Recording and Editing 101

Our third technology lecture taught some very essential and practical skills I’ve already put to good use. Firstly, what are some of the key ingredients to capturing quality sound and video. We were fortunate enough to have a high quality DSLR camera, video camera with two condenser microphone inputs and lights to really aid visual enhancement. This was particularly important when shooting in a room where light and sound were not in our favour.

Having the two cameras enables both different angle shots and the DSLR can also be the “redundancy” recording option should anything fail with the mics. We kept the DSLR still and focused while used the video camera to zoom in on the action. Best practice is to all start with a “clap” so for editing purposes the two videos can be easily aligned in any video editing software.

Having this experience helped immensely on prac where suddenly I found myself filming for a year 12 end of year video. Sound was not the critical factor here but lighting was and we could rearrange the room allowing for much better camera lighting. Similarly, the tip on rolling cables came in handy more than once – including untangling and re-rolling a 50m ethernet extension cord (transferrable praccie skills!)

Ideally, the more energy you have in capturing the best video and sound in the beginning, the better the outcome for the editing later down the track, in both time and outcomes. I learnt that the hard way after recording a “Me in a minute” video where without realising I was knocking the microphone only to lead to much editing stress later trying to cut out the background “bumping” by reducing gain levels and changing X levels without reducing the left over voice quality.

Luckily I was using Screen Flow that gave me the best chance of editing this bad recording (lesson learnt!) Screen Flow is one of the top video editing programs on the market. Like its competitors such as Adobe Premier Pro, Final Cut Pro and Camtasia, it uses a linear video editing. You can edit multiple layers of video and sound and unlike the competitors; it has the ease of viewing vertically to apply cross fading much easier than some of the other programs.

The usability on editing features such as highlighting cursor movement, keyboard strokes, zooming and focusing is quite initiative. I also had the opportunity to compare against Camtasia. Very similar to Screen Flow however the useability of Screen Flow definitely outweighed Camtasia. I found it difficult without significant cutting to easily fade between different video options. Zooming focus could also be a little tedious. Overall however I could edit volume gains levels, apply volume and screen fading, including annotation and cursor movements and adjust clip speeds. It didn’t have the same sound editing extension options like compression and panning (that I could see). However it was a step up editing wise from iMovie.

Here is a comparison video I made with Camtasia looking at Soundtrap.

Despite all the editing features Camtasia had to offer, the main limitation was that the linear timeline was in such a small screen area that couldn’t be adjusted. This becomes difficult when you have multiple video, audio plus call out features that you’re editing at once. Unfortunately, once you’ve learnt what you can do in Screen Flow, you will work out quickly what you can’t do in others! If you were using this regularly it would be work comparing Screen Flow to Adobe Premier Pro both cost and usability for your needs. For me, at least there is still iMovie with the free price tag.