So you’ve got your YouTube account, directed your fans towards the subscribe button and you’re all ready to take on the ‘net in terms of video goodness.

But where do you begin when you want to make quality content? Here are 5 useful tips to help you keep your viewers engaged and maximise your quality on a budget!

1. HD or not HD

When you’ve been slacking off from writing awesome tunes and messing around on YouTube, chances are you’ve come across the terms “360p” and “480p”. This is all to do with the quality of the video.

The number relates to the height of the video in pixels. The letter “p” is short for progressive scan. This can get quite in depth, but let’s go for the short explanation.

Whenever a TV used to load a frame of video, in order to make video look smoother it would display half the picture, skipping out every even numbered line of the frame, then went back again filling in the lines. This was called interlacing (If you see an “i” instead of a “p” at the end of a number in terms of video, it is short for “interlaced”). Because computer monitors are awesome and faster than TVs, they don’t need to smooth anything over and as such, this interlacing technique isn’t needed. Instead, it just loads up the lines one after the other – called “progressive scan”. Phew!

Anyway, that little p isn’t really important for High Definition video – it’s more the number at the start. On Youtube, anything about 720 is regarded “High Definition” – meaning the quality of the video is better. So when you’ve edited your video together, make sure you export it at least 1280×720 pixels resolution, so YouTube calls it HD and your fans know you’re giving them the highest quality video you can!

2. Green Screen + Keying

Ever wondered how they do it? The pros with their green screens and sweet editing techniques? Well it’s not hard – it can literally be done with a green bedsheet and some cheap software.

The technique is called “Keying” – it basically involves picking a colour that appears in the video, then making it invisible in the video footage, so you can put other things in its place. This is why you should never wear green clothes in front of a green screen (unless you’re intending to be a floating head)

So grab yourself a sheet of green fabric (or paint a wall – either’s good!), some bright lighting (it needs to be consistant, otherwise the darker shades of green might not be keyed out where the lighter ones are) and have a google to find the keying software you want, then get playing your music in front of the Taj Mahal! (I’m pretty sure that by law that’s the first green screen test you have to do.)

3. Sound quality

Since you’re a musician, sound quality should be at the top of your list! Make sure you record live performances with decent microphones rather than the in-built camera microphone wherever possible, or you’ll get loads of background noise! Most cameras will allow you to plug in your own mic(s) with a simple adapter, so invest and make sure the quality is as awesome as the music!

4. Multiple Views = engaging content

Have you ever watched a TV program with a single camera angle? Didn’t think so – different camera angles maintain viewer interest. Keep changing (not too much or you’ll cause seizures) the views periodically, even if it’s on the same thing, so the video doesn’t become boring.

So borrow a second camera from a friend for those videos you really want to go all out on!

5. Video Blogs – short and sweet

If your content is too long, viewers will lose interest. Either micro-vlog every week or so or do slightly longer vlogs (vlog = video blog if you didn’t guess) monthly – the key is the be concise and consistant. Make sure your viewers know when to expect updates and that they’re not going to be sitting through 10 minutes of you “umm”-ing and “err”-ing until you decide to tell them in minute 9 that you’ve just released a new song.

So I hope those tips have given you something to think about – now go out there and get making the next big viral video!

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One Response to “Video basics for online musicians”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by semama inco, David Brown. David Brown said: Video basics for online musicians: http://www.boyinaband.com/?p=1926 [...]

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Hi! I'm Dave from boyinaband.com and welcome to the site!

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