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Old July 27th, 2010, 01:01 PM   #1
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Using my H4N for the 1st time tonight! Need advice

BB King's Las Vegas. I am video'ing a Latin Salsa band. I went there last night with the H4N and recorded a short clip of the band that was playing. I just used the onboard stereo mic pointed toward the stage hand-held from about 25-30 feet away, with no limiter or comp. The clip sounded pretty good at home. However, the 12-piece salsa band tonight will be much louder than the small Blues band.

I saw another post about auto-levels causing some problems. Should I keep that off?

I am not sure what to do about the H4N's limiter/compressors. I will be using the 4 channel setup with the onboard mic beside the camera stage plus two condenser mics set up on either side of the room pointed toward the stage. I plan on using the comp/limiter, but I don't understand it. Why is there a choice of comp or limiter, and not both available? In other words, under the "mic" input there is a drop-down of three comp presets and 3 limiter presets, but you can't choose one of each. The same for the inputs.

For insurance, I will have another portable recorder, M-Audio Microtrack II, getting a line feed from the house sound board where I hope to get at least a vocals track. And my camcorders onboard mic for reference/ambient sound.

Once camera is rolling, I will not be able to monitor sound, so it has to be set up for safety. There will be a sound check, but my time will be very limited
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Old July 27th, 2010, 01:17 PM   #2
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You've noticed some of the odd quirks of the H4n. Based on my understanding of it, and I could be wrong, the Limiter only manages loud sounds while the compressor does that and brings up low sounds as well. So in effect, using the compressor means you are using the limiter as well.

I've had good luck with the H4n by using Auto Levels during the sound check and then setting the level manually to the number that Auto Levels has prescribed. Then engage the compressor for Vocal or use the Limiter on Concert.
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Old July 27th, 2010, 01:30 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply as I have sound check in a couple of hours.

Okay, so auto levels during sound check to see where the H4N wants to be, then go manual at that level? I am assuming I should do the same for the external condenser mics and the stereo onboard?

Well, because of the type of music, everything will be louder than everything else, so the concert limiter might be a safe place to start.

I (and the H4N) will be facing center stage from about 25-30 feet away. Lying down angled up a bit with the microphone end toward the stage.
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