October 19, 2014 at 1:34PM


Music Video !

Hello folks,
Im thinking about recording a music video with some of my buddies but i need some help!
Whats you guys think are the necessary equipment for recording a music video on a low budget ?


A camera.

Other than that, it depends what type of music video you’re going for, but seriously there have been music videos shot with just a camera and some creativity.

Some videos will require lighting, some will require audio recording (if you want a narrative with dialogue to open the video), some will require a dolly, a steadicam or a helicopter. It all depends on what you want to do. OK GO created one of the most watched music videos on the internet with just an SD camcorder and some treadmills. Other videos have been created with a GoPro and some creativity.

One other piece of equipment I would say is likely to come in handy is a boombox, so that you can playback the song so that everyone can properly sync to it (if you’re doing a video that requires that).

Do you have any ideas yet for what you want the music video to be?

October 20, 2014 at 1:35PM, Edited October 20, 1:35PM

Ryan Toyota
Graphic Designer / Typographer / Video Editor

Yep, a camera. You can always use Adobe CC products on a trial basis (last I checked, good for a month) to edit. Don't know how to edit? No worries. We've had highschool students go from never having touched Adobe to using it to cut together a 5 min short film in less than 3 weeks. You just need a camera, a mic, a recorder, a couple of memory cards, and a computer. Look into SurDoc for storing some files as needed - 100 GB free initially.

January 9, 2015 at 11:56AM


A mic and a recorder are of course an absolute necessity if you plan on recording sound, but generally are not needed on music videos as your having the artist(s) perform on-camera to the track. A good playback/ sound system is very important and shouldn't be overlooked.


October 13, 2015 at 3:37PM

The most importent are: decent location, solid lights, fast lens :)

Your gear depends on the story of your video. You have to decide, what is your music video about: do you want to tell a story with it, or just want to promote the band?

A Canon 50mm f1.8 is a cheap one and it's very versatile. You might want to use a wide angle for some shots. Try to storyboard your ideas and you'll see.

Is the band going to play together or separately? How do you want to light them, what kind of atmosphere do you want create? Is your video going to be colored or BaW? You might use colored light bulbs to create some interesting looks.

Your ideas, your choices :)

January 10, 2015 at 1:22PM


Great advice!! What is a good wide angle lens?

January 28, 2015 at 9:54PM

Axe Leven
Music Producer

Great advice all, and if it goes well, you should def regsiter on Radar - we have briefs with budgets on £500-£20,000(!)
It's free too. http://www.radarmusicvideos.com/home/about-us

June 24, 2015 at 7:49AM

Lisa Radar
Content Manager

It's a tad outdated as it was written close to 20 years ago,but " You Stand There: Making Music Videos" is still the best book written on making them. Of course both watching music videos( and if they have any) making-of promos will give you insight as well.

Music videos as a whole, are sort of "dark art" as there's really no rules to apply to them except for one: the imagery must work with the song.

October 13, 2015 at 3:19PM, Edited October 13, 3:19PM


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