may result in a gradual loss of audio-video synchronization.

- Audio files must be in AIFF format or another format that works with QuickTime. QT supports the following formats: iTunes Audio (.m4a, .m4b, .m4p), MP3, Core Audio (.caf), AIFF, AU, SD2, WAV, SND, AMR.

- for GB: Imported audio files should have a sample rate of 44.1 kilohertz (kHz) and a bit depth of 16 bits. Files with a different sample rate might play back faster or slower (for example, files with a sample rate of 48 kHz, a common format for camcorders, will play faster). To keep the same speed, convert the file to 44.1 kHz using QuickTime Pro or another application before importing the file into GarageBand.

Audio files you import from the Finder do not change to match the tempo or key of your project. Compressed audio files you import into a project remain compressed, saving space and time.

- You can import audio files of the following file types into a GarageBand project: AIFF, WAV, AAC (except protected AAC files, such as items purchased from the iTunes Store), Apple Lossless, MP3.

- from GB support: You can send a song to iTunes and play it in iTunes, add it to playlists, download it to an iPod, or burn it to a CD. Songs are sent to iTunes in AIFF format. You can convert the exported file to another format, such as AAC (m4a) or MP3, from within iTunes.

- for audacity: Audacity cannot import or export files in WMA, AAC, RealAudio, Shorten (SHN), or most other proprietary formats, or any kind of Digital Rights Management (DRM) protected file, including many purchased online such as on iTunes or Napster. Because of licensing and patent restrictions, we are not allowed to add these formats to Audacity. Future versions of Audacity might be able to support these formats using codecs installed in your operating system.
Some open formats are not yet supported by Audacity, including Ogg, Speex and FLAC. We hope to support these formats in future versions of Audacity.
Audacity can currently import WAV, AIFF, AU, MP2/MP3 and OGG Vorbis files. If you cannot import your file into Audacity, you can as a workround convert it to WAV or AIFF. As long as it is not a DRM-protected file, you could do this with iTunes® or with SUPER player. If it is a DRM-protected file, you can burn it to an audio CD in the application that is licensed to play it, then extract (rip) the CD track to WAV or AIFF.

- for itunes: You can listen to songs encoded in AAC or Apple Lossless formats in iTunes and on iPod models that come with a dock connector. If you plan to listen to your music using a different program or MP3 player, choose MP3 Encoder.

If you want to burn high-quality audio CDs with the songs you’re importing, without losing quality, choose Apple Lossless or AIFF. (Keep in mind that songs imported using this format use much more disc space.)

If you’ll be playing your songs on a computer that does not have MP3 software, choose WAV.




:deadhorse:

whew! now i know! and, of course, knowing is half the battle.

sooooo.... basically, if you stick to aiff formats for video/audio productions & you don't mind the larger file size, you'll be fine! i'm glad that i know for the future too!

:D




now.... for the pc-users in the house here's what you do:

1) transfer all your data to an external hd.
2) delete all sensitive data from hd.
3) put your pc on craigslist or donate it.
4) use the money to buy a new uke.
5) then use your birthday money to buy a new mac.
6) transfer data from ext hd to mac.


:shaka:

JT_Ukes
07-01-2010, 09:24 AM
now.... for the pc-users in the house here's what you do:

1) transfer all your data to an external hd.
2) delete all sensitive data from hd.
3) put your pc on craigslist or donate it.
4) use the money to buy a new uke.
5) then use your birthday money to buy a new mac.
6) transfer data from ext hd to mac.


:shaka:

I want to get your kind of birthday money...