by Jeff Cranfill
This kind of project is demanding – for directors, musicians, and editors.
Many things can be accomplished through it:
- Glorify God
- Expand your ministry around the world.
- Keep ministering together, even though in isolation
- Keep musical skills sharp
- Help keep players/singers connected to the church and the group
Pray – seek God to empower and use the project for His glory
Know that the skills to edit audio and video are vital to the success of a remote recording project. The task is daunting, but the skills can be learned. Ask people you know for advice. Google for answers when you need them.
Select a song to use – be careful of copyright. That matters. You cannot commit illegal practices and ask God to use it.
Prepare a piano guide recording mp3 with an embedded click for musicians to follow.
Send the mp3 to all of the musicians.
Give them detailed instructions:
Attached to this email is an mp3 file.
Please wear black for the video.
Here is what I recommend:
Play the click track/count-off on a computer or tablet – you will need to use earplugs so the recording can’t hear the click.
Warm up your instrument well.
Tune carefully and thoroughly to A440. The ClearTune app is the one I use if you need one. It is not expensive.
Listen to the click all the way through, following your part to see how the tempo changes and cut off work.
At the beginning, there are 2 measures of just click, then 2 measures of count off.
The last measure is – 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & off
Try a dry run or two. Stay with the recording. Adjust the volume in your earplugs as needed. Make sure the click does not bleed into your recording device.
When ready, record a video on your phone or tablet. Record at the best resolution you can.
Video Recording Tips:
Do not look into the camera while playing
Make sure the microphone (phone or computer) is not too close (greater than arm’s length away). Louder instruments distort the sound if it is too close.
Make sure to use adequate lighting – do not have a light source (like a window) behind them.
Have phone camera set to show a good shot from the waist-up.
Camera height should be about as high as their chin
Not directly in front or from the side, but at a 45 degree or so angle.
Make sure their instrument does not block too much of their face.
Freeze for 4 or 5 seconds after the last note.
All parts need to be correct, of course. If you miss a note, just start over. We have time, we want to get this right. Make sure everything is in the correct octave.
At the end of the piece, don’t move immediately. Sit still for 3 or 4 seconds before you turn it off, so we get a good ending on the video.
When you are done, go to wetransfer.com. You add your video file where it says “Add your files”. Email it to me [your email address], then enter your email address. The files are much too large to email them directly to me.
Please send your video in by [set a deadline]
Let me know if you have any questions. We have a great opportunity to glorify God with this – even during this time. Our ministry goes on!
The better recordings you receive from your musicians, the better your final product will be. Encourage them to take their time and get it as accurate as possible.
As you receive the recordings on WeTransfer, download them into a folder on your desktop. Name each video by part and name – Violin2Alycia. You will need this as you proceed. This organization is vital to know which part/person’s audio or video you are working on at the time.
Use an mp3 converter (such as MP3 Converter Free) to create a separate audio only mp3 from each video you receive. Create a separate folder in which to keep the audio files.
Import those mp3s into a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) such as Logic or ProTools. Edit for mistakes, note length (style), intonation and rhythmic precision and mix the audio. Make sure to add some reverb before you finish. Create master mix mp3. This will be the audio for your project.
Import all of the videos into a video editor – such as Adobe Premier Pro or Final Cut Pro X. More basic software makes the process of including many videos very difficult, if not impossible. When importing your videos, you will want to keep all like instruments together. It will help you align your videos to your master music mix
Mute the audio of every video except the original piano guide track with click.
Edit and arrange the videos. Much can be done with cropping the video sizes and other effects if desired.
Import the completed mp3 audio from the DAW and align it with the video. Make sure it matches the click exactly so the videos will match the audio.
Export the video. Choose resolution settings compatible with your destination – such as YouTube.
See how God uses it!