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#1289750 - 10/19/09 10:27 AM Recording yourself on video!
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2845
Loc: UK.
For the last few years I have had this urge to video myself and post it on youtube. Don't ask me why!!!

Now that my old computer has died and I have a spanking brand new one that seems able to cope with video there really is no excuse anymore. I made a quick recording of the E major prelude from WTC1 after AZN posted about it yeasterday. The quality doesn't seem too bad from my old camcorder although the sound is a little distorted in places. I need to figure out the best place for the camera and maybe look into some mics but this will have to do for now.

I have this project in mind. No big deal but I would kind of like to record all the preludes and fugues over time, as well as the Goldberg variations. Maybe the Beethoven sonatas and a bit of Chopin. As much as possible over a period of time just to give my own playing some focus as it does get neglected with so many teaching hours.

How do the rest of you feel about this kind of thing?

I was never really in to performing in public although I have done so in the past. This seems a little easier as you can always have more than one go. That said it's very difficult to get something you are really happy with. Also my stomach is churning a bit at the though of a worldwide audience!!!!

Isn't it good to set ourselves some goals like this?

Now if you want to pull my technique or interpretation apart go for it. I'm a big boy and can take it. grin
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#1289754 - 10/19/09 10:33 AM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: Chris H.]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17746
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Chris, if us hacks over on AB forum can post our playing for the entire globe, then by all means the world deserves to hear from people who can *really* play. grin

I think it's a wonderful idea, and I think it would also be a good idea for teachers to have a link or two to video of themselves playing on your websites. I would imagine prospective students would like to see their teachers-to-be playing and enjoying themselves while playing.

I would watch your video in a heartbeat, Chris, but I didn't see a link in your post... have you uploaded it yet?
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#1289757 - 10/19/09 10:37 AM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: Monica K.]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Chris,

Invest in some digital recorder. Even a zoom or equivalent will dramatically enhance the audio quality. If you have decent editing software you can chop out the audio from your camcorder and replace it with the audio from your microphone (or Zoom) setup. On a Mac this is easy, but even a PC ( wink ) can handle that sort of editing.


Edited by Piano*Dad (10/19/09 10:37 AM)
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#1289758 - 10/19/09 10:38 AM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: Monica K.]
Morodiene Offline
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Chris, after hearing you play your Waldstein, I seriously doubt anyone will be pulling apart anything you do smile.

This is something I've thought about doing also. Recording pieces as I learn them so that I can accumulate some sort of library of what I've done. I have plenty of vocal recordings for demo CDs, but since I never meant to pursue performing piano, I have not done the same. It would probably be a good thing, however, so that you can get a really good idea of what needs work before a performance! The tough part is determining when it's ready to be recorded.

Perhaps I'm ready to do the first movement of the Italian Concerto. laugh
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#1289763 - 10/19/09 10:42 AM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: Morodiene]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17746
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Check out the Zoom Q3 thread over in AB forum, Chris. There's a couple of sample videos uploaded on it that will give you an idea of the quality of sound/video you get with it. And it only costs $249 USD. wow
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#1289768 - 10/19/09 10:48 AM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: Monica K.]
Chris H. Offline
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Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2845
Loc: UK.
Originally Posted By: Monica K.
I would watch your video in a heartbeat, Chris, but I didn't see a link in your post... have you uploaded it yet?


Sorry Monica. The video is in the other thread about the Prelude in E by Bach.

I did see your latest videos with the zoom Q3 and the quality looks really good although I seem to remember you were less impressed with the sound than your H4?

I always enjoy watching you play. You have nothing to worry about.
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#1289774 - 10/19/09 11:02 AM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: Chris H.]
Diane... Offline
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Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3443
Loc: Western Canada
Chris H!

Do it!!!!!

Yes, I posted myself on youtube! It's easier than putting yourself in a live performance situation because you can tape yourself as many times as you want and put up the one you like best! Go for it!

My only problem was deciding what to wear! grin
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#1289815 - 10/19/09 11:59 AM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: Diane...]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Make sure your mike isn't automatic volume control (which I think yours is) - your dynamics will disappear. Encore! Encore!
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#1289839 - 10/19/09 12:54 PM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: keyboardklutz]
Rachel J Offline
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Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 324
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
I think that using the internet to post your performances is a great idea. It's a way to share your playing with others and get comments and advice! What could be better than that? I have lots of video performances posted to my website, and I get comments from strangers about my playing all the time. I think it's just great. I'm a professional level musician, but since I dedicated myself to teaching, I haven't played in public much. I think posting videos is a fantastic substitute! It's a great way to give yourself goals to focus on, too.
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#1289950 - 10/19/09 03:49 PM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: keyboardklutz]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2845
Loc: UK.
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Make sure your mike isn't automatic volume control (which I think yours is) - your dynamics will disappear. Encore! Encore!


Good point. At the moment I don't have an external mic so it's just the one built into the camera. It will be automatic volume control and as far as I can tell there is no way to alter this. I might do a few trial runs with it for now until I get something better. The zoom Q3 does look good but I can't really afford it at the moment. Still, it gives me a bit of time to do some practice!
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#1290279 - 10/20/09 12:53 AM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: Chris H.]
keyboardklutz Offline
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You could consider getting a decent USB mike. I use a Samson C01U at £50. You can record from your computer and cam simultaneously and mix them together in Windows Movie Maker. Samson seem to have a new model out - it's a useful thing to have anyway.
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#1290311 - 10/20/09 02:16 AM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: Chris H.]
R0B Offline
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Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1438
Loc: Australia
I enjoyed your video performance, Chris smile

If your 'spanking new computer' has a video capture/tv card, istalled, with analog video input ( the yellow RCA type socket) and your camera has 'analog out'( which it probably will have, especially if it is an older model) then you could connect the camera to the computer, and perhaps go with KBK's suggestion of USB condenser microphone.

This would enable you to record 'live' into the computer, using your camera in the same way as a webcam.

On the downside, if your new PC has the latest version of Windows Movie Maker, it no longer supports analog camera input, but a reasonably good, free video capture program, can be found here:
http://www.nchsoftware.com/capture/index.html

It will allow you to select your video camera as the video input, and the USB mic, as audio input, and will record both, simultaneously, without the need to synch them up afterwards..
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#1290319 - 10/20/09 03:27 AM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: R0B]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2845
Loc: UK.
erm.... that's starting to sound a bit technical to me.

I wouldn't be able to record directly onto the computer because it's in my office upstairs and nowhere near the piano. It's a desktop PC rather than a laptop.

For me it needs to be as simple as possible. My camera records onto SD card which then just slots into the computer and it's just there. I can then do basic edits with windows movie maker like clip the start where I am walking to the piano etc. I do like the look of the portable recorders which have more options for audio set up.
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#1290346 - 10/20/09 06:35 AM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: Chris H.]
Chris H. Offline
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Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2845
Loc: UK.
Okay, I realise that this isn't really going to work with the equipment I have at the moment. This morning I had a bash through P&F no.1 in C major and have just uploaded it to youtube.

I swear I was playing dynamics this time round but nothing comes across. You can perhaps notice a slight change in the tone of the piano but in general it's just all loud and horrible. Sounds like some kid doing his grade 5. Also the camera keeps going in and out of focus for no reason as I wasn't touching it and when I uploaded the sound was out of sync with the picture which is annoying.



What I might do is just use the camcorder for practice for now and hope that maybe Santa will bring me a Zoom Q3. From time to time I may post some videos for advice on interpretation, tempo, articulation etc. For example do you feel the prelude is a bit on the quick side? Also, is that flip transition between prelude and fugue a bit naff? I did try to record all in one go but had a memory slip in the fugue so I started that again. The only reason I played without music was to avoid a page turn in the transition. That was a waste of time!
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#1290359 - 10/20/09 06:59 AM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: Chris H.]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Jeez, they sure don't write them like that any more! I enjoyed listening. I wouldn't have staccato'd that E in the fugue theme. The A and D need it though.
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#1290363 - 10/20/09 07:04 AM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: keyboardklutz]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2845
Loc: UK.
Do you think maybe just a slight separation from the E to the A?

Ahhhh, I think I know what you mean now. I'm getting an accent on the last beat of the bar and drawing attention to it with that staccato.

Thanks for that kbk.

Any other observations are welcome.


Edited by Chris H. (10/20/09 07:33 AM)
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#1290375 - 10/20/09 07:41 AM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: Chris H.]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Exactly, a tiny separation. Bach didn't have a sign for only shortening the E. His dot would also accent it which would mean accenting the end note of a 'cell'. As for further comments, what can I say? Bravo!
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#1290408 - 10/20/09 09:16 AM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: keyboardklutz]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
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Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I recently purchased a webcam and it came with a built in mic. I was prepared to use my regular mic plugged into the USB via a USB interface which I already had, but didn't need it. I take voice lessons from my teacher in CA using this, and there's no problems with dynamics as far as I can tell.

Isn't the Zoom just for audio recording? Something to think about is you probably won't get high quality audio with video unless you record them simultaneously using better audio equipment. Not sure how you'd make them mesh though. Recording is one of those things that's very hard to do well, and you have to fiddle around with mic placements to get the right sound from the piano. Usually you want two mics for recording piano, one close up and one to get the room reverb. Or, record it on a digital and then play with it after the fact. I have yet to learn how to do this smile.
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#1290414 - 10/20/09 09:25 AM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: Morodiene]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2845
Loc: UK.
Zoom Q3

This is the new zoom Q3 like the one Monica K has. The video quality is superb abut she did say that the audio is not as good as the old H4. But if the audio is good enough I am happy with that!
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#1290416 - 10/20/09 09:30 AM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: Morodiene]
lilylady Offline
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Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4977
Loc: boston north
MIght I suggest the video from the RH side...a little more interesting to see what the RH is doing than the 2 LH notes, aye?

I can hear dynamic changes somewhat. Probably not nearly as much as in person.

Try the whole thing with the video audio on the right side and see if that doesn't make a difference in dynamics as well.

At the Cape Cod party, I was watching everyone use their digital for recording some special pieces and thought...heck, I have that (I think) so I tried it.

All video - no sound. That was a bummer considering that I was recording a beautiful rendition of Ken Burns War theme played by Jacqueline herself. ;-(

Notes about such on the party section of PW
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#1290417 - 10/20/09 09:32 AM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: lilylady]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2845
Loc: UK.
I'll certainly give that a try lilylady although I am a bit cramped for space to the right of the piano.
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#1290491 - 10/20/09 11:48 AM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: Chris H.]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17746
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Chris H.
I swear I was playing dynamics this time round but nothing comes across. You can perhaps notice a slight change in the tone of the piano but in general it's just all loud and horrible. Sounds like some kid doing his grade 5. Also the camera keeps going in and out of focus for no reason as I wasn't touching it and when I uploaded the sound was out of sync with the picture which is annoying.


Now you see why I was so anxious for the Zoom Q3 to finally be released!!! grin That thing is so easy to use and no problems with syncing. thumb

Actually, I thought your video/audio quality was pretty good for a camcorder. (The playing was beautiful. It was helpful to me to study your hand positioning and finger shapes, too. smile )

I'm guessing you had some kind of autofocus and it was picking up on your finger movements. Maybe there's a way to switch that off.

I'm still experimenting with my Q3 to see if I can get the autogain feature to work as well as my H4. I sent my parents packing on a plane last night, and as soon as I get caught up on my back work, I'll try to put up a few more samples.
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#1290500 - 10/20/09 12:02 PM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: Monica K.]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Monica K.
I'm still experimenting with my Q3 to see if I can get the autogain feature to work as well as my H4.
Surely auto-gain is the last thing you want?
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#1290588 - 10/20/09 02:15 PM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: keyboardklutz]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17746
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
I'm not sure how the zooms do their auto-gain, kbk. On the H4, the way it works is that you press the red dot once, and while it's blinking you play the loudest passage from your piece. That (somehow) sets the mic sensitivity so that it doesn't clip at the loud parts, but then the softer parts still sound soft. If that makes any sense. I am obviously not a sound engineer. smirk

But on the Q3, it doesn't appear that you establish that loud baseline, so it may be operating differently... and perhaps less desirably, as you point out.
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#1290690 - 10/20/09 04:49 PM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: Monica K.]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2845
Loc: UK.
Last one for the moment.

I just wanted to test lilylady's theory about putting the camcorder to the right of the piano. It doesn't seem to have made much difference to me. Not sure.
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#1290746 - 10/20/09 05:46 PM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: keyboardklutz]
Mark... Offline
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Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4373
Loc: Jersey Shore
Chris the autofocus is probably trying to keep your moving hands in focus causing the problem...


Edited by Mark... (10/20/09 05:46 PM)

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#1290979 - 10/21/09 01:42 AM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: Chris H.]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Jeez Chris, you make it seem so easy! The fugue figure was just right. I do really think you've got a dynamics problem in the prelude - is it the recorder? You'll laugh - I just took out my sheet (Kroll) someone's penciled in the date they studied it - 17.2.1886!
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#1291002 - 10/21/09 02:51 AM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: keyboardklutz]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2845
Loc: UK.
I would say the dynamics in the prelude are probably 50/50 between me and the camera!

With it placed to the right it has to be right next to the piano which I think makes it a little worse. I wasn't doing much with it either though. The last time I properly sat down and studied this one was around 1986 so not quite as long ago as the student you found. I just tidied up the notes for now but it does need work before it's ready for a final take.
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#1291031 - 10/21/09 04:37 AM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: Chris H.]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
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Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5418
Loc: Orange County, CA
Nice playing! I play that Fugue almost the same way. I play the Prelude faster, though, more toccata-like and whimsical.

When I was studying that piece (eons ago), my less-than-stellar piano teacher told me to play the Prelude at adagio with crescendo and diminuendo within each measure. And for the Fugue, she told me to imagine a church procession in which the altar boy walks up to light the candles.

Okay, I switched teachers right there and then. Probably should have switched earlier when she couldn't teach me Ravel's Menuet Antique.
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#1291037 - 10/21/09 04:58 AM Re: Recording yourself on video! [Re: AZNpiano]
keyboardklutz Offline
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...or as Prout put it - "John Sebastian Bach sat upon a tack, but he soon got up again with a howl!"
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