View Full Version : cover of 'New Slang' by The Shins

08-03-2011, 07:16 PM
Hey folks-

Never tried to do a 'carbon copy' cover before..... I really like this song.

I need to work on my camera skills and get a real video editing program.

Hope you enjoy......


The quality of the upload looks pretty rough.... hopefully it will improve. It was bad enough to begin with.....

08-03-2011, 09:01 PM
Very good.. great song and that is a pretty accurate cover.

08-03-2011, 09:25 PM
That is great mate I really like it. Its very close to the original! Nice one

08-03-2011, 09:26 PM
I enjoyed that a lot! I'm pretty much a novice when it comes to making videos. What program did you use to make that video and how did you record the audio?

08-04-2011, 03:19 AM
Thanks, folks, glad y'all like it..... It really is one of my favorite tunes.

erivel- not to sound like a commercial for Apple, but I make videos using the Apple iLife suite that comes on most of their machines. Capture video with Photo Booth, record and mix sound with Garage Band, and edit them together with iMovie.

Photo Booth - The video quality could be better, but I just use the built-in webcam. You can use any compatible camera and get correspondingly better results. The keyboard controls and interface are incredibly easy, so I think it's the best way to capture video. You can just record yourself with Photo Booth, using the webcam and the built in microphone, but the sound quality isn't that great. I did this on my first couple of videos before I decided to start making it more complicated.

Garage Band is just cool. You have to have a few accessories to actually be able to record, but for $100, you can get a pretty decent sound. You can also just use the built in microphone to record into Garage Band, but, like Photo Booth, the sound quality isn't great. GB is intuitive and flexible. It's pretty amazing to me that this program comes pre-loaded on the computer out of the box.

iMovie - is a great basic video editor. It's easy to use and has tons of cool features, but the one thing it doesn't do is split screen with several images in frames like what I'm trying to do here. Instead, I use the 'picture in picture' function. The big drawback is that you can only add one 'picture in picture' at a time. I start with a black screen (which I made by recording while holding my thumb over the webcam) and add my first video. Black screen plus one frame gets exported and saved. I then import this video and add my second picture frame. Export and Save again.... Re-import and add the third frame..... rinse and repeat until complete. Does this make sense?

This process has a few obvious drawbacks - the main one being quality. Each time you save and re-import, it degrades the quality. So the first video I added gets progressively grainier and choppier as I add new videos. If there are only two or three videos, it's not as big of a deal, but you can really see it on the video posted above. The top left corner, playing the archtop guitar, was the first video I added and the finished quality is pretty bad since it got saved and reloaded 6 times. You can see the progressively worse quality if you know the order I added the videos...... archtop, acoustic guitar, bass, ukulele, vocals, 'drums', melodica...... It's like a stair-step. A nicer video editing program just lets you put them all where you want them and that's that. I'm shopping for a good video application now..... This is also why nothing is symmetrical or even with the individual video frames. I just kind slap them together and drag and drop them where they fit..... not always the most consistent process.....

The other obvious drawback is that this whole process is kind of a pain in the a$$. I've got it down after doing a few videos, but it's still takes awhile. The most important thing to make it easier is to make all of your videos the same length so they are easier to get lined up and synced as you add them. I use the metronome in Garage Band to count the lead in before I start playing, so I begin playing at the same point in each video. This way, when they are layeredd on top of each other using the Picture in Picture function, they are usually already synced up. Most of the time spent is processor time when you can do other things. Each step of actually importing and arranging the videos is pretty quick and easy, but there are long waits while the processor does its thing rendering, saving and exporting each iteration of the video.... I just find something else to do while the computer is thinking and come back when I know it's ready for the next step.

I use the raw audio from each Photo Booth movie to make sure the videos are lined up and synced together. As you layer the videos, you just keep making sure they're lined up and the sound is the easiest way for me to do this. Once I have all of the videos added and synced up, I delete the sound from the finished video clip since it's the poor quality web cam audio. I then add the finished audio mix from Garage Band as a new audio track and it's done.

The video above took about 2 hours to edit, but most of that, like I said, was processor time. I actually was only sitting in front of the computer for 20 or 30 minutes. Not too bad, and I enjoy doing this kind of stuff....

That's probably a lot more information than you wanted, but once I got started I couldn't stop. Strong coffee this morning.....

I've actually got a new camera and portable audio recorder coming over the next couple of days, so the quality on my videos is hopefully going to improve drastically, but this method works pretty well, I think, and you can get pretty good results if you're careful.

Thanks again for the kind words, guys.....

08-04-2011, 04:27 AM
YES! Melodica!!! OK- this is great. Never heard the original, but I dig this...and as a guy who sits here every day trying to figure out how to play five instruments at once on video and failing miserable, I am well impressed-again

08-04-2011, 04:37 AM
Thanks, man, glad you dig it.

Yeah, I got the melodica a week or two ago.... the kids love it, it's a blast....

I think the trick to good multitracking, for me, is a good metronome.....

And the Shins are an incredible band. I don't listen to much music recorded after 1980, but they're one of the best out there now, IMHO. Real quality song writing and just cool choices on arrangement and production..... check out their album "Chutes Too Narrow" though all three of their records are great.....

Here's a link to the original....

Thanks for listening.....

08-04-2011, 05:59 AM
LOVE THIS! Great job on a great song!

08-04-2011, 07:16 AM
amazing job... love everything about it!!! great song choice too :) fyi, the shins did a song on the yo gabba gabba soundtrack not too long ago (link below)... i mention that only because i know you have kids and, well, i love yo gabba gabba :)


08-04-2011, 07:34 AM
Off to check it out Skidoo...I spend way too much time with these guys and find I miss a whole lot. Great tune there.
Hmmmm- a metronome you say?- no wonder I am having such a great time knackering up every attempt.

08-04-2011, 07:48 AM
Thanks for the info 23!

08-04-2011, 08:14 AM
Thanks Starby..... glad you liked it!

Oliver - thanks for the kindness, man....yeah, I've seen that..... and, yes, Yo Gabba Gabba gets mad play with the wee ones in our house.....

erivel - no problem, anytime....

08-04-2011, 01:09 PM
I don't think I've heard the song or of the band but I enjoyed your cover anyway! Maybe I should look up the band. :)


08-04-2011, 01:23 PM
I don't think I've heard the song or of the band but I enjoyed your cover anyway! Maybe I should look up the band. :)


Glad you enjoyed it, John..... like I said upthread, they're a great band. Definitely on the 'alternative' side of things, with a big 60's pop influence. A friend once gave them a great compliment - she said "None of their songs sound the same." Which is true, lots of variety in the songwriting, almost all good...... you should give it a spin....

08-05-2011, 07:49 PM
That was great. I generally find multi-track videos pretty impressive, on a technical and a musical level, but I think *7* tracks really is going the extra mile. Good job!

Oh, and I love The Shins :). Have you listened to Broken Bells at all?