I’m a bit of a technophile. I love getting into new software, new techniques, anything to keep it fresh and to keep incentive levels high. Like that line in the Alanis Morrisette song, I’m always longing for the next distraction.
So, how to create something novel and interesting on Youtube, to drive traffic to my band site? One niche genre I stumbled across was that of the VideoSong – I believe this was started by Jack Conte of Pomplamoose, who has had massive success with the format. Of course it helps that their music is great and Nataly Dawn is so cute, but the video format itself definitely adds a certain charisma and fascination.
So, what are the rules for a VideoSong ?
1. What you see is what you hear (no lip-sync voice or instrument).
2. If you hear it, you’ll see it (no hidden sounds).
So with these two basic rules in mind, I thought I would have a go at conducting a little test.
I began by laying down a simple guitar track in my favourite sequencer (Sonar), but with the camcorder rolling. I then proceeded to add a second guitar part, followed by a bass part and finally, some mandolin.
The tricky, time consuming bit was having to deal with the filming. All that stopping and starting and rewinding was a bit of a bind, but necessary with my hardware (I was using a Sony mini DV camcorde which is a few years old – could do with upgrading to HD).
Having selectively cleaned up the audio track by muting any dodgy bits, I then exported a version of the audio to use as the master audio track on the video.
I’m no expert at video editing and have never done anything like a videosong before so I tentatively loaded up the video clips into Adobe Premiere and began work.
Initially the challenge is to sync the video tracks with the audio master. This is far easier if you can record all your audio takes in one go. You then just line up once for each track and you’re done. If however, you needed to drop in and record specific sections of the song again, then you’ll end up having to sync every part to the audio track.
With no real plan or vision in mind, I just edited as I went along, simply to determine how difficult it was going to be. To my surprise, things started falling into place quite naturally and it wasn’t a struggle at all. I did only have 4 parts to deal with though. Things could get rather complicated with more…
Anyway – here is my first attempt at a VideoSong. It’s an instrumental demo, which will be a song called “For a little while”. I just need to finish the lyrics and then record the vocals. My sister will also sing on the final version, and she has a great voice.
Want to know more about videosongs ?
A great resource online is the Videosongs Blog, which has many examples of well produced videosongs. I’m going to declare now that it’s going to be an aim of mine to make some videosongs with my band and have them featured on Videosongs Blog.