Q&A: Video Recording Setup (Updated

)

Q: aku nk mitak ko ajar seting camera n sound
A: Ok, ni steps and settings aku mase aku record video Nurnilam Sari
tu. And most likely, future videos won’t be that much different. And
since aku tak sure how much you know about this process, I’ll explain
the entire process, but not in too much detail.


(click image to view full size)

Pre-Recording Process
Sebelum start record, aku prepare backing track dulu. The first step for
that is Guitar Pro. Aku tulis drums, bass, keyboard, guitar etc. Part
guitar boleh skip gak since aku nak record and replace it anyway. Bile
dah siap GP tab tu, aku export as midi.
Dari midi tu aku bukak pakai DAW, in my case, Cakewalk Sonar 7.
Some people recommend Steinberg Cubase, maybe it’s better. But since
aku dah pakai Cakewalk dari dulu lagi aku stick to that. Kalo tengok
diagram kat atas, aku letak a few arrows to represent different tracks in
a midi file. Midi file is not necessarily just one track. Dalam midi file ni
boleh ade beberapa tracks, depending on the number of tracks aku buat
dalam Guitar Pro tu. So bass ade track sendiri, drum ade track sendiri
etc. Bile bukak pakai DAW, you’ll see each track having its own line. So
ko boleh turn off mane mane track yang ko nak, edit them separately
etc.
Now step Guitar Pro tu boleh dibuat pakai Sonar gak. But the problem
is Sonar is not optimized for guitar tab writing. So kalo aku nak share
tab ngan orang lain better start with Guitar Pro. And kalau pakai Sonar
untuk compose backing track from scratch, it’s better to use a keyboard
(not computer keyboard, musical keyboard) to input the notes. But for
this video aku tak buat camtu. Aku just guna midi yang diexport dari
Guitar Pro.
Dalam DAW ni, sound midi (which sucks), can be turned into
synthesizer sounds. So sound instrument tu bole jadi cam real sket la.
Cam sound drum tu, it came from midi, converted into synth, tu sound
cam pakai drum betul. Same goes with bass and other instruments. So
first aku setup multiple synths to read each midi line and play back as
synth sound.
Bile backing tracks rasa cam sedap sket, baru move on to recording.
Now the backing tracks don’t have to be perfect yet, it can be edited
later. As long as the beats are correct, and it’s easy enough to play along
with, you can proceed to recording the guitar.

Recording Process
Mase aku record tu, basically ade 3 stream yang dirakam serentak:
• Guitar sound – sound yang ditransfer melalui cable guitar tu
• Ambient sound – sound yang dirakam camera video melalui built-
in mic dia
• Video – dirakam pakai camera video yang sama

Video and Ambient Sound Recording
Camera video aku pakai Canon Vixia HG20. Ni camera video High
Definition. If you want to make an HD video, you have to use an HD
capable camera.
Since ni standalone camera, video and ambient sound dirakam ke
dalam hard disk camera tu. So tak kacau computer lagi. Kalo ko rang
pakai webcam, then most likely your computer will do the video
recording. Kalo computer ko laju gile takde hal la kot pakai webcam.
Kalo tak, tak larat la computer ko nak record video, record guitar sound
(explained below), playback backing track (explained below) and other
stuff. The DAW needs a lot of memory.

Guitar Sound Recording
For the guitar sound, aku buat direct recording, instead of micing.
Direct recording ni maknanya connect guitar terus ke soundcard.
Micing plak connect guitar ke amplifier, pastu letak mic depan speaker
amp tu and connect the amp to the soundcard.
I don’t really have any experience in micing. But aku tak buat micing ni
sebab amp aku bukan best pon. Just a really small Marshall. Lagi satu
kalo micing ni kena setup kasi takde ambient noise. Since aku takde
studio, baik takyah. It’s not easy to keep the ambient noise down.
Contohnya mase awal video tu, ade bunyi pintu berdentum. That’s my
neighbor. In fact, kalo aku mic amp aku, sure bising. Neighbors won’t
appreciate that. But the good thing about micing I guess is that you can
get the sound that you get out of your amp. But of course you have to
have good microphone for that, and that can be expensive too.
So aku connect guitar aku directly to external sound card aku (orange
arrow). For the sound card aku pakai Line6 TonePort UX2. It’s not a
good idea to use your regular computer sound card for this purpose. Use
a good, low-latency sound card designed for recording. Low latency ni
penting. Kalo tak nanti ko record walaupon ikut beat dengan betul, ko
akan dengar output dia lambat sket. It’s really annoying and hard to
record properly. And the sound quality of typical computer sound card
won’t be as good too. My TonePort has got to be one of the best
purchases I’ve ever made.
Dari TonePort tu, masuk ke computer (orange arrow). Untuk video ni,
aku tak pakai external effect. Aku pakai Line6 GearBox, which is a
computer guitar effect. Lebih kurang cam AmpliTube or Guitar Rig
software la. But GearBox ni hanya boleh pakai ngan Line6 punya sound
card jek. So dalam GearBox ni aku letak compressor, distortion, noise
gate, etc. Yang paling penting skali ialah amp model dia. Amp model ni
dia simulate the sound quality of amp micing technique. So bleh adjust
distance of the virtual microphone, type of microphone, amp settings
like gain etc. Walaupon tak pakai amp, kira aku boleh buat as if aku
record pakai amp la. So boleh try tukar-tukar preamp and speakers of
the virtual amplifier. Of course it won’t sound as good as using an
expensive microphone to mic an expensive amplifier in a studio with
good acoustic. But it’s a cheaper option.
Dari software GearBox aku boleh denga bunyi guitar yang dah tambah
effects (purple arrow). For monitoring, aku pakai headphones Audio-
Technica ATH-M40fs. It’s an affordable studio monitoring (flat-
response) headphone. And GearBox at the same time hantar sound tu
masuk ke DAW (light blue arrow). DAW is responsible of recording the
sound. So dari guitar->TonePort->GearBox-DAW, semuanya berlaku
live, in real-time. Bile aku click record kat DAW ni, dia akan playback
backing track skali. So aku bleh dengar backing track tu sambil aku
main (red arrow). Sound guitar aku in the DAW will appear as its own
track.
Kalo aku nak tambah layer pon boleh. Contohnya aku nak main
harmony ke, aku leh record first guitar and second guitar separately.
Post Recording
Sound Editing
Bile dah siap record, boleh start process sound guitar. Nak adjust
volume ke, nak tambah reverb ke, nak pan ke. This part of the work can
be confusing. It really depends on how much you know about your
DAW. Cakewalk Sonar, from my experience, can be complicated. So,
choose the DAW you’re comfortable with.
Bile dah puas hati ngan sume sound tracks, aku boleh mix kasi jadi one
wav and/or mp3 file. For this one tak silap aku aku export as wav jek.
Video and Ambient Sound Editing
For video editing, aku pakai Pinnacle Studio 12. Well, aku tak
experienced sangat pasal video editing ni. Aku main try jek a few
software. Aku rasa cam Pinnacle Studio ni simple enough, so aku pakai
la.
Video dari camera yang aku record tu, now boleh transfer masuk dalam
computer. Camera aku ni dia export video as AVCHD format.
Bile load raw video file tu dalam Pinnacle Studio (dashed red arrow), ko
boleh nampak dua track. Video, and audio track yang camera tu record.
Audio track tu la yang aku refer as Ambient Sound.
Mase aku buat video ni, aku saje jek keep the ambient sound from 0:00
to 0:09. Pastu bile start main, aku senyapkan ambient sound tu, and
replace with the wav file yang ade sound guitar aku yang aku export dari
DAW tadi (black arrow). But the key is to synchronize the audio and the
video properly.
Cuba tengok gambar ni. Ni screenshot Pinnacle Studio mase aku buat
video ni. Kalo ko tengok, kat Ambient Sound Track tu ade garis orange.
Tu volume control untuk track tu. Aku kasi slowly fade out sampai ke
0:09. Starting 0:09 Audio Sound Track plak start.





(click image to view full size)
Export Video and Upload
Bile dah siap aku export video tu as avi seinggat aku. Kalo tak silap aku
export as DivX avi, and then upload ke YouTube. Mase aku upload video
ni, YouTube tak officially support HD lagi, although boleh upload HD
video. So sekarang the process/settings for optimum video may be a bit
different.
_______________________________________
(Update)
Untuk video Sejati tu, untuk Wah aku pakai Boss GT-6 lame aku, just
for the Wah. And then only connect to TonePort.
And video tu aku buat pakai Pinnacle Studio 14.
_______________________________________
(Upadate)
The ambient sound recorded by the video camera is very useful in video
editing. Now when I record a video I’ll make sure that the mic level
setting of the camera is very high. Because the sound of the guitar is
recorded and processed separately, when it comes to combining it with
the video, it’s easier to match that audio with the ambient sound to get a
good synchronization.