Home | Site Map | Watch | FAQ | History | Store | Contact

Production Notes for William Byrd's Fantasy a 3

Here's what I did to produce the iPod-playable video of this piece:

1  Instrument

Since I'd played this piece on the piano a fair amount, I decided to use a sampled piano for the sound, the GigaStudio GigaPiano.  The keyboard I used with this was a Yamaha P-80.

2  Setup

The performance was recorded in two ways: video of my hands, and MIDI of the keyboard output. To position the camera directly above the keyboard, I used a Benbo Trekker tripod that my neighbor Alan La Pointe generously lent me. I thought my legs might be distracting, so I covered them with a piece of black velveteen. There's a skylight in our kitchen that gives good natural light most of the day, so I set up there.  The erasers on the keys mark the limits of the range of the piece; I removed them after I'd adjusted the camera:

2  Note Entry

I recorded myself playing the piece a bunch of times; on the sixth take, I'd played all the notes and hadn't messed anything too badly, and I thought "that's good enough for now."

3  Editing

Later, when I listened to the recording, I decided it wasn't good enough, but hey. More importantly, the MIDI data didn't have separate channels for the three voices of the piece, so I modified my MAM Player software to allow editing of the channels.

4  Audio Recording & Editing

I played back the recorded MIDI through GigaStudio (I forget which of their pianos I used) and recorded the audio output into Adobe Audition. Then I applied some light reverb, adjusted and limited the amplitude, converted it to 16 bits, and trimmed it to right length.

5  Video to Computer

I used Adobe Premiere to transfer the video from the miniDV camera to an AVI file on the computer.

6  Frame Rendering

I used my RenderMAM software to render 30 fps frames (from the original M.A.M. data) in PNG format.

7  Assembly

The PNG frames and the audio were combined with titles using Adobe Premiere; the output was a high-resolution AVI file.

8  Conversion to MP4

The AVI file was converted to MP4 (.m4v) using the export function of QuickTime Pro.

9  Upload

I used Ipswitch WS_FT to upload the movie (in .m4v format where possible and .mov version otherwise) to YouTube, vimeo, Google and Revver.

10  Documentation

I wrote this description and added it to the Production Notes Table of Contents.