About Videos - Questions That have gone Around The Group

Over the years, there have been quite a few questions that have gone around the group regarding making videos, the copyright issues, the how-to, the whys and wherefores, much of it about YouTube, but not all of it.


This page discusses YouTube and copyrights, video equipment, producing a video, and video filesizes. We will add more to this page as we get more inputs from members.


If you want to learn how to extract audio from video, ask the group, or use a search engine; we don't have a page on that on our site yet.


You can scroll down the page, or use one of these links to go directly to the section you need:

YouTube and Copyrights

Many members of this group (and others) have asked the question, "If I post a video of my band playing a tune that's still under copyright, is that a violation? Do I need to pay some kind of fees somewhere?"


The answer is "Don't worry. YouTube has you covered."


Google (now Alphabet), the owners of YouTube, has a huge database of copyright owners/adniminstrators, plus they have a process where someone who owns the copyright to a tune and finds it on YouTube can submit a claim.


The bottom line is this: When Alphabet/Google/YouTube and/or a copyright owner finds a copyrighted tune posted on YouTube, YouTube gives the copyright owner their choice of three options. The copyright owner can tell YouTube to (1) Leave it up. No problem, we're glad to have the publicity for our tune; (2) Take it down. We don't want this video of our tune on the internet; or (3) Monetize it. Put ads on the video and share the revenue with the performer/poster. Most times, copyright owners opt for the third choice.


Monetizing Videos. You can monetize videos you post by putting ads on them. How to do that is outside the scope of this discussion, but you can do it. In a nutshell, if your YouTube channel has more than 1,000 subscribers and 10,000 minutes of viewing (per ... month? year?), you are eligible.


Unfortunately, there are dishonest people out there who will claim copyright on your video when in fact they have no right to do so. I imagine they do this under the theory that many people won't notice or care, and so they'll make money even with bogus claims.


If you do monetize your video, watch it periodically in your video manager to see if someone is claiming copyright and trying to share your revenue. If you don't own the copyright, then they are probably legit, but if it's a tune you do own the copyright to, you'll need to submit a dispute. (I have successfully disputed two copyright claims in the last three years.)

Video Equipment and Recording Performances

Today's video cameras have amazing capabilities for the price. For only a few hundred dollars, you can get a videocam about the size of a soup can that will shoot 1920x1080 HD video in Dolby 5.1 surround sound and can zoom in on someone's face from a hundred feet away. They will also record an entire 2-hour performance in one "take," using just battery power. It should also have both digital and optical image stabilization, and some of them even include a built-in projector so you can immediately preview your vids.


UPDATE 2021: Most decent video cameras these days record in 4k, which has 4 times the resolution of HD. Having video of this resolution will use up more memory and make bigger files, but memory is cheap these days, and the higher resolution will allow for much closer zooms and better pans in post-processing. You would be well-advised to buy a 4k camera if you can afford it.


Shop carefully, and be sure the camera will record to an SD memory card, NOT to tape or a disk or just internal memory.


If you have just one camera, also get a decent tripod, because there's no way you can hold the camera while you're out playing the gig. I set up my camera on a tripod in the balcony before a performance, turn it on about 15 minutes before the performance, and just leave it until the gig is done. If you have just the one camera, try to get it up high, enough so people in between won't block the band, so you can see over the music stands, and so you get a decent sound, and so people won't bump into it during the gig.


Your videos will have a much more professional presentation if you can also record the gig from one to three additional cameras. These cameras should be held by people, who can zoom in on sections or soloists, or record the band from interesting angles. Alternatively, put the cameras on tripods and do zooms and pans in post-processing. The camera operators should definitely be familiar with your music so they'll know in advance where and on whom to focus and zoom.


I currently have only one extra camera on a tripod recording my gigs, but having that extra camera angle makes a huge difference in the final video.

Producing A Video

If you don't care about the quality of your video, if you're happy to just shoot it and post it, then you don't need to "Produce" your video. There are thousands upon thousands of these amateur videos on the web, all of them looking like Uncle Philip brought his new camera toy to little Margie's dance recital.


However, if you do want your video to look more professional, if you believe a video of your band reflects on the reputation of your band, then you should get and take the time to learn how to use a good video editing program.


There are a couple dozen good ones out there. You can use a search engine to do research on which one is best for you.


Older (2016) information: My choice, several years ago, based on power and ease of used balanced with cost, was Cyberlink's PowerDirector Ultimate. At the time of this writing (now the mid 2021 update), the full version is about $140, but they push hard to get you to sign up for a monthly plan. It might be just me, but I very much detest having to obligate myself for any ongoing monthly or annual fee. (That's why I abandoned Adobe products - subscription is the only way to get them.) If you want to check out PowerDirector, their pricing page is here.


Newer Info - Video Software Update 2021: Over the last 4 years, I have produced more than 150 videos, and have used five different video editing (production) software programs. I have also read the reviews on more than a dozen others, and there are two of these programs I currently use. I'll describe each below, and tell you why I use two of them and not just one:


CAMTASIA: This is the program I got started on, in about 2001, so I have a lot of experience with it. I still use it today because of its ease-of-use and speed. I also use it to record screencast tutorials. With this program, it is extremely easy for me to ADD things to a video, such as titles, graphics, words that float across the screen and disappear, sound effects, transitions, etc. The program rarely crashes and runs very well on either a PC or a Mac. However, there are a couple of weaknesses, which is why I use a second video editing program. For example, you cannot add overlapping animations to a single clip, and there is almost no color correction available. Even with those minor drawbacks, I still use this program for almost every video I produce. The cost for this program is about $250, and it is available here (affiliate link).


DAVINCI RESOLVE: This is one of the most powerful video editor programs I have ever encountered. It will go neck-and-neck with pro level programs such as Adobe's Premiere Pro (which costs at least $240 a YEAR), but the kicker is that the basic (and very powerful and capable) version of this protram is FREE! The color editor in this program is so powerful, it has been the standard video editor for major movie studios for many years (since they went to digital recording). It also has a hugely powerful integrated sound editor (DAW, or Digital Audio Workstation) and has all the video editing capabilities you could ever want. The main drawback to this program is that because it is so powerful, it is rather complex to learn (there are tons of tutorial videos on the web), and it uses a LOT of computer resources. Those two drawbacks are why I do much of my basic editing in Camtasia. But when I need the power, the color grading, the multiple overlapping animations, the meticulous sound editing, that's when I turn to this program. It is available for PC, Mac, or LINUX through Black Magic Design's website - again, for FREE - here (not an affiliate link).


With a good video editing program, you will be able to create header and trailer title graphics, fades, internal zooms, and actually use a separately-recorded audio track together with multiple camera angles, synchronize them all by the audio, and switch between up to four cameras just like a boss in a production booth. There are tons of effects you can apply, pretty much limited only by how much time you have to learn them.


If you want to see the videos I have produced, go to YouTube and check out David's Tutorials, and The Basic Video Maker VLOG. Also check out www.YouTube.com/mcsbvideos for older music vids of my concert band.


But the bottom line is that if you want a solidly professional video to represent you and your band, you will need to produce it (or have it produced) using some good video editing software.

Video Filesizes

Most of today's (2021) cameras record in the .mp4 compressed video format. This is perfectly fine for any video that is not going to be projected onto a wall-sized screen, and will handle HD and 4k videos just fine. Just as with the difference between WAV (uncompressed) and .mp3 (compressed) audio files, where I bet none of you can tell the difference, I would defy anyone reading this to be able to tell the difference between compressed and uncompressed video file formats.


Compressed formats save a LOT of storage room, meaning they have significantly smaller file sizes.


Some older cameras record only in the m2ts format ("m2ts" stands for MPEG-2 Transport Stream). Unfortunately, YouTube does not accept this format for upload. They accept AVI and WMV and MP4 and MOV and several other formats, but not m2ts.


The size of your video file makes a big difference in the time it takes you to upload your video.


I recently did a test on a recording I did for a Christmas medley I wrote for concert band (Christmas Magic), and here are the results:


FormatResolutionFile Size
m2ts 1920x1080 651MB
AVI 720x480 1.11GB
MP4 1920x1080 159MB


Today, I produce all my videos in the .mp4 format.


This is all I have on videos at the moment, but if you have more you'd like to contribute, post it to the group and I'll see if I can spring time free to come update this page.



More to come as we receive well researched and well-written submissions.



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