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What is the best method to record a home video of multiple players? I see people doing this all the time on the internet but I want to pick the easiest one. For example, I want one video that has 2 video tracks on it, one for rhythm guitar and one for lead guitar. Another example: generate a video of 4 different musicians playing together.

For example, how was this done, and is there a better way?

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Here is what I do (for my videos on http://www.youtube.com/user/killergege).

Tools :

  • Software : Reaper for audio recording, Sony Vegas Pro for video editing
  • Hardware : a camcorder, an audio interface (POD HD500 in my case)

Process :

  • I create a new project in Reaper and Vegas and setup everything to record audio properly on Reaper through my audio interface.
  • I add a backing track in Reaper.
  • I record myself playing each instrument (video & audio) at the same time, Reaper takes the sound, the camcorder takes the video. I might do several takes, Reaper handles pretty well takes and the camcorder just keeps recording.
  • When finished recording I then have a track for each instrument in Reaper (with maybe several takes in each track), and a video for each instrument.
  • Then I select the audio takes and mix the tracks with the backing track (changing volume, adding fades, etc.)
  • I export the audio mixed and import it in Vegas
  • Then I edit the videos in Vegas, cutting the unused takes and mixing with effects (I use chroma keying to remove the background, fades, camera movements) and to place the videos like you want. Editing the video to do a "splitscreen" like in the example is quite easy and a lot of other editing software can do that.
  • The hard part is syncing the audio with the video. I try to sync the videos' audio with the Reaper mixed audio I imported just before removing the videos' sound.
    I also do it visually (trying to match hand movements with audio).

If you need more details, just ask.

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This is just a crop effect (also sometimes called picture in picture or size and position). Any video editing software that supports layers and layer resize can do this, though the exact approach varies from software to software.

It is a very basic thing to do and just involves bringing in each of the video clips as a layer, synchronizing them time wise and then sizing and positioning them such that they each are 1/4 of their original size and sit in the corners of the screen.

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