TeraBrite has been single-handedly producing music videos for YouTube since 2009. Despite only being a duo, DJ and Sabrina control every step of the creative process and put long hours in to churn out the steady stream of videos they publish on a nearly weekly basis. An essential tool in their process is VEGAS Pro, which they have been using for years for video editing. We talked a bit with DJ about TeraBrite’s process, what role VEGAS Pro plays in it, and their work on YouTube and social media.
When did you create TeraBrite and why?
Back in 2009, I was in a band called “Fly Don’t Drive” and really wanted to convince them to change the name of the band to something unique to us and completely made up because when you search “Fly Don’t Drive” in Google it pulls up a bunch of weird web pages about airports. I came up with “TeraBrite”, which is obviously a play on the word terabyte. I felt the name represented how I wanted to approach music and I really just thought it sounded cool. Ultimately, they hated the name so I decided to claim the Myspace (Yes, Myspace.) page just in case I wanted to use it in the future. Shortly after that, I began dating Sabrina and had her sing on one of my instrumentals for fun. We called the song “No One Knows” it turned out pretty cool and we wanted a place to post it for our friends to hear, so I decided to just upload it to my TeraBrite Myspace page and it sort of stuck with us ever since then.
How would you describe your relationship to music on the one hand and video on the other hand?
To me music and videos have been going hand in hand since I was in middle school. I would always make songs for school projects with videos to go along with them. It’s not very often that I separate the two, which is why YouTube is such a perfect platform for us.
Where do you find inspiration for your music videos?
To be completely honest, most of my ideas come to me while I’m taking a shower. It’s really weird. Other than that, I tend to get most of my inspiration from other YouTube videos and other music videos.
What role does YouTube play in your project? Social media in general?
YouTube is the driving force behind what we do. It’s what makes our music discoverable, shareable, and of course has the added bonus of making it monetize-able as well. Also, people tend to like music more when it has a cool visual to go along with it and YouTube is the perfect platform for that. Other social media is really just there to keep viewers up to date and allows us to interact with them in between videos.
Do you have some tips and tricks for artists who want to start a YouTube channel?
On YouTube, I find that branding and consistency is key. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to be consistent with music videos. It’s also very important to work on your SEO and have sharp, bright, high-contrast thumbnails that pop even when shrunken down to the tiny size YouTube displays them at.
How important is video editing in the process?
Video editing is very important in the process because having your video perform well in YouTube algorithms has a lot to do with audience retention (which is basically how much of your video your viewers watched without leaving the page). A good edit can sometimes be the difference between a great and a terrible audience retention.
How did you learn video editing and why do you use VEGAS Pro?
One of my dad’s friends taught me the basics of how to edit in Premiere back in elementary school. I ended up messing around with it and learned a bunch of things myself while making a bunch of very FX heavy videos with my friends and even made a video for a school project that played on the morning announcements. I told them all that I edited it myself, but found out later that they all thought I was lying and my parents edited it for me. Gave me a pretty good laugh. Shortly after this, I started messing with music and made a bunch of songs using loops in Sonic Foundry Acid Pro. The timeline, tools, and workflow of Acid Pro just made a lot of sense to me and I was able to work very quickly in it. I’m not completely sure, but I believe around this time VEGAS was still only a music program. I believe it was when they announced they added video editing capabilities to VEGAS that I decided to give it a shot. Considering the layout and feel was very similar to Acid Pro, I was able to catch on very quick and it wasn’t long before I made a full transition over to using VEGAS for video editing. I prefer VEGAS because the editing tools simply make the most sense. I’m not saying I don’t understand the editing tools of other editors, I just don’t believe they are implemented in a way that maximizes editing speed. VEGAS edits the way all editors should edit and everyone I’ve ever talked to that understands VEGAS agrees with me on that.
What are your first impressions of VEGAS Pro 14?
Stability is the first thing that comes to mind. It seems as though the VEGAS community has been begging for a stable version of VEGAS for years now and MAGIX clearly put a lot of energy into fixing as many bugs as possible. I also appreciate the subtle yet useful features that I keep running into during our edits. It’s a solid editor.
Do you have any fun facts about your VEGAS experience?
Every video on our TeraBrite channel has either been completely edited in VEGAS or mostly edited in VEGAS. We’ve won 3 contests with videos that were edited in VEGAS one of which got us on Conan!
You can find out more about TeraBrite and listen to their music via the following websites and if you want to take a page from their book and try your hand at music videos, check out a trial version of VEGAS Pro here: http://www.vegascreativesoftware.com/vegas-pro
TeraBrite on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/TeraBrite
TeraBrite on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeraBriteMusic
TeraBrite on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/TeraBrite
TeraBrite on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TeraBrite