In this ‘The Recording Diarys’ blog I’ll be talking about an audio and video promo recording I did for local (wait for it!) Gypsy/Jazz/Ska/Reggae/Balkan/Tango/Waltz/Folk/Pop band Gypskazz! This was recorded and video’d on location @ The Anchor, Wingham in Kent
On arrival at The Anchor in Kent I was greeted by the band and guided through to a back room to the pub that was round the back and up some stairs. In conversation with the band I had advised to find somewhere with a bit of character and that would fit with the bands vibe and the type of video they were wanting to make
The room was great, it was away from the main pub so we had the whole afternoon without being disturbed and it had its own distinctive vibe and character. It was a really cool oldish building with fairly high ceilings with beams running across. There was bunting and some in-house coloured lighting so plenty of light to work with already. I decided to close out the natural light that was there as it was going to change during the day and subtracted a bit from the lighting that was cast by the coloured lighting in the room
I let the band set up and miced up all the instruments that needed micing. I decided with CJ the drummer that a fairly simple drum set up would work best and from experience unless the toms were going to be really busy this was always my preferred option. I checked I was getting levels through for my audio recordings and when I was happy with all of this it was time to record
I got the band to have a break at this stage so I could set up the cameras for the video. I would be using three cameras for the shoot, 2 static and one roaming, the 2 static cameras would serve as my wide angled shots capturing the full band from different angles. These shots are as important as the close up shots so the focus is important as is the lighting. I used a couple of LEDs to boost the lighting in the room, one from each side to minimise the shadow aspect.
With the first run through mainly concerned with capturing wide shots when I ran through a second time I was trying to get more close up shots of certain aspects of the band such as CJ playing the drums, close-ups of the bass, the guitar etc. With the three different cameras I was able to maximise the amounts of shots I could get. I used the final run through to get close-ups of the vocals and the instruments soloing at any given time. By getting right in amongst the band I was able to move from one person to the next quickly and with ease. The closer you can get the more intimate the shots also become.
I repeated the same method for all three of the tracks keeping track of the time and making sure we had enough time to do all the tracks justice. After filming the first track ‘Black tights for Alice’ I knew roughly where to place the cameras for each run through so it became a fairly smooth process. The band was really tight with their performance which always helps so by the end of the session I think we were all really happy with what we had captured that afternoon. Now onto the editing process.
Firstly I imported all the audio stems and mixed down the audio. I tried to keep the vibe live sounding but also a nice clean recording which is what I think I achieved. The recordings were all nice and clean which I was really happy with so the mixing of the tracks was fairly straightforward
I imported all the audio and video and lined it all up so it was all in sync and proceeded to edit the videos together. I got rid of the shots I didn’t like and started editing the best shots for each part of the first track ‘Black tights for Alice’ I always do one test track at a time just incase there’s things that need changing with the colour / tone of the video etc. I did the cuts and added some colour correction to the video footage so visually it looked the way I wanted it to. I sent it over to the band to get their feedback on the edit and they quickly came back with some changes. This isn’t a problem as it’s a team effort and I always expect the first edit to be slightly different to what the band have in their heads. They wanted more wide angles in the video so I change the edits to reflect this and also wanted some additional colour effects added to create a particular vibe. I did all the changes and sent another version back over. Once everyone was happy I finalised this video and got to work on the other two. Now I knew exactly what the band wanted it was easier to edit together the other two videos knowing that they would be more akin to what the band wanted. Once all three videos were finalised I sent them over to the band who were happy and the result is three really cool promo videos on their youtube channel one of which you can see above
I asked Mel to do me a little write-up on the recording process and here’s what she kindly sent me:
“Neil was really friendly and easy to work with. He is hard-working and didn’t stop till the job was done.
He was very helpful in getting the right end result and did not stop till we were happy.
He has a great artistic eye and understands his clients well.”
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article, if you would like a similar recording done please don’t hesitate to get in touch with my via the website, thanks for reading
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