Piano Belloso Music Studio

Guidelines for Recording & Sharing Videos

Below are some brief guidelines to follow when recording and sharing student videos. Even if you are not able to fulfill all the recommendations, there are some simple measures you can take that will make a huge difference in the picture, sound quality, and ease of the experience.

Recording

Tips on lighting, sound, and camera placement.

Sharing

How I recommend you share your recordings.

 

Recording Videos

Below are some brief tips and guidelines to follow when recording student videos. Even if you are not able to fulfill all the recommendations, there are some simple measures you can take that will make a huge difference in the picture and sound quality.

 
 

Lighting

If possible, make sure there are no lights directly visible in the shot. Ideally you should have strong but indirect lighting on the keyboard and the student to prevent a glare or washout effect. Your normal lighting or natural light from windows may not be enough. Do a brief test shoot and see if the lighting is dull or shadowy or has too much or too little contrast. If the image is too flat, you may be able to experiment with lamps you already have, positioned outside the frame. On the other hand, sometimes lights can be too direct or stark. If strong direct light is coming from a window, you may have to choose another time of day or close curtains and use artificial light. If an interior light is too direct or bright or casts distinct shadows, you can often soften it by pointing the light at a wall.

 

Sound

Obviously it’s about the music first and foremost. If filming with your smartphone, the built-in microphone can deliver surprisingly good results, as long as a few other considerations are addressed. Record a “test” video and listen back with headphones or earbuds to make sure the recording sounds clear and not too “echo-y.”

Many rooms, especially those with hard floors, can add a lot of echo or reverberation to the recording. You may not even notice this until you watch/listen to the video. There’s a limit to how much you can control this, and a small amount of room reverberation is okay, but if it’s too much you can sometimes make a difference by adding rugs or blankets to the floor (or even on the walls off-camera). Sometimes even just closing drapes can help.

You will also need to be mindful of background noise. This could vary from the thrum of traffic, birds outside, or people in another room. Try to choose a time when extraneous noise is at a minimum, but again, a few sound dampening measures like closing drapes and windows can make a difference. Don’t be overly concerned about this in general though as perfect background silence is unnecessary.

 

Filming Tips

Placement of the camera is one of the biggest factors in producing a good-looking and useful video. It’s most important that the viewer can see the student’s hands and the keyboard, although it’s also nice to see who it is that’s playing (body and face!). It’s not necessary to keep the entire student body and piano in the frame.

The best position is standing (or mounted to a tripod) to one side of the student looking over their shoulder. Sometimes if you ’re too close the sound may be distorted. If so, either adjust the volume (on digital pianos and keyboards) or move the camera further away until the sound improves. Then, zoom in to recreate the recommended framing. Also, you may want to use this approach to avoid the camera being so close to the performer that it’s distracting for them. Note, though, that the further you are away from the instrument, the more reverberant sound you will pick up from the room.

Once you ’ve found your best location, simply hit record and keep the camera as still as possible. Zooms and pans while recording are unnecessary.

If you are using a smartphone, make sure you have it in landscape mode, i.e. horizontal.

Sharing Your Recording

Most people are already pretty familiar with how to share media thanks to popular social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. If you feel comfortable with this already, feel free to skip this section. For anyone else needing help, I’m recommending a simple two-step process:

  1. Upload or sync your video on a cloud-based service such as iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, or even YouTube.

  2. Copy and Paste a shared link from that service into an email or text message to me.

 

Step 1: Upload Your Video

The first question to ask here is, “Where is my recording stored?” Most smartphones have “Photos” or “Media” folder where all pictures and video reside after recording. However, almost all mobile devices also backup your most important documents (if not the entire device) automatically to a cloud-based storage service.

In the case of iOS devices, the video will be placed along with your pictures inside the “Photos” app by default. Apple users will also be familiar with iCloud. Unless the feature has been purposely turned off, your photos and videos automatically backup and sync to iCloud, making this step quite easy - it’s already done!

For Android devices, or anyone NOT using iCloud, Dropbox is the next preferred cloud service. One of the popular features of the mobile Dropbox app is that you can setup Camera Uploads automatically. This will automatically sync all photos and videos from your device to the “Camera Uploads” folder in Dropbox. Once again, the first step is completed automatically.

Manual Upload

In the rare case that you do not have iCloud or Dropbox automatically syncing your photos and videos to the cloud, you can select and share any photo or video manually to upload that media to the cloud service of your choice.

Step 2: Share A Link

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