Pomplamoose, VideoSongs, etc: Anyone know how it's done?

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Aj
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Pomplamoose, VideoSongs, etc: Anyone know how it's done?

Post by Aj » Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:32 am

I'm fascinated with those little Pomplamoose clips, mostly because it so closely documents my own favorite way of producing music (lots of inspiration, lots of cool weird instruments ready-to-go, spontaneous melodies, etc).

My question though - what is their process for producing the VIDEO part of it?

Everything is in perfect sync visually, even when they do weird looping stuff with the vox/instruments. I can't figure it out; do they just keep a camera trained on everything and then painstakingly edit it all together later from hours and hours of digital footage? Or are they using some sort of audio/video hybrid software like Vegas, and recording video & audio simultaneously into one computer? (Which would mean all the mixing/comping happens simultaneously to both audio/video?)

Anyone know? Would love to find out. I think this is the future for independent artists, both artistically and financially (they don't have day jobs anymore).

(I've tried to google this, found a few interviews, but nothing that details their work process.)
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Post by JGriffin » Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:17 pm

My guess is they record and mix the track, then mime to it in front of the camera on the various instruments, then edit. It's pretty straightforward really. Same way videos have been made for 30+ years.

But if they wanted to use footage from when they were really cutting those tracks, it could be done pretty simply. Just aim the camera at the musician during the take, and print a reference audio track to the camera so you can sync it up later.

In fact, I put together a short video as part of a guitar giveaway contest, using a similar approach. Took about 2 hours, including mixing it so each guitar I play is only audible when it's on camera.
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Post by Aj » Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:37 pm

Yeah, I get that it would be easiest to film them miming the tune after it's done. But I don't think that's what going on - in one of their interviews, they specifically talk about keeping things authentic and not doing that.

And I'm also not so sure I get how it would be be easy to edit live footage down to one of their videos. Sure it could be done... But have you seen their videos? It's many, many cuts between different scenes of overdubbing different instruments. And all the scenes are perfectly in sync, even the ones that involve "stutter" looping of the voice (for example).

Would love to know their exact workflow for these vids. Even if it's, you know, spending hours sifting thru dozens of video files, looking for the footage of the one take they actually used at that particular five seconds of the final stereo audio mix of the song. (Hey, maybe they only do one take per part? That would bring down the number of video files to sift thru...)

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Post by dsw » Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:28 pm

whatever their method, it sure is well done. nice work.
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Post by jgimbel » Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:29 pm

Interesting thread to see right now, I'm actually working on a video thing for Youtube at this very moment (tracks transferring from tape to computer as I'm typing) which isn't too different of a style from what they (Pomplamoose) do visually. They definitely do mime to the music, not all the time but a lot of it. Some of it you can tell is right on, which is from having the camera up during it, then editing it perfectly (which is doable, definitely not overly difficult if you have decent software). Other parts you can definitely see that its mimed. There are a few parts that you can see mics set up and you can tell by how it sounds that that isn't how it was recorded.

As far as keeping it natural, that's how I try to do it. I was actually going to post a link my video up here once it's up, but that'll be a couple hours. I put up the camera and recorded everything, then I edit it in After Effects to get the timing right. It's a pain and if I'm not that great at playing one part it can add up do a lot of video I end up getting rid of, but it's worth it to me..miming always just seems wrong to me. I can see where it's necessary, but I avoid it as best I can.

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Post by T-rex » Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:03 pm

G4 profiled them, here is the video.

http://g4tv.com/attackoftheshow/whoswho ... stars.html

According to the video they don't lip sync, everything is recording as they are recording the video and all cut together in Final Cut Pro. However it seems like the lip sync some things. Sometimes her vocal seems up front but on the video she is way off axis of the mic.

I am not that into the few original songs I have heard, but their cover of single ladies is pretty fucking brilliant.
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Post by jgimbel » Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:38 pm

I didn't end up getting that video up until today, but here it is anyway. It's my cover of "Final Countdown". Yeah, that's right.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2BzsI9A_PI

All of the video was from the actual recording except one small part where the clip was lost when my software crashed. I've had to match audio to video before and it's usually not much of a problem. If you zoom in all the way in AfterEffects it lets you move a clip by individual frames, so getting it in the ballpark and then fine tuning works fine. However, this was a pain in the ass. I recorded piano and magnus organ to my 464, partially for the sound and partially to use the varispeed since my organ is slightly sharp. I think it sounds pretty nice, but I couldn't transfer the two tracks of piano and one of organ at the same time to Cubase, so their speeds were slightly off. I had to do a shitload of editing to get everything to match up. Things would be off a tiny bit and it'd be fine for a while, then just drift. Because of this, matching the video was a huge pain. I'm happy with it, but the whole time I was thinking "if I were to lose this editing because of a crash there's no way I'm redoing it". It's not usually an issue though.

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