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 Stick Lessons via Skype and Google video chat 
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Post Stick Lessons via Skype and Google video chat
Hi everyone.

I just had a nice little test run with Eric (thanks Eric) and everything seems to work fine, so any of you who might be interested please send me an email to stickist@aol.com and we can discuss the details (please use email and not PM, thanks).

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Stick Lessons by Skype and Google Video Chat


Last edited by greg on Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:45 am
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Post Re: Stick Lessons via Skype video
You are very welcome. I think this adds a lot to the Stick community. Skype seems to work well for this and adds a dimension that was missing for a lot of us. We can see what's going on! Greg noticed that my Stick was probably too low for me. I'm going to raise it up tonight. Thanks, Greg!

Here are some tips on getting the highest quality video and sound and experience.

  • I don't have a microphone so I was just using the little mic on my laptop. It works pretty well, but Greg used his computer interface and his voice and Stick sounded better to me than my Stick did to him. I think I will pick up a mic so I can use my mixer and not the laptop mic.
  • Have bright lights in your room, the brighter the better. The video will be much clearer and the other person will be able to see you and your hands much better.
  • Arrange your room so you can get back far enough from the camera. If you sit right in front of it we won't be able to see about half of your Stick.
  • Experiment with full screen. If you have a good monitor and the video feed is of good quality you will be able to see better at full screen.
  • Don't be intimidated. It might seem scary at first but it is no different than sitting with a friend swapping licks. Your friend is just a bit farther away.
  • Some people have expressed to me being embarrassed that the technology of Skype is a little too complicated for them. They can't seem to make it work. If you would like some help getting going send me a PM and we'll arrange a time where I walk you through it. We'll get it to work, I promise. (And I'll never tell...)

-Eric

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Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:45 pm
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Post Re: Stick Lessons via Skype video
Does Skype tend to work better on PC or Mac? We have both at home, but I guess the MacBook Pro would be much faster than my old PC and it has an in-built camera. I should be able to use my Zoom H2 recorder as an audio interface, via USB.

Greg - you don't mind giving lessons at 3am in the morning, do you? ;)

EG

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Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:35 pm
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Post Re: Stick Lessons via Skype video
evilgus wrote:
Does Skype tend to work better on PC or Mac? We have both at home, but I guess the MacBook Pro would be much faster than my old PC and it has an in-built camera. I should be able to use my Zoom H2 recorder as an audio interface, via USB.

Greg - you don't mind giving lessons at 3am in the morning, do you? ;)

EG

Hi Justin,

I can't comment on which works better. Works fine on my Mac.

You don't really "need" an audio interface, just have your amp in the room and I assume the computer has a microphone built in as well (though it might sound better through another mic).

I'm sure we can come up with a time that will work...

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please don't PM me, If you want to get in touch use email stickist@aol.com

Stick Lessons by Skype and Google Video Chat


Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:59 pm
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Post Re: Stick Lessons via Skype video
evilgus wrote:
Does Skype tend to work better on PC or Mac? We have both at home, but I guess the MacBook Pro would be much faster than my old PC and it has an in-built camera. I should be able to use my Zoom H2 recorder as an audio interface, via USB.

This is one of the advantages of Skype, it should work about the same on Mac and Win. A faster computer might be better overall, though. The built-in camera is fine and the built-in mic will work. You will probably get better sound through your interface.

-Eric

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Tue Sep 09, 2008 5:03 am
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Post Re: Stick Lessons via Skype video
One thing I would strongly urge is for anyone requiring a 3rd party camera to spend some extra dough. Early in the summer, I was away from home for an extended period of time and my wife and I were using Skype to communicate. The built-in camera on my iMac was of reasonably good quality but the inexpensive $40 camera I picked up for my PC at Circuit City was garbage. It worked for our purposes but I'm guessing that for Stick lessons (requiring better visual fidelity), this camera would have been close to useless.

Unfortunately, I can't make any recommendations since I'm not well versed in what's out there but I can say to beware the cheapos.

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Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:03 am
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Post Re: Stick Lessons via Skype video
You can also use a video camera with firewire if you have one kicking around. Works on Mac or WinXP but last time I checked Vista won't let a firewire video to be routed as a webcam. Video camera on tripod gives you a lot of framing options.

I'm not sure on Mac but on my WinXP set up the audio from video cam mic does not feed through with the firewire.

Bright light is an absolute. Webcam software that corrects lighting condition will do many strange things to you picture. Can makes things blurry, add weird colors and decrease frame rate. If you can measure frame rate anything above 15 fps is good for webcasting. Motion picture is at 25 fps, TV is at 29.97.

A $40 webcam with good light can work.

I have a poor man light set up using some small par cans with spun gels in them to diffuse light on a light tree.

A couple of 100 watt regular light bulbs can make a huge difference too. Also have used my work light with two 500 watt lights, but can also wash out image and they're way hot.

My biggest hesitation firing up my cams from home is always the stuff that gets framed into the shot behind me. I got two filing cabinets behind me with a load of junk waiting to be sorted on top. I have a set up using a black bed sheet framed behind me when I've done webcasts from home.

Marc

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Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:46 am
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Post Re: Stick Lessons via Skype video
I have a Mac PowerBook G4, and what I've found works beautifully are the old iSight cameras. They aren't made anymore but you can find them on Ebay. What's cool about this setup is that I can run my Stick straight into my PB and into GarageBand or Logic, and thus hear it through my speakers, and allocate the iSight camera/mic to the Skype or iChat conference. That way no amp is required, the sound is picked up nicely via iSight. Makes for a tidy little chat package.

Kris


Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:25 am
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Post Re: Stick Lessons via Skype video
I'll be getting started on these in the next couple of days. Anything that I learn about how to make the process smoother I'll be sure to pass on to you folks.

From my end, I'm using a firewire video camera. One thing I've learned so far is that I can't have any other applications open that use the camera at the same time.

The firewire audio interface, MOTU 896 works fine too, I just have to assign only the input where the mic is plugged in for the "Monitor Input" on the MOTU Firewire Console.

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please don't PM me, If you want to get in touch use email stickist@aol.com

Stick Lessons by Skype and Google Video Chat


Thu Sep 11, 2008 4:52 am
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Post Re: Stick Lessons via Skype video
Just in case not everyone saw this on Stickwire, Don Schiff is joining in and is offering Skype lessons, too. I think this is an idea whose time has come.

-Eric

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Thu Sep 11, 2008 5:21 am
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