I didn’t get lost in the park, I promise.

It’s been a little while since my last post, about two weeks. But I do have a new video up and running. Quiet Park Ambient ASMR is an outdoor ambience video I recorded at a park in my area. I often cycle through the area and always like the sounds I hear, from the various birds to the gushing water sounds of the River Torrens.
I spent a few hours there with my H1 and camera (potato phone) recording different parts of the park. It’s actually quite a large area, there’s a big grass oval in between a billabong and the River Torrens (billabong on Wikipedia). Ducks and many other species of bird live there and make lots of nice sounds.

This is definitely not your typical ASMR video, I didn’t get any tingles myself from the sounds, it’s more of a general relaxing pleasant aural sensation. There is remarkably little ASMR content filmed outdoors, I’m guessing it’s due the the inherent complexities of outdoor recording, and avoiding unwanted audio is very difficult. I am going to try to film again in a more remote location, far away from any and all human noise. In this video, my mic picked up a lot of unexpected traffic and aviation noise. I hope it’s not too much of a bother for listeners.

I went back to the area the next morning at 2AM to record the flowing water of the River. I’ll be making a feature video on my channel soon using it. It was actually a bit scary to get there. There is very little lighting on the pathway and it’s about a 15 minute cycle from my house. The headlamp on my bike was certainly needed!

It would have been great to be able to share the visual eeriness of the recording, but with such low light, literally there are no lights in the area at all, and the potato-ness of my only camera, the resulting video would just be black. Maybe that is appropriate? Really though, I envisioned using some stock images of water flowing, or even a clip or two (copyrights permitting). Perhaps I can go back and film during the day and just dub the human-noiseless audio I recorded at nigh over that footage. That may work ūüôā

Any way I’m going to wrap this post up now, I hope you all have a great day/night!

 

Between hay and grass

Tonight I went for a walk to record my first outdoor ASMR recording. The time was about 3am because I wanted to minimise traffic and general urban noise.
I walked down to the local neighbourhood oval rugged up with warm clothes as it was a cool night; it was exhilarating. I was excited to do this. I get a lot of ideas for ASMR content being an ASMR consumer myself, and this one I had just put down in my little note pad of ideas.

I soon discovered the importance of microphone wind socks when recording outdoors. I don’t own one per se, so I quickly went home to improvise one out of some fluffy felt/lining I have (I’m going to be making a video with it on it’s own soon, as it’s super tingly).

I located myself as far from the road as possible, in the middle of this huge grass oval, the almost full moon above me peeking through the heavy clouds. I set up my mic and plugged in my IEM’s and the sounds I heard were beyond my expectations!

I settled my self down in a comfy spot and recorded just over 30 minutes of grass rubbing and scratching. It was a very relaxing time, I think the most relaxed I have been in a while. I found myself just kind of zoned out and peaceful, rubbing the grass back and forth and experimenting with my mic.

This was very enjoyable to record and I hope you all enjoy it too!

One of those days… (nights)

My latest video is a bit of a small miracle! I’m writing this before the YouTube upload – partly to vent and share my experience. I had nearly every imaginable setback starting off with my phone dying just as I was about to start recording, SD card running out of space, a corrupted MP4, and major sync issues.

The basic idea for the video is counting Monopoly money, something about the paper sound triggers me – and maybe others too. The set up I used in this video was using my phone as the camera, and the Zoom for audio with the PC off to minimise noise. I had done some tests previously and I think I had sussed out the problem synchronising the A/V. I like this method for the low noise floor and you can’t hear my noisy PC.

The recording was going very well, I was really happy with the audio and, although my phone camera is not super awesome, it’s a lot better than that Logitech webcam. The recording was originally about a third longer but due to the file corruption, I had to edit ¬†out the end where I cut the money with scissors. I’ll be doing cutting sounds video again though, scissors are a good tingle source!

My phone ran out of storage space part way through the recording and the camera app crashed before it could finalise the MP4, leaving me with a 2.3GB file that nothing, not even VLC would play ūüė¶

I was determined not to lose this recording, the audio on the Zoom was fine and I suppose I could have just uploaded the audio with some calming visuals. But I thought the sounds would go best with its origins.

I Googled far and wide for repair MP4 corruption, amongst other terms, and mostly ran into paywalls, companies selling software claiming to repair video files. I’m sure some of them would but I was sure somewhere, someone on the internet has figured this out.

I was right! I came across this¬†Stack Overflow post¬†which saved me. Special thanks to ‘Sly Diman‘ for making¬†Recover_MP4.exe.¬†It is a command line program with no user interface, so it may be a bit of a challenge for some people. It’s not a one-click solution either and takes a bit of trial and error. The process took me about and hour or so to test things out with my file and get the parameters right.

Using recover_mp4.exe I recovered a H264 stream Horay!! Oh man, I was so happy with this, but it still wasn’t over, I needed an MP4 file for Hitfilm (video editor). Seems as the recovered .h264 file played in VLC I tried the built in convert option. This crashed VLC and my heart sank a little. Recover_MP4 recommends using ffmpeg.exe to convert to MP4 so I tried this¬†several times and eventually got a file I though was close to the original. What was off was the framerate due to a parameter I needed to set, but I was unsure of.

I then discovered had to re-encode the MP4 with Handbrake¬†just like any other recording from my phone due to the varying frame rate. This could have been accomplished with ffmpeg, but I’m not super familiar with all of these programs.

The next discovery was in editing and trying to synchronise the A/V. For 1 second of audio recorded with the Zoom, I need the correct amount of frames for one second of video – and to align them. As you will see when the upload goes live it’s not perfect, but I think I was able to fudge it just enough to make it work using a few cuts and stretching, blended with transitions.

What was going to be a quick recording that I was going to edit later, turned into a very long recording/distress/research/recovery/conversion/editing session!

tl;dr

Despite experiencing some complex technical difficulties I was able to get my video done. I learned how to recover corrupted MP4’s too – which is good to know!

As per a suggestion, I have also lowered the sound level in my intro, it really was a bit too loud.

I’ll be uploading overnight (morning) and I hope you enjoy it and that it was worth it.

Here is the upload, enjoy!

New Microphone Zoom H1

After experimenting with my new mic, the Zoom H1 I was so inspired and made this new video. I have this non-stick foam mat that sounds really cool and it’s kind of sticky.
The video is only 20 minutes long, I was Up Late and my housemates and traffic were just starting their day, so I had to cut it short.

I think the levels are good this time, I’m not using the direct monitoring output on the H1, I’m using it in USB mic mode and monitoring through my PC. Again I’m using OBS to record – because the Logitech webcam software only lets me record audio with the built in mic, and I haven’t had a lot of luck with recording separate A/V and synchronising them. Using OBS to record both A/V in a single file is simpler for the time being. I think I’m starting to get my production groove too :p

I’m not super happy with the thumbnail, it kind of looks a bit washed out. But i’ll leave it. I use GIMP for editing images – I’m not super experienced with it and I’m always learning, so you’ll probably see me try a few different thumbnail styles.

My camera is now the most obvious future upgrade, I thought this Logitech Quickcam Pro 9000 was okay, but it’s really quite lacking. I do have a pretty good smartphone, Oppo F1 and it can record in 720p60fps but there are a few reasons why I haven’t used it yet.
Firstly, I have no real way to mount the thing at an angle that works for my setup. I have experimented with a mount I made with a wire coat hanger that attaches to my monitor and that is okay, if not a but bouncy and a pain to set up. I may use that if I can sort out the other issues. The audio sync is another issue. My phone only records at a variable framerate, if you select 30 or 60 fps, that will be the target but it still varies. So synchronisation is a nightmare. I can actually plug the H1 into my phone’s USB OTG connector and select use it as the video mic, but for some reason the it’s super out of sync, like almost 3 seconds. I have been told that I can run it through Handbrake to get a fixed fps, but I still have to figure that out.

Anyway, I hope you guys like this one, I think the sound is really good!

First upload

I took the plunge and uploaded my first video! It was exciting and frustrating – a whole range of emotions. This is actually a re-record because silly me did not do a sound check before recording the first time and there was no audio! lol so the first recording was scrapped. I think I was just so excited to get up and going.

The quality is not what I’d like, but I tried to make it the best with what I had.
The equipment I’m using for this is:

  • Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000
  • eBay special USB microscope
  • eBay special USB microphone

I used OBS to record the whole thing, overlaying the microscope feed on top of the webcam, using the USB microphone as the only audio source. I edit with Hitfilm Express but I’m considering getting an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, because I like Premier Pro better.

That USB microphone is pretty junky but it was only AU$5 free shipping. At the time of writing this, I have actually got a Zoom H1 recorder! I’ve been experimenting with it and I’m super excited to make a new video with it! I love the thing so much! It’s a pretty awesome mic. It’s the same mic MissASMR started with actually. I was tossing up between the Tascam DR-05 and the Zoom H1, but then I discovered that the DR-05 does not have USB mic function, so recording would have to be separate which adds a bit more complexity to editing – especially with synchronisation.

But back to this video … There are a few¬†background sounds in this, traffic, housemates moving about etc, I hope that’s not too much of an issue. In future videos I’ll spend more time on each trigger source, this video was a bit of experimentation with recording and production methods.

What were your favourite triggers (if any) in this?

Up Late To The Party

Hi and welcome to the blog for my YouTube Channel ASMR Up Late.

This is my first post, I have only just got my channel up and running, above is my channel trailer. I’ll be using this blog to share my journey and progress on YouTube and provide some bonus info for videos, like behind the scenes or production diary.

If you don’t know what ASMR is, check out my About¬†page or Google it! ūüôā

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