Nice all-around mics for Zoom H4n? - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Old December 14th, 2010, 05:53 PM   #16
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About Phantom vs Internal power: is there a general rule of which affects the sound? Does one provide better audio if all else is equal? And do you need to remove the batts if you elect to use Phantom from the recorder? I've seen a lot of questions about this but no definitive answers
Thanks for the thoughts.
A true "condenser" mic (usually Phantom Powered these days) normally requires full 48V power to operate optimally.. An "Electret Condenser Microphone".. like most lavalieres and under $500. "condensers" are actually 'Bias' powered, normally less than 6 volts and most often can be powered by a single 'AA' battery. In many cases the higher voltage from the stepped-down Phantom-Power yields a little higher SLP rating. Self-noise, mixer battery drain, and other variables would be negligible with most electret condenser mics.
Some mics, (for instance, the older Sony ECM-44/55/77 Lav mics) need the battery to be removed to operate with PP.

Last edited by Rick Reineke; December 14th, 2010 at 06:40 PM.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 07:55 AM   #17
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Compression

Does the H4n have compression for clipping problems? Also, how is the preamp on this thing? I have been looking at maybe getting this device. Is it worth the money?
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Old December 28th, 2010, 08:20 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Russ Ivey View Post
Does the H4n have compression for clipping problems? Also, how is the preamp on this thing? I have been looking at maybe getting this device. Is it worth the money?
Can't answer your question speficially about the H4n but whether it does or not, never, ever, use compression when making the original master recording in the field. Compressors are useful, post-production, tools. But only in post where you can undo it if it doesn't work the way you thought it would. Applying it when making the original recording puts all your eggs in one basket. Limiters, OTOH, can be very useful in the field for controlling unexpected 'overs'.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 08:24 AM   #19
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Good Point

That's a good point about doing it in post-production. Thanks for waking me up to that potential fiasco. I can always deal with that in SoundForge if I need to. I just wanted a good portable, all in one device. It sounds like the H4n is the one, but wanted to be sure before I broke down and spent the $299 for it.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 10:54 AM   #20
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Peak limiting is usually recommended for location recording as a fail-safe for momentary unexpected high SPLs.These should be kept to minimum as excessive gain reduction can induce audible distortion.
I think the H4n has a peak limiter, (like the H2's "Limit 1, 2 & 3" ??) this will keep digital peaks from exceeding 0.0dBFS.... HOWEVER... there is no limiter on the H4n's analog input stages, as far as I know... and are allegedly easily over-driven. So analog clipping is very possible, regardless of the Zoom's internal limiter.
I concur with Steve and the others, any compression should be left to audio post.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 05:22 PM   #21
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I bought a compressor for capturing audio back when I had a crummy soundcard. It really did help keep things within a limited dynamic range. But now, with balanced 24-bit soundcards available for a couple hundred dollars, and decent field recorders not costing too much more, recording through a compressor doesn't make much sense.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 06:57 PM   #22
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Well...

I stopped after work and bought the H4n after reading all of the reviews and suggestions. I took it home, did a test with it. I ran my shotgun off of the camera and then direct into the H4n. I didn't even have to do any Low Cut to see how much of a difference it makes on the hissing problem I was having in the background. Great purchase so far...
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Old December 29th, 2010, 05:07 PM   #23
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Just in case...

Even though you just bought it, your new H4n may not have the latest firmware installed - the upgrade released late November enables separate levels on the 2 external mic XLR inputs. See H4N firmware update that enables... for details.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 06:53 AM   #24
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Firmware

Thank you Colin. I did not know that.
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