Be prepared to have your live show video displayed.

Considering most computers come with video editing software I think it’s a requirement bands should have a nice video show going along behind them as they perform. I don’t think it matters if it’s HD footage shot with a new Canon 5D Mark II, a Flip or even a built-in cell phone camera. As with audio it’s the content that counts. Last year I did a post titled, “The best codec for video in Ableton Live on a Mac.” in which I discuss which codec will tax your CPU the least. My finding was a bit surprising and there is a good discussion in the comments so check it out: click here

Most of the time I bring my small but powerful Casio XJ-360 LCD projector with me. I also bring a scrim which is essentially a see through cloth that doesn’t have any wrinkles when pulled tight. An advantage of getting a proper scrim is I can shoot back towards it or I can place the projector behind it (aka reverse projection). You could put a projector in your rider and rely on the club to have one for you. However, I’ve found that most of the time the projectors they have waiting are ancient and the bulbs are dim. Another issue with using the club’s house projector is many times their units are attached to the ceiling in front of the stage so you would have to run a long cable to your computer.

“A scrim or gauze is a very light textile made from cotton, or sometimes flax. Its light weight and translucence means it is often used for making curtains. The fabric can also be used for bookbinding and upholstery. Scrims have also seen extensive use in theatre. The variety used for special effects is properly called sharktooth scrim. However, in theater a scrim can refer to any such thin screen, and are made out of a wide variety of materials. Scrim has a rectangular weave that is similar in size in its openings to a window screen.” – Wikipedia.org

When I play huge events I leave my projector at home. When there is more than 20,000 people in a stadium my own set up is pretty useless. I do come prepared though bringing with me two types of adapters allowing the visual crew to hook into my system. My Macbook Pro came with an Apple DVI to VGA Display Adapter connector and I also purchased the Apple DVI to Video Adapter. With these two adapters my computer has inputs any proper video crew should be able to utilize.

Here’s a bonus tip: If you want a cheap fast way to have a slick video produced for you head over to Animoto.com, upload a bunch of photos of your band, pay $3 and viola they shoot you back a pretty good looking video.

photo credits: goodrob13 and jimmyroq

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on December 22, 2008 at 11:53 am, filed under live performance, video and tagged , , , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



The best codec for video in Ableton Live on a Mac.

Ableton Live video window - screenshot

Let’s face it, every good song you write should have a music video. Every PC comes with easy to use free video editing software. The MP3 players and phones we use to listen to music on all play videos. YouTube and dozens of other popular websites are ready to help you spread your video all over the net. Why miss such out on such a great promotion tool? As I mentioned in another post every musician also has to be a performing musician. Since you have all these videos why not play them behind you when you perform live? I’ve been doing exactly that for years. Here’s a video of me performing in Stuttgart: The Horrorist Live, Stuttgart See my LCD projector shooting my record label’s logo behind me?Things to Come Records - logo projection

I just bought a new Macbook Pro and I decided to completely redo the video I project during my shows. Ableton Live allows me to use any Quicktime .mov file. Simple right? Well no because within the Quicktime format there are dozens of Codecs and options you can choose when rendering your video file.

Codec stands for Coder Decoder and in this subject it’s refering to Coding and Recoding compression. Why do we want compression on our video file? If you were to export your video from your editing system (Final Cut Pro) without any compression the file size would be huge. Wikipedia says about one Gigabyte every four minutes. Besides taking up hard drive space large video files (more…)

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on October 25, 2007 at 9:47 am, filed under Ableton Live, apple, live performance, video and tagged , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.