Lessons Learned From Remote Recording 82 Musicians


Part 6: Video

I’m not a picture editor and my video skills are extremely basic. But I did learn some things when making my video, which I’m happy to share.

When working on this video I received videos from lots of sources in lots of different frame rates and formats. Most videos began at random places. Not being a video editor and not having anything other than iMovie I reached out to my good friend Pam March and asked her if she would edit the video for me. Here’s the workflow we figured out:

  1. Convert all the videos to the same format. Make them all the same frame rate, the same codec, the same size.
  2. Once converted I’d import the videos into ProTools and manually line them up to the audio recording I was sent by that person.
  3. Once I got the video in sync, I would bounce out a new video that started exactly at Bar 1. This made it much easier for Pam to deal with sync since she could simply put all the videos in the same place and then just trim the area she needed to use.
  4. Create a detailed shot list. Whether you’re editing the video yourself or using an editor planning will help. A lot.
  5. There’s some psychological magic that happens when you show an instrument that’s playing – the viewer will perceive it as louder than it really is. So when making your video if you want to highlight any particular sonic moments you can use a shot of the corresponding musician to do it. I found this was particularly effective to highlight instrument entrances.


I very much hope this blog entry is helpful to you no matter what level you’re working at, or how big or small your project. Remote recording is an awesome tool in our arsenal, and especially in the days of social distancing due to COVID-19 it’s essential. It requires some extra planning and effort, but the results can be fantastic.

If you enjoyed this and found it useful, please consider giving to the Motion Picture & Television Fund COVID 19 Emergency Relief Fund and/or share the YouTube video on social media and with your friends to help spread awareness for MPTF, and what can be achieved via remote recording.

If your’e not already a member, I suggest you join The Remote Recording Database, it’s a free resource I created a couple of years ago to help musicians and composers/producers, etc. connect. It seems especially useful now.