DIY Music Video Production

I finally got the motivation to get a small music video production setup together. I’ve only done technical test footage so far. I couldn’t find any other threads here specifically about this subject, though there are some members of this community that make excellent modular synth videos with hundreds of thousands of views on Youtube. Some of which I found before this forum.

I’m curious to see how broad this subject can go. I’m personally concerned with the cameras on tripods, fixed angles, synths in the foreground and visually compelling backgrounds aesthetic. But I’m also generally curious how people with more organization would do more elaborate productions.

I’m also personally interested in the DIY, free and open source vibes, so my setup is as much of that as I can get.

I have a Panasonic GH-1 mirrorless DLSR that can shoot 1080P at 60 FPS. It has an on camera stereo mic that’s not bad. The lens is a 14-140mm. I also have a 20mm prime lens that’s pretty fast but I haven’t messed with that with video.

For audio program material, my setup outputs from a Norns to the speakers, so I’m using the TAPE feature to record. Then I transcode the video with sound from the on-camera mic in VLC then import into Ardour along with the sound recording from the Norns. I used a percussive sound to visually align the onset, which seemed to work great! Then I exported the video from Ardour and uploaded to Youtube.

Things that threw me for a loop

  • My camera records audio at 48K sample rate but the default for VLC to transcode is 44.1K
  • The Norns records audio files at 48K
  • Ardour by default will transcode video (with a very low quality) on export

For the audio problems, I decided to change the session rate in Ardour to 48K and not do any resampling. To solve the video problem, I used the “copy” codec to pass the picture through from the original imported file.

The result came together well. I can’t perceive any timing problems between sounds/gestures/lights. The ambient noise is still present along with the sound from Norns.

In the future I would like to do more live sampling with mlr and modular synths as input. IIRC, the TAPE feature on Norns does not mix sound from the input jacks into a recording. I’ll give it another shot though. All my A/V friends have recommended the Zoom H4 or H6 which looks like a wonderful device, though if I can get away without it for a while…i could hold off on dropping more doll hairs on gear.

Anyhoo, curious how everyone else makes their music videos.


Jumping on this thread as I have a bunch of music videos to do in the next few months.

Slightly different to above as I’ll be working to completed stereo audio tracks.

For now the plan is to shoot on an iPhone X with some Moment lenses, then use an iPad Pro for video processing, glitching and final production (I forget the name of the main app, will add it here later).

If I can’t pull it off with the iPad I’ll switch to Final Cut on Mac, but I hope not to.

I’m covered for tripods, but I’m going to need a gimbal, and the cheap ones all seem to come with major caveats, so advice and experience from those round here would be appreciated.

Other than that I need to work out how to make a mini parachute rig for my phone so I can throw it off a building while filming, and I need to work out some way to drag an old piano into the woods and set fire to it without getting in trouble :wink:


Wow! $100 for an 18mm lens that fits on a smartphone! My tech is like an antique.

I didn’t know what this word meant and also wow. 6 axis motors driven by sensors to stabilize a smartphone. I might have to revisit my old (and heavy) camera setup.

I haven’t even approached the video editing side yet. Ardour only does picture sync with reference frames and timecode.