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Man walks into a black box, puts up a PCM D50... Modular Synthesizers
Old 1 week ago
Man walks into a black box, puts up a PCM D50...

... and there's abstract artwork behind the singer, and the song has a real recognizable riff/groove, bluesy New Orleansish, and even if you can't really understand what's it's about, there's an engaging, melancholy vibe to it. All in a hard day's night's work, I say.
Old 1 week ago
Gear Nut

Is that your D-50 on the tripod right in front of the performer at about 1:30-1:35 in? Always enjoy what you post, Joel.
Old 1 week ago
Originally Posted by mandodon View Post
... on the tripod right in front of the performer at about 1:30-1:35 in? ...
That's it, with a custom-made windsock sewn outta fake fur, dyed black-- actually the dye only turned it a mottled gray, so I black-i-fied it with a Sharpie.

The really kooky thing about all this? When it's time to record a "proper concert," I gotta lug a hundred pounds of gear and mics and cables into the venue, but for these videos, everything (the D50, my two Canon cameras, the Polaroid cube, all kinds of extra batteries, chargers, SD cards) fits into a shoulder bag, even the Vivitar tripods are featherweight.

I keep telling myself, it has to make sense, maybe a Martian looking down on all this could explain it to me....
Old 4 days ago
Fans of this series will maybe be interested in the follow up... a bittersweet look back-- the singer dreams of driving his father's 70 Chevrolet (I myself had a 69 Nova for a spell... something indescribably delicious about those cars and their era, the sense of possibility, and OH YEAH the siren song of youth, calling across the years....)

Old 3 days ago
And to all you hardcore addicts of this series, I feel your pain...

Old 2 days ago
Lives for gear
hbphotoav's Avatar

Nice work, Joel...

My only criticism to this bit of cinema verité is the age-old need for a consistent exposure through zooms, cuts and pans. Is there a way you can "go manual" with the aperture/shutter settings, or is the variable aperture (brighter at WA vs dimmer zoomed in) the culprit? The lighting seems different, and the tight shots are nice... but the wide stuff has blown highlights, due to AE dealing with large areas of darkness.

Not a deal-killer at all... just a visual annoyance to me.

Cheers, and keep up the good work!


PS: Kudos to the soundperson... that's a really nice AGtr sound to the house...
Old 1 day ago
Originally Posted by hbphotoav View Post
.... the age-old need for a consistent exposure through zooms, cuts and pans....
Thanks for the kind words, and I myself fret about the "variety" of "exposure effects," some of it clear and realistic and some of it nearly underwater, I mean that wide shot off to the side, staring full force into a spotlight... I somehow need to evolve a protocol where I can do a few test takes, before it all starts, and find some manner of common ground... I guess what I call "protocol" is what most normal people would call "preparing to do it right."

Yes indeed, nice roomy sound to the guitar, oddly enough, the black box theater at the Arts Center in Troy NY at one time in the dim past had a beautiful surround system installed at some expense... these days, all that's left are some disconnected hanging speakers and disconnected racks of amps/eq's in the control room, so what you're hearing is Maurizio's regular pub PA, just set up and given a minimal soundcheck. It may be the classic case: it comes down to being mostly in his fingertips.....
Old 1 day ago
Lives for gear
hbphotoav's Avatar

It (the PA) works for the room... and the fingers, voice and talent are on display, to be sure.

As to the exposure levels... the problem seems to be Auto Exposure... which seeks to render every scene at an "average" level... and which is fine outside with sky and trees and flowers and grass, all in the frame (lots of "middle" tones). When you are inside and have a single light source illuminating a small area and are framed with "equal" amounts of light-toned and dark-toned areas, the "average" from the camera's point of view yields a decent flesh tone. When you pull back wide, and 70% of the frame is unlit darkness, the AE tries to "average" things (lightening the darkness) and blows out the flesh tone. Blown highlights can be an interesting effect... but seeing the change with camera framing is... unsettling. If you can, focus on the subject, with face, body and guitar (in this instance) and "lock" the EXPOSURE setting (the light intensity shouldn't change after downbeat unless there is a lights guy who is messing around). Same-same with the "B" cam. Then, as you creep in or pan or move out... the darkness will remain dark, the flesh tones will remain un-blown, and everyone who was there will see in your clips what they saw in the room... a great performance. Might take all of 5 minutes before doors, if that's available to you.

My rule has been, if there are people in the frame, great flesh tone is the goal. My first video camera (an RCA VHS in 1984...) was "auto exposure only" and soon was replaced with a much more expensive Canon (shoulder-strap deck and tethered camera, still VHS) with a manual exposure option. It took, literally, until my iPhone 7+ before I began to trust AE algorithms. It also ruined a small portion of my photos business... now EVERYBODY can shoot well-exposed photos at events (and many photos made with HDR are actually better than any carefully metered and composed shots can be)!

Ahhh... progress...

Carry on!

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