The new H4n recorder - Page 5 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 27th, 2009, 10:40 AM   #61
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 159
Yes but neither of these units can record 4 channels of audio via built in mics and external XLR inputs like the H4n can.

I am curious about what specific circumstance that would be essential in?

I don't actually need to make a decision for some months, but my current thinking is to buy something like the Tascam unit, plus an inexpensive Zoom H2 which seems really optimal for catching ambience, but could in a pinch be used for dialog, hidden mic, etc.

H2 - no hassle quickie four channel use with built in mics.

Tascam - Better quality 2 channel unit for most voice work, plus both could be used at once, widely separated even. More flexibility this way.

But everyones uses are different. I haven't really decided between them yet. Should have some good info from Dylan Couper soon, it seems. ;-)

If I really needed more tracks, I'm thinking something like this:

MOTU.com - Traveler-mk3

plugged into my MacBook would be handier. Look at the sync and other capabilities on that.
Also runs on batteries, has decent metering, real knobs, etc. A dat could be used to record, everything would be digital and in sync. Even better, if I could find a four track flash recorder that accepted digital in, well, that would be a pretty serious recording setup small enough to fit into a briefcase with room to spare for the mics.

-Mike
Mike Demmers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 27th, 2009, 12:22 PM   #62
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,259
Good news and bad news

The good news:
The BWF formatting Zoom has included carries markers created on the H4n all the way to the timeline of my NLE (Vegas Pro 8.0c)!!!!

The bad news:
As of yet, the BWF timestamp is not correctly written in the file header. As far as timecode syncing in Vegas goes, it's not happening yet as it should, because without that timestamp Vegas doesn't place the media anywhere but at the start. As you can see on the attached screen grabs, the file creation date/time is written to the header, so workarounds are possible. (latest H4n system 1.2)

I'm contacting zoom tech support - I sure hope and expect this is something they can fix.
Attached Thumbnails
The new H4n recorder-markers.png   The new H4n recorder-bwf_import_incorrect_h4n.png  

The new H4n recorder-bwf_import_correct_sd744t.png  
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 28th, 2009, 12:11 AM   #63
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 159
Some questions for Seth while he waits for answers from zoom tech support:

Any chance this is a Vegas bug?

Have you tried a dynamic mic, does it seem quiet enough?

Have you tried recording all four channels, does that seem to work ergonomically?

How about the little mini jack to replace the internal mics with external mics - is this useful, performance reasonable?

Have you tried to use the compresser? Impressions?

Bill made this test: I just completed a sync test with my camera and the H4n, and after one hour of record time there is NO noticable difference to the ear. Looking at the timeline waveform the H4n appears to be slower by one or two frames. Are your results on your unit the same?


Good that the musician functions ae not in your face. I'd gladly trade all those reverbs and guitar effects for a sync function that would probably take 1/10 the processor power.

These manufacturers are really competing, diifferentiating their lines. Now if we could just convince one to differentiate a model for US...
Mike Demmers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 28th, 2009, 12:48 AM   #64
Trustee
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Singapore
Posts: 1,498
Ooh thks for the great advice and links Seth.
Sean Seah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 28th, 2009, 01:53 PM   #65
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Dayton, OH
Posts: 41
H4N Impressions

I have to echo Seth's quick review of the H4N. I have an H4 and just received my H4N. I think it is worthy upgrade to the H4. The ruggedness, better menus and better display alone make the difference for me. I have yet to spend much time checking the audio quality in detail, but my quick recordings sound better than the H4 using the built-in mics in both cases.

Seth, keep us posted on the BWF issue (I'm a Vegas user as well).

The Tascam looked interesting but it's almost $100 more. B&H, my normal supplier, did not have it stock when I was there last week, so I found an H4N on ebay (yes I know a little risky) and they threw in a free 16GB SD card + ebay was having a one day 10% off coupon.
Peter Greis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2009, 03:39 PM   #66
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,259
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Demmers View Post
...Any chance (bwf syncing issue) is a Vegas bug?

Have you tried a dynamic mic, does it seem quiet enough?

Have you tried recording all four channels, does that seem to work ergonomically?

How about the little mini jack to replace the internal mics with external mics - is this useful, performance reasonable?

Have you tried to use the compresser? Impressions?

Bill made this test: I just completed a sync test with my camera and the H4n, and after one hour of record time there is NO noticable difference to the ear. Looking at the timeline waveform the H4n appears to be slower by one or two frames. Are your results on your unit the same?...
In that the file from the Sound Devices 744t works fine with Vegas' interpretation of BWF header info, and that there have been no reports I'm aware of regarding Vegas errors with timecode sync, I'm pretty sure this is an error in the way that the H4n writes the BWF headers. No response yet from Zoom, I hope this will be fixable.

I did a quick recording with an SM58 (dynamic mic) at 16/48 in a quiet room and put it up on the big monitors, to the ear it is plenty quiet enough. Original recording peaked voice at about -15db, noise level not seen on the meters and not heard, after peak normalization to -0.1db, noise was down around -50db and barely perceptible. So, umm... that would mean that I had room noise and/or self noise down in the -60 to -70 range in a room in a house = I think that's pretty good; they have improved the preamps.

I've run out of time for a couple days - hope to run a sync test later in the week. I don't have any mics that terminate in mini-plugs, and don't have immediate use for 4-ch. recording, but I am interested to see how they work and will report back.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2009, 06:42 PM   #67
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 2,069
Peter:

When you have a chance... Inquiring minds want to know:

1. How are the microphone preamps? Quiet and dynamic or noisy and anemic? Please plug in a quality shotgun or lavaliere and give us your opinion, using 48V phantom of course.
2. Headphone output, hiss filled or quiet?

The H4 sounds great when used line in with a mixer but the mic preamps were lousy, noisy and filled with hiss in the recording as well as the headphone output had excessive hiss. Zoom almost has the recipe correct if they can overcome these two deficiencies. The features, controls, etc. are already there. I stopped by a music store today and did some critical listening of the H4 and I was not impressed, but I do have hope for the H4N since Zoom knew what it needed to improve to win the race.

Thanks,

Dan
Dan Brockett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2009, 06:20 AM   #68
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 159
Sounds like they definitely responded to the criticism of the H4.

If it will do that with a 58, it should be pretty good for any close miced dialog situation.

Thanks for your efforts.

-Mike
Mike Demmers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2009, 10:35 AM   #69
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 106
zoom h4n v. tascam dr-100 shootoff

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Gyovai View Post
Agree with you Mike. Now we need a shoot off - Zoom H4N verses the Tascam DR-100
Ask and ye shall receive.

Brad Linder's blog: Zoom H4n review

Look at the last few reader comments.

Somewhat surprising, but the Zoom H4n seems to be beating the Tascam handily. Don't know who these people are, of course, but they're the only user reviews I can find of the Tascam dr-100.
Greg Joyce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2009, 10:59 AM   #70
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 2,069
Hi Greg:

Just stumbled across that. I think I am now sold on the H4N over the Tascam. I listened to his samples with the condenser mic. I think a lot of people writing reviews on these little recorders are musicians and engineers and are pretty discerning about the sound quality. If you compare Brad's dialogue samples with the typical camcorder's sounds, the Zoom H4N blows away almost any camcorder's sound quality.

I was pretty impressed with what I heard out of the Zoom H4N and will be ordering it. The Tascam is said to not sound as good and has some operational glitches that don't work as well as the Zoom either. And the Zoom is $80.00 less.

Thanks,

Dan
Dan Brockett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2009, 11:33 AM   #71
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 159
Yup...this is why we wait for reviews. I have seen Tascam make some amazingly good bang for the buck stuff...and some real turkeys. :-)

Another real interesting device is the M-Audio MicroTrack II. Like the H4n, this is this companies second try after some serious errors first time around - and much better for it.

It looks much closer to my 'please leave off the guitar effects' approach. It has a battery problem (can be worked around) but: has limiter, apparently very good preamps, has NO internal mics (great for some uses), is really small, and...this is really interesting to me...has a digital input. Think 'digital in from field mixer'. Does bwf, can set cues.

The digital in might be really interesting in regards to sync. Since the internal clock on the converters MUST sync to the incoming digital stream, there MAY be a way to record analog while the clock is synced to the digital stream. Which could create synced sound (phase locked) given a few external things like a video to word clock sync box.

I see this for around $299.

An interesting Craig Anderton review:

Review: M-Audio MicroTrack II

Also:

Review: Edirol R-09HR & M-Audio MicroTrack II | O'Reilly Media


-Mike
Mike Demmers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2009, 12:21 PM   #72
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Demmers View Post
Yup...this is why we wait for reviews. I have seen Tascam make some amazingly good bang for the buck stuff...and some real turkeys. :-)

Another real interesting device is the M-Audio MicroTrack II. Like the H4n, this is this companies second try after some serious errors first time around - and much better for it.

It looks much closer to my 'please leave off the guitar effects' approach. It has a battery problem (can be worked around) but: has limiter, apparently very good preamps, has NO internal mics (great for some uses), is really small, and...this is really interesting to me...has a digital input. Think 'digital in from field mixer'. Does bwf, can set cues.

The digital in might be really interesting in regards to sync. Since the internal clock on the converters MUST sync to the incoming digital stream, there MAY be a way to record analog while the clock is synced to the digital stream. Which could create synced sound (phase locked) given a few external things like a video to word clock sync box.

I see this for around $299.

An interesting Craig Anderton review:

Review: M-Audio MicroTrack II

Also:

Review: Edirol R-09HR & M-Audio MicroTrack II | O'Reilly Media


-Mike
Mike,

The Micro Track II sounds pretty good, and it's at Amazon for $269, ... but it doesn't have XLR connections. I don't know enough about adapters -- or if there even are adapters -- to connect it to my Oktava condenser, Phantom powered mic. I was considering the Sony PCM D-50, which some rave about, but it doesn't have XLRs either and the adapter needed to use XLR cables cost as much as the recorder itself.
Greg Joyce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2009, 01:03 PM   #73
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 159
the adapter needed to use XLR cables cost as much as the recorder itself.


No, no...not in the case of the MicroTrack at least. This is a straight stereo 1/4 to XLR adapter, no transformer, electronics, etc. Should be, like...$10 maybe?
...

Example:

GXP143 Hosa Audio Adapter-Quarter Inch Male to XLR3 Female $6.99

Considering how small the Microtrack is, you could almost get the male version of the adapter above and jam it right into the mic like a mic plug wireless.
Mike Demmers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2009, 02:31 PM   #74
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Demmers View Post
the adapter needed to use XLR cables cost as much as the recorder itself.


No, no...not in the case of the MicroTrack at least. This is a straight stereo 1/4 to XLR adapter, no transformer, electronics, etc. Should be, like...$10 maybe?
...

Example:

GXP143 Hosa Audio Adapter-Quarter Inch Male to XLR3 Female $6.99

Considering how small the Microtrack is, you could almost get the male version of the adapter above and jam it right into the mic like a mic plug wireless.
No, that's specifically for the Sony recorder. The Sony XLR-1 mic adapter. It's $450 and is as big as the recorder itself. Crazy.

So a $6.99 adapter can give me the same capability (with a non-Sony recorder, of course) as the Sony adapter?
Greg Joyce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2009, 03:28 PM   #75
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 1,843
I don't know how close together the 1/4" input jacks are on the MicroTrack. So it may not be possible to get two of those large diameter XLR to 1/4" TRS adapters in there side-by-side.
If that's the case, it would not cost much to make adapter cables, (or new XLR-F to 1/4" TRS mic cables) which may be better anyway considering the weight of an XLR+adapter, stressing the plastic body of the MicroTrack.. which I assume is plastic.
Rick Reineke is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:46 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network