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Old May 2nd, 2013, 06:45 PM   #1
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2 lavs -> H4N -> 5D mic input tips?

Hey fellas,

Im filming a series of web episodes that consists in 2 guys talking on a sofa. I have 2 lavalier mics in each actor going into the Zoom H4N and then going into the 5D Markiis mic input. Im NOT going to change this workflow and start recording from the H4N to sync the sound from in post (the sound Ive got from tests with this workflow sounds great). What I want to know is if I should set the H4N signal to mono so both voices are centered or if I should set it to stereo so each voice is in a one side...I was thinking stereo because it might be easier to neutralize one of the voices if necessary, but then again, if everything is being recorded into the 5Ds single track, any effects that I apply to the track should apply to both voices, right?
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 06:55 PM   #2
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Re: 2 lavs -> H4N -> 5D mic input tips?

ALWAYS record separately.

If the lavs end up too close to each other compared to the distance each is from the mouth of the speaker, you can have phase cancellation which will sap bass response and may do other weird stuff as well. In post, at least then you can mute the mic of whomever isn't speaking at a given time.

For more information, Google "3:1 audio rule"

3:1 rule
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 06:57 PM   #3
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Re: 2 lavs -> H4N -> 5D mic input tips?

Lets say that I cannot record separately. Mono or stereo?
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 10:01 AM   #4
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Re: 2 lavs -> H4N -> 5D mic input tips?

The question you should be asking isn't mono vs stereo, but if the inputs should be recorded on their own tracks, or if they should both be recorded on the same tracks. The answer is on their own tracks. I'm not sure about the 5D's input, but the H4n allows you to record each input to its own track.

Out of curiosity, why do you have an audio recorder if you're only using it as an XLR to 1/8" adapter? There are surely cheaper ways to do that.
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 10:15 AM   #5
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Re: 2 lavs -> H4N -> 5D mic input tips?

"Lets say that I cannot record separately. Mono or stereo?"
-- Two mics.. two tracks on the H4n. Even if you use just one mic.. DO NOT use the mono mode, it will add noise from the unterminated input.
if you want to combine them to the DRSL for sync purposes, that would be OK. You can feed the 5D a stereo input but would need a 'dual-mono (TS) female 3.5mm to a single male stereo 3.5 (TRS) adapter. of corse the mics would need to be the same connector, or an attenuator cacle from the H4n's HP output to camera's mic input.
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 12:32 PM   #6
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Re: 2 lavs -> H4N -> 5D mic input tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Carlson View Post
...
Out of curiosity, why do you have an audio recorder if you're only using it as an XLR to 1/8" adapter? There are surely cheaper ways to do that.
My thoughts exactly - the OP is apparently using the H4n in lieu of a preamp or mixer rather than for its intended purpose, ie, a recorder. Given the marginal quality of the Zoom's own preamps, if the goal is to record the audio directly in the camera at the best quality the camera can manage there are certainly better ways to accomplish it.
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 01:16 PM   #7
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Re: 2 lavs -> H4N -> 5D mic input tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
My thoughts exactly - the OP is apparently using the H4n in lieu of a preamp or mixer rather than for its intended purpose, ie, a recorder. Given the marginal quality of the Zoom's own preamps, if the goal is to record the audio directly in the camera at the best quality the camera can manage there are certainly better ways to accomplish it.
I don't disagree in the least. However, given the number of times I have been dog-piled when giving good advice that was counter to the question asked, I'm LEARNING to just weigh in on the perils instead of giving holistic advice anymore.

No one on a web forum wants to know how to do it right - they just want to know how to do it the way they want to.
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Old May 4th, 2013, 09:46 PM   #8
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Re: 2 lavs -> H4N -> 5D mic input tips?

You should keep the H4n set to stereo. Most editing software has a setting in the preferences that will allow the stereo track from the 5DMkII (or any stereo camera) to be imported as grouped dual mono. That way each voice will be "centered" but you can still adjust each one individually.

I would also echo that you should record on the H4n too, even if you don't use it except as a backup. At least you will know you're actually monitoring a device that's recording since the camera doesn't have a headphone jack (even though that would also require a special splitter cable since the H4n only has the one output).

If it is just two guys sitting on the couch and talking, it couldn't be that hard to keep up with the audio and video files and the cost of a class 4 SDHC card for the H4n is very cheap insurance and would only require one additional button press than what you are doing now.
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