Sunday, January 24, 2016

Fuzz Bucket Jam 1/15/16 - "The Third Man"

This is the first jam session where we were able to record an overdub right after an improvised rhythm track and capture both takes on video.  I think it's some of our best work and a new way to make our 2-man jam sessions more productive.  I also think my video editing is starting to look a little more mature.  Pretty sure the audio mix is cleaner than previous jams.  I accomplished this by using only single (mono) tracks of each instrument except for the drum overheads and Eric's lead guitar track.  Eric likes to record everything in stereo and I finally put my foot down and muted the extra tracks that I think were getting in the way.

The Video:

Improv Jam with overdubs
Recorded in Greenwich CT on 1/15/16
Eric Maurer - Novax CH8 (bass/guitar), Electric Guitar
Dan Shimmyo - Drums, Tenor Saxophone

Nuts and bolts:

Video capture:

This video was shot on 4 GoPro HD Hero 3+ Black Edition cameras (and sometimes you'll get a glimpse of grainy footage from the original gopro hd hero, but probably not...)
Each camera was set to shoot in 1920X1080 resolution at 24FPS and I recently switched them all to the wide setting (down from superview) because I thought it would look better.

Switching from SuperView to Wide meant that our heads might get cut off so i had to use the gopro app on my iphone to connect wirelessly to each camera to double-check the framing except for when Eric switched from one guitar to the other we didn't check the framing but he nailed it.

Editing - my current workflow:

For editing I'm using Final Cut Pro X on an 11 inch MacBook Air. The reason I'm editing on such a small computer is because I can do it almost anywhere.  The theory was that I would get more work done, and it's working so far.

One of my favorite things is the multi-cam editing tool in FCPX which syncs all of the tracks based on their audio and gives me basically realtime switching between cameras by clicking the mouse on the view that I want during playback.  Then I go back and adjust the cuts to tighten up the timing.  I have it set to switch the video track without changing the audio which I like to play uninterrupted.

I also love that with FCPX I can nest clips within clips within clips.  All of the split-screen views are "compound clips" containing multiple copies of the original "multicam clip" where each multicam copy is set to one of the split-screen views then scaled and translated to create the split-screen effect.  Since the multicam clips are all the same length you can just snap them together and they will be in sync.

Then I have another copy of the multicam clip and add all of the splitscreen compound clips into the new "uber" multicam clip.

Then I do all of the multicam camera switching and cross fades in another "compound clip".

And finally, I bring that compound clip into a "project" where I trim down the video, add some freeze frames, titles, and sometimes credits.

One note about color grading. I ended up adding all of the color grading inside of the second multicam clip. Inside of that clip I selected each video track and applied color settings.  The problem with doing it this way was that the split screen clips were color-graded as a single view which was not ideal, and the black line separating the views also got color-graded which was not what I wanted.  In the future I might create a compound clip for each unique view and do the color grading there. Then I might take each of those clips and create split-screens from them. And finally, bring all of those new clips into a new multicam clip.  This way you can adjust the color on each individual view and the changes will cascade through all of the multicams and splitscreens.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

New Year's Day Jam 2016!

Happy New Year!

Jamie was in town for the holidays so we got the trio back together for one jam session. This track, Platypus, started with me on the drums and then came to life when Jamie started thumping a cool bass line. Eric's guitar completes the vibe.  He wasn't happy with his sound so he spends part of the jam fiddling with his knobs but I like it.  And then I flubbed the ending...

Eric: guitar, rack of filters and lots of knobs
Jamie: Novax CH8
Dan: Drums

Video specs:
This time I set the gopro cameras to the "wide" setting instead of "superview" which is what I used on previous jams. I think I prefer the way this looks except we should have framed the cameras a little better.  Also, the drum cam died before the end of the jam but the position of Jamie's camera captured the drumming anyway so it worked out.