3 rapidly emerging singer-vloggers reveal technical aspects they had to learn in order to stand out from the online crowd.
Mitchell Emmen is a rock and pop singer from the Netherlands whose YouTube channel of covers and originals has over 6 million views:
1. Upping My Recording Game
When I listen to music I want to hear and understand every part of the song. So to me a good recording is very important! I had to save up for an awesome studio condenser microphone, good quality cables, a good external interface and quality headphones. I found YouTube tutorials on how it all fit together and I found the time to practice – the best results are made by trial and error!
2. Getting a Good Camera Angle
Some people buy quality gear and some just use their phone. Myself for instance, I just use my iPhone 6s. I don’t always get a full body shot, but I always think about a good spot to put my phone. It’s important to find the best angle.
3. Simple Video Editing
I always like to record a full cover without any edits. So no cutting in the video, no pauses and no rests during takes. It makes it easier to edit. iMovie on Mac is a simple program to use. Don’t make things harder than it has to be. It’s good to put some effort in it, but in the end it’s you we want to hear.
1. Decent Lighting for My Videos
I actually took a class at the YouTube Space in Los Angeles to learn how to light my videos properly. I even have to use lighting for livestreaming and photos for Instagram. A good lighting kit costs less than $100, and is well worth it.
2. Not Being Shy of Social Marketing
Who knew that making singing videos online would force me to learn the art of social media marketing? I have spent, and will continue to spend many hours honing my music skills, but without marketing, those videos I post will not be seen by too many people.
3. Rudimentary Video Editing
I had no idea how to use video or audio editing software before I started singing online. Nowadays, I just use and editing app on my phone, and it works for the quality of videos I’m producing.
Mike Squillante, singer for The Running Lights has a YouTube channel full of location recordings and upbeat covers which has so far gained almost 4 million clicks:
1. Prepping for a Live Recording
Professional quality sound is hugely important when it comes to creating online content. ProTools DAW has become central to my band, The Running Lights. We perform our videos live, so there is a great deal of prep work before we even begin shooting. This way, we can give our best performance for the camera without worrying about how it’ll sound afterwards.
2. Choosing the Perfect Mic
The Shure SM58 is a great mic for capturing reasonably isolated vocals in a live situation because it’s generally only receptive to signals directly in front of it. There is hardly any bleed from other instruments. Also it works well for other things besides vocals, like guitar amps and drums to name a few.
3. Being A Better Cameraman
Hiring a professional to shoot you and your band is desirable, but not always realistic. I found a simple-to-use camera, the Sony HDR CX160. It shoots HD, automatically adjusts to light, and has immediate connectivity to the computer on which I edit video. This allows me and my band the freedom to shoot whenever we want and we know it will be high quality.