Zoom H4N with NTG-2 , do i record only on one track? at DVinfo.net

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Old December 14th, 2010, 09:59 AM   #1
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Zoom H4N with NTG-2 , do i record only on one track?

i got a small job where i am operating the boom for a short film, I have never used h4n (or any kind of boom mic). so this might be a very basic question for you guys.

i will be operating a boom where two to three people are moving around in a house indoor, making sure i get their dialogs recorded fine. no other input devices except NTG-2 (boom mic) to h4n.

Now here is my issue :
if i try switching to input XLR on h4n , 1 and 2 are selected (on the front screen of h4n) and as i only have one XLR in use. it only records on one channel (which means h4n is looking for an input on XLR -2 and not getting any ?). this is how it will be recorded? is there any way to make it record on two channels? will editor have any problem in post if audio is only recorded on one channel?

what would be the best setting for me to get the best audio for this short film using h4n with NTG-2 , this one channel is really confusing me and after searching i am not really getting a exact answer.
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Old December 14th, 2010, 10:37 AM   #2
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In most cases one channel would be fine, providing whomever does post, uses it panned or assigned to center, which is the norm for dialog.

That being said, it's not uncommon to record a single mic to an additional channel, the second being set 10dB lower as a back up for unexpected outbursts that would induce clipping. I believe the H4n would need an XLR "Y" cable to feed both XLR inputs and the latest firmware which allows independent L-R level adj..
I do not own or use the H4n, so there may be other methods to accomplish this.
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Old December 14th, 2010, 10:39 AM   #3
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Oh Thank you very much ! ... it is better to get 'Y' XLR cable? will i get better audio doing that?
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Old December 14th, 2010, 06:35 PM   #4
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If you have to use the lower level 'safety track', because of loud dialog you did not anticipate.. that may be construed as 'better'.

Without any clipping problems, the normal level track would have a better resolution. ( 6dB resolution per bit down from a full scale 16.. =0.0dBFS)
By 'normal' level, I mean location audio peaking at around -6dBFS.
Which brings up the question, "why not record 24 bit at a lower level". THAT is currently being discussed on another thread".
(In my opinion, 16 bit is fine for dialog and non-classical music recording)
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Old December 15th, 2010, 08:50 AM   #5
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Personally, I wouldn't put a Y-cable at the end of a mic. I'm not saying that it's a terrible idea, I just wouldn't do it. I like keeping the signal between the mic and the input as pure as possible. Putting a Y-cable in the chain weakens the signal, and it leaves you to the mercy of the quality of the Y-cable.

I always set my Zoom H4n to record 24-bit 48kHz WAV files.
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Old December 15th, 2010, 01:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Mallery View Post
Personally, I wouldn't put a Y-cable at the end of a mic. I'm not saying that it's a terrible idea, I just wouldn't do it. I like keeping the signal between the mic and the input as pure as possible. Putting a Y-cable in the chain weakens the signal, and it leaves you to the mercy of the quality of the Y-cable.

...
My thoughts as well. To send a single mic to multiple inputs, one should at least use a proper transformer-based passive mic splitter rather than just a Y-cable. This insures that the two inputs remain isolated from each other and don't interact. A Y connects the two inputs in parallel with one another with unpredicatble consequences. At the very least their impedances compound which changes their loading on the mic. Even better than a passive splitter is a mixer that allows one to route the signal to multiple outputs.
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Old December 15th, 2010, 05:23 PM   #7
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Hi,
Another possible approach.
ZoomH4n Menu-Input-Mono Mix On.Then go back to the main screen and press Rec once to standby.See Mono-000.wav on screen.With your mic connected to input one you should see levels on ch L and ch R. (see Zoom H4n User manual page 072).
Also if your recorder has the most recent firmware update you may be able to set separate levels for ch L and ch R. I am not sure this can be done in Mono Mix mode. If it can then you will be able to set the recording level lower on one channel as has been already mentioned.
I have not used this setup.Make sure to do some test recordings.Good luck.Neil
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