Now, this is the part we all want to work on. The creative art of writing and recording a creative music video for YouTube.
In this article, I will focus on setting up the recording, and not the editing part. That will be something for another post :-)
For now, let's just focus on the technical setup.
A great audio recording needs great gear. The definition of great gear, in my opinion, is gear that simply works well and works within your recording.
Simply put, it should not be broken or damaged in such a way that it is almost unusable. This will slow down the whole process of recording a great YouTube video.
Repair all the defects that you can find, restring (if necessary) all your guitars and bass guitars, double check all the cables and microphones and go from there.
Find a good spot to record your video and try out if it would work well. Tripping over cables is no fun…
You also want to test out if everything looks good within the frame of the video. More on that later.
In many cases, you can perfectly record a YouTube video with your phone. As you will see in the next part of this post, the audio will be recorded through your computer (preferably).
You can also use older 720p cameras, like the Canon Powershot series.
They can be found for pretty cheap on the secondhand market, and create a decent video quality for YouTube.
Recording your audio can be tricky if you only use your phone. It will not sound as dynamic as a professional recording, but it can work perfect for your first couple of videos.
If you want to upgrade, you can test out handheld recorders, like the Tascam or Zoom series. They give you the option of carrying around your recording gear, record from pretty much everywhere (even live shows!) and add the recordings to your computer afterwards.
In the end, it really depends on what you want to achieve. They all have their pros and cons, and never let that stop you from creating some great musical artwork. If you know what to expect, you will be fine.
To record your instrument on your computer, you need a solid recording device. Of all the choices you have online, I would go with the Focusrite ones. They are super easy to set up, give awesome results, and have a great price tag. A cool starter set that you can use even if you go semi-pro is the Scarlet Focusrite series. Depending on your needs, you could start with the 2i2 studio set. You get a great microphone and headphone, along with a great daw, and you can start recording in no time!
Everything should work together. Your instruments should work and connect flawlessly to your recording device.
The reason why you need a smooth workflow and a great YouTube studio setup is simply that you want to keep recording as much as possible at any given time. Create a nice setup for your instruments, so you just have to grab them and start playing to record.
Put all your cables in an ordered bundle, and keep them out of any walkways if possible. No dangling or unplugged cables around, as they could cause trouble with hum and buzz.
Also, test, test, test. The more testing you can do, the better. You want to find the best angle in front of your camera. Check if your instrument is in focus, if the light does not reflect on any weird spots, and if you like the overall quality of the video.
Sometimes, some extra light can help to boost the quality. By lowering the ISO settings on your camera (even low end cameras can do this!) and boosting the light source around you, you can create an instant upgrade in quality! Try it out!
Then, make some test recordings. Act like you want to create a full video, but just record a minute or so.
Even better, DO record that short video and see your progress on YouTube after a few months! It can be pretty motivating to see your growth on your channel.
(Pro tip, visit some channels of other YouTube musicians, and scroll down in their video feed to see their first video. You will be surprised!)
Although optional, it will help you a lot when you start taking notes while recording your songs.
Write down all the special details, like certain amp settings, special settings in your camera, changes you made to your effects, etc.
This ensures that you keep track of your work. The more videos you create, the more settings you will have to tweak. If you write them down, you create a music diary, which gives you a nice backup of your work process. Remember how you got that awesome guitar effect 10 videos ago? No? That is why you need to write that down.
With all the above tips, you have a great start with a high quality YouTube home-studio setup, and you can start your YouTube Music Promotion!! You will fine tune your workflow as time goes by. Tweaking your gear and setup is part of the process, so prepare for that.
But don't forget to have fun!
And as always, keep making awesome music and share it with the world.
Maurice from Music-Mindset.com