A Beginner’s Guide to Recording Music Videos for YouTube
Millions of people log on to YouTube every day to watch or listen to their favorite tunes. It is one of the best platforms all budding and professional musicians use to build their brand and get more people to know about their music.
And whether you are a solo act or working with a group, you can also get the chance to earn some money if your videos perform well on YouTube even if you are an independent artist.
But with numerous professional musicians and their well-made music videos to contend with, becoming a YouTube star or even finding some success on this platform can be pretty tricky, especially now that there are already so many YouTubers.
To get the attention you want, capturing your performances with the right equipment is essential as it can give you the edge you need and put you at par with professionals.
Must-Have Recording Equipment
If music and performing are your passion and you want to make it big on YouTube, you may want to invest in some basic studio and recording equipment.
Digital recordings are types of music videos popular on YouTube and other social media sites. When you go with this option, you won’t need more than the basic recording equipment and learn about or pay for editing services.
But what devices do you need to record your performances? The most important ones are:
A studio microphone
A microphone is the first equipment you need to have to record your performances.
Choose a mic that is designed for studio use. If you will perform mostly by yourself and record instruments one at a time, you only need to get one or two mics.
If you are unsure which brand to buy, do some research first. There are several options to choose from, even if you have a limited budget.
Monitors are staple fixtures in recording studios. However, since you will be working in a makeshift one and only starting, a pair of headphones will be your ideal listening companion.
If you don’t have a good set of headphones, now would be a great time for an upgrade. A closed-back type is ideal if you want the best one for recording.
This type helps keep sounds from bleeding and being picked up by the microphone — something that you don’t want to happen if you wish to share perfect music videos.
In case you are hesitant to buy more expensive, high-quality headphones, keep in mind that it is worth the splurge. They last longer, which means you can use them for years. You can also use them for purposes other than recording.
Video recording device
Since you are still a beginner, you can use your Apple or Android mobile phone to record your videos. They have features that you can use to come up with good-quality clips.
To ensure your videos do not appear shaky and to avoid adjusting your device repeatedly, use a tripod.
If you are not satisfied with the video quality of your current smartphone or ready to buy a video camera, it is best to get one with facial recognition to keep the device in focus. This is an excellent feature that will help you with recording selfie-style videos.
Additionally, look for a device that has a slow-motion video recording feature and has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity so you can quickly transfer video clips to your smartphone or computer.
A laptop or computer
Your smartphone has several features you can use to enhance or modify your digital recordings. However, if you want to record and upload good-quality and professional-looking videos, use a laptop or computer to improve your clips.
If your current computer or laptop still has a large RAM and high processing power, go ahead and use it. But if it is already slow, you may want to get another one or have its hardware and software upgraded to speed it up and boost its memory capacity.
In case you’re thinking of buying a new one, go for a laptop since you can take it anywhere. Moreover, you won’t needto compromise on memory and processing power even if it is portable.
Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
Lastly, if you want to upload impressive videos on YouTube, you need to have a digital audio workstation or DAW. This is a program that allows you to mix, edit, and master tunes. You can also use it to record your music.
You also need this program to turn analog or acoustical sounds, which include vocals, guitars, and piano, into digital signals.
The good thing about DAWs is that there are paid and free versions. As such, you won’t have to purchase one if you’re on a budget.
Whether you get a free or paid program, think about your computer specs first to ensure they are compatible.
When you have all these essential equipment, you can start recording your first video for YouTube.
Additional Digital Recording Tips
Here are some more tips that can help you produce the best videos showcasing your musical talent that can help you get the boost you need on YouTube:
- Find a quiet space where you can record. Choose a room that’s rarely used and free of any potential intrusive noises, such as kids playing or family members cooking. By doing so, your chances of recording the cleanest possible sound and video will be higher.
- Turn this room into your recording studio. If the space you choose is not used by others, consider transforming it into your home recording space. Install thick carpets or rugs to minimize echo. You may also want to think about buying acoustic panels, sound blankets, or other porous materials to cover the walls so they can absorb certain frequencies.
- Record in a well-lit room. Ensure there is enough light in the room for the audience to see you clearly without too many harsh shadows. This may mean using brighter light bulbs or additional lighting fixtures.
- Conduct a test recording. Before recording your first performance, do a trial run first. Next, listen to the clip and ask yourself if you are happy with the sound and video quality. If not, look for ways to improve and try again.
- Use the microphone correctly. Keep it positioned close to your mouth when speaking. Project your voice strongly; however, avoid shouting, even if you are belting out a rock song.
With your talent, passion, dedication, and these tips, you may soon join the dozens of YouTube stars enjoying fame and success.
Amrit Shivlani is the Founder and CEO at Music Majlis, a community-driven e-commerce platform that offers a wide variety of musical instruments and equipment for every musician and sound professional. The company’s goal is to make music-making, recording, producing and mixing accessible and available to everyone.