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Youtube ideas / best practices / gear


Prominent Member
I've searched through the data for any useful tips, but nothing much in forum. Sorry if duplicated or in the wrong section.

Though I record and upload videos but that's in very basic level. I've some good quality audio gear at home, and recently bought Panasonic GH2 + 25mm lens.

Below the latest video clip uploaded (shot in 1080p 24fps and synced with FCPX). It still looks like home made low quality video! Please watch in 1080p

I'd be grateful if you experts can give some ideas, to improve the quality.

Thank you

Edit : 30-04-2013

Now I've solved the issue of resolution and low quality. It was partially the issue with the workflow including importing, processing and sharing via FCPX (new video can be found in channel above).

Anyone has any tips on lighting to make the video better?
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Distinguished Member
Hi and Happy April,
= = I'm no musician (and not much help elsewhere, some say), but I think you could improve the audio if the piano and voice were separated.
This might mean closing the lid of the piano and recording the music+ voice in one "take" then open the piano and do the video of the mechanism with a green-screen masking-off the player and vocal mic.

When combined you can mix the tracks, eg by having piano Left and vocal Right. . . . by copying you can adjust the response of L&R on different Timeline tracks . Have you added "echo" - I think it's just too much - but it could be the "brightness" of a large room.....always a problem in making recordings....with the lid-shut you can apply internal damping with a large carpet under the lid (take care), since you can adjust the brightness in Edit anyway, but IMHO you should try to achieve a "clean" (ie without reverb) with each take. The green-screen(see later), could be on one side of some thick carpet to help with the vocal-track.

As to visuals, I suggest you could use some cutaway shots, up to the point where you start to sing (thereby losing any sync-issues?); and maybe when there is music, without words. However, I think the bright wall behind the singer in black is a mistake, as it would be better if the background was a grey cloud-scape (ie no visual distration) and you (the singer, I assume) were dressed more like a Hollywood event,- but obviously you need to be comfortable with your outfit/image . . . . and it would be better if it was easier to see you - the most important part of any scene is a face . . . and that's too small, to see clearly. Hence my suggestion you include cutaways . . . but always from the same side, please. (Crossing the line). And get rid of the mic in front of yr face...and those mechanical supports.
*I noticed a "keyboard Cutaway" at 2min, but camera-angle is horizontal, so we can't "see" the individual notes being played, and that reflection that doesn't help. Also you need to experiment with manual focus, as the camera has fixated nearer the top octave... by raising the camera position (taller tripod?) this might help.

Lighting . . . It looks fairly well lit, probably because the room is white/bright, so maybe an out-of-sight flood to give some shadows would help cast some "shape" to the action - but don't overdo it. A light/shadow ratio of 4:1 might be too much . . . give it a try, after youve measured what it is now. If on a Budget, use 1 (or 2) halogen lamp on a floor-standing. Maybe as little as 100w (in a reflector) will do the trick...play with the colour balance - but keeping skin-tones correct.

Another technique that reduces the area of "Piano" in the scene would be to move the angle to a diagonal and Edit-in a Picture-in-Picture where the less interesting parts of the piano are . . . as the piano dominates the scene and there's a reflected image that makes no sense (to me).
?Cutaway1 is your face, expression to the song
?Cutaway2 is playing the keyboard*, for example if there is a Key-change...
So I think you need 3-takes with a single camera, positioned to the angles I've suggested.....but the benefit will be we can see the song building-up, the playing and the thro'-piano view presented.
+++It's up to you the way it's seen, by adjusting the views in Edit...
Is that any sense?

+Are the songs your composition?
& I did like the music.

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Prominent Member
Nice voice! ...

The audio has obviously been recorded with nice kit, and a lot of care... but (IMHO of course :)) needs finishing off.. it's those little 'tweaks' and sweetening that make for great audio mixes...

If you compare with the original, then there are a couple of things... quite small things... that make all the difference.

The most obvious is the 'perfect pitch' throughout on the original vocal. Helped a little bit, I suspect, with Auto Tune!

Your vocalist has a very nice voice, with excellent pitch almost throughout. It's those one or two notes very slightly off pitch that give it away as not being a really finished 'pro' recording.

Add to that the slightly odd reverb/ echo you chosen wih the hint of 'second image' echo, as opposed to pure reverb?
Again the original main vocal is almost dry...enhanced mostly with the extra background voices.

The piano is nicely recorded, but would probably benefit from extra compression (as the original has) to reduce the dynamics. You could than perhaps drop the vocal level a fraction in the mix?.... It's also obviously a real piano which, although very good, actually needs a little fine tuning to make it sound truly 'professional'. It's amazing how a really good piano that can sound great 'live' can show up sounding slightly out of tune when recorded....

It would be nice to add a simple string background behind as the track progresses... the piano on it's own doesn't allow the track to 'build', as this kind of song almost seems to demand!

As I say, I'm being super critical of a very nice performance, but it's these tiny extra 'tweaks' in the audio that can make all the difference... and it ain't easy to get right!!

Hope you don't take this as me having a 'snipe'.... I'd love to have had someone that good to work with!.....:)


Prominent Member
Thanks guys for the feedback, support and assistance for audio and video.

FYI, she is my 11 year old daughter. I'm just trying to support her, with my limited ability and funds! she has taken over my living-cinema room which was mentioned here.

Initially I tried to record with piano lid closed, but it all sounded bit boxy. Some members here and on Musicians forum advised me to open the lid and try, which did produced a better result. I used a pair of Line Audio CM3 in AB pair with closed mic'ing technique on piano and Blue Spark for Voice.

No effects, except a vey very mild echo (it was the closest to reverb I find in Final cut pro x) has been used in recording. She has trained absolute pitch (well, very close to absolute pitch)

12harry: Thanks for the tips on angles, lighting and audio. Some of the tips can be included when we record the next video, but the space is very tight. We do have another digital piano, so that can be used for further experiments. No, I'm not a musician but just happened to be a father of a classical music student!

rogs: You are spot on in some of the comments. I'm waiting for the tuner to be in for the tuning. Due to the excessive use (she is first study pianist), it lasts only 2 months or so in perfect tune. TBH, I found about the term compression 2 weeks ago only! Have to look into it.

If you are living close by and have a bit of time, feel free to drop in during weekends / after end of school term!

I'd love to have had someone that good to work with!.....


Distinguished Member
Thanks for yr replies, it's good to now our thoughts are appreciated . . .or not, even.
Regarding the pianist - I thought that was you - re-reading Post#1 I don't read anything to dispell that . . . but it makes little difference, other than "Great Talent!"

The issue of piano-lid: Do you mean it sounded better when recorded? If it's when playing (ie listening in the room), then our ears deceive us . . . our brains interpret the signals and create the music we hear. I suspect that having damping material arround the piano (under lid I suggessted, but needs care in keeping clear of strings), - I think this will reduce the room acoustics element, which sounds quite short . . . you can play with reverb in the Edit, or use a sound-program that gives audio-specific effects.
For free: Audacity,
Paid-for: Sound Forge.

Digital piano - amazing things in small boxes - this would give you a room-free output - needs no tuning (as such) and should be a fine accompanyment....but fails to sound like a real piano..... However, for YT postng it is probably the easiest sound-source . . . . there is no reason why the video can be Piano and the Audio from the digital . . . . best of both worlds . . . you can sync it in Edit...

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