Video Recording Process (with Audacity)

I recently recorded a video of Rend Collective’s You Bled. It’s the first time I’ve approached a video in that way.

I recorded the guitar and vocal tracks all separately using Audacity with a condenser microphone. I added some reverb to the vocal tracks using the rather obscure GVerb plugin (I totally missed my Sony Vegas real-time-preview at this point).

After I was done with the audio, I exported to mp3 and set up the video camera.

On the first take I recorded the chords close up for embedding in the main video. The second take, I ‘mimed’ to the mp3 I had recorded and exported earlier. I could have done with a click track so I had better idea of when to start playing! I’m not big on miming. I was still singing along, but I think you can tell it’s not the same.

I imported the video into Sony Vegas as normal. Then I imported the mp3 track. The weird thing is (and I don’t understand this), the audio track on the video seemed out of sync with the mp3 track. I could line them up at the beginning, but over the length of the video, it got worse. I had to end up using the time stretch tool to pull the mp3 in some. Thinking about it now I should probably have time stretched the video instead and left the mp3 as it was.

I must have a chat with the YouTube-multi-track-multi-angle genius that is Brain Wahl to see if he can give me some tips for next time.


2 thoughts on “Video Recording Process (with Audacity)

  1. I’ll share some stuff I’ve learned making a few multi-take videos. I haven’t done a multi-take video in a while, mostly because it’s a time-consuming process.

    1. Always use a click track. Mostly for the reason you’ve just mentioned above – it lets you know when to start. One little work-around I’ve found to a shaky and mis-aligned start is to do a nice long fade-in, or maybe even a graphic as an intro, so once the video shows you in full, you’re past the very beginning part.

    2. There will always be areas where it’s obvious that you’re playing along to a pre-recorded track. That’s when it’s nice to have 2 or 3 full-size takes to pick from. Hopefully, the spot where you strummed or sang a bit different than the original audio take can be covered up by one of the other shots, if that makes sense. I’ve never tried to do 2 different takes with the intention of having them both showing the whole time.

    3. I’ve run into the problem with the timing like you did. You line it up perfectly in the beginning, and it’s off at the end. I’ve never stretched the audio – I’ve always stretched the video, and it’s always worked out. It’s strange – I have one camera that I know I’ll need to set the speed of the video to 100.07% every time to match the audio. I have another camera that lines up perfectly.

    4. For my tutorial videos with a full-on shot and then a close-up of the chording hand (like you’ve got here), I’ve never done a multi-take. I’ve always used 2 cameras, which is an expensive solution. I think to pull off doing a consistent multi-take video like that would just take a lot of practice, and I’m thinking a click track would really help here, too.

    That’s about all I know, ha! Good luck!


    • Alastair Vance says:

      I knew pretty soon after I started rendering the video that I should have stretched the video instead of the audio. I couldn’t be bothered going back at that stage. Next time.

      Some great information there Brian, thanks!


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