How To Record Instructional Music Video

Recording instructional video is actually pretty easy.

The Basics

  • You're here to work, not to watch. Forget the nice cozy up-front seat: the best spots for recording are likely back against the wall, on top of the pressbox, or jammed underneath a ledge. And plan to spend the entire event standing.
  • Know Your Venue. Scout the place to figure out where XXXXXX. Introduce yourself to the stage manager or staff: sometimes they'll show you the best spot, and sometimes they'll keep you out of trouble.
  • Be courteous to those around you, whether they are also recording or just watching the show. This is the most likely reason you'll end up against the back wall: anywhere else, you'll be blocking someone's view.
  • Use a tripod. Nothing ruins a video like camera shake. If the venue doesn't allow tripods, find some other way to stabilize the camera: you can cradle the camera in both hands, then rest your elbows on a wall or on your knees.
  • Start Recording Early, Stop Recording Late (a.k.a. “you can't cut it longer”).
  • Include the Entire Field.

Upping Your Game: Spending Money

  • Good camcorder
  • Use an external microphone. The camcorder's built-in microphone is usually mediocre, and it picks up every sound  from your hands and fingers on the camera body.
  • Wide Angle Lens.
Upping Your Game: Learning New Skills
  • Use your camcorder's manual controls. In most field shows and concert halls, the performers are brightly lit while the background is dark. Automatic video attempts to average the brightness over most or all of the screen, with the result that the performers will be overexposed and washed out. Good music contains a wide range of soft and loud sounds. (This difference is called “dynamic range.”) The automatic volume control will increase background noise and crush dynamics.


  • Panasonic “pro-sumer” camcorder (TM700 or HC-X920):
  • Sennheiser MKE 400 shotgun microphone (two)
  • Mannfroto video tripod
  • "Spider" tripod
I have some additional equipment that I
  • Cano



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