My first dalliance with a video editor was the humble Windows Movie Maker which crashes my PC every single time without fail, and that’s an original Windows XP on a quadcore machine. Don’t ask. The vids were small files from my Finepix P&S containing the last BBQ event I did at home as well as excerpts from gigs by Clapton and Radiohead. Rudimentary, unsharp vids but crowning glories for mere noobs like myself.

Another video-related hobby of mine is converting old VHS tapes into digital format using a VCR that can connect to a PC via USB. Unfortunately, it works only on a PC and the format it converts the vids to is .mpg, which doesn’t fare well on OSX unless you watch it on VLC (I don’t know why some people hate it – it’s da bomb) or convert it to .mp4/.m4v prior to editing it on iMovie, which thankfully I can do now using MPEG Streamclip.

I have been using iMovie since I had an iPhone which records vids in the .mov format. In addition, buying the 550D last year opened a new horizon for me as I now have the ability to shoot in HD (my option of choice: 24fps/1080p). It wasn’t until last week when I discovered that I could pick exact portions of an audio clip and add it to the mix which would be perfect for what I’ve been wanting to do with a bunch of vids I took at two Metallica gigs I attended in 2009.

The vids were taken using a Lumix TZ5 which I bought purely for its ability to take HD videos. Ideal for gigs, you’d say, until the shock I had when reviewing the vids I took at a Megadeth show in 2009. Nice images but the sound was shoddy to boot. It appeared that the TZ5 had a badly placed mono mic on the camera, and anything really loud will be distorted, kinda like a mobile phone. The only time the TZ5 gig vid had any semblance to decent audio was at the Pearl Jam show in Manchester back in ’09 as I was way above in the rafters.

The beauty about the Metallica shows was that I have the CDs to both shows that I bought from which I’ve ripped onto my HDD. All I needed to do was to drag the music file name onto the clip. The mistake I did the last time was to not realise that the music clip can be isolated using the Clip Trimmer option and on doing that, you virtually drag the highlighted segment to where you want it to be. For this Metallica project, it meant dragging the audio clip accurately to the exact point in the vid so as to match the actual audio exactly. One problem was the distortion on the original audio which meant I had to find clues from the clip, e.g. a particular squeal from Kirk’s solo in a song. Visual cues are more obvious too – the timing of a crash cymbal being hit or James’ lips moving when singing. When I run the video to check, it’ll be real obvious if the audio clip tallies or not with the video, even if there aren’t visual cues.

Putting it together gave rise to a clip 17+ minutes long and thankfully, I’m allowed to put up an HD clip longer than 15 minutes on YouTube now. So, ladies and gents, kids of all ages – I present you the world premiere of my chabok ‘tallica video experience. Hope you like it. Don’t forget to click 720p and watch it in full screen mode.