YouTube Symphony Orchestra Audition Prep – Day 15

These last few days have been busy preparing for our 7yo’s two birthday parties – one for her school friends, and another for family and family friends. And so, I really only had parts of Saturday and Sunday to video the Tan Dun Internet Symphony violin part for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra.

I set up the music, set up the video camera, and then realised… I need to play with the video or backing track. But how?

I had a quick look online and various people have approached this in different ways. What I ended up doing was this:

Download the YouTube video
Instead of watching and replaying it online each take, I downloaded it courtesy of KissYouTube. Now I had the video as a file, I could play it as many times as I liked without stuttering or being online. Also, instead of the silent track, I chose the practice track with the music too, so I could hear the orchestra play with me.

Put the YouTube video on the iPhone
I was quite comfortable with standing to play, but I couldn’t raise the laptop that high, and it was too low on the coffee table. I guess I could’ve sat down. But in the end, I put the video onto the iPhone, and put the iPhone on the music stand so Tan Dun was right there for me 🙂

Tan Dun conducting via the iPhone
Tan Dun conducting via the iPhone

Extend the headphone cable
In order for the sound from the YouTube video to not be recorded, I had to use headphones. But the standard (and crummy sounding) white iPhone ones have a really short cord! I had forgotten to bring my headphone extension cable home from work, so I had to improvise and used my guitar’s DI box along with a long 1/4 inch lead. This meant I could move and walk around without pulling the iPhone off the stand 🙂 I did try to sync my iPhone up to a bluetooth headset, and play the sound through the headset, but that didn’t seem to work. I couldn’t even get the iPhone to “see” the bluetooth headset 😦 😦

Uisng a DI as a headphone cord extender
Uisng a DI as a headphone cord extender

Record!
There is one “long” tacet near the beginning of the piece for the violins. Looking at other videos online, people have approached this in various ways – just standing there for the rests, jumping past it to the next part, etc. I decided that I didn’t want people to watch me stand still for the rests 🙂 so I jumped forward to the fast section. I hope that when the YouTube people mash up the final video, they will be able to align the different parts with no problems!

Video Conversion
My video camera records in a M2TS format, which is Sony’s high definition AVHCD format. It’s pretty simple to convert this to MPEG-2 using their supplied software. To speed up the process, I used Normal Quality instead of High Quality, but I think I’ve paid the price for this as the final videos look a bit “soft”.

The Sony HD video cam was my audience
The Sony HD video cam was my audience

Now to upload!

For reference, here are my other posts on my preparation so far!

Day 0Day 3Day 8Day 12

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