Matt Canty's Writing Place

Howden Jones Video Follow-Up

July 31, 2011

So hey hey hey there. The videos are now finished and it’s probably about time I should tell all.

Links to all of them on the HowdenJones Youtube channel will be listed at the bottom. Also embedded in this blog is my favourite of their songs which is Goodnight Dynamite – probably best represented on the live album Beautiful Again, if you can get a copy DO.

Nota bene: Apologies but the descriptions here are a bit rushed, its 23:23 and I move to London in the morning!



Downloading and sorting all of the audio and video data. Once everything has been copied to the hard-drive I think it’s always best to get it all to the right directories. There is a folder for each song, and in each of those is a folder for audio, video, editing and exports.


I use Sony Vegas Pro – and it is GREAT. Frippin eck it’s the bee’s knees and all that. No other choice about it. I’ve had it since university and used it on all video projects.


Editing it all together. This was quite a simple process, just a matter of getting in sync. Generally the layers are as follows: Titles, camera audio and video then the audio from the recording. Kate also had her camera phone which is used in Lizzie and therefore allows the camera angle to be switched without having to do any fiddly sync work.

Most of the songs were done once maybe twice, and I would zoom around filming what I liked the look of. Therefore to achieve angle changes, the video has to be cut up into samples. For example, I got a loop of Paul playing the same chord sequence, which can then be used to fill gaps at any point in the song – within reason of course.


Rendering was a difficult process, until I found the default did pretty much the best job. I also find that its best to just let Vegas Pro get on with its rendering, and don’t bother trying to get any compression going on. My solution to the vast file sizes – 1GB for 4 minutes… – was to import them to Windows Live Movie Maker and just do a quick “Save for DVD” which does all the hard work. Only downside is it gets saved as a WMV, but who really cares.


There is no 5 step.


To save any annoyance, I did quick edit and renders to show them all the songs. Following this they chose their favourite/ones wanted and I put more time into those in particular.

The biggest issue was with Lizzie, where there was no audio for the best camera shot, and no video for the best audio take. So each 3 or 4 seconds I had to do little nip/tuck syncing, as thy weren’t at exactly the same tempo. Considering this its not come out too bad!

Thanks for reading.

I am Matt Canty, an engineer of varying titles who helps tech companies run reliable and fault-tolerant software platforms. Just send me an email:

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