Author Topic: The Perfect Soundtrack?  (Read 3879 times)

looby

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The Perfect Soundtrack?
« on: June 27, 2010, 07:08:17 PM »
Been a bit quiet recently (on my behalf), so thought I'd throw something out there which I personally feel gets overlooked and in many cases separates good videos from masterpieces.  I think there's plenty of room for discussion and hope you can all chip in your thoughts.

I'm only three weeks from finally getting a video together and out of all the things to consider when going ahead with putting a video together, the soundtrack has definitely been the one issue which requires a lot of consideration.  Infact, over the last year of having a camera and means to put together a video, I've never been 100% happy with various soundtracks I've considered based on many different factors that ultimately make said track ideal for a video.....

After a long day at work and with nothing on tv and no money in my bank, a non juggler (my housemate) and myself discussed what we felt makes a decent soundtrack in juggling videos.  Worth noting, although he is a non-juggler in the grand scheme of things, I've shown him some decent diabolo videos and he's picked up a couple of tricks.  He's by no means an expert so can still give the non-juggler perspective but isn't completely alien to the concept which I feel helped in discussion.  After some deliberation and considering videos I've seen over 4 or 5 years, we came up with the following which can hopefully give advice or even better create some debate as to what people think works diabolo/juggling vidoes.  Ultimately I could do with some pointers for when I need to decide on a soundtrack.  I've got n idea of what will work but it's always worth taking some advice from those of you that have experience in creating past masterpieces.  I'll try and keep it short and sweet :)

-Start with a soundtrack then film tricks, locations, mood etc according to the track chosen...or, film all the shots needed, pick a track, then adjust the editing to fit in with what you've got on film?

I'm undecided on this.  I feel it would ultimately be easier to decide a track before filming, play it over some headphones while filming some tricks so you can feel the beat/timing, make notes of the times when tricks begin/finish in relation to the track and slot them all together when editing.  Having said this, surely you're then restricted in terms of what you then feel fits in with the overall video.  For example if a combo of tricks runs for too long in respect of a section of the track, does this mean it can't be included?  For those of you who have picked a track during the editing process, how easy have you found making everything work?

-Non instrumental vs instrumental?

From watching different videos, some instrumental, some non-instrumental I think both work in their own rights.  In my opinion a soundtrack shouldn't be too 'epic' in fear of overpowering the video itself.  At the end of the day, I wouldn't want someone walking away remembering the soundtrack more than the content itself.  Vux's part in diabology uses a beautiful piece by Bonobo (all instrumental) and works perfectly with the mood of the video.  On the other hand, Be Sharpe used Hey Ya which is almost that good, you shouldn't use it in fear of the tricks being overlooked by the quality of the tune.  In their case it worked because they were able to show off some ground-breaking stuff at the time.

-Tempo and pace?

I feel tempo's a massive factor.  I love tracks that have changes of tempo throughout, gives the content of the video an opportunity to change pace, improve technically, throw in some bloopers etc.  A section where most of the instrumental dips leaves room for subtle bits of editing such as Jesse's intermezzo in the 2009 collab video (the bit duncan and I walk in to shot).  Another being the end of Be Sharpe where the end section builds up to 7 diabolos passing with well timed shots of 6 diabolos, just waiting for the music to drop.  I don't think enough jugglers consider how much these snippets of brilliance complete videos, the tempo of a soundtrack being one of the main opportunities to do so.  The only other thing that comes to mind would be the pace of the player compared to the tune.  Someone like langerz is suited to fast paced beats but someone with a lazier style would be better suited to some slower reggae or dub.  Seems simple but I'm always seeing slower diaboloists trying to compete against an 'epic' metal theme and it just doesn't work. 

-Synching tricks and music

I see this as the single biggest challenge but looks so good to a viewer when pulled off well.  I remember Pranay's first video which was called 'Pranay's freestyle'.  He used jammin as a soundtrack which has since been replaced with something else but there was an amazing 20 seconds of continuous vortex' to armstall which was perfectly in synch with the music.  I suppose we're going back to the point I just made about the pace of the player and the tune but this is to the degree of stalls and poses occuring with the beat of a soundtrack.  I can't imagine how hard it is to edit with this in mind, all things considered but I'd love to be able to have a couple of clips in synch when I edit my video.  Even if it's just 6 seconds of 1 diabolo umbrellas in time with a beat , I think a viewer appreciates the little touches.

-Knowing musicians and avoiding copyright issues

This is a difficult area.  I know a couple of bands in Bristol and from previous housemates I've lived with and got to know them well, well enough that they're all happy to let me use their music in a video.  I've always believed in trying to help promote a friend's band through a video rather than using a well established artist.  Even if a few hundred people see my video but 100 of them decide to look at the band in the credits then I've opened 100 new possible channels for raising awareness of their band.  At the same time I don't want to use their tune if it's going to be completely out of place in a juggling video.  In this instance I'll try and use their music in an intro/outro so I can still include them in the credits, usual cliché of every little helps.

This also helps avoid the copyright issue especially with youtube.  I cant think of anything worse than editing a video to match a soundtrack only for the track to be protected by some corporate whores and therefore removed from my video.  Does anyone have any more info on this process?  How can I be sure a track isn't protected by copyright?

That's pretty much all we covered in depth to be honest.  I hope some of my words help you think, and come back with some thoughts.  It's got to the point of being a small obsession now, whenever I listen to a tune when walking to work I'm always trying to decide whether it could work in a juggling video taking everything mentioned into account :) 
Rennes July 10-17th 2011!

Jesse

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Re: The Perfect Soundtrack?
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2010, 10:14:44 PM »
I'm in a bit of a hurry, so I'll go into more detail when I have more time.

I've chosen the music for a video in advance once and it's easily my favourite video I've done and the one I'm most proud of. For me it worked incredibly well and I definitely recommend doing that.

As for copyright issues. I've actually emailed bands and labels and asked them if I could use their music. At least 40% have said yes. I don't know how well that would work with bigger bands though.

I don't really know what style of music works best. A lot of diabolo videos have very similar music, so trying something different would also be good in my opinion. In the future I'd like to try a song that shouldn't work at all in a diabolo video and make it work somehow.

The Void

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Re: The Perfect Soundtrack?
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2010, 02:48:03 PM »
Nice post, Looby.

Quote
-Start with a soundtrack then film tricks, locations, mood etc according to the track chosen...or, film all the shots needed, pick a track, then adjust the editing to fit in with what you've got on film?

I'd say a mix of the two. Choose your track, and plan *some* shots that you think will fit it well. The rest you can be more loose with, as it's nearly always the case that not all your shots turn out quite as you wanted them to, and some compromises/rethinking/swearing/strokes of creative genius will be necessary in the editing process.
Like Jesse, I'm also perhaps most happy with a video I chose the music for first.

Quote
-Synching tricks and music

It's nice to throw in a few of these in a video, but Lynne pointed out to me once that the viewer's brain fills things in sometimes. I once had a comment something like "Great editing to the music!" on a video where my edit process had been: film stuff, pick out the good clips, bung them in the timeline, and only then choose a song I liked that was the right length to fit.

Quote
-Knowing musicians and avoiding copyright issues

I have emailed 2 bands, who both said yes, but who also owned their own record labels, which I suspect made it a lot easier for them to say yes. Otherwise, I have just credited the band in the video, and have not yet had any copyright issues on JTV.

The Void
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Ben.

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Re: The Perfect Soundtrack?
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2010, 01:20:18 PM »
My idea of a perfect soundtrack to a video was in Busk - Small.
Not only because Lamb - Small is a beautiful tune, but because it fitted perfectly with the atmosphere of the video.
So much editing clips in time with the music in that video. Take 4:22 for example, it fits so perfectly with the music.
Best diabolo video ever.

Mark BMC

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Re: The Perfect Soundtrack?
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2010, 02:08:49 PM »
I'm with Ben,

Busk small is just so much cooler than most vids.I think the Sharpe's are masters of the soundtrack. The Grizzly Bear and Beck tracks have used worked so well. Its all about creating a certain mood/vibe. also LCAB stands out in my mind.

The best things in life are free and a really good diabolo video can make my day. I'm really looking forward to seeing looby's video! also really looking forward to seeing a solo video from Ken. YES U KEN!

Nico

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Re: The Perfect Soundtrack?
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2010, 10:28:16 PM »
Very interesting posts guys!

Soundtrack is definitely a number one key of success of any diabolo video. It really has to fit the identity, atmosphere and emotions that you want to communicate to your audience.
Personnaly, while I am listening to music, I am always picturing myself playing diabolo on it and try to realize if it could fit a video. Of course, there is a "type" of soundtracks that could fit, depending on the general feeling that you would like to create. But I think if a specific one is able to make you imagine a lot of diabolo moments, and if the lyrics could relate in some way to what you want to express, well, it has to been dug!
In the last few years, I would say that the videos which have been able to completely success in the matching between content and soundtracks are not that many.
"The Tune" by M4U is one of them. Especially regarding the synchronization of the tricks and editing to the music.
The Sharpes are always great at that. Really loved the tempo till the 7 diabolo passing started in "Sharpe Attack".
Recently, White Shadows from Al really made my day too. You could really feel that the song itself inspired some of the "atmosphere" shots and I like how the tempo accelerated till the 4high attempts at the end.

Though, I am not really supporting the idea of naming the diabolo video with the title of the soundtrack used. I think, that finding a personal title that would express your diabolo vision is better. Plus, as you said Looby, after seeing a diabolo video, you should not remember just the soundtrack but also its content!

Regarding the copyright issues, this could be also a bigger problem. If you ask some artists if you could use their work for your video, I think this is even more difficult to get their approval if you tell them that you are going to name your clip by the name of their song! Put their name in the credits is better in my opinion.

Thanks for opening this topic Looby! (did Sam the Kid inspired you any diabolo video by the way :) ?)

looby

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Re: The Perfect Soundtrack?
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2010, 11:28:08 PM »
Though, I am not really supporting the idea of naming the diabolo video with the title of the soundtrack used. I think, that finding a personal title that would express your diabolo vision is better

I forgot to mention this and completely agree.  I keep seeing far too many videos coming out simply taking the name of the soundtrack they use.  To be fair, some of them work well as video names but most of the time it seems irrelevant to the content of the video itself and just comes across as lazy.  More people need to think about video names and conjure up genius like Jem's 'Slackisfactory'.  Best video name ever.

Thanks for opening this topic Looby! (did Sam the Kid inspired you any diabolo video by the way :) ?)

Yours is up there with the better soundtracks Nico for sure :)  I remember a section where your infinite suicide synchs perfectly with the beat, really nice.  Liked the zoomed out shots in yours too and I'm hoping to get some nice shots of the surroundings to break up the tricks when I get round to filming.

Cheers for the input all, food for thought
 
Rennes July 10-17th 2011!

Olive

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Re: The Perfect Soundtrack?
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2010, 12:15:15 AM »
I have thought to bring to the table! But it will be next week, I'm trying to put together a vid, but this musical conundrum is playing a large part in my decision making too...

 

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