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Old May 9th, 2011, 05:12 PM   #1
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H4N peaks from 1-100

Hi, I did a show last night at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco.

The sound man gave me a stereo feed (two xlr's) to put into my H4N. We did a sound check and it sounded fine.

The show started and my guy who was watching the audio noticed the sound was peaking at 75, so he brought it down as low as 5 on the H4N and still the sound was horrible.

I know for sure that I was using the 1 & 2 buttons on the H4n and not the Mic input. When I listened to the audio at home I can clearly hear the crowd cheering.

When my friend told the audio guy that the recording was peaking he turned the volume on his end all the way to off and yet we were still getting that horrible sound.

Question 1; when doing large live recording like that do you usually hear the audience cheer after a song?
Question 2: Is there a setting on my H4N that can give me a better range to adjust the sound with the Record Level button?

In past shoots, I've had to turn down the H4N to .6, .7

I'm trying to just wrap my head around why this happened. Maybe someone can shed some light on maybe why this happened and how I can prevent it.

Kelly
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Old May 9th, 2011, 05:29 PM   #2
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Re: H4N peaks from 1-100

Did you have the inputs set to MIC or LINE in the menu?

I suspect you had the XLR inputs set to MIC but they were sending you a LINE level signal.
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Old May 9th, 2011, 05:41 PM   #3
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Re: H4N peaks from 1-100

Hi Chris, I had the 1 and 2 button lit, but the mic button was off. Do I have to go into the settings to change it as well? I don't see it in the menu.

Thanks
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Old May 9th, 2011, 06:05 PM   #4
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Re: H4N peaks from 1-100

Hi Kelly,

I got my recorders mixed up in my mind. You are right that there isn't a LINE/MIC setting on the H4N. Had to go grab mine and make sure.

Sorry about that.
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Old May 9th, 2011, 06:12 PM   #5
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Re: H4N peaks from 1-100

If you run into that situation again you can use an external PAD to bring the levels down to an acceptable level.

This one is switchable.

Audio-Technica AT8202 In-Line Attenuator AT8202 B&H Photo Video
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Old May 9th, 2011, 07:29 PM   #6
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Re: H4N peaks from 1-100

Thanks Chris,

I think the pickup audio of the crowd was just because they had 6 mics on stage, but what confuses me is that even the guy on the audio board cut out the signal completely and we still got a feed. Secondly, how is that going from 100 down to say 10 on the volume control didn't do anything to bring down the audio?
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Old May 9th, 2011, 07:45 PM   #7
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Re: H4N peaks from 1-100

That is confusing unless you had a REALLY hot signal from the board.

Did you notice any distortion or was it a clean signal?
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Old May 9th, 2011, 08:25 PM   #8
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Re: H4N peaks from 1-100

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Langerak View Post
I think the pickup audio of the crowd was just because they had 6 mics on stage, but what confuses me is that even the guy on the audio board cut out the signal completely and we still got a feed.
Either the board op didn't really know what he was sending to your recorder (i.e. it was not really turned off completely) or else you were using the recorder's integral mics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Langerak View Post
Secondly, how is that going from 100 down to say 10 on the volume control didn't do anything to bring down the audio?
Going down on which volume control? On the board, or on your recorder? I've never seen a volume control with a scale calibrated up to 100... up to 10 is more usual.
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Old May 9th, 2011, 08:29 PM   #9
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Re: H4N peaks from 1-100

It sounds like you were taking a line level signal into the mic level inputs. You can dial it all the way down, and will still have distorted sound at loud points. If you can either get a mic level out from the board, or use some inline pads to bring it down to mic level, you should be fine.
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Old May 9th, 2011, 08:32 PM   #10
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Re: H4N peaks from 1-100

@ Greg, he's talking about the input level on the Zoom. It goes from .5 (I think) to 100. I calibrate my mixer to my Zoom with the 1K tone, and the record level of the Zoom gets set around 70-75. Leaves plenty of headroom on my mixer.
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Old May 9th, 2011, 08:34 PM   #11
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Re: H4N peaks from 1-100

Thanks Andy.

He says lowering recording gain from 100 to 10 does not change the level. Does the Zoom have some sort of AGC mode where the manual gain setting doesn't do anything? (I have an oddball Sony that's somewhat like that.)
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Old May 9th, 2011, 08:53 PM   #12
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Re: H4N peaks from 1-100

It has a limiter circuit.
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Old May 9th, 2011, 09:03 PM   #13
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Re: H4N peaks from 1-100

The H4n's XLR inputs are MIC level. If you want LINE level inputs you need to use the 1/4" TRS inputs.
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Old May 9th, 2011, 09:20 PM   #14
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Re: H4N peaks from 1-100

Exactly, Aaron...
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Old May 9th, 2011, 09:23 PM   #15
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Re: H4N peaks from 1-100

Also, @ Chris, you can shut off the limiter. I keep mine turned off, and rely on the much better limiter on my mixer.
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