Kerry Rodgers

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since Oct 31, 2011
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North Texas, Dallas area suburbs, US zone 8
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Recent posts by Kerry Rodgers

Dez, that looks like some great progress is being made there!

I'm looking forward to a detailed review of the ginger beer when it is uncorked!
3 weeks ago
I'm so happy for you, Clayton!  Congratulations on completing so much work, and thanks for sharing it with us!

click to visit Clayton's Bootcamp Experience


Sending my pledge, also!

1 month ago
I found another free video editor called Shotcut.  (Be a little careful what you are clicking on there:  google is advertising their competitors on the Shotcut site!)

This one actually says it is open source, and is avail for Win, Mac, and Linux!.  Here's a review channel giving a demo/tutorial of it:



This is just searching at this point.   However, this one looks compelling enough that I might try it.
2 months ago
One more thought about the microphone...  This is a technique that would apply equally with the camera-built-in microphone or an external one.

When you are recording the sink, kettle, spoon and the chickens are too loud, you could probably go into the camera's settings menus, and find something like "Sound Rec. Level".   There should be an Auto and a Manual setting.  For sure it is going to default to Auto, and probably also keep resetting itself back to Auto.    For voice, you probably want Auto setting.  However, for the sink-spoon-teaset clips, where there is quiet between the different clicks, Auto will bring up the level, making the chickens louder.   So for these "what I'm working on" sounds, if the environment is noisy, you may get a noticeable improvement if you set to Manual.   Then you'll have to manually set the level you want, which will take some experimentation.   I'm pretty sure it will sound better with a manual setting, but I'm not sure how fiddly it may be to find a good manual setting.

Something to experiment with that requires no purchase!
2 months ago
Bump...  I hope someone with actual experience will reply here...

In the mean time, I always expect beginner intros to products live on youtube.   So I did a quick search.   I found this video, which shows a quick runthru of using DaVinci Resolve.  



It looks very good, but has a disclaimer at the end that it needs a very beefy, late-model PC to run.   This opinion seems to be borne out by further search hits on other sites, though I cannot vouch for these.

The same youtuber is recommending (he's an affiliate for) Filmora which specifically advertises itself as running on older, lower-end hardware.  It looks like it costs 60 USD and has a free trial version (I didn't try it.)
Same youtuber has a beginner tutorial for Filmora:


Hope this helps.... just some searches...
2 months ago

r ranson wrote:
...
My goal is to put about 40 hours a month into learning video recording, editing, and actually getting out there and trying things.  For 12 months.  Then I decide if I like it enough to keep going.  So basically, at this stage, I don't want to invest a lot of money in equipment.  Just enough to get me through beginner and into intermediate skill.
...
I'm hoping the new video editor I try next will have the ability to change the level of the sound.  I tried to remove the sound altogether, but that didn't work out.  I think a big chunk of it is user-error and another big chunk is the limitations of the software.
...
That's what I'm wondering.  Given my lack of skills at this time, something that sits on top of the camera and records the sound into the camera might be my best starting place.  Then IF I like making videos by the end of the 12 months of learning, I could invest in a separate audio recorder.  By then, I should know how to sync audio.



I love your focussed approach!   Your microphone-on-top idea seems like the next logical step.  

My biggest regret on videography was the amount of time I wasted on a bad editor software/hardware setup.  I didn't learn much, because of the friction of working with bad tools.   What if the handle kept coming off your Flick Carder as you pulled, or your knitting needles had burrs all over that kept catching the yarn and shreading it?   You'd fix that, right?   If a beginner didn't fix those things, then they wouldn't be able to learn fibre arts.  I don't know which video editor to recommend, but if it were me, I wouldn't spend much time on anything weird, and/or buggy, and/or hard to learn (like I did before).  For video, you'll likely spend more time with the editor than the camera, so it isn't the right place to cut corners.

I just bought a monthly subscription for my son to the Adobe apps (edu discount applies even to high schoolers).   I'm no lover of Adobe, but he was already familiar from his school, and they are very popular, with lots of learning and hints on the web.  (He really wanted Lightroom, but now is talking about a new project in Premier Pro.). He wouldn't use something I chose for him!

Oops, I just saw you've started a thread about the DaVinci editor.   Hope it works out (followed)!
2 months ago
Ok, so my experience is limited to being a hobbyist doing field recordings of musicians 20+ years ago, and trying to expose my son to this sort of thing, and being a fan of a few youtubers.  So take what I say with that grain of salt....

I think the short answer to "which microphone?" is the usual permaculture answer: "it depends", which can be an invitation to consider more context.  And like in permaculture, the summary of that conversation is "it's more about the technique and skill of the practitioner than it is about the tools" and "there isn't going to be a once-and-done answer for each different shot in your video".


GOALS.   I love your "fibre prep - washing wool" video.  I'd seen it before and thought it was good, but watched it with different eyes and ears when you posted here what you were wanting it to be.   I'm going to assume you want to shoot how-to videos for youtube that don't make the beginner mistakes, starting from where this video is.   Better than that (netflix-level, hollywood-level) is really not achievable without putting in your 10,000 hours and having a crew.

Recorded video and audio is always giving the viewer a somewhat synthetic experience.   When you are there, you can look around, you can tune out the chickens, etc.   Just by the nature of recording, the viewer/listener cannot do those things.   For example, the chickens probably didn't annoy you when you were there, but they are too loud when you sit down to edit.  So the filmmaker does things to compensate.   And our viewers have seen lots of film and video, and have expectations around how those things are done.  In general, most video producers are going for audio that adds to the experience, without drawing undue attention to itself.

Also, everything is a compromise.   "I don't want any wind sound at all." -- this is not literally achievable of course, but it takes some experience to know what will be "good enough".  It looks like your video was not really in a super windy environment, but in-camera microphones are just notoriously bad for wind noise.  Likely a dead-cat wind sock would be good enough for this situation, but maybe not on a more windy day--you'd have to think about shielding the mic (maybe with your body or a wall), and/or shooting a different time/place, and/or editing the worst of the wind bursts out, or maybe replacing the audio all together.  Similarly, every microphone and every recorder (including the one in the camera) add some noise ("self noise", "noise floor"), even in a totally quiet environment--it cannot be zero because physics.   The amount any given equipment choice adds isn't relevant for your sink and kettle scene, but if you were trying to capture the sounds of carding for that other video, or birdsongs, or the sound of a shuttle thrown across a loom, it would be very relevant.


EXAMPLES from your video.   Again, I think this was a great effort.  But re-watching after you asked, here's what I noticed that I would probably want to change if it were me:  
  • 0:06-0:11 - the kettle and stove maybe don't need to be this loud.  Maybe bring down the volume in edit.   The chickens are too loud in the background--how to solve?  How far away are the chickens? How measurable-with-instruments-loud are they in real-live, relative to the tea kettle?  Getting away from the camera's built-in mic will likely help a lot.   A more directional mic *may* help, but up against that wall (sound reflector) or if the chickens are quite close, it may not.  Maybe the best is to experiment while shooting, stopping to listen to what you are getting.  Does your camera support a headphone output for this purpose? Listening only later isn't likely to make you happy.  Bringing your external mic closer to the stove and kettle is surely one thing to try.
  • 0:14 - the video cross fades to the new scene, but there is a sudden change in the background audio.  Not too big in this case, but it can be distracting.   Best to avoid this audio difference when recording in the first place, but if not, then cross-fade audio in edit to hide it.  
  • 0:16 - first loud wind-on-mic noise.  Possibly a wind sock on an external mic would have taken care of this, but still, some can slip through.   If there are only a few of these and they don't cover important audio (such as speech, shears), then you can plop down some "background" sound over the top to hide the burst.   You should always get some specially-recorded background sound from each location, even indoors ("room tone"), but you can also just find another quiet spot to copy.  You'll likely need to cross fade and manually adjust volumes to get a good enough hide.  Fancy edit software may have tools to make this easier.   It's like removing a zit from someone's face in photoshop.
  • 0:16-1:00 - I don't see any need for camera audio here at all.  You could substitute specially-recorded background sound to keep chickens and wind down to your desired level.   That audio could be recorded at a different place, further from the chicken pen, and even on a different day.
  • 1:16-ff - Sink, kettle, spoon sound good to me.  I think you're working to hide chickens, though?  If there were a voice-over, then you wouldn't be able to hide the chickens with the music.
  • 2:57 - Rooster.  Maybe one rooster crow when the only other sound is the sink faucet *might* be tolerable?
  • 3:06 - Rooster's gotta go.  I'd have shot more video, maybe repeated the action or the whole scene.  You could try to remove the rooster by pasting other audio over, but not likely 100% effective.   If the rooster keeps up, he needs to be further away.  I assume the sink isn't moving, so what if the rooster was in a crate and closed up in the garage for 20 minutes?
  • 3:14 - Reshoot due to rooster.   I'd be ready to harvest him by now.
  • 3:45-end - Substitute background sound, as the visible actions are quiet ones.

  • and
  • (flick carder video) - I don't it would be possible to get usable audio of the (quiet) carding process in an outdoor farm setting with any type or $$ of equipment, at any experience level.   Shoot indoors with a close-in mic, or prepare to re-perform the carding indoors later while watching the video and trying to sync your motions -- like Foley in the movies. Maybe hard for carding, but maybe easier for spinning?  It depends.



  • EQUIPMENT. There are some really good audio options nowadays in the prosumer space these days.  However, there isn't likely to be one that will do everything.  An on-camera shotgun-type mic is pretty popular with youtubers, but is best for presenters' voices or other stuff that doesn't need to sound too natural, or have too much stereo field.   The "shotgun" refers to the long, thin geometry of the thing, which is designed to be very forward-directional.  This may or may not make the chickens quieter--you still need technique that considers the space you are in, and to listen to what you are capturing in the field, before you finish shooting.  A single shotgun mic, may be "good enough" for everything you want to do right now, or it may not.  A second microphone option for some shots may make a big difference, depending on your goals.   For microphone-on-camera, RODE is the most popular brand, with many choices.  

    Another level would be a wireless mic system feeding the camera.  This is almost de rigueur on youtube these days to get the presenter out of the background mush--a wireless lapel mic on the presenter's shirt. But wireless can be used for other effects as well.  It allows you to get the microphone close, but just out of shot (or even inconspicuously in-shot!).   If you're working alone, this could mean clipped to a presenter's clothes, on an additional tripod, or taped to a porch post or something.  Usually the wireless system can be used with different microphones.  RODE is popular in this space as well.

    The next level would be having a separate, compact audio recorder.  These can go on top of the camera, on a tripod, or anywhere really.   They can record themselves, feed into the camera audio, or both.  They always have a headphone output.    The most popular brand is ZOOM.  They have a wide range and most models have decent microphones on the front, plus inputs for more external mics.  This is a huge upgrade, and the price for what you get is almost insanely low.   The audio quality is much better than the in-camera recorder, and the additional flexibility is huge.   The cost is that you have to sync up the separately-recorded audio to your camera video at edit time.   For a few sink-and-kettle scenes, that's no big deal, but for many cuts with tight requirements, it can become a lot of labor, though there would be workflow techniques to reduce this, depending on what your editor software supports.   I hear that modern video edit software can do this automatically, but I haven't tried it, so I don't know how effective it is.  An external recorder would give you the most flexibility for the first $200 you spend, and that's what I suggest.

    One pitfall:  there are products that try to leverage your smartphone.   I don't think the inherent compromises are worth it, except in very special cases.

    So, in conclusion, I think getting some equipment of some kind that you could practice with is the best way forward.  If you decide this isn't something you want to spend time practicing (a totally valid choice!), then I don't think rental equipment will help.   You'd be better finding a volunteer to do it for you in exchange for them getting the experience.  

    Sorry this got long.  Writing it will probably be the most fun I have today. . I thought there's so much good videography how-to on youtube these days, that a quick search for "audio for b-roll video" would get someone explaining what I tried to write above.  There were many promising search results, but unfortunately, the ones I previewed were either low quality, or focussed only on ways of getting the presenter's voice.   I'll keep looking as I have a chance.

    Good luck on this adventure, and keep us informed!   I'm subscribed to your channel!


    2 months ago

    Clayton High wrote:pretty sad Kerry... it'll live



    Funny, that's what folks say about me...   ha ha.    Thanks for taking good care of it, Clayton!
    2 months ago

    Ken Schmidt wrote: then a raccoon tore the mesh all to bits and ate my grapes--all of them


    Every year, all my grapes disappear from the vines all at once.  I've been watching, trying to spot, and I think I have narrowed it down to the squirrels.  Any ideas for that varmit?  Do people net or bag just the fruit clusters?
    2 months ago

    Clayton High wrote:Your tree got a bit chewed on Kerry... all safe and sound behind a fence now...


    Thanks for fencing my tree, Clayton!  It doesn't look so bad.  When you posted before about the deer attack, I feared the worst!  :)
    3 months ago