Awareness is one of the cornerstones a musician builds upon in order to grow and evolve, and so any way it can be strengthened will have an impact on that maturing process. When our attention is divided, that process is undermined, so anything that will help us increase our ability to focus will also develop our ability to improve. Trying to do an exercise or play music while carefully observing one’s form from another perspective, or remembering every aspect of one’s most recent performance are admirable goals, but rarely achievable. However a good video recorder with great sound can provide a musician with an invaluable tool for increasing awareness by allowing one to place all of their attention on observing and listening. I have long wished for a way of getting my students to see things from my perspective, and have asked if they had a way of recording themselves…both audio and video. Some had no means to do that, others had questionable equipment at home, others had what was needed but did not take the time to do so. It became quite evident that I needed to take matters into my own hands, and so at long last I have a way of doing so.
After researching several other candidates from the mainstream consumer market, this Zoom Q3HD Video Recorder was an eleventh hour discovery. Thinking as a musician, I was impressed with it’s stereo mics, input and output options, choices for both audio and video quality, compact size, expandable memory, and options like an AC converter, mini tripod, cable package, case and windscreen. There is also a third party CMO1 Camera/Digital Recorder Stand Mount that allows the Q3HD to be mounted on a mic stand for even more flexibility. I know that its lens is not as large as some of its competitors, nor is its zoom capabilities as great (both deficiencies minimized by adjusting room lights and camera placement), and the battery life is as bad as the reviews say (fixed by the AC adapter)…but the examples I saw and heard on YouTube were still very impressive. This link will give you more info on the Q3HD if you’re interested in one for yourself, and remember you can just click on these pictures for a larger view.
I’m in the testing phase right now, and plan to put an LED monitor in my Achord studio by the first of the year so students can finally see the things I have been discussing with them. My old Mini Mac will provide storage for saved Q3HD files that can serve as examples for other students, or allow a student to see how they may have progressed. I see the Q3HD as a great way of creating YouTube videos that can be accessed from this blog, and plan on documenting rehearsals and performances as well. Good things will come from this!