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Forums Field Production Live Setup Suggestions Needed For Instructional Video Production

  • Live Setup Suggestions Needed For Instructional Video Production

     Mike Cohen updated 8 years, 2 months ago 3 Members · 4 Posts
  • Griff Hamlin

    July 15, 2012 at 6:35 am

    I make instructional videos and DVDs and I’ve always done everything myself.

    What that has always meant is basically shooting with 3 simple Sony handheld HD cameras… flying all 3 feeds into Sony Vegas, and editing to get the look I want.

    Since I’m not moving, it works out just fine. I line up the audio by eyeballing it. And actually my productions look better than most in the space I’m in.

    But the problem is the time factor. If it takes me 2 hours to shoot something, it takes me 10 to edit it.

    In reality, there’s no reason for that because all I ever do is use a wide shot of me (I play guitar) or a 2 camera split of my right and left hand (lately I’ve been adding some screen capture video as well to that shot.)

    So while it’s not complex, it’s tedious. And I was thinking it would be great to have some sort of setup that allows me to do it live as I’m going instead of adding after the fact.

    I use 3 cameras… currently simple Sony CX150 cameras. But I’m not opposed to upgrading if I need to.

    So I need to mix the 3 cameras, and a feed from a computer monitor, and at least 4 channels of audio, simultaneously.

    I’d like to be able to use HD video because I’m sure in the future I’ll use SD less and less.

    I need to be able to record the end result, either on my computer somehow (ideally so I can do any final touch ups in Vegas) or to a local media that I can then import into Vegas Pro.

    I also will want the ability to stream the output over UStream or something similar. I haven’t done this yet, but if I can set this up I’ll definitely get into streaming stuff live.

    But the big item is that I need to be able to setup some sort of “scene” and switch it remotely from several feet away. Perhaps with a MIDI pedal or some other device. That way the switcher can be out of the shot, and I can switch between the live shot and the “close ups” shot with a foot switch as I go.

    I’ve done many hours of research and I’ve just seen so many different things out there that I’m a bit lost.

    Does anyone have any solid suggestions on what equipment might fit the bill for this sort of endeavor?

    The big question – how much am I willing to spend? The simple answer is a lot. If it’ll save me time it’s worth many thousands of dollars to do it and do it well.

    That being said I’d like to keep it under or around $10K-$12K if that’s possible.

    I thank you in advance for your time, I know this is a long post but I wanted to offer as much info on my situation as I could.

  • Chris Tompkins

    July 15, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Doing it all yourself is this problem. With a 3 camera shoot, there is a ton of post.
    Mix live on site, this will create the edit in realtime. Run ISO’s on the cams and then you’ll have coverage – should you need it.

    So, a mixer and a TD ALL SDI setup for future proof.


    Chris Tompkins
    Video Atlanta LLC

  • Griff Hamlin

    July 16, 2012 at 12:48 am

    Thanks for the reply…

    I’m probably showing my ignorance more than I care to but I’m afraid that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

    What is an ISO on the camera?

    What is a TD ALL SDI setup?

    I’m good with audio, but still learning the lingo where video is concerned. Thanks.

  • Mike Cohen

    July 19, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Since you are a musician already, you are thinking of using all of your limbs, like a street musician playing guitar and drum pedals and a tambourine on your knee. However since you are concentrating on playing your guitar and teaching, it is a lot to think you can also be watching a video monitor and live switching with your feet.
    You need a 2nd person minimum to do this successfully.

    If you have 3 cameras going into a switcher, you can record the ISO on each camera for safety, and record the live switch directly to your computer or to an external recording unit such as a KiPro, PIX240 or whatever, depending upon the outputs of the switcher.

    You might consider renting various setups to test this out before jumping in with your credit card. B+H will be more than happy to have your money, but test, test, test.

    ISO is short for isolated recording – basically you record in each camera as you currently do. But you only use that video to cover an edit. Sometimes when doing a live switch, you have a bad edit, or you want to edit out a mistake, so you cover an edit with an alternate angle to avoid a jump cut.

    TD = technical director. In broadcasting that’s the person who operates the switcher and other video processing devices. In your case it could be your neighbor Fred or your cousin Wilma.

    SDI = serial digital interface – in the HD world, HD video signals travel either by component (3 wires), HDMI or SDI (looks like a coaxial cable and generally not found on consumer level equipment).

    This new-ish product from BMD might suit your needs

    The price is right

    If money is no object:
    check out the Tricaster

    There are numerous other options. A simple hardware switcher separate from any recording device might be a good place to start if you want to stick with SD – you’ll need to pass the video and audio through a deck, camera or analog to digital box to capture:

    Datavideo makes some affordable gear. It is a bit clunky to operate but cheap:

    Lots of options here. Let us know your results, or if you have more questions we are standing by to help.

    Mike Cohen

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