Zone Recording: Music Video

Hello and welcome back to Zone Recording. As you know, the new record "Clean" has come out from Magna Carta and is doing very well! I heard from them last week and was asked to make a video.

I thought, how the hell am I going to do that with little or no budget!? Then my mind got thinking. I have messed around with Windows Movie Maker before, but now my traveling life is on a Mac. That is a whole different story. But I digress!

My mind scattered to someone I knew that does video stuff.. My mind turned to my mighty bass player Mr. David Spidel. He has been messing around with video for some time, so I ran my ideas by him.

First off let me start by saying this. It might not seem related at the moment, but bear with me.

"Play your shows with a click track!"

I never thought about this before. Daniel Adair (drummer in Martone) suggested doing this even if we were not running tracks. It just is a guide for the band, and it almost disappears after a while in your in ear monitors.

So... why might you think this is important?

Well, let me tell you little buck-a-roos!

When thinking of the video, I had a bunch of ideas, and one of them was using the footage that we shot at the Montreal Drum Festival as the underlying, base footage for the video, and we could build on top of that. When we shot this, we were playing to click for the tracks. Soooo...

When we recorded the album (in particular, the song we picked for the video) of course that was recorded to click as well. Soooo...

It was super easy to pull the mastered audio off the album, and sync that up perfectly with the video, even though they have nothing to do with each other. The click enabled it to match perfectly. Now you might think everything can't be exact. But, if Daniel played all the exact same drum fills on the record as on the video, yes, it would be... and it was!

Now, we could not just use that footage. There is a great live music venue in Vancouver called the Tom Lee Music Hall. I asked if I could use it for a few hours a couple of weeks ago. They have a great stage, lighting, truss, fog machine, the whole thing.

I brought a disk with the audio with a click entrance. I played that over the PA in the concert hall, and we shot six passes or takes if you will, with different lighting looks, clothes, etc. The only thing that we needed to fix was to put an audio monitor on stage, since the reflections in the room made me feel a little out of time.

Once I had that, with the click blasting me in the face along with the mix, I just played along to the track, and was plugged in of course, trying to play the parts perfectly - because guitar players will be watching!

Then, all good videos need a plot, so I made one and we shot that footage separately.

Once all the footage was captured it was transferred into Final Cut Pro on a Mac. All the video was lined up to the click that we had, and then it was as easy as picking certain looks and scenes, while dispersing the storyline inside all of the footage with the mastered audio from the album!

It was really quite easy to do, for basically not much money, except for the hall rental, and some compensation to Dave for the hours of editing. Basically, it is quite easy to make a cool looking video for your band or yourself will a little ingenuity, a camera and a program.

The main thing that made it work was the click! Please watch for this video shortly from Magna Carta Records.

May the tone be with you.

David Martone is a guitarist from Vancouver, Canada who has released seven solo CDs which showcase his musical diversity and brilliant guitarmanship.

His 2007 CD is entitled "When The Aliens Come", which features a progressive sound incorporating jazz, rock, fusion and metal influences.

David Martone