"How Will I Know" A Capella Video

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Around this time of year, the studio gets lots of requests for college application videos. Most of them are very straight forward--an instrument or vocalist with piano accompaniment. This high school senior, Carly, wanted to do something a little more splashy.

We began by recording her vocals. All four parts were overdubbed to a click using an AKG 414 TLII through a Manley Dual Mono tube preamp. We used an SE Reflection Filter and RealTraps to capture a clean, dry sound.

Next up was the video. We set Carly up in front of a black backdrop, and recorded her singing along with each of the four parts we had just recorded. The four different hair configurations was her idea :)

Then came the post production. First I mixed the music in Digital Performer, panning each Carly to the appropriate left/right position. I then sweetened the overall sound with some subtle EQ, Compression and Reverb. I then imported the audio and video into Final Cut Pro. After syncing the four videos with the music, I positioned them to each occupy a 1/4 screen, created the white divider, and adjusted the gamma to smooth out the folds and imperfections in the backdrop.

The one flaw in the video (and I am being a perfectionist here) is that my brand new LED light that I was using for backlighting (hair) ran out of battery just before we started shooting, so Carly's hair is not as separated from the background as I would have liked.

 Other than that, I like the way this came out and it was great fun to make. The bulk of the credit goes to Carly who is a great singer, expressive on camera, and came to the session absolutely prepared.

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