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Old February 2nd, 2009, 03:24 PM   #1
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Recording a speaker to a Zoom H2 without peaking

On another thread I concluded the best way to record reception audio is by mic'ing the speaker and recording it on a Zoom H2. The second problem I need to solve is recording that audio without peaking. The H2 has L-M-H gain settings, but Low still peaks on me. My cams have an auto setting which prevents this, but I can't record to my cams w/o a wireless.

Is there a compact preamp of some kind that would solely regulate the gain going to my H2?
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 05:28 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana Salsbury View Post
On another thread I concluded the best way to record reception audio is by mic'ing the speaker and recording it on a Zoom H2. The second problem I need to solve is recording that audio without peaking. The H2 has L-M-H gain settings, but Low still peaks on me. My cams have an auto setting which prevents this, but I can't record to my cams w/o a wireless.

Is there a compact preamp of some kind that would solely regulate the gain going to my H2?
Hi Dana,

According to the doco, the H2 has an auto gain setting; i know that it exists on the H4. If it is the same as the H4, it is in a menu setting somewhere (not a button or switch on the side).

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Old February 2nd, 2009, 05:48 PM   #3
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The Zoom H2 Auto Gain Controls settings are accessed through the menus:

Quote:
(Zoom H2 user manual p37)

OFF
The AGC/compressor/limiter is turned off.

AGC1 (GENERAL)
This is the standard AGC setting.

AGC2 (SPEECH)
This is an AGC setting suitable for recording
speech and narration.

COMP1 (GENERAL)
This is the standard compressor setting.

COMP2 (VOCAL)
This is a compressor setting suitable for
recording vocals.

COMP3 (DRUM)
This is a compressor setting suitable for
recording drums and percussion.

LIMIT1 (GENERAL)
This is the standard limiter setting.

LIMIT2 (CONCERT)
This is a limiter setting suitable for recording a
live event.
I've used AGC2 (SPEECH) where I had no opportunity to set levels for recording sermons in church. It worked better than I thought, but I still wouldn't use it unless I had to.
I'll try and post a short clip recorded using AGC2 so you can judge for yourself whether it was successful.
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 09:01 PM   #4
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Thank you so much.

Do those setting render the L-M-H settings moot?
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 11:04 PM   #5
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Dana,

Within each of the L - M - H "ranges" you have full variable record level control with the "rewind" and "fast forward" buttons on either side of the center red button. Read the white print below the buttons for the "rec level -" and "rec level +" labels for those buttons.

Press the red center button once to set levels, the top of the LCD screen will indicate REC LEVEL: XX where XX represents a numeric value on a scale from 0 to 127 (max).
You can use headphones to monitor both while setting and while recording.

Press the red button again to begin recording, a third time to stop.

I turn the unit off to get out of record level set mode (haven't found the button to do that yet) and the level remains where you set it.

To begin recording with that level when the talent begins, press the red button twice.

This unit is very versatile jewel.
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 11:32 PM   #6
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Can the H2 simulate the 'Auto' sound setting on my cams?

WOW! I guess I missed that when reading the manual. That is excellent news to be able to fine-tune the gain.

I'm still confused that if I use Limit2 Concert it compresses everything to not peak, or if I still need to monitor it with levels. At receptions I get the screaming Grand Entrance, then light dinner music, then screaming again, then the soft Anniversary Dance. If I have to adjust the gain all night then I'll need something to precede the H2, as I'm too busy for that.

Can the H2 simulate the 'Auto' sound setting on my cams?
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 12:06 PM   #7
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Here's a short sample from the beginning of a sermon. There's a fair amount of background noise - kids and organ motor - he never remembers to switch it off! The Zoom doesn't bring up the level of the background noise too much in the pauses between speaking. It's not brilliant audio but it give an idea of how the AGC2 works.

*5 Attempts later - sorry, it won't let me upload the 2.2 MB audio clip for some reason.
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