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#2866522 - 07/12/17 10:23 PM Overhead camera rig
whannah Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/24/16
Posts: 63
Loc: Livermore, CA
I've been wanting to try making YouTube videos for awhile now, but every time I get an idea for one I can never find a good camera angle to show what I'm playing. I've searched online about this and most people have a big tripod laying around or they have a convenient piece of furniture they can use, but I don't have these things. If I owned my house I'd try mounting something to the walls or ceiling that I could attached a camera too, but we're renting so that idea was out.

So I decided I needed to build some kind of structure to mount a camera too. I didn't want it to be too big, and I wanted to be able to take it apart easily. I tried to think of ways to use wood since it's easy to work with, but everything I thought of didn't satisfy my criteria. Then I came across these steel structural pipe fittings at Lowes which seemed like a good way to go. Aluminum would be lighter, but I couldn't find a way to make conduit fittings work, and other options like Kee Klamp was too expensive when the shipping cost was factored in. So I went with steel.

Here are the parts I used:

The total was $40.06 after taxes and shipping. I had to pick up the 72" pipe from the store, and everything else had to be shipped. As you can see, the shorter pipe is twice the price of the longer one... which is kinda weird. The wood and screws for the base was stuff I had lying around, but I think you could get that for under $10.

The base was a bit tricky because I wasn't sure how wide it had to be to prevent it from tipping over. I did a few back-of-the-envelope calculations of the center of mass, so I had a rough idea of the tipping point. The legs of the base stick out about 12" on each side but I might need a little sandbag to stabilize it more.

And here's the final product with GoPro attached:



It works pretty well. I need to play around with some other angles, but luckily that's pretty easy. Here's some sample shot I took with my GoPro:




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#2866616 - 07/13/17 10:10 AM Re: Overhead camera rig [Re: whannah]
Bobadohshe Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 5553
Loc: San Diego / Los Angeles
Looks awesome I've wanted to do the same. I may just copy this design
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#2866631 - 07/13/17 10:59 AM Re: Overhead camera rig [Re: Bobadohshe]
richforman Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 1047
Loc: Long Island, NY
Awesome. On the few occassions I've wanted to show off a little home playing I just use the built-in cam on my all-in-one desktop computer. The quality stinks and the audio is out of sync but these have been pretty low-stakes efforts anyway. Better results from using my phone but like you I haven't found a way or a place to mount it.
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Yamaha S80, Korg Trinity Plus


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#2866695 - 07/13/17 04:44 PM Re: Overhead camera rig [Re: richforman]
CowboyNQ Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 544
Loc: Adelaide, Australia
Another thing you can do if it doesn't suit you to have the camera gantry behind you/over your head/interfering with your piano stool is get the GoPro to record upside down using one of the settings in the menu. That way you can attach the camera to a music or mic stand in front of you.

Obviously not much good if your keyboard is up against a wall as in OP's case, but might suit some setups better.

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#2866696 - 07/13/17 05:01 PM Re: Overhead camera rig [Re: CowboyNQ]
J. Dan Offline
10k Club

Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 10813
Loc: St. Louis, MO
You could also get the MIDI Solutions Drone controller and use your pitch bend and mod wheels to steer and aerial drone overhead.
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Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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#2866702 - 07/13/17 05:50 PM Re: Overhead camera rig [Re: J. Dan]
Dr88s Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 05/12/13
Posts: 1015
Loc: Montreal, Canada
I once drilled a small hole in the bill of a baseball cap, passed a standard 1/4" threaded tripod mount screw through it, and held it in place with a wing nut on the other side. I mounted my GoPro clone to the bill of my hat and recorded my playing.

It worked great but it felt so nerdy and stupid that I threw it to the back of the closet after one use, never to see the light of day again. blush facepalm
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NS2EX Compact, PX5S. Everything else has become redundant.

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#2866726 - 07/13/17 09:06 PM Re: Overhead camera rig [Re: Dr88s]
whannah Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/24/16
Posts: 63
Loc: Livermore, CA
Haha, I had thought of the baseball cap idea too, but I figured it would be too awkward.

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#2866732 - 07/13/17 10:58 PM Re: Overhead camera rig [Re: whannah]
b3boy Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 12/04/03
Posts: 1454
I just use a boom mic stand with a good quality webcam velcroed on top, take a line in from desk into MBP and use QuickTime to record. Does the job
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#2866948 - 07/14/17 11:35 PM Re: Overhead camera rig [Re: b3boy]
Iconclast Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/12/11
Posts: 303
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Same same. Boom mike stand with an iPad attachment. Plus, if you film it on an iPad, all the editing stuff is inside the iPad via iMovie, so no need to export to anything but direct to youtube. Here's a couple examples...the playing isn't perfect so be kind:




Here's one example but there's many others: http://www.fullcompass.com/prod/506802-Ultimate-Support-JS-MNT101

The piano piece used a line6 sonicport VX microphone and the organ piece was just right off the iPad mike. SonicPort integration with iPad/iPod is seamless, just plug it in and it works.

If you're doing it for instructional purposes I think close to overhead is the best angle. You can see that having it angled off to the side really detracts from the instructional aspect.


Edited by Iconclast (07/14/17 11:48 PM)
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#2867235 - 07/16/17 09:14 AM Re: Overhead camera rig [Re: Iconclast]
whannah Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/24/16
Posts: 63
Loc: Livermore, CA
Iconclast, The overhead angle in your first video looks pretty good, but it seems that you put the stand on top of the upright piano. I doubt you could get a similar view with a ipad + boom stand on the floor.

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#2867290 - 07/16/17 02:56 PM Re: Overhead camera rig [Re: whannah]
WesG Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/16/13
Posts: 2794
Loc: Inverary, ON, Canada
I use a boom stand with one of those useless clippy microphone clips. Then I clip my phone to it. Lo tech, but works.
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#2867471 - 07/17/17 12:22 PM Re: Overhead camera rig [Re: whannah]
Iconclast Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/12/11
Posts: 303
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Quote:
Iconclast, The overhead angle in your first video looks pretty good, but it seems that you put the stand on top of the upright piano. I doubt you could get a similar view with a ipad + boom stand on the floor.



Both of the clips are with an iPad/Boom stand on the floor.


Edited by Iconclast (07/17/17 12:24 PM)
_________________________
You want me to start this song too slow or too fast?

Forte7, XK3c, OB-6, Arturia Collection, Mainstage, MotionSound KBR3D. A bunch of MusicMan Guitars, Line6 stuff
...and a pickup truck to haul it all

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