Seasonista Techie Thread

How I'm recording my neck pov tonight...

IMG_20230711_211753.jpg

I normally just wrap my webcam just like this but I've been experimenting with my GoPro 8 settings and am fairly happy with it so far. :)
 
I'll post something in the next few days to give an outline of how I work with garageband. I might at some point post an instructional vid as well - it's just a case of finding the time. Leave it with me! 🙂

I use GarageBand on iPad and I take 2 approaches, depending on whether it’s a faster song with an even tempo or a slower song with more variation in tempo. Either way, the thing I would stress more than anything is that timing is critical, and makes the difference between something that sounds really good and something that sounds like a complete dog’s dinner!

Approach 1
For faster, even paced songs, I will usually lay down a rhythm track first. GarageBand does have a good number of preset rhythm tracks and loops you can use, but I love doing my own. Then I’ll work out a bass line and add that. I have a full size USB MIDI controller keyboard that I plug in to the iPad via a USB to iPad converter cable (pm me if you want to know details) and I play all the additional internal GarageBand instrument sounds (there are loads and most are pretty authentic) with this. Bass, strings, piano, synth and other sounds can be added at this point too, or you can wait until after you’ve added your uke and voice track to the song. If you’re playing acoustic uke and singing, you can then plug in your external USB mic and play and sing along with what you’ve already recorded - I use my phone to video this part of the process and then later combine video and audio in iMovie (also on iPad). If you wish to add electric uke, that too can plug into the iPad using another type of converter cable (pm me for details of this too) and you can take advantage of a multitude of amp and effect settings within GarageBand! However, you can’t have a mic and electric uke plugged in at the same time as there’s only one input port, so the tracks for uke and voice would need to be recorded separately.

Approach 2
For slower songs with varied tempos, I’ll usually do the uke/voice part first, then add in GarageBand instrument sounds afterwards. Timing can be much trickier here as there’s no rhythm track to follow. You can, of course, add in rhythm afterwards too, but timing will be critical!

Using GarageBand on iPad is easier than it may seem from what I’ve written here - I’ve considered putting some kind of tutorial vid on YouTube outlining the above processes - is this something anyone would be interested in watching? (That said, there are plenty out there already, though I could of course tailor mine to what I do here on the Seasons).
 
I have used the Acapella app in the past. It’s a cool way to layer stuff, I’ve found it especially useful for singing harmony. I’m not using it presently though. What I would really like to be able to do is videos a la Del or Edwin, where they are shown playing in video but there is backing overlaid. I’m not sure what set up you chaps have. I have my iPad pro, a little plug in mic that I don’t bother using as the sound doesn’t seem any better that from the iPad built in mic. I have garage band of course but I don’t know how to sync Garage Band backing with a vid of me singing and playing? So that is literally my set up, the iPad and….er….. nothing else. Any tips techie folks?
When I used to use garageband before I spilled a glass of red wine on the keyboard and fried it, I would always start with laying down beats bass pads or percussion first of all. Then i would do the uke playing and singing on top of that.
 
Okay, here's a real-life tech problem. Anyone had a problem with a video of yours not being able to be added to a YouTube playlist due to too low of resolution or a resolution issue? I'm wondering if I'm way behind on some tech stuff. The files I load to YouTube are MP4's that are typically between 60-90 megabytes. If I bump resolution to 1080 the files are huge -- almost a gigabyte.

These settings create my typical 80mb SOTU video I put on YouTube. What size are your typical SOTU submissions on YouTube?
resolution settings for SD.JPG

Thanks for any help on this!

Chris
 
Okay, here's a real-life tech problem. Anyone had a problem with a video of yours not being able to be added to a YouTube playlist due to too low of resolution or a resolution issue? I'm wondering if I'm way behind on some tech stuff. The files I load to YouTube are MP4's that are typically between 60-90 megabytes. If I bump resolution to 1080 the files are huge -- almost a gigabyte.

These settings create my typical 80mb SOTU video I put on YouTube. What size are your typical SOTU submissions on YouTube?
View attachment 156377

Thanks for any help on this!

Chris

Hi Chris

I’ve used iMovie on iPad for most of my vids, but just recently I’ve occasionally been using PowerDirector for iPad. Here’s a screenshot from each app which may be of use:


IMG_0157.jpegIMG_0155.jpeg
 
Hi Chris

I’ve used iMovie on iPad for most of my vids, but just recently I’ve occasionally been using PowerDirector for iPad. Here’s a screenshot from each app which may be of use:


View attachment 156388View attachment 156389
Thanks Del. That confirms my suspicion that I'm behind techwise. You (and ukudancer also) are uploading much larger files than I. Thank you!
 
Here's my current settings:


View attachment 156411

This or 1920 x 1080HD
I see. Wow. Much more hi res than mine. I feel like I would eat up space quickly if all my SOTU videos were close to a gb but maybe that is what is being asked for now. I see you both are using h.264 for the format. That's an option on mine that I have not used. Thanks for showing that Arvin.
 
I see. Wow. Much more hi res than mine. I feel like I would eat up space quickly if all my SOTU videos were close to a gb but maybe that is what is being asked for now. I see you both are using h.264 for the format. That's an option on mine that I have not used. Thanks for showing that Arvin.
I can certainly appreciate a sharp and clear image but for me, I almost never record above 1920 x 1080 @ 24 fps for this reason. I mean who really needs to see every one of MY wrinkles when I’m just plopped in front of the camera and strumming a uke or two? Audio quality is vastly more important to me than video.
 
I have usually been happy with 720p, but that is 1280x720 - not something with only 400 pixels in either direction.
I guess there are good reasons for using 1080p or 4k, but I like to save some space on my hard drive. After all, I dont expect my videos to be viewed on a big screen.

Do Find the h.264 setting, that should be good.
In use 30 fps. I have read that monitors usually refresh either 30 or 60 times per second, so the device or YouTube needs to do some conversation if you for for 24 fps.

If sound format can be set individually, go for AAC compression. YouTube usually plays back in 128 kbps, so dont use lower that that. I often double it to 256, just in case some devices get higher quality output from YouTube. I have read that that the quality on YouTube varies. It used to vary by resolution, but should be changed to depend on the streaming device. But they never go above 256 kbps, so no use for more than that.
Funny thing, I read that SoundCloud only streams music in 64 kbps unless you have a paid account. So even though it is designed for music it has worse sound that YouTube.

I will check my pc for file size, I believe they are between 200 and 900 MB.
Edit:
I just checked: After I figured out the right settings (h.264 with AAC sound compression), my videos are only about 50 MB +/- 10 MB.
Before some were 1-2 GB. Had to download some "ffmpeg" libraries for Reaper to have the right codex for saving in the good formats.
 
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I'm surprised to hear that YouTube needs higher resolution videos for playlists - I always encode using these settings on iMovie:

Resolution: 540p
Quality: High
Compress: Faster

That gives a video at 960x540, so I suppose still bigger than @AZChris 720x400. The last video come out at about 200Mb. I'm not bothered about image quality, and I want it to upload sooner... I've never found anything that explains what the "Quality" setting means, I just know that increasing it makes the result ten times bigger so I leave it alone.
 
I'm surprised to hear that YouTube needs higher resolution videos for playlists - I always encode using these settings on iMovie:

Resolution: 540p
Quality: High
Compress: Faster

That gives a video at 960x540, so I suppose still bigger than @AZChris 720x400. The last video come out at about 200Mb. I'm not bothered about image quality, and I want it to upload sooner... I've never found anything that explains what the "Quality" setting means, I just know that increasing it makes the result ten times bigger so I leave it alone.

Well, if I spend a lot of time learning an praticing a song - I am ready to wait an extra minute while the video renders.
No reason for that to be the limiting thing after hours of work put into it.
Then again, DVD quality is 480p. So 540p is still pretty decent.
The most important on our videos is probably the audio, why this would be nice to have some control over.

I dont know is I cracked the code on codex, I reseached what the internet recommends for youtube videos.
There are some compression formats that suit different purposes better.
Like, if you are working with picture files - JPG is great for photos, horrible for graphics. PNG format can compres graphics (anything with few colors) to smaller size than JPG can, and lossless - without those ugly grains. But PNG compression used on photos might end up making a file that is bigger than the original BMP/RAW file.
The same way I hope that by using the same types of compressions that YouTube will eventually use on my video anyway, there will be less loss of quality.
 
I'm wondering if something flukey happened to YouTube this week since this is the first time it has happened to me and I have used the same settings for months. I noticed now the offending videos made it on the weekly list so maybe something got fixed.

Thanks for all the feedback. My biggest takeaway is most of you are uploading files at least twice the size of the ones I do. I'm still a bit mixed on how I will handle the situation but for the time being I will start rendering higher at least 720p. My gripe is the file size as much as rendering time but hopefully I'll realize a big difference in quality and have no issues in uploading them. Time to experiment and maybe get a bigger external hard drive.
 
I can certainly appreciate a sharp and clear image but for me, I almost never record above 1920 x 1080 @ 24 fps for this reason. I mean who really needs to see every one of MY wrinkles when I’m just plopped in front of the camera and strumming a uke or two? Audio quality is vastly more important to me than video.

I agree that audio quality is very important! But I shoot at a high rate for a reason. I can zoom into my hands and offer a tigher shot without having to reshoot again if I need to. It's really hard to mime vibrato to a recording!

The 2nd reason is really for me to just learn stuff. Whether it's learning new video editing techniques or how to mix and master audio, I'm putting some time in when I play music. So it's all fun.

I literally just started learning how to mix in Adobe Audition this year and it's getting both easier and out of hand. Here's my last mix for my Instagram tune:

audition.JPG

I then import my audio mix into Premiere to marry it with the video.

premiere.JPG

Again, my process is pretty overkill for most UUs, but it's really just practice to keep my editing skills sharp since I don't work on creative editing anymore. I do think it's a good skill to learn though.

RE - space. I actually don't keep any of my files anymore. YouTube is basically my cloud storage these days. lol
 
I agree that audio quality is very important! But I shoot at a high rate for a reason. I can zoom into my hands and offer a tigher shot without having to reshoot again if I need to. It's really hard to mime vibrato to a recording!

The 2nd reason is really for me to just learn stuff. Whether it's learning new video editing techniques or how to mix and master audio, I'm putting some time in when I play music. So it's all fun.

I literally just started learning how to mix in Adobe Audition this year and it's getting both easier and out of hand. Here's my last mix for my Instagram tune:

View attachment 156448

I then import my audio mix into Premiere to marry it with the video.

View attachment 156449

Again, my process is pretty overkill for most UUs, but it's really just practice to keep my editing skills sharp since I don't work on creative editing anymore. I do think it's a good skill to learn though.

RE - space. I actually don't keep any of my files anymore. YouTube is basically my cloud storage these days. lol

Totally get it, to each his own. Sounds like you have a Adobe Creative Cloud license so why not use all the tools at your disposal right?

I've tried to streamline my process so I can do it all with as few steps as possible (because I'm both lazy and have time constraints) so I record tracks with Movie pro app either on my phone or my ipad, then import those into LumaFusion and just mix the audio there in the video editor.

There are quite a few AUv3 plugins / filters that work with LumaFusion so you can just drop those onto individual audio tracks if needed. I really miss having an external digital recorder for backing tracks like a Zoom H6 with a stereo capsule. It's pretty pointless to record a video jsut for a quick backing track. I might need to invest in one of those again.
 
I'm wondering if something flukey happened to YouTube this week since this is the first time it has happened to me and I have used the same settings for months. I noticed now the offending videos made it on the weekly list so maybe something got fixed.

Thanks for all the feedback. My biggest takeaway is most of you are uploading files at least twice the size of the ones I do. I'm still a bit mixed on how I will handle the situation but for the time being I will start rendering higher at least 720p. My gripe is the file size as much as rendering time but hopefully I'll realize a big difference in quality and have no issues in uploading them. Time to experiment and maybe get a bigger external hard drive.
Yeah I don't like to keep the files around either. After I am done mixing and mastering, I upload both the raw tracks and my finished video to my dropbox account, I have terabytes of storage available there. I delete all the local files.
 
Yeah I don't like to keep the files around either. After I am done mixing and mastering, I upload both the raw tracks and my finished video to my dropbox account, I have terabytes of storage available there. I delete all the local files.
I can't bear to throw anything away... my parents always discarded old books, and so now I'm trying to find all my old favourites again, and as a result I've become a hoarder both digitally and physically. My current approach is, when my hard drive gets full, to burn the things onto a BluRay and put them on my shelf.

I have, of course, never looked at said BluRays. I should at least check they're still readable occasionally...

I'm using onling sharing services too (Dropbox, and even YouTube) but I'm not going to assume they'll be around forever, or even 10 years from now.
 
I tend to hoard and hang on to the original video tracks thinking I may want to come back and edit them someday. Oddly enough I never do. (maybe once other than today) So, yeah...YouTube or google drive makes sense for storing 99% of my video files. I heard someone say that if you have clothes in your closet you have not worn in a year, you may as well get rid of them because you likely will never wear them. I should adopt a similar digital hoarding policy.

I had an old man epiphany/moment of clarity/reality check thingy today. For one thing, I did not upload my videos to YT like I usually do, like I thought-- I uploaded it to another YT account I accidentally had open. That maybe was an issue because I have never had that account connected to UU. Don't take my keys or contact my primary care physician just yet folks...
Since I had to re-upload it to my usual account, I fixed it and I rendered it at 1920 x 1080 this time. It was 402mb. (like what Edwin's files are) Though that file is 5 times larger than my previous, it rendered and uploaded in only a slightly longer time and looks noticeably better. I should have been doing this all along. Maybe there will be times I want small files? Clicking the "same as timeline" button put it in 1920 x 1080 resolution and that seemed to work well.

The input has been helpful here. Thanks everyone.
 
I think you might get better results using a different codec if your software allows for it... H264...

 
I see you both are using h.264 for the format. That's an option on mine that I have not used. Thanks for showing tAha hat Arvi

On closer inspection, I see the advice had already been received.
 
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