Music MarketingYoutube Music Marketing

Beginner’s Guide To Record A Cover Video On Your Phone

This is the most comprehensive guide to shooting a professional cover video with your smartphone.

The best part?

You’ll get free applications for shooting and editing like a pro.

I know you do not totally believe that you can shoot and edit a good enough music video – competent enough to be aired on TV – with JUST A SMARTPHONE.

Impossible, right?

Wrong! A million times wrong!!!

Award-winning producer, Steve, shot a movie titled “something“, with iPhone cameras! There are dozens upon dozens of short films shot with great android cameras that are making money for their creators as we speak.

Before uploading your video to YouTube, make sure you know YouTube music marketing strategies and how to legalize cover songs to avoid copyright infringement.

Enough of the long talks, let’s get the ball rolling.

Necessary Set Up For Shooting a Killer Cover Video

Mind you, these strategies are not limited to cover videos alone. These are great picks.

1.  Get A Smartphone Camera/Third-Party Camera App

Before shooting with your phone, ensure that your camera is good enough. Users of iPhone, recent versions of Samsung galaxy, and Infinix, I believe, will have no problems with their camera quality.

If your phone camera quality is not very satisfying, you could borrow from a friend of yours who has a better smartphone.

Or, if your camera is like the 90’s just like mine, download a Third-party camera app called “Open Camera” for android users or click here for other devices.

Ideally, use the following recommendation;

  • 4k, 60-120fps (framerate), 258-512 bitrates, stereo(Audio)
  • 1920 by 1080p, 30 fps(Framerate), 224 Bitrates and Stereo

If you leverage those video settings, your recording will cut across as amazing and high-quality.

Most times, your phone inbuilt camera might not have the flexibility to tweak the aforementioned settings.  

So, I highly recommend downloading a manual camera app that’ll up your video quality tremendously.

Then tweak the settings using the recommendations above.

It is, however, noteworthy that iPhone users will usually be just fine with their default camera.

That said, there are lots of great, easy to use third party camera for android users on Play store. Some of them include:

  • ·        Cinematic FV5
  • ·        Open Camera
  • ·        Pixel camera

2.   Get an External Phone Camera Lens

There’s a correlation between high-quality videos and more views on YouTube or any social media platform. You don’t want to watch a low-quality video with so much blurriness, to begin with.

So, I highly recommend getting the following tested and trusted lenses.

#My pick: 15x Mobile Phone Camera Lens

It’s suitable for professional photography and HD camera display for videos and pictures.

With a 15X Mobile phone camera lens turns your smartphone camera into a digital SLR camera and enjoy the amazing photography journey. It’s incredibly cheap. It’s conveniently priced on Amazon here.

If you’ve no money for a camera lens go ahead with your phone. But, you wont get the quality intended.

#My Pick: Selvim Phone Camera Lens Phone Lens Kit.

In fact, it’s suitable for common smartphones such as Samsung, HTC, Xiaomi, VIVO, Meizu, Tecno, iPhone to mention but a few.

It works with pretty much any android device in the market and produces the same quality videos across all smartphones.  It’s affordably priced on Jumia here. Plus, it comes with other needful accessories. You can also check it out on Amazon.

  • You want a camera that offers uncommon functionality to provide high quality and an end to end screen with crisps, beautiful, and straight, with no fisheye distortion.
  • With this camera lens, you’ve thrice the quality of your phone camera coupled with a third party part application, your videos will look like a DSLR camera.

3.   Get an Mp3 Player

The reason for an mp3 player is to help you sing in sync with the original song. This helps in syncing your video with the song during the editing stage. So sing along with the mp3 player as you are being shot.

After which you can use a powerful but free video editing software to do the magic. That I will provide below.

Keep reading!

4.   Pay Attention To Lighting And Background

The beauty of your video will double if you pay attention to appropriate lighting and backgrounds. A poorly lit video is as bad as a video with too much exposure (light), so your target should be balanced lighting.

Backgrounds too have a severe impact on your video quality.

Therefore, find locations and environments with the appropriate backgrounds for your videos.

You can also settle for simple abstract backgrounds; this will lessen the workload of moving from one location to another.

Two or three clean plain clothes with a single color spread behind you can serve as your abstract background. If there are little flaws anywhere, it would be taken care of during the editing stage.

5.  A Tripod Is Necessary

You don’t want to always disturb people to help hold the camera while record, right? That’s where a tripod comes into play.

Having a tripod is extremely valuable and most of them can easily be used to mount a phone or camera.

Above all, the main reason you may be needing a tripod or selfie stick is to avoid the instability caused by directly holding the phone with shaky hands while shooting.

However, some persons can comfortably hold on with minimal shakiness, but, I don’t recommend that.

·      Joby GorillaPod (Tripod I Used The Most)

tiktok q

I’m loving this GorrilaPod, as it gave my videos a touch of stability, flexibility, and the professional feel I crave for. You check my blogging YouTube channel for proof.

Do you know what is pretty cool about this?

….it works fine for YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok Videos. It also gives me the flexibility to adjust to any length that suits my height.

Gorillapod is a lifesaver. I can also play around with some really cool camera angles that would normally not be possible on other Tripods as affordable as this.

It’s conveniently available on Amazon here. So, if you want a Tripod you can use sitting, standing and walking then GorillaPod is the best for your money.

·10” Ring Light with 50” Extendable Tripod Stand.

tiktok success for musicians

I really can’t believe this tripod comes with a Ring light, LED circle lights for makeup, live videos, YouTube, TikTok.

It’s also compatible with android and iPhone. 

Do you know what’s pretty cool?

It’s can be extended from 15.7 inches to 50 inches, our tripod can be adjusted to any height within seconds as needed, short enough to stand on a tabletop, tall enough to fit your height.

Eliminate the stress of pressing the record button every now than when you make mistakes in your recording. Wireless remote shutter – the pocket-sized Bluetooth remote allows you to take selfies or group photos easily from a distance up to 30 feet.

Do you know what’s astonishing about this product?

It’s extremely affordable and serves more than its original pricing. It’s available on Amazon through this link.

Using this product will up your video quality dramatically. You check it out here.

6.  Keep It As Simple As Possible

Yes, I know you’d like to achieve some stunts you’ve seen in a million-dollar budget movie or music video, but also remember that you are shooting a no-budget music video, that means there are stunts you definitely cannot pull. So instead of trying futilely to pull a single stunt for two hours, performing simple tricks would be a lot more rewarding.

7.  Whatever You Do, Do Not Zoom In And Out

Phone Cameras do not usually do well with the zoom in and zoom out effect we see in some movies and music videos.

However, if you’re skilled in video editing you can create a killer zoom in and out effect within your software.

Now let me mention some camera shooting tricks that would make your video look more professional. You should let your cameraman friend see this if he doesn’t know it already.

Tips On Shooting A Killer Cover Songs With Your Phone

  • ·        Sliding
  • ·        Planning
  • ·        Tilting
  • ·        Dolly

·   Sliding

This is moving your phone camera from right to left (and vice versa) quickly while still maintaining the video’s stability and integrity. If you are using a tripod, then your phone’s position does not change, but the direction it faces changes from left to right (and vice versa).

You could decide to do this once or twice or at intervals, or irregularly – as long as you don’t lose stability.

It will create a swooshing effect. The ones you see in the movies.

·   Panning

This is quite very simpler than sliding. Just that it’s much slower. You could maintain panning for a whole shot.

Planning the integral to shooting interesting covers that people will want to watch. Scribbling your video ideas in notepad is great.

·   Tilting

This is also a relative of the slide family. It involves an upward and downward movement of the phone camera.

Or you can apply powerful transitions in your video editing software to create that sliding effect with a swoosh sound effect. 

·   Dolly

When you move your phone camera along a track either back holding it or on a tripod while shooting, it creates an illusion of a viewer walking.

Cool, right? This type of shot is called a dolly shot.

These are enough to get you great shots.

Bonus Tip – Can You Monetize Cover songs on YouTube?

I’ve dedicated a whole post explaining how to avoid copyright infringement. It’s a must-read.

Make sure to check it out before uploading any video to YouTube.

Wrapping Up – How To Record A Song On Your Phone

with budding artistes in mind, would this suffice for you? Let me know in the comments.

So, I was able to walk you through the fundamentals of recording a killer cover video with your smartphone.

If you adopt the strategies and hacks in this article, your videos will be topnotch.

Now, which of the strategies are going to try out first? Let’s chat in the comments. 

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ThankGod Uket

Hey! ThankGod Uket! A Music Promoter, Web designer, Writer, Digital Marketer & YouTuber. It's good having you visit Kingdom Echos. Feel free to hit me up via +2348096763980

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