Need advice for recording audition/marketing clips...

Devils Haircut

Senior Member
I want to record my playing, not only for scrutinizing my practices, but to create a ready made audio or video clip to include when answering "drummer wanted" ads. I'm on a pretty tight budget and would like to go as cheap as possible while still maintaining a "pro-enough" quality to be taken seriously. Right now all I have is a flip HD and the audio is a joke when it comes to drums. My questions are:

1.) Does video matter for my needs, or will audio only suffice?

2.) Do you recomend a hand held recorder like a zoom h1 or h2?

3.) If video is a must, how about the zoom Q3 or equivalent?

4.) If money was no object, a fully miked kit into a mixer (with video synched) would be my choice. Is this the way I should go? It definitly isn't the cheapest way to start. I currently own a shure sm58, but that's about it for pro-audio.

I did use the search function, but I want responses specific to my needs and objectives. Thanks in advance for any advice or opinions.
 

Devils Haircut

Senior Member
Oh and one other thing...
How beneficial is having clips ready for potential auditions? Is this even worth the effort. It seems to me that it would help put a buzz out for you in a new music scene. You could have cards or flyers with youtube links to leave at music shops or band mixers.
 

LukeSnyder

Gold Member
To start with, I would use a camera with good audio capabilities. One in particular that I recommend is the kodak Zi8, its cheap, shoots 1080p, and has pretty decent audio. You can adjust the mic gain, so as to avoid clipping. To move up, you would need an interface and mics in addition to the camera, you're talking an additional $400-$1000 for entry level stuff depending on whether you buy used not. Thats just a rough estimate, so it would depend on your budget. You have to get a camera though, so I would get one that has a good mic.

In my opinion, you definitely need to have the video as well as the audio. If the idea is to show it on a Youtube channel for prospective bands, then you want them to be able to see you, how you play, what you sound like, etc. And Youtube is the way to go. I'm in the process of building my own fanbase online, doing basically exactly what you describe. I use a Zi8, mics, and an interface, sync the audio with the video, and put it up on Youtube. Its netted my quite a few band offers over the past year, and I've had some awesome opportunities to interact with a lot of amazing musicians. Go for it!
 

Devils Haircut

Senior Member
To start with, I would use a camera with good audio capabilities. One in particular that I recommend is the kodak Zi8, its cheap, shoots 1080p, and has pretty decent audio. You can adjust the mic gain, so as to avoid clipping. To move up, you would need an interface and mics in addition to the camera, you're talking an additional $400-$1000 for entry level stuff depending on whether you buy used not. Thats just a rough estimate, so it would depend on your budget. You have to get a camera though, so I would get one that has a good mic.

In my opinion, you definitely need to have the video as well as the audio. If the idea is to show it on a Youtube channel for prospective bands, then you want them to be able to see you, how you play, what you sound like, etc. And Youtube is the way to go. I'm in the process of building my own fanbase online, doing basically exactly what you describe. I use a Zi8, mics, and an interface, sync the audio with the video, and put it up on Youtube. Its netted my quite a few band offers over the past year, and I've had some awesome opportunities to interact with a lot of amazing musicians. Go for it!
Can a quality "youtube drum cover" be made with a video camera? I know I would need to synch my footage with the original song... but I don't even know where to start.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Oh and one other thing...
How beneficial is having clips ready for potential auditions? Is this even worth the effort. It seems to me that it would help put a buzz out for you in a new music scene. You could have cards or flyers with youtube links to leave at music shops or band mixers.
Having clips ready is super important these days. Before the internet, I walked around with a cassette of my playing, and gave one to every band looking for a drummer, and that helped me join a really cool band at the time.

It is pretty much expected that you have online clips to give examples of your playing these days. If you meet so and so some place, and they're looking for a drummer, and you're available, the first question is going to be be do you have some examples of your playing they can check out.

At times when I have looked for other musicians, if the didn't have an online clip I could go hear, to me that said they're not that serious.

There was a time when audio would be all you need, but more and more people have video clips up as well. So while just a few years ago I would have said video isn't super important, these days it may be. So many drummers do have video up, and think of it that is your potential competition for your next gig.

A singer was looking for a drummer for a paid tour. My buddy got recommended as a potential candidate. The singer, rather than hold a formal audition, just watched my buddy on youtube, and decided he was the guy. Everything else was done via email and phone calls. Pretty crazy.
 

Devils Haircut

Senior Member
Man that's crazy! It seems a little unfair that a singer-songwriter can do the youtube thing with a decent camera and an acoustic guitar. (Let's not even talk about how little they get away with taking to gigs). Meanwhile we have to buy countless peices of gear, carry it around, and set it up. Now we have to be able to afford home studios and get a sound engineering degree to get gigs? Haha...

I think maybe I can get away with the following: The song I'm covering run into headphones and a Zoom Q3 recording the audio/video from one unit. Then I would synch the music in with my recording. If this is a decent setup, than what programs do you recomend for synching the music?
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Well, keep in mind, my buddy in the story has a lot of touring experience, and the clips were live clips with bands, not something he made himself.


Now we have to be able to afford home studios and get a sound engineering degree to get gigs? Haha...
Kind of sad, but there is a certain degree of truth to that. (see the thread on becoming a studio drummer).
 

LukeSnyder

Gold Member
Man that's crazy! It seems a little unfair that a singer-songwriter can do the youtube thing with a decent camera and an acoustic guitar. (Let's not even talk about how little they get away with taking to gigs). Meanwhile we have to buy countless peices of gear, carry it around, and set it up. Now we have to be able to afford home studios and get a sound engineering degree to get gigs? Haha...

I think maybe I can get away with the following: The song I'm covering run into headphones and a Zoom Q3 recording the audio/video from one unit. Then I would synch the music in with my recording. If this is a decent setup, than what programs do you recomend for synching the music?
You can do that in iMovie or Windows Movie Maker. Its very simple, just line up the audio from the camera with the song. The Q3 does great audio, if you know how to tune you'll be good to go!
 
Top