My videos mostly consist of instructional videos related to guitar. Hence I need a way to illustrate the music in the form of tablatures, for more complicated examples. I also take the time to create captions for platforms such as Instagram or Tiktok where people may be scrolling with the audio off.

Here are the three tools that save me the most time when I create videos for social media. This list consists of a mixture of online and desktop applications. 

Musescore

I use Musescore to create tablature and scores for my online videos.  Once you get used to the interface and the shortcuts, the program is a very good option to create nice looking scores. Once my score is finished, I need a way to display it in the video. I use the option to export the score as a PNG image – thankfully without a transparent background.

What I also find very useful is the ability to import music files in other formats, such as Guitar Pro.  I use the importation feature when I am creating transcriptions or arrangements to take advantage of work that has already been done. 

Unfortunately these imported tabs are quite ugly and require a lot of formatting after import. A nicer option on the eyes is importing ABC notation (via a plugin) or musicXML files, but these are more rare than Guitar Pro files on the web.

Get Musescore at https://musescore.org/en/download.

Kdenlive

If you need a video editor that’s free, doesn’t crash much and runs on low powered computers, I recommend Kdenlive.
I have tried many video editors and the best one that is free and open source in my opinion is Kdenlive. Other open source video editors are either too unstable to use, lack critical features that I need for my videos, or both.

So Kdenlive is not only the most powerful libre editor that I’ve come across but also the one that comes with the most features. I need a video editor that can easily add text to videos, and export vertical videos with subtitles in a different font.  What I don’t like is the lack of an inspector, so this makes zooming or cropping a hassle. If I need to do extensive zooming or cropping on clips I use Da Vinci Resolve.

Another useful feature is the ability to align multiple audio tracks automatically to one particular track. I used to use a third party application called Shenidam to achieve this, but now it can be done inside the editor itself, saving me an extra step.

Get Kdenlive at https://kdenlive.org/en/download

HappyScribe

I need to make subtitles for my videos on Tiktok or Instagram. When it comes to videos of a slightly technical nature, the automatic subtitle feature of Tiktok or Facebook just won’t cut it.  But it gets most of the work done, and in this case I use Happy Scribe. This program tends to be more accurate in English than in French (perhaps due to my accent?).

Kdenlive does have speech to text capabilities but this seems complicated to install, especially if you’re not on Linux. So for the time being I am going to stick with this online option.

Happyscribe is available at https://www.happyscribe.com/users/sign_up.

Conclusion

These are the three tools that I use to create and save time with videos.  The more I can automate and simplify the grunt work process, the more inspired I am to create new content.