Steve Mansour

Behind The Scenes #4
15 Seconds Of Missing Audio

 Straight On (link to video)

At big events, things seldom go as planned. The 2019 Solstice was no exception. Of course it was great fun and everyone enjoyed themselves. But it had its share of surprises. Two areas of problems affected the creation of our music videos for Solstice 19: video clips of our set, and the recorded audio.

Nobody was really in charge of doing video. Mark set up up 2 stationary cameras to record the entire event, one view from the left of the stage and the other on the right -- this was a really good start. We wouldn't find out until later that by the time our set had started the left camera had ceased to function. Sharon set my iPhone on the ground on a small stand to the right of the little stage and turned it on just before we started our set. So Mark's right camera and my low-angle iPhone were the only two cameras that recorded our entire set, and they were both stationary shots from the right. Many of the clips you see in our Solstice 19 videos were from people in the audience who were good enough to send them to us. In fact, some of the people who donated those clips are probably reading this message! Thanks again! I'm really grateful we got those clips. For me it's a real bore to watch a music video with only one or two stationary camera angles. For the last couple of songs in our set, there were very few clips. I guess because people had stopped shooting video and were just sitting back and watching. But in the end, with so many people giving us clips, I was able to construct something reasonable.

The audio recordings from the mixer had big challenges too, which I will not bore you with. But something happened with the audio for Straight On that was was kind of interesting. Someone forgot to press record on the mixer until after song had already started... meaning that the good audio recording for this song started a few bars into the song. So now what? Initially, we discussed just fading in from the point were the audio began. But I really wanted to hear the entire song, from the beginning. When I hear a fade into a song that obviously started at full volume, I always think: was there something they didn't want me to hear? Anyway, I eventually realized that I had the audio I needed on my iPhone video. The sound would not be very good because of its location, but at least it was there. So, at the beginning of the Straight On video you will hear the audio from my iPhone. Then, a little bit later, the good audio fades in and the iPhone audio fades out. When I listened to it the first time I thought the transition sounded pretty cool. I decided to reinforce the transition by making all the video black and white until the good audio fades in. As it fades in, the color saturates back into the video. So, now you know that the beginning of this video was not some "artistic vision." It was just a fix for one of the many little problems that came up.

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