Settings for youtube videos?

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pateceramics
Posts: 42
Joined: 06 Feb 2013 14:52

Settings for youtube videos?

Postby pateceramics » 07 Apr 2013 19:12

Hi all,

I use imovie to make videos that combine a midi sound file with the sheet music, to help conductors and singers get a better sense of the piece. (Follow the bouncing ball-style videos). But my movies always look blurry on youtube. They look fine in iMovie, but when I post them to youtube, it is difficult to read the text or the notes. I've looked at a few tutorials online for "optimum" settings for iMovie for posting to youtube, but nothing I've tried has made any difference.

Has anyone else had this problem? I'm assuming it's a mis-match between file size/quality on iMovie and file size/quality on youtube, but I haven't found the right box to check yet to correct the issue. My spiffy programmer husband, who writes software for airplane navigation and twitter and other spiffy things, is also stumped.

Here's the latest video I posted so you can see what I mean: http://youtu.be/93TIh2qysT8

Thanks for any ideas,
Maggie Furtak

Cdalitz
Posts: 139
Joined: 24 Apr 2007 14:42

Re: Settings for youtube videos?

Postby Cdalitz » 08 Apr 2013 12:34

pateceramics wrote:I use imovie to make videos that combine a midi sound file with the sheet music, to help conductors and singers get a better sense of the piece.


Even though many choir conductors ask for this, I fear that providing an automatically generated midi sound does more harm than good.
The singers thus learn from the start to sing in an unmusical way, which is very difficult to retrain later. Reminds me of the way how children learn writing today (in Germany): first they learn a wrong spelling, because "it's simpler" and later they are told that words are not written as spoken and that they have to relearn everything (unfortunately many children refuse to do so, and therefore never learn to write correctly). Why first learn it wrong (singing music as it is written means singing it wrong in almost all cases)?

Here's the latest video I posted so you can see what I mean: http://youtu.be/93TIh2qysT8


Apparently, you have used 3:4 ratio in iMovie, while YouTube uses a different ratio. When creating the project in iMovie, chose the other format. If that does not help: have you tried Vimeo? Maybe they use different Video conversions?

Chris

pateceramics
Posts: 42
Joined: 06 Feb 2013 14:52

Re: Settings for youtube videos?

Postby pateceramics » 08 Apr 2013 19:01

Thanks for help, Chris. I'll try that and report back. I can't remember what the options were, but I remember that there were several!

And I agree with you, that to learn a piece just from a midi is not a particularly musical way to learn it. But I make the little midi videos to give people a chance to decide whether or not they want to try of my pieces, not because I expect them to learn the piece from the video. I know if I were looking for a new piece of music to try with my group, I'd be much more likely to quickly listen to a sound file and decide to get the music, than to bother to sit down at the piano and plunk out notes to decide. And to have a video that allows you to read along with the parts while you listen is particularly helpful.

That said, I just performed the "O Death, Where is Thy Sting" duet from Messiah, and I was completely unable to find a recording that included the optional section in the middle. (We did the WHOLE thing.) There is a cut of about 3 pages in the middle and, apparently, everyone chooses to take the cut. It's a difficult piece of music and my tenor buddy and I were having a hard time getting it together, so I typed the whole thing into my composition software, generated a midi file that included the missing middle section, and sent it off to my duet partner. Being able to hear everything made a huge difference and we were able to perform the piece without incident, (and also very musically). Hearing the midi helped us get the timing and the notes into our heads, so that for the performance, we were able respond to each other and to the orchestra and to concentrate on creating a musical sound, rather than worrying about one of us missing an entrance and causing a train wreck.

Midis and recordings are a helpful way to practice outside of rehearsal, while you are running errands or working on your computer. They can help people get a sense of a piece, so that during rehearsal they already know the notes, and you can spend your time with them working to create a beautiful and expressive sound, instead of fixing mistakes. If your singers have their heads buried in the music and aren't watching the conductor or listening to the other parts because they are working so hard to sight-read the music, they are wasting valuable rehearsal time. Now, if you never practiced except with the midi... then, yes, you would sound like robots, I agree. (:

(And if anyone would like the "O Death" midi of alto, tenor and continuo, let me know and I'll send it to you. I'm afraid I didn't take the time to add the rest of the string parts, but I still found it helpful.) pateceramics@yahoo.com

-Maggie

pateceramics
Posts: 42
Joined: 06 Feb 2013 14:52

Re: Settings for youtube videos?

Postby pateceramics » 16 Apr 2013 01:34

Ah ha! Thanks Chris! Being sure that the video was widescreen seems to have helped at least a bit. Now the small player is clear. The full-screen player is clear. The large player is still blurry, but I think that it looks better than before. Here's a new one for comparison:

http://youtu.be/EI2qy6azSaw

Thanks for your help,
Maggie Furtak
techno-dunce

CHGiffen
Site Admin
Posts: 1677
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Location: Hudson, Wisconsin, USA

Re: Settings for youtube videos?

Postby CHGiffen » 21 Apr 2013 18:13

Hi Maggie ... nice video, nice piece of music! :D

I wondered, though, why you have (usually the tenor line) going back and forth between B-flats (from the key signature) and B-naturals, when C-flats instead of B-naturals might be a little more idiomatic and less confusing (especially when there is no cautionary accidental for a B-flat at the beginning of a bar after a B-natural in the preceding bar). :?

Just a thought. :)
Charles H. Giffen
President of CPDL and
Manager of ChoralWiki
User pageTalk pageComposer page

Early Choral Music? Zephyrus (I sang 12 seasons 1992-2004 with this group).

pateceramics
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Joined: 06 Feb 2013 14:52

Re: Settings for youtube videos?

Postby pateceramics » 26 Apr 2013 03:13

Thanks! I'm glad you like it.

And because I never took theory, in answer to your question. So I don't actually know the rule. (Hastily searching the internet for more information on this topic and getting ready to edit my copy...) I'm acutely aware of the gaping holes in my education, so please, no one be shy about pointing it out to me when I break with conventional notation. I'm just a singer. I know NOTHING. I will not be offended by advice.

I've tried to find a summer course, or continuing ed. course here in Boston that I could sign up for, but even with all the wonderful music schools in the area, I've been unable to find one that offers even level 1 theory courses to students who aren't currently enrolled in their degree programs. I don't have the prerequisites to get into a masters program. I was an art major. So I haven't had theory, conducting, or composition, and I don't play piano. Sigh... Oh, I'd love to have taken conducting. That would come in handy pretty regularly for my church gig... Anyone in Boston have ideas for me? (: Know someone who'd like to mentor informally, or would be willing to let me audit a class if nothing else?

And this, of course is assuming I could find the time or money. I'm a self-employed potter. So I'm short on both.

But! My birthday is coming up and I come from a family of librarians, so if anyone has any favorite theory books to recommend, (French or English) I can add them to my wish list and they will almost certainly appear. Currently on the list are Walter Piston's "Harmony" and "Anatomy of the Orchestra" by Normal del Mar. And I'm working my way through Suzuki Piano Book 1 on my own.

I can read music and I know about the circle of fifths. That's about all I've got. I know nothing of the conventions of chord progressions or counterpoint. Thoughts?

Can I expect to get by at my current level just muddling along and doing lots of reading?

I'm going to need some way to stay involved with choral music when my lungs give out from the inevitable silicosis. Being a potter is working under a strict and deadly deadline. I can either end up directing when I can't breathe anymore, (I'm not sure I have the personality for that), or I can compose quietly in my little house. Composing seems more my style.

Sorry for the wordy plea for guidance, but I need all the help I can get, and you guys are fabulous! I'm so glad to have found this community.

(:
Maggie Furtak

pateceramics
Posts: 42
Joined: 06 Feb 2013 14:52

Re: Settings for youtube videos?

Postby pateceramics » 26 Apr 2013 12:49

So having thrashed around the internet this morning while drinking my coffee...

Regarding the key signature and accidentals for my "I Laid Me Down" piece, is it more correct to add a C-flat as an accidental than a B-natural because one could think of the measures where that accidental occurs as slipping from the key of D-flat major to G-flat major? In which case the key signature would be written by adding a C-flat to the existing B-flat, E-flat, A-flat, D-flat, and G-flat? While by contrast, there is NO key signature that contains B-natural, E-flat, A-flat, D-flat, and G-flat. Have I got that right?

Does this change if we are thinking in terms of the more interesting modes rather than standard major and minor? (I don't know if that would apply in this case, but just curious). I'm very fond of old-time Appalachian music, and a lot of the claw-hammer banjo tunes I like to play plunge into the same modal territory as much early choral music. But with the changes in understanding of keys over time, and how they are written, I don't quite know what the rules are. (And of course, traditional music is passed down by ear and memorized, so I never get to look at a piece of sheet music).

(Side note, to those who aren't familiar, old-time banjo players spend a lot of time re-tuning their banjos, not because they are out of tune, but because the rhythm of a piece is built into the right hand fingerings AND the left hand fingerings. You often change the tuning for each piece to a different open chord. This frees up your left hand to add extra rhythmic complexity, instead of it being tied up making chords. And the traditional tunings all have wonderful names. My favorite is the "graveyard" tuning. Lends itself to wonderful eery modal goodness. All those tragic songs of lost love and drowned children...)

And if you really want to see a piece that's an affront to modern musical notation, get ready for my next one! I'm working on a three-part men's piece that has some chords Hindemith would love and changes meter and tempo constantly, like Rutter's "The Lord is My Shepherd." I'm probably writing it in the least-intuitive way possible, and will look forward to any advice your collected wisdom can offer. (: So far it sounds divine, though. Or as divine as something can sound as a midi. Too bad my group doesn't have the man-power to pull it off. I'll have to throw it to the wind and hope someone picks it up.

Side note: men, what is your whistling range? I would love to add some whistling to a section of this piece, but I don't know what an "average" note range is for a male whistle. There are enough people who can't whistle at all that I don't want to add extra difficulty with a difficult range.

Merry Friday,
Maggie Furtak

CHGiffen
Site Admin
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Location: Hudson, Wisconsin, USA

Re: Settings for youtube videos?

Postby CHGiffen » 26 Apr 2013 18:50

Hi Maggie,

Although the 5 flat key signature of "I laid me down" is nominally D-flat major or B-flat minor, the music you are writing has a wonderful modal character that seems to be really Dorian. If the piece were transposed down a half-step, there would be no sharps or flats in the key signature (nominally C major or A minor), but the Dorian mode would be the scale beginning on D. The Dorian mode has the peculiar property that sometimes the (somewhat ambiguous) sixth degree of the scale (B when there are no sharps or flats in the key signature, or C-natural if there are 5 flats in the key signature) is flattened a half-step (to B-flat with no accidentals in the key signature, or to C-flat in your case with 5 flats in the key signature).

Think of "What Child is this who laid to rest" ... if sung with no accidentals in the key signature, it begins on D:
D What
F Child
G is
AB this - some versions have the B as a B-flat, others as a B-natural
A who
G laid
E to
CD rest
E on
F Ma-
D ry's

And later:
C This,
CB this - the B is often a B-natural but sometimes a B-flat
A is
G Christ
E the
CD King

If "What Child is this ..." is transposed up a half-step to 5 flats, the B-natural/B-flat ambiguity becomes a C-natural/C-flat ambiguity ... exactly as in "I laid me down" ... which may help to explain why I suggested the B-naturals be changed to C-flats. I hope I haven't clouded the issue with this explanation (I've been know to cast cloudy spells).

As an long time ex-banjo and autoharp player of older folk music, I understand about banjo tunings and also about the modal character of Appalachian folk music ... this means you must have good musical blood in you, as far as I'm concerned! If you want to discuss various choral music composing issues with me, feel free to write me, Maggie. It's good to have someone like you composing in your own idiom.

Chuck
Charles H. Giffen
President of CPDL and
Manager of ChoralWiki
User pageTalk pageComposer page

Early Choral Music? Zephyrus (I sang 12 seasons 1992-2004 with this group).

pateceramics
Posts: 42
Joined: 06 Feb 2013 14:52

Re: Settings for youtube videos?

Postby pateceramics » 11 May 2013 23:48

Well, here we go again... another piece with shifting keys, modes, etc., many chords that I can't even begin to identify... (and changing time signatures too this time! that's a new one for me!), and here's me, still without much music theory to help me out.

I'd love advice from anyone who has a minute to spare for a quick critique. If anyone spots anything confusing in my notation, or has practical advice about how to handle this sort of piece, please don't be shy about telling me. (Have I just tried to cram too many ideas into one piece of music? It is a bit scattered. I certainly can't identify a formal "form" for it.) Have I used my time signatures properly, to keep it conductible for the conductor?

I'm here to learn, and this piece was a stretch for me.

I've just posted the score, "All the Little Fish," but here's a link to the youtube page so you can read the score and listen simultaneously in case that's a help.

http://youtu.be/x6cyAXmRAFU

I haven't figured out the best way to get the MuseScore software to express a rit or a fermata in the sound file, so I apologize if the tempo changes seem a bit choppy. The score markings are what I intended. The sound file is what I'm stuck with.

Thanks for any advice! I have some theory books coming for my birthday, and I've discovered a music theory class at the local community art center and am thinking about signing up. Here's hoping it's at a good level to answer some questions for me. (:

-Maggie Furtak

vaarky
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Re: Settings for youtube videos?

Postby vaarky » 18 May 2013 01:59

(Unrelated aside to Maggie: My sight-singing group read through I Laid Me Down and quite liked it!)

pateceramics
Posts: 42
Joined: 06 Feb 2013 14:52

Re: Settings for youtube videos?

Postby pateceramics » 25 May 2013 02:41

(Unrelated aside to vaarky: Thanks so much! Glad you all enjoyed it!)


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