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Old November 2nd, 2006, 05:46 PM   #16
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Zoom h4

is that so?? well, I used XLR cables....I will try using TRS cables instead, and see if that changes anything.......there is no facility in the menu to change the input to line....I will have more to say in a day or so, I was running some testes today with my Oktavas.....so far, I am pretty impressed with the capabilities of this little gizmo
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 06:31 PM   #17
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The unit can take a line in, but -25db can still be a little hot for a line in feed.
I am using a PSC Promix 3 filed mixer and set my line out to -40db and the H4 didn't overload. I tried recording at L and M gain settings on the Ch1/Ch2 inputs, limiter turned on inm menu, and the levels set to max, with pretty good results.
Steve, was the gain set to L/M on the CH1/CH2 setting or the mic gain by accident.
I didn't have time to try out either my matched pair of Rode NT5's or Rode NT3 yet.
I just performed a quick basic test with my AT822 stero mic, recording "Streetcorner Symphony" by Rob Thomas through my M-Audio DX4 speaker.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 06:55 PM   #18
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Zoom H-4

wow, I stand corrected!!.....you are quite right, TRS will send line in, the XLR will be mic level....I used XLR out of my mixer sending line out to TRS into the H-4 and the line in is perfect...thanx for the hot tip....all you need is a pair if TRS cables or adapters and youre all set..... I am all the more impressed by this thing now that I know you can send line into it.
Thanx for the hot tip!!....next time I'll have to try reading the user manual.....
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 08:32 PM   #19
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Michael, Steve,

When you use the H4 without a mixer, in stereo mode, can you adjust the manual recording volume while recording? (the menu settings from 0-127, not the H-M-L switch). Or, is this a menu operation in which you must stop recording to adjust.

Thanks, Seth
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 09:09 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum
Michael, Steve,

When you use the H4 without a mixer, in stereo mode, can you adjust the manual recording volume while recording? (the menu settings from 0-127, not the H-M-L switch). Or, is this a menu operation in which you must stop recording to adjust.

Thanks, Seth
Yes you can adjust the levels in the menu.
When you use the built in stereo mic you can only adjust combined L/R levels.
When you use external XLR or 1/4 inputs, you can only adjust each CH1/CH2 seperately.
The external Gain switches are for quick audio gain settings.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 10:42 AM   #21
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Zoom H4

heres are a couple of important notices posted on the Zoom site about the H4:

We are pleased to announce that ZOOM H4 ASIO Driver version 1.0.0.1 has been released. It offers lower latency in recording to a computer-based DAW application like Cubase LE. (download)

""
The following problem has been confirmed on H4 System Version 1.00. :

At recording in MP3 with 256kps or VBR, it contains squeaky noise in the result.

The above problem happens because of software error of MP3 encoder. In case you record in MP3 format, please set bit rate other than 256kbp or VBR. System updater fixing this problem will be released on our website by the end of November.
""

the method for upgrading software for the h4 is described on p 84 of the users manual. hopefully this will be released on time, but I have not noticed any problem so far at the bit rate I have been using....(320)
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 05:12 PM   #22
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Zoom H-4

OK, for what its worth, here are my quick and dirty assessments for this gizmo, which I have been playing around with since I got it yesterday.

After a bit of wrangling(see previous posts) I did manage to send line into this device, so using the combo plugs with TRS males you can send line in( or mic level with XLRs) into the device.

I did make a few dubs thru my system, basically playing some CD audo and a few other audio files off my computer, thu my monitor system , a Behringer 1604a mixer, line out of the mixer (XLR) to my TRS cable/adapter and into the H-4....I used LOW gain and level set to 100(the default)..the results were essentially perfect, set to MP3 320 KBPS.

That being done I knew I could also send line out of my field mixer...so I went out yesterday and today and just recorded some ambience around the hood....kids getting out of school, at play in the park, traffic and crowds, some birds(most have gotten out of town for the winter), stuff like that....
I used my pair of Oktava MK012's set on a stereo mount on a standard XY pattern for stereo recording, mounted on my boom pole, and cabled into my ENG-44 field mixer.
I had the limiter set on the ENG-44 to kick in at about -2 DB, and I strapped the H-4 to the shoulder strap of the mixer where I could get to it very easily...I also cabled a short 1/8" stereo mini cable to the head out into the return on my mixer so I could to the usual monitoring routine.
Then I just hit the streets and recorded whatever I came across....
Basically, I came back with maybe a total of 50 minutes of audio in about 12-14 clips.....when I wanted to record, I just reached up and armed the record button, then hit it again and I was recording onto the new Transend 2GB 150X card that I had ordered from New Egg....the device never faulted, and every roll and stop and playback worked exactly as it was claimed to in the manual...the device never burped or belched, and was 100% reliable in my tests. PLay back was 100% indistinguishable from what I had been monitoring live...it was so realistic that when I had my sister listened to play back, she claimed to have been made to feel a bit disoriented....now thats what I like to hear!!!

The XY stereo image was very accurate, basically as good as I have heard, and really conveyed the illusion of physical movement.....the Oktavas of course sound rich and detailed, presenting a lot more high end than I really expected...I know there is a pronounced taper starting around 16 KHZ on those mics, but sounds like leaves crumpling underfoot had a ton of high end.

...I did all my recording at 320 in MP3, so I can only expect that the 24/96 waves will be even better....I am sure the quality improvement, however, will be much more noticable with program like music, which is what I really would like to record to further test this item.

The dialog I got was all candid stuff, but it still sounded fat and rich ....distances ranged from 2-8 feet from my subjects, which is of course why I like the MK012...the H-4 reproduced what that mic is capable of very faithfully.
I noticed no hiss, hum, buzz or any other noise, yielding virtually no discernable noise floor. Of couse, thats what should in fact be delivered if the device is giving what Zoom claims, along with use of balanced I/O.

Basically, I feel at this point that Zoom really has delived as promised, along with the VBR bug that I mentioned previously, which I hope will be corrected in a timely manner.

My concern with this device was really very simple: could this gizmo be used as an audio recorder with quality at the level or beyond that of a field DAT recorder, delivering pristine digital audio reliably, and enabling the use of a good mixer as a front end sending line level audio into the device? The answer is yes....but those who look to do audio recording with this device with have a few caveats to deal with......

The most obvious one is the lack of any timing / synch ability IE:...there is no time code in, synch in, word clock in, internal time stamp generator, so synching to a video camera, for instance, will not be doable with this incarnation...for people looking to synch with Hi-def gear that requires tri-level synch...duh, get serious, this thing is $299!!!!!! a synch box alone is $999...
I KNOW there cant be anyone out there who actually was hoping for all that, so I am sure no one will be dissapointed at the news...

So what CAN you do with this device?? well, if youre looking to record live eng audio for web casting or radio, this device is TOTALLY usable., and may even be overkill....
looking to do some live to stero mix recording of music ?? totally doable
Need a backup or two extra channels of audio when covering a live event with a single camera?? sure why not, you can synch it up in post MORE THAN LIKELY...I have not tested for audio drift, so I cannot say for certainty...but for what its worth, some people made a big deal about DV cameras not having audio lock, and I personally have never experienced it , nor do I know of anyone else who has....so whats up with that???

I think the bottom line is that for $299, this device does really what it claims, and in a package about 1/3 the size of a soft cover book...I think thats pretty amazing.....I WAS going to complain that it didnt have a key inhibit....but in fact it does, its right in THE MANUAL......hehe
well, thats all for now...
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Old November 10th, 2006, 07:06 AM   #23
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I just saw this thing in the B&H catalog and started to wonder... All of your reviews confirm it. THIS is what folks with the Canon HV10 and Sony HC1/3 need for audio! I think I will post a link to this thread in the HV10 forum.
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Old November 10th, 2006, 12:13 PM   #24
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Just wanted to point out that there are folks over at taperssection who attest to the H4's ability to recognize 4GB cards.

The specific card they are having success with is the Transcend Ultra Speed 4GB Secure Digital Flash Card, Model TS4GSD150. It does need to be formatted before use.

~M
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Old November 10th, 2006, 02:41 PM   #25
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Could one conceivably use the line output of the Zoom H4 into the mic input of a FX1 or FX7?

tanx
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Old November 10th, 2006, 02:58 PM   #26
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Not directly; typical line out of this and other pro-sumer devices is around -10 dB, while typical mic signals are around -40-60 dB - so the line out would overload pretty much ANY mic input.

About the best you could do is maybe use an inline pad, one for each channel - Radio Shack used to carry one (mini plug in and out) that was 30 dB, if you keep levels out of the Zoom at lower than normal this should make the LEVELS compatible (with 30 dB pads) but may introduce some noise.

What you'd be doing, is amplifying the Zoom's mics up to line level, then attenuating them, then letting the camera's pre-amps amplify them again. So anything less than a perfect preamp would add noise each time the signal is boosted... Steve
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Old November 10th, 2006, 10:31 PM   #27
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H-4

Yes, I guess I wasnt clear about that....you can send balanced MIC level into the Zoom VIA XLR cables, and balanced LINE level into the Zoom VIA TRS cables.
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Old November 11th, 2006, 10:41 AM   #28
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Steve, I thought your comments were pretty clear; but Kalunga was asking about using the OUTPUT of the zoom into a mic level input, and I found nothing in the manual (don't own one but am considering it) that shows capability of mic level output, they only mention -10 coming out of the phones/line out jack, and that'll clip any camera's mic input... steve
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Old November 11th, 2006, 02:48 PM   #29
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It would work for the FX1 with the input set to line level. Its in the FX1 menu and I use it all the time.

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Old November 11th, 2006, 09:09 PM   #30
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Good catch Ron, I'm not familiar with that cam so didn't know it had a choice. Problem solved :=) Steve
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