Amplified Parts Lollar Pickups

Amplified Parts Lollar Pickups

Amplified Parts Lollar Pickups Guitar Pickups

Join Strat-Talk Today

Euroguestock – making band videos that look and sound good

Discussion in 'Home Recording Studio' started by simoncroft, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    62
    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    Compress to impress
    At a live event, the difference between the loudest sound and the quietest sound is often huge. That’s partly because live events tend to be louder than you would want the volume in your own home. Also, if you’re listening to music in your kitchen, or your car, you need to music to cut through any background noise without suddenly getting really loud.

    The difference between the loudest sound and the quietest sound on a recording is called ‘dynamic range’. We need to control that range quite a bit if the vocals are to stay on top of the mix.

    The following video shows how the vocals, and Hugo’s vocal beat box sounds, sit together more effectively when compression is applied. The multitrack is looped, so you can go back to the start and compare the changes as often as you like.

    My ‘Swiss Army Knife’ compressor is a Waves plug-in emulation of the dbx160 that almost every studio in the 1980s used by the rack-full. Waves have some of their products in sale most of the time, so if you get on their email list, the dbx160 will come round at a really cheap price within a few month

    The 160 doesn’t have a lot of controls, and it’s really easy to get good results.

    That said, most plug-in compressors that come with DAWs are pretty decent, if you take the time to learn how to use them. Once you get settings that work for you, saving them as presets means you don’t have to get diverted from your mix next time round.

    dbx 160 compressor.png
     
    felis and Omar like this.
  2. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    62
    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    Here's the video. The big point is: you need the vocals to ride over the mix!

     
    felis and Omar like this.
  3. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    62
    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    I'm working on a mix tutorial for the song Real Gone, but it will take me some time. I'll break it down into sections so it's: how to mix the drums; add the bass; guitars; vocals, then considering the total mix.

    Unfortunately, my tinnitus is giving me a hard time at the moment, so I can only work for short amounts of time. :(
     
    Lovnmesomestrat, felis and Omar like this.
  4. Omar

    Omar Most Inquisitive Junior Jazzer Strat-Talk Supporter

    Aug 9, 2017
    Marbella, Spain
    Although it’s painful, you insist to enrich everyone’s knowledge. Blessed effort. Thank you sir. :)
     
  5. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    62
    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    @Omar, you say the nicest things. :thumb:

    The video below deals with mixing the drums and bass. These are really the foundation of any electric band mix, so it's a very good place to start. If you've got them sounding right, the rest should fall into place.

    My first action was to use the Pan controls to approximate the physical positions of the drums in the kit/set. If you overdo this, it can create more problems than it solves, because every mic has a certain amount of spill. So if you put the overhead mics really wide, it can start to confuse the ear as to where the snare really is relative to the hi-hat.

    I started with the kick/bass drum. I added a little compression. All the drummers on Euroguestock IV were remarkably consistent in their kick levels, but it just helps to keep the bass drum constant in the mix. Next I added a little EQ. A touch more low end helped to reproduce the sound of drums on a stage through a big sound system, while a small boost at 5kHz can help the bass drum to be heard separately from the bass guitar.

    I also demonstrate using a noise gate to reduce the level of spill from the bass drum. This isn't something I used on the actual soundtracks, but I wanted to demonstrate what the two most important controls do. 'Keep it subtle' is my advice.

    Snares are really important in a mix, although they don't always have to sound massive. The engineer had very helpfully miked top and bottom. Of course, the bottom of the drum is where the wire snares are, so I put plenty of that mic in.

    Often, in the studio, you don't really need a dedicated hi-hat mic. Live, it's better to mic everything if you can! I was grateful for the hi-hat mic, because it gave me a chance to make the image a 'little more stereo'. The overheads have a tiny bit of high-end boost but it's best to go easy on this. It's easy to make cymbals sound painfully 'splashy'.

    Although I used EQ to reduce the amount of spill into the tom mics, it's important not to compromise the sound of the drums themselves. Pan helps to add more of a stereo image on the toms.

    As you'll see and hear, I used two reverbs. One is to make the snare a little 'bangier' and the other is there to help give the feel of the drums being in a big room. Bear in mind the actual mixes also had the real room acoustic from the camcorder audio.

    The bass guitar sounded pretty good before I started messing with it! Mainly, I was just trying to show what you can do after the event at the mix stage if you need to. The Amplitube plug-in is there to give a little more flavour of a loud, slightly over-driven amp. It's just another ruse to try to make the listener feel as if they were actually there.

     
    Siegfried91, felis and Omar like this.
  6. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    62
    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    OK, here's a mix based on New Year's Day. I know it's not completely clear what I'm doing at times, so I'll write some comments soon.

     
    Omar and felis like this.
  7. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    62
    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    I thought it might be helpful if I gave you a commentary on the video above, so here goes.

    At the start, I’m just walking you through what some of the tracks in the complete mix contain, so you can get a feel for ‘what’s what’. If I’m starting a mix from scratch, I’ll normally get the bass and drums sorted out first, which I discussed earlier in the thread.

    In this case, the bass part is played by Nanda on keyboard, so it’s on the same track as the lead keyboard lines. I used a little EQ to separate them, but otherwise, those parts sounded great as they were. The only other thing I added was a little of the Big Room reverb to make sure it sounded ‘live’ even when some of the other elements in the mix were fairly dry.

    TIP: When you’re mixing, think about front-to-back, as well as side-to-side. Using slightly different reverbs on different elements of the mix makes it easier for the human ear to separate them out, even when listening in mono.

    The next thing I normally work on is the vocals. Channels 3 & 4 are muted because all they contained was spill from the band, but channels 5 & 6 are in the mix because they have percussion and some backing vocals. It would be too easy to go “Oh, no vocals, then mute them", which would throw away some important elements in the mix.

    Vox 1 and 2 are where most of the vocals occur. I put a gate on Vox 2, because it’s the lead vocal and it deserves to sound epic! There was a lot of spill I didn’t want to end up muddying the bus mixes to the reverbs.

    Tip: If there’s a fair amount of spill on a mic, it will get even louder when you put a compressor on the channel. Put a noise gate in front of it in the signal chain to minimize the spill, but be careful with your settings. If the Threshold is too severe you’ll lose the starts and ends of words, and if your Gain Reduction is very high (ie cuts all sound between words) you’ll start to notice it in the mix. Go easy tiger!

    Some of the guitar channels were muted, because they weren’t used. Other than that, there was no special treatment to the guitars other than some reverb to put them ‘in the room’. However, I used a little spatial trick I’ll share with you later.

    At this point in the video, I start to turn all the processing off. That’s because I’d like you to judge for yourself what each processor does, and whether you think it’s an improvement.

    Without any processing, the track is still very nicely played, but the overall mix doesn’t exactly jump out of the speakers and grab your attention. It’s all a little airless and doesn’t have the punch you’d experience if you were at the gig itself.

    (Shamefully, I got so absorbed with turning the plug-ins on the drums back on, I forgot to do the same for the percussion and backing vocals on channels 5&6. Oops! Let’s hope I did better for the actual video mix…)

    The next thing I do in the video is work through what the various bus mixes are sending to, so you can hear the effects. (You can ignore ‘GTR’, ‘VOX’ and ‘Drums’, because those are bus mixes, meaning I have all the guitar levels etc on one fader.)

    So far, I’ve used the word ‘reverb’ to describe some of the effects. Really, ‘room simulation’ would be a better term for many of them. That’s because ‘Big Room’, and some of the other effects are digital recreations of specific concert spaces.

    Buses 1 & 2 have very accurate models of Abbey Road’s classic plate reverbs, which sound lovely. Truly, technology has moved a long way since I had a guitar amp with a spring reverb in it!

    There are two effects busses that are probably worth describing in more detail. Bus 9 has the Logic Pro ‘Stereo Spread’ on it. Originally, I think it was developed as a way of turning old mono recordings into something that passes as stereo. If you use a little on guitar tracks, you can make them sound bigger. It’s just another trick for giving each part their own space in the mix.

    When I try to show what the Eventide Harmonizer on Bus 11 does, it’s a bit confusing. It’s used on the lead vocal, but there is no vocal at that point. Shortly after that, I show the effect it has on the vocal.

    I’ll be honest, the Eventide H3000 is a fairly expensive plug-in, although massively cheaper than the original unit, which was super-star money in the 1980s. Any stereo chorus plug-in should deliver something similar.

    Next post, I’ll move onto the video editing side of the process.

    Something I would strongly suggest if you are mixing your sound in one package, then shifting to a video editing package: output your audio in a number of formats and resolutions, then check what sounds best when you Export a video. AIFF or WAV are your best bets for Importing to a video editor. MP3 might not work so well. Work at 48kHz for your audio for less chance of problems down the line.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
    Lovnmesomestrat, Omar and felis like this.
  8. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    62
    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    Some basic video editing concepts
    Because I don’t want to leave anyone behind who’s interested in this, and to avoid confusion, I’m going to start this by showing what my workspace in the Premiere Pro looks like.

    I’ve numbered the main windows, so that I can explain their function. Every video editing system shows things a little differently, and often calls the same functions something different to another software developer. To make things more confusing, the more advanced editing systems allow you to completely customize the workspace. Most of the time, I use the most classic workspace, because it’s what I’ve been using for years.

    Hopefully, when I explain what each window does, you can relate that to whatever package you use, even if it’s called something different, or looks a little different.

    NB – If you find yourself thinking “yeah but how does that apply to my copy of VideoPro 6” or whatever, please just ask. I can usually download a demo copy and work out the answer.

    OK, there’s my workspace:

    1. Project window. This is where all the source files (audio and video) show up, along with stills, intro titles and the ‘Sequence’ files that make up the finished movies. Traditionally, the folders in this window are called ‘bins’, because film editors kept the physical film stock in bins, with just the start clipped to a line with a peg.

    Whether you call them ‘bins’, ‘folders’, or ‘Eric the dancing envelope’, one thing I would urge you to do is find a filing system that works for you, and stick to it. The more source material you have, the more important it is to organize it. Otherwise, you will waste a lot of time hunting for media files, and maybe overlook some valuable media along the way.

    2. Source/Edit Window. The textbook way of working is to import your raw footage into this window and trim it up, before assembling it on the Timeline where the Sequences are displayed (5). This absolutely does not work when you have files of 30 minutes! The smallest movement of the mouse can cause you to skip an entire song. I’ll get to the strategy I came up with later.

    3. Program. This is where you see the movie you’re assembling on the Timeline. Because I’ve got two monitors, I often unlock this window and put it on the other monitor, where I can scale it bigger. If you’re working with one screen (ie on a laptop), it’s a very good idea to learn how to switch views in your editing package, so you can get a clear view of the final production.

    4. Effects. This window can actually show you many things, depending on the tab you select, but I usually use it to display video effects I can add.

    5. Timeline. Look carefully and you’ll see that I have three ‘Sequences’ tabbed on my Timeline.

    I’ll explain this fully later on, but what this means for anyone editing a live concert is that some of the editing work you put into Song 1 can be transferred to Song 2, Song 3 and so on. When I show you how that can work, you may be amazed how much time you can save!

    Whatever you put on the Timeline is what you see in the Program window (3), and that’s what you’ll see when you Export your final file. I’ll deal with Export settings down the line.

    PremiereProNumbered.jpg
     
    Lovnmesomestrat, Omar and felis like this.
  9. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    62
    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    Getting yourself organized

    Before I started the Euroguestock IV video Project, I made sure that all the source material on my hard drive was organized in a way that I understood, and that made it easy to find the material I wanted to import into Premiere Pro.

    When I worked in magazine production years ago, I learnt the importance of this kind of attention to detail. When a printer phones you up to say there’s a problem with p56, issue 3 – and the press will stand idle until it’s fixed – you want the right file up on screen in seconds, not minutes.

    So I didn’t just put the media files into folders to indicate who had sent them to me. I also went through the files to make sure I knew what they contained. Using the set-list the Euroguestock IV team had put on-line, I renamed files with titles like ‘20. Good Times.mp4’, or ‘3. The One I love.mp4’. Without doing that, there is a real danger you’ll forget what source material you hold, and miss out on some great video and stills.

    The only time my filing system got a little messy was when I was downloading files from stock footage sites later on. Video such as ‘Aerial View Of Buildings.mp4’ didn’t go into a special folder because as soon as I’d got it, it was imported into Premiere Pro and put with the material for the song it went with.

    Before I started importing my files into Premiere, I went into PhotoShop and made a 1,440 x 1,080 pixel version of the excellent artwork for the event provided by @circles. This would be my opening shot for each song.

    Organized.png
     
  10. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    62
    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    Getting started

    Depending on your video editing package, you may have to give a lot of detail about the media you intend to import when you start a Project. Otherwise the editing system may work it out automatically, or offer you a series of presets that are likely to fit most people's requirements.

    I started with @Siegfried91's video specs, which are basically this:

    Image Size: 1440 x 1080
    Frame Rate: 25.00
    Source Audio Format: 48000 Hz - compressed - Stereo
    Project Audio Format: 48000 Hz - 32 bit floating point - Stereo
    Total Duration: 00:29:48:20
    Pixel Aspect Ratio: 1.3333
    It's also worth remembering that the video standard for Europe is PAL, whereas it's NTSC in North America. When you're making videos to show on YouTube, it's not a big deal, but it's one more check-box you can answer with confidence!

    When you start a Project in Premiere Pro, it doesn't ask what audio and video settings you are going to use. When you create a new Sequence (a specific movie within the Project), it gives you the 'Spanish Inquisition'. Fortunately, it offers a lot of presets, including HDV/HDV1080i25 (50i), which is an exact match for Siegfried's video files. Even better, if you put any material on the Timeline that doesn't match the initial settings, it asks you if you want to change the spec of the incoming media, or the whole Sequence.

    As the whole production was mainly based on Siegfried's video, I'd have changed the settings for the whole Sequence if it didn't match his media files. With files I added to a Sequence later, that didn't match the spec, I selected the 'Change New Video File' option, so that the existing work wasn't affected. Computer-based video editing gets smarter and more powerful every year, but if you reduce the amount of work the system has to do, you'll spend a lot less time watching files rendering.

    It's really hot tonight, so I'll probably wait until tomorrow until I post a video showing some of my tricks for speeding up your work-flow.
     
    Lovnmesomestrat, Omar and felis like this.
  11. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    62
    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    Basic techniques for an efficient video editing workflow

    The next video shows you these concepts:

    1. Finding edit points on the little Source window timeline can be hard. Believe me, when you got a seven hour-long file, it’s actually impossible.

    2. How a new Sequence is created in Premiere.

    3. Numbering and naming the Sequence.

    4. Dragging the first Master Video file onto the Timeline of the first sequence.

    5. Using the Razor Blade tool to remove what may be an unwanted section at the start of the video, then dragging the video to the start.

    6. Duplicating the Blank title I created earlier and naming the copy. Placing it on the Timeline.

    7. Adding the ‘0. Intro sound’ file to the start of the Timeline.

    8. How to drag the video file to restore the ‘missing ‘ section at the start.

    9. Moving the title file up and adding the artwork that opens each video.

    10. Opening up the Title and replacing ‘Xxxx’ with the actual title.*

    11. Adding a Cross Dissolve, so the Guido isn’t talking when we can’t see him! Adjusting the Cross Dissolve time.

    12. Some absent-minded messing about!

    13. Finding approximately where Guido’s Intro ends and cutting the video with the Razor Blade tool before dragging the two sequences apart.

    14. Duplicating the ‘1. Intro’ file and remaining the copy ‘2. Fight For Your Right’.

    15. Making Fight For Your Right the active sequence, deleting the footage of Guido and moving the video up so that it starts with @Fellis saying Hello.

    16. Going back to the first sequence and removing all the video from the timeline after Guido’s Intro. Toggling between the two to show that they are now two separate sequences that will Export as two different videos.

    17. Finding the end point of Guido’s Intro.

    *There is a newer way of doing this in Premiere Pro, but old habits…

    This is quite a lot to take in, so if you want to learn how to do this yourself, I suggest you open up your own video editing system and mimic each stage, one-at-a-time. By the time you’ve done a few videos this way, some of the processes will become almost automatic.

    Next time, I’ll look at Fight For Your Right To Party, introducing the multitrack audio, as well as other video footage.

     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
  12. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    62
    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    To flag up the most important points in my last post, it's steps 13-16 that mean each new Sequence can benefit from the work you put into earlier ones. When I started out, I knew the textbook stuff, but editing long-form video footage was taking me maybe 10x what it does now.
     
    Lovnmesomestrat, Omar and felis like this.
  13. felis

    felis Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 27, 2013
    Antwerp/Belgium
    I at least had that part figured out...:D;)
     
    simoncroft likes this.
  14. s5tuart

    s5tuart My Dad used to say.... Strat-Talk Supporter

    As a (currently) infrequent visitor I can only say WOW Simon.
    What a generous thing to do! Just so far, this thread must have taken you hours and hours and hours!
    I will learn a lot form it when I'm back in the land of normality!
    Thank you!
     
  15. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    62
    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    Thanks mate. It costs me nothing to share knowledge. And if the pool of people involved with Euroguestock/Roguestock comes to include more budding sound mixers and video editors, it can only lead to more and better videos for future events. :thumb:
     
  16. dbolt

    dbolt Strat-Talker Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    66
    358
    Sep 17, 2014
    NC
    This stuff makes my brain hurt. I am glad there people like you that have this gift.
     
  17. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    62
    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    To be honest with you, it's not exactly 'a gift' in the sense of the opening scenes in The Shining! Anyone who has watched movies at the theater/cinema, plus a fair amount of TV, should have a fair sense of how the end product should be.

    OK, there is a learning curve when it comes to the technical stuff, but it's best taken one step at a time.

    My start with the video side was simply learning through practice with a camcorder how to come home with vacation/holiday footage that was actually worth watching. I plugged the camcorder into the TV, but the unedited tapes were pretty hit-and-miss. (Wow, there's a camel. Oh no, that's my shoes...)

    Then I started editing video on a computer. At first, I was mainly chucking away the bits that looked like rubbish. In a way, that's all any form of editing is!

    It was easy to get sidetracked into endless technical issues, and if you added a TV to your editing system just to see how your final program/programme would look, the gear started to get expensive. But that was 20 years ago.

    Today, you can take an inexpensive camcorder or even phone, then transfer your video to a laptop. Edit it as much, or as little as you wish, then upload it to youtube etc to share with friends. Or you can watch it on TV at home. If you have a smart TV, chances are it lets you watch video from any other device connected to your home hub. Otherwise, you can burn your finished movie to DVD and share it that way.

    Video editing is not an obligation. But it's not that hard either.

    For me, it's like a way of sending a postcard I might have put in the mail. :)
     
  18. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    62
    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    There's quite a lot going on in this one. I'll provide some notes later:

     
    Lovnmesomestrat and Omar like this.
  19. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    62
    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    Here are the main steps in the video above. Some are covered in the previous video, but I’ll include them here, so it’s clear where we are in this video:

    1. Duplicate and rename Title, place on Timeline and change text.

    2. Drag Audio file onto Timeline.

    3. Roughly align with audio taken by the camcorder, using shape of into waveform as a guide.

    4. Switch from Source tab to Audio Track Mixer. Adjust relative levels of Audio 1 (camcorder) and Audio 2 (mix) as an aid to listening for how in sync they really are.

    5. Switch automation to Off, so faders can’t be following any previously stored mix information.

    6. Listen to exposed drum part as aid to deciding if mix is in sync. Decide it could be better.

    7. Use Cmd/left arrow and Cmd/right arrow keys to shift selected Audio 2 track by small fractions. (Other editors will use different keys.)

    8. Use precision of drum beats, and the general solidity of the bass part to decide when the two tracks are really in sync. (As the video says, you can scroll it back a bit and judge for yourself if the bass guitar is more distinct after the adjustments.)

    Tip: One of the reasons I was careful to achieve accurate sync between the two audio tracks is I used both in the final productions. For some reason, the mixes I was happy with in Logic always sounded a little deader than I wanted in Premiere, so I added a little more of Siegfried’s audio, just to make it sound more ‘live’.

    9. Check start, just to be double-sure. (Once in a while, you can achieve beat-solid sync but be offset by a whole bar or two. Best to check other parts of the song!)

    10. Locate end of song, Use Razor Blade tool, and separate unwanted section for use later.

    11. Do Step 10 again if you didn’t manage to actually cut the file!

    12. Make video shorter than audio, then put in Cross Dissolve. Increase Transition time. Check that viewers will now be more focused on applause at end of song, not the preparations for the next song on stage.

    13. Duplicate 2. Sequence and name the new 3. Sequence. (I cut and pasted name from Audio file, but I didn’t show it in my video.) Open 3. Sequence, remove all ‘Fight For Your Right’ footage and slide later footage up to start. Check this really is ‘The One I Love’.

    14. Go back to 2. Fight For Your Right Sequence, and remove the footage past the end of the song.

    Tip: Don’t be afraid to make continual use of any scaling, or zooming tools that change the size of the Timeline view. Detailed tasks, like syncing two audio tracks are hard to achieve without zooming right in. Overview tasks, like location the end of the song and checking you haven’t left any files from the last song on your new Sequence are best done zoomed right out. Knowing this can save you a lot of time.

    15. Check the Bins/folders containing video from other people to see if there is any additional footage to augment the song. There wasn’t so…

    16. Go to https:videos.pexels.com to look for free library footage. (Or other free video sites, if you come across any.) Decide their idea of a party is what you’d call ‘a rave’ or ‘fashion show’, so look at one of the sponsored sites. Decide you don't want to throw $80 at this buying footage. (I didn't show that bit.)

    17. Bail. Go to YouTube, locate the original promotional video and make it full screen so you can capture it, just by keeping Capto running.

    Note: At this point, I was faced with a strange paradox. I was using Capto to record my tutorial. Now I wanted to import that tutorial into Premiere as part of my tutorial. Truly, the snake with its tail in its mouth… Obviously, I stopped the screen capture so I could save the file. Then I restarted Capto, so you could see what I do next.

    18. Import saved file ‘Fight For Your Right 1.mov into Premiere and double-click it to put it into the Source window. (Because it’s a fairly short file, far better to use the Source window for the initial edit, rather than drag it all to the Timeline.)

    19. Trying very hard not to go insane contemplating the ‘movie within a movie’ implications for the space-time continuum, mark the In and Out points of the clip, then drag to the Timeline.

    20. Suddenly realize that placing the video on the Video 2 track will park the audio right over the top of the mix video, so drag it to V3 instead.

    21. Right-Click on the clip and select Unlink. Click on the unwanted audio track and use Backspace key to delete it. Note that the video remains on the Timeline, because it is no longer linked.

    What happens next is quite hard to understand from the video alone, so I’m going to post it separately, to make it easier for you to refer back to, if you need to copy what I’ve done step-by-step.

    I can’t emphasize enough how important getting hands-on with footage of your own is to understanding these processes. Once you done these processes a few times, it will cease to be a mystery.:thumb:
     
    Lovnmesomestrat likes this.
  20. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    62
    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    Great fruits come from tiny PIPs. Working with Picture In Picture edits.

    Most video editing system allow one video to be placed at a smaller inside another, main video. For instance, the main video might have location footage of elephants at a watering hole, while the inset video is head-and-shoulders of a guy in a safari outfit, telling you what his company’s tours offer.

    However, it’s not something most video editors want to do most of the time. This means that even if your chosen video editing system supports PIP, expect any mention of it to be somewhere past Page 750. That’s if it even gets a mention.

    It took me quite a long time on-line to discover how to do this in Premiere Pro. But I kept going because I was convinced it ‘must’ do it. It’s just that I didn’t know how.

    Before I go through the video step-by step, let’s talk about some of the things the editing system ‘must’ do for PIP to work.

    Scale. It must be possible to make the overlaid video smaller than the main vieo. Otherwise, it will obscure it completely. That’s not PIP; that’s just an ‘edit’.

    Position. It’s not a lot of use having a smaller video on top of the main one unless you can adjust exactly where it goes.

    Crop. Let’s think about this. The main video has its edges defined by the overall image size. If we can Scale the image beyond 100%, some of the image will ‘fall off the edge’ into blackness. If we can Position the image, we can determine which parts of the image fall off the edge.

    None of that helps us when dealing with the smaller PIP image. What we need is a way of controlling what’s inside the visible edges of the inset image, and that’s called Cropping. Without it, there’s every chance that our head-and-shoulders commentator is actually a pair of talking shoes!

    OK, let’s talk about what happening in my video from about 9:40 onward.

    1. Toggle the Source Window so that it now displays Effects Controls. These allow you to make important changes to the selected video, including Scale and Position. (A-ha!)

    2. In Effects, go to Transform/Crop and drag it onto Fight For Your Right 1.mov on the timeline. Notice a little fx logo appears on the clip. Even better, the Effects Control panel now includes a Crop tool. (Double a-ha!) When you drag an effect to a clip, you are really adding a plug-in, as you would when using a DAW.

    3. Adjust the Bottom parameter to determine how far the PIP comes down the main image. Do the same with Left and Right.

    4. Go towards the top of the window and adjust Scale and Position.

    5. Go back to the Crop section and apply some Edge Feather.

    Tip: There’s no ‘magic formula’ here and some of the controls are interactive, so it’s really a question of working with it until you get what looks right to you.

    In the next section below, I edit the PIP video on the Timeline because a) some of it looks a bit boring, b) it works best if it kicks in against specific sections of the song, and c) I liked the idea that the video repeats certain images when the chorus comes in, because that repeats musically.

    Because this was a tutorial, not a finished product, I didn’t spend a lot of time on getting the best video backdrops coming in at the most effective times. I will post a finished version, so you can see how much difference that extra attention to detail makes.

    6. Reduce the Opacity if you want the PIP to look as if it was projected over the stage during the concert. (I don’t think I show this in the video, but there is definitely a point where I reduce Opacity to 48%. Best to do this before you put any cuts in the clip, because otherwise, you’ll have to perform this separately on each new section of clip.

    7. Trim off the first part of the video, which looks boring compared to the action on stage.

    8. Using the techniques described earlier about getting the audio tracks in sync, get the video to come in where it works best for you (typically on a beat).

    9. Copy the PIP sections that work best for you by holding the Alt key while dragging. (This may be another key on your system.)

    10. Don’t be afraid to chop out any sections of PIP video that don’t really work on the Timeline. Create something that works against the music!

    11. Put in a Cross Dissolve on the PIP so it doesn’t stay ‘on stage’ after the band.