Byline: Musica Viva

There are less than ten days until entries close for the 2021 instalment of Strike A Chord! As we reach crunch time for recording and submitting entry videos, we decided to seek the expertise of ABC Classic's Digital Producer, Matthew Lorenzon who joined us for our webinar series and laid out his tips and best practices for recording your videos; from lighting to framing and everything in between!

Check out Matthew's tips for filming your entry video below.

Lighting and orientation

  • Ensemble in “concert setup” (ie. facing camera in a semicircle, not directly facing each other).
  • Musicians facing main source of light. A big window without direct sunshine is best.
  • No bright lights in background.

Artificial lights

  • “45 degree rule” (keep lights 45 degrees to the side and above musicians)
  • Reflect light off a wall, whiteboard, or place a bag over the light (if it’s a low-heat LED light) to diffuse harsh shadows.

Camera and framing

  • Film with rear camera (not the selfie camera).
  • Camera steady on tripod or clip.
  • All players visible
  • Ensemble fills the frame
  • Camera raised to help fill the frame and improve audio
  • Lock focus and exposure on ensemble.
  • Recommended video settings: 1080p 30fps
  • Check there is enough space on the device so it doesn’t cut off. (>500mb)


If using external microphones:

  • Record in stereo with a stereo microphone or microphone pair.
  • Place microphones around two metres in front of and above musicians.
  • Use “cardioid” or “omni” microphones, not shotgun.
  • Test to ensure all players are clearly audible and sound does not distort at loudest point.


  • Don’t forget to hit record!

Watch our webinar with Matthew Lorenzon including full demonstrations below.


Submitting your entry: Dos and Do Nots

Introduction video

Part of the entry process is recording an introductory video. You may wish to assign one person to introduce the ensemble members and then have each member introduce themself and what they play. Your group's introduction video should be maximum of 3 minutes, spoken to camera, and can be recorded in any location, so feel free to get creative in this one!

Please include, as a minimum, the following information in your Introduction video:

 a. First name and instrument of each player in the group.

 b. Name of the group, and where the group is from (town/suburb/city and state, eg. “Bowen, Queensland” or “Fitzroy, Melbourne, Victoria”).

 c. Title and composer of the piece being performed.

 d. Brief responses to the following questions: 

   i. Why did you choose this piece? 

   ii. What do you like about it? 

   iii. What did you learn from playing it? 

   iv. What else do you want to tell us?

Performance video
Your video must be filmed in one take with no edits, or zooming in or out on each player. Your final performance may take place in front of a small live audience, but given the current circumstances we have removed this as a requirement. If you do have a small audience remember to capture the sound of them clapping at the end.

Check out our rules and regulations for the video requirements.


Remember to relax and enjoy yourself throughout the entry process and while recording your video. It's ok if it takes a few takes to get it right.