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 🙂
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 😦 😦
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!
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”.
Now to upload!
For reference, here are my other posts on my preparation so far!