By Jim Fusco:
Well, back earlier than expected for another edition of “Ask the Musician” with me, Jim Fusco! If you’ve never seen this column before, let me give you a brief introduction. I’m Jim Fusco of the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs and original music video series on YouTube and on our blog here at LaptopSessions.com. Every day, I get thousands of views on my cover songs and original music videos on YouTube. With that popularity comes some great questions from people all around the world. They want to know technical questions, music theory, and other great general music tidbits. I’ve completely submerged myself into making music these past few years and I’m happy to share what I’ve learned- hundreds and hundreds of hours reading, researching, playing, writing, singing, and recording. I’m glad to answer these questions here on “Ask the Musician”!
Tonight, we have an email from christianamagic on YouTube. She writes:
Hi. Just wanna ask. So when you record song, do you only record the audio? or record both audio and video??
and what did you use to edit it all together? Thanks
Well, that’s a good question. She’s asking about the acoustic music videos I perform on YouTube. You know, sometimes I’ve considered going back and recording the audio over the video to make a better take, but I can never bring myself to do it. To answer your question: I record the audio and video at the same time!
That’s not to say that I don’t have to tinker with it sometimes. I remember on a Ben Folds song, “Time”, I recorded the video with the microphone facing backwards! So, you could hear a LOT of piano and a little of my voice. Well, I had recorded this in a remote location, so I couldn’t go back and re-record the video. My solution was to work some EQ magic. I brought out the vocals in the mix. It’s not perfect, but it made due for the video. I guess I could’ve gone back and re-did the audio, but believe me, that would be much more of a burden than it seems. Imagine syncing the vocals up perfectly to a live performance like that?
For hardware, I use a ZOOM H2 microphone that plugs into USB. This thing is great. I used to use the built-in microphone on my Macbook laptop. It’s actually a pretty decent condenser microphone, but my computer’s fan would run so much (and SO loudly), that I had to think of a better solution. Sometimes, you’d hear more fan than song! So now, I keep the microphone close to me (and only turn the front mics on as to not hear the fan noise behind it) and record on the laptop. For ease of production, I use iMovie to edit the video and audio. If I didn’t do so many videos, I might use Final Cut Pro, but even still, it’s nice to have a simple solution to get the song out there in a nice neat package.
I hope this helps and answers your question. Just like Peter Griffin’s advice on Family Guy is “To grow a beard,” my advice to you here is, “To get a Mac!” It’ll make your life a lot easier when putting music videos on YouTube.
Submit your question to firstname.lastname@example.org and comment below to tell us how you record your videos!