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Old April 9th, 2009, 10:27 AM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Moore View Post
What I think Jay meant by delay was not recorder to camera delay, but actual delay of the audio track on the video itself. If the audio is being delayed at the H4 and then sent over the wireless to the camera it may be out enough to cause a lip sync issue. Still fixable, but I have never had to adjust the audio track from the camera's sound to match the video track from the same camera. But in this case I think its possible to have to if its delayed enough. Though I have never heard of it being and issue.

Ben
Ah, now I see what he's talking about.

I'm not too worried about this, as my plan to use a wireless and the H4n's output is just for reception use only, where I would use 2 mics to mic the PA stack, one on woofer and one on tweeter, and the onboard mics for ambient audio. This would generally be for music only.

So if I need audio for things such as toasts and the like, I could simply adjust in post, by using the onboard shotguns mics audio waveform.

But I have done this in the past using a M-Audio Microtrack, a Zoom H4, as well as an Edirol R44 recorder, and the results on tape from the wireless signal to my camera were in perfect sync. So while this might be a possibility, based on my past experience with other recorders, it's probably not a concern.
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Old April 9th, 2009, 11:28 AM   #92
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Just got my H4n yesterday. So far, the best part has been reading the "Engrish" in the manual. :)
However, I'm also happy with the sound quality for the price.
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Old April 9th, 2009, 02:26 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylan Couper View Post
Just got my H4n yesterday. So far, the best part has been reading the "Engrish" in the manual. :)
However, I'm also happy with the sound quality for the price.
I had to laugh at that one, as this has to be one of the worst manuals I have ever seen. ;)
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Old April 9th, 2009, 05:55 PM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John McClain View Post
Hi Bill. I had time to muck around with it a bit this afternoon. To answer your questions, 4 channels can be recorded separately in 4 channel mode but only as 2 distinct stereo sources. In other words, you can set an input level for the onboard mics and a separate input level for the other two inputs. Just plug in your mic, ensure phantom is on and use the "mic" "1" "2" buttons on the left front to choose the input and adjust its level. Not explained well in the manual (see below for more on that) but not too hard to figure out by pressing buttons.

Stereo recording mode is only for stereo but there is a built in MS matrix so you could record MS and have the box decode it for you, nice feature.
John what exactly does the MS matrix do.
I notice that it seems to enable you to pad your signal up or down. Is this correct.
Could one use the MS Matrix to pad the signal on the onboard mics and/or inputs?
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Old April 9th, 2009, 08:53 PM   #95
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4-channel independent record levels!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot View Post
John what exactly does the MS matrix do.
I notice that it seems to enable you to pad your signal up or down. Is this correct.
Could one use the MS Matrix to pad the signal on the onboard mics and/or inputs?
The MS Matrix appears to be designed to decode while recording, allowing you to use an MS mic but record in stereo.

This isn't going to be good when using other mics. The decode is Left=Mid+Side, Right=Mid-Side. The ratio of side to mid in those formulas is what determines stereo spread, *edit, and is what the MS level control adjusts*. So, no, this isn't a good choice to get indpendent control of recording levels.

For me, I'd much rather record M/S straight, then decode in post, where I can evaluate spread.
*************
I've been fooling around with the 4ch and MTR modes. MTR appears to strictly be a mixdown mode that will let you mix various files and bounce; I'm not likely to get into that further.

4ch. is more interesting. In that mode, one can record two stereo pairs - the built-in mics (or, probably, the 3.5mm input) and the external XLR-1/4" inputs. Yes, the volume of each pair is linked. However, you can adjust the recording volume of each pair independently from the other pair, using the hardware record-level control.

HOWEVER!!!
4ch. mode also enables a new menu choice, "mixer". You get a little 4-ch. software mixer, that works in the 4ch. recording mode, and, YES, it has a balance control on each pair.
******************************************
*YES WE CAN* adjust each of the 4 available input levels independently using the mixer!
******************************************
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Last edited by Seth Bloombaum; April 10th, 2009 at 10:02 AM. Reason: added clarification on MS level adjustments
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Old April 18th, 2009, 10:52 AM   #96
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H4n Software Update

New system update posted (version 1.3):

Download Software
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Old April 27th, 2009, 09:31 AM   #97
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Bwf timestamp

Seth...did you ever hear anything more on the bwf timestamp issue you refered to in post # 62 of this thread?
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Old April 27th, 2009, 10:43 AM   #98
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I received a nice email on 4/1 stating that their engineers were looking into it and that they would get back to me. Any fix did not make it into system 1.3, which was released just a few days after my email.

I remain hopeful that we'll see this addressed in system 1.4, whenever it is released.

I'm still pretty impressed with the H4n, solid, professional performance, very well thought-out in so many ways.
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Old April 27th, 2009, 05:44 PM   #99
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After going over the info in this thread I'm almost ready to get the H4n...almost...if the fix for the bwf timestamp had been in the latest update, would have done it immediately...tax return is comming... so it wont be long after that. Several posters' seem to be inclined to get it from BH for the added security of warranty... but some have purchased from ebay listed companies...if anyone whos gotten theirs from the ebay stores has any good or bad opinions on their purchase from these venders, I'd appreciate any feedback.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 12:18 AM   #100
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i did my first live speech recording on Sunday and it turned out a little low on the levels. I had set the level to 65 which is too low. there was a ceiling fan which was creating too much distortion in the onboard mics during my setting. They turned it lower but I didnt pull up the levels.

The speech was pretty clear but there is a humming noise which i cleaned up with noise reduction Fx. I understand this humming is due to my low setting of the level. I was worried to set it on auto levels as I hear of distortion cases. I guess I have to pull it up a little in future.
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Old May 1st, 2009, 02:30 PM   #101
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Would the Tascam HD P2 be a better recording option than the Zoom H4n?
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Old May 1st, 2009, 04:33 PM   #102
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Tascam HDP2 is different. Better? Certainly for some uses.

HDP2:
Also records to flash memory (CF)
Actual knobs and dials are quicker/easier to use on the fly.
It's way bigger, 3 or 4 times the size of the H4n.
Designed to use in a location audio bag, knobs & display can be seen/operated in a bag.
Way more money, about $800 US street price.
More flexible as to timecode, can jam to a camera or TC gen.
Has a sync input and will clock to video sync from cam or syncgen.
Digital ins and outs.
Can plug in a PS2 keyboard for transport control, file-naming & such (handy on a cart or studio).
More robust set of editing tools onboard.
About 4x the power consumption, expensive if you're on AA batt power.
Generally good preamps and audio quality.

Now, a lot of the above doesn't make much difference for a lot of casual recording, but could be very handy, especially if your cam has TC out, or, you're ready to jam to a TC generator. Still though, this is probably aimed at low-end pro rather than hi-end prosumer.

H4n:
Way smaller.
Way less expensive, about $350 US street price.
Extremely basic time-of-day TC capabilities - good for rough sync, but have to do fine sync in the editor (however, even with full pro TC gear fine sync frequently needs to be touched)
Built-in stereo mic pair that really isn't bad.
More flexible on inputs - XLR, 1/4", 3.5mm.
Can record 4 input channels (built-in mics plus xlr-1/4")
2 AA batts get you 6 hrs, or, 11 hrs in stamina mode (16/44 only).
Recording to WAV/BWAV and various MP3.
Generally good preamps & audio quality.

So, what were you looking for in an audio recorder? Small and fast? H4n. Better integration into TC workflow and more "pro" appearance & operation? HDP2.

After close reading of the HDP2 manual, I'm still not quite sure if its TC gen will do standalone time-of-day code. Perhaps someone knows for sure and will enlighten us.
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Old May 1st, 2009, 10:19 PM   #103
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" Now, a lot of the above doesn't make much difference for a lot of casual recording, but could be very handy, especially if your cam has TC out, or, you're ready to jam to a TC generator. Still though, this is probably aimed at low-end pro rather than hi-end prosumer. "

Then...would the H4n fall into the category of "high end prosumer" ?
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 06:05 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by Bill Rankin View Post
John - check out page 137. It looks like 4 channels can be recorded simultaneously but the "(Stereo 2 tracks)" means it cannot record 4 tracks while in stereo? Or does it mean you can record 4 tracks, but it must be IN stereo mode? Meaning you can adjust sensitivity for internal mics and the inputs together.
137 pages! Sounds like the manual is bigger than the recorder. :)

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Old May 2nd, 2009, 11:55 AM   #105
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Pro and prosumer markets

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Originally Posted by Robert Acosta View Post
Then...would the H4n fall into the category of "high end prosumer" ?
Yes?

We use the language differently in different circumstances. If you want to be perceived as the owner/operator of fully pro systems that "everyone" knows represent the state of the art, get yourself a petrol bag and stuff it with a sound devices recorder, a sound devices mixer, and lectrosonics wireless. Better get a battery system, a timecode slate, a listen system, and upgrade your mics at the same time. $12,000 US to $20,000, or more! That's not the end of equipment, either; go above 4ch. recording and now we're into some serious money!

Of course, now you've only bought credibility for your hardware. Establishing your own credibility as a location recordist is a different and more important thing.

That's a game with its own rules and conventions, and informs us as to what is truely "professional", which, in this case, means that someone can earn their living as a location recordist if they have the skills and can borrow, rent, or own the equipment.

I've used some of that equipment. I've not used the Tascam, but to all reports it is a credible entry-level recorder.

The H4n, by comparison, comes to us from the amazing home-recording market, which places it squarely in the prosumer category. $350 US. For that price, you get a very solid little recorder, that on a good day, with a good mic, and in the right hands can produce a recording hard to distinguish from real pro gear.

But the H4n is not going to be one of the choices for someone paid to record double-system location sound 10+ days per month. They might start out with the Tascam, but probably don't stay with it when they can afford to move up.

For all that, I'm really enjoying the H4n, just as I did the H4, keeping it with my musical instruments to record rehearsals, collecting wild sound, location recording of VO, and occasional double system sound at events. For me, little, light, handy, and inexpensive is very good. When I need something else I rent.
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