Tips to a Good Jammit Play Off Video Submission
It would be a shame that your performance is overlooked because of technical reasons. Here are some tips on creating the best quality video and audio for your Jammit Play Off submission:
Using the Jammit App: Your video camera should show you performing the song on your instrument AND pick up the audio from your instrument as well as the source tracks that you’re playing to. When using Jammit, this is best done by plugging the output of your idevice or computer (whatever is running Jammit) into a set of amplified speakers and balance the volume of those tracks with the instrument you are playing. A good rule of thumb is that if it sounds good and well-balanced in the room, then the microphone on your video camera should reasonably represent what your performance.
Play Along with Your MP3 Copy of the Song: Jammit allows you to remove the original instrument that your performance may be replacing, but if you don’t use Jammit, you can jam along to the full mix of the song that you may already own. It’s best to connect your computer to some amplified speakers and balance the level with that of the instrument that you are playing. Again, if you feel that things sound good in the room, that basic balance is what the microphone in your video camera is going to capture.
Video Shooting 101: Here are some tips to make your videos look and sound their best:
1) Make sure that you’re in frame so we can see your performance. If the camera is too close to you or it’s too zoomed in, then we don’t see enough of you to get a sense of how good your performance is. Conversely, if your camera is too far away, it’s tough for anyone to see what you are doing.
2) Make sure that you’re well-lit. A lot of cameras are not very good in low light. Most people’s normal lighting in a room often times isn’t enough to properly light your performance. Sometimes turning on some extra lamps can help a lot. Natural light usually works the best. Be careful to keep the camera pointed in the opposite direction of a bright light source; you want the camera to capture the light reflecting off you and not be pointing directly into the light source. Be mindful of strange shadows that may result when you are experimenting with the lighting.
3) Find a quiet place to record. Background noise like traffic, screaming kids or excessive machine noise (like air conditioners, fans, etc.) may compete with your performance and make it difficult for people to actually hear what you are doing.
4) Try not to record in an environment that is too ambient. Large rooms with reflective surfaces may make your performance sound distant and difficult to hear.
5) Make sure that the audio you are recording does not distort. Sometimes if the sounds that you are recording are too loud or too close to the video camera microphone, they will distort. If you play back your video and find that your sound is clipping, unclear or hard to hear, then you may be distorting the input of your microphone. Some cameras have a setting where you can turn down or “pad” the level of incoming sound.
6) Avoid putting video effects on your submission. The more clear and honest that your performance is, the better the chance that it may be recognized for what it is.