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Making Demo Videos Audio Products

Avoiding the common pit-falls

I keep seeing demo videos for audio plug-ins, hardware synthesizers and what not, and they all seem to repeat the same mistakes, making me far less tempted to investigate these product any further. I think it wouldn't be that hard to imrove most of them with a few pointers and guidelines, so here goes nothing:
  1. Let people hear it. Don't record the product using a phone mic. Use line-in to get proper sound quality.
  2. Let it be naked. Don't apply compressors, limiters, EQ, reverb, or cover the examples in too many other instruments. People need to know what it sounds like on its own.
  3. Start your video with a teaser of what it sounds like. Unless they know the product already, people usually want to listen before diving into a lengthy speech.
  4. Then show and explain how it works. People want to know what it's like using the product, and see if they like the usability aspect.
  5. If you're demonstrating software, make the mouse pointer large and don't move it too fast, or people won't know when you're clicking. Add click sounds to mouse buttons if you can.
  6. Variation: Make your video interesting by having different sections:
    • The first section should give an over-all impression of what the product in question sounds like.
    • Other parts could be: Feature-by-feature demonstration and explanation (perhaps zoomed in).
    • Situation footage: Someone using the product (perhaps zoomed out). Show yourself, this makes it feel more personal.
    • Optional: Other people's experiences using the product (keep this short).
    • Final example where the product is used in a full band/song situation along with other instruments.
  7. Keep the video bright and nice looking. Dark grainy bedroom footage is less appealing than a sunlit scene.
  8. Find a good speaker, someone who isn't shy but speaks loudly and clearly.

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