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Thread: Editing to music

  1. #1

    Default Editing to music

    Hi all,

    Hope all is well.

    I have been filming and editing for about 6 years... producing all kinds of stuff ranging from corporate to short films to wedding videos etc. All of which i find enjoyable and relatively stress free!!

    However, i have recently landed a job which involves filming and editing live music gigs in a small venue. and music is certainly not a strong point of mine!

    So i am looking for advice about how to "edit to the music". what does this mean to different people? and are there any 'rules' i should be following?

    any advice is much appreciated

    LC

    PS - set up for filming is 5 cameras - 1 locked off wide master, 1 locked off on drums, 1 locked off on piano or vocal, and 2 roaming on various instruments


    xx

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luisa View Post
    ...However, i have recently landed a job which involves filming and editing live music gigs in a small venue. and music is certainly not a strong point of mine!

    So i am looking for advice about how to "edit to the music". what does this mean to different people? and are there any 'rules' i should be following?...
    Please forgive me, but surely you would have considered this before taking the job on? I would never consider doing a wedding video (for instance) without alot of research to be sure I was suitably equipped and able to approach the job with one hundred percent confidence.

    The best advice I can offer is to go back to the Customer, establish their requirements and work to that.

  3. #3

    Default


    I understand what you are saying and I would usually agree, but this is a full time job position which entails many other aspects... so editing the occasional music event is only a small part of my job.

    I didnt want to turn down a position where i have the opportunity to develop further... if you want to diversify your skills then you have to begin somewhere...

    I am confident that I have the skills - i was just keen on getting more ideas of how to apply those skills. so i was just seeking a few tips on how to make the edit more entertaining, i guess... maybe i worded my first post wrongly

    thanks for your constructive feedback

  4. #4

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    As Andy says, you really have to find out what the client wants, don't forget, they're the ones paying for the shoot. If you check through similar threads you'll find it mentioned a number of times that in shoots like these audio is 70% video 30%. Basically if the picture isn't the best from time to time the eyes are more forgiving than the ears.

    I suspect however your question is more how you deal with the project during shooting and at time of editing....
    1) make sure you have a good stereo audio feed from the bands mixing desk...if that screws up so does the project although you might be able to save it if you have reasonable feeds from your camera

    2) use your fixed cam footage as your belt and braces, so make sure the shots/angles you use are the best you can get

    3) depending on your editing software (we use premier) use the multicam set up and you can work with 4 video tracks displayed at once....becomes more like live video switching at a gig...

    4) make sure all the video tracks sync up with the audio track, at the end of the day you should at least end up with a good stereo mix!

    hopefully there will be a real expert along shortly

  5. #5

    Default

    thanks torby

    but this kind of isn't what I was asking advice on

    but to answer some of your kind suggestions - the audio is taken care of using a 48 track mixing desk then fed to a PC, running CUbase (i think) and the sound is mixed by a sound engineer in post production.

    Filming is all pretty well taken care of too - like you said we use the statics as a base and cut in the roaming for aesthetics and points of interest.

    it was the editing to the music which i was looking for tips on... ie) sometimes it is really obvious when to cut in order to accentuate the music but other times it isnt so clear... and i want to make it as entertaining as possible!

    thanks so much for your help

    LC

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    If I read this right then, you are working as an employee of a company and part of the job is as you've described?

    Enthusiasm and a love of music are key to doing a great job. Without them you'll most likely only ever manage an 'alright' job. You said music isn't really your thing and it has to be. You need a feel for the music.... just as much as the muso's themselves and you need the eye to see what works and what doesn't. You need to start watching every live music event you can find on TV and gain inspiration from them if you haven't got any yourself.

    From the practical standpoint, Torby is bang on. Audio is just as, if not more important than the visuals. I often spend as long mixing and sweetening the audio as I do on the visuals. If the company have a proper soundie, get him to handle that for you. Using a mix from the desk is essential, but unless the place is kitted up with overheads to get the audience, you'll lose the live zing and ambience that you need to make it seem real. Another problem of desk audio is that it's a PA mix and theres always a bloody guitarist whos too loud on stage and so isn't in the mix. Think about how you'll overcome that one.

    Don't under-estimate the task. I've been doing music video for years and I've learnt the pitfalls the hard way. I'm really not being rude or obtrusive, but forgive me if I don't just give away all that hard earned knowledge on here.

    EDIT - It took me so long to write this, your other post takes care of alot of the stuff already.
    Last edited by Andy Lockwood; 02-01-2007 at 03:06 PM.

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    Editing is a black art. Editing to music is a black art with magic and spells. There is a wonderful book on editing called "in the blink of an eye" which tells you all you need to know about editing, without giving you one "rule". What you need to be a good editor is "feeling", not "rules".
    (The creative part, not the technical side, that's what geeks are for).
    After reading the conventions, techniques and theory of editing the author tells you that the bottom line is "If it looks right, it is right. If it looks wrong, it is wrong."

    How do you know if it's right?

    Experience.

    I'm sorry to be so blunt and apparently unhelpful but, in effect, you're asking a queston along the lines of "I know how to use microsoft word and I've written a few poems, now how do I write a novel?"
    It would be easy (and someone will probably suggest it) to say "cut on the beat" but do you cut on the down beat? the up beat? the kick-drum beat or the snare? Do you cut on the bass guitar or the percussion? The difference can sometimes only be a couple of frames. Do you use hard cuts, soft cuts or dissolves? Experience tells you which "method" suits the particular music.

    Turnmedia (in real life) does this sort of stuff regularly, for clients big and small, and his post is full of gold-topped information. Enthusiasm and a love for music are what you need, followed by watching every televised music performance you can get your hands on. When it gets to the point where you're mentally making the cuts when you're watching television, you're getting there. Until then, pray that your client is aesthetically challenged and can't tell the difference between "Good" and "okay-ish".

    I'm not saying "leave all live music television" to the professionals but I really would suggest cable-bashing on a few gigs, filming a few mates or "freebies" and watching good broadcasts before accepting a commercial multi-camera music shoot.
    Whatever happens... Good luck and I hope you get away with it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Guru View Post
    ... Good luck and I hope you get away with it!
    I know I can seem like Mr. Grumpy, but I agree with this sentiment too. No, really I do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Guru View Post
    What you need to be a good editor is "feeling", not "rules". (The creative part, not the technical side, that's what geeks are for).
    "If it looks right, it is right. If it looks wrong, it is wrong."
    Couldn't have said it any better, in editting just a few frames can make the world of difference in looking right or wrong. Right now I doing the editing part for a music video which I'm doing as a favor for a Dutch videographer who shot all the footage.
    My main occupation is filming wedding events but I allways wanted to do totally different stuff as well, I do a lot of 1 minute shorts, just because I like it. It also helps me be more creative when editing wedding videos.
    Music video, on the other hand, is quite a challenge and I have spend hours and hours moving clips frame by frame, listening to it again and again untill it "felt" right. I also get the same feeling when I"m doing a compilation of the wedding day which is about 4minutes long (The length of a song)
    Only when it feels right, if the clip "moves" me, I know I did it right, and that is something you can't write down on paper how you did that.
    Last edited by noa; 02-02-2007 at 02:12 PM.

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    Nice post friend!
    I hate it when I read Video magazines that have things like "10 things to not do when making videos" and they list things like change perspective at a 90 degree angle - when watching a film if the Camera angle changes i dont go OMFG WTF HAPPENED THERE.
    It's not about what camera you use or how much it cost.

    It's about what you shoot,
    how you shot it,
    and how you edit it :P

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