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"How to make an audition video without spending a fortune" -- as explained by an expert

WestOfPCHWestOfPCH 114 replies1 threads Junior Member
edited July 2019 in Music Major
Since this is the time of year when music majors (and their parents) begin to plan for and ponder/think/stress about recording pre-screen videos for your applications (while you're also trying to navigate SAT/ACT prep, essay drafts, summer music camps, family vacations, ad nauseum) , I give you the link below to an extremely informative, practical, and useful article -- "How to make an audition video without spending a fortune" -- written by Nathan Cole, First Associate Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, specifically regarding pre-screen videos for college auditions.


A good philosophical summary:
"Committees want to see and hear an accurate representation of you and your playing.
That’s it! Your video succeeds if the people watching it feel as though they’re hearing you live. It fails if it gives a different impression, either deliberately (because you tried to fool the committee) or, more likely accidentally (because of poor picture or sound)."

Enjoy. Would love to hear how much people agree or disagree.

P.S. FWIW, I kept this in mind when we did my son's pre-screens, and we used it to guide our recording set-up. Even though we didn't copy his ideal audio set up (for various reasons, mostly $$$$), my son still got invited to live auditions at all the schools to which he submitted pre-screen videos (USC Thornton, Miami Frost, The New School, NYU Steinhardt, and CSULB Bob Cole).
edited July 2019
6 replies
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Replies to: "How to make an audition video without spending a fortune" -- as explained by an expert

  • violinmom29violinmom29 19 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Also this is a good youtube video to watch for pre-screen videos.
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  • LendleesLendlees 260 replies1 threads Junior Member
    For percussionists most of this advice is hard to follow unless one hires a studio and rents all the equipment. Kid did half of his prescreens at home (marimba/snare) and had to do his timpani at school. Less than ideal recording conditions everywhere...that being said he passed most of his prescreens (for schools that required them) except one. We used a dual set up - good camera (Lumix) on a tripod and an external mic (Zoom H1 that I use for work). He merged the two using his Macbook Pro and he's still doing the same today (albeit sometimes using his iPhone for filming in the musical pit) for recordings his department chair wants to see before ensemble auditions.
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  • DoransaDoransa 127 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Thank you for the link.
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  • sunnysarsunnysar 77 replies5 threads Junior Member
    D didn’t have the best prescreening videos. Filmed on a very old phone, poor quality but used the Sure microphone. She passed all her prescreenings at schools like Eastman, Mannes, Miami, Indiana Jacobs.... Don’t sweat the videos. It’s how they sound that’s most important.
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  • DoransaDoransa 127 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @sunnysar it is nice to know. Thanks
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  • Racingfan53Racingfan53 157 replies8 threads Junior Member
    I also have a friend who got accepted to the Northwestern Musical Theatre program with videos filmed on her Samsung phone. In her own words, one was "in the stairway in a hotel after a workout."
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