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Top 8 Easy Video Software Packages To Record A Performance

Capturing video recordings of your students’ recitals and performances is a great way to promote your program and identify teaching opportunities. Yet video recording a live performance isn’t necessarily the easiest project.  

Fortunately, there’s a wide range of video software packages that are designed to help non-professional videographers capture amazing live performances. They often include additional editing tools that will help you create a slick video and even add some extra filters and effects if you’d like. 

Professional video recording software can run into the thousands of dollars. You’re a music educator, so you know your budget doesn’t go that high. Here are eight video recording software packages, ranging from free apps to packages above $200, and everything in between. 

Free video recording apps

These are great little apps you can run on your phone or webcam. 

Triller is a free app only available on Apple. But it’s got the street cred of being used to make videos by professional performers like Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. This is a great collaboration app that makes it easy for people using the app to record the same performance from separate phones to edit together a multi-angle video. This app is also optimized for easy sharing on social media (of course!). This can be a great choice to have some fun during rehearsals to promote a performance! 

CameraFi Live is an Android video recording app you can use on your phone or with a USB camera. This little app’s unique point is that it’s optimized to live stream the performance on a variety of platforms, including Facebook and YouTube. (Watch those copyright issues on performances!) Each live stream is automatically recorded so you can edit and have the recorded performance video for future use. 

ShurePlus™ MOTIV™ Video is one of the more sophisticated video apps, yet available only on Apple devices. It allows for in-performance adjustments to be made to audio and video recording, to get the best recording possible. Works best with a USB camera attached to the phone. 

Options under $100 

If you have some budget, these options will offer more sophisticated editing options than the free apps. You can also do the editing on a desktop, which will make the process easier. 

Movavi is a video editing software with a one-time cost that runs between a sale price of $79.95 and the full price at $149.85. It comes in options for Windows and Mac operating systems. There’s also a companion free Movavi Clips app, available on Apple and Android, which is a lighter, simpler video app. It works with a wide range of video file formats for you to edit – you can even use it to create a digital version of a VHS recording.  

Pinnacle Studio 21 offers a broad variety of editing options, both visual and audio. It makes a multi-track recording of the live action, which is critical if you want to some clean-up editing on the audio side. Even if you want to tweak the actual performance, you may be able to use the multi-track option to remove loud noises from the audience. This package runs between $49.95 and $59.95. 

vMix Basic HD Live Production Software is live production software for $60 that supports multiple inputs so you can have different cameras or phones recording from multiple angles. This is another video software package that you can use to live stream and record. You can try out a free version, which may be enough for you. The difference is that the free version has fewer inputs and returns a lower resolution. At least, it's a good way to learn the software and try it out before buying it.  

Options above $100 

You can upgrade your Pinnacle software to one of its other packages, which range in price from $99.95 to $129.95. The main differences among the lower-end package and its two upgrade options are the number of tracks that can be recorded, which go from six-tracks to 24 to unlimited tracks, per package. The upgrade packages also include more editing, correcting, and effects options. 

Adobe Presenter Video Express - Now this is a familiar name. Makers of the pdf format and online video plugin, Adobe also has a video software package. It can use video files taken on phone, webcam or other external sources, and provides post-recording lighting and production editing options. It also provides automatic background noise reduction. This is a subscription service for around $10 a month, that comes with a free trial period.

Camtasia Studio 8.6 is the most expensive option on our list at $249 – $300 if you add in the $50 annual support fee. However, it does offer education discounts, bringing a single license cost down to $169. You can review the education license qualification requirements here. Camtasia is the marquee name in the video software industry for producing the highest quality videos, widest array of video editing and annotation tools, and is surprisingly easy to use.  

Ramping up your video skills 

You may want to fiddle around with some of the free apps first, so you can start learning what their options are and how the basics work. From there, if you want to make video a regular part of your music program, you might check out some of the more advanced packages. Don't be too proud to ask one of the AV students to help you out! 

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