Grass Valley Case Study
Independent rock bands put a lot of effort into creating and performing their music. These days they also work hard to promote their projects on the Internet and social media platforms, using the latest audio and video production tools. With the plethora of bands jockeying for attention, it’s the only way to get noticed.
That is the strategy used by a guitarist Davide Stefanini and his established Pink Floyd tribute band “Comfortably Numb,” which regularly records and tours around Italy and parts of Europe. It’s a labor of love he shares with his fellow musicians: Puccio Chiariello (vocals and guitar), Antonio Rizzo (bass), Fortunato Anzalone (drums), Giuseppe de Rosa (vocals and guitar) and Miriam e Gerardima Tesauro (vocals).
Stefanini is a former video editor for a major Italian broadcast network who clearly understands the power of video. After years of cutting a variety of short and long-form programs with the Grass Valley™ EDIUS® multiformat nonlinear editing software as a television professional, his dedication to the band and to producing compelling video is equally strong. And his editing platform of choice continues to be EDIUS. Although he usually works in SD and HD, the latest version (6.0)
of EDIUS includes the ability to work in resolutions up to 1080p50/60 3G with AVCHD content natively, with no transcoding required. And he can preview his effects in real time.
Multicam is Molto Bene
Video production for Comfortably Numb involves Panasonic HD cameras, lights, umbrellas, and stands—basically everything you need for a high-quality video production. He uses two cameras to shoot the band performing Pink Floyd’s hits in a studio, records the audio separately (by Gaetano Cerrato at the Green Digital recording studio), then combines the two with the innovative multicam mode within the EDIUS software. After adjusting and completing a multi-camera sequence, Stefanini then
adds transitions at the cut points. He said EDIUS makes this easy by allowing him to put all his selected shots on a separate track.
“I typically use the Grass Valley EDIUS system in HD mode and produce two tracks for every musician from two different angles,” Stefanini said. “I also use the multicam mode in EDIUS a lot because it makes the production go faster and smoother. You just have to be careful not to overload the software with too many effects.”
The multicam mode in EDIUS provides an easy way to edit footage shot simultaneously from multiple sources, such as the way Stefanini is using it. It facilitates the editing of up to eight different sources and shows all camera shots along with the currently selected shot simultaneously. Multicam also allows Stefanini to go back and easily make changes to edits as necessary.
“I recommend it to all those who want to do this type of editing because EDIUS is the best software for processing
and finishing video in real time.” Davide Stefanini, Guitarist & Video Editor
Within the software, Stefanini defines a series of virtual cameras by assigning the footage on a V or VA line to be a specific camera. Yellow C tags indicate the camera assignments for each track. Depending on how many virtual cameras he’s working with, Stefanini can choose to show two, three, five, or eight monitor windows. The Master window inside the GUI always displays all of the selected cameras.
Stefanini runs his EDIUS software on PC workstation (with Intel CPU i7 2700K, a GeForce GTX 560 graphics card, 8 GB
DDR3, 1600 MHz RAM-memory, and 60 GB of storage on SATA3 drives. This allows him to process six HD tracks
and six SD tracks in multicam mode in real time. Synchronizing all of those camera sources can be tricky and timeconsuming,
but after four days of post work, he always gets great results.
“I prefer to put the effects at the end after the editing and sometimes I’ve used green screen to create virtual colored backgrounds that sometimes pop-up out of the live video,” Stefan said.
Stefanini often recommends EDIUS to his friends, and strongly suggests using an Intel Sandy Bridge-based processing platform, which makes the system operate much smoother when working in HD. This makes the operation very fast when converting files for distribution on Blu-ray disc, due to its built-in hardware encoder.
For those that do not have a lot of experience in editing video, Stefanini thinks the Grass Valley EDIUS is the right choice. It’s intuitive, works with different formats in the same timeline, and doesn’t make you wait for effects to render.
“The EDIUS system offers us the chance to affordably produce some great video that we use to promote our band,” Stefanini said. “These days every band should be doing some type of video production. With tools like EDIUS, there’s no reason not to.”
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