How to Create Your Own Professional Music Video from Home
Today, many who go web-surfing run into spoof music videos that get millions of views. Sadly, more than half of those people who got 1,000,000+ views missed an opportunity of earning $20,000 or more from just that YouTube upload. Why is this so? I will let you know near the end of this article. Shall we get back to the topic?
For those who think it isn’t possible to make a high quality music video from home like the ones you see on television, I am here to tell you that it IS possible to make even BETTER videos. You may not be able to create one as good on the first try, but again who is? It takes perfection; following these 5 steps:
Step 1: Music
Of course a music video isn’t a music video without music. Find an instrumental that you want to create a song to and download it. A good program that I recommend for downloading instrumentals would be Frostwire. You can download it from frostwire.com. It is completely free to download and use. Or so it was the last time I checked. Be careful when downloading from Frostwire though. The first two or three files at the top are usually tricks, but you can easily tell them apart. The false ones usually match your search phrase word for word, letter for letter, and are lower case. Also check the file size to the right of each result. Instrumentals and songs are usually at an average file size of 1,000 Kb for each minute of a song. So if an instrumental you’re looking for is about 3 minutes long, the file size should be around 3,000 Kb. The false ones at the top are usually at a small file size, around 10-30 kb.
I used to use Frostwire until I began creating my own music with music production software. If you want to make money from YouTube, I suggest you make your own instrumentals like I do. Anyone can learn to make a simple beat. Some good music production software I recommend to use for the PC would be Fruity Loops Studio. The latest version is FL Studio 9, but FL Studio 5, 6, 7, and 8 are just as good. If you want to pay for it, you can buy it at your local computer store or online at flstudio.com, but if you want it for free, I suggest you use Frostwire, since it can also download programs for free too. For the Mac users, your computer should already come with a music production software called GarageBand. In my opinion, GarageBand’s instruments sound more professional than Fruity Loops. Both programs have user manuals available in the help menu and Garageband has a beginner tutorial. For any other tutorials, I suggest that you search YouTube for Fruity Loops Beginner Tutorials or Garageband beginner tutorials.
Other PC Music Production softwares include Reason, Sonar, and Nuendo. Another Mac music production software is Logic Pro. The music industry itself specializes mainly with a software called Protools. It’s compatible with both PC and Mac, but is usually the software preferred for studio recording. If you decide to use Protools at all, I recommend that you buy it rather than downloading it for many reasons. Trust me on this one.
Step 2: Lyrics
Of course, music videos don’t ALWAYS have lyrics, but if you do decide to, make sure you write lyrics to the instrumental and keep them for the studio recording, which we will get to later. (Lyrical tip: Keep your lyrics fairly clean and it may be more marketable! Make it hilarious or comical, and it may get more plays! Ex. Search “White and Nerdy” on YouTube)
Step 3: Home Studio (Session) Recording
The best software for studio session recording starters is Cool Edit Pro. Cool Edit Pro is only PC compatible though. I learned it on my own through experimentation, but for tutorials, I’m sure you can find them on YouTube. There is also a user manual in the help menu. You can also download Cool Edit Pro for free using Frostwire. For the Mac users, once again, congratulations! You can record yourself using Garageband! To do so after you have finished creating your instrumental on Garageband, at the top click Track> New Track> Real Instrument> Create. You will notice that on the left, a track for recording appears that is titled “No Effects”. If you have a microphone plugged in, test it out by speaking into it. The green bar next to “No Effects” should rise every time you speak. If not, check your System Preferences for Sound and switch to Built-In Mic/Internal Microphone. Most Mac laptops have a built-in microphone. Most of them are found on the left speaker at the bottom right side, but only on laptops. For PC laptops, your microphone may be found in the top of the monitor in the middle, left, or right corner.
For more advanced users, session recordings can be done with Protools. You can buy microphones, but the cheap ones are usually not good recording microphones at all. If you have a built-in microphone, you’re in luck; because believe it or not, it is better than most microphones under $50. Just make sure you adjust the volumes of each separate recording you do accordingly, regardless of which mic you use. You can make a bad mic sound much better than it does by altering the volumes.
P.S Tip: How to Autotune
Unfortunately, I only know how to do Autotune with the Fruity Loops users and the Garageband users. For the FL users, you have to download a plug-in called Antares and drag it into Fruity Loops. As for the Mac and Garageband users….. you guys are very lucky. GarageBand comes with a built-in Autotuning system. To use it, at the top click Track> New Track> Real Instrument> Create. If your Audio Region at the bottom is not visible, at the top, click Control> Show Editor, or just press Apple+E. Turn the “Enhance Tuning” in your Audio Region all the way up. Then look just below that switch, and check in the box “Limit to Key”.
Step 4: Recording the video
To record the video, you’re going to need a decent quality camera. But just because you have a decent quality camera alone doesn’t mean that the video is going to be great. It’s all about how you put it together. As far as quality goes, I recommend the Jazz Elite HD Portable Camera for starters. It’s a $500 high definition camera, but you can get it for only $240 at electrotech.totalwarehouse.com. I haven’t found a cheaper high definition video camera online yet, but if I do, I will let you know. Also, looking into getting a tripod would help for stabilization. You can find those at Wal-mart for pretty low prices.
Also, if you’re trying to make money on YouTube, make sure to keep other company products’ logos and titles out of the video as much as possible. YouTube can prevent money making from almost any logo being shown publicly in your video. This also includes logos on shirts, so just make sure that whatever clothing you choose to wear for the video, that the emblems or logos of your shirt’s producers are not visible.
Step 5: Putting the video together
Hook up your camera to the computer and transport all of your video clips in a folder. For PC video production beginners, I recommend using Windows Movie Maker. It comes with every Windows computer. If you can’t find it, just click Start (or the windows icon for Vista users) at the bottom left side of the screen. Go to Programs> Accesssories> Windows Movie Maker, or Programs> Accessories> Entertainment> Windows Movie Maker. If you can’t find it in either of those places, go to My Computer, open up the Local Drive (usually C:), and go to the Program Files folder. Look for a folder called Windows Movie Maker and look for the startup icon. For Mac users, there is iMovie. The video clips can be dragged or imported into both of these programs to use. If your PC or Mac came with the Adobe Collection, you may also use Adobe Premiere Pro, which is compatible with both computers. Adobe After Effects is a more advanced software to use for special effects, but you can easily learn it through 10 short tutorials at videocopilot.net. A much more advanced video editor is Final Cut Pro for the Mac users, used by real industry movie makers.
There are video tutorials for all of these softwares on YouTube, but, in my opinion, Windows Movie Maker is ridiculously easy to use; but Adobe Premiere has more tools and effects that you can do to your video. Adobe Premiere also has green screen keying, which Movie Maker does not have. If you are looking to make music video production or music production a future career, I suggest you look into a college called Full Sail University. It is known as the “Harvard of Entertainment and Media Schools” and has one of the three best film programs in the world and the top 5 Recording Arts programs in the country. It is a high-paced school, and you can receive your Bachelor’s in either program in 20 months. To look further into this school, visit the Full Sail website.
Make sure you render your video in a high quality setting too. “Rendering” just means saving the video in video format. The higher the quality, the longer it may take to finish saving the video, but it may be worth it. If you have the Jazz Elite HD Portable Camera, you may not have to worry about quality as much.
Extra Step: Earn Money Through YouTube
To earn money, simply reach over 200,000 views with your video. YouTube will send you instructions on how to set it up and will review your video to make sure that there are no copyright infringements.
But as for music videos in general, I’ve seen the best and I’ve seen the worst. The quality of the final product all comes down to how you use these tools to the best of your creative ability. Show laziness in production, and lazy is how the final product will appear to be. Happy music making!