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Pedal Demo Videos -INPUT WANTED!!!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Woodsbass, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. Hi everyone!

    I'm planning on doing a series of pedal demos for various types of effects, and would like some input on the content you would like to see in the videos. By this I mean:

    Layout of the video: Talking first, no talking, talking after playing.

    Material: What songs would you like to hear for each type of effect? I'll take the most popular suggestions and include them in the videos. So tell me which songs you would like to hear in a distortion demo, which in a chorus video, etc..and I'll be glad to fit as many suggestions into a song as I can.

    Look: What view/views would you like in the video? Pedal knobs, bass neck or both?

    Length: How long do you think the perfect video is? What would be long enough to satisfy your ears, but not too long to bore you?

    Extras: Anything you can think of that you want to see in demo videos.

    The Talkbass community has helped me a great deal while learning to play bass, and I want a way of giving back to the people who helped me!
  2. Crater


    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    Here's my input:

    Minimal talking, or even none. If you have to talk, keep it to a minute or less. I hate the demos where people pontificate for 5 minutes before playing a note. I've usually stopped the video by then and moved on to something else. Put the relevant info as text over the video. There's not much to see with your typical demo video anyway, so the text isn't distracting. And please, don't spend five minutes telling us stuff like "this is the distortion knob, it controls the amount of distortion!" Well, DUH.

    Decent lighting please. In general, the brighter the lights, the better the video will look. Make sure there are multiple light sources so there's no deep shadows.

    Use a QUALITY mic! Do not just set the camcorder on a shelf and use its internal mic. For bass, you might want to use a SansAmp or other direct box and record 'straight in'.

    Length? At least 3 but no more than 5 or 6 minutes.

    [video begins]
    [shot of demo-er holding their bass, facing the camera]

    "Hi, youtubers! I'm John Doe and I'm demoing the Peabody Coal Crusher overdrive for bass. I'm playing a stock Fender Precision bass into a Ampeg BA-115 amp, and I'm using the amp's direct out for recording. Let's get started!"

    [shot switches to pedal, turned off]
    "Here's my clean tone." [plays a few phrases]
    [screen text: low gain overdrive]
    [pedal is turned on] [plays a few phrases]
    [screen text: turn up the gain medium]

    ...and so on. Basically you want to show the basic 'sweep' of the controls and not try showcase every possible sound a box can make.
  3. Guinness20


    Jan 24, 2013
    Liverpool, UK
    ^ This. Hate it when people spend more time talking than actually playing. And if you do wait until they eventually stop talking, so often the sound quality is horrendous!
  4. GretschBassist


    Nov 11, 2012
    Good sound and image. Good information. Good examples. Good mixture. ;-)
    Do it naturally, everything else wont really be working. Make it fun, people like fun.
  5. beggar98


    Jan 23, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Talking doesn't bother me if it is well informed. Also, given the way pedal manufacturers name their controls, a quick overview of what parameter the knobs/switches/buttons actually change is important. But by far the biggest thing is sound quality. Record into a quality DAW, either direct or with a decent mic, and take some time to edit your video together. If the idea is to get an idea of the sound of a pedal, a camera mic is absolutely useless.
  6. Talking: Talk as little as possible. Let the pedal speak for itself. Just introduce yourself and the pedal, go over the signal chain (identify bass, effects, amp/mic/direct/DAW) – or better yet, just put the signal chain in the video description to save time. Briefly explain what you’re doing every time you change the effect settings, and then get back to playing.

    Material: It’s going to depend on the pedal, but my favorite demo videos have the reviewer playing the same riff over and over through different settings so you can really hear the subtleties of what the pedal can do. Recognizable basslines are fine, but not necessary. As long as it’s played fingerstyle and moves between strings and up/down the neck, I’m happy.

    Look: A clear view of the pedal knobs is a MUST. Seeing the bass neck is nice but not necessary. I guess the best would be a picture-in-picture setup where you can see both clearly.

    Length: Depends on how many different sounds a pedal has. I’ve seen demos that covered everything in under 2 minutes.
  7. Please slap only if the effect is slap oriented.

    Please also play some slow passages so you can hear the decay of the effect.

    Please don't unbox the pedal and talk about the sticker in the box.

    I look forward to your videos.
  8. Darknut

    Darknut Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2009
    No talking
    Clear, bright shot of pedal
    No Cam or phone mics
    No Talking
    Use the pedal like it would really be used for real at some point ..... not just extremes
    & no talking
  9. icecycle66


    Feb 4, 2009
    Layout of the video: No talking just playing. You will be demoing the pedal, not your consideration of the pedal.

    Material: Don't focus on songs, focus on what you are inputting into the pedal. Play the same little riff on the low end of your instrument, on the middle range, and on the high end of the instrument. That way we can hear how the pedal acts on different parts of the instrument. Manipulate the onboard controls (such as pickup selection) to show how different bass setting impact the effect you are demoing.

    Look: Let us see the pedal. That is what is important on pedal demos. Let us know what gear you are using in the video notes. If we want to see your chops we will watch your chops videos. In pedal demos, the pedal is the focus.

    Length: I think length is based on the pedal. If you are demoing a one knob phaser or reverb, the video shouldn't be more than a minute or two long. If you are demoing a five knob fuzz pedal an want to show how each knob interacts with the other knobs, that might take 7 to 10 minutes.

    Extras: If the pedal stacks exceptionally well with other pedals, show that at the end.

    And always end the demo on your favorite setting.
  10. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    LITTLE talking.
    a clean reference before demoing any pedal.
    Standard bass in standart tuning.
    Not too long.
    Play the same things each time-something in all regions of the board so we know how the pedal sounds there ...keep it simple( no sshowing off of your latest favorite licks)

    Have a clear shot on the pedal, so we know the settings.
  11. Eadger


    Oct 11, 2012
    Layout: I like the way Prymaxe has been doing their newer demos. Play a few different songs/styles with a decent variety of settings (no talking)...then go into more of a specific demo of each of the different controls on/off and at different levels with little short riffs (little or no talking).

    Material: I think this would probably vary on the effect (if you're doing a filter demo, play something funky...doing a low gain/warm overdrive, play some classic rock)...but like I said earlier, a variety of styles is still helpful - you never know what someone is going to use something for.

    Look: Pedal knobs constantly. Watching your chops is fun too, but not necessary.

    Length: 4-8 minutes?

    Extras: I think a lot of people might disagree with me on this, but I prefer pedal demos to be bass->pedal->di/console. I know many people want a mic'd up cab, but that introduces so many variables to the sound from the head and cabinet used. I know what my setup sounds like direct, and I also know what my specific head/cab does to my sound. So if I can hear the pedal direct (in its most "true" form), I can figure out what it's going to sound like coming out of my rig, and I don't have to guess what the setup of the demo is adding or taking away.

    And thanks for your willingness to contribute!
  12. Kragnorak


    Sep 20, 2008
    Step 1: Don't start the actual sound samples until at least 3 minutes and 33 seconds into the video.

    Step 2: Make sure to only slap the bass.

    Step 3: Rely on your camera mic for the signal.

    Step 4: Make sure that the bass is much louder than your voice so that after the viewer has been steadily turning up the volume, he gets blasted out of his seat when you finally start playing.

    Oh wait, I thought the topic was "how to create a typical YouTube review" nm :bag:
  13. Adamixoye

    Adamixoye A PT Pro is cool for worship, right?

    Apr 9, 2012
    Occasional Beta Tester for Confusion Studios, Singular Sound, and Source Audio
    A lot of good advice already. I agree a lot with Crater, although I would add I don't mind SOME explanation of the knobs if it is clear and concise. Instead of answering all of the OP's questions, I'll post two videos I think are at the opposite end of the spectrum. I should add that they are both by professional musicians, and no disrespect is meant to the creator of the "bad" one, but I've got to keep it real.

    This is one of the best demos I've ever seen, it totally sold me on the B7K. I occasionally still watch it just because, I keep meaning to write down all these settings and try them out:
    Key positives: good, interesting riffs and lines that aren't too showy as to be distracting or unrealistic for the average player; clean/effected comparison; settings are clearly shown without any talking; settings are very diverse and you hear the pedal's capabilities

    This is one of the worst, I just saw it the other day and came down hard on it in the thread where it was discussed:
    Key negatives: too much talking, including literally reading the manual, possibly for the first time, as he seems very uncertain; repetitive, boring bass line; gain too high, all the settings sound the same; knob tweaking is done without any real method to the madness (hey, I'm messing with the EQ now!)
  14. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    Try to pick a neutral beginning tone as much as possible. I would prefer hearing the demo through uncolored studio monitors rather than have to account for the tone of the rig.... Bass > pedal > interface.

    Know what you are playing before you start. Be methodical... ie. single note run, chord, and arpeggio / percussive, picked and fingered. Come up with a riff (15 seconds) and that has each element and repeat in each 2 or 3 octave register....repeat for 6 or so variations of settings (depending on how versatile the pedal is) Use the same riff for all the same type of effects you review so that people have a good comparison.

    It may sound boring, but it would be helpful for some standardized approach.
  15. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    Lots of talking. I want to hear all about the bass that is being played, what kind of pickups it has, where you bought it, what kind of polish you use, and a comprehensive list of professionals who play a similar bass. Also go over your cables/picks/strings and other accessories.

    Lots of slap. This is the only way to properly demo a pedal.

    Muffled sound. If it can sound good recorded on your webcam at 64k, then it should sound good on my rig.

    Length should be 15-20 minutes with a 7 minute talking only intro. If it hold my attention, it's a winner!
  16. Adamixoye

    Adamixoye A PT Pro is cool for worship, right?

    Apr 9, 2012
    Occasional Beta Tester for Confusion Studios, Singular Sound, and Source Audio
    But enough about [REDACTED]'s videos, amirite?
  17. AndyLES


    Aug 25, 2008
    New York
    What I would like to see are YouTube vids that actually demonstrate the pedal being used in "real life" contexts.

    ENOUGH WITH THE SLAPPING - 97% of the basslines we're asked to play (outside of the funk genre, of course) rarely require slapping.

    Demos done at GIG volumes, when practical, and preferably with other instruments playing - it's so frustrating to be impressed by a pedal in isolation, at bedroom volume, only to realize it sucks at a gig.
  18. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Digital Brand Development and Product Development at GHS Strings
    Depending on your editing software, you can easily put in some callouts for what the individual knobs do while there's a picture of the pedal showing and you're playing. Helps to keep the talking to a minimum and the video moving.

    +1 to ensuring the pedal is in the forefront of the video, not the player. People want to know what the pedal can do and you need to pique their interest enough that they take the chance on trying that pedal in their rig. Keeping the riff to something simple, and playing that ad nauseum while going through the controls is going to give the viewer the info they want.

    Here's the latest video demo I did for the gents at Pigtronix, just as an example. My strongest one to date, but there are still things I could fix next time.

    Pigtronix - Bass Station
  19. K2000


    Nov 16, 2005
    Do not talk! "Hey everybody, it's John again, and today, I'm going to demo a brand new pedal from BlahBlah, it was just released today and etc"! The name of the pedal is in the title! I clicked on that title for a reason, I already know it's a demo for that pedal. And 6 months later while I'm watching your video, it's not "brand new" any more. Almost all talking is a waste of my time. Use titles on screen if you need to describe things. Your equipment list and pretty much everything else can be a title on screen, or in the video description.

    If the pedal is not featured onscreen, take a pic of the settings and leave the pic up in the corner of the screen (inset). Or tell the settings with titles, and leave them up. Sometimes I will fast forward demos, looking for settings I'm interested in/skip settings I'm bored with. I look to see if the description changes, or if the knobs have moved, etc.

    Don't play anything lasting longer than 30 seconds, maybe. Don't waste time playing the same thing over and over. I'd rather watch the demo a 2nd time, than fast forward through something repetitive.

    If I can hear your string noise, it's a fail. Record direct, or keep your mic far away from your bass. If you need to add voice over, do it separately.

    5 minutes or less is a good length. If your demo is 10 minutes, it better be the world's most complicated pedal (in which case, break it up into segments). You do not have to demo every single feature, or present the authoritative reference material for that pedal. Show us what the pedal does best (or in some cases, how it's a fail) or show us the features that you're interested in. If it can do many different things well, please just touch on them briefly. Show the range (can it get weird too? show a little of that). You're just trying to raise awareness/create interest in the pedal, not present a user's manual. If you do want to delve deeply into a specific topic, make it a separate video.

    Maybe put a program guide in the description, like
    "slap back delay - starts at 1:15"
    "ambient echo" - starts at 2:20"
    "Runaway feedback - starts at 4:22"

    I like how Grygrx has a summary in his reviews... you could sum up your opinion in the video description section.
  20. K2000


    Nov 16, 2005

    Don't have a long intro "Gary's Pedal Demos!" because after the first video, I never need to see it again. If you must promote yourself onscreen, keep it brief. And I'm not against promoting yourself, in fact I think it's smart, if you plan on doing a lot of demos. Just be concise.

    I don't want to see your bare feet or socks. i don't even want to see your shoes. Switch the pedal on with your hand.

    Show me the wide range that the pedal can do, and not all the small steps in-between. "Here's the knob at 9:00, here's the knob at 10:00, here's the knob at 11:00..." Instead, give me the "Big Picture" overview, I can already figure out that there are steps between Light Overdrive and Heavy Overdrive, etc. You can describe the pedal as being "incredibly versatile" in the titles or description, and just show a couple of examples, without demonstrating every incremental change.