YouTube & Video

What Do You Use To Shoot & Edit Videos?

image from We've only experimented with video a bit on Hypebot (like this interview with Pandora founder Tim Westergren), but it's near the top of our priority list for early next year. We've also gotten some questions from readers about creating cheap videos that we have no idea how to answer. So we're asking you, our readers, what do you use to make your videos? What camera? What affordable and easy to learn editing software? How do you create and add graphics?

We're obviously not shooting music videos for Hypebot, but rather commentaries, interviews and perhaps at conventions like MIDEM. Would your recommendations to Hyepbot be any different than to a d.i.y. band? Please leave your suggestions below. We – and your fellow readers – will be eternally grateful.


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  1. Bruce,
    I use SONY Vegas for my video editing. If you have a music production background and any experience with DAW software (logic, pro tools, Cubase, SONAR, etc) Vegas will make total sense to you, it uses a similar clip based paradigm.
    I shoot my videos here at Nimbit with an SD JVC camera, it records direct to an SD card which makes transferring the files simple. When I was at Cakewalk I had an HD SONY Camera. The picture quality was much higher, but it was really overkill when the destination was YouTube.
    Any graphics I incorporate are created in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. Vegas can import standard image files and you can place them how you like. Send me an email or give me a call if you have more questions.

  2. Since you’re on a budget I’d advise you to jump on the HDSLR bandwagon and get a Canon Rebel T2i. It’s a sweet photographic camera with very good HD video recording qualities. The way I would go is to get a body only setup and get some lenses separately. For example, get the canon 18-135mm lens alongside the body (and, for fun, slap the canon 50mm f/1.8 lens on there because it’s 100 bucks or something) and you have a very, very nice setup with an artsy fartsy prime (non-zoom) lens to pretty up your videography. All that is ca. $1400.
    Editing is something way more complex. You’re not just investing money into equipment, you’re investing time, effort and money into software+training which both might become obsolete very fast. So I’d advise you to get something like adobe’s premiere elements or apple’s final cut express to start out with, since those are relatively cheap. Once you start feeling the limit of your entry-level software you’ll know you gotta move up to something more advanced and that decision is gonna be way easier to make than the first one.
    Alternatively… you could hire me ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I’m a fresh-out-of-school high school grad and the school I went to specializes in radio, film and tv production. I have 4 years of intensive tv/videography experience and would gladly relocate if given the opportunity. Been very interested in the music business since I was younger, too – my dad used to do some band management and recording for eastern european folk bands and he’d rave and rant about it for hours on end. I also regularly work as the audio technician at school events and I’ve worked as a recording technician on the first EP of a friend.
    Oh, and I’d work for dirt cheap, too! ๐Ÿ™‚ cohen [dot] aron [at]
    In any case, I’m very happy you guys are expanding. You have some seriously big potential with this blog. Keep up the great work!

  3. My videos just end up on YouTube, so I’ve been sticking with the Kodak Zi8 (the external mic is key if you want to do interviews) and iMovie. They’re the most basic of tools, but when I can shoot in 1080p and still fit the camera in my back pocket, basic ends up working!

  4. Thanks for the suggestions so far. Please keep ’em coming!
    I’m also curious what you all use for an affordable external mic when shooting interviews, etc.
    I should add that Kyle are both PC users, software need to be compatible.

  5. I love my Kodak Zi8! It’s got input for an external mic, expandable memory, and shoots in 1080p. For around $200 you can’t beat it!
    I was using iMovie HD to edit which is fine and cheap, but I recently bumped up to Final Cut Express which has so many more capabilities! If you have the dough I would highly recommend it. Use it with the plug in called LiveType (free) to do all your titles.
    I shot and edited this whole video with that rig:
    Looking forward to seeing yours!

  6. The new Canon 60D is the best value IMO. I’ve shot with or owned the Nikon D90, Canon T2i, 7D, 5DmkII and 60D.
    Grab the Canon fixed 50mm lens, F 1.8 for $100. It’s called the “nifty fifty” or “plastic fantastic” by a lot of people and is recognized by most as the best bang for your buck lens out there.
    For audio, I just use a Zoom H4n with a shotgun mic. Portable, battery powered, phantom power, 4 channels, all you need.
    One thing to keep in mind, with DSLRs, your clips will always max out at about 12 minutes before you have to hit “record” again. For most applications, that’s okay though.
    Editting, I use FCP, but like Vegas on the PC (or Sony Movie Studio, which is the light version), that’s what I learned on.
    You could get ALL of that for under $2k.

  7. For an external Mic, I typically place a ZOOM WAV Recorder in front of the subject, then sync the audio file with the camera’s audio in Vegas (which is PC compatible)
    You can hear the results in the video you featured of our co-founder Phil at a tradeshow panel. You can’t always get a feed from the board, and camera mic audio from a distance is the worst, I stuck the Zoom in front of him and the audio while having some room reverb, still sounded great.

  8. When I was looking at getting some equipment to interview bands and music industry professionals for my website … an associate of mine insisted that I get a SONY alpha55 DSLR. Since he’s done video clips for some of Australia’s biggest names in the past, what better advice?! It’s much cheaper and more versatile than getting a HD Video camera, and gives equal results for this purpose.
    For sound he recommended the Zoom H4n four track recorder. When you start recording, just clap your hands in front of the camera, which will allow you to sync up the video footage with the sound.
    As for processing software he uses Apple’s Final Cut for the Mac, but a friend of mine who’d done editing in the porn industry [I didn’t realise Australia had a thriving porn industry!] recommended the SONY Vegas package for those using PC’s. AVID was mentioned, but that’s for higher end professionals, is less than straightforward to use and master, and more expensive.
    I can’t attest to these as I haven’t gone forth and used this equipment and software, but these guys know their stuff!

  9. …and of course, you can also use RadarMusicVideos to find an experienced director/editor with their own equipment to do it for you ๐Ÿ™‚
    You just post your brief, enter your budget – anything from ยฃ100/$150 upwards is accepted – then it’s advertised to the 5000+ members on our worldwide network. You don’t have to buy equipment, learn how to use it properly, insure it, upgrade it etc etc. use us to find nice people near you who are already very, very good at this kind of thing.

  10. Sony HDR-AX2000E ‘PAL’ AVCHD Camcorder. Used during my internship this past summer for game highlights and interviews. Easy editing software would most likely be Adobe Premiere Pro, but personal preference would be Sony Vegas (a bit costly but worth the investment if geared towards long term use). For graphic editing, it depends on if you’re trying to jazz up some photos or create things from scratch. Name supers and what not can be created in the video editing software for interview purposes. Most photos can just be dropped into the timeline of the editing software. Event pan/crop can give you some motion, and other effects can be added as well if needed. For purposes of resizing, layer addition, and creative imagery adding to an image, Adobe Photoshop is the way to go. To be completely honest, purchasing the full Adobe Master Collection could save you time and hassle of buying a bunch of programs separately. This, of course, depends on your personal preferences and overall budget.
    This all really depends on your personal preferences/overall intent of use for your interviews and what not. Any other questions feel free to ask.

  11. When I have shot videos for bands I use a Sony DVDR Handy Cam and set it to HD (bigger files but as we all know it looks prettier). For editing, I used the Final Cut Suite including Live Type and Motion for text and intros. For me Final Cut is much easier to use than Avid (PC compatible) but if you need a simpler editing software Final Cut Express is really easy.

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